Nellore district is a district of Andhra Pradesh state with its administrative head quarters located at Nellore city. The district got its name from its administrative head quarters, Nellore. The Gazetteer of the Nellore district believes that the term Nellore is a blend of two Tamil words Nel and or which together means Paddy town in Tamil language. In June 2008, the Government of Andhra Pradesh officially changed the name of the district as Sri Potti Sri Ramulu Nellore district in the memory of the great freedom fighter and revolutionary named Potti Sri Ramulu, who expired while fasting for the formation of Andhra Pradesh State. In the ancient period when the Mauryan Empire was at the peak, most of the regions of the Andhra Pradesh including Nellore became its Empire. Then in the 3rd century BC. the regions of the Andhra Pradesh came under the influence of the Ashoka Empire. Even today also the caves which are located near to the place, Nellore have some inscriptions in the brahmi script that are mainly belong to the period of Ashoka. Then the Cholas came from the south peninsula and ruled the place in between the 1st and the 4th centuries AD. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different rulers likewise Nellore Chola kings, Kakatiyas, Pandyas, Vijayanagara rulers, Nawabs and finally, the British. After India got its independence in the year 1947, it became a part of the combined Madras state until 1st October, 1953. Later the place was emerged as a separate district under the Andhra Pradesh state on 1st November, 1956, when the states were reorganized on the linguistic basis. The contribution of the natives of Nellore is remarkable in the formation of Andhra Pradesh state.
Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam, an illustrious Indian film playback singer, actor, music director, voice actor and film producer was born on 4th June, 1946 in the Nellore district. The Government of India honoured him with the prestigious Padmashri award in 2001 and Padma Bhushan award in 2011.
Geographically, the district lies at 14°42'N latitude and 79°97'E longitude. The altitude of the district is 18 m. In the year 2021, there was a total 11.23% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 13,076 sq. km. and it is bounded by Prakasam District on the north, Bay of Bengal on the East, Chittoor district and Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu on the on the South and Veligonda Hills on the West. The climate of the district is generally characterised as dry and salubrious climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1385.6 mm. in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 5 revenue divisions namely Atmakur, Naidupet, Nellore, Gudur and Kavali. Moreover, it comprises 46 sub-districts, 10 towns and 1,177 villages. The administrative language in the district is Telugu.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 29,63,557 out of which 14,92,974 are males and 14,70,583 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 985 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 11.05% including 11.01% were males and 11.10% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 89.07% of the total population. The population density in the district is 227 persons per sq. kms. As per 2011 census the principal language in the district is Telugu with 88.81%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 39,887 out of which 20,728 were males and 19,159 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 26,276 out of which 16,215 were males and 10,061 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agriculture. The quality of rice produced in the district is famous throughout the country. Nellore district is popularly known as the "Shrimp capital of India" due to its high production of cultured shrimp. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, sugar cane, cotton, lemon, oil seeds, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is also rich in mineral resources. Iron ore and granite of the Krishna Patnam in the district are exported to many other countries like China. But the district is scantily industrialised since it has only a few small scale industries like handloom industries. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 61,69,800 lakh at current price and Rs. 40,54,300 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. the net domestic product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 55,90,800 lakh at current price and Rs. 35,86,300 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the year 2020-21 was Rs. 1,80,047 at current price and Rs. 1,15,495 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Vikrama Simhapuri University, Rao's Educational Society, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Veda and Sanskrit College, Government Medical College, Venkatagiri Raja's College, Narayana Medical College, Atmakur Engineering College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 68.9% including 75.74% are males and 61.99% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 18,32,189 out of which 10,11,922 are males and 8,20,267 are females.
Nedurumalli Janardhana Reddy, a veteran Indian politician and the 12th Chief Minister of the Andhra Pradesh state was 20th February, 1935 at Vakadu in the district. He was a member of the Indian National Congress (political party).
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Nelapattu bird sanctuary is one of the largest bird sanctuaries of mainly pelicans in South East Asia with more than 1500 pelicans and other migratory birds. Sri Mulasthaneswara Swamy temple, located on the west side of the district was built almost 1400 years back. The Royal tower of the temple called “Raja Gopuram” was constructed by the Manuma sidhi rulers. Pulicat Lake, in the district is the second largest brackish water lagoon in India extends over the two States of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu adjacent to the Bay of Bengal. It spreads over six hundred sq. km. in Andhra Pradesh including the five mandals in the district. Some other not able places of interest in the district are Kandaleru Dam, Somasila Dam, Chengalamma Temple, Mannar Poluru, Penchalakona, Narasimhakonda, Jonnawada, Sri Talapagiri Ranaganatha swamy Temple and many more.