History of Andhra Pradesh

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Andhra Pradesh is one of the 29 states of India whose recorded history begins in the Vedic period. It is mentioned in Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana (800 BCE).[1][2][3] The Assaka Mahajanapada (700–300 BCE) was an ancient kingdom located between the Godavari and Krishna Rivers in southeastern India.[4] Accounts that people in the region are descended from the sage Viswamitra are found in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas.

After the independence of India in 1947, modern-day Andhra Pradesh was part of the Madras State.


In the sixth century BCE, Assaka was one of the sixteen mahajanapadas. It was succeeded by the Satavahana dynasty (230 BCE-220 CE), who built the city of Amaravati. The kingdom reached its zenith under Gautamiputra Satakarni. At the end of the period, the Telugu region was divided into fiefdoms ruled by lords. In the late second century CE, the Andhra Ikshvakus ruled the eastern region along the Krishna River.

During the fourth century, the Pallava dynasty extended their rule from southern Andhra Pradesh to Tamilakam and established their capital at Kanchipuram. Their power increased during the reigns of Mahendravarman I (571–630) and Narasimhavarman I (630–668). The Pallavas dominated the southern Telugu-speaking region and northern Tamilakam until the end of the ninth century.

Between 1163 and 1323 the Kakatiya dynasty emerged, bringing the Telugu region under unified rule. During this period, the Telugu language emerged as a literary medium with the writings of Tikkana.

In 1323 the sultan of Delhi, Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, sent a large army commanded by Ulugh Khan (later, as Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Delhi sultan) to conquer the Telugu region and lay siege to Warangal. The fall of the Kakatiya dynasty led to an era with competing influences from the Turkic kingdoms of Delhi, the Chalukya Chola dynasty (1070–1279) in the south and the Persio-Tajik sultanate of central India. The struggle for Andhra ended with the victory of the Musunuri Nayaks over the Turkic Delhi Sultanate.

The Telugu achieved independence under Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire (1336–1646). The Qutb Shahi dynasty of the Bahmani Sultanate succeeded that empire. The Qutub Shahis were tolerant of Telugu culture from the early 16th to the end of the 17th centuries.

The arrival of Europeans (the French under the Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau and the English under Robert Clive) altered polity of the region . In 1765, Clive and the chief and council at Visakhapatnam obtained the Northern Circars from Mughal emperor Shah Alam. The British achieved supremacy when they defeated Maharaja Vijaya Rama Gajapati Raju of Vizianagaram in 1792.

Andhra's modern foundation was laid in the struggle for Indian independence under Mohandas Gandhi. Potti Sriramulu's campaign for a state independent of the Madras Presidency and Tanguturi Prakasam Panthulu and Kandukuri Veeresalingam's social-reform movements led to the formation of Andhra State, with Kurnool its capital and freedom-fighter Pantullu its first chief minister. A democratic society, with two stable political parties and a modern economy, emerged under the Chief Ministership of N. T. Rama Rao.

India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. Although the Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain independence from India, but was forced to cede his kingdom to the Dominion of India in 1948 to form Hyderabad State. Andhra, the first Indian state formed primarily on a linguistic basis, was carved from the Madras Presidency in 1953. In 1956, Andhra State was merged with the Telugu-speaking portion of Hyderabad State to create the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Lok Sabha approved the formation of Telangana from ten districts of Andhra Pradesh on 18 February 2014.[5]

Pre-Satavahana period[edit]

Sculpture depicting the stupa, now at the Government Museum, Chennai.
Amaravati Marbles, a series of marble sculptures and inscriptions excavated from the site.
The surviving foundation of the stupa.
The Amaravati Mahachaitya, also known as the Great Stupa of Amaravati was built around the 3rd century BCE.

The earliest reference to the term Andhra is the name of a tribe and this is made in the Aitareya Brahamana datable to 800 B.C. Andhras left the northern part of Indian subcontinent near Yamuna river, crossing the vindhyas and came to present day Andhra pradesh and Telangana. It also mentions that the Andhras were socially parallel to other tribes like the Pundras, Sabarasand Pulindas. There are references to an Andhra kingdom and a people known as the Andhras in Indian epic poetry (the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and the Puranas). In the Mahabharata Rukmi ruled the Vidarbha Kingdom, which included the Deccan Plateau, the foothills of the Vindhya Range, present-day Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and a little-known (now submerged) archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. Rama is said to have lived in the forest around present-day Bhadrachalam during his exile.

