Palnadu is the northern
region of Guntur
District in the
Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Also known as Pallava Nadu, it occupies an
important place in Telugu
After the decline of the Satavahana
dynasty, the Pallavas
became independent in
valley. The region is
known as Palnadu in memory of ancient Pallavas
. A series of dynasties such as Ikshvaku
, Eastern Chalukyas
and later Kakatiyas
ruled the region. The war of Palnadu in
the 12th century is marked in legend and literature as 'Andhra
'. The war of Palnadu
weakened the power of Vengi Chalukyas
and paved way for the emergence of
as a great Telugu
The battle of Palnadu
The battle of Palnadu was immortalized in Telugu literature by the
poet Srinath in his 'Palnati Vira Charita'. The only other
scholarly book on the subject was written by Gene Roghair titled
"Epic of Palnadu: Study and Translation of Palnati Virula Katha, a
Telugu Oral Tradition from Andhra Pradesh". It was a battle between
two factions of the Kalachuris (Haihaya).
Nalagama Vira Raju was the son of Alugu Bhupathi Raju of the
. His step brother was
Malideva Raju, who was married to a princess of the Kalyani
branch of Kalachuris. Dodda Naidu and Brahma
Naidu were vassals of the Velanti
(Vassals of the Chola-Chalukyas and responsible for the
administration of their Andhra territories) and tried to usher in a
new era in which caste distinctions would be abolished. Nalagama
was against this and tried to check their progress. He was
supported by Nagamma, a female statesperson who became his chief
adviser. The differences in ideology led to Brahma
Naidu leaving with his supporters, including Nalagama's half
brother Malideva and set up an independent court in Macherla.
Mutual suspicion and rivalry reached a high pitch between the two
courts and Nagamma, under the pretext of Malideva's defeat in a
cock-fight, exiled them for seven years from Palnadu. After the
exile was over Brahma Naidu sent Alaraja, the son of Kalachuri
Kommaraja of Kalyani, and the brother-in-law of Malideva to claim
Malideva's share. The demand was turned down and Alaraja was
poisoned to death under the orders of Nagamma in Cherlagudipadu.
enraged Kalyani Kalachuris and Brahma
Naidu declared war on Gurazala.
battle was fought in Karempudi on the banks of the river Naguleru.
The Kakatiya dynasty
, Kota Vamsa
supported Nalagama and the
. The Velanati Chodas
and Malideva were supported
by the Kalyani Kalachuris
Nalagama was victorious. The civil war shook the Velanadu kingdom
to its foundation. A whole generation of the warriors of Andhra
perished in the war. The tragedy hastened the end of the Chalukyan
rule in Vengi. It exposed their weaknesses and allowed the
Hoysalas, Kalachuris, Eastern Gangas and the Kakatiyas to
eventually overrun them.
The Andhra Abhimanyu
Brahma Naidu did not have any war could not be stopped, those who
have to die will die and those who have to win will win. The child
was named "Balachandra" and sent to forests with their men with
strict instructions not to train the child in warfare.
After attaining marriageable age, Balachandra came back to his
home. He always understood that his father cared more about the
people than himself. Soon it was known that he was adept in warfare
which he inherited from Brahma Naidu. The elders came to another
plan to make him an alcoholic and to divert his attention from the
political issues in the state, lest he challenges Nagamma's
He was soon married off and at this time Ala Raja has been
viciously killed by Nagamma's faction. Ala Raja’s wife Peramma,
decided to kill herself on her husband's funeral pyre (Sati
). Before dying she asked her brothers
and other royal knights, that at least one of them should promise
her to bring the head of the treacherous man who killed her
husband. Everyone lowered their heads because Brahma Naidu had
already warned them not make any oaths and make the issue bigger.
Here, the heroic Balachandra took the oath. In front of everyone,
he went to Peramma and told her that he is there to seek her
vengeance. Peramma died on a happy note.
Everyone tried their best to stop Balachandra from the war. Because
he was the apple of everyone's eye in Brahma Naidu’s household. But
his wife sent him to the battlefield in order to ensure their
victory. Balachandra fulfilled his oath and died heroically in the
battlefield. He attained what is called in Sanskrit "Veeraswargam":
The hero's heaven.
Andhra people remember Balachandra for his heroic exploits.