Telugu Chodas

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The Telugu Chodas or Telugu Cholas ruled parts of present-day Andhra Pradesh and Telangana between the 5th and the 13th centuries as samantas of Pallavas and later the Imperial Cholas.[2][3] Various dynasties exist among them including Velanati, Pottapi, Konidena, Nannuru, Nellore, Kunduru etc. The earliest Choda dynasty in the Telugu area was that of Renati Chodas who ruled Renadu region from late 5th century to 7th century. Some of the Telugu Chodas including Renati Chodas claimed descent from the early Sangam Tamil king Karikala Chola.[4] Telugu Chodas contributed much to the early development of Telugu language and are the first dynasty to use Telugu as their official language. The first and oldest Telugu inscription founded so far is Kalamalla inscription dating to 575 CE put up by Renati Chola king Erikal Mutturaju Dhanunjaya.[5] Telugu Chodas are believed to have been migrated from Tamilakam to Andhra country due to invasion of Tamilakam by Kalabhras and increasing power of Pallavas in northern most part of Tamilakam. Kapu (caste) in Andhra is said to have originated from Telugu Cholas who themselves claim descendant from Karikala.

Coinage of the Telugu Chodas of Nellore. King Bhoja II, 1216-1316 CE. Uniface flan with central lion standing left, four additional lion, two śri, uncertain, and bhujabha legend in Telugu punchmarks

Velanati Chodas edit

Velanati Chodas
Durjaya Chieftains of Velanadu
Gonka I1076–1108
Rajendra Choda I1108–1132
Gonka II1132–1161
Rajendra Choda II1161–1181
Gonka III1181–1186
Rajendra Choda III1207–1216

Telugu Chodas of Velanadu (Velanati Chola) were one of the Telugu Choda families. Velanadu is located in the modern Guntur district. The chieftains who ruled over Velanadu came to be known as the Velanati Chodas. One of them, Rajendra Choda II had even assumed the title Durjayakulaprakasa since Velanati Chodas claims descendant from Durjaya, a descendant of Karikala Chola . These Velanati chiefs were the subordinate allies of the Later Cholas of the south. They were entrusted with the responsibility of the governance of the Andhra region, which formed a part of the Chola kingdom in the between the tenth and early decades of the thirteenth century. Their capital was Dhanadapura (Dhannada) or Sanaduprolu, the modern Chandolu in the Guntur district initially then later they ruled from Vengi in West Godavari and Pithpuram in East Godavari Districts. Dhannada is also the site of the war between the Cholas and the Later Chalukyas when the Western Chalukya king Satyashraya invaded the Eastern Chalukyas, which was swiftly repulsed by the forces of Rajendra Chola I who helped the Eastern Chalukyas and the Velanadu Chodas with whom the Cholas had marital ties.[6]

The Velanati Chiefs rose to prominence among the vassals of the Chalukyas of Vengi during the early days of Kulothunga Chola I and served as the Later viceroys faithfully as their trusted lieutenants and generals. Finding his dominion dwindling, due to the ascendancy of the Kalyani Chalukyas in the Vengi country, Kulothunga Chola lent support to his loyal chieftains of Velanadu to bring the situation under control and rule over Vengi as his vassals. Evidence is available to the effect that five chieftains of Velanadu ruled over the country after which it was overrun by the Kakatiyas and became a part of their kingdom.[7]

Velanati Chodas:

Renati Chodas edit

The Telugu Chodas of Renadu (also called as Renati Cholas) ruled over Renadu region, the present day Kadapa district. In Malepadu plates (seventh century), Renati Chola king Punyakumara stated that they belong to the family of Sangam age Chola king Karikala Chola.[8] They were independent sometimes but mostly they were forced to suzerainty of the Pallavas. They used the Telugu language in their inscriptions of the sixth and eighth centuries. Such inscriptions have found near Muddanur,[9] and at Gandikota, Jammalamadugu and Proddatur. The earliest of this family was Nandivarman (500 AD) who claimed descent from the family of Karikala and the Kasyapa gotra. He had three sons Simhavishnu, Sundarananda and Dhanunjaya, all of whom were ruling different territories simultaneously.[10] The family seems to have had its origin in Erikal in the Kadapa district.[11] Dhanunjaya is described as Erikal-Mutturaju and as ruling Renadu.[12] In the first half of the seventh century, we find Punyakumara, a descendant of Dhanunjaya, ruling over Renadu and Hiranyarashtra. He too bears the title Erikal-Mutturaju.[13]

