Administration in Andhra: From the Earliest Time to 13th Century A.D. (An Old and Rare Book)
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Administration in Andhra: From the Earliest Time to 13th Century A.D. (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAL163
Author: C.A. Padmanabha Sastry
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Language: English
Edition: 1990
ISBN: 8170185947
Pages: 364
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch x 6.0 inch
Weight 540 gm
About the Book

With the decline of the Mauryas many dynasties have established supremacy in the Deccan and Peninsular India Particularly in Andhra Pradesh witnessed a number of changes from its early historical days to the downfall of the Kakatiyas. This land has been under the sway of different dynasties, including the natives and neighbouring kings. Their influence can be observed at different levels and among them the administration is one. A critical and chronological study of the inscriptions and literature pertaining to the Andhra Pradesh reveals the nature of this study. This includes kingship, Ministers, other officials and their qualifications, recruitments, taxations, administrative divisions of different periods. Dr. Sastry has brought the administrative aspect of Andhra Pradesh to the notice of scholars in the systematic way. The present study would certainly fumish a clear picture as an example to the history of administration of later periods of Andhra Pradesh.


About the Author

Dr. Sastry (1947) obtained the degree of Master of Arts in Indian History and Archaeology from the Andhra University, Waltair, Andhra Pradesh in 1973. He joined as a Keeper of Coins in the State Archaeological Museum, Department of A.P. State Archaeology and Museums, Hyderabad in 1974 and later he joined the Epigraphical branch of Archaeological Survey of India in 1975. He was as a lecturer in the Department of Indian History and Culture, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) Prasanthinilayam (Puttaparthi) by keeping lien in the A.S.I. He actively participated in the epigraphical survey of Andhra Pradesh, toured extensively and collected a good number of important epigraphs. He had a close contact with the Epigraphical Society of India and Place Names Society of India and worked as an Assistant Secretary for the later society since its inception to 1983. He participated and presented a number of papers to the National Seminar on Onomasties, Epigraphical Society of India, Place Names Society of India, Andhra Pradesh History Congress and Andhra Pradesh Oriental Conferences. Dr. Sastry contributed articles to the Journal of Epigraphia India, Archaeological Studies, Epigraphical Society of India, Place Names Society of India, Bharati (Telugu) etc. At present he is working in the office of the Chief Epigraphist, A.SI. Mysore and editing the South Indian Inscription volume (Telugu.)



Studies on political history have dominated the field of historical research in India. This is more so in the case of South India. Dynastic histories have been written by competent scholars with the help of epigraphical data which is available in plenty. Thus we have many works on individual dynasties like the Pallavas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Kakatiyas and a host of others. A set pattern can be observed in most of these works, namely, the administration and other aspects formed individual chapters. However, things are slowly beginning to change and emphasis is being laid on the administrative institutions, socio-economic conditions and study of material culture.

Under this background, the present study on the Administration in Andhra by Dr. C.A. Padmanabha Sastry becomes more significant. The period he has chosen is ancient and early medieval times. His sources are mainly epigraphical. As a member of the Epigraphy branch of the Archaeological Survey of India in Mysore, he is well versed in epigraphy. This has enabled him to go deep into the original inscriptions instead of depending upon the summaries and translations as most research scholars do now-a-days. This has given a stamp of authenticity to this study.

Dr. Padmanabha Sastry’s work has been able to throw new light on various aspects of the administration in Andhra such as kingship, bureaucracy military, judicial and fiscal administration from the earliest times in Andhra. Thus for the first time he has focused our attention on the genius of the Andhra in the field of administration.

I am confident that this scholarly work will serve as a book of reference to students of administration. I also hope that Dr. Padmanabha Sastry will enrich the culture of Andhra by his future research works.



This work embodies the result of my research work entitled Administration in Andhra (From the earliest times to the 13 th century A.D.) for the award of Ph.D. It has been carried out under the supervision of Dr. A.V. Narasimha Murthy, M.A., Ph.D., Professor and Head of the Department of Post-graduate Studies and Research in Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore, Mysore.

