Rajahmundry - The Historical city is famous all over the
A.P for its Political, Economical, Social, Cultural background.
In its earlier days it was called Rajahmahendrapuram. Later the name was
changed to Rajahmahendravaram and in later stages during the reign of
Mohammedans and British rule the name underwent many changes like
Rajahmahendramu, Rajamandramu, Rajahmundhri and finally now Rajahmundry.
Some people call it with the name "Rajahmahendri" also.
Rajahmahendrapuram - Its establishment:
It is difficult to know the history of this city before Chalukya's. Basing on
the few proofs gathered by the Historians, two theories exist about the origin
1. According to the first theory, Rajahmundry was established
by Ammaraja Vishnuvardhana, the first (919 - 934 AD). Some people believe in
this theory as Vishnuvardhana had the title "Rajamahendra". His predecessor
Ammaraja Vijayaditya, the second (945 - 970 AD) had Rajaraja Narendra (1022 -
1061 AD) had the same title "Rajamahendra".
2. According to the second Theory, Rajaraja Narendra
established the city Rajahmahendrapuram. This theory was based on the statement
"Rajamahendrapura sthatha RajarajaNarendra". (Kavyalankara Chudamani written by
Pedanna). Both the theories didn't have any Archeological proofs. But the
proofs in the recent excavations show that this city belongs to the reign even
before Eastern Chalukya's.
History during and after Rajaraja Narendra's reign (1020 -1072):
Though Rajahmundry was a famous town during VengiChalukyan's, the city got its
fame during the rule of Rajaraja Narendra. His period was famous for the Social
and Cultural heritage. During his rule of approximately 41 years, there was no
stability and peace due to the disputes in the kingdom. The city got its fame
when Nannayya started the translation of " The Mahabharata" into telugu on his
After Rajaraja Narendra, Vijayaditya ruled the kingdom ( 1062 - 1072 AD). Later
it was ruled by KulotungaChola, his son RajarajaVengi-the second and others who
stated themselves to be Cholas and Chalukyas. Later it became a part of
after the Kakatiya rule (1323 AD):
The city didn't have any special history during the Kakatiya rule. In 1323 AD
UlgKhan (Muhmad-bin Tughlak) conquered Orugallu (now known as Warangal) and the
Kakatiya dynasty came to an end. He conquered Rajahmahendravaram and appointed
Gujjar as Governor. The present mosque at the heart of the city was the temple
of Sri Venugopala Swamy (built during the period of VengiChalukyas) before
Tughlak's period. It was demolished and was converted into Mosque, and the
carvings on the name of Ghiyajuddin Tughlak at the entrance of the Mosque
stands as the proof for this statement.
The following was the
report given by Alexander Riyas, Superintendent of Archeological Department:
"This is one of the oldest of the Mohammedan mosques in the presidence
(Madras), having been built in AD 1324 by Mohammed Tughlak Shah who, after
capturing the fort at Kondapalli after Six month's Continuous trouble, entered
a temple here, and after massacring. Some of the ruins of the of the
desolated pagoda, and began to establish Muhammadan Worship there... ... the
pillars in the front portico are all parts of Hindu temple, as also the inside
of the covering... ...This is a good example of a Hindu temple. which retains
it's original features and has been converted into Mohammedan mosque.
(A forgotten Chapter of Andhra History... Mallampalli
- Reddy's & Gajapathi's rule (1353 - 1448 AD):
The Reddys started a movement against the Muhammadan rule in A.P and succeeded
in their movement. Rajahmahendravaram was ruled by Reddys approximately for 95
years (1353 - 1448 AD). It was under the rule of different kings like
Kapileswara Gajapathi, Bahamani Sultans, Purushotamma Gajapathi, Sri
Krishnadevaraya & Prataparudra Gajapathi.
It went into Kutubshahi's hands when they defeated the Gajapathis. Aurangzed
conquered the Kutubshahi's (Golconda) in 1687 AD.
The reign of Reddy's:
A revolt was raised against the Mohammedan rule lead by Mr.Prolaya Nayaka and
Kapaya Nayaka. Prolaya Nayaka started his revolt from "Rekipally" but died
before his revolt succeeded. From 1332 AD Kapaya Nayaka lead the revolt. In the
year 1337 AD he conquered Orugallu (Warangal) fort. During the same period
Prolaya Vema Reddy established Reddy Dynasty with Addanki as the capital city
of his Kingdom. Later it was shifted to Kondaveedu.
Anavota Reddy (1335 - 1364 AD):
Anavota Reddy became king of the Reddy dynasty and he conquered many small
kingdoms including Nidadavolu(Ruled by Vengi Chalukya's), Vundi (Ruled by
Suryavamsa Kshatriya's), Korukonda(Ruled by Kondanayaka's), Pithapuram(Ruled by
Koppularaju's) before 1356 AD.
