Kadapa district is the extreme south easterndistrict of Andhra Pradesh situated within the geographical co-ordinate of 13o – 43o and 15o – 14o of northern latitude and 77o – 29o of eastern longitude. The latitude varies from 269 to 3787 metres above sea level. The district is bounded on north by Kurnool, on the south by Chittoor, on the west by Anantapur and on the east by Nellore districts. The district spreads north-wards beneath the western slopes of the eastern ghats as a rough parallelogram dented deeply in its southern, western and northern boundaries.
The earliest inscriptional evidence reveals thatKadapa or more precisely “Kadapa” towards the close of tenth century A.P was the principal station of a territorial division. It is a popular belief that the Telugu word “Kadapa” means in English “Threshold” was a convenient camping place for the pilgrims visiting the Tirupati temple. It was therefore regarded as threshold to it in the ancient highway.
The district extends over an area of 15,359Sq.Kms. with a population of 2,601,797 persons with a breakup of 2,014,044 rural and 587,753 urban population. The percentage of rural population is 77.41% while that of urban population 22.59%. The Scheduled Caste population in the district forms 15.74% of the total population, while Scheduled Tribe accounts for 2.36%. Out of 210 towns in the state, 12 towns are located in the district i.e. 2 Municipalities and 10 Census Towns. The density of population is 169 per sq.km. and sex ratio 974 females per 1000 males.
Among 23 districts in the state, Kadapa district ranks 7th in terms of area and 18th in terms of population. The literacy rate of the district is 62.83 and its sexwise breakup is 75.83 for males and 49.52 for females. While arriving the literacy rate, the children in the age group 0-6 are excluded. The Kadapa districts have shown a high literacy rate than the state average.
The hill ranges of Kadapa are of ancient crystalline rock and are often steep sided. The hill ranges in Kadapa district form part of Eastern Ghats. It can be seen that the Eastern Ghats do not possess structural continuity. It consists of three distinct streams of ranges viz. Dissected massifs of some of the older peninsular rocks in the north, relics of ancient
mountains such as the Nallamalais, Vellikondas and Palakondas in the centre, gneissic rocks, the panchamalais and so on in the south. In so far as Kadapa district is concerned, the central and the most ancient rock systems of the Eastern Ghats is to be discussed.
The Kadapa system of hill ranges part themselves from the Orographical Knot at what may be called the Kadapa outliers at the southern tip of the district near Balapalle pass of Rajampet mandal through which Chennai-Mumbai railway line passes dividing the Settigunta reserve forest and Balapalle reserve forest.