Guntur is a centre of learning and the administrative capital of Guntur district, which is home of historically significant Amaravati, Bhattiprolu and Sitanagaram monuments. The city is also a centre for business, industry, and agriculture. The region is identified as a major transportation and textile hub in India. Additionally, the Guntur area economy has an agricultural component that is internationally known for its exports of chillies, cotton, and tobacco.
The Kingdom of Pratipalapura of 500 BCE (Bhattiprolu in Guntur district), appears to be the earliest known kingdom in south India. The earliest recorded reference of Guntur comes from the Idern plates of Ammaraja I (922-929 CE), the Vengi Chalukyan king. Guntur also appears in two other inscriptions dated 1147 CE and 1158 CE. The original Sanskrit (ancient Vedic culture/tradition) name for Guntur was Garthapuri (a place surrounded by water ponds ('garta'/'gunta'))..