Eluru is a city and the district headquarters of West Godavari district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.[5] It is one of the 14 municipal corporations in the state and the mandal headquarters of Eluru mandal in the Eluru revenue division.[6][7] The city is on the Tammileru river. The city is well known for its wool-pile carpets and hand woven products.[8] As of 2011 Census of India, the city had a population of 217,876.[2] Its history dates back to the second century CE.[9]

During the Buddhist kingdom of Vengi, the city was known as 'Helapuri'.[10] It was also known by names such as 'Ellore'.[11]

There were 25 inscriptions of Vengi Chalukyas found on these pillars of Mandapam at Kotadibba, (Eluru Fort Land)

The history of Eluru dates back to the 2nd century CE and has great prominence in the history of Andhra. Vengi near Eluru was the capital of Andhra from the 2nd century to the 12th century, ruled by Salankayanas, Vishnukudinas, and Eastern Chalukyas. Vengi was the capital city of Andhradesa for more years than any other city in Andhra Pradesh. Eluru was part of the Buddhist kingdom of Vengi.

Salankayana ruled from the 3rd century CE to the 5th century CE.[12] They were known as Salankayana after the Gotra name. They were the feudatories of Ikshvakus. They ruled near the Vengi area, with Vengi (Eluru) as the capital. Salankayana is another of the Phantom kingdoms of Andhra for Indologists. Their date is fixed based on Samudra Gupta inscription mention of Hastivarman of Vengi.[13]

Eluru was a major city of the Vishnukundinas.[14] Vishnukundin reign might be fixed between the end of the Salankayana and the rise of the Eastern Chalukyan power in 624 AD.[15] In the late 5th century, the Salankayanas were conquered by Madhavarma II of the Vishnukundinas. During the reign of Madhava Varma the Great, they became independent and conquered coastal Andhra from the Salankayanas and might have shifted their capital to a place in coastal Andhra.[16]

Eastern Chalukyas, or Chalukyas of Vengi, were a South Indian dynasty whose kingdom was in the present day Andhra Pradesh. Their capital was Vengi near Eluru and their dynasty lasted for around 500 years from the 7th century until c. 1130 C.E. when the Vengi kingdom merged with the Chola empire.[17] The Vengi kingdom continued to be ruled by Eastern Chalukyan kings under the protection of the Chola empire until 1189 C.E., when the kingdom succumbed to the Hoysalas and the Yadavas. They had their capital originally at Vengi now (Pedavegi) near Eluru of the West Godavari district and later changed to Rajamahendravaram (Rajamundry).

Eluru was captured by Kakatiyas and then became a part of the Kalinga Empire until 1471. Later it fell into the hands of the Gajapatis. In 1515 Srikrishnadevaraya captured it. After the fall of the Vijayanagara Kingdom, it was taken by the Sultan of Golkonda, Kutub Shah. Mohammedans built the fort at Eluru from the ruins of Vengi.[18]

Salabat Jang, the fourth Nizam of Hyderabad, granted in 1753 the region including Eluru to French East India Company but the French were forced to transfer it to the British within a few years. During British rule Eluru was a military station, and the capital of the Northern Circars, a division of the Madras Presidency.[19][20] In the Madras Presidency, the District of Rajahmundry was created in 1823.[21] It was reorganised in 1859 and was bifurcated into Godavari and Machilipatnam districts. Eluru was a part of Machilipatnam district after the division of Northern Circars. In 1859, it was included in the Godavari district; later it was made a part of the Krishna district. During British rule, Rajahmundry was the headquarters of Godavari district, which was further bifurcated into East Godavari and West Godavari districts in 1925. When the Godavari district was divided, Eluru became the headquarters of West Godavari.

Eluru is at and has an average elevation of 22 m (72 ft). It lies on the Eastern coastal plains.[23] It is about halfway between the Krishna and Godavari rivers and about 50 kilometers inland from the Bay of Bengal. The Tammileru river and the Krishna and Godavari canals pass through the city, before the river. The Eluru canal from Krishna empties into Kolleru Lake near the city.

