- History of Andhra Pradesh
The history of
Andhra Pradeshcan 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
Andhracan 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).
There are several references about an "Andhra" kingdom and a people called "Andhras" in the
Sanskrit epics Mahabharataand Ramayana, Puranas, and Buddhist Jataka Tales. Rukminifrom the Mahabharatahailed from Vidarbha, the Kingdom stretching through the Deccan Plateau, around the Vindhyaranges which includes the present day Andhra, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradeshand Karnatakaregions, including the little known, now apparently submerged archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. Ramain his exile is said to have lived in the forests around the present day Bhadrachalamin Andhra Pradesh.
Evidence for a flourishing kingdom in coastal
Andhra Pradeshrelates to the visit of Buddha to Amaravatiin the Gunturdistrict. Lord Buddha preached at Dharanikota/Dhanyakatakam and conducted Kalachakraceremony, which takes the antiquity of Amaravatiback 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 Dharanikotais 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
Mauryanage, 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] . Buddhistbooks reveal that Andhras established their kingdoms in the GodavariValley at that time. Asokareferred in his 13th rock edict (232 BC) that Andhra was under his rule.
The continuous political and cultural accounts of
Andhra Pradeshbegins with the fall of the Mauryan Empire. It commences with the rise of the Satavahanas as a political power. According to Matsya Puranathere 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. Buddhismflourished 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
Satavahanaempire 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, Kalingaand others ruled over parts of Andhra with small kingdoms. Most important among these small dynasties was the Ikshvaku. Nagarjuna Kondawas their capital and they patronised Buddhism, though they followed the vedic ritualism. Sanskritmostly replaced Prakrit as the language of the inscriptions.
Andhra Ikshvakus ( Sanskritइक्श्वाकू) were one of the earliest dynasties of Andhra Pradesh. They ruled the eastern Andhra country along the Krishna riverduring 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 Hinduepics. Ramaof Ramayana, who is considered as the incarnation of Vishnubelonged to the line of Ikshvaku. According to Hinduepics, Ikshvaku, who was the Manuand father of Kukshi, was the founder of the Suryavanshidynasty, reigning from Ayodhyaat 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
Satavahanasin the Krishna rivervalley. Andhra Ikshvakus have left inscriptions at Nagarjunakonda, Jaggayyapeta, Amaravatiand Bhattiprolu. Although the Ikshvaku rulers practiced the Vedic religion, they were also great sponsors of Buddhism. Buddhismwas 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 Indiahad 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. Buddhistliterature refers to the penetration of the Ikshvakus into South Indiaand declares that they founded the Asmaka, Mulaka and other principalities. These Kshatriyas settled down in the south and merged with the races there. Jainliterature 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 Vengiin 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 Nagarjunakondavalley, Jaggayyapetaand 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
Satavahanasand 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 Vajapeyasacrifices. 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
Sakafamily of Ujjainand 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 Mahayanatendencies.
*Rudrapurushadatta was the name of an Ikshvaku ruler found in inscriptions from Gurajala in
Gunturdistrict 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 Ikshvakuperiod record either the construction of the BuddhistViharas 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
Buddhismand 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, Nagarjunakondaand 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 Krishnaand the Godavari.
Brihatpalayana(3rd century AD). Ruled Northern Andhra with Kodur in Krishna Districtas 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 Vengias 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 Indiankingdom. The Pallavas, feudatories of Andhra Satavahanas, became independent after the decline of that dynastyin Amaravati. Initially they ruled southern Andhra Pradesh, also known as Palnadu, situated in the Gunturdistrict. Later they extended their rule to Tamilregions and established their capital at Kanchipuramaround the 4th century CE. They rose in power during the reign of Mahendravarman I( 571– 630CE) and Narasimhavarman I(630 – 668CE) 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
Chalukyasof Badamiin the north and the Tamil kingdoms of Chola and Pandyasin the south and were finally defeated by the Cholakings 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 Tsangvisited Kanchipuramduring Pallava rule and extolled their benign rule.
Vishnukundinas were a dynasty that ruled over the eastern Deccanin South Indiacomprising of the area covered by modern day Andhra Pradeshand 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
Udaipurand is of the Sisodiabranch 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 districtand 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 Amaravatiand 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
Golkondadynasty and was made Subahdarof 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 ( Sanskritfor 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 Kingdomin 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 Visakhapatnamregion.
Chedi kingdom was one among the many kingdoms ruled during early periods by Paurava kings and later by
Yadavkings in the central and western India. It falls roughly in the Bundelkhanddivision 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 Narmadain 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
*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, Konkanand 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
Rashtrakutasby 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 ( Amalapuramand 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
Peddapurammay 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.
