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Personalities: Vasantaraya

lakumadevi1
Source: Vasantarajeeya book, via Spandana

Those of you following us on our All-India site, Indic Civilizational Portal, would have seen our article on Vasant Utsav. Well, it just so happens that Andhra had a king who became so identified with the festival, he took his name after it.

The next installment in our Continuing Series on Andhra Personalities is none other than King Kumaragiri Reddi, better known as:  Vasantaraya.

Background

Kumaragiri Reddi (1386-1403 CE) was the son of Anavota I. He succeeded his uncle Anavema after the latter’s highly successful reign as the greatest king of the dynasty. “The Anaparti grant, his earliest extant record, dated in S.1312/1390 A.D., says that he had, by that year, friendly relations with the kings of the north, east, south and west. ” [1, 122] His reign is generally considered to have run from 1386 to 1403,

The family tree of the Reddi dynasty also plays an important part in the fate of the Kingdom. As previously discussed, there were 3 main families that decided its fate: the descendants of Prolaya Vema Reddi, Maacha I, and Kataya Reddi.  Thus we see that “Kumaaragiri’s succession to the throne was not a smooth and peaceful one and that he had to fight for it.” [1,122]

ReddiRajyamGenealogy

The “rival claimants to the throne might have been his cousins, Vema and Maaca, sons of Peda Komati, and grandsons of Maaca I, brother of Prolaya Vema.”[1,123]

Despite being known more as a man of culture and less as a warrior-general, it is said that…

Kumaaragiri fought successful wars with the kings of the west, north and east, that is, probably with Vijayanagar, Raajakonda and Kalinga respectively. [1, 126]

Either way, the meteoric expansion of the Reddi dynasty that occurred under Kataya Vema’s generalship, also led to its later contraction and final division and downfall. The campaigns of this era, therefore, are better attributed to Kataya than Kumaragiri, and should be described under his account, focusing on Vasantaraya today.

Vasantaraya

A man of pleasure, learning, and celebration, Kumaragiri revived the ancient Vasantha Utsavam (spring festival).

There was a great carnival and the King would go to a park specially decorated for Vasant. There would be a pandal for Kama and Rati, Vishnu and Lakshmi, Siva and Sakti, and Sachi and Indra. Perfumes such as camphor, musk, civet, saffron, sandal were used, rosewater was freely sprinkled on people along with water mixed with turmeric. A bamboo water soaker was used (like pichkaris in holi). “The sport included sprinkling and scattering of various powders, coloured and un-coloured, perfumed and non-perfumed, and sandal paste. Camphor pieces and powder were showered on the crowds” [1, 358] People mixed freely and the Reddi kings, especially Karpoora-Vasantharaya, gave it royal grandeur.

He generally left administration to his brother-in-law, Kataya Vema Reddi, to pursue artistic and literary interests.

He was a great lover of music and dance and studied all the old works on dance written by Bharataacaaryas and dance-experts and produced a comprehensive work on that art called Vasantaraajeeya after his own name.  [1,145]

The sanskrit treatise on dance was called Vasantarajeeya as he was called Vasantaraya. A man of art and aesthetics was naturally a great lover of loveliness. He was said to have been enamoured by the narthaki Lakumadevi, who was a stunning beauty. The love story between the two is a touching tragedy, as recounted here, but is nevertheless symbolic of the sacrifice and burdens of ruling a kingdom.

Due to varied attacks from the Bahmanis, Recherlas, and Vijayanagara Emperors, Kumaragiri had many threats to face.  Kumaragiri eventually elevated Kataya Vema to generalissimo.

They were simultaneously attacked by the Gajapatis who were defeated outside of Viharanagari or Kridaad. Vijayanagara also attacked and occupied a portion of the south. Kumaragiri also had to face a rebellion by the Kandukuru branch, and prince Komati Reddi, son of Maacha I occupied territories as far as Tenali in Guntur district. [1, 148]

An invasion by the Bahmanis, under Firuz Shah, threatened the Reddi kingdom in 1398 C.E. “Gajaraavu Tippaa Naayaka, a distinguished noble of the kingdom, appears to have defeated the muslims on the plain outside the town of Kambamumetta and driven them back.” [1,147]

A matrimonial alliance was concluded with Vijayanagara, and Kataya Vema was given Harihara Raya’s daughter (Hariharamba) in marriage. This would have ramifications on the Reddi Kingdom in a few years. Kataya Vema would go on to make conquests in the East and expand the dynasty’s direct rule to Rajamahendri.

As mentioned previously, the campaigns to Bengal are better discussed in future articles. Nevertheless, Kumaragiri’s military commanders such as Kataya Vema and Allaya Reddi are said to have taken Vasantaraya’s banner to central and eastern India. Another name that bears mention is Ariyeti Annamantri (from the family of Musunuri fame). He was appointed governor of the fort of Bendapudi.

Kumaragiri’s only son and viceroy at Rajamahendravaram, Anavota II, died prematurely, some time around the year 1395. He therefore appointed his brother-in-law and prime minister Kaataya Vema the Raajamendri Rajya ruler, out of gratitude for recovering southern territories from Vijayanagara. “This step caused considerable discontent in the country and we cannot call Kumaaragiri’s action exactly wise. Kaataya Vema, always had many bitter opponents in the court. Peda Komati Vema and his supporters had always looked askance at his achievements; and their jealousy and resentment at this signal recognition by their king, of this daring rival of theirs must have been impossible to bear.” [1,146]

This led to an internecine dispute within the dynasty, and Pedda Komati Vema took back the throne for the main line of Reddis and drove away Kumaragiri, who took refuge in Kataya Vema’s court at Rajamahendri. This also led to division of the Reddi kingdom, and courts at Rajamahendravaram and Kondaveedu warred with each other. Kumaragiri Vijayam, rather ironically, marks his reign.

Vasantaraya’s rule ended under his viceroy’s protective care. King Kumaragiri passed away in 1402 C.E., with no heirs.

Achievements

HoliHai

While the Reddi Kings traditionally had reputations as warrior-generals and as defenders of Dharma, King Kumaragiri demonstrated the softer power of culture that they also wielded. If Kataya Vema represented the Vaana (bow) of his reign, Kumaragiri represented the Veena (lute).

Perhaps nothing showed this more than the Vasanta Utsava from which Vasantaraya takes his name. Although this title was also attributed to his predecessor, it is Kumaragiri who truly owned it. The enthusiasm with which he celebrated that festival, rightly earned him the title of Vasantaraaya, which was later embellished to Karpoora-Vasantaraaya by the generous quantities of camphor he scattered among people during this festival. [1, 145]

  • Celebrated and Revived the ancient Spring Festival known as Vasant Utsav
  • Well-read Sanskrit scholar and authority on dance and music
  • Composed a respected Sanskrit text on Dance called Vasantarajeeya (now lost).
  • Brought the Reddi Dynasty to new cultural heights, with not only learned Brahmanas but the Aristocracy and the King himself actively leading literary and musical accomplishment
  • Gave patronage to a large circle of cultural exemplars, such as poet Annaya, son of Pinnaya, son of Manuma Durgasuddhi.
  • Presided over the most widespread, successful campaigning of the Reddi Kingdom, with commanders such as Kataya Vema and Allaya Reddi. Under him, Coastal Andhra arms reached as far as Odisha, Bengal and Jharkhand.
  • Led a building programme which beautified Kondaveedu and constructed many structures such as the grha-raja samjhanam, dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.

