Venkatagiri is a town,municipality and mandal headquarters in Nellore district in the Indianstate of Andhra Pradesh.Venkatagiri's old name is "Kali Mili".It is famous for its Handloom Cotton Sarees. Venkatagiri is a place for history and handlooms.It was part of a small kingdom that was integrated into the Indian Republic.
Venkatagiri is well connected by Road and Rail Transport. Famous pilgrimage places like Kalahasti, Kanipakam and Tirupati are within a short distance and can be easily reached by Railways and Roadways. It is also notably close to Chennai, a major port city of India .
Venkatagiri is developing industrially and also in educational sector.Venkatagiri is having Indian Institute of Handloom Technology,APRJC and APRS.NTPC - BHEL is setting up a manufacturing plant near Venkatagiri and in Naidupet road nearly 10 factories were established.Agriculturally also Venkatagiri is contributing effectively.Commercial Crop like Lemon is being cultivated in 3000 acres in Venkatagiri constituency and Venkatagiri constituency is having Kandaleru reservoir.
Venkatagiri was a small village near Kalivelamma temple with the name Kali Mili during Vijayanagar times which was ruled by Gobburu polygars. They were defeated by Venkatadri Naidu,brother's son of Raja who was ruling territories around Madurantakam in 16th Century . He renamed Kalimili with Vaishanava name "Venkatagiri". These Recherla rulers shifted their capital from Velugodu to Venkatagiri during the reign of Pedda Yachama Naidu. He also had ruled his southern territories with Madurantakam as second capital which was granted by Venkatapathi Raya II of Aravidu dynasty of Vijayanagar who ruled from Chandragiri. Later Venkatagiri Rajas abandoned Madhurantakam and ruled their southern territories with North Mallur in Chitoor district as their capital. Raja Bangaru Yachama Naidu Bahudur was trecherously murdered when he was unarmed in 1693AD on the day of Mahanavami by Zu-l-faqar khan, Nawab of vellore during reign of Aurangazeb. Later on 14 taluks were granted to Sarwagna Yachedra, son of assassinated King by Khan with the approval of Emperor in order to prevent heirs of the rajah from complaining to emperor about the murder. After this, the Administration of the kingdom has been transferred completely from north Mallur to Venkatagiri. Raja's Recherla clan was initiated in Nalgonda Dist in Amanagallu village by Chevi reddi around 1198AD - 1208 AD with the sacrifice of life by Rechadu, servant of Chevireddi. The "Gotram" of Venkatagiri rajas was named after him. As per oath gave to him Venkatagiri rajas are celebrating Jatara of Poleramma who is the chief deity of Rechadu's community. The celebration of Jatara in Venkatagiri traced to this tradition. Chevi Reddi also named as Pillalamarri Bethala Naidu was a close associate of Kakatiya King Ganapathi Deva. Rajas of Venkatagiri, Pitauram, Jetprole and Bobbili are his descendents. Thus Chevireddy was the origin person of Venkatagiri Velugoti dynasty of Padma Nayaka Velama Tribe. As per the permanent settlement made with Britishers an "Isthimiral" dated 24 August 1802 was issued to Rajah fixing an annual Periskash of Rs,4,44,232. Thus estate became part of British India. Venkatagiri samsthanam when it was a part of erstwhile Madras Presidency consisted of 736 Villages in addition to that it consisted 617 majara villages.
Venkatagiri is located at 13.9667°N 79.5833°E. It has an average elevation of 60 metres (197 feet).
As of 2001 India census,Venkatagiri Mandal had a population of 75,236. Venkatagiri Rural consists of 58 Revenue Villages. Venkatagiri became municipality in 6-1-2005 by merging Venkatagiri,ChevireddiPalli,Periyavaram,Bangarupet,Ammavaripet and Manulalapet Panchayats.Total population of municipality is 52,478.Venkatagiri has an average literacy rate of 67%,higher than the national average of 59.5%.Total area of municipality is 23.50 SqKms.
