The Chittoor district, which is a part of the Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh, lies approximately between 12°37′-14°8′ north latitudes and 78°3′ – 79°55′ east longitudes. Chittoor is bounded by Anantapur and Kadapa districts on the north, Nellore and Chengai-Anna districts of Tamil Nadu on the east, North Arcot, Ambedkar & Dharmapuri districts of Tamil Nadu on the south and Kolar district of Karnataka state on the west. The district can be divided into two natural divisions: the mountainous plateau on the west, comprising 31 mandals of Madanapalle division; and the plains on the east, comprising the mandals of Puttur, Narayanavanam, Vadamalapeta, Ramachandrapuram, Karvetinagar, Vedurukuppam, S.R.Puram, Palasamudram, Nagari, Nindra, Vijayapuram, Pichatur, Nagalapuram, Satyavedu, Varadaiahpalem, B.N.Kandriga, K.V.B.Puram, Thottambedu, Srikalahasti and Yerpedu. Eight mandals viz., Chittoor, G.D.Nellore, Puthalapattu, Penumuru, Gudipala, Yadamarri, Thavanampalle and Irala stand almost as the dividing line between the two natural divisions of the district.
Hills & Mountains
The Eastern Ghats, which are predominant in the western region, gradually bend towards the sacred Sheshachalam hills of Tirupati, passing through the erstwhile Chandragiri taluk and entering the Nellore district. The general elevation of the mountains in the district is 2,500 ft. above the sea level.
Rivers and Rivulets
The rivers in the district are non-perennial in nature and mostly remain dry throughout the year. The important rivers in the district are Ponnai, which is a tributary of river Palar, and Swarnamukhi. They rise in the Eastern Ghats and finally enter Nellore district. Some of the other important rivers of the district are the Kushasthali, Bheema, Bahuda, Pincha, Kalyani, Araniyar and the Pedderu. In addition, there are a number of small streams flowing by the hills in the district.
Climate and Rainfall
The climate of the district is dry and healthy. The upland consist of 31 mandals in the Madanapalle division. They are cooler than the eastern mandals, except Chittoor, where the climate is moderate. The district’s annual normal rainfall is 934 mm. The district has the benefit of receiving rainfall during both southwest and northeast monsoon periods, with the normal rainfall received being 438.0 mm and 396.0 mm respectively. The rainfall received from the southwest monsoon is copious, compared to the northeast monsoon, in the western mandals and in the central part of the district. The rainfall received from the northeast monsoon is comparatively less in the eastern mandals of the district.
A major portion of the district is covered by red soils. Alluvial soil is found in Chittoor and Bangarupalem. Red loamy soils constitute 57% of the district, red sandy 34%, while the remaining is covered by black clay, black loamy, black sandy and red clay.
he climate, topography and geology have played an important role in influencing the flora of the district. The district has hills and plateau whose elevation goes up to 1,318 metres above sea level. The floristic compositions in the forests vary from dry mixed deciduous to thorny shrub, with occasional patches of dry or evergreen growth. The forests of the region can be broadly classified into the following three principal types.
• Dry tropical South Indian mixed deciduous forests
• Southern thorn forest groups &
• Tropical dry evergreen forests
Mesophytic type of flora like Syzygium cumini (Neredu), Pongamia ghaira (Kanuga) and large trees of Terminalia Arjuna (Erramaddi and Tellamaddi) are found. Large trees of mango, Phoenix sylvestris(lta) and different types of grass along water courses are also found.
In the forests of this district, at present wild animals like tiger and panther (Panthera pardus) are present in small numbers. Sloth bear (Melursus-ursinus) is found in good numbers in all Class I reserves of the district. Wild dog (Cuonalpinus), wild pig (Suscristatus), porcupine (Hystri indica), hyaena (Hyaena striata), jungle cat (Felis chaus), jackal (Canis aureus), fox (Velpes bengaleusis), wolf (Canis lugus) etc., are the other carnivores present in the district. The commonly found herbivora present in the district include sambur (Rusa unicolor), black buck (Antelope cervicapse), chital (Axis Axis), wild sheep – (Civis cycloceros), mouse deer (Memina indica), hare (Lapium finidus) and rabbit. A number of species among birds exist in this district. Among the birds, the large grey babbler (Turdoides malcolmi), the large grey shrike (Lanius excubitor), the king crows, mynas and crows, bee-eaters, hoopoes, swifts, vultures, eagles, kites, owls, sand grouse, quails, partridges, green pigeons, pigeons and peacock are also found in the district.