Guntur situated 64 km away from the Bay of Bengal lies in Andhra Pradesh and is the fourth largest city of the state. The city has something of everything. It is one of the learning centres of the state; it holds historical significance; it is a textile and transportation hub of the country and it also holds agricultural importance because of the production of cotton and tobacco.
The history of Guntur dates back to the 10th century CE. It finds mention in an inscription of the Chalukyan King, Ammaraja. The city is believed to have been ruled by the Chalukyas for a majority of the time, although there is evidence to suggest that the Nagals also ruled this city over a period of time.
Guntur also has an ancient temple by the name of Agasthyaeswara Sivalayam, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple dates back to the 12th century, has some ancient inscriptions and is believed to have been built by Agastya.
The modern history of the place comprises of British and European rule. The French arrived here in 1752 and formed the centre of the modern town of Guntur. They were later followed by the British who built many important structures in the city and carried out expansion activities.
From the time of the British rule itself, Guntur was an important export hub and it continues to remain so today. It is a major producer of cotton and tobacco, most of which is exported to other countries. Guntur is also known for its chillies, which are one of the hottest varieties in the world. Efforts are on by the local bodies to set up a global chilly park here to boost tourism in the area.
Apart from that, Guntur has witnessed only moderate industrial development, which has left it largely unpolluted, unlike many other ancient cities. Some prevalent industries in the area include the textile mills, cement and chemical industries as well as diamond industries. Of late, the area has seen some development in the IT/ITes sector as well.
The city largely remains a historical place which is seeing slow modernisation. Some of the tourist places of interest in Guntur are the Kondaveedu Fort, Sitanagaram, Undavalli Caves and the ancient relics of Amaravathi.