Legacy

Image result for kumaragiri reddy

Kumaragiri’s rule is recorded in the work Kumaragiri Vijayam. From his brave biruda-rahatta (knights-cavaliers) to his love for Lakumadevi to his Vasantarajeeya to his revival of the Vasant Utsava, Vasantaraya’s reign truly represented the noon-tide of the Reddi Rajyam: Romantic Age of Andhra.

King Kumaragiri was freed from burden of ruling & became a lover of music & arts. He was an artist (kalaavan) in every sense. “Vasantaraaya (another name of Kumaaragiri) constructed many pleasure houses (leelagrhaan) with gold and precious stones, a lofty palatial mansion, termed grharaaja-prasada with pinnacles (prasaadam-unnata-sikha griharaaja-samjnam), pleasure-ponds (kreedaasaraamsi) and pleasure-chariots (keli-radhaan), and sported with his beloved women (priyaabhih).” [1,449]

Despite the cultural accomplishment of Vasantaraya, his reign shows the dangers of a king completely outsourcing administrative responsibility to his Prime Minister and other officials. Kataya Vema was a skilled general and brave warrior, but his own ambition for power led to the break up of the Reddi kingdom. The Antar-yuddham or Civil War in which it was plunged in the later part of King Kumaragiri’s reign demonstrated this danger.

The Reddi kingdom split up in 1402 CE, with Pedda Komati Vema taking the throne of Kondaveedu from Kumaragiri, who fled to Rajamahendri. While Kumaragiri nominally ruled, it was Kataya Vema who was the real power behind the throne. It was thus natural that after Kumaragiri’s passing, that Kataya Vema would formalise his bid for power. Despite his loyalty to Kumaragiri, once the way was clear, he would make his own claim to the throne, and the warring of the Reddi kingdoms made the downfall of both inevitable.

In the succeeding decades, Vijayanagara would swallow up Kondaveedu and the Gangas of Odisha would take over Rajamahendravaram. Kumaragiri may not be directly to blame for this outcome, but his reign shows the danger of a king retiring completely from administration and becoming too dependent on ministers, and especially, prime ministers.

Nevertheless, Kumaragiri will remain Vasantaraya in the hearts of Andhras, not only for reviving this great festival, with which he is identified, but for truly making the Reddi Rajyam the Romantic Age of Andhra.

References:

  1. M.Somasekhara Sarma. History of the Reddi Kingdoms.Delhi:Facsimile Publ. 2015.
  2. Rao, P.R. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh: From the earliest times to 1991. Delhi: Sterling. 1994
  3. http://gloriousindianpast.blogspot.com/2016/01/lakuma-devi.html
  4. Prasad, Durga. History of the Andhras. P.G. Publishers. 1988

Personalities: Anavema Reddi

Diviseema

The next great King of the Reddi Kingdom was in fact the greatest King of the Dynasty. Though most people don’t know much about him today, likely due to the reputation of the royal founder, this Reddi ruler revived the reputation of the Rajyam and greatly expanded it.  The next great Andhra Personality in our Continuing Series is Anavema Reddi.

Before we review his biography, however, it is important to understand the context of his reign.

Background

Anavota (Cir.1353 CE to Cir.1364 CE)

The next ruler after Prolaya Vema was Anavota Reddi —sometimes written as ‘Anapotha’, who ruled from 1353 to 1364. After succeeding his father as King, he shifted the capital from Addanki to Kondaveedu, the city which later became legendary for its “Kondaveeti Raja”. He did this to  protect the kingdom from Vijayanagara expansion. Attacked on all sides (Gangas from the North, Recharlas & Bahmani Alliance from the West, and Vijayanagara from the South, Anavota’s main achievement was keeping the Reddi kingdom together. His minister Mallaya Vema inflicted a crushing defeat on the Bahmanis, who had desecrated the temple of Dhanyavati (after they did the same at Pillalamarri in Telangana). After the victory, Reddi reconsecrated Lord Amaresvara at the Amaravati.

Anavota was highly successful in his Kalinga campaign, and is thought to have gone to the heart of Odisha (it is not known how strong his sway was, but it likely did not last long). On his return he gave a gift of bells to Lord Bhimesvara of Daakshaaram. He was called Veer-Anavota and also improved the port facilities at Motupalli. He gave many agraharas to Brahmanas, and much charity to the populace in general, and established feeding houses and other measures for the welfare of the people. “He strove hard to establish order in the country and to revive the dharma of the land“.[3, 105]

Nevertheless, because Anavota’s son Kumaragiri was still a minor, the latter’s uncle Anavema Reddi, succeeded to the throne. He is considered the greatest King of the Reddi Rajyam.

Anavema (Cir. 1364 CE to Cir.1386 CE)

ReddiRajyamGenealogy

 

Anavema Reddi was the third son of Prolaya Vema. The middle son was Anamacha (who is said to have died young). As such, Anavota’s brother took the throne and revived Reddi Rajyam’s fortunes.

The first thing Anavema did was consolidate his alliances. His brother-in-law Bhimadeva Choda was locked in fratricidal conflict with Choda brother Annadeva. The Reddi king’s first aim was to restore Bhimadeva to Nidadavolu. The need for this was further compounded by pressure in the south from Vijayanagara, so Anavema turned north. He first invested and took the island fortress of Divi. He then followed this up by conquering Niravadyapuri (Nidadavolu), Rajamahendri (Rajahmundry), Pithapuram, and Simhachalam from the Gangas of Odisha. He fought many battles with the Recherla Rachakonda Rajas.

The Wazirabad (Vadapalli) inscription dated to Saka 1299 records one battle in particular between the Recerlas and the Reddis. “This record proves that Anavema scored a decisive victory over the Recerla chiefs, and annexed to the Kondaveedu kingdom, at least a portion of the dominion lying to the north of the Krsna.” [3, 119]. The Boorugugadda inscription in Nalgonda provides further evidence.

Despite his military exploits and strategic acumen, Anavema was also a man of culture. He would be gifted many titles, including one that would later become synonymous with his successor.

Achievements

300px-Krishna_River_Boat_travel_map
The Breaker of Divi

Of all the titles of Anavema in this record, the first that claims our attention is Deevi-durga-vibhaala, the breaker of the fort of Deevi, or Dveepa.”[3, 113]

Anavema was first and foremost a conqueror. His achievements in not only consolidating but expanding the kingdom extended the dynasty’s glory for several generations.

He was called Raajya-ramaaramanee-svarayamvara-labdha-naayaka-saubhaagya, which means one who had the good fortune to be chosen king by the sweet goddess of the state. Thus, he likely was the popular choice of the nobles of the kingdom to restore the fortunes of the Reddi Rajyam. [3, 110]

He protected the Reddi kingdom and re-established its power at a critical juncture. In his Srisailam record, he was referred to as “Saagara-Gautamee-salila-sangama-sakala-jaladurga-saadhana-Raghuraama (a Raghuraama in subduing all the jaladurgas situated at the confluence of the sea and the waters of the Gautamee). Anavema was thus a successull besieger having taken all these water-forts. [3,112]

He was a skilled diplomat, as “Anavema secured, in this campaign, the co-operation of some of the Reddi nobles like Kaataya Reddi II and Maaraya Reddi II, sons of Maaraya I and grandsons of Kaataya I, and Doddaa Reddi and his brothers of the Duvuri family, some of whom were his close relatives. Of these Kaataya Reddi II had the significant title of jaladurgamalla because of his special skill in reducing the jaladurgas.”[3,116] This facilitated Anavema’s conquest of Rajamahendravaram.