Although the ancient literature indicates a history dating to several centuries BCE, archaeological evidence exists only from the last two millennia. The fifth-century BCE Kingdom of Pratipalapura, identified with Bhattiprolu in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, may be the earliest kingdom in South India and inscriptions suggest that King Kubera ruled Bhattiprolu around 230 BCE. The script of the Bhattiprolu inscriptions was the progenitor of the Brahmi Lipi, which later diversified into modern Telugu scripts.

Middle Kingdoms (3rd century BCE - 12th century CE)[edit]

Satavahana dynasty[edit]

Archaeological remains of Bavikonda.

As part of the Mauryan Empire during the fourth century BCE, Andhra was a political state in the southeastern Deccan. According to Megasthenes, who visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya (322-297), the Andhras had 30 fortified towns along Godavari river and an army of 1,00,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and 1,000 elephants.[6]. The military might of Andhras was second only to the Mauryas.

Uninterrupted political and cultural accounts of Andhra Pradesh begin during the rise of the Satavahana dynasty. According to the Matsya Purana, the dynasty had 29 rulers in a 456-year period from the 2nd century BCE to the 2nd century CE. An inscription at Nasik, written at the time of Gautamiputra Satakarni (the 23rd Satavahana ruler), indicates that the kingdom included most of the southern peninsula and southern parts of Maharashtra, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. The court language used by the Satavahanas was Prakrit, and their kings observed the Vedic religion.

The fall of the Satavahana empire left Andhra in political chaos, and local rulers carved out small kingdoms for themselves. Between 180 and 624 CE, control of Andhra lay with the Ikshvaku, Brihatpalayana, Salankayana, Vishnukundina, Vakataka, Pallava, Ananda Gotrika, Kalinga and other small kingdoms; the most important was the Ikshvaku. Sanskrit replaced Prakrit as the inscriptional language at this time.


Nagarjunakonda, which is belived to be the site of the Andhra Ikshvaku capital.

The Andhra Ikshvakus (Sanskrit: इक्श्वाकू) established a kingdom along the Krishna River in the second half of the second century CE. Their capital was Vijayapuri (Nagarjunakonda). Archaeological evidence indicates that the Ikshvakus succeeded the Satavahanas in the Krishna River valley, and may have entered Andhra from the north.[7] The Ikshvakus left inscriptions at Nagarjunakonda, Jaggayyapeta, Amaravati and Bhattiprolu, and their rulers observed the Vedic religion.

It is a belief among some historians that, Andhra Ikshvakus were related to the mythological Ikshvakus, while some believe Andhra Ikshvakus seem to be a local tribe who adopted the title.[8][9] Some scholars believe that this dynasty was related to the ancient Ikshvakus of the Hindu epics, and Rama of the Ramayana (the incarnation of Vishnu) was descended from the Ikshvaku line. Inscriptions in the Nagarjunakonda valley, Jaggayyapeta and Ramireddipalli provide some support for this hypothesis.[10]

In the Vayu Purana, Manu (the patriarch of ancient India) had nine sons; Ikshvaku, the eldest, founded the Suryavanshi dynasty and ruled from Ayodhya at the beginning of the Treta Yuga. He had 100 sons; the eldest was Vikushi, who succeeded his father as the ruler of Ayodhya. Fifty of Vikushi's brothers founded small principalities in North India, and forty-eight founded kingdoms in the south. In the Dharmamrita, during the lifetime of the 12th tirthankara, Yasodhara (an Ikshvaku prince from the kingdom of Anga) went to Vengi. The prince was so impressed with the region's beauty and fertility that he made it his home and founded the city of Pratipalapura (present-day Bhattiprolu).

In the Puranas, the Andhra Ikshvakus are called Sriparvatiyas (rulers of Sriparvata) and Andhrabhrityas (servants of the Andhras). They were feudal lords of the Satavahanas, and bore the title of Mahatalavara. Although the Puranas cite seven kings ruling Andhra for 100 years, only four are confirmed in inscriptions.

Vashishthiputra Sri Santamula (Santamula I)[edit]

Santamula I founded the Ikshvaku dynasty, performing the Asvamedha, Agnihotra, Agnistoma and Vajapeya sacrifices to proclaim his imperial status. Rulers of subsequent dynasties commonly performed the Ashvamedha sacrifice to declare their independence.


