Telangana (Tel)

Tel: తెలంగాణ telaṅgāṇa

‘(People or Land of the) South‘.

From Gon: telangadh/telnar, ‘southern (people or language)’ [Pdr/Tam: teṉ, ‘south’, ‘southern region’; Tel: tenugu/telugu, ‘people/language (of the south)’].

The name of the language and people, Telugu, is related to the land, Telangana. Both Gondi and Telugu show an ‘n’ -> ‘l’ sound shift from an proto-Dravidian root, *ten. The Gond use dates back 2,000 years and 14th-16thC inscriptions record early uses of the name Tilang(ani) or Tulingana.

Also suggested is: ‘(Country of the) Three Lingas’. From Skt: tri, ‘three’; and Skt: linga, ‘phallic image/idol’ [referring to Shaivite shrines at Kaleshwaram, Srisailam and Draksharama].

Telangana was a part of the former princely state of the Nizam of Hyderabad. The name differentiated the Telugu-speaking region of the state from its Marathi-speaking  neighbours.

Following Independence the state became part of India. When Andhra Pradesh separated from Madras in 1953 the two Telugu-speaking states, despite their social and economic differences, were merged on the understanding that the interests of Telangana would be safeguarded. A prolonged struggle suggested that these promises had not been kept and Telangana broke away in 2014.

Telangana is a land-locked state surrounded by five other states (Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha).

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