Andhra Pradesh, India's fifth largest state is situated on the Deccan (south) Plateau - one of the oldest geological formations in India. The Godavari and Krishna Rivers cut their way through the plateau forming large deltas before entering the Bay of Bengal. It is bounded by the Sates of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh in the North, by the States of Maharashtra and Karnataka in the West, by the State of Tamil Nadu in the South and the Bay of Bengal in the East. It has an approximately 974 km long seacoast. Andhra Pradesh lives in its fertile coastal plains, semi arid Deccan plateau and the lofty hills of the Eastern Ghats.
Historically, the State finds first mention in the Aitereya Brahmana (2000 BC) and its regular history begins with 236 BC, the year of Ashoka's death. History has forged, and left behind vital links with the state, as is evident from the many edifices, monuments and architectural ruins, the legacy of dynasties as old as 300 B.C. Traces of the diverse and variegated facets of the culture of the Mauryas, Pallavas, Cholas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas and Vijayanagar, offer imposing vistas that continue to fascinate the observer. It was also a major Buddhist centre. This large southern state is a fusion of not just the old and the new, but of two religions - Hinduism and Islam.
The main occupation of the people is agriculture. There are several major industries around Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam along with several large and medium-scale industries. Exquisite crafts, glorious remnants of the past, vibrant festivities, irresistible delicacies coupled with the charming features of the people, and the sonorant mother tongue Telugu leave behind indelible impressions. Some of the incredible sights of Andhra Pradesh are the world's tallest masonry dam, million year old caves, South Asia's first lion safari and the world's richest temple.