The district of Anantapur is located in the western part of Andhra Pradesh. This region is also known by the name of Anantapuram and was earlier known as Anantasagaram, which means an endless ocean. It got this name because of the huge tank present at the centre.
The district covers a land area of 19, 130 square km, which also makes it the largest district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Anantapur is surrounded by Kurnool on the northern side, while on the eastern part are Cuddapah and Chittoor both. On the south-western part, it is bordered by Karnataka.
The region of Anantapur is a blend of modernisation and preserved ancient history in the form of ancient forts and pilgrimage spots. Anantapur is known for its silk industries and modern mills. Apart from the modern silk industries, handicrafts are a major source of revenue. There are many agro-based industries in Anantapur that deal in rice, jowar, cotton, chillies and sugarcane.
The minister of Bukka-I, Chilkavodeya, constructed both the villages of Bukkarayasamundaram and Anantasagaram. The region of Anantapur came under the rule of Tipu Sultan, who assassinated all the male members of the Siddappa family except the head who escaped. This region later on was handed off to the Nizam and later on to the British Empire after the Nizam left.
There are several villages in Anantapur where annual fairs and weekly festivals are held. All these festivals and fares are held at the religious centres of the villages especially temples. Most of the festivals are visited by devotees in large groups. The popular festivals and fairs celebrated here are Durgamma Festival, Sambhulingeswara Kalyanotsavam and Kotappakonda Temple Fair.
Some of the well known places in Anantapur include Puttarparthi, which is considered the place of reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. Thimmamma Marimanu is also one of the popular places visited by tourists throughout the year. The speciality of this place is the 500-year-old huge banyan tree that has a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Penna Ahobilam, located near Anantapur, is known for the Lord Narasimha Swamy Temple. The other places of tourist interest include Ravadurg Gooty and the Penukonda Fort.