|c. 85 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Other||See Telugu diaspora|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other Dravidian peoples:|
Telugu people (Telugu: తెలుగువాళ్లు, Romanization: Teluguvāḷlu), also rendered as Telugus, are one of the four major and the largest Dravidian ethnolinguistic groups in terms of population native to the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the Yanam district of Puducherry. A significant amount of Telugus also reside in the surrounding Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Odisha, as well in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Telugus, like some other South Asians, are largely descended from a varied mixture of Pre-Dravidian tribes, Dravidian and Indo-Aryan people. The earliest Telugu identity associated with are the Andhras, a tribe from whom the Telugus inherit their ethnonym, who were known to have migrated from the banks of River Yamuna in the North to the banks of Krishna and Godavari in the South-East of the Subcontinent right in the Telugu-heartland postulated to be of Indo-Aryan in speech and culture.
During the boon of Nastika Schools of Buddhism and Jainism in the region, Telugus along with most of India saw reformation of its traditional high society. It is supposed among here where the embryogenesis of Mahayana Buddhism sprung from, which would later go on to become the largest Buddhist tradition in the World.
Telangani, another term referring to a Telugu or a resident in the land inhabited by Telugus was coined during the 14th century CE, which ultimately derives from the Sanskrit "Trilinga" signifying the three lingas that are positioned in a Tri-angle across the Telugu-land. Although the present-day states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, although they share the same meaning.
The Telugu people and other South Asian ethnic groups are of primarily indigenous South Asian (AASI) ancestry. Indigenous South Asians (AASI) form their own genetic lineage, not closely related to populations outside of South Asia.
The AASI originated within South Asia and were genetically isolated from other populations more than 45,000 years BCe. Indigenous South Asian (AASI) ancestry forms the primary ancestry for modern South Asians (between 50% to 70%), next to recent West-Eurasian and East-Eurasian components. The AASI are however not distantly related to the Andamanese peoples, as proposed before. In contrary, the Andamanese (Onge) are closer to various Oceanic groups and received some geneflow from South Asia and East Asia respectively. AASI-like geneflow towards Aboriginal Australians was also detected (up to 30%) and further supports migration waves from South Asia to Oceania.The Paniya people are, next to the Irula and the Soliga, the best proxy for indigenous South Asian ancestry.
Telugu is a South-Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India, where it is the official language. The oldest inscriptions with Telugu words date to 400 B.C.E found at Bhattiprolu in Guntur district. Other early inscriptions with more refined language were found in Kantamanenivarigudem, Guntupalli in West Godavari district and Gummadidurru and Ghantasala in Krishna district. The earliest inscription completely written in Telugu dates to 575 CE found at Kalamalla village in Kadapa district. The earliest Telugu literature dates to 11th century CE with Nannaya's Andhra Mahabharatam.
In the sixth century BCE, Assaka was one of the Sixteen Mahajanapadas. After the Mauryas, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana were variously ruled by dynasties either ethnically Telugus. 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 Kingdoms ruled by lords. In the late second century CE, the Andhra Ikshvakus ruled the eastern region along the Krishna River. The Vishnukundina Dynasty, Eastern Chalukyas, Kakatiya Dynasty and Reddy dynasty were some of the many Major Telugu Kingdoms and Dynasties Ruling the Region.
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, Eranna, Nannaya, Pothana etc., are the converters of the great Hindu epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagavatha etc.,.
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.
Kuchipudi is a famous Classical Indian dance from Andhra Pradesh.
- Vilasini Natyam
- Perini Shivatandavam
- Oggu Katha
- Burra Katha
- Andhra Natyam
- Telugu Cinema
- Kalankari - The art Kalamkari is pronounced as Kalankari (కలంకారి) in Andhra Pradesh
- Uttareeyam (Uttariya) or Pai Pancha (Angvastram or veil)
- Pancha (Dhoti)
- Jubba (Kurta) The top portion
- Lungi (Casual dress)
Important festivals celebrated by Telugu people include:
- Bhogi, Makara Sankranti, Kanuma in January. (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Maha Sivaratri in February/March. (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Ugadi or the Telugu New Year in March/April. (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Sri Rama Navami celebrated in March/April, 9 days after Ugadi. (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Bonalu celebrated in Ashada masam (July/August). (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Hanuman Jayanti in March/May/June. (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Vaikunta Ekadasi in December /January . (The exact date may vary as per Hindu calendar.)
- Varalakshmi Vratam in August. (The exact date may vary as per Hindu calendar.)
- Krishna Janmashtami in August. (The exact date may vary as per Hindu calendar.)
- Vinayaka Chaviti in August. (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Bathukamma celebrated for nine days during Durga Navratri.
- Dasara in September/October. (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Atla Tadde 3rd day in bright half of Ashviyuja month (falls in September/October in Gregorian calendar). However, the exact date may vary according to the Hindu calendar.
- Deepavali date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Nagula Chaviti in October/November. (The exact date may vary as per the Hindu calendar.)
- Ramadan, Eid Al Adha, Eid Al Fitr, Moharram, Vesak Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas are among the minorities.
Telugu people form the majority speakers in South India with over 75 million speakers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This is followed by 3.7 million in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu making them the second largest language groups in those neighbouring states.
In Tamil Nadu, Telugu people who migrated during the Vijayanagara period have spread across several northern districts and constitute the majority of the population in Chennai city. In Karnataka, Telugu people are predominantly found in the border districts with majority in Bangalore city.
In Maharashtra the Telugu population is over 1.4 million, followed by 0.7 million in Orissa. Other states with significant populations include West Bengal and Chhattisgarh with 200,000 and 150,000 respectively.
Notable Telugu people
- Telugu states
- List of people from Andhra Pradesh
- List of people from Telangana
- Telugu development
- Telugu cuisine
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