Even though the region is having so much of past history under several rulers, Guntur City is not that ancient.
It came into prominence only during the French occupation of the country in the 18th Centry.
The village of Ramachandrapuram Agraharam which has been absorbed by Guntur, is probably much older, for,
on a pillar of the "MANTAPAM" in the temple of Lakshmi Narasimha Swami, there is an inscription recording a private gran in A.P. 1218.
The word Guntur means "The Village of Tanks". It is also opined that this Village of Tanks first came into existence close
to the Red Tank nearby. The French held Kondaveedu from A.D. 1732 and it was they who built a fort to the East of the Old Guntur.
The French Commander erected his and other houses towards the North of the Black Tank and this area was called the New Guntur.
The place increased in importance and in 1766 when the English company took Kondapalli and the Northern provinces,
Guntur was retained by Basalt Jung, who maintained French force here. In 1779, the French troops were moved to Hyderabad,
and Captain Harper occupied Guntur for some months with the Company's troops. For seven years after this, Guntur was held by the
Indian levies under Saif Jung, the Nizam's Pouzdar and in September 1788 it was given up to the English.
The region which now formed into Krishna and Guntur District was at first administered by the Chief and Council at Machilipatnam till 1794.
In 1794 collectors directly responsible to the Board of Revenue were appointed at Guntur and Masulipatnam.
In 1859 A.D. these two Collectorates (except two talugas of Machilipatnam district) were amalgamated into one District, called Krishna District.
This arrangement did not continue for long. With the construction of the anicuts across Godavari and Krishna rivers,
the irrigation facilities increased. This resulted in the increase in work of all kinds in the methods of administration
and rendered the task of efficiently controlling these two wealthy areas more difficult for one Collector.
Hence, another readjustment of the District was made in 1904. A separate district with Head Quarter at Guntur was formed with Ongole taluk of
the then Nellore district, Tenali, Guntur, Sattemanalli, Palnad, Bapatla, Narasaraopet and Vinukonda taluks of the
then Krishna district. In 1909 Tenali taluk was split up into the present and Repalli taluks.
From then onwards there was no change in the boundaries of the present Guntur district.
The construction of the Krishna anicut in the year 1854, enabled intersive cultivation of the fertile lands within and around
the Krishna river delta. The navigable canals enabled the commerce to flouish in the area.
With the completion of the Railway bridge across Krishna at Vijayawada, it was made possible for the sphere of trade and commerce
of this area to extent as far as Madras and Calcutta.
The British Government have not only provided opportunities for the development of the economic base of this region but also attempted for
the orderly growth within the limits of Vijayawada, Guntur and Tenali. The benevolent collectors like Arundel and Brodie took keen
interest in the beautification of the towns of Guntur and Vijayawada. Due to their efforts, Arundelpet and Brodiepet in Guntur
were formed according to principles of planning which were in vosue them.
The First Municipal Board of Guntur was formed in 1866. With the development of Infrastructure like Highways, Canals and Railways,
the Government formulated building rules, and rules to regulate the development of private lands within the build up areas and rules for
regulating the industries and effective grades in the towns. For securing integrated growth of towns, Government also enacted the Madras Town Planning Act,
which came into force from 1920 in Guntur.
The Government is engaged in the schemes aimed at the economic well being of the population of the state rather than in the systematic growth of the Towns,
all these 20 years. The new Krishna barrage was undertaken in the year 1954 and was completed in the year 1957-58 with greater height of efficiency.
The new barrage is intended to replace the old one which was completed in the year 1854 A.D.
To cope up with the Railway traffic, one more bridge was constructed across the river Krishna.
The Barrage-cum-Road bridge across the Krishna helps to established better social and economic contact between the two districts of Krishna and Guntur.
With the completion of the Multi-purpose Nagarjunasagar dam and the proposed Multi-purpose Dam at Srisailam, the prospects of the growth of the region
around Guntur-Vijayawada are phenominal. With prosperity to the people, the growth of towns is assured.
Before allowing the town to grow in the same old fashion, plans for the orderly growth have to be take up.
The present venture of preparing the Master Plans for the cities of Guntur and Vijayawada and the similarly placed towns
of the State is a consequence of the realisation of the angers of the inorderly growth of the towns.