Virapurushadatta was the son and successor of Santamula through his wife, Madhari. He had a sister, Adavi Santisri, took a queen from the Saka family of Ujjain and gave his daughter in marriage to a Chutu prince.

Ehuvula Santamula (Santamula II)[edit]

Ehuvula Santamula (Santamula II), Virapurushadata's son, ruled after a short Abhira interregnum.


Rudrapurushadatta was an Ikshvaku ruler mentioned in inscriptions from Gurajala in Guntur district. Possibly a son of Ehuvula Santamula, he ruled for over 11 years.


During the third century CE the Brihatpalayanas ruled north Andhra from their capital, Kodur, in the Krishna district. One dynasty was the Jaya Varma.


The Ananda Gotrikas (335-425) ruled coastal Andhra from their capital, Kapotapuram. Their affiliations are unknown.finded Anandagotras few familyes in anantapur district, kadiri taluk, it an old kadapa district@ hiranya raajya, in puranas. anandagotras living in vedaranya, of kadhiri area hill/mountain places called batrapalli forest, gogannapeta, pandava raju hill, and vankapalli.demolished old andha/kandarapuram, kambamraayudu mountain hill areas.surname is tatam in patras.


From about 300 to 440, after the fall of the Ikshvakus, the Salankayanas ruled part of the east coast from Vengi. Like the Vishnukundinas of Vinukonda who succeeded them, the Salankayanas were vassals of the Pallavas of the southern Telugu and northern Tamil lands. At this time, Telugu and Kannada scripts began to separate from those of other Indian dialects.


The Pallava dynasty (Telugu: పల్లవులు; Tamil: பல்லவர்) ruled South India from the fourth to the eighth centuries from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. It was ascendant during the reigns of Mahendravarman I (571–630) and Narasimhavarman I (630–668). The empire included the southern Telugu and the northern parts of the Tamil regions.

The Pallavas were noted for their patronage of Dravidian architecture, examples of which survive in Mahabalipuram. The Chinese traveller Xuanzang visited Kanchipuram (under Pallava rule), and extolled its benign government.[11]

The period was characterized by conflict with the Chalukyas of Badami in the north and the Tamil states of Chola and Pandyas in the south. During the eighth century, the Pallavas were succeeded by the Chola dynasty.


One of the Undavalli Caves, built in the 7th century CE by the Vishnukundina dynasty.

The Vishnukundina dynasty ruled in the Deccan and South India in the 5th and 6th centuries CE. According to Edward B. Eastwick, the maharaja of Vizianagaram was a descendant of the maharajas of Udaipur and the Sisodia branch of the Gehlot tribe.[12] A brother of the maharaja of Udaipur migrated to Oudh. Early rulers of the dynasty allied with the Vakatakas and the Rashtrakutas by marriage.

In 529, Madhava Varma (a descendant of the dynasty) and four allied clans achieved independence by defeating the Salankayanas in coastal Andhra. Their capitals were Amaravati and Bezwada before they settled on Vizianagaram. Over the centuries the allied clans were vassals of the Vizianagaram rulers and subsequent dynasties, including the Chalukyas. Kalidindi in Krishna district was held by the Vishnukundina dynasty, although it was later associated with the Rajus.

In 1512, the maharaja of Vizianagaram was conquered by the Golkonda dynasty and was made subahdar of the Northern Circars. The title was conferred by Aurangzeb, who gave the maharaja a split-tipped sword (still part of the Vishnukundina coat of arms).[13] The rajahs of Vizianagaram received the title of Gajapati after the 16th-century Battle of Nandapur in the Northern Circars.

In 1845, the British (represented by Lord Northbrook) conferred several honours on Maharaja Vijaya Rama Gajapati Raju III. On 31 December 1850, Raju III had a son. One of his daughters was married to Maharaj Kumar Singh, a cousin of (and heir apparent to) the maharajah of Rewah.