The nearest international airport is at Chennai which is 170 km away. International Airport in Renigunta is under construction which is just 45 km away. Reaching here, one can hire a taxi to reach Venkatagiri. Nellore has a railhead and the railway station is located between Gudur Junction and Renigunta Junction.
Venkatagiri is not connected with National Highway 5 (NH 5) which serves major towns like Gudur, Nellore and Kavali in the district. It is located on the way to Tirupathi from Nellore. For local transportation, taxis and auto-rickshaws are easily available. For transportation to Chennai apart from APSRTC Buses, Sri Bramrambha Motor Transport and Bharathi Transport run buses daily. Direct train route is not there from Venkatagiri to Chennai.Venkatagiri is also well connected to Bengaluru through direct bus route.
Main article: Venkatagiri Sari
Venkatagiri Town is famous for the Jari Cotton handloom sarees. It has got its own unique weaving excellence and one need not compare with any other technique whether it is hand woven or machine made. Even today one can specify and get a designer sarees for a price and that will be made for only one person one time. In fact in the earlier days these weavers used to weave very few sarees for the Kings, and the return they get from them was sufficient for whole of the year. Venkatagiri is famous for "Jamdani" design which was imported from Bangladesh. Four Venkatagiri weavers won President award for weaving this design.
The handlooms in Venkatagiri are famous for their softness and durability. The handloom fabrics are soft and comfortable to wear and also suit all climates. Mainly Venkatagiri looms manufacture sarees, but now as per demand dress materials are also weaved. Around 20000 people in Venkatagiri depend on weaving. Sarees are mainly weaved in areas like Padmasali street, Pathakota Street, Manulalapet, Bangarupet, NTR Colony, BC Colony, Mallamma Temple Area and Sivalayam Street in the town.
Indian Institute of Handloom Technology: There are Six institutes of Handloom Technology at present in the country, situated at Salem (TN), Varanasi (UP), Guwahati (Assam), Venkatagiri (AP), Jodhpur (Rajasthan) and Gadag-Betgeri (Karnataka).The foundation stone for IIHT, Venkatagiri was laid by Honorable Sri N. Janardhan Reddy, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on 01-8-1991. The institute initially started to function in a rented building in Kasipet area of Venkatagiri. Later a part of the institute was constructed in Cross Road of Venkatagiri i.e. a weaving shed was opened by the former Chief Minister Sri N. Janardhan Reddy on 30-10-1992.A three-year Diploma course in Handloom Technology is imparted in this institute the syllabus, scheme of examinations, etc. are same for all the six institutes. The course usually commences on 1 July and closes on 30 April every year for summer vacation. Every year 60 students are admitted as per quota of seats allotted for each state.
Industrial and Agricultural Growth:
- NBPPL has a plan to establish manufacturing facility at Mannavaram in Sri Kalahasthi Mandal (Just 8 km away from Venkatagiri) for Balance of Plant, such as Coal Handling, Ash Handling Plant and also for the manufacture of main power plant equipment, such as Turbine, Generator, Boiler to meet the growing demand of power in the country. The manufacturing facility for BOP will be ready by 2011-12 followed by manufacturing facility for equipment like Turbine, Generator and Boiler likely to be established by 2014-15. Once fully established, installed capacity of the plant will be 5000 MW per year at an estimated total investment of Rs. 6000 crores.
- Major crops grow around Venkatagiri are Sugarcane, Lemon, Rice and Groundnut. Considering the importance of Lemon Plantation, the Lemon Research Centre was started in Venkatagiri by Ex-Chief Minister N.Janardhan Reddy. Venkatagiri is one out of twelve agricultural divisions in Nellore district. Kandeleru reservoir built on Kandeluru river born in Veligondalu is in Rapur mandal. It serves Venkatagiri mandal irrigation requirements also.Kandaleru river is one of the check points of Telugu Ganga Project.The Telugu Ganga Project office is located in Venkatagiri.