History of Andhra Pradesh

History of Andhra Pradesh


The history of Andhra Pradesh can be broadly divided into two epochs. The first epoch deals with pre-historic period spanning the Stone Age (10,000 BCE-2000 BCE), Copper Age (2000 BCE-1000 BCE) and Iron Age (1000 BCE-500 BCE).

The recorded history or mention of Andhra can be traced from Aitareya Brahmana (dated between 1500 BCE and 800 BCE). The story of Viswamitra and Sunassepa mentioned that Andhra, Sabara, Pulinda and Pundra tribes were living in Aryavarta. The epic of Mahabharata mentioned that Andhas fought the war on behalf of Kauravas ("andhrascha bahavah"). The Buddha Jatakakathas (500 BCE-400 BCE) mentned Andhrapatha (Bimasena Jataka) and Andhranagari (Serivanija Jataka).

Pre-Satavahana Period

There are several references about an "Andhra" kingdom and a people called "Andhras" in the Sanskrit epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, Puranas, and Buddhist Jataka Tales. Rukmini from the Mahabharata hailed from Vidarbha, the Kingdom stretching through the Deccan Plateau, around the Vindhya ranges which includes the present day Andhra, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka regions, including the little known, now apparently submerged archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. Rama in his exile is said to have lived in the forests around the present day Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh.

Evidence for a flourishing kingdom in coastal Andhra Pradesh relates to the visit of Buddha to Amaravati in the Guntur district. Lord Buddha preached at Dharanikota/Dhanyakatakam and conducted Kalachakra ceremony, which takes the antiquity of Amaravati back to 500 BCE [Buddha's Preaching of the Kalachakra Tantra at the Stupa of Dhanyakataka, H. Hoffman, in: German Scholars on India, Vol. I, 1973, PP. 136-140, Varanasi ] . Taranatha, the Buddhist monk writes: "On the full moon of the month Caitra in the year following his enlightenment, at the great stupa of Dhanyakataka, the Buddha emanated the mandala of "The Glorious Lunar Mansions" (Kalachakra) [Taranatha; http://www.kalacakra.org/history/khistor2.htm] . The recorded history of Amaravati and nearby Dharanikota is from 2nd century BCE [The History of Andhras, Durga Prasad (http://igmlnet.uohyd.ernet.in:8000/gw_44_5/hi-res/hcu_images/G2.pdf ] .


It is only in the Mauryan age, there is historical evidence of the existence of Andhra as a political power in the southeastern Deccan. Megasthenes, who visited the Court of Chandragupta Maurya (322-297 BC), mentioned that Andhras had 30 fortified towns and an army of a million infantry, 2000 cavalry and 1000 elephants [Ancient India by Megasthenes and Arrian; Translated and edited by J. W. McCrindle, Calcutta and Bombay: Thacker, Spink, 1877, p. 30-174] . Buddhist books reveal that Andhras established their kingdoms in the Godavari Valley at that time. Asoka referred in his 13th rock edict (232 BC) that Andhra was under his rule.

The continuous political and cultural accounts of Andhra Pradesh begins with the fall of the Mauryan Empire. It commences with the rise of the Satavahanas as a political power. According to Matsya Purana there were 29 rulers of this dynasty. They ruled over the Andhra desa for about 456 years from the 2nd century BCE to the 2nd century CE. According to an inscription at Nasik, it was under Gautamiputra Satakarni, the 23rd Satavahavana, the kingdom included most of the southern peninsula and some southern parts of present Indian states like Maharastra, Orissa and MadhyaPradesh. The court language used by Satavahanas was Prakrit. Buddhism flourished throughout this age, and several Buddhist Stupas including Amaravati, Chaityas and Viharas were constructed during this time, although the kings followed Vedic religion.

The fall of the Satavahana empire left Andhra in political chaos. Local rulers carved out small kingdoms for themselves. From 180-624 AD, Ikshvaku, Brihatpalayana, Salankayana, Vishnukundina, Vakataka, Pallava, Ananda Gotrika, Kalinga and others ruled over parts of Andhra with small kingdoms. Most important among these small dynasties was the Ikshvaku. Nagarjuna Konda was their capital and they patronised Buddhism, though they followed the vedic ritualism. Sanskrit mostly replaced Prakrit as the language of the inscriptions.


The Andhra Ikshvakus (Sanskrit इक्श्वाकू) were one of the earliest dynasties of Andhra Pradesh. They ruled the eastern Andhra country along the Krishna river during the later half of the second century CE. Their capital was Vijayapuri(Nagarjunakonda). Some scholars have suggested that this dynasty was related to the ancient Ikshvakus of Hindu epics. Rama of Ramayana, who is considered as the incarnation of Vishnu belonged to the line of Ikshvaku. According to Hindu epics, Ikshvaku, who was the Manu and father of Kukshi, was the founder of the Suryavanshi dynasty, reigning from Ayodhya at the commencement of the Treta Yuga. There is however no direct evidence to suggest that the Andhra Ikshvakus were related to the Epic Ikshvakus.

Archaeological evidence has suggested that the Andhra Ikshvakus immediately succeeded the Satavahanas in the Krishna river valley. Andhra Ikshvakus have left inscriptions at Nagarjunakonda, Jaggayyapeta, Amaravati and Bhattiprolu. Although the Ikshvaku rulers practiced the Vedic religion, they were also great sponsors of Buddhism.Buddhism was at its height in the Andhra country during their reign.

The oriental scholars like Buhler and Rapson expressed the view that the northern Ikshvakus might have migrated south. According to the Vayu Purana, Manu, the great patriarch of ancient India had nine sons of whom Ikshvaku was the eldest. His capital was Ayodhya. He had one hundred sons, and the eldest Vikushi succeeded his father as the ruler of Ayodhya. Of the rest, fifty sons founded small principalities in Northern India. Forty eight of his sons migrated to the south and carved out kingdoms for themselves.