Kalachuris of Chedi[edit]

Although the Matsyas, Chedis, Pericchedis, Haihayas and Kalachuris may share a common Vedic ancestry and origin myth, the link is tenuous. In the Puranas, Matsya (Sanskrit for "fish") was the name of a tribe (Meenas) and a state of the Vedic civilisation. The Matsya tribe was founded by a fisherman who became a king. The Mahabharata (V.74.16) describes King Sahaja as a son of Uparichara Vasu, a Chedi king. Vasu ruled the Chedis and the Matsyas, suggesting the Matsya were once part of the Chedi kingdom. The Puranas mention six Matsya kingdoms, and the Pandya Kingdom in the south has a fish on its banner. Signs of the Matsya are later found in the Visakhapatnam region.


The Chedi kingdom, in central and western India, was first ruled by Paurava kings and later by Yadav kings. It corresponds roughly to the present-day Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh.


The Haihaya kingdom (haya means "horse") was one of a number kingdoms ruled by Chandravamsha Kshatriya kings in central and western India. The Vishnu Purana links its outlying tribes to the Yadu tribe. According to the Puranas, the Haihaya were divided into the Talajanghas, Vitihotras, Avantis, Tundikeras and Jatas. Haihaya rulers included the legendary Kartavirya Arjuna, a powerful king who defeated Ravana. Although he had one thousand arms, he was felled and his arms severed by Parasurama. The Haihaya capital was Mahishmati, on the banks of the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh.


Kalachuri is the name used by two kingdoms who claim a common ancestry and ruled in a succession of dynasties from the 10th to the 12th centuries. The first kingdom controlled western Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in central India. The second, the southern Kalachuri, ruled part of Karnataka. Kalachuri kings, related by marriage to the Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas, ruled from Tripuri, Gorakhpur, Ratnapur and Rajpur.

The name Kalachuri may derive from kali (long moustache) and churi (sharp knife). The Kalachuri were also known as Katachuris.

In the Telugu epic "The Battle of Palnadu", the Kalachuri are referred to as the Haihaya family of the Kona region (Amalapuram; the Razole Taluqs of the present-day East Godavari district, and the Haihaya family of Palanadu. They were vassals of the Chalukyas.

The Pericchedis are also mentioned as vassals of the Chalukyas. According to V. Rama Chandra Rao, they were connected to the ancient Chedi. The Pericchedis had two branches, with Kollipaka and Bezawada their capitals. Rao also mentions that the Vastsavai dynasty of Peddapuram may be related to the Matsya dynasty, since there is evidence of a branch in the Visakhapatnam area.[14]

An 1174 record suggests the Kalachuri dynasty was thought to be founded by Soma, who grew a beard and moustache to save himself from Parashurama's wrath. Their emblem was suvarna vrishabha, a golden bull. The Kalachuri honoured Krantivirya Sahasrarjun, who killed Rishi Jamdagni (Bhagwan Parshurama's father). Historians such as P. B. Desai emphasize the Kalachuris' central-Indian origin.

At their zenith, the Kalachuris ruled parts of Gujarat, Malwa, Konkan and Maharashtra. Their rule was ended by the Badami Chalukyas under Badami Chalukya Magalesa. Lieutenant colonel James Tod recorded a tribe of Haihayas "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 valour".[15]

Eastern Chalukyas[edit]

Between 624 and 1323, the Telugu language emerged as a literary medium alongside Prakrit and Sanskrit. From around 848 (during the time of Gunaga Vijayaditya) to the 11th century, the language progressed from stanzas to full literary works. At this time, it was written in old Telugu script; Al-Beruni referred to the script as "Andhri" in his 1000 Kitab Al-Hind. During the 11th century, the Mahabharata was partially translated by court poet Nannaya under the patronage of the Eastern Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra. Modern Telugu script evolved from the old Telugu script from the 11th to the 19th centuries.

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. The Vishnuvardhana dynasty, known as the Eastern Chalukyas, ruled for nearly four centuries. Vishnuvardhana's domain extended from Srikakulam in the north to Nellore in the south.

Control of the Vengi region shifted from Gunaga Vijayaditya to Rashtrakuta rule, to the Kalyani Chalukya (10th and 11th centuries), and then to the Cholas. In 1118, Kulottunga Chola was defeated by Vikramaditya VI of the Kalyani Chalukya dynasty. The Cholas at Talakad were defeated by the Hoysala ruler, Vishnuvardhana, and Vengi was again ruled by the Chalukyas.

The Kalyani Chalukya fell with the death of Vikramaditya VI. By the end of the 12th century, the Eastern Chalukya empire was divided into three kingdoms: the Hoysala Empire, the Kakatiya Kingdom and the Yadavas.