Anavema defeated the pillaging and fierce Manne tribal chiefs who made predatory raids on their frontiers. He put and end to their expeditions.

His eastern campaign ended in 1375, and he took the title Simhaachalaadi-Vindhyapaada-pratishtaapita-keerti-stambha, which means one who planted pillars of fame at Simhachalam and other places at the foot of the Vindhyas. [3, 117]

The Borrugugadda inscription marks the western limits of the Reddi kingdom, and signifies the conquests Anavema made in the Recherla territory in Telangana. He is said to have avenged his brother and defeated them. Thus, the Reddi kingdom was enhanced during his reign.

Anavema is said to have taken delight in the company of great poets, and revived many cultural celebrations (later taken to their peak by his successors).

He gave patronage to many learned men and is praised by Vennelakanti Surana (author of Vishnu Puranam) for his generosity and cultivation of learning. His Birudas (cavaliers/knights) protected the nobles of the Panta Reddi clan, and his Naya (political wisdom) protected his people.

Finally, he like his brother Anavota, granted a gift of bells. These gaja-ghantaa were given to the five holy kshetras (panchaaraamas), which are Amaraamaa (Amaravati), Daakshaarama, Ksheeraaraama (Palakol), Kumaaraama (Saamalkot, and Bheemaraama (Gudipudi).

He realised the dreams of his father to bring all of coastal Andhra under one sceptre. His accomplishments are found in the Catu Sanskrit verse which states that:

people got good food, fine clothes, musk, gold & chowries while he was the king of the land“. [3,121]

Legacy

King Anavema was the greatest of the Reddi rulers of Kondaveedu. He came to the throne by the choice of the ministers and nobles of the state at a time when its fortune was at a low ebb. He assumed the title mahaneeya-andhra-desa-pattaabhiseka-samvrta-mahaabhaagya, he who had the great good fortune of being crowned king of the glorious Andhra country‘”.[3,120] He repaired the loss sustained by the kingdom prior to his coronation, and enhanced its glory by his conquests. In his time, the power of Kondaveedu reached its zenith. It extended from Sreesailam to the sea, and from Kandakur to Simhaachalam”[3,120]

The importance of King Anavema, therefore, cannot be minimised.

Anavema was a just and righteous ruler…He was famed for his liberality and munificence. He devoted his wealth chiefly for the encouragement of learned men and gloried in their eloquence and scholarship. [3, 121]

The real pity, of course, is that our artists (amateur and professional alike) have no time to celebrate such great historical figures. Anavema and Prolaya Reddi and Prolaya & Kapaya Musunuri before them, deserve to be memorialised in paintings and sculptures (or at the very least sketches). When you forever take inspiration from the foreign, you forget the importance of remembering the native.

Great men, great kings, and great Andhras like Anavema deserved to be remembered, not only for their military and political achievements, but for the culture and language they helped defend and nourish.

References:

  1. P. Ragunadha Rao. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh.Sterling: Delhi.18
  2. Prasad, Durga. History of the Andhras. Don Bosco Press: Guntur. 1988
  3. Malampalli, Somasekhara Sarma. History of the Reddi Kingdoms.Delhi:Facsimile Publ. 2015

Personalities: Prolaya Vema Reddi

ProlyaVemaReddi

Those of you following us on twitter would have read our tweets on the Reddi Kings (storified for you here: Reddi Rajyam — Romantic Age of Andhra). This dynasty of rulers has a special place in the heart of Telugus. It was an era of romance, of great kings feuding, and chivalrous knights clashing, and it truly was an age of romantic poetry.

It was the mighty personality of Prolaya Vema Reddi who made this all possible. The title he took is emblematic of the spirit of Andhra he embodied ‘Mlechchhabdi Kumbhodbhava’ (Agastya to the Ocean of the Mlechchhas)“. He proved a successful successor to the Legacy of Saka-pallava-yavana-nisudhana.

Gautamiputra Satakarni of the Satavahana dynasty would similarly defend Andhra when faced with foreign invasions. Both the rulers of Amaravati and Addanki respectively would preside over a cultural flowering as well. While the Satavahanas would become veritable all-India emperors, the Reddi kings of the coast are notable for a different type of emperor they produced—a Kavi Sarvabhauma named Srinatha. And it all began with Prolaya Vema Reddi, one of our Great Andhra Personalities.

Background

Malampalli Somesekhara Sarma garu provides the following etymology for the Reddis. Noting their erstwhile connection with the Rashtrakutas or Rattas, he writes that the term Desati was a form of Desarattodi. This word is found in the copper grants of the Eastern Chalukya king Ammaraja Vijayaditya VI. Rattodi then became Rattadi, Ratti and Raddi. Desarattodi in turn transformed to Desarattadi, Desaratti and Desatti. [3, 56] Reddi nobles are considered to have come from towns like Simhavikramapuri (Nellore), Duvooru, and Gandavaram.

During the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty, Reddis became administrators and even mahasamantas, governing tracts of the Telugu desa. The Kondaveeti Dandakavile and the kaifiyat intimate that Donti was the family name of this particular clan of Reddis, or atleast one of its affiliate branches. They are said to have found a treasure and then migrated to Hanumakonda, the preceding capital of the Kakatiyas.[3, 53] Elsewhere, specifically in the Kasikhandam and Bhimesvara Puranam of Srinatha, we find the surname Desati attached to them. Nevertheless, this family  became influential in the united Andhra desa.

One of the 77 Nayaks of Mahamandalesvara Prataparudra Kakatiya II was Prolaya Reddi (his wife was Annemamba). Prolaya’s father Vema was the Vamsakarta and his grandfather was Kaamabhupa. [3, 48 ] Members of this clan were also noted for their service under the Telugu Chodas of Nellore. This connection would become important when the dynasty rose to power. But it is his son who would become the most famous of the dynasty: Prolaya Vema Reddi, whose leadership ran from 1325-1353.

ReddiRajyamGenealogy
[4, 215]
The Fall of Warangal in 1323 led to terrible consequences. Not only did the Kakatiya dynasty end, but all of united Andhra desa, from Telangana to Rayalaseema to Kosta suffered under the depredations of the Delhi Turks. The Tughluqs committed terrible atrocities, creating the conditions for the successful Andhra Liberation War. While Prolaya Vema Reddi may have revolted as early as 1325, in 1326, a council of Nayaks was convened, and Musunuri Prola Nayaka led the cause, with his cousin Kapaya successfully retaking Warangal just a few short years following its fall. After Andhradesadeesvara, Musunuri Kapaneedu, died in battle at Bhimesvaram, Reddi asserted independence and established his rule in Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, and Kurnool. Addanki (Ongole District) became his capital, and his kingdom soon stretched from Srisailam and Ahobilam to the borders of Tirupati.

