Andhra Pradesh (AP)

Andhra Pradesh (AP) ఆంధ్ర ప్రదేశ్  āndhra pradēsh  ‘Land of the Andhras’  From Skt: āndhra, ‘Telugu people/language’; and Hin/Skt: pradēsh, ‘province’, ‘region’, ‘territory’. The Andhras were an ancient tribe with settlements in the Godavari and Krishna valleys (Vedic...

Adoni (AP)

Tel: ఆదోని  ādōni ‘Five Hills’  City, Andhra Pradesh. From Tel: aydu, ‘five’; and konda, ‘hill(ock)’, ‘mountain’, ‘rock’. Adoni is an ancient hill fort town which found a leading role for itself as part of the Vijayanagar kingdom in the 14-16thC. It was captured in...

Amaravati (AP)

Tel: అమరావతి amarāvati. ‘Immortal City’  City/Capital  Andhra Pradesh. From Skt: amara, ‘ immortal’; Dra: paṭṭī/vāṭī, ‘settlement’, ‘town/village’. Amaravati was the ancient capital of the Satavahana dynasty in the 2ndC BCE. It was an important Buddhist centre and the...

Anantapur (AP)

Tel: అనంతపురం anantapuraṁ(u) ‘Boundless Ocean’  [Anantapuramu] – City/District, Andhra Pradesh From Skt: ananta, ‘endless’, ‘infinite’; and pur, ‘town’, ‘city’. Anantapur was named after a big tank/reservoir called Anantasagara  [Skt: sāgara, ‘sea’, ‘ocean’]....

Bhimavaram (AP)

Tel: భీమవరం bhīmavaraṁ ‘Bhima’s Gift’  [Bhimapuram]City, Andhra Pradesh  . From Bhima and Skt: puri, ‘fort’, ‘city’; or Tel: varamu, ‘boon’, ‘blessing’, ‘gift’. Legends tell the story of Chalukya Bheema, a 10thC Eastern Chalukya king, who built a temple to Siva here...

Bobbili (AP)

 Tel: బొబ్బిలి bobbili ‘Great Tiger’ Town, Andhra Pradesh  The town of Bobbili was founded during the 17thC by Pedda Rayadu. He came into the area under the patronage of Sher [Hin/Urd: sher, ‘tiger’] Mohammad Khan who granted him land in recognition of his services....

Chirala (AP)

Tel: చీరాల cīrāla ‘Garment Town’ [Kshirapuri] City, Andhra Pradesh  The original name, Kshirapuri, means ‘City of Milk’ [from Skt: kṣīra, ‘milk’; and puri, ‘fort’, ‘city’]. Given the region’s traditional association with handloom weaving and textiles it is suggested...

Chittoor (AP)

Tel: చిత్తూరు cittūru ‘Spiritual City’ City/District, Andhra Pradesh From Tel: chit, ‘spiritual’; and uru/uuru, ‘town’, ‘city’. There are 43 important temples in Chittoor District including the Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati and the Si Kalahasti temple. Chittoor was...

Coromandel (TN, AP)

‘Land of the Cholas’   Coastline, Tamil Nadu  Andhra Pradesh From Chola (dynasty) and Tam: maṇṭalam, ‘district’, ‘region’, ‘country’ Coromandel refers to the eastern coast of (northern) Tamil Nadu from Kodiakkarai, a.k.a. Point Calimere, to the mouth of the Krishna...

Eluru (AP)

Tel: ఏలూరు ēlūru ‘Sun City’ [Helapuri, Ellore, Ellooru]  City/District, Andhra Pradesh  From Skt/Tel: heli, hēḷi, ‘(the) Sun’; and Tel: uru/uuru, ‘town’, ‘city’. Helapuri has an ancient history dating back to the 3rdC BC Mauryan dynasty. The modern city is famous for...

Gudivada (AP)

Tel: గుడివాడ guḍivāḍa ‘Temple Town’ City, Andhra Pradesh From Tel: guḍi, ‘temple’; and Dra: wada/vada, ‘district’, ‘town’, ‘quarter’. Archaeological excavations here have revealed important  Buddhist and Jain monuments, stupas and temples. The modern town has eight...

Guntur (AP)

Tel: గుంటూరు guṇṭūru ‘Pond Town’ City/District, Andhra Pradesh  From Tel:  kuṇṭa, guṇṭa, ‘pond’, ‘pool’; and uru/uuru, ‘town’, ‘city’. The city can be dated back to the 10thC at least. Guntur is the leading producer and exporter of chillies in India and is...

Kadapa/Cuddapah (AP)

Tel: కడప kaḍapa ‘Gateway’ [Cuddapah]  City/District, Andhra Pradesh  From Tel: kaḍapa, gaḍapa, ‘threshold’, ‘gate(way)’. The name probably refers to the fact that in the past Kadapa was the entry point to the Tirumala Hills and the sacred pilgrimage site of...

Kakinada (AP)

Tel: కాకినాడ kākināḍa [Kakinandiwada, Jagannathpuram, Jaggernaikpuram, Cocanada]  City/District, Andhra Pradesh (AP) From Dra: wada/vada, ‘district’, ‘quarter’. It is likely that Kaka or Nandi (or both) refer to ancient kings (or dynasties): Kaka suggests an Ikshvaku...

Kurnool (AP)

Tel: కర్నూలు karnūlu ‘City of Grease’ [Kandenavolu] City/District, Andhra Pradesh From Tel: kandena, ‘grease’; and prolu→v(r)olu, ‘(tax) district’, ‘town’, ‘city’ [Tam/Dra: por̤il, ‘park’, ‘(sand)bank’, ‘district’]. Local sources say that, at the time the Alampur...