Chola Empire[edit]

The Chola dynasty ruled in Andhra from 500 AD to 1100. The Cholas were also called as Chodas. Its territory extended from the Maldives in the south to the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh. The decline of Chola Dynasty led to the emergence of the Kakatiya Dynasty. The Kakatiyas also claimed descent from the Cholas.[citation needed] The Renati Chola dynasty ruled Rayalaseema from the fifth to the eleventh centuries from Cuddapa, Jammalamadugu.The Telugu inscription of Telugu Chola ruler, Erikal Mutturaju Dhananjaya Varma, known as Erragudipadu Sasanam was engraved in the 575 century A.D. in the present Kadapa District. It is the earliest record in Telugu.[16] According to K.A Nilakanta sastri and M. Venkataramayya's citations about Telugu inscriptions, this is the earliest known Telugu Inscription available till now, and Erikal is the location name. There are various Telugu inscriptions left by the Mutturaja kings in Rayalaseema area, such as Punyakumara Mutturaja, Kapi Bola Mutturaja, Gandara Mutturaja, Vaidumba Mutturaja etc. The Chodas had marriage alliances with the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Many Polegars also had Choda titles.[citation needed]

Late Medieval and Early Modern period (12th - 18th centuries CE)[edit]

Kakatiya dynasty[edit]

12th - 18th centuries CE
1323 The Delhi Sultanate besieges and annexes Warangal, resulting in the end of

the Kakatiya dynasty.

1326 Musunuri Nayaks reclaim Telugu lands from the Delhi Sulatante.
1518 The Bahmani Sultanate disintegrates, and the Golconda Sultanate is established

by Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk.

1687 Mughal Invasion and end of the Golconda Sultanate
1724 The region is conquered by Nizam-ul-Mulk.

The Kakatiya dynasty rose to power during the 12th and 13th centuries. Initially vassals of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyani, they held a small territory near Warangal.

Prola II of the Kakatiyas (1110–1158) Kakatiya territory southward and declared his independence. His successor, Rudra (1158–1195), increased the holdings eastward to the Godavari delta. Rudra built the Warangal Fort as a second capital, and countered invasions by the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri.

The next ruler, Mahadeva, extended the Kakatiyas kingdom to the coast before he was succeeded by Ganapati Deeva in 1199. Ganapati Deeva was the first ruler since the Satavahana dynasty to unite the Telugu lands. In 1210, Ganapati defeated the Velanati Cholas and extended his empire north to Anakapalle.

Rani Rudrama Devi (died 1289 or 1295), who defended the Kakatiya kingdom against the Cholas and the Seuna Yadavas, is one of the few queens in Indian history. She was succeeded by her grandson, Prataparudra. Although his reign was characterized by battles against internal and external foes, Prataparudra expanded his kingdom west to Raichur and south to Ongole and the Nallamala Hills. He introduced a number of administrative reforms, some of which were adopted in the Vijayanagar empire. Muslim attacks began in 1310, and in 1323 the Kakatiya dynasty fell to the Delhi Sultanate.

Musunuri Nayaks[edit]

The Musunuri Nayaks reclaimed the Telugu lands from the Delhi Sultanate and ruled them for fifty years. Hakka (Harihara) and Bukka, treasury officers at the court of Prataparudra, were inspired by the Musunuri Nayaks to organise a Hindu opposition to the Muslim invaders.[17]

Prataparudra was captured by the Muslims.[18] Two Telugus, Annaya Mantri and Kolani Rudradeva, united the Nayaks against the invaders. Musunuri Prolaya Nayaka of the Musunuri Nayaks was chosen as their leader.[19][20] By 1326, Prolaneedu had liberated Warangal.[21] Inspired by the victories of Prolaneedu and his cousin, Kaapaneedu, other states (including Kampili, Hoysala, Dwarasamudram and Araveedu) asserted their independence.[22]

Ulugh Khan captured Harihara and Bukka at Warangal. Converted to Islam, they were sent by the sultan to suppress the Hoysala ruler's rebellion. Instead, the brothers established the Vijayanagara Empire. The Sultan led a large army south, but was halted by an epidemic and Nayak resistance. Kaapaneedu, with the assistance of the Hoysala, liberated Andhra Pradesh.[23]

