Telugu people

Telugu people (Telugu: తెలుగువాళ్లు, Romanization: Teluguvāḷlu), also rendered as Telugus, are one of the four major and the largest Dravidian ethnolinguistic groups in terms of population native to the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Yanam district of Puducherry. A significant amount of Telugus also reside in the surrounding Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Odisha, also in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Telugus like some other South Asians, are largely descend from a varied mixture of Pre-Dravidian tribes, Dravidian and Indo-Aryan people. The earliest Telugu identity associated with are the Andhras, a tribe from whom the Telugus inherit their ethnonym from, were known to have migrated from the banks of River Yamuna in the North to the banks of Krishna and Godavari in the South-East of the Subcontinent right in the Telugu-heartland postulated to be of Indo-Aryan in speech and culture.[3][4][5]

Telugu people
Telugu talli bomma.JPG
Telugu Thalli, the personfication of Telugu people
Total population
c. 85 million[1][2]
Regions with significant populations
Andhra Pradesh
 India83,127,740 (2011)[1]
OtherSee Telugu diaspora
Om.svg Hinduism
Related ethnic groups
Other Dravidian peoples:

During the boon of Nastika Schools of Buddhism and Jainism in the region, Telugus along with most of India saw reformation of its traditional high society. It is supposed among here where the embryogenesis of Mahayana Buddhism sprung from, which would later go on to become the largest Buddhist tradition in the World.[6][7][8][9]

Telangani, another term referring to a Telugu or a resident in the land inhabited by Telugus was coined during the 14th century CE, which ultimately derives from the Sanskrit "Trilinga" signifying the three lingas that are positioned in a Tri-angle across the Telugu-land.[10][11][12][13] Present two Telugu States with their names of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh came to be officially later on, although they mean the same idea overlapping each other.

Indian diaspora of Telugu origin are found widespread, especially in the USA, Myanmar, Malaysia, South Africa,[14] Australia[15] and Canada, mostly around the Anglosphere. The Telugu language is the 4th most spoken in the Republic of India[16][17] and the 15th most spoken language in the world.[18]


Haplogroup H originated about 45,000 years ago in South Asia, and is only found among people of South Asian descend.

The Telugu people and other South Asian ethnic groups are of primarily indigenous South Asian (AASI) ancestry. Indigenous South Asians (AASI) form their own genetic lineage, not closely related to populations outside of South Asia.[19]

The indigenous South Asians ("SAsia") form their own genetic lineage and are not closely related to populations outside of South Asia.
Distribution of indigenous South Asian (AASI), West-Eurasian, and East Asian/Oceanian lineages.

The AASI originated within South Asia and were genetically isolated from other populations more than 45,000 years BCe. Indigenous South Asian (AASI) ancestry forms the primary ancestry for modern South Asians (between 50% to 70%), next to recent West-Eurasian and East-Eurasian components. The AASI are however not distantly related to the Andamanese peoples, as proposed before. In contrary, the Andamanese (Onge) are closer to various Oceanic groups and received some geneflow from South Asia and East Asia respectively. AASI-like geneflow towards Aboriginal Australians was also detected (up to 30%) and further supports migration waves from South Asia to Oceania.The Paniya people are, next to the Irula and the Soliga, the best proxy for indigenous South Asian ancestry.[19]

Telugu is a South-Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India, where it is the official language. The oldest inscriptions with Telugu words date to 400 B.C.E found at Bhattiprolu in Guntur district.[19] Other early inscriptions with more refined language were found in Kantamanenivarigudem, Guntupalli in West Godavari district and Gummadidurru and Ghantasala in Krishna district. The earliest inscription completely written in Telugu dates to 575 CE found at Kalamalla village in Kadapa district.[19] The earliest Telugu literature dates to 11th century CE with Nannaya's Andhra Mahabharatam.

