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part 2 -More on Kammas

Discussion with readers, their queries, additions and leads
Dont take this caste affiliation too seriously. It is just like a membership to a cultural club, sort of tribal identity. Modern gene studies show all are quite "mixed". Excessive emphasis on caste actually reveals a medical condition caused by stress.

note: this post below is rather long, without any references : I'll have to drastically prune it in a fortnight. Anyway let him have his say.
C Ramakrishna (rk_chidipothu@yahoo):--

re yr article on kammas..

dear sir, i saw the article written by u and thogh there are one or two bright aspects,overall i felt it degrading and at the same time elevating the stance of kapus and reddis.i don't understand why there is lot of confusion being created reg kammas history denying them what they are entitled to.to be frank i think u r a kapu/brahmin.doesn't matter who u r,i shall chronologically tell u a brief history of a thousand years.
(pls don't judge the status of castes by their today's influence, beacause everything keeps changing.eg,telaga,balija etc. who are servants, keeps, serfs(paleru), of kamma Naidus a hundred years ago have 'become' naidus today in central coastal disricts.they have become naidus to such an extent that they have made raja vasireddi venkatadri naidu a balija/kapu because of naidu in his name.i can't say what may happen after another 50 years,but today i can prove he was a kamma. Irony is that just like lands of the helpless being grabbed by the rowdies,even history is also being tampered by the vociferous)
Every word in the following parahs has proof,unless one doesn't wish to see the truth.
the krishna valley east of srisailam was called karmarashtra or later kammanadu.this land was sought after by various kings as it is fertile, full of rivers and rivulets and more importantly diamonds are available near paritala etc.(among worlds top 10 diamonds 4 are from here).the lunar clan chalukyas from the north and cholas of the south used to dominate the area alterntively.finally these clans amalgamated with a small dose of haihayas from gujarat into a group called kammavaru after the country.it is a generalised term like rajput which within itself is a congregation of various ruling clans.raju,naidu,verma,neni,needu were various titles used by the kammas(chowdary is very insignificant title comparitively).the kammas also had good relations with the hoyasalas of karnataka,whereas western chalukyas were their own self.
in summary kamma can be synonimised with rajput.in fact excluding kerala kammas ruled over entire south india and even kandy in sri lanka.
in 11th & 12th centuries the social setup was in a turmoil because of veersaivism which actually consolidated the then sudras (includes reddis/ kapus) against the aristocracy(kammas and brahmins).this was very intense in karnataka and in andhra a little less. a reddi(kapu;reddi means a kapu or farmer;all reddis are basically kapus eg;panta kapu. pakanati kapu)woman called nagamma sought to popularise saivism and also uplift her community.she was cunning and brave.she rose to the level of confidiant and minister to the king.to counter this veerashivism Brahma naidu followed veera vaishnavism and he took even untouchables into its fold,who were actually left out by shaivism.but inadververtently,brahma naidu furthered nagammas cause, as his actions caused him to be thrown out of community(veli) and he split the kamma caste by founding the velama caste.
N.B; the social status of reddis was quite low during this time as is evident from books like 'suka sapthati kathalu'. nagamma was called 'nayakuralu' ,not 'reddemma'.though nagamma was able to enter some reddis into the army,which was hitherto prohibited for them,we can find from the palnati charitra that brahma naidu refused to fight with a reddi who challenged him terming it is insulting to him. incidentally,brahma naidu and NTR both legends have the same gothra 'RECHERLA'
reddis rose to the level of generals in the 150 years from palnati battle to the time of prataprudra.prataprudra did not treat the reddi generals on par with kamma/velama.keeping this in mind the reddi generals did not cooperate in the final battle with muslims.the inferiority of the reddis has cost andhra its glory and independence.
and for the first time in the history of india,capital lost to muslims was recaptured by a hindu king viz.musunuri prolaya naidu and kapaya naidu. kapaya naidu made his trusted aide, prolaya vema reddi, who claimed to have served his lotus feet,king of a small town called addanki.a reddi promoted as a king for the first time in the andhra history,which was hitherto the domain of kammas(and hence velamas). this was against the objections made by brahmins,that they cannot coronate a gotra less reddi(kapaya naidu offset this by permitting the reddi to have the gotra of brahma naidu) and velama king singama naidu of racha konda. this difference of opinion and singam naidu frequently harassing the reddi invoked the intereference of kapaya naidu,and this became a full-fledged kamma-velama clash.initially kapaya naidu killed singama naidu,but his death was avenged by his son anapothu naidu who not only killed kapaya naidu,but his entire kin who were rulers of various small kingdoms in coastal andhra.anapothu naidu was called 'somakula parasurama'. (during this vaccum created by the the death of so many princes,the reddis were able to occupy a few more forts like kondaveedu,kondapalli etc. they have not built those forts,they were existing centuries before they became kings,sorry 'reddi kings'.they did not last long.they were thwarted by the solar clan kings from orissa or odhra.these kings were first called odhra qr vaddera kings,but slowly they were being called just kings or rajulu,which was hitherto the id of kammas and eventually the servants and soldiers who came along with these kings started calling themaselves vadde rajulu.thus the title raju was usurped away from kammas.the second famous title naidu is now being usurped by so many including 'bhogam' or prostitutes in the sense that they carry a tinge of kamma blood in them.)
ok sir. i think this will do.what i say is kammas are no longer a dominant force as they used to be and in a way they are now at the receiving end.this doesn't mean that their glorious past also be diluted. had musunuri kapaya naidu,pemmasani bangaru thimma naidu of gandikota to name a few been of some other communities they would have been made national heroes