In 1345 Muslim nobles rebelled against Muhammad bin Tughluq in Devagiri, resulting in the foundation of the Bahmani Sultanate by Hasan Gangu. He assumed the name Alauddin Bahman Shah, and moved his capital to Gulbarga in 1347. With raids and coercion, Singama of the Recherla Nayaks destabilised Alauddin's rule. Kaapaneedu forged a treaty with Alauddin and surrendered the Kaulas fort.[24] In 1351, Muhammad bin Tughluq died. Eight years later, Alauddin died and was succeeded by Mohammed Shah. Kaapaneedu then sent his son, Vinayaka Deva, to liberate Kaulas and Bhuvanagiri from the Bahmanis; Vijayanagar emperor Bukka Raya assisted Deva in the campaign. Although Deva was initially successful, he was eventually defeated, captured and killed.[24]

Kaapaneedu persisted, capturing Golconda and Warangal. In 1365, Golconda was chosen as the border between the Bahmani and Warangal kingdoms. Kaapaaneedu was forced to pay reparations, including a turquoise throne to Mohammed Shah.[24]

In 1370 Anapota Nayaka of the Recherla Nayaks marched against Warangal as part of a Bahmani invasion, and Kaapaneedu died in the ensuing battle at Bhimavaram. With Kaapaneedu gone, the Bahmanis soon subjugated their allies and ruled Andhra.[25]

Reddi Kingdom[edit]

Kondapalli Fort, constructed in 1325 CE by the Reddi Kingdom.

After the death of Pratapa Rudra II and the subsequent fall of the Kakatiya Empire, Prolaya Vema Reddi joined a confederacy of nobles headed by Musunuri Prolaya Nayaka to expel the Delhi Sultanate from Telugu areas.[26] Prolaya Vema Reddi established the Reddi kingdom. The Reddis ruled from present-day Srikakulam in the north to Kanchi in the south, most of the present-day Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.[27][28][29][30] In his 1909 book, Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Edgar Thurston described the Reddis as village chiefs and listed them as Kapu.[page needed]

The Reddi Kingdom (1326–1448) ruled portions of coastal Andhra Pradesh for over a century.[27][31][32][32][30][33][34][35][36] Prolaya Vema Reddi, was the first king of the Reddi dynasty.[37] The capital of the kingdom was Addanki. It was moved to Kondavidu and then later to Rajahmundry.[38] His reign was characterised by the restoration of peace, patronage of the arts and literature and broad development.[39] Errana, the translator of the Mahabharata, lived during this period.

Vijayanagara Empire[edit]

Sculpture of Ganesha at the Veerabhadra Temple at Lepakshi, built during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire.

The Vijayanagara Empire was founded by Harihara (Hakka) and Bukka, who were treasury officers in the administration of the Kakatiya dynasty or commanders of Hoysala's forces. When Warangal fell in 1323 the brothers were captured, taken to Delhi and converted to Islam. The Delhi Sultanate sent them to the Deccan as governors of Kampili in the hope that they could deal with the local revolt and invasions by neighboring Hindu kings. Their first campaign was against neighboring Hoysala emperor Veera Ballala III of Dwarasamudra. The brothers later reconverted to Hinduism under the influence of the sage Vidyaranya, and proclaimed independence from the Delhi Sultanate. Some, however, claim that the founders of the empire were Kannadigas stationed in the Tungabhadra region under Veera Ballala III to fight the Muslim invasion.

Harihara I (r. 1336–1356) established his new capital, Vijayanagar, in an easily defended position south of the Tungabhadra River. The empire reached its zenith under Krishnadevaraya in the early 16th century, and Telugu literature developed at this time. Vijayanagar monuments were built across South India, and in Lepakshi, Tirupati and Sri Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh. The largest and best-known collection of such monuments is at Hampi in present-day Karnataka.

Bahmani and Golconda Sultanates[edit]

The mosque at Gandikota Fort was built by the Golconda Sultanate.

In 1323, Delhi sultan Ghiaz-ud-din Tughlaq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country and lay siege to Warangal. In 1347, after a revolt against the Delhi Sultanate, an independent Muslim state (the Bahmani Sultanate) was established in South India by Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah. By the end of the 15th century, the sultanate was plagued with factional strife. Five Shahi sultanates were founded, and the Qutb Shahi dynasty played a role in the history of the Telugu country.