Anavema Reddy (1364 -1386 AD):
Anavema Reddy brother of Anavota Reddy was also an able ruler. His ruled his
kingdom Nirvajyapuram(Nidadavolu) as his capital city. During his rule he
conquered Rajahmahendrapuram, Korukonda, Pithapuram, Kalingam and Simhachalam
and annexed them into his kingdom.
Komaragiri (Kumaragiri) Reddy (1386 - 1402 AD):
Komaragiri Reddy was the sonof Anavota Reddy. Internal disputes raised in the
kingdom before his occupation of the throne. Katayavema Reddy (Senapathi) chief
of Army of Anavota Reddy and Brother-in-law of Komaragiri Reddy) and PedaKomati
Vema Reddy were the root of all the internal disputes. The rulers of different
parts of the kingdom announced their Independence and didn't pay their taxes.
To suppress the revolt Katayavema Reddy and Anavotareddy, the second visited
Harihara Rayalu, the Vijayanagara ruler, married his daughter Hariharamba to
Katayavema Reddy on knowing his valour. Though internal disputes stopped for
some time, raised again in no time.
Katayavema Reddy (1395 - 1414 AD):
Katayavema Reddy ruled Rajahmundry for 19 years. He fought many wars against
Pedakomativema Reddy. He extended his kingdom upto Katam. He had one son,
Komaragiri Reddy and two daughters , Anitally and Hariharamba.
Allada Reddy (1414 - 1423 AD):
Komaragiri Reddy was only 10yrs old by the time Katayavema Reddy died(in 1414).
Allada Reddy ruled the kingdom on his behalf. Unfortunately Komaragiri Reddy
also died. Pedakomati Vema Reddy raised a war against the kingdom twice, but
Allada Reddy defeated him both the times. Allada Reddy made a treaty with
Kalingas and Vijayanagara Emperors.
Veerabhadra Reddy (1423 - 1448):
Alladareddy died in the year 1423 AD and Veerabhadra Reddy became the ruler of
the Reddy dynasty. Rajamahendravaram was his Kingdom. Devarayalu, the second
conquered the Rajamahendravaram and Simhachalam forts. The Reddy dynasty had
it's decline started due to the wars raised by the Recharla Velama's and
Gajapathi's. By the year 1448 Rajamahendravaram and surrounding places went
into the hands of Kapileswara Gajapathi.
Vijayanagara and Kalinga wars - Rajamahendravaram:
Reddy kings lost their support from the Vijayanagara empire after the Death of
Devaraya, the second. After conquering Reddy's Kapileswara Gajapathi appointed
Raghudeva Kumara as the ruler of Rajamahendravaram. Bohimini sultans invaded
Rajamahendravaram and conquered. Later in 1485 AD Purushottama Gajapathi
defeated Bahamani Sultans and occupied Rajamahendravaram.
Sri Krishna Devaraya was crowned as the Emperor of Vijayanagara Empire in 1509
AD. In 1512 AD he conquered Vudayagiri, Telangana, Vengi, Rajahmahendravaram,
Konaseema and Simhachalam. Pratap Gajapathi of Katakam made a treaty with Sri
Krishna Devaraya. As a result the areas to the north of river Krishna including
Rajamahendravaram again went into the hands of Gajapathi's once again.
Golconda Kutubshahi's and Rajamahendravaram:
Bahamini Kingdom was divided into 5 parts. Kutubshahi's, one of these separated
wings of Bahamini Sultan's, were the kings of Golconda. Kulikutubshah was the
founder of this Kutubshahi Dynasty. He conquered the Gajapathi's and annexed
Rajahmundry into his kingdom. He destroyed the Vijayanagara empire during the
war fought between Kutubshahi's and Vijayanagara rulers at Rakasatangidi. After
the death of KuliKutubshah Kutubshah became the king of Golconda. He visited
Rajahmundry to suppress a revolt. In 1687 Aurangzeb conquered Golconda and the
entire Golconda Kingdom became a part of Mughal Kingdom.
Anglo French - British Rule
(- 1758 AD):
Rajahmundry was in the rule of French, and later by English (Company's rule
till 1857 and later directly under the rule of British Govt.) till India got
it's freedom. Rajahmundry lost it's status as district/region head quarters
(which it had from 918 AD) when the headquarters was shifted from Rajahmundry
to Kakinada in 1859 AD.
The Deccan Subedar, Nizam-Ul-Mulk(of Deccan) was an independent ruler. Andhra
Pradesh was under his rule. The English and the French who came to Madras and
Pondichery respectively to establish their trading centers started raising wars
for their supremacy. These were called "Karnataka wars". The French conquered
Karnataka. After the death of Nizam-Ul-Mulk, internal disputes started. In the
wars during this period the French supported one wing while the English
extended their support to the second. The French conquered the war.