....will post my detailed observation soon, looks like Ramakrishna hasn't really read the site through. Readers requested NOT to reply/post to the provocative opinions.

Significant post on possible Kamma history

maganti narasimha rao(mrdss_mnr---yahoo.co.in):--

Kammas and velamas were sects of one tribe. in the beginning they may be andhras. they came to coastal a.p. and some of them settled in "kammanadu" and some of them in "velanadu". while shifting from one nadu other places they are called with their nadu name, for example kammanadu andhrulu shifted to other place they are called kammanati andhrulu or kammavaru : thus when velanati andhrulu shifted to other places they are called velanati andhrulu or velamas . Kammas and Velamas are warrior community right from the beginning, they worked as chieftains & woriers in vishunukundina and pallava rajyams.

Mean while some kamma chieftain called Ranadurjaya formed a kingdom near pithapuram in 5th century a.d. and ruled till chalukya dynasty formed in vengi ( some time independently, some time samanthas). During this time they built forts in kammarastram and appointed kamma chiefs as sub-ruler to them, these rulers later called as durjaya rajas After the fall of rana durjaya kingdom they were become samantha rajulu to chalukya and rashtrakutas. they have forts and military and own coins etc.

Between between 600 a.d. to 1400 a.d. they are

1. kondapadamati kamma nayakulu
2. oggeru marga kamma nayakulu
3. velanati chodulu
4. kota kings of amaravathi (dhanunjayas)
5. chagi kings of bezwada
6. nathavati kings. of madhira
7. korivi viriyala durjaya kings
8. polas durjaya kings
9. malyala durjaya kings
10. ayyavamsham kings in divi region
11. palanati haihaya rajulu *
for evidence
velanati chodulu clearly said in an inscription that they are kammavaru. even though they belongs to velanadu they said they are kammavaru. (they did not say "velanativaru" inspite of ruling velanadu.) that tells us they are kammas.

kota rajas also said in a manuscript that they are kammavaru
****** for inscriptions please see "kammavari charita " by Kotha Bapayya chowdary and andhrula charita of others.

More details:
AD 1070 to ad 1216
Velanti chodulu, i.e. durjaya kings ruled whole coastal andhra from nellore to srikalahasti for nearly 125 years. some period they are independent rulers some period samanthas to pallavas. they built forts in chandolu, pitapuram etc.
1050 ad to 1323 ad
Kakatiya dynasty is promoted by Natavati durjayas. Before that kakatiyas are village heads (reddys) and jagirdars during rastrakuta period ( 750 ad to 1050) and chalukya period. They were entire Andhra Pradesh rulers after that.

AD 1300 to ad 1420
musunuru nayakas ruled most parts of a.p. their brothers one from rajahmundry ruled east and west godavari dist., other from ramagiri of karimnagar
they built korukonda fort, rekapalli fort, ragiri fort etc.

from 1400 to 1950 AD kammas are small samanthas, jamindhars and jagirdhars :
1. sayapanenis of dupadu of 553 villages
2. vasireddy of amaravathi and nandigama and mukthyala 999 villages
3. suryadevaras of repalle and rachuru
4. ravellas of podili and udayagiri and gorramkonda
5. yarlagaddas of challapalli
6. koppulas and votipallis of kotam and pitapuram
7. pemmasanis of githi and yadiki and gandikota
8. small jagirdars like balusu, dasari, ravi, ravula, alamandala, medarametala, surapanenis of chundi, etc.

After 1800 kammas are mostly landlords and farmers
from 1800 onwards velamas and reddys domination started.

........reply:

some points needing research..

Karmarashtra is a name of a geographical region, just as Velanadu, Kasalanadu, Mulkinadu Cholanadu etc etc. Some people remembered where their ancestors came from, and used the geographic name as identification. There are kammanadu brahmins also, for instance. Kamma community cannot claim exclusive reference to word "kamma" or "kammarashtra" because it is geographic only.

re Rana Durjaya: the durjaya clan seems originally from western nalgonda, specifically Kollipaaka -Virajapuri area. They appear to have been defeated by the Pallavas or Vishnukundins, and appointed somewhere in coastal andhra. There is no record anywhere of early or late Durjayas mentioning they are 'kammas' as community. Much later, during eastern chalukya times, there were military officers who claimed descent from Durjaya. But they also did not claim to be kammas as community. They were entrusted with administration of karmarashtra by the chalukyan king.

