The district is located on the north east coast of Andhra Pradesh covers a vast portion of the delta area of the Godavari River. The district has its headquarters at Kakinada. It is often called as the Rice Bowl of Andhra Pradesh. At the very beginning like the rest of the other parts of the Deccan, the district was under the rule of Nandas and Mauryas. When the downfall of the Mauryan Empire started, the district then went into the hands of the Satavahanas until the 3rd centure under the famous poet king named Haala. During excavations some coins were found which revealed the rule of Gautamiputra Satakarni, Vaasisthi-puttra Pulumaavi and Yajna Sri Satakarni. Gupta emperor Samudragupta invaded during the Rule of both Pishtapura and Avamukta in this region in 350 AD. during diferent periods of time the place was ruled by different significant dynasties namely Chalukyas, Cholas, Kakatiyas, Nayakas, Telagas (kapus) Reddi and many more. In Madras Presidency, the original Godavari district was formed in 1823. Again in 1859 the district was reorganized. In 1925 the district was further bifurcated into East and West Godavari districts. After India got its independence in 1947, the earlier Madras Presidency of British India became India’s Madras State. In 1953, the northern districts of Madras state, including Godavari District formed a new state named Andhra Pradesh.
Rao Bahadur Kandukuri Veeresalingam popularly known as Kandukuri Veereshalingam Pantulu was a social reformer of Andhra Pradesh. He was born on 16th April, 1848 at Rajahmundry in the district. He is widely considered as the one who for the first time brought a renaissance in people and Telugu literature. He was in favour of women’s education and in 1874 he started a school in Dowlaiswaram.
Geographically, the district lies at 17°32'N latitude, 82°04'E longitude and 30 m. Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 39.00% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses an area of 10,807 sq. km. and it is bounded by Visakhapatnam district on the north, Malkangiri district of Orrisa on the northwest, Khammam district on the east, the Bay of Bengal on the south and West Godavari district on the west. The climate of the district is moderate throughout the year. During the month of April-June, the natives of the district experiences extreme hot. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1196.0 mm. in the year of 2019-20.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 6 revenue divisions namely Amalapuram, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Peddapuram, Ramachandrapuram an Rampachodavaram. Moreover, it comprises 60 sub-districts, 19 towns and 1,374 villages. The administrative language in the district is Telugu.
According to the 2011 census the district has a population of 51,54,296 including 25,69,688 are males and 25,84,608 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1106 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate of the district was 5.16% out of which 4.47% were males and 5.85% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 96.68% of the total population. The population density in the district is 477 persons per sq. kms. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Telugu with 98.16%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 78,914 including 40,793 were males and 38,121 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 47,521 including 28,641 were males and 18,880 were females.
The district has the large part of the Godavari delta so its soil is very fertile and hence suitable for the agriculture. The coconut plantation is the backbone of its economy. The Andhra Paper Mill, the Godavari and Nagarjuna Fertilizers, the Plywood unit at Rampachodavaram, Sugar factories at Samarlakota has employed numerous people of the district. The district is a part of special economic zone and now it is one of the largest oil and natural gas hubs in India. In the year 2018-19 the Gross Domestic Product of the district was Rs. 1,02,79,200 lakh at current price and Rs. 80,14,300 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2015-16 was Rs. 51,38,600 lakh at current price and Rs. 42,58,900 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 1,68,748 at current price and Rs. 1,29,252 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district has many reputed educational institutes which provides education in different professional fields likewise engineering, medical, law, pharmacy, Polytechnic and postgraduate colleges, etc. Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Rangaraya Medical College, Institute of Education and Training (DIET) are the famous universities of the district. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 70.99% including 74.51% are males and 67.52% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 32,88,577 including 17,16,933 are males and 15,71,644 are females.
Durgabai Deshmukh, an eminent Indian freedom fighter, lawyer, social worker and politician was born on 15th July, 1909 at Kakinanda in the district. She was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and the planning Commission of India. She had made remarkable efforts for women's emancipation and the founder of Andhra Mahila Sabha. She was honoured by many great awards like UNESCO Award and Padma Vibhushan Award.
The district has many centres of attraction which allures several travellers from different parts of the world. Coringa Wild life Sanctuary is located about 15 kms. from Kakinada in the district. Dowleswaram, is well-known for the Sir Arthur Cotton Museum. Different models collected from various places and projects were exhibited in the museum to draw the people. Kadiapulanka, a place in the district is the hub of many nurseries full of varieties of flowers and fruits. Maredumilli, a place where the Government of Andhra Pradesh started eco tourism project which help the tourists to know about the development and protection of forest area of Kakinada Territorial Forest Division. The mesmerising natural sceneries and the ancient temples of Rampa also attract travellers from far distance places.