In the sixth century BCE, Assaka was one of the Sixteen Mahajanapadas. After the Mauryas, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana were variously ruled by dynasties either ethnically Telugus. The Vishnukundina Dynasty, Eastern Chalukyas, Kakatiya Dynasty and Reddy dynasty were some of the many Major Telugu Kingdoms and Dynasties Ruling the Region. It was succeeded by the Satavahana dynasty (230 BCE-220 CE), who built the city of Amaravati. The kingdom reached its zenith under Gautamiputra Satakarni. At the end of the period, the Telugu region was divided into Kingdoms ruled by lords. In the late second century CE, the Andhra Ikshvakus ruled the eastern region along the Krishna River.

During the fourth century, the Pallava dynasty extended their rule from southern Andhra Pradesh to Tamilakam and established their capital at Kanchipuram. Their power increased during the reigns of Mahendravarman I (571–630) and Narasimhavarman I (630–668). The Pallavas dominated the southern Telugu-speaking region and northern Tamilakam until the end of the ninth century.

Between 1163 and 1323 the Kakatiya dynasty emerged, bringing the Telugu region under unified rule. During this period, the Telugu language emerged as a literary medium with the writings of Tikkana, Eranna, Nannaya, Pothana etc., are the converters of the great Hindu epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagavatha etc.,.

In 1323 the sultan of Delhi, Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, sent a large army commanded by Ulugh Khan (later, as Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Delhi sultan) to conquer the Telugu region and lay siege to Warangal. The fall of the Kakatiya dynasty led to an era with competing influences from the Turkic kingdoms of Delhi, the Chalukya Chola dynasty (1070–1279) in the south and the Persio-Tajik sultanate of central India. The struggle for Andhra ended with the victory of the Musunuri Nayaks over the Turkic Delhi Sultanate.

The Telugu achieved independence under Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire (1336–1646). The Qutb Shahi dynasty of the Bahmani Sultanate succeeded that empire. The Qutub Shahis were tolerant of Telugu culture from the early 16th to the end of the 17th centuries.

The arrival of Europeans (the French under the Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau and the English under Robert Clive) altered polity of the region . In 1765, Clive and the chief and council at Visakhapatnam obtained the Northern Circars from Mughal emperor Shah Alam. The British achieved supremacy when they defeated Maharaja Vijaya Rama Gajapati Raju of Vizianagaram in 1792.

Andhra's modern foundation was laid in the struggle for Indian independence under Mohandas Gandhi. Potti Sriramulu's campaign for a state independent of the Madras Presidency and Tanguturi Prakasam Panthulu and Kandukuri Veeresalingam's social-reform movements led to the formation of Andhra State, with Kurnool its capital and freedom-fighter Pantullu its first chief minister. A democratic society, with two stable political parties and a modern economy, emerged under the Chief Ministership of N. T. Rama Rao.

India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. Although the Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain independence from India, but was forced to cede his kingdom to the Dominion of India in 1948 to form Hyderabad State. Andhra, the first Indian state formed primarily on a linguistic basis, was carved from the Madras Presidency in 1953. In 1956, Andhra State was merged with the Telugu-speaking portion of Hyderabad State to create the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Lok Sabha approved the formation of Telangana from ten districts of Andhra Pradesh on 18 February 2014.[20]


Two Kuchupudi dancers from Andhra Pradesh, 2011



Kuchipudi is a famous Classical Indian dance from Andhra Pradesh.


  • Male
  1. Uttareeyam (Uttariya) or Pai Pancha (Angvastram or veil)
  2. Pancha (Dhoti)
  3. Jubba (Kurta) The top portion
  4. Lungi (Casual dress)
  • Female
  1. Langa Oni (Half sari)
  2. pattu pavada
  3. (Cheera) sari


Important festivals celebrated by Telugu people include:



Telugu is the fourth most spoken language after Hindi, Bengali and Marathi in India.[16] Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are the principal resident states for Telugu people.

Telugu people form the majority speakers in South India with over 75 million speakers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This is followed by 3.7 million in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu making them the second largest language groups in those neighbouring states.[21]

In Tamil Nadu, Telugu people who migrated during the Vijayanagara period have spread across several northern districts and constitute the majority of the population in Chennai city. In Karnataka, Telugu people are predominantly found in the border districts with majority in Bangalore city.

