Tag Archives: History

ఆంధ్ర జన తెలుగు భాష Andhra People, Telugu Language

Nagarjunakonda Lion
ఆంధ్ర సీరీస్ లో మన ప్రథమ వ్యాసం తెలుగు జనాల మూలం ఏమిటో దగ్గరి చూసి అడిగాము, “ఆంధ్రులు ఎవరు?”. ద్వితీయ సర్గం లో మన ఆంధ్ర జనాల ప్రాచీన ఇతిహాసము మరియు తేనె కి మించిన మన తీయమైన భాష చూస్తాము. ఈ ద్విభాష వ్యాసము ఆంగ్లం కింధ భాగములో రచించాము.

In the first article of our series on The Andhras, we explored the origin of the Telugus and asked “Who are the Andhras?”. The second installment will investigate the early history of the people & the language that is sweeter than honey. This bilingual article will feature the English version at the bottom half.

ప్రస్థావన

మన తీయమైన తెనుగు సామాన్య సంవథ్ లో మూడో శతాబ్దం లో మొధలైనధి అని ఆధునిక చరిత్ర విద్ధ్వాంసులు అంటారు. కానీ, ఈ వాదన మన ఊరి చరిత్రలు ని జోక్యం  చేసుకుంటుంది. పండిత్ కోట వెంకటచలం గారు రచించినట్టు ఇటువంటి వాక్యాలు మన చరిత్రని ఇలా  చెడ కొట్టి నందుకు మనకి  నవొస్థుంధి.
అందునించి, మన భారతీయ సంస్కృతి వెబ్‌సైటులో  రచించినట్టు విజ్ఞానము ని మన పరంపరం తో సమతుల్యం చెయ్యాలి. సైంటిఫిక్ పురావస్తు తవ్వకాలు ప్రకారరాం చూస్తె, ఒక జనాల చరిత్రం నిజమా కాద అని తెలుస్కోవ్వచు.
అధి చెయ్యాలంటె, ప్రథమ పని తెలుగు పండితులువ్రాసిన చరిత్రము చదువాలి. ఆ మహానుభావులు మన సత్యమైన చరిత్రం ని రచించి, రక్షించి, ఆగమి తరంకి అందించారు.
Introduction

Mana theeyamaina Telugu is often dated to the 3rd century BCE. This assertion is based primarily on epigraphic evidence and ignores the local narratives. However, as Pandit Kota Venkatachalam garu asserted, this type of speculative reconstruction often produces guffaws and risible results with respect to the true history of a people.

Therefore, as was asserted in our Series on the Chronology of Indian history at our mother site, indicportal.org, it is important to balance science with tradition. Scientific archaeological excavations and carbon-dating based analysis can verify what our local histories have laid forth, but it is the Tradition that should provide balance with the oral and historical memory of a people.

In order to do that, one must begin again by studying the works of the traditional scholars and Telugu Pandits who recorded, preserved, and passed on the traditional history of the Telugus, and indeed, of Telugu itself.

