The Alexander Palace is a former imperial residence near the town of Tsarskoye Selo, on a plateau about 30 miles south from the imperial capital city of St. Petersburg, it is known as the favourite residence of the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, his imperial family, served as their initial place of imprisonment after the first of two of Russian Revolutions in February of that tumultuous year of 1917 that overthrew the Romanov during World War I. The Alexander Palace is situated in the Alexander Park, not far from the larger, more elaborate Catherine Palace, begun in 1717 by Empress/Tsarina Catherine the Great. Today it is undergoing renovation as a state museum housing relics of the former imperial dynasty; the Alexander Palace was constructed in the Imperial retreat, near the town of Tsarskoe Selo, 30 miles south of the imperial capital city of St. Petersburg, it was commissioned by Empress/Tsarina Catherine II, built nearby the earlier Catherine Palace for her favorite grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, the future emperor Alexander I of Russia, on the occasion of his 1793 marriage to Grand Duchess Elizaveta Alexeievna, born Princess Luise Marie Augusta of Baden.
The Neoclassical edifice was planned by Giacomo Quarenghi and built between 1792 and 1796. It was agreed. In 1821, a quarter of a century the architect's son wrote: An elegant building which looks over the beautiful new garden... in Tsarskoe Selo, was designed and built by my father at the request of Catherine II, as a summer residence for the young Grand Duke Alexander, our present sovereign. In keeping with the august status of the person for whom the Palace was conceived, the architect shaped it with greatest simplicity, combining both functionality with beauty, its dignified façade, harmonic proportions, moderate ornamentation... are manifested in its interiors... without compromising comfort in striving for magnificence and elegance. Alexander used the palace as a summer residence through the remainder of his grandmother's and his father, Paul's, reign; when he became emperor, however, he chose to reside in the much larger nearby Catherine Palace. Alexander I gave the palace to the future Nicholas I, for summer usage.
From that time on, it was the summer residence of the heir to the throne. From 1830 to 1850, extensive redecoration was carried out according to designs by D. Cerfolio, A. Thon, D. Yefimov, A. Stakenschneider and others in keeping with changing tastes; the appearance of the formal and private rooms of the palace during Nicholas' reign can be seen in exquisite watercolors by E. Hau, I. Premazzi and I. Volsky from 1840 to 1860; the famous Mountain Hall which had a large slide built in for the children of Nicholas I was built during this time. Nicholas I and his family lived in the palace from the early spring till the end of May and after a short period at Krasnoye Selo during manoeuvres returned to the palace to spend their time there until the late autumn. In 1842, the Imperial couple celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with a series of galas including a medieval jousting tournament. Two years the family mourned the death of Nicholas's daughter Grand Duchess Alexandra, born at the palace and lived the last few months of her life there.
On 19 October 1860, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna died at the palace. Alexander III and his Danish born wife Maria Feodorovna had their apartments in the right-hand or western wing of the palace near the gardens. Before their accession to the imperial throne, Maria gave birth to their eldest child, the future Nicholas II, at the Alexander Palace. In his diary, the Tsarevich Alexander recorded the momentous event of the birth of his first child, Around 12.30 my wife came to the bedroom and lay down on a couch where everything was prepared. The pains became stronger and stronger, Minny suffered much. Papa... helped. At 2.30, the last minute came and all her suffering stopped. God sent us a son. What a joy it was! It is impossible to imagine. I sprang to embrace my darling wife, she became cheerful and was happy. I had been weeping like a child but my heart became light and cheerful; the entire imperial family was present at Maria's first child. In a letter to her mother, Queen Louise, the Tsarevna wrote.. this bothered me immensely!
The Emperor held me by one hand, my Sasha by the other, whilst every so the Empress kissed me. After Alexander III's death, Maria Feodorovna would stay at the palace in their rooms while visiting her son and daughter-in-law; as the estrangement with Alexandra Feodorovna became more apparent, the visits of the Dowager Empress became fewer. The palace is most famous though for the role it played in the reign of the last tsar, Nicholas II, he and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna always loved the palace and decided to make it their permanent residence after the events of Bloody Sunday, which made the Winter Palace dangerous for them. They remodeled the former two-story ballroom into the Maple Room and the New Study and added rooms for their children on the floor above. To the horror of the court and her architect Meltzer, chose a then-modern style of decoration, Jugendstil or Art Nouveau, considered by the aristocracy to be "middle class" and less than "Imperial". One of these most famous rooms is Alexandra's Mauve Room.
