Prakasam district is an administrative district in the Coastal Andhra region of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The headquarters of the district are located at Ongole. It is located on the west coast of Bay of Bengal and is bounded by Guntur district on the north, Kurnool district on the west, Kadapa and Nellore districts on the south. A part of north west region also borders the Mahabubnagar district of Telangana. It is the 3rd largest district in the state with an area of 17,626 km2 (6,805 sq mi) and had a population of 3,392,764 as per 2011 census of India.
The district was named after the patriot and first Chief Minister of Andhra State Tanguturi Prakasam, also known as Andhra Kesari (Lion of Andhra), who was born in the village of Vinodarayunipalem. It was accordingly renamed as Prakasam District in the year 1972.
Prakasam district was originally constituted on 2 February 1970, carved out of Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh. It was carved out of three taluks of Guntur District, i.e. Addanki, Chirala, and Ongole, four taluks of Nellore district, i.e. Kandukur, Kanigiri, Darsi and Podili and three taluks of Kurnool district i.e. Markapur, Yarragondapalem and Giddaluru. It is one of the nine districts in the Coastal Andhra region of Andhra Pradesh.
Prakasam District is a part of the Red Corridor.
The district has many service industries like Industrial testing, Electrical Appliance repair, Clinical Laboratory, Servicing of Computers Hardware, Tourism, Hospitality industry etc. Major exports from the district include Sea food, processed tobacco, granite blocks, granite monuments and yarn.
There are many industries of food and agro, mineral, chemical, leather, plastic and rubber, engineering, cotton and textiles, electronic products. All these industries deals with Prawn/Fish Processing and Canning, Dairy Products, Granite industries, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Tanning, Fishing Nets, Surgical Cotton etc. Forest based industries produce Ayurvedic Medicines, Essential Oil (Palm Rose Oil), Wooden Furniture, Wooden Toys, Bamboo Products etc.
Prakasam is one of the leading district in granite mining in the State with discovery of “Galaxy Granite” in the Chimakurthy area of the district. Good deposits of coloured granites are located occur around Uppumangaluru and Kodidena.
The minerals found in the district are Baryte, iron ore, quartz, and silica sand. In 2010-11, 4,300 tonnes of Baryte, 22,722 tonnes of quartz, 2,24,075 tonnes of silica sand and 400 tonnes of iron ore were produced.
Brackish water prawn culture in the coastal mandals of Chirala, Ongole, Singarayakonda, Gudlur etc. provides Sea food processing. Salt production in the extent of 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of Govt. and private lands which has a scope for manufacturing of iodized salt.
The district is having coastal line of nearly 100 km (62 mi). The state tourism department (APTDC) has proposed resorts and development of beaches at the places like Ramayapatnam, Pakala, Kothapatnam, and Odarevu.
Ongole cattle or Ongole Gittalu are indigenous to the Andhra region in the Prakasam District in the State of Andhra Pradesh in India. The breed derives its name from the place name, Ongole. Some also refer to this breed as Nelore cattle as this area was once part of the Nellore area. The bull, Bos Indicus, is in great demand as it is said to possess resistance to both foot and mouth disease and mad cow disease.These cattle are commonly used in bull fights in Mexico and some parts of East Africa due to their strength and aggressiveness.