మూల చరిత్ర

పండిత్ కోట వెంకటాచలం గారు స్థాపించినట్టు, ఆర్య అధిక్రామ సమ్మూద్దేశ అసత్యం, మరియు వేద ప్రకారము ఆర్యులు భారత దేశము లోనే పుట్టారు.ధీని ప్రకారము సర్వ భారతీయులు—ద్రావిడ్లు కూడ—అందరు ఆర్యులే, బ్రహ్మవర్థం నించి (సరస్వతీ-సింధూ లోయ ధగ్గర).
అందునించి, “ఆంధ్ర భాష, తెలుగు భాష” ద్రావిడ-జాతి అని వాక్యం అసత్యం. ఈ హింశ్రమైన సమ్మూద్దేశం కి మూలం, ఒక ఆంగ్ల కిరస్తాని విద్వాన్,కాల్డ్‌వెల్. ఇటువంటి సమ్మూద్దెశాలు ఆఫ్రిక లో కూడా కిరస్తానిలు సృస్టించారు. ద్రావిడ్లు (స్పష్టంగా చెప్పాలంటి ద్రావిడ-దేశ జనాలు), సరళం గా చెప్పాలంటె, ఇంకొక ఆర్య శాకం—దక్షిణ ధిక్కుకి ప్రయాణం చేసి, ద్రావిడ దేశం (కేరళ మరియు తమిళ్ నాడు) ని స్థాపించారు. అందునించి, నిస్తావం బ్రాహ్మణ పండితులు రచించినట్టు, ఆంధ్రులు ఆర్యులే, నాలుగు వర్ణాలు అంధరు ఆర్యులే.
ఆంధ్ర దేశ—ఆంధ్ర భూమి. త్రిలింగ దేశ—మూడు లింగాల భూమి, కాళేశ్వరం, భిమేశ్వరం, శ్రీశైలం లో. అమరావతి అమారేశ్వర కి గృహము. తెలుగు జనాల కి ప్రాచీన నామ, “ఆంధ్ర”.
ఒక సమ్మూద్దేశం ఉండేధీ ఆంధ్రులు  మహర్షి విశ్వ మిత్రుని పుత్రులు అని, మరియు ఐన వాలని బహిష్కారం చేశారు, సునసెఃప కాలం లో. కానీ, పండిట్ కోటా వెంకటచలం ప్రకారము, ఇధి తప్పు—ఈ సమ్మూద్దేశం కూడా ఆంగ్ల రాజ్యం అప్పుడు సృస్టించీనధి. పండిత్ గారు చెప్పిన విధి లో, ఇంకో ఆంధ్ర జాతి (జలాంధ్ర  జాతి, ఆధునిక పంజాబు రాష్ట్ర లో జలంధర్ ఊరు ఉన్నటూ) అని పేరు తో ఉందేధి, మరియు వాళ్ళు వింధ్య పర్వతం ని ఎక్కి తారించారు అని ఉపపత్థి లేధు. కొని ఆస్తిక సాంస్కృత విద్యము చెప్పినట్లు కొంధరు ఆంధ్రులు “వ్రాత్య” అయ్యీ చాతుర్వర్ణ మర్యాద నించి భైటికి వెలున్దచ్చు కానీ, ఇటువంటి అర్థకరణ, విదేశి మ్లేచలు కి వదిలె బదులు మన ఆస్తిక పండితులు కి వదలితె శ్రేష్టం.
ఈ పేరు కి మూలం, పండిత్  చేలం చెప్పినట్టు, ఆంధ్ర రాజ, సోమవంశీ కులం నించి, యయాతి రాజా కి వంసజ్. దీనికి ప్రమాణం, భాగవత పురాణము, అందునించి ఐన ఆంధ్ర నరపతి, లేకపోతే, నృపతీ అని పిలుస్తారు.
పూర్వ కాలం లో విషయాలు ని పిలిచె స్థానాలు, ప్రాచీన జిల్లాలు ఆంధ్ర దేశం లో తరువాత “నాడు” అని పిలిచేవాళ్ళు.
సమాకాలం లో, తెలుగు జనాలకి మూడు ఆంధ్ర స్థానాలు తెలుసు (రాయలవారిసీమ, తెలంగాణా, కోస్తా), కాని పూర్వ కాలం లో అష్ట నాడులు మధ్యకాలం లో ఉండేవి. ఇవి ఇట్ట్లు:
  • వేంగీ నాడు, గోదావరి కృష్ణ నధులు కి మధ్య ఉందె నాడు [రాజమహేంద్రవరం ఇక్కడ ఉన్నధి]
  • ములికి నాడు, కడప జిల్లా నించి కర్నాటక రాష్ట్రం వరుకు
  • పొత్తపి నాడు,  కడప నించి పెన్నెరు వరుకు
  • రేనాడు [మానాడు], కర్నూల్ డిస్ట్రిక్ట్
  • పల్నాడు, గుంటూరు కి పశ్చిమం
  • పాకనాడు, సముద్ర తీరం, ప్రకాశం నించి కృష్ణ వరుకు
  • కమ్మానాడు
  • వేలనాడు.
ఇంకొక విషయం కూడా చెప్పాలి, స్పష్టమైన సీమలు ప్రతి కాలం లో మార్పు ఉందేధి, వేరు వేరు రాజ్యాలు గెలిచి ఓడి పో నప్పుడు. కాకతీయ సామ్రాజ్య కాలం లో ఇంకా పెద్ద గా ఉండేవి, పూర్తి సమైక్య ఆంధ్రముని  పాలించేవారు.
  • అనుమకొండ నాడు (వరంగల్ & హనుమకొండ)
  • సబ్బీ నాడు (కరీంనగర్/ఎలగండల  డిస్ట్రిక్ట్)