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 Prakritand Sanskrit. As a result, Andhra achieved an identity and a distinction of its own.
The Eastern Chalukyas were a branch of the
Chalukyasof Badami. Pulakesin IIconquered 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 Srikakulamin the north and Nellorein 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 Mahabharatawas translated partly by the court poet Nannayaunder the patronage of the then Eastern Chalukya King Rajaraja Narendra. Throughout this period and up to the 11th century, Telugulanguage 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 scriptfrom the "old Telugu" script started around 11th centuryand 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 VIof the Kalyani Chalukya dynasty and the victory of Hoysalaking 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 dynastyand the Yadavas.
Chalukya Choladynasty 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
Kakatiyadynasty. 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 Warangalto 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.
Kakatiyadynasty 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 Nayakswho rebelled and liberated Telugu land from the rule of Delhi. Although short lived the Musunuri Nayaksrule 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 Kakatiyaempire in 1370 CE, the Vijayanagarempire, considered the last great Hinduand Teluguempire, swept across the Telugu land and the present day Karnataka(1336 - 1450 CE). Small parts of Teluguregion were under Reddys of Kondavidu and Rajahmundryand 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] .
The short rule of
Musunuri Nayakswas 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 HinduDharma. A valiant Nayak hailing from Vengi(in modern-day West Godavaridistrict) 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 Warangalby 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. Hariharaand Bukkawho were captured at Warangalby Ulugh Khan and converted to Islamwere sent by the Sultan to suppress the rebellion of the Hoysalaking. The brothers, however, switched sides and went on to establish VijayanagarKingdom. The Sultan was enraged and personally led a huge army southward. He reached Warangalbut had to make a hasty retreat. Historians opined that a great epidemicprevalent 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 Telanganaincluding Bidar. He sought the help of the Hoysalaking in this endeavour. Kaapaya succeeded in capturing the Warangalfort and liberating Telanganafrom the invaders. The flag of Andhradesa was again unfurled on the Warangalfort. 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 Srikakulamto Bidar and Siripur to Kanchi.
A revolt by a group of Muslim nobles against
Muhammad bin Tughluqthat began in Devagiriin 1345 culminated in the foundation of the Bahmani Sultanateby Hasan Gangu. He assumed the name Alauddin Bahman Shah and moved his capital to the more centrally located Gulbargain 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 Bahmaniking 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. Telanganawas 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 Tughluqin 1351 emboldened Alauddin to achieve his goal of expanding his kingdom in the Deccan. He marched into Telanganain 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 Gulbargaand 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 Vijayanagarking Bukka Rayaactively 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 Rayahe planned a great expedition against the Bahmanis. Mohammed Shah got enraged and invaded Telanganaagain. Golcondaand Warangalwere subdued. Bukka Rayadied during this time. Lack of support from Vijayanagarand jealous designs of Devarakonda and Rachakonda Nayaks contributed to the fall of Warangal. Historians feel that Rachakonda Nayaks surreptitiously helped Bahmaniking. Mohammed Shah spent two years in Telanganaand wiped out all remnants of rebellion. Golcondawas chosen as the border between the Bahmaniand Warangalkingdoms in 1365. Kaapaneeduhad 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 Warangalruled 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 Nayaksare unparalleled in the history of Telugu land.
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 ( Bhongirin Telanganaregion). They ruled a small coastal area of Andhra Pradeshfrom 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 Velamachiefs and Gajapathis of Orissa. In later years, the Reddys had to be content as vassals of Golconda Muslimkings.
Prolaya Vema Reddy, the first king of the
Reddy dynastymade 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.
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 Kakatiyaempire or as Hoysalacommanders. When Warangalfell in 1323, the two brothers were captured, taken to Delhi and converted to Islam. They were sent to the Deccan as governors of Kampiliby 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 IIIof Dwarasamudra. Later, the brothers reconverted to Hinduismunder the influence of the sage Vidyaranyaand 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 empirereached its peak under king Krishnadevarayain the early part of 16th century. Telugu literature reached new heights during this time. Fine Vijayanagar monuments were built across South India including Lepakshi, Tirupathiand Sri Kalahastiin Andhra Pradesh. The largest and most famous ensemble of Vijayanagara monuments are at Hampiin modern Karnataka.
In 1323 the Delhi
SultanGhiaz-ud-din Tughlaqsent 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 Bahmanikingdom, was established in south India by Alla-ud-din Hasan Ganguas 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 Shahikingdoms. Of these, it was the Qutb Shahi dynasty that played a significant and notable role in the history of Telugu land.