Administration is an important aspect of the History is a well-known fact. In fact, on a good administration depends the well being of a country and its people. In spite of this, studies on administration are rare and far between. Taking the Andhra area into consideration we have to note with regret that the administration of ancient Andhra has not been subjected to serious study and research by research scholars. In fact administration has treated by early writers as an aspect of political history by devoting one chapter in their monographs on various dynasties. This has resulted in looking at administration from the angle of political history as small chronological and dynastic units such as the Satavahanas, Eastern Chalukyas, Kakatiyas etc. Without understanding it as a continuous process involving many dynasties and longer chronological units. Hence, I took up this subject with the main idea of understanding this continuous process of this natural growth and development of the administrative institutions in the Andhra area. The problem has been examined in the model set by the writers on polity like Kautilya, Manu, Kamandaka and texts like Mahabharata and others.

In other words it has been my endeavour to ascertain how far these theoretical basic texts were adopted and adapted by the rulers and the people of Andhra. To understand this, I have relied more upon the inscriptions of the Andhra and literary works in Telugu.

The thesis is divided into seven chapters. The first is in the ‘form of an introduction. It contains scope of the study and the sources. The last part of this chapter contains the political background and a brief survey of the expansion of the kingdoms. Chapter two relates to the succession, coronation, regency, divinity, educational qualifications, capitals, seals and insignias, joint rulership, duties of the king and queen. The next chapter narrates the selection, qualifications, various terms, duties of the ministers. It also examines the duties of purohita, yuvaraja, senapati, sandhivigrahi, daucvarikas and some more officials. Chapter four furnishes the information on the administrative divisions. It also contains information on the rulers of these administrative divisions in a chronological order. Chapter five contains information on the military administration. It deals with the qualifications, selection of military officials, division of the army and other problems. The chapter sixth deals with the fiscal administration, revenue officials, sources of revenue, types of taxes, rate of taxation, coins, measurements and weights. The last and final chapter contains information on local administration of the Andhra country. I have also given required maps of the administrative divisions and the jurisdictions of the dynasties. The thesis has a bibliography at the end. I have also furnished the genealogical tables of the various dynasties which ruled over the Andhra country.

Though the period of the study is mentioned as the end of thirteenth century (1299 AD), I have taken the references upto 1326 AD that is upto the down fall of the Kakatiyas, because that marks a definite stage in the history of the area.

Many persons have helped me in completing this research. The first and foremost is Professor A.V. Narasimha Murthy, Professor and Head of the Department of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore, Mysore. I am fortunate enough to have him as my guide. Words are not adequate to express my gratitude to him for his valuable supervision and scholarly suggestions. But for his guidance at each and every stage I would not have completed my work in a short period.

I am indebted to Dr. K.V. Ramesh, Director (Epigraphy), Shri M.N.Katti, the Chief Epigraphist, A.S.I., Mysore for their keen interest in my research work and for providing me all the necessary help when work was under preparation. I gratefully acknowledge here the help which I have received from Kum. G. Savitri, the Librarian, Office of the Chief Epigraphist, Dr. S.S. Ramachandra –murthy, Reader in Epigraphy, S.V. University, Tirupati for their help and Dr. G.S. Rao, Research Officer, C.I.I.L. Mysore who has gone through the manuscript and corrected the language.

It is my primary task to express my whole hearted thanks to my elder brothers for their fraternal affectionate care and blessings throughout my career. I would like to express my blessings and thanks to my wife Mrs. C. Vijayalakhmi for her constant encouragements and inspiration and keeping me away from the domestic affairs while the work was under progress. I thank the authorities of the University of Mysore for permitting me to print this work.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to B.R. Publishing Corporation, Delhi for their keen interest in bringing out this book within a short period.



Since the publication of the Andhrula Charitra (in Telugu) by Ch. Virabhadra Rao in 1910 research and study of Andhra History and culture has attracted the attention of a large number of historians. In the early stages of the study, the word Andhra was used in a highly restricted sense meaning only the Satavahanas. But in recent years the word has been used to denote the land of the Telugu speaking people, almost coinciding with the modern concept of the Andhra Pradesh. In the present study, the word Andhra has been used to denote the present state of Andhra Pradesh.