  • విసూరు నాడు
  • పల్లి నాడు
  • అయిజా నాడు
  • గోండల నాడు
  • మింగల నాడు
  • కాందూరు నాడు
  • కుశల నాడు
  • నేరవది నాడు
  • పొంగలీ నాడు
  • కారు నాడు
ఈ క్షేత్రాలు ఆంధ్ర చరిత్రము లో. ఎటు ఐన, పల్నాడు కి ముఖ్యమైన స్థానం ఉన్నధి, ఆంధ్ర కురుక్షేత్రం ఆ యుద్ధభూమి నించి మరియు శ్రీనాథ కవిసార్వభౌమ మహాకావ్యం నుండి.
ఈ త్రిలింగ దేశ చరిత్ర దృశ్యం కి చూపించడంవల్ల, ఇప్పుడు మన ప్రియమైన మాతృభాష గురించి చదువచ్చు.
ఆంధ్ర తెలుగు అంటే ఓకే అర్ధం
ప్రథమం, ఒక ముఖ్యమైన విషయం ఇధి: ఆంధ్ర తెలుగు ఓకటే. వర్ధమానం లో, కావల్సని ఈ శబ్ద బ్రమ సృష్టించడానికి, ఆంధ్ర ఒట్టి కోస్తా అని అర్ధం తో ఈ ద్రోహిలు మాట్లాడుతున్నారు.
సత్యవచనము ఇధి: ఆంధ్ర, త్రిలింగ దేశ, తెలంగాణా పాత కాలం లో అంతా తెలుగు భూమి అని అర్ధం మరియు ఆంధ్ర భాష మాట్లాడే వాళ్ళు ఆంధ్రులు. గౌరవనీయులైన విద్వాంసులు కూడా ఇధే మాట చెప్పారు.
మన ఆస్తిక తెలుగు పండితలు ని నమస్కరించాలి—వాళ్లే తెలుగు “ద్రావిడ భాష” కాదు అని
పోరాటం చేశారు.  మొదటి నించే స్పష్టంగా—మనంధరికి తెలిసిన విషయం—చెప్పారు:
తెలుగు, సాంస్కృత పుత్రి.
అనగనగా అని ఎన్నో కథలు ఉన్నాయి తెలుగు గురించి. ఒక దాంట్లో ఒక మానవ, అగ్నిమిత్ర అని, అందుడు ఐపోయ్యార్డు, పక్కనున్న వేడి నించి. సూర్య దేవ కి ధనం పెట్టిన తరవాత, తన సూర్యుడు నించి నేర్చ్కున్నారు “ఈ భాష కి , ఎంత శక్తి  ఉందంటే, తన కళ్ళు మళ్లీ స్థాపించింది. ఈ భాష, ఆంధ్ర భాష, ఎందుకంటే అంధకార ని నాశనం చేసింధీ. ప్రతి యుగం లో తెలుగు ఒక రూపం లో వస్తున్ధి మరియు ఈ కలి యుగం లో (ఆధున యుగం)
కళింగాంధ్ర మరియు రౌధ్రాంధ్ర నంధివార్ధన తన శిష్యుడు దేవాల రాయ తో స్థాపించారు, శాతకర్ణి రాజ్య కాలం లో.” వర్ధమానం లో ‘ఆంధ్రులు అంధులు’ అని అంటారు కానీ ఆంధ్ర భాష అంధకార ని నాశనం చేస్తుంధి.
సత్యమైన మూల కధ మహర్షి కన్వది అని అనిపిస్తుంధీ. తెలుగు ప్రతి యుగం లో మళ్లీ మళ్లీ పుట్టుతుంధీ. సత్య యుగం లో, అగ్నిమీత్రుడు తో మొదలైంధీ. త్రేతా ద్వాపర లో మహర్షి కన్వ. కలి యుగం లో నందివార్ధన తో. అందరికి కన్వ ముని శకుంతల పిత్రుదు అని తెలుసు. ఆయనే మొధటి తెలుగు వ్యాకరణము రచించారు అని పేరు. ఆధునిక చరిత్రము ప్రకారము నన్నయ భట్ట గారు మరియు ఆయనే ఆంధ్ర శబ్ద చింతామణి, మన తెలుగు పురాణ-లక్షణ ప్రకారం ఇంకా ప్రాచీనం.
ప్రథమ తెలుగు వ్యాకరణం ఋషి కన్వ రచించారు—నిస్సందేహం—కానీ ప్రశ్నం ఏంటంటే, జలాంధ్రులు ఎలా ఉన్నారు ద్వితీయ తృతీయ కన్వ మునిలో ఉన్నాయ. బ్రాహ్మణులు కన్వ శాఖం ఎలా ఉన్నధో, పండిత్  చేలం గారు అది ప్రథమ కన్వ మహర్షి  కాధూ కానీ ఆయన వంశ వృక్షం లో వారసుడు.
ఏది ఏమయినప్పటికీ, సాంప్రదాయ తెలగులో మూల చరిత్ర ఆధారంగా, కన్వ మహర్షి త్రేత యుగానికి చెందినదిగా పేర్కొనబడింది, అతను అసలు వ్యాకరణాన్ని రచించాడని నమ్మడానికి కారణం ఉంది. అంతేకాకుండా, బౌధాయన యొక్క ప్రముఖ స్వరకర్త బౌధాయన ధర్మసూత్ర  మరియు ఆంధ్ర ప్రజలకి తెలిసిన సభ్యుడు, అతను అసలు మహర్షి కన్వ కుమారుడు.  శకుంతల పెంపుడు తండ్రి అత్యుత్తమమైన వ్యాకరణకర్త ఐతే, ఆంధ్ర శబ్ద చింతామణి మొదటి వ్యాకరణము కాదు.
Historical Origins