During the reign of Nicholas II, the palace was wired fo
Paul I of Russia
Paul I reigned as Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. He was the only son of Peter III and Catherine the Great, though Catherine hinted that he was fathered by her lover Sergei Saltykov, who had Romanov blood, being a descendant of the first Romanov tsar's sister, Tatiana Feodorovna Romanova. Paul remained overshadowed by his mother for most of his life, his reign lasted four years. He adopted the laws of succession to the Russian throne—rules that lasted until the end of the Romanov dynasty and of the Russian Empire, he intervened in the French Revolutionary Wars and, toward the end of his reign, added Kartli and Kakheti in Eastern Georgia into the empire, confirmed by his son and successor Alexander I. He was de facto Grand Master of the Order of Hospitallers from 1799 to 1801, ordered the construction of a number of Maltese thrones. Paul was born in the Palace of Saint Petersburg, his father, the future Emperor Peter III, was the heir apparent of the Empress. His mother, born the daughter of a minor German prince, was to depose her own husband and reign in her own right as Catherine II, known to history as Catherine the Great.
Paul was taken immediately after birth from his mother by the Empress Elizabeth, whose overwhelming attention may have done him more harm than good. Some claim that his mother, hated him and was restrained from putting him to death. Robert K. Massie is more compassionate towards Catherine. In all events, the Russian Imperial court, first of Elizabeth and of Catherine, was not an ideal home for a lonely and sickly boy; as a boy, he was reported to be good-looking. His pug-nosed facial features in life are attributed to an attack of typhus, from which he suffered in 1771. Paul was put in the charge of a trustworthy governor, Nikita Ivanovich Panin, of competent tutors. Panin's nephew went on to become one of Paul's assassins. One of Paul's tutors, complained that he was "always in a hurry", acting and speaking without reflection. Empress Elizabeth died in 1762, when Paul was 8 years old, he became crown prince with the accession of his father to the throne as Peter III. However, within a matter of months, Paul's mother engineered a coup and not only deposed her husband but, for a long time, was believed to have gotten him killed by her supporters.
It was found that Peter III died due to a fit of apoplexy when exerting himself in a dispute with Prince Feodor, one of his jailers. Some historians believe. After the death of Peter III, Catherine placed herself on the throne in a surpassingly grand and ostentatious coronation ceremony, for which event the Russian Imperial Crown was crafted by court jewellers; the 8-year-old Paul retained his position as crown prince. In 1772, her son and heir, turned eighteen. Paul and his adviser, believed he was the rightful tsar of Russia, as the only son of Peter III, his adviser had taught him that the rule of women endangered good leadership, why he was so interested in gaining the throne. Distracting him, Catherine took trouble to find Paul a wife among the minor princesses of the Holy Roman Empire, she chose Princess Wilhelmina of Hesse-Darmstad, who acquired the Russian name "Natalia Alexeievna"), a daughter of Ludwig IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. The bride's older sister, Frederika Louisa, was married to the Crown Prince of Prussia.
Around this time, Catherine allowed Paul to attend the Council in order that he might be trained for his work as Emperor. Wilhelmina died in childbirth on 15 April three years after the wedding, it soon became clearer to Catherine that Paul wanted power, including his separate court. There was talk of having both Paul and his mother co-rule Russia. A fierce rivalry began between them, as Catherine knew she could never trust him and Paul wanted his mother's power. After her daughter-in-law's death, Catherine began work forthwith on the project of finding another wife for Paul, on 7 October 1776, less than six months after the death of his first wife, Paul married again; the bride was the beautiful Sophia Dorothea of Württemberg, who received the new Orthodox name Maria Feodorovna. Their first child, was born in 1777, within a year of the wedding, on this occasion the Empress gave Paul an estate, Pavlovsk. Paul and his wife gained leave to travel through western Europe in 1781–1782. In 1783, the Empress granted him another estate at Gatchina, where he was allowed to maintain a brigade of soldiers whom he drilled on the Prussian model, an unpopular stance at the time.