In Maharashtra the Telugu population is over 1.4 million, followed by 0.7 million in Orissa. Other states with significant populations include West Bengal and Chhattisgarh with 200,000 and 150,000 respectively.[21]

The overseas Telugu diaspora numbers more than 800,000 in the United States, with the highest concentration in Central New Jersey, Texas, and California.[citation needed]

There are around 300,000 Telugu people in Malaysia.[22]

Notable Telugu peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Scheduled Languages in descending order of speaker's strength - 2011" (PDF). Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
  2. ^ "Telugu population figure worldwide". Ethnologue. August 2019.
  3. ^ Ancient and medieval history of Andhra Pradesh. P. Raghunadha Rao. Sterling Publishers, 1993. 1993. p. iv. ISBN 9788120714953. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  4. ^ "History of Andhra Pradesh". Government of Andhra Pradesh. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  5. ^ Sailendra Nath Sen (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. pp. 172–176. ISBN 9788122411980. Archived from the original on 23 March 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  6. ^ Guang Xing. The Concept of the Buddha: Its Evolution from Early Buddhism to the Trikaya Theory. 2004. pp. 65–66 "Several scholars have suggested that the Prajñāpāramitā probably developed among the Mahasamghikas in Southern India, in the Andhra country, on the Krishna River."
  7. ^ Williams, Paul. Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations 2nd edition. Routledge, 2009, p. 47.
  8. ^ Drewes, David, Early Indian Mahayana Buddhism I: Recent Scholarship, Religion Compass 4/2 (2010): 55–65,
  9. ^ "The south (of India) was then vigorously creative in producing Mahayana Sutras" – Warder, A.K. (3rd edn. 1999). Indian Buddhism: p. 335.
  10. ^ Parpola, Asko (2015), The Roots of Hinduism: The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization, Oxford University Press, p. 167, ISBN 978-0190226923
  11. ^ Rao, Raja M. Bhujanga; P. Chenchiah (1988). A History of Telugu Literature. Asian Educational Services. p. 55. ISBN 978-81-206-0313-4.
  12. ^ Brown, Charles P. (1839), "Essay on the Language and Literature of Telugus", Madras Journal of Literature and Science, X, Vepery mission Press., p. 53
  13. ^ Caldwell, Robert (1856), A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages (PDF), London: Harrison, p. 64
  14. ^ "A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ANDHRA PEOPLE IN SOUTH AFRICA". Andhra Maha Sabha of South Africa. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Indian population in Australia increases 30 per cent in less than two years; now the third largest migrant group in Australia". SBS Your Language. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Nearly 60% of Indians speak a language other than Hindi". The Times of India.
  17. ^ "What Languages Are Spoken in India?". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  18. ^ Ltd, Libros Media. "15 most spoken languages". Rocket Languages. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  19. ^ a b c d Yelmen, Burak; Mondal, Mayukh; Marnetto, Davide; Pathak, Ajai K; Montinaro, Francesco; Gallego Romero, Irene; Kivisild, Toomas; Metspalu, Mait; Pagani, Luca (August 2019). "Ancestry-Specific Analyses Reveal Differential Demographic Histories and Opposite Selective Pressures in Modern South Asian Populations". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 36 (8): 1628–1642. doi:10.1093/molbev/msz037. ISSN 0737-4038. PMC 6657728. PMID 30952160. Cite error: The named reference ":0" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  20. ^ Menon, Amamath K. (1 June 2014). "Telangana is born, KCR to take oath as its first CM". India Today. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Kannadigas outnumber Malayalis 2:1 in Tamil Nadu". The Times of India. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  22. ^ Satyanarayana, Adapa (2008). "Proceedings of the Indian History Congress Vol. 69 : Telugu Diaspora in South East/West Asia, 1871-1990". Indian History Congress. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External linksEdit