The Telugu language does not seem to be as ancient as Tamil, though it is more ancient than Malayalam, and at least of equal antiquity with Kanarese. It is not possible to say with any certainty when the language now known as Telugu came into vogue.” [2, 16]

As Pandit Kota Venkatachalam garu trenchantly established, the Aryan Invasion Theory is false and the Vedic tradition actually  asserts the Out of India Theory. This means that All Indians, yes—even “Dravidians”, were in fact Aryans, who originated in Brahmavarta (modern Sarasvati-Sindhu Valley).

Thus, the assertion that the Andhra People and the Telugu Language are Dravidian is false. This mischievous theory originated with the Colonial British Christian Missionary Caldwell. Similar theories were sown by similar missionary scholars  in Africa. The Dravidians (or more correctly, Dravidas), simply another branch of Aryans, who migrated south and founded Dravida desha (modern Kerala & Tamil Nadu). Therefore, as orthodox Brahmin Pandits assert, Andhras are Aryans, and all four varnas were considered Arya.

Chronology of Ancient Hindu History Part 1, Page 139

Andhra Desa—the land of the Andhras. Trilinga Desa—Land of the Three 3 lingas at Kaleshvaram, Bhimeshvaram, and Srisailam. Home of Lord Amareshvara of Amaravati. The classic and historic name for the people now known as Telugu is Andhras [2, 14]

The language of the Andhras is variously known as Andhra Basha, Telugu and Tenugu. These appellations are used synonymously. [3, viii]

There is a popular legend that Andhras were in fact the sons of Maharishi Vishvamitra, and were disowned by him during the Shunashepa episode. However, Pandit Kota Venkatachalam has categorically denied this and asserted that this theory dates back to the colonial period. Per Pandit gaaru, the Andhras referred to here were the jalandhras (associated with the eponymous Jalandhar in modern Punjab), and there is no evidence that they crossed the Vindhyas. While there are traditional Sanskrit scriptures that mention some “Andhras” becoming vratya (leaving the Arya fold), it is best to leave interpretation to the traditional Pandits like Sri Kota Venkatachalam rather than motivated foreigners.

The origin of this name as established by Pandit Kota Venkatachalam is King Aandhra of the Lunar dynasty, and descendant of Yayati. This is based on the Bhagavata Purana, and he is therefore known as Andhra Narapathi or…Nripathi.

“The Bhagavata states that the country was named after King Andhrudu…Andhra Desa was also known as Vengi Desa. It is however probably that the

Andhra Desa was also known as Vengi Desa. It is however, probably that Vengi was a part of the Telugu country—The part which lay between the Godavari and the Krishna. The name ‘Trilinga’ was often applied to the Telugu country. This may have been used to signify either the country which contains the three shrines (lingas), namely, those at Kalesavaram, Sri Sailam and Draksha Ramam, or the country between these shrines. “ [2,14]

Earlier known as vishayas, the ancient divisions of Andhra were later called ‘nadus’.

Though most Telugus today are familiar with the sub-regions of Andhra (Rayalaseema, Telangana, & Kosta) there are 8 Historical territories (nadus) within Historical Andhra Desa. These are as follows:

  • Vengi Nadu, the territory between the Godavari and the Krishna [some consider this to be the original homeland of the Telugus, with a capital at Rajamahendri]
  • Muliki Nadu, beginning with the Kadapa District and extending to [Karnataka]
  • Pottapi Nadu, from Kadapa to Penneru
  • Renadu [also known as Maanaadu], Kurnool District
  • Palnadu, West of Guntur
  • Paakanadu, the coastal tract from Nellore to Krishna”
  • Kammanadu
  • Velanadu

It should also be mentioned that the exact geographic limits would vary over time as kingdoms rose and fall. They were  more expansive during the time of the Kakatiyas who ruled over all of Samaikya Andhra, which gives us additional units [3,78]:

  • Anumakonda Nadu (around Warangal & Hanumakonda)
  • Sabbi Nadu (present day Karimnagar/Elagandala  district)
  • Visuru Nadu
  • Palli Nadu
  • Ayija Nadu
  • Gondala Nadu
  • Mingala Nadu
  • Kanduru Nadu
  • Kusala Nadu
  • Neravadi Nadu
  • Pongali Nadu
  • Karu Nadu

Some accounts give us as many as 20 Nadus for all of old united Andhra.

These regions all have featured significantly in the history of Andhra. Nevertheless, Palnadu has a special place due to the famous Andhra Kurukshetra that took place on its fields and the Epic Poem by Srinatha that it is inspired.

Having provided a deeper overview of the origin and history and geography of historic Trilinga desa, one can now survey our beloved mother tongue of Telugu in detail.

Andhra and Telugu mean the Same Thing

First and foremost, it is critical to reassert that that Andhra and Telugu mean the same thing. In the present time, there has been much (purposeful) confusion of the terms and treacherous parties have sought to restrict the word Andhra only to Coastal Andhra. In reality, Andhra, Trilinga Desa, and Telangana all refer to the land of the Telugus or the speakers of the Andhra Bhasha. Reputed scholars on the History Telugu literature have asserted this as well.