It came into existence as the custodian of Hindu dharma and culture, and to revive the old Vedic traditions and ritual which suffered a death blow and became almost extinct under an alien rule. [3]

Prolaya Vema was the son of Prolaya Reddi, and was among the 75 subordinates of Musunuri Prola and Kapaneedu (Krishna), who successively served as Overlords of the Andhra Nayak Confederacy. Prolaya Vema as the middle of five brothers. His younger brother Malla became ruler of the subordinate branch at Kandakooru. This branch would successfully face off against Alauddin Bahman Shah, who invaded shortly after his reign began. [3, 77]

Malla Reddi, the commander of the Reddi forces drove them away after inflicting a severe defeat on the Bahmani Sultan, Ala-ud-din, and protected the Reddi kingdom. [3, 78]

Malla would go on to conquer the great Kakatiya Port of Motupalli. Prolaya Vema would strengthen his position by giving his daughter in marriage to Choda Bhima (son of Bhaktiraja.”The Reddis regarded themselves as masters of the south-eastern portion of the Kakatiya dominion extending from Srisailam in the Nandikotkur taluk of Kurnool district to the east coast.” [3, 78]This dynasty controlled 84 forts, including the legendary Kondaveedu, along with Vinukonda, Kondapalli, Bellamkonda, and Dharanikota. They also had a famous rivalry with the Recharlas of Rachakonda, traitors of Andhra who betrayed the Musunuri Nayaks and allied with the Bahmanis. While some claim the fall of Krishna Nayak’s prestige led to the Nayaks of Korukonda and the Reddis to declare sovereignty, records from the Reddi kingdom itself tell a different story.

The Kaluvaceru grant of Anitalli, dated Saka 1345 (1423 A.D.) gives a different account of Vema’s assumption of independent rule. It says that Vema, originally one of the seventy five subordinate chiefs of Kapaya Nayaka, began to rule the territory independently only after the death of his overlord. [3, 80]

In any event, the leader of the Panta Reddi clan would thus go on to establish a powerful kingdom that would culturally revive the Andhras of the Coast, and protect them from Turk depredations for a century.

Achievements

A staunch Hindu devoted to Dharma, Prolaya Vema patronised the Hindu religion as well as the Telugu language. After liberating coastal Andhra from the criminal regime of the Tughluq Turks, he restored Agraharas to Brahmanas and re-consecrated Temples desecrated by the Delhi sultans. Prolaya’s patronage extended to the famous Errana (Erra Pragada) who finally completed that masterpiece of Telugu literature, Andhra Mahabharatamu.

A dutiful and considerate ruler, Prolaya was also known for planting trees on the edges of roads and digging wells for the benefit of journeymen.

Kondaveedu

  • Revolted against Delhi Turks. Became one of the Commanders who liberated Andhra
  • Founded the Reddi Kingdom
  • Built or renovated 84 forts according to tradition
  • Constructed the great Fortress of Kondaveedu, which would later serve as capital
  • Gave 44 Agraharas to Brahmins who had been dispossessed by Tughluq Turks
  • Built temples and constructed tanks and replenished treasuries
  • Set up feeding houses and drinking water sheds.
  • He also planted numerous flower and fruit gardens for the public.

Legacy

ReddyRajyam

The Panta clan of Reddis would set up and rule three different kingdoms at Kondaveedu, Rajamahendravaram, and Kandookuru. There were three main families, with Prolaya Vema’s being the senior one, but Allaya Reddi’s (Donti family) and Kataya Vema Reddi‘s also being influential. These would all inter-marry, along with the Suryavamsa Kshatriya family of Choda Bhaktiraja (relations of the once Telugu Choda Kings of Nellore).

Vema ruled his new principality very ably and justly. He strove hard to relieve the brahman and the peasant from their miserable plight and to give them protection and every facility to follow their own pursuits and professions, unmolested by foreign aggression and internal disorders. He thereby rightly earned the title dharmapratishtanaguru, the revered that established the dharma. [3, 87]

He generously spent his resources to give patronage to brahmanas, as they were repositories of knowledge and custodians of Vedic rites and rituals. He is said to have given as many as 44 agraharas during his reign. Such a notable yajamana was he that he was called anavarata-purohita-krta-somapana, one who cause the purohits to take the Soma juice incessantly. [3, 88]

Interestingly, neither he nor his overlord Musunuri Kapaneedu took the traditional Royal title Mahamandalesvara, as the Kakatiyas Kings did, and as the Vijayanagara Emperors did from the beginning. Prolaya Vema Reddi contented himself with the title Srimathu.

Prolaya Vema I had three sons, Anavota I, Anamaacha, and Anavema and two daughters.  One daughter Doddamba, who married Kata Reddi II, and the other daughter married Choda Bhima, who was the son of Bhaktiraja. Anamaacha appears to have died young.

The celebrated poet Erra Pragada himself sketches an image of his patron, Prolaya Vema. The Court Poet of the first Reddi King wrote in his Harivamsam that the ruler was an expert bow-man and a great warrior. Prolaya Vema was humble and god-fearing, and a disciple of Ghodeyaraya Gangeyadeva.

Ghoderaya Gangayadeva

Members of the Ghoderaya family exercised over the Reddi kings much influence as their gurus throughout their political career.” [3, 65]

As spiritual guides and preceptors, the Ghoderayas  would have encouraged the commitment of the Reddi kings to traditional Hindu Dharma, and to the restoration of the ancient Vedic rites and rituals. Gangayadeva was considered an honest and able administrator, who himself undertook many charitable works. Nevertheless, Prolaya Vema Reddi was very much his own man.

Kondaveeti Kota Srimathu

Kondaveedu-Fort

Perhaps nothing embodied the contributions of Prolaya Vema Reddi more than the great fortress of Kondaveedu. Though Addanki was the first capital, Prolaya Vema showed great strategic foresight in recognising the need for strong fortifications from which to resist the murderous attacks of the cavalry archer Turks (Tughluq or Bahmani). Kondaveedu was the stone citadel that would be celebrated by later generations in both story and song. Truly, it was the home of the Kondaveeti Rajas.

Thus, his legacy extends from Addanki to Kondaveedu to Kandukooru to Rajamahendravaram. Coastal Andhra and even parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema saw the force of arms from this Reddi King and his successors. Some accounts assert he successfully campaigned as far as Odisha.

The valuable assistance rendered by his maternal uncles Potaya, Nagaya, and Chittaya, along with that of his brothers, showed the value of family and community unity in forging state unity. [3, 77] Each building block was a force-multiplier to the other (as Shivaji would later show in setting the stage for national unity).

Thus, the legacy of Prolaya Vema Reddi is one that extends from the great Andhra Liberation War, to the establishment of the 100 year Reddi Kingdom of Coastal Andhra, to the Cultural Revival of Andhra. Truly a great personality and a great king.

 

References:

  1. P. Ragunadha Rao. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh.Sterling: Delhi.18
  2. Prasad, Durga. History of the Andhras. Don Bosco Press: Guntur. 1988
  3. Malampalli, Somasekhara Sarma. History of the Reddi Kingdoms.Delhi:Facsimile Publ. 2015
  4. Chitnis, Krishnaji Nageshrao. Medieval Indian History. New Delhi: Atlantic Publ. p.215

Kalakada & Andhra’s Great Past

The following Post was composed by Spandana garu. You can follow her on Twitter.