Buddhist literature refers to the penetration of the Ikshvakus into South India and declares that they founded the Asmaka, Mulaka and other principalities. These Kshatriyas settled down in the south and merged with the races there. Jain literature also refers to the exodus of northern Indian princes to the south. In Dharmamrita a reference was made that during the lifetime of the 12th Tirthankara, a prince named Yasodhara hailing from the Ikshvaku family came from the Anga kingdom to Vengi in the south. We are informed that the prince was so impressed with beauty of the region and the fertility of the soil that he made it his permanent home and founded a city called Pratipalapura (Bhattiprolu). Inscriptions have also been discovered in the Nagarjunakonda valley, Jaggayyapeta and Ramireddipalli attesting this fact. The Puranas (epics) mention Andhra Ikshvakus as the Sriparvatiyas, Rulers of Sriparvata and Andhrabhrityas (Servants of the Andhras).


Andhra Ikshvakus were originally feudatories of the Satavahanas and bore the title Mahatalavara. Although the Puranas state that seven kings ruled for 100 years in total, the names of only four of them are known from inscriptions.

*Vasishthiputra Sri Santamula (Santamula I), the founder of the line, performed the Asvamedha, Agnihotra, Agnistoma and Vajapeya sacrifices. Santamula performed the Asvamedha sacrifices with a view to proclaim his independent and imperial status. It had become a common practice among the rulers of the subsequent dynasties to perform the Asvamedha sacrifice in token of their declaration of independent status. From this fact, it can be inferred that it was Santamula I who first declared his independence and established the Ikshvaku dynasty. Santamula's mother was Vasishti, as evident from his name.

*Virapurushadatta was the son and successor of Santamula through his wife Madhari. He had a sister named Adavi Santisri. He took a queen from the Saka family of Ujjain and gave his daughter in marriage to a Chutu prince. Almost all the royal ladies were Buddhists. An aunt of Virapurisadata built a big Stupa at Nagarjunakonda.

*Virapurushadata's son Ehuvula Santamula (Santamula II) ruled after a short Abhira interregnum. His reign witnessed the completion of a Devi Vihara, the Sinhala Vihara, a convent founded for the accommodation of Sinhalese monks, and the Chaitya-griha (Chaitya hall) dedicated to the fraternities (Theriyas) of Tamraparni (Sri Lanka). Ceylonese Buddhism was in close touch with Andhra. The sculptures of Nagarjunakonda, which include large figures of Buddha, show decided traces of Greek influence and Mahayana tendencies.

*Rudrapurushadatta was the name of an Ikshvaku ruler found in inscriptions from Gurajala in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. He could have been a son of Ehuvula Santamula. Rudrapurushadatta ruled for more than 11 years. He was probably the last important ruler of the Ikshvaku family. After him there were three more unknown rulers according to the Puranas. Around 278 CE, the Abhiras might have put an end to the Ikshvakus.

Patrons of Buddhism

Most of the inscriptions of the Andhra Ikshvaku period record either the construction of the Buddhist Viharas or the gifts made to them. All the donors and builders of the Viharas were the female members of the Ikshvaku royal family. Although Santamula I is reported to have performed the Vedic sacrifices, nothing is known about the religious leanings of his successors.

This was the period during which Andhra became a flourishing centre of Buddhism and a place of pilgrimage for the Buddhists. The patrons were ladies from the royal household, the merchants and artisans and the people at large. The great stupas of Jaggayyapeta, Nagarjunakonda and Ramireddipalle were built, repaired or extended during their reign. Buddhist pilgrims and scholars visited the Buddhist centre at Nagarjunakonda. The attraction for this Buddhist centre can be accounted for from the sea trade which was carried on between Lanka and the Ikshvakus though the ports situated on the mouths of the Krishna and the Godavari.


Brihatpalayana (3rd century AD). Ruled Northern Andhra with Kodur in Krishna District as the Capital after the Ikshvakus, a part of the Andhra region north of the river Krishna was ruled over by Jaya Varma of Brihatpalayana gotra.


Ananda Gotrikas (335 AD to 425 AD). Ruled coastal Andhra with Kapotapuram as the capital. Historians are unsure of their affiliation.


(300 AD to 440 AD.) Salankayanas ruled over a part of the East Coast with Vengi as their capital. Salankayanas and Vishnukundinas were two of the many dynasties that succeeded the Ikshvakus Both Salankayanas and Vishnukundinas were vassals under Pallava kings who ruled from southern Telugu and northern Tamil lands. From their time, the script for Telugu and Kannada languages began clearly separating from that of the other south Indian and north Indian dialects. They ruled between 300 AD and 440 AD. Salankayanas were succeeded by Vishnukundinas from Vinukonda.


The Pallava kingdom (Telugu:పల్లవులు; Tamil: பல்லவர்) was an ancient South Indian kingdom. The Pallavas, feudatories of Andhra Satavahanas, became independent after the decline of that dynasty in Amaravati. Initially they ruled southern Andhra Pradesh, also known as Palnadu, situated in the Guntur district. Later they extended their rule to Tamil regions and established their capital at Kanchipuram around the 4th century CE. They rose in power during the reign of Mahendravarman I (571630 CE) and Narasimhavarman I (630 – 668 CE) and dominated the southern Telugu and northern parts of Tamil region for about six hundred years until the end of the 9th century.

Throughout their reign they were in constant conflict with both Chalukyas of Badami in the north and the Tamil kingdoms of Chola and Pandyas in the south and were finally defeated by the Chola kings in the 8th century CE.

Pallavas are most noted for their patronage of Dravidian architecture, still seen today in Mahabalipuram. The Pallavas, who left behind magnificent sculptures and temples, established the foundations of classical Dravidian architecture. A Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited Kanchipuram during Pallava rule and extolled their benign rule.