Andhra Bhasha—the language of the andhras. This is known as telugu, or Telugu (tene=honey, agu=is), meaning, sweet as honey.” [2,15]

Credit should also be given to our traditional Telugu pandits who opposed the classification of Telugu as “Dravidian” root and branch. From the beginning they asserted what colloquially many of us know today: Telugu is Daughter of Sanskrit.

Dr.Caldwell, in his Comparative Grammar, has given currency to the theory that they are unrelated to Sans-krit. Sharply opposed to this theory is the view, maintained by all Telugu grammarians and Sanskrit philologists, that Telugu is Vikriti—that is a language formed by the modification of Sanskrit and Prakrit. An analysis of the language as it has been for centuries confirms the traditional view.” [2, 15-16]

It would appear that very early the Andhras adopted a form of Prakrit which, in the course of development, became the immediate ancestory of Telugu and Kanarese” [2, 16]

There are of course a number of legends associated with Telugu. One is that a man named Agnimitra lost his eyes on account of being surrounded by tremendous heat. After praying to the Solar Deity (Surya Deva), he was taught “a language so potent that it restored him his eyesight. This language was called Andhra Bhasha, as it dispelled darkness. We are also told that each yuga had its particular form of Telugu and that in Kali Yuga (the Present Age), Kalinga Andhra and Raudra Andhra were established by Nandivardhana and his disciple, Devala Raya, in the reign of Satakarni.” [2, 17]

Perhaps the origin story with the most credence involves Maharishi Kanva. Telugu is said to revive in each Yuga. At the end of the Satya Yuga, it originated with Agnimitra. In the Treta and Dvapara it is credited to Maharishi Kanva. In the Kali, Kaling-Andhra and Raudr-Andhra together were established by Nandivardhana and his disciple Devala Raya. This was done during the reign of Emperor Satakarni (likely the first of that name). [2, 17] Best known as the foster-father of Shakuntala, Kanva Maharishi is credited with writing the first grammar of the Telugu language. While modern history attributes this title to Nannaya Bhatta and his Andhra Sabda Chintamani, the Puranic bonafides of Telugu accord a much greater antiquity to it. Pandit Kota Venkatachalam garu again provides crucial details.

While averring without a doubt that Rishi Kanva wrote the first grammar, the question has arisen whether, much like the Jalandhras, whether there were multiple Rishi Kanvas. Due to the existence of the Kanva sect of Brahmanas, Pandit gaaru speculated on the possibility that it may likely not have been the original Kanva Maharshi, but a descendant.

Nevertheless, based upon the oral history among orthodox Telugus, and given that Kanva maharshi is dated to the Treta Yuga, there is reason to believe he wrote the original grammar.Furthermore, when weighed against the fact that Baudhayana, the famed composer of the Baudhayana Dharmasutra (eventually superseded by Apastamba) and known member of the Andhra people, is himself the son of the original Maharishi Kanva, this makes the foster-father of Shakuntala the most likely original grammarian of Telugu.Either way,  Nannaya garu will have to move aside, and credit for the original grammar should be attributed to Kanva Maharshi’s opus rather than the current standard of Andhra Sabda Chintaamani.

భాష లక్షణ

 తెలుగు భాష రూపం మధురం గా ఉంటుంధీ మరియు సభ్యతం గా ఉంటుంధీ. భాష నిర్మాణీ క విశేషాల్లో, శిక్ష నిరుక్త మరియు శబ్ద చాలా ముఖ్యం.
తెలుగు భాష రకాలు మూడు రకా ల్లో ఉంటుంధీ: గ్రాంధికం, మాండలికం, జానపాదం. మామల భాష ని వాడుక భాష అని కూడా పిలుస్తారు. దాని తో పాటు, ప్రత్తి జిల్లా లో ఒక యాస ఉంటంది.
తెలుగు శబ్దాల ప్రకృతి తెలిసిన విషయంఏ. ప్రతి శబ్దం, వ్యంజనం తో బదులు స్వర తో మొధలౌతుంధీ. నిరుక్తం, శబ్దం, వ్యాకరణం కి బంధనం గట్టిది.
తెలుగు వ్యాకరణం ఒక లేఖబంధ కి సంబంధించిన విషయం ఏ. సంస్కృత పుత్రి అని అందరికి తెలుసు, అందునించి, అష్టాధ్యాయి నించి, దేవభాష నించి చలత్వారుకు వచినధి. కానీ, సంధి, కారకా, లకార అని విషయాలు తరవాత మాట్లాడుకోవచు. మన మిశ్రమైన యాస కాలము లో, ఇధి ముఖ్యం—శబ్దాలు తెలుగు లో ఎలా భాసిష్యం ఔతాయి —
తత్సములు—సాంస్కృతము కిసంబంధించినవి
తద్భావములు—సాంస్కృతము నించి
దేశియములు—సొంత భాష శబ్దాలు
అన్యములు—పరదేశము నించి వచ్చిన శబ్దాలు
ఈ దృష్టి లో చూస్తే, వ్యాకరణాలు, భాష విధానాలు భారతవర్షం లో ఓక విధానం అని అనిపిస్తుంధీ. మన కాలం లో, ఈ తెలుగు వ్యాకరణాలు ముఖ్యం.
నన్నయ గారి ఆంధ్ర శబ్ధ చింతామణి, కేతన గారి ఆంధ్రభాషభూషణ, అథర్వనాచార్య గారి త్రిలింగ శబ్ధ అణుసాసన. అథర్వనాచార్య ఒక భాష్యం వ్రాశారు ఆంధ్ర శబ్ధ చింతామణి గురించి. ఇధి వికృతి వ్ర్త్థిట్టి అని పిలుస్తారు. అందునించి ఈ నిరంతరత పూర్తి భారతవర్షము లో కాధు, మన ఆంధ్రము లో కూడా చూస్తాము.
Language Structure