The dynasty ruled Andhra from the early 16th to the end of the 17th century. Sultan Quli Qutb Shah, founder of the dynasty, served the Bahmanis faithfully and in 1496 was appointed governor of Hyderabad State. In 1518, after the death of Mahmud Shah, his patron Quli Qutb Shah declared independence.

Mughal conquest[edit]

In 1687, Aurangazeb invaded and annexed Golconda and appointed a Nizam (governor). The Mughal Nizams controlled Andhra for about 35 years. In 1707 Aurangazeb died, and the Mughal regime weakened and lost control of the provinces. This enabled the British East India Company and the French Compagnie des Indes Orientales to consolidate power in India.

Colonial era (1753-1947 CE)[edit]

Color-coded map of South India
Maximum extent of French influence (1741–1754)

In a 1753 decree, Deccan subedar Asif ad-Dawlah Mir Ali Salabat Jang ceded Chicacole, Ellore and Rajahmundry to the Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau. An annual stipend of 200,000 rupees was paid to maintain French troops in the subah; revenue in the Northern Circars amounted to one million rupees per year.

Bussy had helped Salabat Jang become subedar of the Deccan. The agreement between the French and Salabat Jang in Aurangabad bears the signature of Said Loukshur, Salabat Jang's minister. Yanam was an important town during the French occupation of the Northern Circars.

In 1758, the French and English fought at Chandurti (in the present-day Gollaprolu mandal of East Godavari district). The French were defeated by the armies of the British and Maharaja Ananda Gajapathi Raju II of Vizianagram. Salabat Jang made a treaty with the British, giving them the Northern Circars in a firman.

The Nizam later rebelled against the English. The war ended with a second treaty; the Northern Circars remained under the control of British India, and after 1760 the French lost their hold there and throughout South India. In 1765, Robert Clive and the chief and council at Vizagapatam obtained from Mughal emperor Shah Alam a grant of the Northern Circars. In 1792, the British defeated Maharaja Vijaya Rama Gajapati Raju of Vizianagaram. During the rule of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, the Kingdom of Mysore pursued an expansionist policy against the Marathas, the Nizam and the English and made incursions into the Rayalaseema region.

Madras Presidency[edit]

See caption
Madras Presidency in 1859; North Canara (Uttara Kannada) was transferred to the Bombay Presidency in 1862.

The Northern Circars became part of the British Madras Presidency. The Nizam later ceded five territories (Datta Mandalālu) to the British, which became the Rayalaseema region. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as Hyderabad State, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy. The provinces were governed in a feudal manner, with zamindars in areas such as Kulla and elsewhere in the Godavari acting as lords under the Nizam. The zamindari system was dismantled after independence.

Telugu districts[edit]


  • Vizagapatam
  • Pemmasani clan
  • Ravella clan
  • Yarlagadda rajas
  • Balusu clan
  • Mullapudi clan
  • Adusumilli clan
  • Indriyal Clan of Rajamahendravaram


Post-Independence (1947 CE - present)[edit]

1947 CE - present
1947 India becomes independent
1953 Andhra State is created by separating Telugu-speaking regions

of the Madras State.

1956 According to the States Reorganization Act, Telangana and

the Andhra State were merged to create Andhra Pradesh.

2014 Telangana State is carved out from Andhra Pradesh.

In 1947, India gained independence from the United Kingdom. Although the Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad resisted, he was forced to cede his state to India in 1948 to form Hyderabad State. When India became independent, Telugu-speaking people (Urdu is spoken in some parts of Hyderabad and a few other districts of Hyderabad State) were distributed in 22 districts: nine in Hyderabad State, 12 in the Madras Presidency and one in French-controlled Yanam. In 1953 Andhra State was created from part of the Madras Presidency, the first state in India formed on a linguistic basis. In 1956, Andhra State was merged with the Telugu-speaking area of Hyderabad State to form the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Madras Manade movement[edit]

Madras possessed Tamil and Telugu cultures. In the early 1920s, Madras Presidency Chief Minister Panagal Raja said that the Cooum River should be the boundary between the Andhra and Tamil regions. In 1928 C. Sankaran Nair submitted a report to the central council explaining why Madras should not belong to the Tamils, but it was decided that the city would remain in the Tamil region. In 1953 Telugu speakers in the former Madras Presidency sought to make Madras the capital of Andhra Pradesh, adopting the slogan Madras manade ("Madras is ours").