General appointed to govern Omgerumarga area was a famous military commander of Eastern Chalukyas. But was he a kamma? same for Giripaschima ( Kondapadumati) nayakulu. same for Velanati cholas.

"Kota" and "Chagi" are traditions of Raju kingdoms, not kammas.

etc etc.

...thing is, if any big king was a kamma he would be happy to say so, and certainly his descendants. Unfortunately we dont have inscriptions like other communities like reddis velamas can show. Our opinions unless backed up by hard concrete proof remains an opinion, valid as it may be. You see otherwise any community can claim this and that. All are welcome to claim anything, but we should not fall into this trap.

Anyway I am currently studying the eastern chalukya inscriptions systematically and if I find kammas mentioned, certainly I will publish it.

NOTE: there is no doubt kammas have been warriors from long time and not just businessmen-farmers. That's why I highlighted Gangeya Sahni connection : he became a samanta raja in rayalseema-nellore area. But specific Kamma kings and kingdoms in Krishna Guntur ( karmarashtra), I haven't found any proof as yet. Only large samsthaanams (estates) like Peteru , Challapalli and Amaravati. Some kamma friends say there is a Velama connection to Kammas. Some claim Brahmin connections, too. No problem to explain--this is from the Veeravaishnava reform movement.

Ramesh( rameshbnv--yahoo ):--

Hi, my surname is Bollina. We're kammas from West Godavari District. We have a big family spread across the godavari delta area mostly in Western part of the River Godavari. We have close relatives with surname like simhadri, annamareddy, pinnamaneni, gannamaneni, ellina, alloori, kaatragadda, karuturi, achanta, undavelli, mullapudi, kotari, neerukonda, manyam etc....I have no idea about my family origin as most of my ancestors used to do agriculture in the area and they didn't pass their history to new generations. I too am interested to explore the history of my family and the community.

If any one knows any details about my surname ... please let me know. It would be appreciated. Thanks

T K(--) :--

I feel many of the Kammas are originally Eastern Chalukyas. Eastern Chalukya king Yuddamalla II(927AD) is having sons by names "Bodapa Raja" and "Talapa Raja". The inscriptions of Yuddamalla II can be seen at at the Kanaka Durga temple, Vijayawada. The Kamma family names "Boddapati" is derived from their ancestor "Bodapa Raja".(son of Yuddamalla II) Boddapati's family members are also close relatives of "Vasi Raju"(now called Vasi Reddy (Kamma) family name because they were maintaining good relationship with Reddy's Kings after Kamma-Reddy war) . Also our Family name "Tallapaneni"(also Talapaneni) originated from our ancestor "Talapa Raja" mentioned above.He was another son of Yuddamalla II). Another Kamma Family name "Bhimaneni" is derived from their ancestor "Chalukya Bhima".


------Thanks for the interesting contribution. For the claim "kammas are eastern chalukyas", there needs to be supporting inscriptions directly linking kammas, writings and so on. There are none, unfortunately, and neither is there any old oral tradition either. So at the present state of information, forget about it.
The eastern chalukyas were around for a very long time and there are a huge number of kings and governors and donors who have left innumerable inscriptions. "kammas" dont figure in them at all, even in the faked copper plate grants. (people used to fake various certificates even in those days)

However, it is perfectly possible, some DESCENDANTS of eastern chalukya people and others later merged into the kamma community. Individuals of various communities consciously decided to merge their families by intermarriage by following the reformers' call. One of the reformers was the famous Recharla Brahmayya naidu of palanadu war fame. (the opposing party also followed reformers of different sect)

Surname Boddapati of a person merely implies her people came from village " boddapadu". The village may be named after one prominent person Bodapa. This surname is found among many communities Kaapus, maalas, brahmins etc so it is not exclusively kamma. Similarly there are many Mr. Bhimas in medieval time of the area not just Chalukya bhimas. I repeat what I wrote in rajus page, the eastern chalukyas seem to have a link to some of today's Rajus mainly.


Rajesh( ):--

Kammas may not be kakatiyas but how can one say kammas are not kshatriyas. There is a tradition they are gummadikaya kshatriyas. Rudramadevi's father in law had surname recherla which is a common kamma surname. I myself have relatives with rachakonda surname. Does anyone have details of chowdhary surname "chelikani" and "veerepalli" from nalgonda?

---there are several roots of all communities as I mentioned briefly, but we can discuss in detail only those with evidence like inscriptions. The 'gummadikayi kshatriyas' as you put it is a genuine oral tradition, a garbled version of mention of very old migration from central asia. But it is much before 'kamma' or other communities were formed. Several andhra peoples have a link here, e.g. some guntur-nellore people, but not exclusively kammas. Be prepared to accept various ancient roots, and lot of things will suddenly become clear.


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