The structure of the Telugu language is both sophisticated and sweet. Structural aspects of a language generally range from usage to phonology to etymology to lexicography.

Telugu is commonly divided into Graanthikam (literary), Mandalikam (speech of gentry), and Janapadam (speech of the countryside). There is also the term vaaduka bhasha, referring to everyday or common use speech, which tends to be highly informal and replete with slang. Virtually every district has its own dialect too.

Telugu Phonemes are well known. The reputation for virtually every word ending in a vowel (such as “uu”) is one of the marquee aspects of la langue Andhraise. Etymology, lexicography, and grammar are all intimately related.

Telugu grammar is a Series in and of itself. Being the daughter of Sanskrit, it correspondingly draws much from the Ashtaadhyaayi and the devabhasha’s various strictures of grammar. However, all these aspects of samdhi and kaarakas and lakaaras are better discussed elsewhere. What is important, in our time of kalthi bhasha, is re-establishing the standards of word formation in the language of the Andhras.

Nannaya Bhatta naturally discussed this, but it is of relevance here to discuss how these sabdas are classifed. Telugu’s vocabulary is typically classified as followed:

1.Tatsamulu—Sanskrit equivalents

2.Tadbhavamulu—Sanskrit derivatives

3.Desiyamulu—indigenous words

4.Anyamulu—foreign words [2,16]

This is matched by Hindi which classifies words similarly:

Tatsam (pure Sanskrit) tadbhav (Sanskrit words mutated) deshaj (of dialect) videshi (loan words from foreign languages).

As one can see, many of the grammatical constructs and methodologies are similar across Indian languages. The main Telugu grammars in the present age are as follows:

Andhra Sabda Chinthaamani of Nannaya Bhatta (of Kavitraya fame), Andhra Bhasha Bhooshana of Moolaghatika Ketana, and Trilinga Sabda Anusaasana of Atharvanacharya. The last work listed in particularly interesting as Atharvanacharya also wrote vikriti-vrtti as supplement to Andhra Sabda Chinthaamani. Therefore, there was continuity not only throughout India, but within Andhra itself.

నిగమన

ఆంధ్ర జన మూలం తెలుగు భాష ప్రకృతి ఎన్తో కాలం నించి వైభవం తో ఉన్నధి మరియు వివాధం తో కూడా. కానీ వివార్ధ చ్ఛయం అక్కర్లేదు మన పరంపర ఏమీ స్పష్టంగా చెప్పింధో. ద్వారక తవ్వకాలు చూపించినట్టు, ఎప్పుడు మారుతున్నసరస్వతి-సింధూ లోయ కాలము చూపించిన్నట్టు, మనము ఆంధ్రులు గా భారతీయాలు గా ఇంకా ప్రాచీనం. విదేశి విద్వానులు తప్పు గా, వాళ్ల హితం ప్రకారము వ్రాస్తున్నారు. అంధునించి, ఆధునిక తెలుగు జనాలు (వాళ్ళు తెలంగాణా, రాయలవారిసీమ, మరియు కోస్తా నించి వచిన కూడా) చరిత్ర పరీక్షలు  స్వయం ప్రయత్నం చెయ్యాలి. విధ్యాలయం లో ఏం నేర్చుకోవ్వాల్ల్లో, నేర్చుకొని పరీక్షలు వ్రాయండి. కానీ, మీ పాటికి మీరు, అస్సలు సత్యం నేర్చుకోండి ఏమిటో మన ధర్మ పురాణాలు, ఎలా మన ఆంధ్ర జనాలు చన్ద్రవమ్స వంశజులు, వైదిక భారతము కి సంబంధించేవాళ్ళు.
తెలుగు భాష కి కూడా చంద్రుడు వంశ వృక్షం కి సంబంధంఉంధీ. మహారాజా దుష్యంత ధర్మపత్నిశకుంతల కి పెంపుడు తండ్రి గా ఉన్దినధి ఆ తెలుగు వ్యాకరణము ని రచించిన కన్వ మహర్షి నే. అగ్నిమిత్రుడు రోజులు నించి నందివర్ధన మరియు నన్నయ భట్ట గారి వరుకూ, మన భాష అతి ప్రాచీనం మరియు అతి సున్నితం.
ఇంకెన్ని దినాలు ఈ సంభ్రమం తో గడుపుతాము మన భాష మన సంస్కృతి గురించి? రాష్ట్ర విభజనం ఐనందుకు సంస్కృతి పరీవర్తనం  అవ్వకూడదు. ఆంధ్ర దేశము ఆంటె, ప్రాచీన ఆంధ్ర భూమి (తెలంగాణా, రాయలసీమ, కోస్తా). తెలుగు మూల పేరు ఆంధ్ర నే. ఆంధ్ర అంటే జన, ఆంధ్రి అంటే లిపి, ఆంధ్రం అంటే భాష. సమాకాలం లో సాధారనీయ పేరు తెలుగు. కానీ ఒక విషయం ఎప్పుడు మరిచిపొ కూడదు: మన తెలుగు జనాల భాష ఎంత తీయ గా ఉన్న, ఈ ఆంధ్ర భూమి లో శాతా కూడా వాహనము గా ఉంటుంధి.
Conclusion