Renati Chodas:


Simhavishnu, Sundarananda and Dhanunjayavarman


Gunamudita and Punyakumara

Vikramaditya I


Vikramaditya II

Uttamaditya and Satyaditya

Pottapi Chodas edit

Telugu Chodas of Pottapi are a branch of Renati Chodas and ruled the Cuddapah region after the fall of the latter. They had Pottapi as their capital. Pottapi lay on the northern fringe of Tondaimandalam and it embraced the bulk of Venkatagiri, Gudur, Chandragiri and Srikalahasti taluks of Tirupati district and Rajampet taluk of Annamayya district. According to some of the village records found in Andhra, Karikala Chola built many villages in Southern Andhra when he captured it from Trilochana Pallava. One of the villages is Pottapi. Pottapi became the most important village and hence the locality in the course of time acquired the name Pottapi Nadu. The early history of the Pottapi Cholas is obscure, and the circumstances leading to their acquisition of Pottapi are not known. Consequent on their downfall at the hands of the major powers like the Rashtrakutas and the minor powers like the Vaidumbas, the Renati Cholas appear to have sunk into oblivion for a short period. It is likely that some members of Renati Chola family moved eastwards and finding an opportunity established themselves as the rulers of Pottapi-nadu. A Pottapi Chola king named Srikantha Chola was ruling Tondai Nadu according to Dalavaypuram copper plates of Pandya king Parantaka Viranarayana. In Madras Museum copper plates, this Srikantha claims descendant from Tamil king Karikala Chola through Sundarananda of Renati Chodas. The Anbil plates[14] of Parantaka Chola II and Velanjeri plates[15] of Parantaka Chola I mention the name Sri Kantha whose name preceedes that of Vijayalaya Chola, however, it's unknown if both individuals are the same and share any relations between.[16] The term Pottapi Chola is associated as a title with many of the chiefs of this family as for example Madhurantaka Pottapi Chola Ghattiyarasa and Madhurantaka Pottapi Chola Vimaladitya. Pottapi Cholas use the Charana Saroruha prasasti in their inscriptions.

Pottapi Chodas:

Srikantha Chola


Vankēya Chola

Balliya Chola Maharaju

Mudigonda Chola Maharaju


Mallideva I

Mallideva IV

Opili Siddhi II

Mahamandalesvara Ghattideva Maharaju alias Ghattiyarasa


Siddharasa and Vimaladitya

Somesvara and Mallideva

Konidena Chodas edit

The Konidena Chodas were a branch of the Pottapi Chodas. They claimed descent from Dasavarma of Pottapi Chodas who was ruling Renadu country with Pottapi as capital. Their capital was Konidena (also called as Kotyadona) near Narasaraopeta in the Guntur district. They ruled over parts of Palanadu in 11th and 12th centuries. A branch of Pottapi Chodas moved northwards and started ruling with Konidena as capital. Early kings Kannara Choda and Kama Choda were independent. Tribhuvana Malla Choda, son of Kama Choda, was a chieftain to Gonka II of Velanati Chodas. Nanni Choda, son of Tribhuvana Malla Choda declared independence again, but was soon defeated and forced to be vassals again by Gonka II. After the fall of Velanadu Chodas, they were forced to suzerainty by Ganapatideva of Kakatiyas.

Konidena Chodas:

Balli Choda

Nanni Choda I

Pottapi Kamadeva

Kannara Choda

Kama Choda and Tribhuvana Malla Choda

Nanni Choda II

Kama Choda

Balli Choda

Nannuru Chodas edit

Nannuru Chodas were another branch of Telugu Chodas in the region of Pakanadu. The famous Telugu poet Kaviraja Sikhamani Nanne Choda belonged to this family. Not much is known of this clan and it is believed to have been a subordinate of Vikramaditya VI of Kalyani Chalukyas.