Kalakada Temple

Andhra Pradesh is now making its move towards becoming a technology giant, industrial giant, and what not —all these are positive signs to the growth of our newly re-born State. But at the same time, here we should never forget, we are nothing without our identity…and our identity is our culture, our past, our roots. Just a small introspection is needed for us. How well are we treating our monuments, our old temples, old forts (signs of our past)? Penukonda being the second capital of Great Vijayanagara Emperors, how is its present condition…how many actually visit?

Its not about Penukonda alone; it’s similar condition with all our monuments. Hope we realise monuments are not just old walls and buildings, but they are remnants of our ancestors.

#History of #Kalakada (Chittoor District) has an interesting back ground.

Kalakada

1. #Siddavattam was a kingdom in Kadapa District. According to the oral histories of the region, around the 15th century C.E,  there was a king by the name Chandra Sekhar Varma, of the Vydhaba dynasty. He was an honest but strict king. He had a beautiful daughter, Princess Sathyavathi.

2.It so happened on God’s wish that Sathyavathi became pregnant, despite being unmarried. The Raja became harsh and questioned Sathyavathi about her pregnancy, demanding to know who was responsible for her condition. Sathyavathi replied that she was innocent and unaware of the cause. He couldn’t believe  her.  ‘Sathyavathi’ was a great devotee of Lord Siva. She prayed to him to prove her innocence.

3.Being ashamed of his daughter, Chandra Sekhara Varma wanted to get rid of her. As per his strict view, she had committed an unpardonable crime. The King ordered his daughter to cross Seven outskirts of villages by carrying a pot full of toddy on her head (Kallu), under which there was a Cobra.The pot was made  of wet clay. The punishment imposed on his daughter was unfair and humanly impossible, and at any moment, his daughter would die due to Cobra bite. Sathyavathi agreed to her father’s command and started her journey.

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4. The King sent his trusted soldiers along with her. Praying to Lord Siva devoutly, Sathyavathi crossed 7outskirts of villages successfully, and she put down the pot after journeying to an appropriate place. To her astonishment, there was no Toddy (Kallu) in the pot, and instead there was ‘Siva linga’ and a Cobra with its hood on it. The pot disappeared. The Siva Linga is named as “#Kallu #Ghateswar” as it appeared from a pot of toddy (Kallu). It is told that due to her virtue, Sathyavathi turned into a river. Today, there’s a Sangamam (confluence of rivers)with  #Bahuda and #Sathyavathi, where the Siva Linga was installed by Sathyavathi.

5. The local people worshipped Lord Siva and Sathyavathi wholeheartedly. The king came to know the story and repented much for  his foolishness in punishing his innocent daughter. He did namaskaara before ‘Lord Siva’ and asked for forgiveness for this sin. This name of Lord  Siva (‘Kallu-Ghata’) in due  course of time became Kalakada today. Because he fulfilled the wishes of the people, Sadashiva is called “Siddheswara”, which means fulfillment of wishes to those who prayed to Him.

This local legend is considered a real historical story that took place . To this day, people from the 7 outskirt villages come to Kalakada, through the same path by which Sathyavathi travelled, every year and offer their prayers.

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There’s a Pallava period monument in the Town (which is under the Archaeology department). At the same time, the pathetic condition of monuments isn’t hidden as well. Kalakada is not the only place. This wonderful state is blessed abundantly with historical monuments, beautiful architecture, and many old Temples.

Another completely neglected monument, probably a #pallava structure and later improved by #Vijayanagara, is this one. It is a temple with great history. Once a grand structure, it is  now prey for our negligence. Our monuments are in utmost need of care and protection.

Heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh are in really bad state and many monuments are ignored and neglected without a record.

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Loot by thieves in search of treasure in ancient monuments is not new, here is an epic example of it.It is heart wrenching for any heritage lover to see such old monuments in this vulnerable state. Please share this post to the maximum,and let government act and preserve our roots and heritage.

#Heritageisourpride #Heritagemustbepreserved

Location: Location of the Mandal:- #Kalakada Mandal is located on N.H-18,towards North of #Chittoor, which is 90 K.Ms from District head quarters.

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References:

  1. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/13th-century-temple-a-picture-of-neglect/article6795604.ece
  2. http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/110117/hyderabad-thieves-looting-antiques-without-any-fear-of-law.html
  3. http://www.chikalakabp.appr.gov.in/home/-/asset_publisher/QOkpuc6kj83c/content/about-kalakada/pop_up?_101_INSTANCE_QOkpuc6kj83c_viewMode=print
  4. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/200-year-old-temple-cries-for-attention/article16546761.ece

Spandana also runs the GloriousIndianPast and NeglectedMonuments Blogs.

Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal. The Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

ఆంధ్రులు ఎవరు Who are the Andhras?

ఆంధ్రులు ఎవరు? తెలుగు మరియు ఆంగ్లంలో

Continuing our Coverage of Pandit Kota Venkatachalam’s work is an excerpt of his Telugu book on The Andhras, called Andhrulu evaru? (“Who are the Andhras?”). In the previous installment on ACP, we reviewed the preface written by the famous poet Sri Viswanatha Satyanarayana for Pandit Venkatachalam‘s book “The Plot in Indian Chronology”.  We also discussed how there are many, even today, who are corrupting what our traditional texts actual said about the History of Ancient Indians and even the Identity of Andhras.

If the archaeological evidence and even texts have been tampered with by Scientism advocates, how can we scientifically arrive at the truth? That is the value of tradition. It is a one thing to take everything at face value, and it is another thing to study our tradition and then use scientific inquiry to confirm what it says. Rather than 1 or the other, both can be helpful in ensuring the Truth—the Real Truth—is determined.

Here is what an actual Pandit, learned and qualified to interpret our Vedas and Puranas, actually wrote. Sri Kota Venkatachalam’s own English translation is provided below [Emphasis and proofing ours].

The following Post was originally Published at True Indian History on June 21, 2009


§

 ఆంధ్రులు ఎవరు?