Eluru experiences hot and humid climate due to its proximity to the shore of Bay of Bengal. It has an average annual temperature of 28.2 °C (82.8 °F). May is the hottest and December is the coolest month of the year. Temperature crosses 40 °C (104 °F) in summer.[5] July receives most precipitation and annually the city receives an average rainfall of 992 mm (39.1 in).[24]

As of 2011 census of India, Eluru Municipal corporation had a population of 214,414 of which 105,707 were male and 108,707 female, whilst Eluru UA had a population of 250,693. The estimated city population during 2015–16, period was 350,000.[26][27]

Eluru Municipal Corporation is the civic body of Eluru. It was first constituted as a municipality in 1866.[28] It was upgraded to municipal corporation on 9 April 2005 from selection grade municipality.[10] It is spread over an area of 14.50 km2 (5.60 sq mi) with 50 wards.[2]

The present municipal commissioner of the city is Y.Sai Sreekanth and the mayor is Shaik Noorjahan.[29] In 2015, as per the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' of the Ministry of Urban Development, Eluru Municipal Corporation was ranked 249th in the country.[30]

Eluru urban agglomeration is spread over an area of 23.85 km2 (9.21 sq mi) and its constituents include Eluru municipal corporation, census towns of Sanivarapupeta, Satrampadu, Gavaravaram, Tangellamudi, and partly out growths of Komadavole, Eluru (rural) villages.[7]:54

Law and order in Eluru is maintained with the help of eight police stations, which includes one woman and one traffic police station. These are under the jurisdiction of the 'Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate'.[31]

Eluru (Assembly constituency) is one of the constituencies for Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Alla Nani is the present MLA of the constituency from YSRCP.[32] The constituency falls under Eluru (Lok Sabha constituency) which was won by Kotagiri Sridhar of ysrcp.[33][34] The city is going to be the head office for the Jana Sena Party.[35]

Since the 17th century, Eluru was known for rug weaving, derived from weavers of Iranian descendants.[11] R.R.Pet, Powerpet, Eluru 1-Town area are the commercial centres.[36] Tangellamudi, Sanivarapupeta and Lakshavarapupeta areas of the city are known for the wool pile carpet industry. The eco-friendly carpets are exported to countries like US, Australia, Germany and the UK.[37][38]

Government allotted 1.416 km2 (0.547 sq mi) of land near Vatluru and Bhogapuram for a light combat aircraft manufacturing facility[39] which is estimated to cost about 2,135 billion (US$30 billion).[40]

A antique museum is being set up in the city, that will preserve prehistoric tools, idols, and elements found in the archaeological excavations near the city.[41]

The personalities from Eluru include Kommareddi Suryanarayana, a Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha member in Indian Parliament and Indian freedom activist; Murali Mohan, a member of parliament and Telugu film actor, producer and business executive; Duvvuri Subbarao, an Economist and the 22nd governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Justice Muhammad Shahabuddin, Judge Federal Court of Pakistan and Governor East Pakistan; Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu, a lawyer, professor, Justice Party leader, Governor and Chief Minister of Madras Presidency; Chodagam Ammanna Raja, Indian freedom movement activist and Rajya Sabha member; Mothey Vedakumari, parliamentarian and singer; V. S. Ramadevi, the first woman to become Chief Election Commissioner of India; Pawan Kumar, former cricketer for Andhra and Hyderabad.

People from film industry are L. V. Prasad, film producer, actor, director, cinematographer and businessman; Pasupuleti Kannamba, actress, playback singer and film producer of Telugu cinema; Vijaya Bapineedu, magazine editor, film screenwriter and director; V. N. Aditya, film director and screenwriter; Sekhar Kammula, film director, screenwriter and producer; Silk Smitha, film actress; Naga Shourya, film actor; Shanmukha Srinivas, film actor and an accomplished Kuchipudi dancer.

'Buddha park' is in the city and is notable for its 74 ft (23 m) Buddha statue in the Abhaya posture, in the heart of Gaja Vallivari Cheruvu tank which was used as drinking water source for elephants in the Ancient Era.