Nellore Chodas edit

Nellore Chodas are Telugu Chodas who ruled from the city of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh and claimed descent from Karikala Chola.

Nellore Chodas:


Manumasiddharasa I

Dayabhima and Nallasiddharasa


Manumasiddharasa II


Tikka Choda I or Thirukalatti

Allutikka, Manumasiddharasa III and Vijayagandagopala

Tikka Choda II

Manumagandagopala or Nallasiddharasa III

Rajagandagopala or Ranganatha


Kunduru Chodas edit

Eruva Bhima I, apparently the founder of the Kanduru or Kunduru dynasty, who hailed from Eruvanādu, was also known as  Panugallupuradhipa, Lord of Panugallu, present day Panugal or Panagal. Kanduru Cholas ruled parts of Mahabubnagar (Jadcharla and Acchampet taluks) and Nalgonda (Nalgonda, Suryapeta, Devarakonda, Miryalguda taluks) parts of Khammam and Krishna districts in the southern parts with Kanduru, Panugallu and Vardhamanpura as their capitals. These kings are described that they belonged to Karikala Chola family. The early two Choda members Eruva Bhima and his son Tonda I seem to have ruled Pānugallu-rājya as subordinates to the Western Chalukyas of Kalyani.

Kunduru Chodas:

Eruva Bhima Choda I

Tondaya I

Bhima Choda II

Tondaya II

Mallikarjuna Choda


Gokarna Choda I

Sridevi Tondaya

Udayaditya Choda II

Bhima Choda IV

Udayaditya Choda III

Gokarna Choda II

References edit

  1. ^ Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical atlas of South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 37, 147. ISBN 0226742210.
  2. ^ Chetty, K Ramachandra (1984). "A History of the Telugu Cholas in Southern Andhra" (PDF). Karnatak University.
  3. ^ Dutta, Amaresh (1987). Encyclopedia of Indian literature. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 8126018038.
  4. ^ Kumar, Kiran Ashok. Inquisitive Social Sciences For Class 7. S. Chand Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 978-93-5283-109-8.
  5. ^ "First Telugu inscription dating back to 575 AD found in Kadapa village". The New Indian Express.
  6. ^ Aiyangar, Sakkottai Krishnaswami (1991). South India and Her Muhammadan Invaders. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 9788120605367.
  7. ^ Aiyangar, Sakkottai Krishnaswami (1991). South India and Her Muhammadan Invaders. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 9788120605367.
  8. ^ Hultzsch, Eugene (1911–1912). "Epigraphia Indica". Epigraphia Indica. 11: 339 – via Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India.
  9. ^ A. D., Rangarajan (31 August 2020). "Rare inscription unearthed in Andhra Pradesh's Kadapa district". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  10. ^ Andhra Pradesh (India), Bh Sivasankaranarayana. Andhra Pradesh district gazetteers, Volume 1. Printed by the Director of Print. and Stationery at the Govt. Secretariat Press; [copies can be had from: Govt. Publication Bureau, Andhra Pradesh], 1976. p. 60.
  11. ^ Sailendra Nath Sen. Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International, 1999. p. 471.
  12. ^ Indian History Congress. A Comprehensive History of India: pt. 1. A.D. 300-985. People's Pub. House, 1981. p. 382.
  13. ^ C. A. Padmanabha Sastry. Administration in Andhra: From the Earliest Times to 13th Century A.D. B.R. Publishing Corporation, 1990. p. 126.
  14. ^ "Epigraphia Indica Vol.15". 1920.
  15. ^ "Thiruttani and Velanjeri Copper Plates".
  16. ^ Mahalingam, T. V.; Gupta, S. P.; Ramachandran, K. S. (1976). Readings in South Indian History. B.R. Publishing Corporation. pp. 63–64. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 August 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2024.

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