 

 సృష్ట్యాదియందు “ఆర్యజాతి” తప్ప వేరుజాతి లేదు. ఆర్యులు భారతవర్ష మంతటను వ్యాపించి నివసించియుండిన కాలములో నాయా దేశభాగములను పరిపాలించిన రాజుల పేరున ఆయా దేశములు పిలువబడినవి. అట్టి దేశములలో నివసించిన ప్రజ లాయాదేశనామములచే పిలువబడ జొచ్చిరి. అట్లు పిలువబడిన పేర్లతో వారే వేరువేరు జాతులుగా గుర్తింపబడి యుండిరి.
ఆర్యులు దేశవ్యాప్తము నొంది నివసించియుండిన పిమ్మట ఒకానొకకాలమున తూర్పుభారతవర్షము “ప్రాచ్యక దేశ” మనిపేరు గలిగి “బలి” యనెడి రాజుచే పరిపాలింపబడుచుండినది. ఆతని కుమారులా దేశమును విభాగించుకొని తమ పేర్లతో నా దేశభాగములకు పేరులుపెట్టి యేలిరి. వారిలో “ఆంధ్రరాజు” పరిపాలించిన భాగమునకు “ఆంధ్రదేశ”మని పేరు పెట్టబడినది. ఆ దేశమున నివసించుచుండిన చాతుర్వర్ణ్య ఆర్య ప్రజలు నా దేశముపేరున “ఆంధ్రులు” అని పిలువబడిరి. ఆర్యజాతియే ఆంధ్రజాతి యని పిలువబడినది. అది వేరుజాతి కాదు. ఆంధ్రుల పుట్టుపూర్వోత్తరములలో సృష్ట్యాదినుండి “ఆంధ్రు”లను పేరు వచ్చువఱకు ఆంధ్రుల చరిత్ర ఆర్యుల చరిత్రయే గాని వేఱు కాదు. అందువలన సృష్ట్యాది లగాయతు ఆంధ్రుల చరిత్ర ఆర్యుల పేరుమీదనే చెప్పబడును. దానిని ఆంధ్రుల చరిత్రగానే తీసికొనవలయునుగాని అది ఆంధ్రుల కంటె వేఱుగాగల ఆర్యుల చరిత్ర యని భ్రమించకూడదు. ‘ఆంధ్రులు’ ఆర్యులేగాని యితరులు కారు. ఒకేజాతివారు ప్రారంభములో “ఆర్యు”లనియు, కొంతకాలమునకు వారే “ఆంధ్రు”లనియు పిలువబడిరి. వారు రెండు జాతులవారు కారు. ఏకజాతీయులైయున్నారు. ఇదేప్రకారము భారతవర్షములోని వివిధ రాష్ట్రములయందు నివసించెడి ఆర్యులును ఆయా దేశనామములచే వివిధ శాఖలుగానై వివిధ జాతులుగా పరిగణింపబడుచుండిరి. కాని ఆసేతుహిమాచలముగా గల ఆర్యులందరు ఏకజాతీయులైన ఆర్యులే యైయున్నారు. ఈవిషయము మనసునందుంచు కొని ఈ గ్రంధమును (కోట వెంకటా చెలం గారి ఆంధ్రుల పుట్టుపూర్వోత్తరములు) చదివిన “ఆంధ్రుల పుట్టుపూర్వోత్తరము” లేవియో వివరముగా సృష్ట్యాదినుండియు తెలియగలవు.
ఆంధ్రుల పుట్టుపూర్వోత్తరములు
ఒక దేశముయొక్క గాని, జాతియొక్క గాని చరిత్ర వ్రాయుటకు ప్రాచీనకాలమునుండి వచ్చు చుండిన సంప్రదాయముగాని  లేక వ్రాతమూలకమైన పూర్వచరిత్రగాని ఆధారముగా నుండవలెను. అట్టిదేమియు లేక కేవలమొక మనుష్యుని యొక్క ఊహలు, కల్పనలు, నమ్మకములు, సంభావ్యతలు మొదలగువానితో వ్రాయబడినది సత్యమైన చరిత్రలు కాజాలవు. అవి కల్పనాకథ లనిపించుకొనును.
ఏదియో యొక వార్తను విని దానిని తనయూహలతోను, కల్పనలతో డను పెంచి ప్రస్తుతము తన యనుభవములో గల యొక విషయమున కదుకుపెట్టి తాను మొదట వినిన వార్త యొక్క యథార్థ చరిత్ర యిదియేయని గ్రంథములల్లి లోకములో ప్రకటించినంతమాత్రమున అది యథార్థ చరిత్ర యనిపించుకొనదు. అది చరిత్రకు ద్రోహము చేయుట యగును. ఇప్పుడు పాశ్చాత్య ప్రాచ్య చరిత్రకారులచే వ్రాయబడిన ఆధునిక భారతదేశ చరిత్రలనున్న వన్నియు వారివారి యూహా కల్పితములై యున్నవి. అందు సత్య మావంతయును కానరాదు.
మానవజాతి మధ్యా సియాయందు పుట్టి భూగోళమంతటను వ్యాపించిన దనెడి వాదము పాశ్చాత్య చరిత్రకారుల యూహాపోహలతో కల్పింపబడినది గాని దానికి పూర్వ చరిత్రాధార మేమియు లేదు. ఒక చరిత్రకారుని యూహ మరియొక చరిత్రకారుని యూహకు ప్రమాణమై తాము ముందుగా నిర్ణయించుకొనిన యొక నిర్ణయమున కనుకూలముగా నుండునట్లు పర్యవసానము తేల్చబడి లోకమున ప్రచారము చేయబడినది. చిరకాలము వినగావినగా అదియే సత్యమైన చరిత్ర యని లోకులు భ్రమించి దాని ననుసరించి చరిత్రలు వ్రాసికొనుచుండిరి. పాశ్చాత్యులచే వ్రాయబడిన అట్టి కల్పితకథలే భారతదేశ చరిత్రకాధారభూతమై తదనుసారముగా నాధునిక చరిత్రలు వ్రాయబడి మనకు పాఠాశాలలలో నేర్పబడుచున్నవి. వీనిని విసర్జించి మనము మనవాఙ్మయాదుల ననుసరించి యథర్థాచరిత్రలనువ్రాసికొనుట అత్యావశ్యకము.
సృష్టిక్రమము
ఇప్పటి సృష్ట్యాదియందు ప్రకృతినుండి స్వాభావికముగా పంచ భూతములును, అందు భూమినుండి ఓషదులును, ఓషధులనుండి సర్వ భూతకోటియు దేవమానవాదివర్గములు క్రమక్రమముగా నుద్భవించినవి. అందు మొదట వచ్చినది ప్రజాపతి. ఇతడు ప్రధమ ఆర్యుడని ఋగ్వేదము 4-26-2-2; 2-11-18 ఋక్కులయందు వినబడుచున్నది. ప్రధమ ఆర్యుడైన స్వాయంభువప్రజాపతి మానవసృష్టిని జేయబూని వసిష్టాదులైన పదిమంది ప్రజాపతులను(వీరికి దేవఋషులని పేరు) సృజించెను. పిమ్మట స్వాయంభువప్రజాపతి భూమి మీద మానవసృష్టిని జేయబూని భారతవర్షమునగల సరస్వతీ, ద్రుషద్వతీనదుల మధ్యస్థనమై భూమియందు ప్రధమమున నివసించి ‘శతరూప’ యను భార్యతో కలిసి ప్రియవ్రత, ఉత్తానపాదులనెడి ఇద్దరు కుమారులను, ఆకూతి, దేవహుతి, ప్రసూతు లనెడి ముగ్గురు కుమార్తెలను కనెను. అతడు ప్రధమమున నివసించిన భూమి “బ్రహ్మావర్త” మని పిలువబడుచున్నది.
బ్రహ్మవర్తదేశము
మానవజాతి మొదట భారతదేశమునే యుత్పత్తిని బొందినది. ఇప్పుడు భారతదేశమునగల యమునానదికి పశ్చిమమున ‘సరస్వతీ’ నదియు, దానికి పశ్చిమమున ‘దృషద్వతి’ యనెడి దాని యుపనదియు నుండెడివి. ఈ సరస్వతీ, దృషద్వతి నదుల మధ్యగల ప్రదేశము ‘ బ్రహ్మవర్తమని ‘ అనాదికాలమునుండియు పిలువబడుచుండెడిది. ‘ బ్రహ్మవర్త ‘ మనగా బ్రహ్మ యను పేరుగల స్వాయంభువ ప్రజాపతి మానవజాతిని భూమి మీద నిలుపుటకు ఆదికాలమున స్థూల దేహధారియై నివసించిన స్థలము.
