Tel: నెల్లూరు nellūru

‘Paddy Town’ [Vikrama Simhapuri] City/District, Andhra Pradesh (AP)

From Dra: nel, ‘rice’, ‘paddy’ or Tel/Dra: nelli, Indian gooseberry [Phyllanthus emblica]; and Tel: uru/uuru, ‘town’, ‘city’.

The Indian gooseberry has both edible fruit and leaves. Besides its ayurvedic uses, the high tannin fruit is used in inks, dyes and shampoos.

Myths associate the name with a stone lingam found under a nelli tree. Despite the linguistic plausibility of both derivations, ‘paddy’ is generally viewed as more likely (see Tirunelveli).

In 2008 the District was reamed Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore after Potti Sri Ramulu who died fasting for a separate Telugu state.

Until the 13thC the town was named Vikrama Simhapuri [from Skt: vikrama, ‘brave’, ‘mighty’;  and siṃha, ‘lion’] probably after the 6thC century Pallava ruler, Simha – Vishnu.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Andhra Pradesh place names.