Catherine the Great and her son and heir, the future Paul I, maintained a distant relationship throughout Catherine's reign. The aunt of Catherine's husband, Empress Elizabeth, took up the child as a passing fancy. Elizabeth proved an incapable caretaker, as she had raised no children of her own. Paul was supervised by a variety of caregivers. Roderick McGrew relates the neglect to which the infant heir was sometimes subject: "On one occasion he fell out of his crib and slept the night away unnoticed on the floor." After Elizabeth's death, relations with Catherine hardly improved. Paul was jealous of the favours she would shower upon her lovers. In one instance
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was a 17th-century French gem merchant and traveler. Tavernier, a private individual and merchant traveling at his own expense, covered, by his own account, 60,000 leagues in making six voyages to Persia and India between the years 1630 and 1668. In 1675, Tavernier, at the behest of his patron Louis XIV, published Les Six Voyages de Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. Tavernier was born in Paris of a French or Flemish Huguenot family that had emigrated to Antwerp, to escape persecution, which subsequently returned to Paris after the publication of the Edict of Nantes, which promised protection for French Protestants. Both his father Gabriel and his uncle Melchior were cartographers. Though it is clear from the accuracy of his drawings that Tavernier received some instruction in the art of cartography/engraving, he was possessed of a wanderlust. While still a teenager, he traveled extensively through Europe and achieved a working knowledge of its major languages. Tavernier is best known for his 1666 discovery/purchase of the 116-carat Tavernier Blue diamond that he subsequently sold to Louis XIV of France in 1668 for 120,000 livres, the equivalent of 172,000 ounces of pure gold, a letter of ennoblement..
In 1669, Tavernier purchased for 60,000 livres the Seigneury of Aubonne, located in the Duchy of Savoy near the city of Geneva, became Baron of Aubonne. Tavernier's writings show that he was a keen observer, as well as a remarkable cultural anthropologist, his Six Voyages became a best seller and was translated into German, Dutch and English during his lifetime. The work is quoted by modern scholars writing about the period; the conversations he heard in his father's house inspired Tavernier with an early desire to travel, by his sixteenth year he had visited England, the Low Countries and Germany. In 1624, at eighteen, Tavernier took service with the Viceroy of Hungary. By 1629, after four and a half years, he had grown restless. At the invitation of the young Duke of Rethel, to whom he had been attached as a guide and translator, Tavernier traveled to Mantua and took service as an ensign of artillery under the duke's father, the Duke of Nevers, besieging the city. In the following year Tavernier traveled, as a translator, with an Irish mercenary in the service of the emperor, Colonel Walter Butler.
In the Six Voyages Tavernier states that he departed from Butler's company, in 1630, with the intention of traveling to Ratisbon, to attend the investiture of the son of Emperor Ferdinand II as King of the Romans. However, as the investiture did not take place until 1636, it is probable that he attended the ceremony between his first and second voyages. By his own account he had seen Italy, Germany and Hungary, as well as France and the Low Countries, spoke the principal languages of these countries. Tavernier was now eager to visit the East. At Ratisbon—with the help of Pere Joseph, Cardinal Richelieu's agent and éminence grise—Tavernier was able to join the retinue of a pair of French travelers, M. de Chapes and M. de St. Liebau, who had received a mission to go to the Levant. In their company he reached Constantinople early in 1631, where he spent eleven months, proceeded by Tokat and Erivan to Safavid Persia, his farthest point in this first journey was Isfahan. He returned by Baghdad, Alexandretta and Italy, was again in Paris in 1633.
