Prakasam district was formerly called Ongole district and later, renamed to Prakasam in order to pay homage to the great patriot and ex-chief minister Tanguturi Prakasam Panthulu.
The town's history dates from 230 BCE with the era of the Mauryas and Sathavahanas who ruled most of what is now Andhra Pradesh. A few inscriptions dating to the Satavahana period have been found in the village China Ganjam, near Ongole. After the Satavahanas, this place came into the limelight again during the Kakatiya dynasty, when the nearby towns of Motupalli and Voda Revu served as major seaports. Ongole is also mentioned in the inscriptions of the Pallava rulers of the 3rd and 4th Century A.D. The City was also ruled by Krishna Deva Raya. The last dynasty to rule the Ongole region before the British was the Mandapati Dynasty(Zamindars). According to the historical inscriptions available at Sri Raja Rajeswara Swami Temple complex in Ongole City was constructed by Cholas. Kaasi Visweswara Swami temple, Chenna Keswva Swami Temple and Veeranjaneya Swami temple were built in the early 17th century by King Vankayalapati mantri and Army Chief.
Ongole is located in the eastern portion of the Prakasam District. It has an average elevation of 10 m (33 ft) AMSL
Summer temperatures reaches as high as 44 °C (111 °F) during the month of May.
As of 2011 Census of India, the city had a population of 204,746. The population constitutes 102,835 males and 101,911 females&a sex ratio of 994 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. 19,744 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 10,228 are boys and 9,516 are girls&a ratio of 935 per 1000. The average literacy rate stands at 83.04% with 153,628 literates, significantly higher than the state average of 67.41%.
Ongole Municipal Corporation is the civic body that oversees the needs of the city of Ongole. It was constituted as a municipality in the year 1876 and the present area of the corporation is 25.00 km2 (9.65 sq mi). The agglomerated villages that were merged into Ongole corporation are : Cheruvukommupalem, Throvagunta, Muktinuthalapadu, Dsarajupalli, Koppolu, Narasapuram Agraharam, Pellur, Pernamitta, Vengamukkapalem. S. Venkata Krishna is the commissioner of the municipal corporation.
Ongole is a part of Ongole (Assembly constituency), representing Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Damacharla Janardhana Rao is the present MLA of the constituency from Telugu Desam Party. The constituency is a part of Ongole (Lok Sabha constituency) which was won by Y.V. Subba Reddy of YSR Congress Party.
Agriculture is the primary industry of Ongole, and the city is a major center for tobacco trading in Andhra Pradesh. Galaxy Granite polishing units provide huge employment source.
Export of oxen
Ongole bulls are a breed of Oxen that are exported to many countries. The Brahman bull in America is an off-breed of the Ongole. Ongole Island, in Malaysia, holds many Ongole Oxen. The population of Ongole off-breed animals in Brazil is said to be around several millions. The original breed of Ongole stud bulls are found in a small region around Ongole town between the Gundlakamma and Musi Rivers.
The city is connected by road to major destinations. National Highway 16, a part of Golden Quadrilateral highway network, bypasses the city. National Highway 216 connects the city with Kathipudi. The city has a total road length of 738.50 km. Ongole bus station is owned and operated by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. The station is also equipped with a bus depot for storage and maintenance of buses. The Passengers delight project was implemented at the bus station for improving cleanliness and modernizing it.
Ongole railway station is an A–category station located on the Howrah-Chennai main line and administered under Vijayawada railway division of South Central Railway zone.
A new greenfield airport was approved for Ongole in February 2014.
The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools of the School Education Department of the state. Instruction in the schools is given in English and Telugu.
The Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) is a medical college in Ongole. Some of the famous educational institutes include QIS College of Engineering and Technology, QIS Institute of Technology, RISE Groups of Institutions, Prakasam Engineering College, and the Pace Institute of Technology and Sciences
The PDCA-CSR Sarma College Ground is one of the home grounds of Andhra cricket team, with a first class cricket status and hosts Ranji Trophy matches. The ground has recorded first ever triple century by a wicket keeper in Ranji Trophy, achieved by Srikar Bharat of Andhra cricket team. The police parade grounds has hosted the first state-level Girl Football Tournament in October 2016.