It was built by Chilkkavodeya, the minister of Vijayanagar ruler Bukka-I. It is believed that the town was named Anaantasagaram after Bukka's queen. The town was ruled by the Hande family that belonged to the Balija Naidu Community for the longest time. Subsequently, it came under the Qutubs, the Shaks, the Saiyads, the Mughals, the Nawabs of Cuddapah, and Hyder Ali-Tipu Sultan. Finally, it passed into British hands.
Today, Anantapur is a financial and industrial centre. It is home to Saptagiri Camphor, the largest camphor factory in India and several other companies like Siflon Drugs, MG Metallics and Springs and so on. It is also a hub for trading in jewellery.
Anantapur has a semi-arid climate. Temperatures are high starting from February till the end of June. The monsoon arrives in September and lasts until early November. Winters are dry and mild.
Lepakshi Temple – This temple is the repository of the best mural paintings of the Vijayanagar Kings. It has three shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Virabhadra. It is noted for its sculptured pillars on which are carved life-size representations of musicians and dancers in various poses. It is also home to the world’s largest Nandi (Lord Shiva’s ride).
Anantapur Clock Tower – This lies in the heart of the city and brings back the memories of the Independence days during which it was built.
Thimmamarri Manu – This is a large banyan tree that figures in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is spread over 5 acres and is a magnificent sight!