Of the next five years of Tavernier's life nothing is known with certainty, but Joret, his French biographer, claims that during this period he may have become controller of the household of Gaston, Duke of Orléans. We do know. In September 1638, Tavernier began a second journey, lasting to 1643, traveling via Aleppo to Persia, thence to India as far as Agra, from there to the Kingdom of Golconda, he visited the court of the Great Mogul—Emperor Shah Jahan—and made his first trip to the diamond mines. The second journey was followed by four others. In these voyages, Tavernier traveled as a merchant of the highest rank, trading in costly jewels and other precious wares, finding his chief customers among the greatest princes of the East. On his third journey he went as far as Java, returned by the Cape, his relations with the Dutch proved not wholly satisfactory, a long lawsuit on his return yielded but imperfect redress. A fourth voyage took Tavernier to Alexandretta, Bandar Abbas, Gandikot, Surat, Pegu, Ava, back to Bandar Abbas, to Isfahan, thence back to Paris.
During his last two voyages, his fifth and sixth, he did not proceed beyond India. The details of these voyages are obscure; these last voyages secured for him a large fortune and great reputation at home. He was presented in whose service he had travelled sixty thousand leagues by land. In 1662, Tavernier married daughter of a Parisian jeweller, he received patents of nobility on 16 February 1669, in the following year purchased, for 60,000 livres, the Seigneury of Aubonne, located in th
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers
Kollur Mine was a series of gravel-clay pits on the south bank of the River Krishna in the Golconda, India. It is thought to have produced many large diamonds that have been a part of crown jewels; the mine was operated until the 19th century. Kollur Mine operated between the 16th and mid-19th centuries, was one of the largest and most productive diamond mines on the Indian subcontinent. At the height of production, around 30,000 – 60,000 people worked there, including men and children of all ages. Kollur itself had a population of around 100,000. Golconda mines were owned by the king, but operation was leased to diamond merchants, either foreigners or Indians of the goldsmith caste; as well as rent, the king received 2% from sales, he was entitled to keep all diamonds over 10 carats. Mining at Kollur was crude, labour-intensive, dangerous. Miners wore loincloths, slept in huts covered with straw, were given food instead of money; the pit walls had no timber supports and caved in after heavy rains, killing dozens of men at a time.
The area was evacuated in the 2000s to make way for the Pulichinthala irrigation project and is submerged by 50 feet of water for most of the year. The gravel-clay pits were a maximum depth of 4 metres due to the high water table; the diamond-bearing seam was 1 foot thick. Alluvial workings covered an area 1.5 kilometres long and between 800 metres wide. It was bounded to the east by an outcrop of the Nallamala Hills and to the north and west by a meander of the River Krishna. Most of the pits have since been filled up with scree and eluvium from neighbouring hillsides; the Tavernier Blue diamond was purchased by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier from the Kollur Mine in the mid-17th century. King Louis XIV of France bought the diamond from Tavernier, but it was stolen during the French Revolution. Other diamonds thought to have originated at Kollur include the Koh-i-Noor, the Great Mogul, the Wittelsbach-Graff, the Regent, the Daria-i-Noor, the Orlov, the Nizam, the Dresden Green, the Nassak. Kollur Mine's location on the south bank of River Krishna at latitude 16° 42' 30" N and longitude 80° 5' E is indicated on several maps created in the 17th and 18th centuries.
All memory of its position was lost until it was rediscovered in the 1880s by Valentine Ball, a geologist who helped to create this map of Golconda mines. In his annotated English edition of gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier's book Travels in India, Ball notes that ruins of houses and mine workings could still be found at Kollur. In the 1960s, Kollur Mine was pinpointed more as being 1.5 kilometres due north-east of Kollur village on the south bank of River Krishna at latitude 16° 43' N and longitude 80° 02' E, extending for 1.5 kilometres all the way up to Pulichinthala village. Golconda Diamonds Placer mining Media related to Kollur Mine at Wikimedia Commons
Andhra Pradesh is one of the 29 states of India. Situated in the south-east of the country, it is the seventh-largest state in India, covering an area of 162,970 km2; as per the 2011 census, it is the tenth most populous state, with 49,386,799 inhabitants. The largest city in Andhra Pradesh is Visakhapatnam. Telugu, one of the classical languages of India, is the major and official language of Andhra Pradesh. On 2 June 2014, the north-western portion of Andhra Pradesh was separated to form the new state Telangana and the longtime capital of Andhra Pradesh, was transferred to Telangana as part of the division. However, in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, Hyderabad was to remain as the acting capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states for a period of time not exceeding ten years; the new riverfront de facto capital, Amaravati, is under the jurisdiction of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority. Andhra Pradesh has a coastline of 974 km – the second longest coastline among the states of India, after Gujarat – with jurisdiction over 15,000 km2 of territorial waters.
