West Godavari district is a district of Andhra Pradesh situated in the coastal Andhra region with its administrative headquarters located at Eluru. Earlier in the Buddhist kingdom of Vengi, there was a place called Rajahmundry or Rajamahendravaram. From the period of 700 to 1200 the Eastern Chalukyas ruled the coastal Andhra region, with Vengi situated near the Pedavegi village, as their capital. At that time Eluru was a part of the Kalinga Empire till 1471. Then it was occupied by the Gajapathis. Again it was captured by Sri Krishna Deva Raya in 1515. It was come under the rule of Kutub Shah, the Sultan of Golkonda after the downfall of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. West Godavari district with its administrative headquarters at Eluru came into existence in the year 1925. West Godavari district is carved out of Old Godavari district and since it is the western delta of the Godavari River hence it was named as "West Godavari".
Uppalapu Srinivas, a genius Indian mandolin expert, prodigy and composer of the classical south Indian music was born on 28th February, 1969 at Palakol in the West Godavari district. He was honoured by many notable awards such as the Padma Shri in 1998 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009.
Geographically, the district lies at 16°43'N latitude, 81°09'E longitude and 74 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 18.86% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 7,742 sq km. and it is bounded by Khammam district on the north, Bay of Bengal on the south, East Godavari district on the east and Krishnapuram district on the west. Both in summers and winters the climate of the district remains moderate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1006.7 mm in the year of 2019-20.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 revenue divisions namely Eluru, Kovvur, Narasapuram and Jangareddigudem. Moreover, it comprises 46 sub-districts, 13 towns and 881 villages. The administrative language in the district is Telugu.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 39,36,966 including 19,64,918 are males and 19,72,048 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1004 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 3.51% out of which 2.87% were males and 4.15% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 94.82 % of the total population. The population density in the district is 509 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Telugu with 96.97%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 49,922 including 25,603 were males and 24,319 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 30,496 including 17,947 were males and 12,549 were females.
The soil of the district is extremely fertile and suitable for agriculture. On the basis of topography the district is divided into 2 parts such as the Delta and the uplands. The Delta region is good for the cultivation of coconut, lemon and rice. On the other hand the upland is famous for the huge production of oil palm, sugarcane, corn, mango, banana, tobacco and cotton. The coastal areas of the district are favourable for fishing. Moreover, ONGC, Reliance & Cairn are trying their best to extract oil and natural gases from the Krishna Godavari basin. In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 81,62,300 lakh at current price and Rs. 57,69,400 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2015-16 was Rs. 45,34,000 lakh at current price and Rs. 35,98,900 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 1,79,003 at current price and Rs. 1,24,621 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is an abode of many reputed schools and colleges. There are 2 prominent universities in the district are Dr. YSR Horticultural University and Andhra University Campus at Tadepalligudem. Most of its colleges are affiliated to these two universities. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 74.63% including 77.92% are males and 71.36% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 26,52,389 including 13,79,223 are males and 12,73,166 are females.
Chiranjeevi, an illustrious Indian actor, producer and politician was born on 22nd August, 1955 at Mogalthur in the district. He was served as the Union Minister of State with independent charge for the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India (28th October, 2012–15 May, 2014). He is a member of Indian National Congress party. Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, a distinguished Indian politician was born on 1st October, 1943 at Eluru in the district. He has been elected as a member of the 8th, 9th, 12th, 14th and 15th Lok Sabha of India from the Eluru constituency of Andhra Pradesh. He is a member of the Indian National Congress party.
The district has numerous sets of tourist places which allures many travellers from far distance place. Dwaraka Tirumala, located at the top of the hill and some of its part carved out of the hill, is a pious place and a temple with an impressive five-storied structure at its main entrance. Perupalem Beach is located km. from the Narasapuram town. Many visitors come to this beach to enjoy its beautiful sceneries. Ksheera Rama Lingeswara Swami Temple is one of the five Pancharama Kshetras, located in Palakollu town. During 15th century Reddy Rajas constructed the temple. Kolleru Pelicanry and Birds Sanctuary is one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the district, located in the surroundings of the Kolleru Lake, between the Krishna and Godavari deltas. One can found many migratory as well as local birds in the place. Natta Rameswaram is a well known pilgrim centre in the district. Rameswara Temple is the identity of the place has a lingam made of shells and conches. Many people come to this temple to offer their prayers. Pattisam is also a holy place and its Saivite and vaishnative shrines have an immense religious significance.