The origin and history and nature of the Andhra People and Telugu language has long been glorious, but also controversial. But controversy no longer need overshadow what tradition has clarified. While the conventional paradigm certainly has staying power, as the excavation at Dvaraka shows, and ever-changing dating of Indus valley sites underscores, we as Indians and Andhras are a lot older than were given credit for by colonial (and neo-colonial) scientists. It is therefore crucial for modern Telugus (whether they are from Telangana, Rayalaseema, or Coastal Andhra) to be able to be historical investigators of their own and to learn what is taught in school for your tests, but to be able to absorb our  Dharmic narratives as well of how the Ancient Andhras are descendants of the Chandravanshis (Lunar Dynasty of Vedic India).

The Telugu language itself is again interlinked with the Royal Lineage of the Moon, with the foster-father of Shakuntala (who married King Dusyantha), composing the first grammar of Telugu. From the days of Agnimitra down to Nandivardhana and Nannaya, it is a language of great antiquity and supple delicacy.

For too long has their been confusion about the people, the land, and our language. The division of states should not mean the change of culture. Andhra desa refers to historical Andhra with the three regions of Telangana, Rayalaseema, and Coastal Andhra. Andhra itself is the original name for Telugu. Andhra for the people, Andhri for the script, and Andhram for the language. Today we more commonly called them Telugu. Yet it must be remembered that, despite the sweet tongues of our people, Andhra is also the land where saatha (lion) is vaahana (vehicle).

References:
  1. Kota, Venkatachalam Paakayaaji (Pandit). Chronology of Ancient Hindu History Part I. Vijayawada: AVG.  p.121-124
  2. Bhujangah, Chenchaiah. A History of Telugu Literature. Calcutta: Association Press. 1928
  3. Rao, P.R. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh. New Delhi: Sterling. 1994

Tatikona — A Short Trek from Tirupati

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


Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirumala Tirupati is a place that doesn’t need any introduction. It’s Kaliyuga Vaikuntam for devotees, one of the richest temples in the world, and the temple which draws huge crowds everyday. Apart from all these, Tirumala Seshachalam forest range has many unknown treasures, like Bio diversity, which are yet to be discovered. As a history lover, it’s always surprising to know the kind of historical treasure this place is…

Tirumala and Tirupati are very prominent places from the pre historic age itself. Many rock art shelters and pre historic dolmens in Seshachalam forest range are standing evidences for this. And it is a well known fact how Lord Venkateswara Temple made this place even more prominent in ancient and medieval periods for many dynasties. Every dynasty has left their own mark in this place, which is evident through many grand temples and forts around its vicinity.

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirupati and Tirumala collectively are known as temple city, all temples function with all its grandeur. But how many are aware that there are so many wonderful ancient temples that were abandoned and left for ruins .Though neglected from centuries, these ancient marvels are still standing with all their past glory, waiting for some visitor to tell its story.One such place is Tatikona. Today I will tell you the story of this place, and how it fell from glory to gloomy.

Tatikona was once a grand temple complex with many temples, a pushkarini, and a mud fort on the hill (which is not present now). This place might be very, very important from the ancient days. It would have witnessed the ancient man and many powerful endangered animal species. It would have witnessed kings and their grandeur. It would have witnessed dedicated sculptors working and brave soldiers protecting. It would have witnessed grand temples with nithya puja & many devotees daily, for regular utsavams etc

Photo Credit: Spandana

But now this place is crumbled into ruins, completely camouflaged in the jungle, hard to find and harder to reach, and fully surrounded by thorny plants. Once ravaged by invaders, whatever has survived, it is reduced to wreck by present day hooligans (who dug all over for treasure) and conveniently forgotten by residents and authorities.