The state is bordered by Telangana in the north-west and Odisha in the north-east, Karnataka in the west, Tamil Nadu in the south, to the east lies the Bay of Bengal. The small enclave of Yanam, a district of Puducherry, lies to the south of Kakinada in the Godavari delta on the eastern side of the state; the state is made up of the two major regions of Rayalaseema, in the inland southwestern part of the state, Coastal Andhra to the east and northeast, bordering the Bay of Bengal. The state comprises thirteen districts in total, nine of which are located in Coastal Andhra and four in Rayalaseema; the largest city and commercial hub of the state are Visakhapatnam, located on the Bay of Bengal, with a GDP of US$43.5 billion. The economy of Andhra Pradesh is the seventh-largest state economy in India with ₹8.70 lakh crore in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹142,000. Andhra Pradesh hosted 121.8 million visitors in 2015, a 30% growth in tourist arrivals over the previous year, making it the third most-visited state in India.
The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati is one of the world's most visited religious sites, with 18.25 million visitors per year. Other pilgrimage centres in the state include the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga at Srisailam, the Srikalahasteeswara Temple at Srikalahasti, the Ameen Peer Dargah in Kadapa, the Mahachaitya at Amaravathi, the Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada, Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi; the state's natural attractions include the beaches of Visakhapatnam, hill stations such as the Araku Valley and Horsley Hills, the island of Konaseema in the Godavari River delta. A tribe named. According to Aitareya Brahmana of the Rig Veda, the Andhra left north India and settled in south India; the Satavahanas have been mentioned by the names Andhra, Andhrara-jateeya and Andhrabhrtya in the Puranic literature. They did not refer themselves as Andhra in any of their inscriptions. Archaeological evidence from places such as Amaravati and Vaddamanu suggests that the Andhra region was part of the Mauryan Empire.
Amaravati might have been a regional centre for the Mauryan rule. After the death of Emperor Ashoka, Mauryan rule weakened around 200 BCE and was replaced by several smaller kingdoms in the Andhra region; the Satavahana dynasty dominated the Deccan region from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century. The Satavahanas made Dharanikota and Amaravathi their capital, which according to the Buddhists is the place where Nagarjuna, the philosopher of Mahayana lived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries; the Andhra Ikshvakus, with their capital at Vijayapuri, succeeded the Satavahanas in the Krishna River valley in the latter half of the 2nd century. Pallavas, who were executive officers under the Satavahana kings, were not a recognised political power before the 2nd century AD and were swept away by the Western Chalukyan invasion, led by Pulakesin II in the first quarter of the 7th century CE. After the downfall of the Ikshvakus, the Vishnukundinas were the first great dynasty in the 5th and 6th centuries, held sway over the entire Andhra country, including Kalinga and parts of Telangana.
They played an important role in the history of Deccan during the 5th and 6th century CE, with Eluru and Puranisangam. The Salankayanas were an ancient dynasty that ruled the Andhra region between Godavari and Krishna with their capital at Vengi from 300 to 440 CE; the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi, whose dynasty lasted for around five hundred years from the 7th century until 1130 C. E. merged with the Chola empire. They continued to rule under the protection of the Chola empire until 1189 C. E. when the kingdom succumbed to the Hoysalas and the Yadavas. The roots of the Telugu language have been seen on inscriptions found near the Guntur district and from others dating to the rule of Renati Cholas in the fifth century CE. Kakatiyas constructed several forts, they were succeeded by the Musunuri Nayaks. The Reddy dynasty was established by Prolaya Vema Reddi in the early 14th century, who ruled from present day Kondaveedu. Prolaya Vema Reddi was part of the confederation of states that started a movement against the invading Turkic Muslim armies of the Delhi