ప్రతిసృష్టియందును ఆదిమానవుడైన ‘ స్వాయంభువ ‘ ప్రజాపతి స్థూలదేహధారియై మానవసృష్టి నిమిత్త మెచ్చటావర్తమును బొందుచు నివసించుచుండునో అట్టి దేశము ” బ్రహ్మవర్తమని ” అనాదికాలము నుండియు దేవతలచే పిలువబడుచుండినది. ఋగ్వేదమున వినబడిన ” యోనిం దేవకృతం ” (ఋగ్వేదము 3-33-4) దేవతలచే చేయబడిన మానవజాతి జన్మస్థానము అనువాక్యమును మనువు తన మనుస్మృతి యందు ” తం దేవనిర్మితం దేశం ” (అనగా దేవతలచే ఏర్పాటు చేయబడిన ఆప్రదేశము) అనివివరించి దాని హద్దులను కూడ ఇచ్చియున్నాడు. (మను 2-17) తూర్పు – సరస్వతీ నది, దక్షిణము సరస్వతీదృషద్వతీనదుల సంగమస్థలము పడమర దృషద్వతీనది ఉత్తరము హిమాలయపర్వతములలో సరస్వతీ, దృషద్వతీనదుల జన్మస్థలముల వఱకు.
బ్రహ్మర్షి దేశము (ప్రధమవలస)
అట్టి బ్రహ్మవర్త దేశమందు పుట్టి ” ఆర్యులు ” అనబడు మానవజాతి తాము జన్మించిన ” బ్రహ్మవర్త ” దేశము వదిలి దానికి పశ్చిమమున గల ప్రదేశములందు నివసించి దానికి (మను 2-19) బ్రహ్మర్షి దేశమని పేరిడిరి. ఈ వలసలను విశేషముగా మహాతపశ్శాలులైన బ్రహ్మర్షులు నడిపి వారలే వారి శిష్యప్రశిష్యులతో అచ్చట నివసించి యుండుటవలన దానికి బ్రహ్మర్షి దేశమనెడి నామము సార్థకమైనది. ఈ ప్రదేశమున ఇటీవల కురుక్షేత్రము, మత్స్యదేశము, పాంచాలము, శూరసేనము, ఉత్తరమధుర యను పేర్లతో రాష్ట్రము లేర్పడినవి.
మధ్య దేశము (ద్వితీయవలస)
వింధ్యపర్వతము, హిమాలయపర్వతముల మధ్యయందు ప్రయాగకు ( అలహాబాదు ) పడమరగా సరస్వతీనదివరకు గల ప్రదేశమంతయు ” మధ్యదేశము” అని పిలువబడుచుండినట్లు మనువు చెప్పుచున్నడు. (మను 2-21 ) బ్రహ్మఋషిదేశము నిండిన పిమ్మట రెండవ వలసలో వెడలిన ఆర్యసంతానము ఈ మధ్యదేశమున నివసించిరి.
ఆర్యా వర్తము (తృతీయ వలస)
అటుపిమ్మట ఆర్యజాతీయులు మహర్షుల యనుజ్ఞవలన వారి రాజుల నాయకత్వమున మూడవ వలసగా బయలుదేరి వింధ్యహిమాచలములకు మధ్యనుండు ఖాళీప్రదేశ మందంతటను వ్యాపించి స్థిర నివాసము లేర్పరచుకొనిరి. ఆనాటికి భూగోళమంతయు నిర్మానుష్యముగా నుండి యున్నది. భారతవర్షములో గూడ నిప్పుడు మనవిచారణ యందుండిన ఆర్యజాతీయులు తప్ప యితరమానవు లెవ్వరును లేరు.
నాల్గవ, ఐదవ వలసలు
అటుపిమ్మట విదేహమాధవు డనెడి రాజు తన గురుదేవుడైన గౌతమరహూగణుని ప్రేరణమున నానాటికి వృధ్ధినిగాంచుచుండిన ఆర్యజాతీయుల వెంట నిడికొని బ్రహ్మవర్తాది ప్రదేశములనుండి యొక గొప్ప వలసను బయలుదేరదీసి సరస్వతీనదికి తూర్పుగా గంగానదివఱకు బోయి అచ్చటచ్చట ఆర్యనివాసములు నేర్పాటుచేసి యుండిరి కాని అచ్చట ” సదానీరా ” అనెడి యొక నది అడ్డమురాగా ఆవలస నంతటితో నిలిపి అంతవఱకు వచ్చిన పొడుగునను, గ్రామముల, పట్టణముల నిర్మానమొనర్చిరి. సదానీరా నదికావల ప్రదేశము నివాసయోగ్యము కానందున దానిని నివాసయోగ్యముగా చేయుటకు తగిన యేర్పాట్లు చేసి తిరిగి పశ్చిమముగా వెళ్లి గంగా, యమునా, సరస్వతీ, దృషద్వతీ నదులను దాటి ఉపనదులతో గూడిన సింధునదిని దాటి పశ్చిమమున సింధునది కుపనది యగు ‘ కుభా ‘ (అనగా కాబూలు నది ) నదీతీరముల వఱకు తమ వలసలను విస్తరింప జేశి యుండిరి. ఈ వివరములను ఋగ్వేదము, శతపధబ్రాహ్మణము, మనుస్మ్రుతి మొదలగు వానియందు సవిస్తరముగా వివరింపబడి యున్నది.
“ఆర్యాః అత్ర ఆవర్తంతే పునః పున రుద్భవంతి ఇతి ఆర్యావర్తః “. ఆర్యులు లెచ్చట పుట్టి, పెరిగి, చచ్చి, తిరిగి పుట్టుచుందురో అది ఆర్యావర్తమని చెప్పబడుచున్నది. దీనిని బట్టి ఆర్యులు ఈ ప్రదేశముమందుననే సృష్టి ప్రారంభమునుండి పుట్టి నివసించుచుండిరని మనుస్మ్రుతి యందు స్పష్టము చేయబడినది. ( పాశ్చాత్యులూహించినటుల ఆర్యులు మధ్యాసియా యందు పుట్టి భారతవర్షమునకు వలస వచ్చినరుట కేవలము వారి కల్పనయే కాని పూర్వ చరిత్ర వలన ధ్రువ పరచబడినది కాదు )
దక్షిణా పధము ( ఆఱవ వలస )
అటుపిమ్మట ఆర్యుల దృష్టి వింధ్యపర్వతములకు దక్షిణముగా గల ప్రదేశములమీదకు ప్రసరించినది. ఆనాడు దక్షిణదేశమంతయు నిర్మానుష్యముగా నుండినది. ఆర్యులు ‘ సదా నీరా ‘ ప్రాంతప్రదేశము నంతను మానవ నివాసమున కనుకూలముగా నొనర్చి పిమ్మట తూర్పున గల వంగదేశప్రాంతములమీదుగా దక్షిణమునకు క్రమక్రమముగా వ్యాపించిరి. అనేక సంవత్సరములు గడచుచుండగా అట్లు ఆర్యులు వ్యాపించిన భారతవర్షపు తూర్పుదక్షిణములగల ( అనగా ఇప్పటి మద్రాసు దిగువ వఱకు ) ప్రదేశము ” ప్రాచ్యక దేశ ” మని పిలువబడినది. దానికి దక్షిణముగా దక్షిణసముద్రమువఱకు గల దేశము దక్షిణ దేశమయ్యెను. ఆరెంటికి పశ్చిమముగా గల పశ్చిమకొస్తా ప్రదేశము పశ్చిమదేశమయ్యెను. అదే విధమున ఆర్యులు ” దక్షిణాపధ ” మంతయునాక్రమించి వృధ్ధిపొందిరి. ఆసేతుహిమాచలముగా గల దేశమునంతను ఆక్రమించిన ఆర్యులు వైదిక ధర్మావలంబులై చాతుర్వర్ణ్య వ్యవస్థ గలిగి యుండిరి.
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Who Are the Andhras?

