About Chirala

Andhra Pradesh
Total Area:
13.30 km2
Pin Code:
STD Code:
+91 8594


Chirala is a town in Prakasam district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a municipality and also the headquarters of Chirala mandal. The name has been derived from its ancient age name Ksheera Puri ("sea looks as white as milk"). It was in Taluk of Guntur District, and later became part of then formed Prakasam District.



Chirala, which has earned a unique place in the history of the freedom struggle, which completed its 400 years on April 27, 2004, corresponding with the Telugu calendar `Vaishakha Shuddha Saptami.

The foundation for present-day Chirala was laid in 1604 AD by two Yadavas, Minchala Paleti Papayya and Minchala Paleti Perayya. The town was carved out of Sudhaanagaram, original name of Paata Chirala (Old Chirla), that was granted to Chirala Anantaraju by Goparaju Ramanna, Minister of the Kakatiya king, Ganapati Deva, during Saka 1067 (1145 AD) as mentioned in the records obtained from the Madras Oriental Library. His descendant, Chirala Venkata Krishnudu, leased out the present Chirala area to the Yadavas for raising a new township. Thus, present-day Chirala was born on Vaishakha Shuddha Saptami of Vishwavasu Vatsaram or Vishwavasu Samvatsaram (Year name as per Telugu calendar), corresponding to 1604 AD.

In the new township, a Venugopalaswamy temple was constructed in 1619 and that of Malleswaraswamy in 1620, while that of Gangamma was built a little later. As the temples did not have any chariots, Chirala Ramanna Pantulu built two chariots for the two temples towards the middle of the 19th century. Now a lot of temples have come up.

With the advent of a railway station on the Madras-Calcutta-New Delhi main line, Chirala developed commercially with its population reaching a little over two lakhs and fifty thousands, while Paata Chirala, which once traded through the ancient port of Motupalli, shrunk to become an obscure village with a population of just 5,000.

Anuguraju of the Hyheya dynasty, who ruled over Palanadu, visited Paata Chirala along with his entourage that included the famous socio-religious reformer, Brahma Naidu, during the twelfth century and left behind the idol of Chennakeshava Swamy, his family deity with his consorts and weapons, used by Palanadu warriors. The ancient Aadikeshava Swamy temple, originally built by the Cholas during the eleventh century, and now in a dilapidated condition, is being rebuilt by Shri Arulananda Swamy, head of Shri Lalitaananda Ashram of Oodarevu, near here.

Chirala, which was regarded as a health resort by Britishers, got a medical facility as early as in 1906 with the opening of the Edward VII Coronation Memorial Hospital. Dr. Mary Baer, an American, also opened the Dr. Baer Missionary Hospital in 1912 when Chirala and its neighborhood villages did not have medical facilities except at Guntur.

This town was a stage for the well known Chirala - Perala movement, which was led by Andhra Ratna Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya garu. He has fought against British municipalities which levied higher taxation on the people.

The Europeans also started a tobacco curing factory of the ITC Limited in 1923, opening job opportunities to people.


Handloom Industry

The Chirala area handloom industry is famous since time immemorial for producing variety of fabrics which brought name and fame to the nation as well as to this area. Even before the Industrial revolution taken place in the west, the rural artisan weaver of this area had done marvelous work of producing 7 yards of sari in a match box, which speaks of highest excellence in the art of weaving, unmatched skill and talent of handloom weaver of this area.

There are about sixty thousand handloom weaver population at Chirala and presently twenty to twenty five thousand weavers are active. These 20 to 25 thousand weavers are working on about 18000 looms. In addition there are fifteen yarn traders, 25 to 30 dyers, 6 designers and card makers using cad system, 50 to 70 hand work designers and card makers and 50 to 100 of other ancillary providers. The annual turn of this cluster is estimated around 100 to 120 crores. The weavers are located in two mandals and of Prakasam district. They are Chirala and Vetapalem mandals. Almost all the weavers belong to the Devanga and Padmashali castes.


Source: Wikipedia