Kadapa district is said to be the heart of the Rayalaseema as it is centrally located and well connected with the 4 districts of Rayalaseema. The District has a glorious history and a rich cultural heritage. It is identified as a part of Dandakaranya through which the Lord Rama and his consort Sita wandered during their exile. Holy rivers like Penna (Panakini), Papaghni, Chitravati, Mandavya cut across the District giving the land sanctity of their own. Kunderu, Sagileru are the chief Northern tributaries to Penna and Cheyyeru, Papaghni and Chitravathi are the Southern tributaries. The total geographical area of the District is 15,379 Sq.Km with 3 Revenue Divisions and 51 Mandals. And has Two (Kadapa & Rajampeta) Parliamentary Constituencies and Ten (Kadapa, Pulivendula, Mydukur, Proddatur, Jammalamadugu, Raychoti, Kodur, Badvel, Rajampet & Kamalapuram) Assembly Constituencies.
Cuddapah is considered to be one of the district endowed with rich history. Though its history goes back to second century B C, primarily it starts with Mourya & Satavahana dynasty as per the Archeological survey evidences. It was the battle field for several dynasties – Pallava, Chalukya, Cholas who waged wars for getting authority over South India.
The Pallava kings penetrated from a time into the North of Cuddapah district and ruled for a certain period during the 5th century. Later on the Cholas defeated the Pallavas and their rule appears to have lasted till the later part of the 8th century. Subsequently the next dynasty which established its authority for a considerable period to be that of Banas
With the retreat of the Banas, Cuddapah came under the sway of a dynasty of kings called the Rastrakutas. King Indra III (915 A.D.) a later king Krishna III were the popular rulers. With the death of king Krishna III, the power and influence of this dynasty declined. The Telugu Cholas who were feudatories of Chola dynasty ruled entire Cuddapah District and their power seems to have suffered a temporary eclipse due to the aggression of Pandas but soon, the Cholas kingdom firmly established once again in the district during the first half of the 13th century.
In the latter half of 13th century, the district fallen in to the hands of Ambadeva who had temporarily usurped the Kakatiya crown and ruled from Vallur, 15 Kms. from Cuddapah and during his time the land survey carried out and a river channel was constructed at Lebaka. Subsequently Kakatiya King Prataparudra succeeded the throne after death of Ambadeva and ruled the district with Warrangal as the Capital during the opening of 14th century.
But in A.D.1309, came the invasion of the Deccan by Muslims during the reign of Khilji emperor Alla Uddin and Pratapa Rudra was defeated and he was carried as a prisoner to Delhi and hence Warrangal, the capital came into the hands of Alla-ud-din.
In A.D.1336 the Vijayanagar Kingdom was found by Hari Hara and Bukka. During A.D.1344 a Hindu confederation of Warrangal, Krishna Vijaya NagaramRaja and the Hoysala King of Mysore, with an immense force drove the Muslims out of Warrangal and rolled back the tide of their advance. This is the out come establishment of Vijayanagar empire and during the two centuries of its ascendancy.
In the battle of Talikota, the Hindus and Muslims with forces of almost fabulous strength, contested for the supremacy over Deccan and with the result the Hindus were totally defeated and the Deccan fallen into the hands of King of Golkonda.
In the year 1740 the Marathas invaded and defeated the Nawab of Kurnool and Cuddapah. Hyder Ali obtained the possession of Gurramkonda and Cuddapah from the hands of Marathas and appointed his brother-in-law Mir Saheb in Cuddapah district. Hence Mir Saheb and his son Kamaluddin were the first rulers of the district. The district later fell in to the Nizam by the treaties of Mysore and Srirangapatnam.
Later on this area was ceded to the British by the Nizam. Cuddapah tasted the lawlessness of the ‘palegars’. Finally Major Munro, the first District Collector took over the reins of administration. He gave peace to the people of this region.
Shaik Peer Shah took prominent part in the first war of Independence in 1857. During the subsequent decades, people followed the leaders of the freedom movement and rejoiced with the rest of the people when India became free in 1947.
The district in its long history acquired composite culture. The people are hard-working and very hospitable. The population of the District consists of all important religious groups but the Hindus are in predominant number. In addition to Islam, the district came under the influence of Jainism and Buddhism also during different periods as Danavulapadu and Nandalur ancient sites suggest. Huen Trang, Chinese traveler who traveled through the district in 7th century AD recorded the existence of Sangharams (Buddhist monasteries) and nirgantha heretics (Jain). There is no authentic information available about the exact time of introduction of Islam into the district. But it is certain that Muslims inhabited the district as early as fourteenth century. Christianity was introduced into the district in the first half of eighteenth century by the Jesuit mission. Due to influence of different religions and beliefs, the people of the district acquired composite culture and secular attitude.