The Vishnukundinas were a dynasty that ruled over the eastern Deccan in South India comprising of the area covered by modern day Andhra Pradesh and Kalinga (Orissa). It played an important role in the history of the Deccan during the 5th and 6th centuries AD.

According to Edward B. Eastwick, The Maharaja of Vizianagaram descends from the Maharajas of Udaipur and is of the Sisodia branch of the Gehlot tribe. In 5th of 6th century A.D. a brother of the Maharaja of Udaipur migrated to Oudh. Relatives of this line migrated into the Deccan and settled at various times in Indra-Pala-Nagara in the Nalgonda district and in Vinukonda in the Guntur district. The early rulers of the dynasty were feudatory of the Vakatakas with whom they had marital alliances as well as with the Rashtrakutas.

In 529 A.D. a descendent, Madhava Varma, and four other clans gained independence and solidified their position by defeating the Salankayanas in coastal Andhra. They had different capitals such as Amaravati and Bezwada until they eventually settled into Vizianagaram. Over the centuries the other four clans served as feudatories to the Vizianagaram rulers as well as subsequent dynasties such as the Chalukyas. One of the forts later traditionally connected to Rajus is Kalidindi in Krishna district, which was under the Vishnukundin sway for a long time.

1512 A.D. the Maharaja of Vizianagaram was conquered by the Golkonda dynasty and was made Subahdar of the Northern Circars. The title was conferred by Emperor Aurangzeb, who gave him a two-edged sword (Zulfikar), which is still used in the coat-of-arms of the family. Maharaja Vijaya Rama Gajapati Raju III, in 1845 had several honors conferred on him by the British Government. Lord Northbrook conferred the title of His Highness. His son was born December 31st, 1850 and a daughter was married to His Highness Maharaj Kumar Singh, cousin and heir apparent of H.H. Maharajah of Rewah. The Rajahs of Vizianagaram obtained the title of 'Gajapathi' after the battle of Nandapur, in the Northern Circars in the 16th century.

Kalachuris of Chedi

The Matsyas, Chedis, Perichedis, Haihayas and Kalachuris seem to share a common Vedic ancestry. They all seem to share a common origin myth but it would be difficult to make a conclusive link between the myth and currently available historical information. In the Puranas the Matsya (Sanskrit for fish) was the name of a tribe and state found in the Vedic civilization of India. It was founded by a fisherman who later attained kingship. Mahabharata (V.74.16) refers to a King Sahaja as the son of a Chedi king named Uparichara Vasu who ruled over both the Chedis and the Matsyas which implicates that Matsya once formed a part of the Chedi Kingdom. Other than this Matsya kingdom the epic refers as many as six other Matsya kingdoms. The Pandya Kingdom in the extreme south also bears the icon of a fish on its official banner showing some connection with the Matsya kings and a branch of Matsya is also found in later days in Visakhapatnam region.

Chedi kingdom was one among the many kingdoms ruled during early periods by Paurava kings and later by Yadav kings in the central and western India. It falls roughly in the Bundelkhand division of Madhya Pradesh.

Haihaya kingdom was one of the many kingdoms ruled by Chandravanshi Kshatriya kings in central and western India. It had the powerful ruler Kartavirya Arjuna who defeated Ravana. Its capital was Mahishmati (modern city of Maheswar) on the banks of river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh.

Kalachuri is the name used by two kingdoms who had a succession of dynasties from the 10th-12th centuries, one ruling over areas in Central India (west Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan) and were called Chedi or Haihaya and the other southern Kalachuri who ruled over parts of Karnataka. They share a common ancestry belief.


*Haihaya is supposed to be derived from haya (a horse).
*They believe they are descendents of a prince of the Lunar race.
*The Vishnu Purana represents them as descendants of Haihaya of the Yadu race, but they are generally associated with borderers and outlying tribes.
*In the Vayu and other Puranas, five great divisions of the tribe are named as Talajanghas, Vitihotras, Avantis, Tundikeras, Jatas, or rather Sujatas.
*According to the Mahabharata, they were descended from Saryati, a son of Manu.
*Kaartaveerya-arjuna, of a thousand arms, was king of the Haihayas, and he was defeated and had his arms cut off by Parasurama.
*The southern branch of Haihayas (Kalachuris) further adds to the

**Kalli meaning "long moustache" and Churi meaning "Sharp knife" is the source of their dynastic name.
**An 1174 record says the dynasty was founded by one Soma who grew beard and moustache, to save himself from the wrath of Parashurama, and thereafter the family came to be known as "Kalachuri".
**Their emblem was Suvarna Vrishabha or the golden bull.
**They worship Krantivirya Sahasrarjun who killed Bhagwan Parshurama's father Rishi Jamdagni

Historians such as Dr. P.B. Desai are emphatic about the central Indian origin of the Kalachuris. They were also referred to as Katachuris (shape of a sharp knife), Kalanjarapuravaradhisvara (Lord of Kalanjara) and Haihaya (Heheya). Mount Kalanjara is in north central India, east of the Indus Valley floodplain. The Vindhya Mountains would seem to have been the home of these tribes; and according to Colonel Todd, a tribe of Haihayas still exists "near the very top of the valley of Sohagpur, in Bhagelkhand, aware of their ancient lineage, and though few in number, still celebrated for their valor."

Before the arrival of Badami Chalukyas, the Kalachuris had carved out an extensive empire covering areas of Gujarat, Malwa, Konkan and parts of Maharashtra. However after their crippling defeat at the hands of Badami Chalukya Magalesa, they remained in obscurity for a prolonged period of time.

