|Question: What are the archaeological sources for the reconstruction of Telangana History?|
Ans: In the last century, D.D. Koshabhi, Romila Thapar, Nilakanta Shastry, Bipin Chandra, Irfan habib, P.V. Parabhrahma Shastry etc., historians, who stood as an example for real history, who gave importance to objectivity, and produced valuable books and articles, which were purely based on facts and stood as an inspiration to younger generation historians. After independence, study of national an dregional history gained importance.
Human settlements, the things found near their settlements, tools and weapons, their constructions (ruins and standing), inscriptions, and coins are considered as the archaeological sources.
Though abundant archaeological sites are there in Telangana much were excavated due to various reasons.
Monuments: Many prehistoric sites are there in Telangana.
Chalukyas’ Jogulamba temple, located in Mahbubnagar, gives a clear picture of Chalukyan period, religion, architectural style and the taste of the rulers.
Archaeological Survey department had conducted some excavations in Karimnagar, Medka, Nalgonda (Rayagiri and Valigonda), Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, Warangal, Palakonda, Thandur, Adilabad, Kolanupaka, Janagaon, Pillalamarri, Ghanapur, Pochampadu, Almapur etc. places and found historically valuable things since prehistoric period.
There are many temples of Kakatiya period which are architectural marvels. Palampeta, hanumakonda temples are of Kakatiya period architecture. 1000 pillars temple of Hanumakonda is the best example for Kakatiya period architecture. It was constructed by Kakatiya Rudradeva. Palampeta Ramappa temple was constructed by Recharla Rudra.
If we go to the minute level, at Phangiri, Kondapur, Nelakondapalli, Asifabad, Basara, Kotilingala, Dhoolikatta, Eleshwaram, Warangal, Palampeta, Keesaragutta, Siddipeta, Chaithanyapuri, Kondapur, Srisailam, Nagarjunakonda etc. places provided rich archaeological material.
Inscriptions: First documented evidence for the history of Telangana area is Ashoka Maurya’s Erragudi inscription, found in Kurnool. In this inscription he mentioned Andra Satavahanas. Ashoka’s 13 Major Rock Edict also mentioned people of Andhra Telangana regions. Rajulamanda inscription of Kurnool and Amaravathi inscriptions are the earliest sources. Kalinga king Khaaravela’s ‘Hathigumpa’ inscription, Kakatiya’s Bayyaram tank/lake inscription (issued in 1219 by Mailamba, sister of Ganapatideva), Motupalli inscription of Ganapati deva issued in 1244 (gives us details about offshore trade of Kakatiyas), Chandupatla inscription issued by Rudrama Devi’s military general Mallikarjuna’s servant gives us details about Rudrama Devi’s death.
Coins: Satavahanas, Vishnukunds, Vengi Chalukyas, Mudigonda Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Rachakonda Velamas, Qutubshahis’, Asafjahis’ coins of gold, silver, potin and copper metals give us valuable information regarding the history of Telangana. Coins give us clarity regarding the respective dynasty’s economic status, relations with neighboring kingdoms, trade relations, royal emblems, religious beliefs, territorial expansion etc.
Satavahanas’ coins are found at Kotilingala, Nagarjunakonda, Dharanikota, Amaravathi, Pedda bankooru, Kondapur, Nelakondapalli, Phanigiri give us information about the kings, territorial expansion, and their trade relations with the Romans.
Complete range of Kakatiya coins are found to archaeologists. Kesari, Chinnam, Gadvanam, Nishka, Kesarimada, Rupaka, Varaha etc. were the coins in circulation during Kakatiya period. P.V. Parabhrahma Shastri in his book ‘The Kakatiyas’, in Pages ranging from 258 to 265 gave full details about Kakatiya coins.