Creation of Andhra State[edit]

Activist Potti Sriramulu advocated inclusion of the Telugu-speaking areas of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra in an Andhra state. He conducted a hunger strike until Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru promised to form an Andhra state. On 19 October 1952, when Nehru's promise had not been fulfilled, Sriramulu began fasting again at Maharshi Bulusu Sambamurthy's Madras home. The Andhra Congress committee disapproved of Sriramulu's hunger strike, but his action became widely known. He died shortly after midnight on 15 December 1952 at 126 Royapettah High Road, Mylapore, Madras, and the house has been preserved.

During Sriramulu's funeral procession, mourners praised his sacrifice. When the procession reached Mount Road, thousands of people joined it and raised banners hailing Sriramulu. Later, they began destroying public property. The news spread quickly, and seven people were killed by police gunfire in Anakapalle and Vijayawada. The unrest continued for several days.

On 19 December 1952, Prime Minister Nehru announced the formation of a separate state for the Telugu-speaking people of the Madras Presidency. On 1 October 1953, eleven districts in the Telugu-speaking portion of Madras State (Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema) voted to become Andhra State, with Kurnool as their capital. Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu became chief minister of the new Telugu state.

Merger of Hyderabad and Andhra States[edit]

See caption
Map of India, with the Telangana region highlighted in red

In December 1953, the States Reorganisation Commission convened to prepare for the creation of states along linguistic lines.[40] Due to public demand, the commission recommended abolishing Hyderabad State and merging its Marathi-speaking region into Bombay State and its Kannada-speaking region into Mysore State.

The States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) discussed a merger of the Telugu-speaking Telangana region of Hyderabad State and Andhra State. According to Paragraph 374 of the report, "The creation of Vishalandhra is an ideal to which numerous individuals and public bodies, both in Andhra and Telangana, have been passionately attached over a long period of time, and unless there are strong reasons to the contrary, this sentiment is entitled to consideration". About Telangana, paragraph 378 reads: "One of the principal causes of opposition of Vishalandhra also seems to be the apprehension felt by the educationally backward people of Telangana that they may be swamped and exploited by the more advanced people of the coastal areas". In its analysis, the SRC opposed an immediate merger. Paragraph 386 reads, "After taking all these factors into consideration we have come to the conclusion that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana, if for the present, the Telangana area is to constitute 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 a two thirds majority the legislature of the residuary Hyderabad State expresses itself in favor of such unification". The central government, led by Nehru, merged Andhra State and Telangana to form Andhra Pradesh on 1 November 1956 after ensuring safeguards to Telangana in the form of a gentleman's agreement.

=== Telangana movement ===, 1972 and 2009. On 9 December 2009, the Government of India announced the formation of a Telangana state. Protests in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions took place immediately after the announcement, and on 23 December 2009 the decision was indefinitely deferred. The Telangana movement for statehood continued, with suicides, strikes and protests.[41][42]

Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh[edit]

Detail map of Telangana (inland) and Andhra Pradesh (on the coast), with an inset map of India
Telangana (in white) and Andhra Pradesh (in yellow) after bifurcation

On 30 July 2013, the Congress Working Committee unanimously approved a resolution recommending the formation of a Telangana state. In February 2014, a bill was placed before Parliament.[43] The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 was passed, allowing the formation of a Telangana state of ten districts from north-western Andhra Pradesh.[44] The bill received the assent of the president, and was published in The Gazette of India on 1 March.[45] The state of Telangana was officially formed on 2 June 2014.



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  • Rao, P. Raghunatha (1994), History And Culture Of Andhra Pradesh: From The Earliest Times To The Present Day, Sterling Publishers, ISBN 81-207-1719-8
  • Sadasivan, Balaji (2011), The Dancing Girl: A History of Early India, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ISBN 9789814311670
  • Sharma, R. K. (1980), The Kalachuris and their times, Sundeep Prakashan
  • Gade, Jayaprakash Narayana (2016), Water Resources and Tourism Promotion in Telangana State, Zenon Academic Publishing, ISBN 9385886045
  • Ninan, M. M. (2008), Madathil Mammen Ninan, Madathil Mammen Ninan, ISBN 1438228201

External links[edit]