Nellore, located on the banks of Pennar River, has got its name from the paddy fields within and outside the city. Earlier known as Vikramasimhapuri, the Rice City has great historical and cultural importance.
Nellore was known by the name of Vikrama Simhapuri till 13th century. The district had an important role during the emergence of the Telugu language and the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh. It had been under the rule of Maurya Dynasty, Kharavela of Chedi dynasty, Satavahanas, Kakatiyas, Pallavas, Cholas, Eastern Gangas of Kalinga Empire , Telugu Cholas, Pandyas and other dynasties.
The city derives its name from the Tamil, “nelli” which means rice, as paddy cultivation is the predominant occupation in this region. Nothing certain is known of the History of Nellore before the time of the Cholas. The Neolithic age in Nellore is more obscure than the Paleolithic age. It is not clear to what extent this district was occupied by the Dravidians. It is supposed that Nellore was situated in Dandakaranya forests into which the Aryas first penetrated as adventurous sages with the rise of the Mauryan Empire. Nellore came under Mauryan influence and was part of the Ashokan Empire in the 3rd century B.C. It was next included in the Pallava Dominion between the fourth and sixth century A.D.
Before the district was taken over the British it was ruled by the Nawabs. During the British rule the district was at peace and did not undergo any major political changes.
The period after Indian independence brought about major political changes in the district. Until 1 October 1953, the district was part of the Madras (now Chennai) state but on 1 November, 1956 when the states were recognised on the basis of linguistic differences, the state of Andhra Pradesh came into existence. During that time Nellore played an important role in the formation of the state and Potti Sriramulu, a Telugu patriot and activist had given a lot of effort to set up Andhra Pradesh.
Air: Since Nellore doesn't have its own airport, Chennai airdrome receives the air-traffic of the city. It is connected with all the major cities of India and has several international contacts too. This airport is sited at a distance of 170 kms from Nellore. You can hire taxis, board a train or take state buses for getting there from the airport.
Rail: Nellore Railway Station is located on the Waltair - Chennai broad gauge line. Owing to this, it is connected with all the major towns and cities within Andhra Pradesh. To catch trains for other parts of India, you can either head for Chennai or Hyderabad. By train, it takes around 3 hours to reach Chennai and 10 hours to reach Hyderabad.
Road: Nellore boasts of a well laid-out network of state and district roads. National Highway No.5 traverses through the city and connects it with other parts of the state. Regular buses ply from Chennai and Hyderabad to Nellore. One can also hire private taxis from within and outside the state to reach here.