Historians have also pointed out that several Kalachuri kings were related to Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas by matrimonial alliances and had ruled from places like Tripuri, Gorakhpur, Ratnapur, Rajpur. By the time they are mentioned in the Telugu epic "Battle of Palnadu", they referred to as the Haihaya family of the Kona region (Amalapuram and Razole taluqs of the present East Godavari District) and the Haihaya family of Palanadu and were modest feudatories of the Chalukyas.

In the same tale the Perichedis are also mentioned also as minor feudatories of the Chalukyas. According to V. Rama Chandra Rao they have been linked to the ancient Chedi Kingdom. They had two branches with Kollipaka and Bezawada as their capitals. He also mentions that the Vastsavai dynasty of Peddapuram may be related to the Matsya dynasty as there is evidence of a branch found in the Vishakapatnam area.

All these clans were important participants in the battle and from circumstantial evidence we may be able to surmise that they were branches of a common ancestor separated over time.

Eastern Chalukyas

Between 624 AD and 1323 AD a significant change came about in social, religious, linguistic and literary spheres of Andhra society. During this period the Telugu language, emerged as a literary medium subsuming the predominance of Prakrit and Sanskrit. As a result, Andhra achieved an identity and a distinction of its own.

The Eastern Chalukyas were a branch of the Chalukyas of Badami. Pulakesin II conquered Vengi (near Eluru) in 624 and installed his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana (624-641) as its ruler. His dynasty, known as the Eastern Chalukyas, ruled for nearly four centuries in all. Vishnuvardhana extended his dominions up to Srikakulam in the north and Nellore in the south.

The Eastern Chalukyas occupied a prominent place in the history of Andhra Pradesh. Since the time of Gunaga Vijayaditya in 848, inscriptions show Telugu stanzas, culminating in the production of literary works in the coming centuries. Later in the 11th century, the Mahabharata was translated partly by the court poet Nannaya under the patronage of the then Eastern Chalukya King Rajaraja Narendra. Throughout this period and up to the 11th century, Telugu language was written in "old Telugu" script. Al-Beruni (1000 CE) referred to old Telugu script as "Andhri" in his "Kitab Al-Hind". The emergence of the Telugu script from the "old Telugu" script started around 11th century and culminated in the 19th century.

After a brief period of sovereignty under Gunaga Vijayaditya, the Vengi region again came under the Rashtrakuta rule and later the Kalyani Chalukya rule from the beginning of 10th century to the 11th century, when the Cholas managed to wrest control from the Chalukyas. However by 1118 AD, with the defeat of the Kulottunga Chola at the hands of Vikramaditya VI of the Kalyani Chalukya dynasty and the victory of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana over the Cholas at Talakad, Vengi once again came under Chalukya rule. The Kalyani Chalukya power itself went into decline after the death of Vikramaditya VI. By the end of the 12th century, their empire was split into several local kingdoms, namely the Hoysala Empire, the Kakatiya dynasty and the Yadavas.


The Chalukya Chola dynasty ruled the Chola Empire from 1070 C.E. until the demise of the empire in the second half of the 13th century. This dynasty was the product of decades of alliances based on marriages between the Cholas and the Eastern Chalukyas based in Vengi and produced some of the greatest Chola emperors such as Kulothunga Chola I.


The 12th and the 13th centuries saw the emergence of the Kakatiya dynasty. They were at first the feudatories of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyani, ruling over a small territory near Warangal. A ruler of this dynasty, Prola II (1110-1158 CE) extended his sway to the south and declared his independence. His successor Rudra (1158-1195 CE) pushed the kingdom to the north up to the Godavari delta. He built a fort at Warangal to serve as a second capital and faced the invasions of the Yadavas of Devagiri. The next ruler Mahadeva extended the kingdom to the coastal area. In 1199 CE Ganapati succeeded him. He was the greatest of the Kakatiyas and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu area under one rule. He put an end to the rule of the Velanati Cholas in 1210 CE.

The Kakatiya dynasty faced Muslim onslaughts from 1310 CE and came under the control of Delhi Sultanate in 1323. A brief period of 50 years of independence was enjoyed under Musunuri Nayaks who rebelled and liberated Telugu land from the rule of Delhi. Although short lived the Musunuri Nayaks rule was a watershed in the history of south India. Hakka (Harihara) and Bukka, who were previously treasury officers in the court of Prataparudra drew inspiration from them and consolidated Hindu opposition to Muslim invaders. Eventually, after the fall of the Kakatiya empire in 1370 CE, the Vijayanagar empire, considered the last great Hindu and Telugu empire, swept across the Telugu land and the present day Karnataka (1336 - 1450 CE). Small parts of Telugu region were under Reddys of Kondavidu and Rajahmundry and Recherla Velamas of Telangana, who were content to be vassals of Muslim kingdoms [Pre-colonial India in Practice, Cynthia Talbot, 2001, Oxford University Press, p. 181, ISBN 0195136616] .