Till recently, history in India, that too in South India, meant political history. Almost all the early writers like K. Gopalachary, K.A. Nilakantha Sastry, G. Venkatarao and M. Somasekhara Sarma, N. Venketaramanaiah, M. Rama Rao, B.V. Krishna Rao and recently S. Sankara-narayanan, P.V. Parabrahma Sastry and Yasoda devi concentrated merely on political history in their studies. In a way this was necessary because, the cultural history could be reconstructed only with the help of a chronologically sound political history. Without the latter, the former will become a fairy tale meaning nothing in terms of space and time. However, now we have a large number of excellent works on political history and a time has come when we can think of other aspects of history such as administration, economy, religion, fine arts, etc.

Administration is an important aspect of history of any country. In fact the well being of any country and its people depends on the proper administration. Unfortunately with the exception of T.V. Mahalingam’s work ‘South Indian Polity’ no other work has been published which treats administration as a whole. Even this work concentrates more on Tamil area and hence one would not get a true picture of Administration of the Andhra region. Hence the necessity of understanding the pattern of administration in Andhra was a long felt need and prompted the author to take it up for an indepth study.

However, a few scholars like Smt. Vaidehi, C.V. Ramachandra Rao, K. Satyanarayana and B.N. Sastry have concentrated on administration. But their subject of study is limited to certain chronological periods only. This has its own advantage and limitations. Such studies though useful in their own way do not study the administration in a continuous way, as a homogeneous and dynamic system which the Andhras evolved. Thus the present study aims at a detailed understanding of the administrative institutions of the Andhra country from the earliest times to the fall of the Kakatiya dynasty.

The Andhra country was ruled by more than half a dozen powerful dynasties (restricted to the period under study) in different centuries. Though the basic principles of the administration of all the dynasties are the same, they differ in detail from one to another, depending upon many factors. The basic structure was the polity enunciated in the texts of ancient India with suitable changes and modification to suit the local needs.


The source material of this study can be studied under the following heads:

I. Epigraphical Sources: In order of importance, the epigraphs stand first. These are contemporary and provide genuine information on the subject. Epigraphis again can be divided into two.

(a) Copper-plate Charters: Usually, these copper-plate charters register grants of villages or lands to Brahmanas and also to the officials. Each set of the charter contains two to seven plates, written in Sanskrit and Telugu. These plates held together by a circular copper-ring, the ends of which are secured by an oval, circular rings, which bears the royal emblem. The emblem contains the lanch-chanas of the dynasty with a legend of the donor. At some times, the seal contains the flgurines of the gods or goddesses. These copper-plate charters furnish the genealogical and chronological details of the kings. They also mention the important administrative officials of their period. They not only furnish the above details but also the educational qualifications, succession, coronation, capitals, regency and the duties of kings. Moreover they furnish the titles of the kings which throw light on their religious nature. A few copper plate charters may also furnish the number of officials present along with the king in the royal court. They also make references to the administrative divisions in which the gifted village or land is situated. By the study of all copper-plate charters of the dynasties of our period, we can observe the following points. Copper plates of the early kings, namely the Early Pallavas, the Salankayanas and the Brihatphalayanas were very simple, and furnish the various official designations of their period. They never give much prominence to eulogies. The copper-plate charters of the later dynasties like the Vishnukundins, the Eastern Chalukyas, the Eastern Gangas and the Kakatiyas furnish more information on the religious aspect of their families.

(b) Lithic Records: The lithic records are also important for the study of the various administrative aspects. While copper-plate charters furnish the above points, the lithic records contain the details of the various officials particularly ministers, generals and other officials particularly ministers, generals and other officials, their position in the administration. They also provide the names of various local officials, like revenue, military and administrative. Main information that is supplied by the lithic records is revenue terms, measurements and numismatic terms. They also mention different types of administrative divisions which do not figure in the copper-plate charters. Some of these inscriptions mention the names of several offices and their incumbents, the territorial divisions into which the kingdom was divided. These definitely help us to understand the administrative system. Another important information supplied by the inscriptions is the set up of the local administration. The Salakalavidu inscription of time of Prataparudra furnish various types of taxes which prevailed during the period of the Kakatiyas. The lithic records give names of different types of coins, measurements and weights of different periods. We can gather some information regarding the prescribed age for the ministers and also their qualifications.

