Northern Circars, an old division of the presidency of Madras, British India, on the E. coast of the peninsula, between lat. 15° 40' and 20° 17' N., and lon. 79° 12' and 85° 20' E., bounded N. and W. by Orissa, S. by the Car-natic, and E. by the bay of Bengal; area, 23,750 sq. m.; pop. about 3,000,000. The division formerly comprised five districts, called circars, viz.: Cicacole, Rajahmundry, El-lore, Condapilly, and Guntoor, the territory embraced in which was afterward distributed among the British districts of Guntoor, Masuli-patam, Rajahmundry, Vizagapatam, and Gan-jam. A range of mountains runs along the W. frontier, supporting a growth of valuable teak and other timber, and leaving between their base and the coast a fertile tract of 30 or 40 m. average breadth, in which grain and a superior kind of tobacco are produced abundantly. Sugar, ginger, turmeric, and cotton are also cultivated; but fruits and green esculents are scarce. Sheep and the larger species of horned cattle are the principal quadrupeds.
Ship building is carried on in the Go-davery river; the coasting trade with Madras and other ports employs a large number of native vessels; cotton stuffs, chintzes, carpets, punjum cloths, muslin, silks, and indigo are manufactured; and line cotton fabrics are exported to England. The native inhabitants are almost without exception Hindoos, and as a class are thought to be superior to the Bengalee. Their villages are little better than collections of large mud huts. Four of the Circars were acquired from the emperor Shah Alum, who bestowed them upon the East India company as a free gift in 1765; Guntoor, the fifth, passed into British hands in 1788.