Narsapur was also known as "Nrusimhapuri", named after the Lord Narasimha. Gradually it changed into Narasimhapuram and now to Narasapuram.
The existence of Narsapur dates back to 1173 AD. Dutch people landed in Narsapur in 1626. Narsapur used as a port by the Dutch and ships and boats were built here. It was noted for its ship building activity and some of the Europeans also were customers at this place. Even, though big ships are not built, the craft is still kept up here by building small boats. In 16th century, Portuguese established their own factory which remained as a trading centre for few years. In the 18th century, Narsapur became an important trading port. From this port, teak was exported to other regions. The ports at Kakinada and Narsapuram became famous for manufacturing ships. At present there is no port handling at Narsapur.
Madhavayapalem (Madapallam) is celebrated as one of the earliest places where the English established a factory and was famous for its trade in cloth. According to Alexander Hamilton's A New Account of the East Indies (1727):
"Next to Matchulipatam (Machilipatnam) is Narsipore, where the English had a Factory for long Cloth, for the Use of their Factory of Matchulipatam, when they manufactured Chintz there. It also affords good Teak Timber for building, and has a fine deep River, but a dangerous Bar, which makes it little frequented."
The trade of town has steadily declined since the abolition of the company's factory in 1827. Before independence, British civilians made imports and exports from Narsapur.
Narsapur is located at 16.4361°N 81.7016°E / 16.4361; 81.7016 and on the right bank of Vasista Godavari River at an altitude of 0 m (0 ft). The River Godavari empties into Bay of Bengal near Antarvedi, at 9.6 km from Narsapur.
As of 2011 census, the city had a population of 58,770. The total population constitute, 28,796 males and 29,974 females –a sex ratio of 961 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. 29,974 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 2,665 are boys and 2,456 are girls. The average literacy rate stands at 86.24% with 46,266 literates, significantly higher than the district average of 73.00%.
Narasapuram Municipality was constituted in 1956. It is a first grade municipality, which is spread over an area of 11.32 km2 (4.37 sq mi) and has 31 election wards.
Narasapuram is represented by Narasapuram (Assembly constituency) for Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Under Narasapuram mandal, the town falls in Narasapuram (Lok Sabha constituency). Bandaru Madhava Naidu is the present MLA of the constituency from Telugu Desam Party and the present MP is Gokaraju Ganga Raju from BJP.
Handmade crochet lace-work is one of the most common form of industry in the town.
There are many industries in and around the town such as International Lace Trade Centre, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, PanGodavari (Handicrafts), Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme, AWS (Automatic Weather Station) installed and commissioned by IMD.
Fishery is one of the main occupation which generates good amount of revenue for the fisherman. It involves cultivation of a variety of estuarine fish called Pulasa.
Godavari Pushkaram is celebrated every twelve years in Narasapuram to take a holy dip in the Vasista Godavari River. This river is said to have been brought in by the famous Maharishi Vashishtha, one of the seven great sages of the Hindu Mythology. The place draws people from the world over throughout the year. Antarvedi, the merging of the Bay of Bengal and Vasista River, which is a tributary of the River Godavari. The place of confluence of the ocean and river is called the "Sapta Sagara Sangam Pradesam". It is also known as the Anna Chelli Gattu (meaning brother–sister embankement).
Some of the religious destinations in the town are, AdiKesava Emberumaanar Temple, a Vaishnavite temple of 300 years old which was constructed by translator of the British East India Company, Prasannagresara Puppala Ramanappa Naidu; Christ Lutheran Church is in the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church and a member church of West Godavari synod.
The Perupalem Beach is located at a distance of 20 km from the town.
The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools, under the School Education Department of the state. The medium of instruction followed by different schools are English, Telugu.
Taylor High School is one of the major landmarks in Narsapuram showcasing the Dutch and the British buildings. The high school was founded by British Educationist and local Revenue Officer H. Taylor in 1852, and was later named after him. The 'manyam veerudu' (jungle hero) Alluri Sitarama Raju had his schooling in this institution before he led the Rampa rebellion against the British. Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham, a freedom fighter and a noted Telugu litterateur also attended the school.
Swarnandhra College of Engineering and Technology, an affiliation to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University of Kakinada, Sri Yerramilli Narayanamurthy college which was established in 1949 are some of the other professional colleges.
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation operates bus services from Narasapuram bus station. National Highway 216 connects NH 16 near Ongole, a short route for Kolkata – Chennai route.
Narasapuram railway station is a terminal station located on the Bhimavaram–Narasapuram branch line of Vijayawada-Nidadavolu loop line in Vijayawada railway division of South Central Railway zone. It is classified as a B–category station in the Vijayawada railway division of the South Central Railway zone.
Narasapur Port is proposed for developing it as a minor port, fishing harbor and ONGC Jetty.
Narsapuram Football Club is part of FLOW (Football League Of West Godavari). National level Kabaddi competitions held every year on the eve of Sankranti festival at Kabadi Stadium, Narsapur.