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tatikona at present

I seriously wish I could see this place 50 years back, it would have been in much better shape. With present remains we can infer there are 3 temples: 2 temples are big and the other is a small shrine. The two big temples are dedicated to Shiva. We can confirm by sculptures on the pillars, the sculpture of Nandi, sculpture of Kannappa, and Shiva linga. As for the small shrine, we can’t confirm the deity (probably for Ganesh or Karthikeya).

Photo Credit: Spandana

The beautiful Pushkarini (Temple tank) which now looks like lake, but as per locals it was very much in shape till very recent years. It is said there was a mud-fort on the hill for Vijayanagara Emperors (though it disappeared without a trace), and another interesting feature we can find a pre historic Megalith dolmen here. There is a small Shiva shrine on the hill, and as per locals  deep in the woods, another 2 temples. They are dedicated to lord Narasimha and local deity Yellamma, and are in better condition (we couldn’t visit due to the time crunch). One more unique feature of Tatikona is the style of building temple. The Shiva temple built by cutting the rock boulder, and the rock boulder is still visible around the gopuram. The only other temples of this type can be found in Hampi (Malyavanta Raghunatha Temple).

Even after facing so much destruction,this beautiful treasure can teach so many lessons. Beautiful temple walls, intricate carvings on the pillars and beautiful megaliths, all located in a very serene location, which in short reminds us of Hampi. Doesn’t this place deserves renovation, clean up, a sign board,and inclusion in tourist brochure of Tirupati?

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirupati doesn’t need any theme parks. If  that money is spent on places like Tatikona they can be turned into beautiful learning centers, spiritual centers, and wonderful weekend spots…Eagerly waiting for that day.

       HERITAGE IS OUR PRIDE
#Heritageisourpride

              Jai Hind

Photo Credit: Spandana

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.

Peddamudiam — Pride of Andhra Pradesh

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


Photo: Spandana

Peddamudiam, a village if properly projected would have been a heritage village of our state, if properly maintained would have been bliss for researchers and heritage enthusiasts, if properly maintained would have been a great tourist spot that speaks to many interesting aspects of our glorious past. All these are possible only “IF” our government tends to show a little interest in our past.

Though I am against any kind of comparison with other countries…here I am left with no choice other than comparing. India is 11 times bigger than Italy, and if we check the monuments in both countries, the Indian monuments list is way bigger than Italy; but Italy being such a small country has the highest number of monuments listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is only because they respect their past in such a way. Forget about other countries, if we compare with our neighboring states, our state has huge lagging. The way Karnataka and Tamil Nadu maintain their monuments is remarkable. That is the reason both the states have recorded their entry into the UNESCO Heritage list. It’s not like Andhras don’t have monuments, it’s because we hardly make time to promote them and maintain them.

Coming to the present topic, Peddamudiam is 19 kms from Jammalamadugu, Kadapa district. This beautiful small village, originally known as Mudivemu, has numerous monuments with its unique style of architecture. It is really hard to find from Jammalamadugu that there is a beautiful village around, as no information board is installed. Most of the monuments in this village are ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) recognized monuments, waiting to come out of their neglect. Any heritage lover, any spiritual seeker can’t accept the present vulnerable situation of this age old wonder.

List of Monuments in Peddamudiam

  • Ugra Narasimaha Temple – The most neglected temple, but has beautiful architecture believed to be built by Cholas, later developed by Vijayanagara Emperors. Always deserted, but a pandit from neighboring village comes in the morning for performing basic Pooja for Lord.

  • Mukundeswara Temple Complex – There are 5 temples in this temple complex, 2 Shiva Temples, 1 Narasimha Shrine, 1 Karthikeya Shrine and 1 Shrine for NagaGrahas. This temple complex is the oldest temple complex in the village, Compared to Ugra Narasimha Shrine…these temples are in better condition. Though there is no Information board about the era or dynasty in which they were built, we can easily infer they are very early type of construction and very unique style of Architecture. After multiple trails of finding the basic information about these sites, the conclusion I came to was this:  they existed from Satavahana Era and later flourished in Pallavas and Cholas time.

  • Kodanda Rama Shrine and Old Village Site – Though these shrine looks like Vijayanagara Style, can’t say for sure, as the temple was closed(when we visited), and there is an ancient village site as well, but couldn’t get much information about that(only if ASI takes some strain)…it is just a barren land with fencing. There are big bastions (buruju) in the village—villagers said it is 300 years old.

PS – I personally want to apologize if anyone was hurt by my words .These words are not meant to hurt people, but are meant to showcase the emotions of a person who can’t see our heritage,our past,our identity dying like this.


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.

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 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

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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 skilled 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