There is a good network of roads connecting all the Mandals in the District Headquarters. The major roads meeting at Kadapa (District Headquarters) are
- Kurnool-Kadapa-Chittoor State Highway
- Kadapa-Madras State Highway
A major irrigation sources in the district are K-C canal, the Mydukur and the Chapadu Project, the upper Sagileru and lower Sagileru and the Pincha Projects. Paddy, Groundnut, Red gram, Cotton, Bengal gram are the major Agricultural crops. Mango, Citrus, Banana, Melons and Papaya are the fruit crops. Turmeric, Onion, Chillies, Coriander, Vegetables and Chrysanthemum are other commercial crops grown in the district.
Kadapa district is endowed mainly with red and black soils ranging from poor to fertile soils. Red soils occupy 53% of the cultivated area and are mostly situated in L.R.Palli, Rayachoty, Rajampet, Pulivendla and Kodur Mandals. These soils have a low nutrient status. Black soils covered nearly 47% of the cultivated area and are generally associated with clay content located in Muddanur, Jammalamadugu, Proddatur, Mydukur, Pulivendla and Kamalapuram Mandals.
The District experiences its minimum temperature varies in 28-30° C range in November to January and its hottest temperature varies in 40-45° C range during April-May. Based on the Agro-climatic conditions the District falls both in Southern and scarce rainfall zone. In southern zone rainfall ranges from 700 to 800 mm while it is 500 to 700 mm rainfall in scarce rainfall zone. The District’s normal rainfall is 700 mm and its actual rainfall varies from 400+ to 800+ mm. The District gets its major portion of rainfall (around 60%) during June-September period through South-West Monsoon. More than 30% of its average rainfall comes from North-East Monsoon during October-December. It gets its remaining 10-15% of its rainfall during Winter Period (January & February) and in Hot Weather Period (March-May). Among the 51 Mandals of this district, Rajupalem, Duvvur, Kalasapadu & Porumailla Mandals get maximum rainfall from South-West Monsoon, while Chitvel, Kodur & Obulavaripalle Mandals gets from North-East Monsoon.
The best season to visit this place is November to January.Fauna & Flora The district is blessed with a series of beautiful valleys through which holy rivers like Pinakini (Pennar), Papaghni, Chitravathi, Mandavya, Cheyyeru cut across the district giving the land sanctity of their own. The river Penna is the most important river flowing right through the District whose legend is incorporated in a sasanam (inscription) at Gandikota The Seshachalam range of hills that pass through this district and are crowned ultimately with the holy shrine of Tirumala in Chittoor District. (The city of Kadapa is known as the threshold of the shrine of the Lord of Seven hills. In telugu Kadapa means ‘threshhold’, a camping place for the pilgrims visiting the Lord Balaji) forms part of the central portion of Eastern Ghats. The Eastern Ghats don’t possess structural continuity. The hill ranges part themselves from the orographical knot, dividing Settigunta reserve forest and the Balapalle reserve forest. Each of these ranges are described below:-
- Vellikonda Hills: The hills of eastern ghats run north wards going through the eastern boarders of Rajampet, Sidhout and Badvel talukas. The highest peak located at Thollipenta of Rajampet Taluka is said to be about 2710 ft.
- Palakonda Hills: The second hill range is called the Palakonda hills or Seshachalam hills formed massive quartzites, interbedded with slates and lavas. It is in this range near Vempalle that we have the beautiful gorge called the Vempalle Gandi of Ramayana fame where the river Papaghni cuts through the range.
- Nallamalais & Lankamalais: The hill range run north wards along the boundary line dividing Kadapa and Sidhout talukas on thence to Proddatur taluka to merge into Kurnool district. The Nallamalais are covered by thick forest and abounding wild animals. The hill ranges average a height of 2500 to 3000 ft.
- Yerramalais: The red, granite box bereft of growth present a desolate appearance of red in contrast to the black cotton fields that they over look and because of this they acquired a name of ‘Yerra’.
