Machili Patnam is a city and a special grade municipality in Krishna district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The town existed since 3rd century BC(Satavahana period) when it was known as 'Maisolos' (Ptolemy) and as 'Masalia' (Periplus). Flourishing sea trade was carried out from Masula port. The port is located on the southeastern or Coromandel Coast of India. Situated on one of the mouths of the river Krishna at the Bay of Bengal, Machilipatnam is the administrative center of Krishna District in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It was a 17th century port for French, British and Dutch trade. It has a medium fishing harbour which can accommodate 350 fishing vessels; has a carpet-weaving industry; other products include rice, oilseeds and scientific instruments. This town is a railway terminus and an educational center. Machilipatnam is known for its Kalamkari textiles and paintings created using vegetable dyes. As a kalam (pen) is used in the technique of painting, it was named ""Kalamkari Painting"". During the 17th century, western traders were attracted by this art. The city is also well-known for its sweet dish called Bandar Laddu.
The Andhra Pradesh coast between Ongole and Machilipatnam is most vulnerable to high surges due to cyclones. Andhra Cyclone of 14-20 November, 1977 that crossed the coast near Nizampatnam took a toll of about 10,000 lives. As the storm approached the coast, gale winds reaching 200 km/h lashed Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna, East Godavari and West Godavari districts. Storm surge, 5 meters high, inundated Krishna estuary and the coast south of Machilipatnam. The 2004 Tsunami affected many fishing villages around Machilipatnam. The Government and the NGOs are involved in rebuilding and reconstruction of the devastated villages.
Machilipatnam is well known for its Kalamkari painting. The art flourished during the reign of Qutub Shahis. Weavers form a large portion of the inhabitants, though their trade has greatly declined since the beginning of the 19th century. Their operations, besides weaving, include printing, bleaching, washing and dressing. In former days the chintzes of Masulipatam had a great reputation abroad for the freshness and permanency of their dyes.The port is only a roadstead, where vessels anchor 5 m. out. A branch line from Vijayawada on the Southern Mahratta railway was opened in 1908. The port of Machilipatnam today is in desperate need for modernization. It has not seen any ships in the last decade. In its heyday, the port used to handle export of different items weighing more than 2.7 lakh tonnes and imports of 37,000 tonnes. Much needs to be done to bring the city back to its glory. In January 2006, Government of Andhra Pradesh revealed plans.