Most of the early stone inscriptions are written in Prakrit language and Sanskrit was used from the period of the Ikshvakus. The lithic records, mostly, from the period of the Eastern Ganga records are written in Telugu and Sanskrit. Some of them are written in the other languages namely Kannada and Tamil. Though a large number of inscriptions have been discovered and published in different volumes, they furnish meagre details regarding the duties and responsibilities of various officials.

The South Indian Inscriptions volume Nos. I, IV, V, VI and X are of great value in the present study. The inscriptions of the Nellore District edited by Vanugopal Chetty and Butterworth are also helpful for the study. The Hyderabad Archaeological Series, 9, 13, 16, and 19, and Inscriptions of Andhra Pradesh—Cuddapah, Vol. I, Karimnagar, Warangal Districts, the Kannada inscriptions of Andhra Pradesh, Select Epigraphs of Andhra, Telingana Sasanamulu (Telugu), and Andhra Pradesh Archaeological Series are also of immense help to know the administrative set up during the period of the Kalyani Chalukyas and the Kakatiyas.

The journals like Epigraphia Indica, Epigraphia Andhrica, Journals of Andhra Historical Research Society, Andhra Sahitya Parishat Patrica (Telugu) and Bharati (Telugu) are also helpful on the subject. The epigraphical reports published by the Archaeological Survey of India and Andhra Pradesh Government reports on Epigraphy, are helpful on the subject.

Besides the above mentioned publications, a number of unpublished inscriptions copied by the Office of the Chief Epigraphist, Mysore have been used for studying the subject.

(c) Archaeological: Some of the forts which are not mentioned in the epigraphs, can be studied with the help of excavations such as Dhulikatta, Satanikota, Kotilingala, Nagarjunikonda, etc. The plan of the fort and fortress can be studied with the help of these excavations.

II. Literary Sources

(a) Sanskrit : The theory of the Hindu polity is mainly based on the ancient law books. They are the Arthasastra, the Manusmriti, the Yajnavalkya-smriti, the Puranas like Agnipurana, the Matsyu purana, the Brahmanda purana, the Vishnudharmottara purana and other Dharmasastras like Naradiya dharmasastra, the Gautama dharmasastra, and itihasas like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

No doubt, most of these works contain the puranic description of the gods and goddesses, they have a few chapters on polity. While Arthasastra of Kautilya deals with the art of administration of various branches like the succession, coronation, duties of the kings, law and order and other subjects pertaining to the administration, the Manusmriti narrates the duties of the kings, coronation and the duel rulership. The kings of the Andhra country, just like the other kings of ancient India followed the precepts of these two works. They compared themselves with Manu in naya, vinaya, Brihaspati and Yudhishthara. At certain times, they assumed the divine nature to them-selves. Some of the inscriptions of our study compare the kings with the gods Vishnu, Siva, Manmatha (in beauty) and queens with Lakshmi, Parvati, Ganga, Yamuna and with the puranic women like Arundhati, Sachi, etc. The main idea behind this was to impress the divine nature of the kings among the people. The kings are known to have studied various books on polity. For example, the Nagari plates of Ananga Bhima II (123 0 AD) state that the king studied the Mahabharata, the Vamanapurana, the Brihaspatiya, the Aditya purana and the Vishnudhar-mottara.




  Foreword v
  Preface vii
  List of Maps xiii
  Abbreviations xv
1 Introduction 1
2 Kingship 21
3 Ministers and Other Officials 103
4 Administrative Divisions 163
5 Military Administration 199
6 Fiscal Administration 223
7 Local Administration 283
  Bibliography 309
  Index 321


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