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The Telugu people or Telugus are an ethnic group of India. They are the native speakers of the Telugu language, the most commonly spoken language in India after Hindi and Bengali. They are mostly native to Andra Pradeshmarker, with significant populations in Pondicherrymarker, Tamil Nadumarker, Karnatakamarker, Maharashtramarker, Chhattisgarhmarker and Orissamarker.

Tamils, in their Sangam literature in the beginning of Christian era, called Telugu people Vadugu, Vadagu, Vadugar etc., meaning "northerners". Jayagondar’s work called Kaldlingattupparindni used words like Telungaru and Vadugu to describe Telugus .



The Andhras were nomads for several centuries. Some tribes migrated and others did not and remained in their older settlements. Apastamba Rishi states that around 700 BC some Andhra tribes inhabited the Salva Kingdom (Salva Desa) on the banks of the Yamunamarker River. Apastamba sutra has been widely practiced among Andhra Brahmin families and continues to be followed even today. A single Rishi was the teacher (acharya) of each tribe. Apastamba was one such teacher. Apastamba wrote these rules in Salva Desam on the banks of the Yamunamarker river. After Apastamba's death the Andhra tribes crossed the Vindhya mountains, reached the south, and merged with the other Andhra tribes. The Atreya Brahmana says that the Andhras lived on the south side of Vindhyamarker Range along with the Pundra, Pulinda, Sabaras and Mootibas.

Some of those Andhras who came to the south of the Vindhyamarker mountains settled in the regions north of present-day Hyderabadmarker. Another tribe crossed the Eastern Ghats to Orissamarker and reached the Kalingamarker Desam. Serivanijo Jataka tale explains that the Andhras built the Andhaka-puram on the banks of Tel rivermarker.

The Sanskrit epics mention the Andhra Kingdom, named for the Aryan tribe of the Andhras.They are mentioned again at the time of the death of the great Mauryan King Ashoka in 232 BC. This date has been considered to be the beginning of the Andhra historical record. Various dynasties have ruled the area, including the Andhra (or Satavahana), Shakas, Ikshvakus, Eastern Chalukyas, the Vijayanagar Kingdom, the Qutb Shahis of Golconda, and the Nizams (princes) of Hyderābādmarker.

The term Kalinga , has been historically relevant to this region, incorporating north-east Andhra Pradeshmarker and modern day Orissamarker. People from the Kalingamarker region were responsible for colonizing Sri Lankamarker, spreading Buddhism and are ancestors to a large portion of the Sinhalese population. The inhabitants of Southern Andhra Pradeshmarker are predominantly descendants of the Dravidian people, with mild admixture from the Aryan race.

Andhras and Kalingasmarker supported the Kauravas during the Mahabharata war. Sahadeva defeated the kingdoms of Pandya, Dravida, Odra, Chera, Andhramarker, and Kalingamarker while performing the Rajasuya yajna. Chanoora was killed by Krishna in Mathura. Hari Vamsa Purana corroborates the fact that Chanoora was the king of Karoosa Desa (to the North of the Vindhyasmarker and on the North Bank of the Yamunamarker river) and was an Andhra. Buddhist references to Andhras are also found.

The Jataka Tales were written during 200-250 BC. The Tel river is a Tributary of the Mahanadi in Orissamarker. The tribe in this region were called Kalingas. The books cited above describe the Andhras and Kalingas as two different branches of a single tribe. Sometimes these two words (Andhras and Kalingas) are used as synonyms.

Andhra tribes established relationships with Naga, Yaksha, and Dravida tribes of the Vindhyamarker mountains who were already living there. A tribe called Tailang in Burmamarker is proposed to be related to Telugu people.[223744]


The first great Andhra empire was that of the Satavahanas, who came to power when the last Kanva emperor Sisuman, was assassinated by his prime minister Sipraca, of the Andhra tribe. They reigned for 450 years and the last was Puliman or Puloma the pious, who after conquering Indiamarker put an end to his life by drowning himself in the holy waters of the Gangamarker river, after the example of his grandfather. Because of this king, Indiamarker was called Poulomeun-koue, the country of Puliman by the Chinesemarker. While in the west the inhabitants of the Gangetic provinces were denominated Andhra Hindus . The Satavahana rulers are said to have been held in the highest veneration all over Indiamarker ; and their fame was extended to the Malay Archipelago, the Maharajas of Indiamarker being a favorite subject of Malayan poetry.


Telugu is a heavily Sanskritized Dravidian language which developed during the medieval period.Early inscriptions date from around the 6th century, and literary texts from the 11th century, written in a Telugu script adapted from the Bhattiprolu script of the early inscriptions.


Kakateeya Sculpture at Warangal


  • Padya Sahithyam and Gadya Sahithyam
  • Bhagavatam by Sri Bammera Pothana
  • Ramayanam by Rayana Baskara
  • Ramayanam by Kummari Molla
  • Maha Bharatam by KaviTrayam (Nannaya, Yerrapragada and Tikkana)
  • Sataka Sahityam by Vemana, Baddena, Marana Venkana, Yenugu Lakshmana Kavi, Seshappa Kavi, Dhoorjati, and Bhakata Ramdas
  • Telugu Chatu Padhyalu
  • Tenali Ramalinga Kavi
  • Kavi Sarvabhouma Srinathudu
  • Telugu Vaggeya Karulu
  • Annamayya
  • Tyagaraju
  • Kshetrayya


Some common Telugu foods are:
  1. Paravannam
  2. Aavakaaya Pachadi
  3. Maagaya Pachadi
  4. Chintakaya Pachadi
  5. Gongoora pachchadi
  6. Korivi Karam
  7. Vankaya Kura
  8. Pootha Rekulu
  9. Madata Kajalu
  10. Gor Meetilu
  11. Ariselu
  12. Boorelu
  13. Gaarelu
  14. Bobbatlu (bhakshaalu in Rayalaseema)
  15. Jentikalu
  16. Chakkilaalu
  17. Ulava Chaaru
  18. Pacchi Pulusu
  19. Bommidaila Pulusu
  20. Vadiyalu
  21. Attu
  22. Pappu
  23. Rasamu
  24. Charu
  25. Sambaru (Tamil Sambar)
  26. Pulihora

Traditional Dress

  • Male
  1. Uttareeyam (Angavastram or veil)
  2. Pancha (Dhoti)
  3. Jubba (Kurta) The top portion
  4. Lungi (Casual or Worker dress)

  • Women
  1. Cheera (Sari)
  • Girls
  1. Langa Oni (Half Sari)
  2. Langa (Full skirt with separate blouse)

See also


  4. Josiah Conder, The Modern Traveller: A Popular Description, Geographical, Historical, and ... v. I, India, (1828), p.139

External links

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