Thus Kadapa tract is associated with such holy rivers and hills have been considered a holy land. The soil of the district has been classified into red ferruginous soil and black spoil. These two classes can be sub divided into clay, loam sand with finer distinctions. The forests of the district are of a dry deciduous type. The overall condition of the forest in the district is not very good. The only distinction of the forest is that its most important spaces are the famous pterocaropus santalinus or red sanders. Since this is the only district of the country in which this species occurs, a positive conserve and extend them has been evolved. These forests fall under three zones wise those of Teral or Fuel Forests upto an elevation of hundred feet, Hill Forests or Red Sanders lying between the elevation of 800 and 2000 feet and Shoreaeugenla occupying elevations above 2000 feet. This tract has also been identified as the forest of Dandaka through which the god king Sreerama and his consort Seetha wandered during their 14 years of exile
Minerals & Mining
The District is rich in Minerals. The high grade asbestos of Chrysotile variety, Berytis and Lime Stone suitable for manufacture of cement are present in the district in large quantities. It also possesses important deposits of white clay, small deposits of small iron ore, ochre and steatite and abounds in construction material. There are old workings for diamond and Lead in the district. The Major Minerals in the District are Berytis, Lime Stone and Asbestos. Apart from Major Minerals, Minor Minerals are Napa Slabs, Road Metal, Building Stone, Marble, Mosaic Chips and Rehmatti are also in the District. Asbestos of Chrysotile variety occurs at contact of the Vempalle dolamite with the dolerite in the Pulivendula taluk. The best developed zone stretches for about 11 km from near Lingala to Brahmanapalle. Pulivendula has 14,400 tonnes of superior Asbestos. Deposits of Berytis occur in Vempalle and associated basic Igneous rocks in Pulivendula. Kamalapuram and Kadapa talukas. The most important deposits are situated in the belt between Velupula and Vempalle. The Berytis deposits of 70 million tonnes in Rajampet is said to be the best in the world. The deposits of white clay are situated in Pullampet and Cumbum of Rajampet taluk, Anantharajupeta, Chinna Orampadu and Hastavaram. White clay which could be used as filler in paper, textile industries etc occurs in the deposits near Rampathadu in Kadapa taluka. There are several old working for Lead ore near Jangamrajupalle & Varikunta in Badvel taluk and Nagasanipalle in Kadapa taluka. Lime stones eminently suitable for cement manufacture occur in Narji stage in Jammalamadugu and Kamalapuram talukas. Kadapa, Jammalamadugu and Mydukur areas contain 4000 million tonnes of Lime Stone. There are extensive outerops of Lime Stones, Dolamites, Granite and Quartzites in major parts of the district, which could be utilised as building material.
Icon of Kadapa
CP Brown : A Restless Pandit
Charles Philip Brown’s name stand out like a beacon among European scholars who contributed to Telugu studies. He rendered an unbelievable service to Telugu with an amazing zeal and interest.
He was the first Indologist to publish Telugu classics with commentaries. He collected a large number of palm-leaf manuscripts. He had in its payroll about 20 Pandits in transcribing native authors, in preparing correct editions, in framing indexes and commentaries. He was paying salaries from his private sources to them.
Charles Philip Brown was born in Culcutta on 10.11.1798. His father Rev David Brown was senator chaplain of the East India company in Bengal. He joined the Fort St George College, where he studied Telugu and Marathi and passed out in June, 1820. First he was appointed as second Assistant to the Principal Collector, Kadapa in August, 1820.
Hunburry, the Collector of Kadapa was speaking Telugu fluently. His example inspired Brown. He became very fluent in Telugu in two years and excelled Hunburry in Telugu scholarship. His passion for the accumulation of knowledge was very strong. While at Machilipatnam he read about Vemana in the book ‘Hindu Manners Customs and Ceremonies’ and began collecting palm-leaf copies of verses of Vemana. He translated 1200 verses and published them in 1829. Brown’s magnum opus was his dictionary, Telugu-English, English-Telugu and mixed dialects in 1852. His dictionaries are still considered standard and his often re-printed.
While his monthly salary was only Rs. 500, he spent on the faire copy of the Mahabharatha (Telugu) Rs. 2714. He may be a valuable collection of documents, extracts from News Papers and research material running to 34 volumes of over 20,000 pages which he donated to India Office Library. He gave 5751 manuscripts to Government Oriental Manuscript Library, Madra.
Bishop Caldwell described Brown as a Restless Pandit. He resigned from service in 1855 and left for London. C.P. Brown died an Octogenarian on 12.12.1884.
To perpetuate the memory of C.P Brown, Savanth of Telugu Literature, a Library building was constructed at Kadapa on the very site of Brown’s Bungalow known in those days as Brown’s College.