History of telangana ( from Vedic age to Gupta)

History of telangana ( from Vedic age to Gupta)

Telangana, as a geographical and political entity was born on June 2, 2014 as the 29th and the youngest state in Union of India. However, as an economic, social, cultural and historical entity it has a glorious history of at least two thousand five hundred years or more. Megalithic stone structures like cairns, cists, dolmens and menhir​s found in several districts of Telangana show that there were human habitations in this part of the country thousands of years ago. Remnants of iron ore smelting found at many places demonstrate the hoary roots of artisanship and tool making in Telangana for at least two thousand years. The reference to Asmaka Janapada, part of present Telangana, as one of the 16 Janapadas in ancient India proves that there exist​ed an advanced stage of society.

One of the first five disciples of the Buddha, Kondanna is a typical name from Telangana and though there is no exact information about his native place, the earliest known Buddhist township of Kondapur in Medak district is believed to be after him. The Buddha himself famously acknowledged that it was Kondanna who understood him properly. The Buddhist sources say that Bavari, a Brahmin from Badanakurti in Karimnagar sent his disciples to all the way to north India to learn Buddhism and spread the message in this region. Megasthenes, who visited India in the 4th century BCE, wrote that there were 30 fortified towns of Andhras and a majority of them were in Telangana. In the historical age, Telangana had given rise to mighty empires and kingdoms like the Satavahanas, Vakatakas, Ikshvakus, Vishnukundins, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Qutb Shahis and Asif Jahis.History of telangana

The emergence and flourishing of these powerful political formations is in itself a proof of existence of a sturdy economic, social and cultural structure. Thus Telangana has been a vibrant social entity by the time of the Buddha and continued to be so for the next two and a half millennia. Endowed with such rich cultural heritage, despite the attempts by historians and scholars from Andhra region to obfuscate and erase its history, Telangana always retained and fought for its self respect and self rule. Due to the official efforts to ignore, erase, belittle and look down Telangana history and turn it into an appendage or a footnote, particularly during 1956-2014, much of History of telangana  is either not properly researched or not recorded even if it was studied. Telangana rose again and secured its political identity now and is in the process of resurrecting its own glorious past. Here is an attempt to reconstruct the history of Telangana, the wonderful musical instrument with a thousand strings.

Pre-History of telangana (Up to 1000 BCE)

Even though extensive exploration has not been done, particularly subjected to neglect after 1956, the archaeological ​​department under the Nizams’ government had done tremendous work in discovering the traces of pre-historical human habitations in Telangana. These studies found that human habitations in parts of Telangana can be seen from the Paleolithic age consistently. Either the same locations or extended locations showed people continued to live and develop through the later stages of Mesolithic, Neolithic and Metal ages. Excavations discovered stone tools, microliths, cists, dolmens, cairns and menhirs.  All the ten districts of Telangana showed these traces even when a proper, scientific and official research and excavations have not been done and thanks to the efforts of either the first generation researchers before 1950s or individual amateur explorations.

Pre-Satavahanas  (1000 BCE – 300 BCE) History of telangana 

In the historical age beginning from 1000 BCE there are some references of Telangana as a geographical entity as well as Telugu as a linguistic entity, in the contemporary Buddhist and mythological texts. However, it needs a detailed research to discover finer aspects and establish the stage of development of pre-Satavahana society. Thought the official research into this aspect was stalled for about six decades, some enthusiasts like Thakur Rajaram Singh, B N Sastry and Dr D Raja Reddy did their own painstaking explorations and showed that there was a flourishing society before the emergence of the Satavahanas. Particularly Dr Raja Reddy proved with numismatic evidence that there were rulers before the Satavahanas with Kotalingala as capital and issued their own coins. In these excavations the coins of Gobada, Naarana, Kamvaaya and Samagopa were discovered and at least two other rulers’ names came to light.  Thus Telangana happens to be the first region in the subcontinent to have issued punch-marked coins with even insignia. The Buddhist texts as well as accounts of foreigners like Magesthenes and Arrian talked about this region as having thirty forts, many of which have to be explored.

Satavahanas (250 BCE – 200 CE) History of telangana 

The Satavahanas rose to a political power, after the fall of the Mauryan Empire. Koti Lingala seems to be one of the 30 cities of Satavahana dynasty. Excavations revealed brick wells, coins belonging to pre-Satavahana period, Gobhada and Samagopa. It is believed that the place is the site of hermitage of sage Bhavari. Several coins of Simukha, the founder of the Satavahana dynasty, and those of other early rulers like Kanha and Satakarni I were found .

The Deccan, during this period was an emporium of inland and maritime trade. The region between the rivers of Godavari and Krishna was full of ports and throbbing with activity. There was plentiful of currency to facilitate trade and the people entered upon a period of great industrial, commercial and maritime activity. Buddhism flourished throughout the period and the rulers were also devoted to Vedic ritualism. They constructed several Buddhist Stupas, Viharas and Chaityas. Satavahanas were able rulers and loved literacy and architecture. The 17th ruler of this dynasty, Hāla was a great poet and his “Gathasaptasati” in Prakrit was well received by all. Gunadhya, the minister of Hala was the author of “Brihatkadha”. According to Matsya Purana, there were 29 rulers of this dynasty. They ruled over for about 456 years, from the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD. The empire included most of the southern peninsula and some southern parts of the present Indian states of Maharashtra, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. The court language used by the Satavahanas was Prakrit.

The decline and fall of the Satavahana Empire left the state in a political chaos. Local rulers as well as invaders tried to carve out small kingdoms for themselves and to establish many dynasties. Such instability continued to prevail until the rise of the Western Chalukyas.

 

Post-Satavahana (200 CE – 950 CE) History of telangana 

After the fall of Satavahanas in the third century AD, Telugu-speaking areas were divided under various small rulers and till the emergence of the Kakatiyas, for about six or seven centuries this fragmentation continued. Even as the mainstream Andhra historians maintained that it was a dark period in Telangana history without any political formation, the current research found that Telangana was ruled by various kingdoms like the Ikshvakus, Vakatakas, Vishnukundins, Badami Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Vemulavada Chalukyas, Kalyani Chalukyas, Mudigonda Chalukyas, Kanduri Chodas and Polvasa dynasty. A detailed research into this period is yet to take place.

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