Andhra

Chapter IV
Origin and early History of the Andhras [2]

In the beginning, there was only one race, the Aaryan race. In the ancient times, when the Aaryans were spreading all over the continent of Bharat, the different regions and parts were named after the Kings that ruled over them. The people too were named by the names of these regions and came to be considered different races.

In those remote times in Eastern Bharat was known as ‘Praachyaka Desa’ and ruled by a king named Bali. After his death, several of his sons divided his kingdom, and each named his part after himself, one of them being Aandhra. The kingdom of prince Aandhra being known as Aandhra Desa and the Aaryans (of the four castes) inhabiting the region were called Aandhras.  Thus only one group or division of the Aaryans came to be known as Aandhras. The Aandhras were not a separate race from the Aaryans. Hence the history of the Aandhras till the emergence of the Aandhra race (the name) coincides with the history of the larger race named Aaryan. The history of the Aaryans is the history of the Aandhras and vice versa. Aandhras are Aaryans and none else. It is all one race known as Aaryans in the beginning, some of them later coming to be known as Aandhras from the name of the region inhabited by them. It is the same case with the Aaryans inhabiting the other different parts of Bharat, all of them of the same Aaryan stock but developing into various branches and coming to be considered different peoples and named after the different regions occupied by them. But all of the Aaryans of Bharat from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin [Kanyakumari] belong to the same racial (Aaryan) stock. This axiom should be kept steadily in mind in the study of the history of the Aandhras from the beginning of creation, attempted in this volume.

The Process of Creation

In the beginning the five elements evolved naturally [f]rom primordial nature or Prakriti, and from earth, of the five, living matter and living beings of all kinds. The first among the living creatures was Prajapathi. He is the first Aaryan. Rigveda 4 26 2-2, 2-11-18. He resolved on the creation of the human race and first created the ten Praja-pathis (the Devarishis). Then he  himself residing in the region enclosed by the rivers Saraswati and Drishadvati, and cohabiting with his wife Sataruupa gave birth to two sons ‘sons Priyavrata and Utaana paada and three daughters Aakuuti, Devahuuti and Prasuuti. The region he first lived in came to be known as “Brahmavarta”. The human race first appeared in Bharat only. To the west of the present Jamuna in North India there flowed in ancient times Sara-swati and to its west a tributary by name of Dru-shadvati. The region between these rivers Saraswati and Dri-shadvati was known as ‘Brahmavarta’ from time immmo-rial [immemorial]. The name indicates that the Swayambhuva Prajapati named Brahma resided there in gross physical form to cre-ate the human race on the earth.

At the beginning of every cycle of creation, this place where Swayambhuva Prajapati, the first man resides on the earth in his gross physical body, to create the human race is known as Brahmavartam’. In Rigveda-3-33-4 we hear ‘Yonim Deva Kritam’ and ‘Tam Deva Nirmitam Desam’ in Manu 2-17. This region is bound by the river Sara-swati on the east the junction of Sarasvati and Drushad-vati on the South Drishadvati on the West and the Hima-layas on the North.

dakshinapatha

The First MigrationBrahmarshi Desa.

The Aaryans thus born in Brahmavarta left the place of their origin and inhabiting the region to the west of it gave it the name ‘Brahmarshi Desa’ (Manu 2-19). These migrations and colonisations were led by Brahmarshis of established spiritual eminence who settled down in the new regions with their disciples and hence it was called ‘Brahmarshi Desa.’In later times this region came to comprise the kingdoms of Kuru, Matsya, Panchala, Surasena & Uttara Madhura.

The Second MigrationMadhya Desa.

According to Manu, the region bounded by the Vindhyas in the South the Himalayas in the north, Allahabad [Prayag] in the east and the river Saraswathi in the West, was called Madhya Desa. (Manu 2-21). This was the region colonised by the second migration of Aaryans after the Brahmarishi Desa was fully occupied.

Aryavarta (The Third Migration)

Thereafter the Aryans, on the advice of the sages and under the leadership of the kings, started on the third migration and spread all over the plains between the Hima-layas and the Vindhyas and settled down in permanent homelands. At that time almost  all the surface of the earth was uninhabited and even in Bharat there were no people  other than the Aryans.

Fourth and Fifth Migrations.

Thereafter, a king by name of Videha Madhava, on the advice of his teacher Gautama Rahuguna, accompanied by the Aaryans who were rapidly increasing in numbers, orga-nised a great migration from the Brahmavarta and neigh-bouring regions and proceeded “to the east of Saraswati upto the river Ganges and established Aaryans settlements at several places. But confronted by the river Sadanira, the progress was halted and villages and towns were constructed all along the march up to the river Kubha or Kabul, and extended their settlements so far. These details of the migration are available  in the Satapatha Brahmana, the Rigveda and in the Manu Smriti

The land in which the Aaryans are born, grow and die  and are  born again is known as ‘Aaryavarta’. Thus it is clear the Aaryans were living in this region from the beginning of creation, according to the Manu Smriti.

The sixth migration “Dakshinapatha”

Then the Aaryans cast their eyes on the region to the south of the Vindhyas. In those days this part of the country was uninhabited. After rendering habitable and fit for colonisation, the neighbourhood of the river Sadanira and proceeding through the regions to the east of it, Viz. Vanga, etc, they spread to the south along the coast. The south eastern coast lands of Bharat, which were thus occupied by the Aaryans gradually  down to modern Madras and below, were then known as ‘Prachyaka Desa’ and this region beyond further south to the sea ‘Dakshina Desa’ and the west coast and adjoining tracts ‘Paschima Desa’. Thus the Aaryans spread in course of time over the whole of the Southern peninsula and the Aryans who came  to occupy the whole of Bharat from the Himalayas in the north to the Indian ocean in the south were the followers of the Vedic culture and the social order of the fourfold division of society) which formed an integral part of it.

BaliPutraAandhra

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  1. “ఆంధ్రులు”. True Indian History. June 19, 2009
  2. Kota, Venkatachalam Paakayaaji (Pandit). Chronology of Ancient Hindu History Part I. Vijayawada: AVG.  p.121-124