Machilipatnam (AP)

Tel: మచిలీపట్నం macilīpaṭnaṁ  ‘Fish(ing) Port’  [Bandar, Maisolia, Masulipatnam]  City, Andhra Pradesh  From Skt/Tel: matsaḥ/maccha/machilī, fish’; and Tel: paṭṭaṇam, ‘(port/coastal) town’, ‘city’; or Urd: bandar, ‘port’, ‘harbour’.; Maisolia/Masulipatnam was an...

Madanapalle (AP)

Tel: మదనపల్లె madanapalle ‘Beeswax Village’  City, Andhra Pradesh Skt/Pkt: madana/mayana, ‘beeswax’, ‘gum/resin’; and Tel: palli, ‘village’, ‘town’. Madanapalle is now better known for its tomatoes: it has the biggest market for them in Asia. Madanpalle supplies...

Nagarjunakonda (AP)

Tel: నాగార్జునకొండ nāgārjunakoṇḍa ‘Nagarjuna’s Hill’ [Vijayapuri] Ancient Site, Andhra Pradesh Nagarjuna was a 2-3rdC Mahayana Buddhist philosopher and founder of the Madhyamaka School, famous for its doctrine of ‘emptiness’. Some say he was an advisor to the...

Nandyal/Nandyala (AP)

‘Abode of Nandi’  [Nandalluru] City/District, Andhra Pradesh  From Nandi or Skt: nandā/nanda, ‘prosperity’, ‘happiness’; and ālaya, ‘abode’, ‘house’. Nandi is the sacred bull and vehicle of Siva. Nandyal is surrounded by nine Siva temples (Nava Nandi): Garudanandi,...

Nellore (AP)

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...

Ongole (AP)

Tel: ఒంగోలు oṅgōlu ‘Crooked Town’ [Gundigapuri, Vangalaprolu, Vangavolu, Vangolu] City, Andhra Pradesh From Tel: vanka/vaṅgu/vangi, ‘crooked’, ‘bent’; or Vanga(la); and Tel: prolu→v(r)olu →olu, ‘(tax) district’, ‘town’, ‘city’....

Prakasam District (AP)

Tel: ప్రకాశం prakāśaṁ ‘(Tanguturi) Prakasam’  District, Andhra Pradesh  This District recalls Tanguturi Prakasam, freedomfighter, Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency and then first Chief Minister of the new Andhra state, created in 1953 when Madras ...

Proddatur (AP)

Tel: ప్రొద్దటూరు proddaṭūru ‘Bush Town’  City, Andhra Pradesh (AP) From Tel: poda, podaru pōḍu, ‘bush’, ‘thicket’, ‘scrub (jungle)’; or poddu, ‘sun’; and uru/uuru, ‘town’, ‘city’. There are local derivations based on Rama (or Hanuman) arriving here at sunset; or...

Rajamahendravaram/Rajahmundry (AP)

Tel: రాజమహేంద్రవరం rājamahēndravaraṁ ‘King Mahendra’s City’  City, Andhra Pradesh (AP) Rajaraja Narendra founded this city in the 11thC. He was a Vengi king,  part of the Eastern Chalukya dynasty that ruled much of South India in the  7-12thC. Rajahmundry is  a...

Rayalaseema (AP)

Tel: రాయలసీమ rāyalasīma ‘Royal Country’ [Ceded Districts] Region, Andhra Pradesh From Tel:  rāyal, royal’; and sīma, ‘country’, ‘district’. In 1928, during the Independence movement, a decision was made to drop the ‘derogatory’ colonial name in favour of Rayalaseema....

Srikakulam (AP)

Tel: శ్రీకాకుళం śrīkākuḷaṁ ‘Sri Kakuleswara’ [Chicacole, Gulshanabad] City/District, Andhra Pradesh  From Sri Kakuleswara; and Urd: gul-shan, ‘flower/rose garden’. Before Independence Srikakulam was called Chicacole. These two names are obviously related,...

Tenali (AP)

Tel: తెనాలి tenāli ‘Plains Village’ [Teravali] City, Andhra Pradesh From Tel: ‘tera’, ‘open plain’, ‘spread out’; and valli, ‘village’. This assumes that Tenali is a corruption of the original  name, Teravali. Tenali is an important Telugu cultural centre and has...

Tirupati (AP)

Tel: తిరుపతి tirupati ‘Holy Lord’  City, Andhra Pradesh  From Tam:  tiru, ‘divine’, ‘sacred’, ‘eminent’;  Tel/Skt: pati, ‘lord’, ‘master’. Tirupati is the no. 1 destination for Hindu pilgrims in India. 25,000 visit daily (more on festival days) seeking boons from Lord...

Vijayawada (AP)

Tel: విజయవాడ vijayavāḍa ‘Victory City’ [Bezawada] City, Andhra Pradesh From Skt: vijaya, ‘conquest’, ‘victory’; Dra: wada/vada, ‘district’, ‘city’. There is no shortage of myths to explain the origin of these names: Durga defeated Mahishasura here, some say. Others...

Visakhapatnam/Vizag (TM)

Tel: విశాఖపట్నం viśākhapaṭnaṁ ‘Visakha’s City’  [Waltair] City/District, Andhra Pradesh  From Visakha and  Tel: paṭṭaṇam, ‘(port/coastal) town’, ‘city There are many candidates for this derivation: (1) Sri Vishākhā Devi, a gopi deity associated with...

Vizianagaram (AP)

Tel: విజయనగరం vijayanagaraṁ ‘Vijay’s City’ City/District, Andhra Pradesh From Vijay Rama Raju and Skt: nagar, ‘city’. Maharaja Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju-I of the Pusapati dynasty founded Vijayapuri in the 18thC, work which was started during the reign of his father,...