Musunuri Nayaks

The short rule of Musunuri Nayaks was a glorious example of Telugu pride and assertion of independence. Subsequent to the capture of Prataparudra the vandalism and atrocities of the Muslim hordes demoralized the common people who were unfamiliar with the methods adopted by the invaders [Sarma, M. Somasekhara; "A Forgotten Chapter of Andhra History" 1945, Andhra University, Waltair] . Two patriotic souls, Annaya Mantri and Kolani Rudradeva exhorted and united the Nayaks and instilled a sense sacrifice to protect the Telugu country and Hindu Dharma. A valiant Nayak hailing from Vengi (in modern-day West Godavari district) was chosen as their leader. He was Musunuri Prolayanayak (Prolaaneedu) [History of the Andhras up to 1565 A. D., Durga Prasad, 1988, p. 168] . Prolaneedu galvanized the Nayaks with his organizational skills [A Forgotten Chapter of Andhra History, M. Somasekhara Sarma, 1945, Andhra University, Waltair] [Pre-colonial India in Practice, Cynthia Talbot, 2001, Oxford University Press, pp.177-182, ISBN 0195136616 ] . Battles were fought at all levels at a great cost and independence was achieved after many a sacrifice. Prolaneedu liberated Warangal by 1326 and drove away Muslims from Telugu country [Administration and Society in Medieval Andhra (A.D. 1038-1538), C. V. Ramachandra Rao, 1976, Manasa Publications, p.36] . Many of the inscriptions glorified the victories of Prolaya and the statecraft he practised [Pre-colonial India in Practice, Cynthia Talbot, 2001, Oxford University Press, pp.177, ISBN 0195136616 ] . Inspired by the victories of Prolaneedu and his cousin Kaapaneedu, other kingdoms like Kampili, Hoysala, Dwarasamudram and Araveedu asserted independence. The cousins actively assisted other kings to achieve freedom from the Sultanate. Harihara and Bukka who were captured at Warangal by Ulugh Khan and converted to Islam were sent by the Sultan to suppress the rebellion of the Hoysala king. The brothers, however, switched sides and went on to establish Vijayanagar Kingdom. The Sultan was enraged and personally led a huge army southward. He reached Warangal but had to make a hasty retreat. Historians opined that a great epidemic prevalent during that time and the formidable resistance of the Nayaks were the reasons for the retreat. Kaapaneedu wanted to utilize the opportunity to liberate the whole of Telangana including Bidar. He sought the help of the Hoysala king in this endeavour. Kaapaya succeeded in capturing the Warangal fort and liberating Telangana from the invaders. The flag of Andhradesa was again unfurled on the Warangal fort. Kaapaya was given the titles "Andhradesaadheeswara" and "Andhrasuratraana". It was a moment of great glory in the history of Telugu land which now extended from Srikakulam to Bidar and Siripur to Kanchi.

A revolt by a group of Muslim nobles against Muhammad bin Tughluq that began in Devagiri in 1345 culminated in the foundation of the Bahmani Sultanate by Hasan Gangu. He assumed the name Alauddin Bahman Shah and moved his capital to the more centrally located Gulbarga in 1347. Alauddin was an ambitious man and his goal was to conquer the whole of Dakshinapatha (Deccan). The unity fostered by the Musunuri cousins among the Nayaks started showing strains fuelled by envy. Recherla Nayaks led by Singama raided Addanki which was under the control of Vema Reddy. Vema Reddy sought the help of Kaapaneedu who intervened and forced Singama to accept the confederation. Singama was unable to reconcile to this act. Kaapaneedu also helped Bahmani king in good faith to ward off Delhi Sultan's attack. He would soon find Alauddin turn ungrateful. Singama and his sons induced Alauddin to interfere in the affairs of Warangal. The Bahmani king was only too eager to oblige. Telangana was invaded in 1350. Kaapaneedu's army fought an unexpected but heroic battle in vain. He concluded a treaty with Alauddin and surrendered Kaulas fort. This was the first setback to the unified Telugu kingdom. The death of Muhammad bin Tughluq in 1351 emboldened Alauddin to achieve his goal of expanding his kingdom in the Deccan. He marched into Telangana in 1355 with greatly enlarged army and captured many forts including Bhuvanagiri. Alauddin spent a year in Telangana and engaged in another round of destruction and plunder. He reurned to Gulbarga and died in 1359. Mohammed Shah succeeded Alauddin. At this time Kaapaneedu sent his son Vinayaka Deva to liberate Kaulas and Bhuvanagiri from the Bahmanis. The Vijayanagar king Bukka Raya actively assisted him in this campaign. Vinayaka Deva had initial successes but was eventually defeated, captured and killed in a ghastly manner. Kaapaneedu was disheartened but his goal was to destroy the Bahmani kingdom. Along with Bukka Raya he planned a great expedition against the Bahmanis. Mohammed Shah got enraged and invaded Telangana again. Golconda and Warangal were subdued. Bukka Raya died during this time. Lack of support from Vijayanagar and jealous designs of Devarakonda and Rachakonda Nayaks contributed to the fall of Warangal. Historians feel that Rachakonda Nayaks surreptitiously helped Bahmani king. Mohammed Shah spent two years in Telangana and wiped out all remnants of rebellion. Golconda was chosen as the border between the Bahmani and Warangal kingdoms in 1365. Kaapaneedu had to present the turquoise throne and large amounts of tribute to Mohammed Shah. Singamanayaka of Recherla and his sons took advantage of the situation and declared independence. They marched against Warangal ruled by a weakened and disheartened Kaapaneedu. The treasury was empty and the army was war-weary. Kaapaneedu met Singama's army at Bhimavaram and died a martyr's death. Thus ended the short but glorious reign (1326-1370) of the Musunuri clan which united the Telugu country, its people and its warriors, and protected the Hindu Dharma. The valour, dedication and undaunted spirit of sacrifice of Musunuri Nayaks are unparalleled in the history of Telugu land.

Reddy Dynasty

The Reddy kings of Addanki became independent after the martyrdom of Musunuri Kapaya Nayaka at the hands of Recherla Velamas in the battle of Bhuvanagiri (Bhongir in Telangana region). They ruled a small coastal area of Andhra Pradesh from 1353 to 1448 CE. The initial capital of the kingdom was Addanki. Later it was moved to Kondavidu and subsequently to Rajahmundry. The dynasty declined due to the wars with Recharla Velama chiefs and Gajapathis of Orissa. In later years, the Reddys had to be content as vassals of Golconda Muslim kings.

Prolaya Vema Reddy, the first king of the Reddy dynasty made Kondavidu his capital. Anavota Reddy was the successor of Prolaya Vema Reddy. He conquered many small kingdoms like Nirvajyapura (present day Nidudavolu) ruled by Vengi Chalukyas. Anavema Reddy andKumaragiri Reddy were other illustrios rulers.

