Prakasam district is a district of Andhra Pradesh state situated in its costal Andhra region and the administrative head quarters of the district is located at Ongole. Earlier, the district was known as Ongole but in 1972 it was renamed as Prakasam district in order to pay homage to late Sri Tanguturi Prakasam Panthulu, also popularly known as Andhra Kesari meaning Lion of Andhra who was a distinguished freedom fighter, 12th Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency and the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh State. On 2nd February 1970, the district was initially formed from the carved out regions of Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh. The three carved out taluks of Guntur District including Addanki, Chirala and Ongole, four carved out taluks of Nellore district namely Kandukur, Kanigiri, Podili and Darsi and three carved out taluks of Kurnool district likewise Markapur, Cumbum and Giddaluru created the Prakasam district. At present it is a part of Red Corridor.
John Prakasa Rao Janumala better known as Johnny Lever, an eminent Indian film actor and one of the most admired comedians in Hindi cinema was born on 14th August, 1957 at Kanigiri in the district. He won the prestigious Filmfare Award for twice i.e. in 1997 and in 1998.
Geographically, the district lies at 15°72'N latitude, 79°56'E longitude and 632 m. Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 18.91% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 17,626 sq. km. and it is bounded by Guntur district on the north, Mahabubnagar district of Telangana on the northwest, Kurnool district on the west, Nellore district on the south, YSR Kadapa district on the southwest and Bay of Bengal on the east. The District is watered by mainly Gundlakamma, Manneru, Musi and Paleru Rivers besides some small rivers like Thammileru, Sagileru and Gudisileru and streams like Ogeru vagu, Nallavagu and Vedimangala vagu. Most of its rainfall occurs during the monsoon season. The actual rain fall in the district was 837.9 mm. in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 3 revenue divisions including Kandukur, Markapur and Ongole. Moreover, it comprises 56 sub-districts, 13 towns and 1,081 villages. The administrative language in the district is Telugu.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 33,97,448 including 17,14,764 are males and 16,82,684 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 981 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 11.05% out of which 10.46% were males and 11.65% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 92.72 % of the total population. The population density in the district is 193 persons per sq. kms. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Telugu with 93.40%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 40,530 out of which 21,198 were males and 19,332 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 29,320 out of which 17,789 were males and 11,531 were females.
The district is rich in mineral resources which help in its economy to a great extent. The mineral resources commonly available in the district are baryte, iron ore, quartz, silica sand, etc. The district is very well developed in terms of industries. The district has many industries of food and agro, mineral, chemical, leather, plastic and rubber, engineering, cotton and textiles, electronic products. Some forest based industries can also be found in the district like ayurvedic medicines, essential oil (palm rose oil), wooden furniture, wooden toys, bamboo products, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the tourism sector. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 59,66,100 lakh at current price and Rs. 37,04,000 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 54,54,500 lakh at current price and Rs. 33,06,800 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 1,53,225 at current price and Rs. 92,894 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district provides a platform for higher education. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 63.08% including 72.92% are males and 53.11% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 19,04,435 including 11,07,686 are males and 7,96,749 are females.
Amanchi Krishna Mohan, an illustrious Indian politician was born in the year 1975 at Pandillapalli village in the district. He was elected as Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in 2009 and 2014 from Chirala Constituency. He won these elections as an independent candidate. Daggubatti Venkateswar Rao, a prominent Indian politician was born on 14th December, 1953 at Karamchedu in the district. Earlier, he was a member of Indian National Congress but later he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was elected to Andhra Pradesh State Assembly in 1984, 1985, 1989, 2004, 2009 and to Lok sabha in 1991-1996 and to Rajya Sabha in 1996.
The district is well known for its variety of tourist spots. Bhairavakonda (Bhairavakona) temple is located at a distance of 150 km. from Ongole which is most admired among tourists since it is a rock-cut temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is an ancient temple constructed during the 7th and 8th centuries. The Chennakesava Swamy temple is the identity of the district. During the Krishnadeva Raya's regime, the first storey of the temple was constructed where as the other storeys were made in the year 1837 by one Lingaraju. Tripurantakam, situated 93 km. away from Ongole is a pious place. Tripuranta Keswara Swamy temple is situated in this place on a hill top. Pilgrims from far distance place come to this temple to offer their prayers. Singarakonda Anjaneya swamy Temple is also a not able temple in the district. Kottapatnam Beach is a perfect location for picnic and recreation. Its clean sands and clear blue water makes one’s mind refresh.