Anantapur, also known as 'Hande Anantapuram', is known throughout the country for its silk trade industry. It was an important place for the British Indian Army in 2nd World War. The place is said to derived its name from 'Anaatasagaram' (meaning Endless Ocean), a huge tank in the vicinity. It appears drenched in a celestial aura with its ancient temples. There are imposing forts in its periphery that conjure up the reminiscences of the royalty.
Anantapur offers some vivid glimpses of the prehistoric past. It is generally held that the place got its name from 'Anaatasagaram' , a big tank, which means "Endless Ocean". The villages of Anaantasagaram and Bukkarayasamudram were constructed by Chilkkavodeya, the minister of Bukka-I, a Vijayanagar ruler. Some authorities assert that Anaantasagaram was named after Bukka's queen, while some contend that it must have been known after Anantarasa Chikkavodeya himself, as Bukka had no queen by that name.
Anantapur is familiarly known as "Hande Anantapuram" . ' Hande ' means chief of the Vijayanagar period. Anantapur and a few other places were gifted by the Vijayanagar rulers to Hanumappa Naidu of the Hande family.
The place subsequently came under the Qutub Shahis, Mughals, and the Nawabs of Cuddapah, although the Hande chiefs continued to rule as their subordinates. It was occupied by the Palergar of Bellary during the time of Ramappa but was eventually won back by his son, Siddappa. Morari Rao Ghorpade attacked Anantapur in 1757. Though the army resisted for some time, Siddappa ultimately bought off the enemy for Rs.50,000.
It then came into the possession of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu hanged all the male members of the Siddappa family except Siddappa who escaped from his confinement at Srirangapatnam. After Tipu's death, it was once again taken back by Siddappa. Siddappa submitted himself to Nizam because of the treaty of 1799, who took the total control of the area. He was later pensioned off when British occupied the territory.
Air: The airports at Bangalore and Puttapurthi serve the needs of air-passengers for getting to Anantpur. The former lies at a distance of 200 km, while the latter is 70 km from the town. Bangalore airport is well-connected to all the major cities of the country, while Puttaparthi airport is connected with some limited cities. One can take bus or hire taxis to cover the remaining distance.
Rail: Anantapur is connected to the cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Pune, Vishakapatnam and other major cities, by well laid out network of Indian Railways.
Road: The National Highways 7 and 205 pass through and connect Ananthapur with all the major cities of India. Moreover, there are numerous private and government bus services connecting the city with the other parts both, within and outside Andhra Pradesh.
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