Vijayanagar Empire

Vijayanagara empire, one of the greatest empires in the history of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh in the southern India, was founded by Harihara (Hakka) and Bukka, who either served as Treasury officers in the administration of Kakatiya empire or as Hoysala commanders. When Warangal fell in 1323, the two brothers were captured, taken to Delhi and converted to Islam. They were sent to the Deccan as governors of Kampili by the Delhi sultanate with the hope that they would be able to deal with the local revolt and invasions by neighbouring Hindu kings. Their first campaign was against the neighbouring Hoysala king, Veera Ballala III of Dwarasamudra. Later, the brothers reconverted to Hinduism under the influence of the sage Vidyaranya and proclaimed their independence from the Delhi sultanate. However, this theory of conversion to Islam, wars against the Hoysalas and their reconversion to Hinduism has been rejected by other historians who claim the founders were Kannadigas and were stationed in the Tungabhadra region by Hoysala Veera Ballala III to fight the Muslim invasion. Harihara I (reigned 1336–56) then established his new capital, Vijayanagar, in an easily defensible position south of the Tungabhadra River, where it came to symbolize the emerging medieval political culture of South India. The Vijayanagara empire reached its peak under king Krishnadevaraya in the early part of 16th century. Telugu literature reached new heights during this time. Fine Vijayanagar monuments were built across South India including Lepakshi, Tirupathi and Sri Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh. The largest and most famous ensemble of Vijayanagara monuments are at Hampi in modern Karnataka.

Mughal era

In 1323 the Delhi Sultan Ghiaz-ud-din Tughlaq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country and lay siege to Warangal. The disastrous fall of the Kakatiya capital in 1323 brought the Andhras, for the first time in their history, under the yoke of alien rulers, the Muslims. In 1347, an independent Muslim state, the Bahmani kingdom, was established in south India by Alla-ud-din Hasan Gangu as a revolt against the Delhi Sultanate. By the end of the 15th century, the Bahmani rule was plagued with faction fights and there came into existence the five Shahi kingdoms. Of these, it was the Qutb Shahi dynasty that played a significant and notable role in the history of Telugu land.

The Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway over the Andhra country for about two hundred years from the early part of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century. Sultan Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of the dynasty, served the Bahmanis faithfully and was appointed governor of Telangana in 1496. He declared independence after the death of his patron king, Mahmud Shah, in 1518. Aurangazeb, the Mughal emperor, in 1687 invaded Golconda and annexed it to his empire. He appointed a Nizam (governor) and thus for about a period of 35 years this region was ruled by Mughal Nizams. Aurangazeb died in 1707 and the administrative machinery of the Mughal imperial regime began to crumble and it gradually lost control over the provinces. It enabled two foreign mercantile companies to consolidate themselves as political powers capable of subsequently playing decisive roles in shaping the destiny of the nation. They were the East India Company of England and the Compagnie des Indes Orientales of France.

Beginning of Colonial era

1859. North Canara (Uttara Kannada) was transferred to Bombay Presidency in 1862.] In 1753, a firman of Asif ad-Dawlah Mir Ali Salabat Jang, Subedar of Deccan conceded to General Bussy the paraganas of Chicacole, Ellore, Rajahmundry etc. with an annual revenue RS.2, 00,000 for the maintenance of the French troops in the Subah in recognition of the help of these Circars amounted up to 10 lakhs of Rupees per year. Bussy helped Salabat Jang to be the Subedar of Deccan. The agreement made between the French and Salabat Jang in Aurangabad bears the signature of Said Loukshur, Minister of Salabat Jang. Yanam acquired considerable importance during the occupation of the Northern Circars by the French.

Another important event in the history was the war between the French and the English fought at Chandurthi (now is in Gollaprolu mandal] in East Godavari district) in 1758 in which the French were defeated by the combined armies of British and Maharaja Ananda Gajapathi Raju-2 of Vizianagram. Salabat Jang made a treaty with British and gave the Northern Circars under a "firman" to the English. Later Nizam rebelled against the English. A second treaty was the result of war and Northern Circars remained permanently under the control of the British. After 1760 the French lost hold in South India, especially on Northern Circars. In 1765 Lord Robert Clive, the then existing Chief and Council at Vizagapatam obtained from the Mughal emperor Shah Alam a grant of the five Circars. In 1792 the British got the complete supremacy, when they defeated Maharaja Vijaya Rama Gajapathi Raju of Vizianagaram.

Madras Presidency

Then Northern Circars became part of the British Madras Presidency. Eventually that region emerged as Coastal Andhra region. Later the Nizam had ceded 5 territories (Datta Madalālu) to British which eventually emerged as Rayalaseema region. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as the Princely state of Hyderabad, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy.

The provinces were at the time governed in a feudal manner, with Zamindars in areas such as Kulla and other parts of the Godavari acting as lords under the Nizam. The feudal or zamindari system was removed after independence.