Kolleru lake is a very large (30,855 hectares [100 sq mi] to 90,100 hectares [300 sq mi]) but shallow fresh water lake, about 15 km from the city. The lake is known for attracting migratory birds from Northern Europe and Northern Asia during the months of October–March and is designated as the Kolleru Bird Sanctuary. As of 2018, the water level has been low in recent years.[42][43][44]

The "Holy Land" of Israel has been replicated on the premises of Fr. Silvio Pasquali Memorial Convent at Duggirala on the city outskirts.[45]

The city has suburbs such as Ramachandrarao Pet (R.R Pet), Narasimharao Pet (N.R Pet),[46] Pathebada,[47] 1-Town, Powerpet, Satrampadu, Sanivarapupeta, Vatluru etc.

Public transport systems in the city and for long-distance travel include government run APSRTC buses, privately operated auto rickshaws, cabs, mini-buses etc. Everyday, around 4000 auto rickshaws flee on city roads.[48] National Highway 16, a part of Asian Highway 45 and Golden Quadrilateral highway network, bypasses the city and connects Kolkata with Chennai.[49][50] GNT Road, Mini-Bypass Road, Canal Road and Sanivarapupeta Road are the major internal arterial roads. The city has a total road length of 227.09 km (141.11 mi).[51] APSRTC operates its bus services from Eluru Old and Eluru New bus stations[52][53] to parts of the State(Vijayawada, Rajamahendravaram,Guntur, Nellore, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati)and to other states(Mostly Hyderabad).[54] State Highway 43 and State Highway 44 connect Eluru with Sathupalli and Jangareddygudem respectively.[55] Eluru is classified as an 'A–category station' in the Vijayawada railway division of South Coast Railway zone.[56][57] Apart from the main station, other stations that serve the city include Powerpet, Denduluru and Vatluru. All these stations are on the Howrah-Chennai main line.Eluru is one of the top 100 booking stations of Indian railways. Indian National Waterway 4 (NW-4) is under development. The (NW-4) (NW-4) runs along the Coromandal Coast through Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram, Eluru, Commanur, Buckingham Canal, and part of the Krishna and Godavari rivers in South India.[58]

Cricket and soccer are the most popular sports in the city. Presently, the city has four stadium out of which Indoor Stadium and ASR Stadium hosted for Ranji Trophy in 1977. Other popular stadiums are Helapuri grounds, C.R. Reddy Cricket Stadium.

ASR Stadium was named after Alluri Sitarama Raju.[59][60] It is located at .

It had earlier hosted a Ranji Trophy match, handball, football and hockey tournaments.[60] The ground first held a single first-class match in 1976 when Andhra Pradesh played Hyderabad in the 1976/77 Ranji Trophy,[61] which ended in a draw.[62] It held Finals of Foodball League of West Godavari Matches in 2016. Current DSDO is Syed Azeez.[63]

Eluru plays a major role in education for urban and rural students from nearby villages.[64] It has an average literacy rate of 83.90% with, according to the 2011 census, a total number of 155,894 who are literate. This includes, 80,434 men (88.13%) and 75,460 women(79.82%).[65]

Primary and secondary school education is provided by government, aided, and private schools, under the School Education Department of Andhra Pradesh.[66] According to the school information report for the academic year 2016–17, the urban area has around 160 schools. These include government, residential, private, municipal, and other types of schools. There are more than 100 private schools and 49 municipal schools.[67] There are more than 30,000 students in these schools.[68]

Sri Chintalapati Varaprasada Murthy Raju was the founder of Chintalpati Satyavathi Devi College(St.Therisa College) and three high schools in the name of Indian freedom fighters: Kasturiba Girls High School, Balagangadhar Tilak Oriental for Sanskrit, Duggirala Gopal Krishnayya. Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad High School (the only school with Urdu as medium of instruction in the district).[64] The Central Board of Secondary Education, Secondary School Certificate, or the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education are the types of syllabus followed by schools.

The government plans to set up Municipal Corporation Junior College in the city.[69] Eluru city has ASRAM Medical college, St Joseph Dental College. Sir C.R. Reddy Degree College is the famous degree college in Eluru. Sir C.R. Reddy College of Engineering,[70] Ramachandra College of Engineering, Eluru College of Engineering and Technology, Nova College, Helapuri Engineering College are Engineering colleges present in and around Eluru.