Monday, March 5, 2012

History of Andhra Pradesh

The earliest mention of the Andhra tribe is said to be in sanskrit epic Aitereya Brahmana. It reveals that the Andhras was originally an Aryan race, which initially lived in northern India and then migrated to the land in south of the Vindhyas, thus mixing with the non-Aryan civilization. There has been mention of Andhra tribe in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Natyasastra of Bharatha that belongs to 1st century BCE, also talks about the Andhra people. The source of the Telugu language has been trailed to the inscriptions found around the Guntur district.

Megasthenes
, a Greek ethnographer, visited the Court of Chandragupta Maurya circa 288 B.C., and has enumerated that the region had three fortified districts and an army of one lakh infantry, two hundred cavalry and about a thousand elephants. Buddhist books mention that Andhra people set up their huts or tents on the bank of Godavari, at that time. The famous Indian ruler, Ashoka referred about Andhras in his 13th rock edict.

According to historians, the regular history of Andhra Pradesh begins from 236 BC, the year in which Ashoka died. In the following centuries, the land was ruled by dynasties like Satavahanas, Ikshvakus, Eastern Chalukyas, Sakas and Kakatiyas. Some other dynasties that ruled over the Andhra region were Qutub Shahi and Mir Qumruddin and his successors, who were called as the Nizams.

With the passage of time, from the seventeenth century onwards, the Britishers started taking over the territories of the Nizams and formed a single province named Madras. During the process of colonization, Northern Circars were made a part of the British Madras Presidency. Ensuingly, this area developed as the coastal Andhra region. Gradually, Nizams ceded five provinces to the Britishers, which eventually modified as Rayalaseema region. However, Nizams retained control over the interior territories as the princely state of Hyderabad, acceding to British rule against local autonomy.

India achieved its freedom from British rule in the year 1947. The Muslim Nizams desired to regain their control over independent India, but the civilians launched the movement to align with the Indian Union. Therefore, the Hyderabad State was pressurized to become a part of the Republic India in the year 1948. This was facilitated by the Operation Polo, which continued for five days and was supported by the people of the state of Hyderabad.

An Indian revolutionary, Potti Sreeramulu fasted until death in order to achieve independence for the Madras state and protect the interests of its people. After his sacrifice, Andhra acquired statehood on November 1, 1953 and Kurnool was made its capital. After a period of three years, the Telugu speaking regions of the Hyderabad state were integrated with the Telugu speaking regions of the Madras state, which formed the state of Andhra Pradesh. The former capital of Hyderabad state i.e. Hyderabad was made the capital of the newly formed state.

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