Telugu Districts in Madras Presidency

*Vizagapatam (later Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Visakhapatnam districts)
*Godavari (later East Godavari district)
*Machilipatnam (later Guntur, Krishna and West Godavari Districts)

The Andhras (or Telugu) were at the forefront of Indian nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Post-independence history

India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. The Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence from India, he was forced accede his kingdom to India in 1948 as the Hyderabad State. When India became independent, the Telugu-speaking people (although Urdu is spoken in some parts of Hyderabad and in few other districts of Telangana) were distributed in about 22 districts, 9 of them in the Nizam's Dominions(Hyderabad state) and 12 in the Madras Presidency and one in French controlled Yanam. Andhra State was the first state in India that has been formed on a purely linguistic basis by carving it out from Madras Province in 1953. Andhra State was later merged with Telugu speaking area of Hyderabad(Telangana) to create Andhra Pradesh state in 1956. In 1954, Yanam (India) was liberated and it was merged with Pondicherry in 1963.seealso|Telengana Rebellion

Madras Manade movement

However, in 1953, Telugu speakers of Madras Presidency wanted Madras as the capital of Andhra state including the famous slogan "Madras Manade" (Madras is ours) before Tirupati was included in AP. Madras at that time was an indivisible mixture of Tamil and Telugu cultures. It was difficult to determine who should possess it. Panagal Raja, Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency in the early 1920s said that the Cooum River should be kept as a boundary, giving the northern portion to the Andhras and the southern portion to the Tamils. In 1928, Sir C. Sankaran Nair sent a report to the Central Council discussing why Madras does not belong to the Tamils. But finally it was decided that Madras would remain in the Tamil region. According to the JPC report (Jawahar Lal Nehru, Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya, C. Rajagopalachari) "Telugu people should leave Madras for Tamils if they want a new state".

Creation of Andhra State

In an effort to protect the interests of the Telugu people of Madras state, Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu attempted to force the Madras Presidency government to listen to public demands for the separation of Telugu speaking districts (Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra) from Madras Presidency to form the Andhra state. He went on a lengthy fast, and only stopped when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru promised to form Andhra state. However, there was no movement on the issue for a long time. He started fasting again for attaining statehood for Andhra in Maharshi Bulusu Sambamurthy's house in Madras on 19 October, 1952. It started off without fanfare but steadily caught people's imagination despite the disavowal of the fast by the Andhra Congress committee.

The government of the day however did not make a clear statement about the formation of a new state despite several strikes and demonstrations by Telugu people. On the midnight of 15 December (i.e. early 16 December, 1952), Potti Sriramulu died and laid down his life trying to achieve his objective.

In his death procession, people shouted slogans praising his sacrifice. When the procession reached Mount Road, thousands of people joined and raised slogans hailing Sriramulu. Later, they went into a frenzy and resorted to destruction of public property. The news spread like wildfire and created an uproar among the people in far off places like Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Eluru, Guntur, Tenali, Ongole and Nellore. Seven people were killed in police firing in Anakapalle and Vijayawada. The popular agitation continued for three to four days disrupting normal life in Madras and Andhra regions. On 19 December 1952, the Prime Minister of the country Jawaharlal Nehru made an announcement about formation of a separate state for Telugu speaking people of Madras Presidency.

House no. 126, Royapettah high road, Mylapore, Madras is the address of the house where Potti Sriramulu died and it has been preserved as a monument of importance by the state government of Andhra Pradesh.

On the basis of an agitation, on October 1, 1953, 11 districts in the Telugu-speaking portion of Madras State(Coastal Andhra and Rayala Seema) voted to become the new state of Andhra State with Kurnool as the capital. Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu became first Chief Minister of thus formed Telugu State.

The formation of linguistic states is the single most important event in the history of South Indian languages, as it provided an opportunity for these languages to develop independently, each of them having a state to support.

Merger of Telangana and Andhra

On November 1, 1956 Andhra State merged with the Telangana region of erstwhile Hyderabad State to form a united Telugu-speaking state of Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state Andhra Pradesh.

In early 1950s, there was Vishalandhra movement in both Andhra and Telangana regions which called for the merger of Andhra region and Telangana region to form a single Telugu speaking state. The movement is stronger in Andhra region than in Telanagana region. Andhra mahasabha was a powerful organisation existing in Telangana which advocated a "Visalandhra"( larger Andhra). However there were concerns about the merger in Telangana.

The concerns about Telangana were manifold. The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but a larger revenue base (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which Telanganas feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They also feared that planned dam projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately even though Telanganas controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganas feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education.(Source: [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+in0075) US Library of Congress] )

The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) set up by the government of India in early 50s to examine the question of reorganization of states of the country was, in fact, not in favour of merging the Telangana region with the then Andhra state. After a very careful examination of the issues involved the SRC recommended: "... It will be in the interest of Andhra as well as Telangana if, for the present, the Telangana area is constituted into a separate state which may be known as the Hyderabad state, with provision for its unification with Andhra after the general elections likely to be held in or about 1961, if by two-thirds majority the legislature of the residuary Hyderabad state expresses itself in favour of such unification". (SRC Report: Para 386)

The commission further recommended: "Andhra and Telangana have common interests and we hope these interests will tend to bring the people closer to each other. If, however, our hopes for the development of the environment and conditions congenial to the unification of the areas do not materialize and if public sentiment in Telangana crystallizes itself against the unification of the two states, Telangana will have to continue as a separate unit". (SRC Report: Para 388)

The Commission came to this conclusion after a dispassionate assessment of feelings of the people of Telangana and the fears entertained by them. Elaborating the reasons for recommending statehood for the Telangana region the Commission observed: "One of the principal causes of opposition to Visalandhra also seems to be the apprehensions felt by the educationally backward people of Telangana that they may be swamped and exploited by the more advanced people of the Coastal areas...The real fear of the people of Telangana is that if they join Andhra they will be unequally placed in relation to the people of Andhra and in this partnership the major partner will derive all the advantages immediately while Telangana itself may be converted into a colony by the enterprising Andhras". (SRC Report: para 378)

Further, the SRC cautioned the nation against the dangers involved in reorganizing the Indian states solely on linguistic considerations. One of the rational criteria recommended by the Commission, while reorganizing the states, was: "... to reject the theory of 'one language one state' which is neither justified on grounds of linguistic homogeneity, because there can be more than one state speaking the same language without offending the linguistic principle, nor practicable, since different language groups, including the vast Hindi speaking population of the Indian Union, cannot always be consolidated to form distinct linguistic units". (SRC Report: para 163) . This caution was rejected by the Parliament of India when it endorsed political division of India across linguistic lines except for the language of Hindi.