The Nizam surrendered the Northern parts of his kingdom to the French in 1753.
In 1758 the English defeated the French. The ruler of Hyderabad, Mr.Salbatjung
made a treaty with the British and gave the northern parts including
Rajahmundry to the English. Later Nizam rebelled against the English. A second
treaty was the result of the war and Rajahmundry went into the British rule
forever. The rich persons (Jamindars) in the Rajahmundry province including
those in Pithapuram, Peddapuram, Polavaram, Mughaltur etc., raised a revolt,
but in vain.
In the beginning of 19th century the Northern part was divided into 5
districts. EastGodavari(E G Dt) is one of them. Rajahmundry was the
headquarters of E G Dt. The district collectorate was established in
Rajahmundry during the EastIndia Company's rule. The district court was
constructed in Rajahmundry in 1802. Under the observation of Sir Aurthor Cotton
the Dowlaiswaram barrage was constructed in the year 1852. The Government Arts
College was established as the District School in Rajahmundry in the year 1853.
Independence movement and Rajahmundry:
1885 - 1905:
Indian National Congress conducted its first meeting in the year 1885 in
Bombay(Now Mumbai). Mr.Nyapathi Subba Rao and Mr.Kandukuri Veeresalingam were
the important person from Rajahmundry. Mr.Subba Rao was the first president of
Rajahmundry Bar Association which was established in the year 1895. He was the
founder of "Hindu Samaj" in Rajahmundry. He was also one of the six founders of
the Englishdaily "The Hindu" at Madras(Now Chennai). He was the secretary of
Congress comittee of AP in 1915-1916. He was the leader of the team who met
Montague for the formation of AP as a separate state.
The first person to state after Mr.Subba Rao is Mr.Mocharla Ramachandra Rao who
worked as Junior with Mr.Subbarao.He worked as Rajahmundry Muncipal Chairman
for 2 yrs. Rajahmundry Municipality is the oldest Muncipality in AP. It used to
have an annual income of 50,000/- to 60,000/- during 1899.
Some Memorable years in the Rajahmundry History :
1867 - Establishment of Sub-collector's office.
1885 - Establishment of Secondary grade college.
1893 - Railroad construction between Rajahmundry and Vijayawada.
1894 - Establishment of Govt Training college
1898 - Establishment of Gowtami Grandhalayam(Library) by Mr.NalamKrishna Rao
and Vaddadi Subbaraidu.
Vandaemataram Movement - Rajahmundry :
Vandaemataram movement was started in the year 1905 against the partition of
Bengal. During this period Rajahmundry was famous for Homerule movement. Those
days Bipin chandra paul travelled all over Andhra Pradesh for canvassing of
this movement. He visited Rajahmundry in April, 1905 for the same. During his
visit from April 19, 20, 21 in 1907 he was accompanied by Mr.Mutnuri Krishna
Rao. During his visits to Rajahmundry he used to address the public in
"PaulChowk"(the present Kotipalli Bustand).
During the Homerule movement an article "Swaparipalana (Homerule)" was
pulblished in the magazine "Desamata". The Editor of the magazine was Mr.
Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham. The magazine was fined Rs.1000 by the British.
Cultural Heritage of Rajahmundry:
The rebirth of cultural heritage in A.P started in Rajahmundry. Before
Mr.Kandukuri Veeresalingam pantulu, Mr.Muttu Narasimhanaidu(munisif) stated
the importance of Women Education & Equal rights to women with men in his
book "HitaSuchini". Mr.Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu is known as “The father
of reformations” in A.P. He started a monthly magazine "Vivekavardhini", a
school for girls at Dowlaiswaram in 1874. The first widow marriage took place
on Dec 11, 1881. A society with 16 members was started on 22nd Jun,1884, which
used to look after the widow marriages in Rajahmundry. The town hall in
Rajahmundry was established in 1890 by Veeresalingam. He established a weekly
"Satyavadini" which was published both in English and Telugu. He established
"HitakariniSamaj" in 1906 with 36 members. He was the first novelist in Telugu
"Rajasekhara Charitra" was the first novel.
Anni Besant visited Rajahmundry twice, first time when the foundation of branch
of Divya Gjyan Samaj building at Alcot Gardens was being laid. She came again
during the opening ceremony of the building.
"Ramakrishna Mission" was established in 1950-1951 near
Kambaltank(The place in which present Ayakar Bhavan(Income tax office) was once
a part of Sri Ramakrishna Mission only).
Abstracted from the History
of Rajahmundry by Aacharya Betavolu Ramabrahmam.
[Now & then of
[Fortgate - Kotagummam]
[Rajahmundry Central Jail]