Qutb Shahidynasty 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 Telanganain 1496. He declared independence after the death of his patron king, Mahmud Shah, in 1518. Aurangazeb, the Mughal emperor, in 1687 invaded Golcondaand 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 Englandand the Compagnie des Indes Orientalesof France.
Beginning of Colonial era
1859. North Canara ( Uttara Kannada) was transferred to Bombay Presidencyin 1862.] In 1753, a firman of Asif ad-Dawlah Mir Ali Salabat Jang, Subedarof Deccan conceded to General Bussy the paraganas of Chicacole, Ellore, Rajahmundryetc. with an annual revenue RS.2, 00,000 for the maintenance of the French troops in the Subahin recognition of the help of these Circars amounted up to 10 lakhs of Rupees per year. Bussy helped Salabat Jangto be the Subedarof Deccan. The agreement made between the French and Salabat Jangin Aurangabad bears the signature of Said Loukshur, Minister of Salabat Jang. Yanam acquired considerable importance during the occupation of the Northern Circarsby the French.
Another important event in the history was the war between the French and the English fought at Chandurthi (now is in
Gollaprolumandal] in East Godavari district) in 1758in which the French were defeated by the combined armies of British and Maharaja Ananda Gajapathi Raju-2 of Vizianagram. Salabat Jangmade a treaty with British and gave the Northern Circarsunder a "firman" to the English. Later Nizamrebelled against the English. A second treaty was the result of war and Northern Circarsremained permanently under the control of the British. After 1760the French lost hold in South India, especially on Northern Circars. In 1765Lord Robert Clive, the then existing Chiefand Council at Vizagapatamobtained from the Mughal emperor Shah Alama grant of the five Circars. In 1792 the British got the complete supremacy, when they defeated Maharaja Vijaya Rama Gajapathi Raju of Vizianagaram.
Northern Circarsbecame part of the British Madras Presidency. Eventually that region emerged as Coastal Andhraregion. Later the Nizam had ceded 5 territories (Datta Madalālu) to British which eventually emerged as Rayalaseemaregion. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as the Princely stateof Hyderabad, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy.
The provinces were at the time governed in a
feudalmanner, 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, Vijayanagaramand Visakhapatnamdistricts)
*Godavari (later East Godavari district)
Guntur, Krishnaand West GodavariDistricts)
The Andhras (or Telugu) were at the forefront of Indian nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
India became independent from the
United Kingdomin 1947. The Muslim Nizam of Hyderabadwanted to retain his independence from India, he was forced accede his kingdom to India in 1948as the Hyderabad State. When India became independent, the Telugu-speaking people (although Urduis 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 MadrasPresidency 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 Pondicherryin 1963.seealso|Telengana Rebellion
Madras Manade movement
However, in 1953, Telugu speakers of
Madras Presidencywanted Madrasas 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 Presidencyin the early 1920s said that the Cooum Rivershould be kept as a boundary, giving the northern portion to the Andhras and the southern portion to the Tamils. In 1928, Sir C. Sankaran Nairsent a report to the Central Council discussing why Madrasdoes not belong to the Tamils. But finally it was decided that Madraswould remain in the Tamil region. According to the JPC report ( Jawahar Lal Nehru, Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya, C. Rajagopalachari) " Telugu peopleshould leave Madras for Tamils if they want a new state".
Creation of Andhra State
In an effort to protect the interests of the
Telugu peopleof Madras state, Amarajeevi Potti Sriramuluattempted to force the Madras Presidencygovernment to listen to public demands for the separation of Telugu speaking districts (Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra) from Madras Presidencyto form the Andhra state. He went on a lengthy fast, and only stopped when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehrupromised 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 Madrason 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 Sriramuludied 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, Ongoleand Nellore. Seven people were killed in police firing in Anakapalleand Vijayawada. The popular agitation continued for three to four days disrupting normal life in Madrasand Andhra regions. On 19 December1952, the Prime Minister of the country Jawaharlal Nehrumade an announcement about formation of a separate state for Telugu speaking people of Madras Presidency.
House no. 126, Royapettah high road,
Mylapore, Madrasis the address of the house where Potti Sriramuludied 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 Kurnoolas the capital. Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulubecame first Chief Minister of thus formed Telugu State.
The formation of
linguisticstates 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
November 1, 1956 Andhra State merged with the Telanganaregion 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 movementin 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
Telanganawere 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 Krishnaand Godavari rivers would not benefit Telanganaproportionately 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] )
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
Telanganapeople 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] )
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, Uttaranchalby separating them from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradeshstates 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
TelanganaState. 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 Kashmirand some of the unrest in northeastern India states of Assam, Tripura, Nagalandetc.
("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] )
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