In addition, the Prime Minister of the time, Jawaharlal Nehru, also was not in favour of merging Telangana with the Andhra state. He ridiculed the demand for Visalandhra as an idea bearing a "tint of expansionist imperialism". ("Indian Express", October 17, 1953).

The central government decided to ignore the recommendation to establish a separate Telangana state and, instead, merged the two regions into a unified Andhra Pradesh. However, a "Gentlemen's agreement" provided reassurances to the Telangana people. For at least five years, revenue was to be spent in the regions proportionately to the amount they contributed. Education institutions in Telangana were to be expanded and reserved for local students. Recruitment to the civil service and other areas of government employment such as education and medicine was to be proportional. The use of Urdu was to continue in the administration and the judiciary for five years. The state cabinet was to have proportional membership from both regions and a deputy chief minister from Telangana if the chief minister was from Andhra and vice versa. Finally, the Regional Council for Telangana was to be responsible for economic development, and its members were to be elected by the members of the state legislative assembly from the region.(Source: [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+in0075) US Library of Congress] )

("See also History of Hyderabad", "States Reorganisation Act" , [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+in0075) Telanaga movement article in US Library of Congress] )

eparate Telangana movement

In the following years after the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, however, the Telangana people had a number of complaints about how the agreements and guarantees were implemented. The deputy chief minister position was never filled. Education institutions in the region were greatly expanded, but Telanganas felt that their enrolment was not proportionate to their numbers. The selection of the city of Hyderabad as the state capital led to massive migration of people from Andhra into Telangana. Telanganas felt discriminated against in education employment but were told by the state government that most non-Telanganas had been hired on the grounds that qualified local people were unavailable. In addition, the unification of pay scales between the two regions appeared to disadvantage Telangana civil servants. In the atmosphere of discontent, professional associations that earlier had amalgamated broke apart by region.

Discontent with the 1956 Gentlemen's agreement intensified in January 1969 when the guarantees that had been agreed on were supposed to lapse. Student agitation for the continuation of the agreement began at Osmania University in Hyderabad and spread to other parts of the region. Government employees and opposition members of the state legislative assembly swiftly threatened "direct action" in support of the students. This movement also know as Jai Telangana movement. The Congress-controlled state and central governments offered assurances that non-Telangana civil servants in the region would be replaced by Mulkis, disadvantaged local people, and that revenue surpluses from Telangana would be returned to the region. The protesters, however, were dissatisfied, and severe violence, including mob attacks on railroads, road transport, and government facilities, spread over the region. In addition, seventy-nine police firings resulted in twenty-three deaths according to official figures, the education system was shut down, and examinations were cancelled. Calls for a separate Telangana state came in the midst of counter violence in Andhra areas bordering Telangana. In the meantime, the Andhra Pradesh High Court decreed that a central government law mandating replacement of non-Telangana government employees with Mulkis was beyond Parliament's constitutional powers.

Although the Congress faced dissension within its ranks, its leadership stood against additional linguistic states, which were regarded as "antinational." As a result, defectors from the Congress, led by M. Chenna Reddy, founded the Telangana People's Association (Telangana Praja Samithi). Despite electoral successes, however, some of the new party leaders gave up their agitation in September 1971 and, much to the disgust of many separatists, rejoined the safer political haven of the Congress ranks.

In 1972 the Supreme Court reversed the Andhra Pradesh High Court's ruling that the Mulki rules were unconstitutional. This decision triggered agitation in the Andhra region(also know as Jai Andhra movement) that produced six months of violence.

The Telangana movement grew out of a sense of regional identity as such, rather than out of a sense of ethnic identity, language, religion, or caste. The movement demanded redress for economic grievances, the writing of a separate history, and establishment of a sense of cultural distinctness. The emotions and forces generated by the movement were not strong enough, however, for a continuing drive for a separate state until 1990s. (Source: [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+in0075) US Library of Congress] )

In 1990s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a national party, promised separate Telangana state if they come to power. When BJP formed the coalition government in 1999, they created new states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttaranchal by separating them from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh states respectively. But BJP could not create separate Telangana state because of the opposition from its coalition partner, Telugu Desham Party (TDP, a regional party in Andhra Pradesh). These developments brought new life into separate Telangana movement by year 2000. Congress party(Indian National Congress or INC, a national party) MLAs(Legislators) from Telangana region, supported the separate Telangana state and formed a Telangana Congress Legislators Forum. In another development, a new party called Telangana Rashtra Samithi (or TRS) is formed with single agenda of separate Telangana state, with Hyderabd as its capital.

In 2004, for Assembly and Parliament elections, Congress party and TRS had an electoral alliance in Telangana region with the promise of Telangana State. Congress came to power in the state and formed coalition government at the centre.

The Telangana movement was never directed against the territorial integrity of India, unlike the insurrections in Jammu and Kashmir and some of the unrest in northeastern India states of Assam, Tripura, Nagaland etc.

("See also "States Reorganisation Act" , [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+in0075) Telanaga movement article in US Library of Congress] , [http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/sereport/ser/std_pattrnAP.pdf Planning Commission Study of Andhra Pradesh's Development and Regional inbalances] , [http://ia.rediff.com/news/ap04may.htm 2004 elections] )



* Satavahana
* Shakas
* Andhra Ikshvaku
* Brihatpalayana
* Ananda Gotrika
* Vishnukundina
* Kalachuris of Chedi
* Salankayana
* Eastern Chalukya
* Rashtrakuta
* Vengi
* Kakatiya dynasty
* Musunuri Nayaks
* Vijayanagar
* Reddy
* Paricheda
* Qutb Shahi
* Nizam

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