GUNTUR; a town and district of British India, in the Madras presidency. The town (pop. in 1901, 30,833) has a station on the Bellary-Bezwada branch of the Southern Mahratta railway. It is situated east of the Kondavid hills, and is very healthy. It appears to have been founded in the 18th century by the French. At the time of the cession of the Circars to the English in 1765, Guntur was specially exempted during the life of Basalat Jang, whose personal jagir it was. In 1788 it came into British possession, the cession being finally confirmed in 1823. It has an important trade in cotton, with presses and ginning factories. There is a second-grade college supported by the American Lutheran Mission. Until 1859, Guntur was the headquarters of a district of the same name, and in 1904 a new District Of Guntur was constituted, covering territory which till then had been divided between Kistna and Nellore. Area, 5733 sq. m. The population on this area in 1901 was 1,490,635. The district is bounded on the E. and N. by the river Kistna; in the W. a considerable part of the boundary is formed by the Gundlakamma river. The greater part consists of a fertile plain irrigated by canals from the Kistna, and producing cotton, rice and other crops.
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