Monday, August 6, 2007

Kamma Caste History

Kamma caste is a South Indian Dravidian caste. Thousands of years back some Dravidian language speaking groups came to India and settled here.
Dravidians were originally living in upper Egypt and came to india through Mesopotamia, Iran, and Baluchistan. Some Dravidian Groups were in wheatish colour and some Dravidian Groups were in brown, wheatish and white colour at that time. Some of them largely mixed with ancient indians (dark people). The People living in the States Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are Dravidians. Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayali languages were originated from one ancient dravidian language. You could find nearly 40% of Kammas are in brown and black colour, 50% are in wheetish colour and 10% are in White colour. Anthropolagical surveys also telling that kammas are Dravidians.

Brahmin is the only Aryan caste living in South India. You can find most of them in white or wheatish colour. Some Dravidians and Ancient Indians (dark colour people) mixed with Brahmins in South India as well as in North India. That is why some Brahmins are in black colour. Even though there was mixture of Dravidians and Ancient Indians (dark color people) with them their skin is different from that of Dravidian castes.

Aryans are central asian people came to india around 1500 BC. They were tribals and cattle feeders. Their wealth is cattle. They divided into 3 groups namely Brahmin (Priests), Kshatriya (Worriers), Vysya (Cultivators and Traders) around 1000 BC. They captured some ancient indians and called them as Dasyas & Sudras and used them as slaves. Between 500 BC to 1AD the cultivators were excluded from Vysyas and were grouped as Sudra Catagory. During this time Some Brahmin Groups moved to South India and settled here.

These Dravidian Groups settled in various parts of India. Some dravidian groups settled in South India and Some groups settled in Deccan and Central India before 1500 BC. After Aryans invasion around 1500 BC one Dravidian Group came to Krishna river valley and settled in Krishna,Guntur and Prakasam Districts.
They were predominent in that area. During Satavahana Kings Rule some budhists came and set up Budhisam & Karma teaching schools. With that these Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam Dists. were called as Kammarastram/ Kammanadu. After that the ruling class people in Kammanadu were called as kammanativaru / Kammavar.

Kamma is a farward caste in Dravidians like Reddy, Kapu/Telga/Balija, Vakkalinga, Lingayat, Modaliar, Gounder, Nadar, Nair etc. Before 500 B.C. they were mostly cultivators and worriers. They have small ethnic kingdoms.

After 500 BC they worked as Chieftains, Worriers, Jagirdars and Provincial Governers under Vishnukundina, Satavahana, Chalukya, Kakatiya and Vijayanagar Dynasties.

Kamma Dynasties :
(1) Durjaya Vamsam Dynasties:
  • Durjaya Dynasty (between 450 AD to 630 AD)
  • Velanati Choda Dynasty (from 1100 AD to 1206 AD)
  • Kakatiya Dynasty (from 1075 AD to 1323 AD)

(a) Devineni Erranayakudu, Komminayakudu, Surapa Nayakudu in a Inscription at Sagareswara Temple, Madala Village, Guntur Dist. said that they belong to Durjayavamsam and Kondapadamati Budhavarm lineage. Devineni is a kamma surname. You can find Devineni surnames largely (99%) in kammas.

(b) Paruchuri Nayakudu also claimed Kondamadamati Budhavarma lineage.

(c) In Durvasapuranam, one of the Astadasapuranams written by Brahmins in the past, it was said that king Pratapa Rudra is a kamma and he was born in Kamma Maharaj Vamsam. Some Historians agreed that Kakatiyas as Kammas. These Kakatiyas earlier migrated from Magallu, a village near Nandigama in Nathavadu, to Warangal. Chalukya Danaranavudu Inscription in 956 AD is telling this. Kakatiyas some time worked as Rastrakuta village headman and after that worked as Samantha Rajas to chalukyas.

(d) Some people are telling that Velanati Chodas said in a inscription as "..............Kamma Kulodbava......Chathurdakula.......Durjayavamsa.............." That means they are clearly Kammas. Because They are claiming Sudhra Status. Kamma Brahmins, Kamma Komatis, Kshatriyas cannot claim Sudra Status. So they are not Kamma Brahmins, Kamma Komatis, Kshatriyas, Rajus. At that time (about 1200 AD) Velamas are clearly stating their caste for ex. Palanati Brahma Naidu clearly said he is a Padama Nayaka Velama, Reddies are also using Reddy as title. Nayakuralu Nagamma relatives inscriptions used Reddy and Kapu titles. So here "Kamma Kulodbha" means "Kamma Caste born". Same period these all things happened that means Velanati Chodulu, Durjaya Vamsam People are cleared mentioned in inscription that they are Kamma Kulodbavulu. Whoever this claim is to be validated.

--> For inscriptional evidence see books like (a) Vismrutha Andhra Nayakulu, (b) Kammavari Charitra, (c) Andhrula Charitra, etc.

(2) Musunuri Nayakas (from 1300 AD to 1400 AD): Musunuri Nayaks ruled from Musunuru for some time as Jagirdars and after that Musunuru become their surname of that clan. These Musunuru surnamed Nayaks worked as Jagirdars under Kakatiya Dynasty. After the fall of Kakatiya Dynasty they formed the following Musunuri Kingdoms...
(1) Musunuri Family -
Warangal Rajanayakudu - Prolayanayakudu - Kapayanayakudu-Vinayakadevudu
(2) Rajahmundry Rulers and Toyyeru Rulers:
(3) Gurijala family of Sabbinadu (Ramagiri in Karimnagar):

They built forts in Musunuru, Rekapalli, Rajahmundry, Korukonda, Ramagiri and rulled from Warangal. They expelled muslim rulers from Andhra Pradesh. Over 70% Andhra Pradesh is ruled by them. They also occupied Gulbarga. Vinayakadevudu is killed by Delhi Sultans at Gulbarga and after that Velamas killed Musunuri Nayaks with the help of muslim rulers and occupied the warangal kingdom in 1370. These Velama kings and Reddy kings are Samanthas to Musunuri kings upto 1370. After the fall of Musunuri kingdom in Warangal Rajahmundry Musunuri kings and Gurijala Muppabupathi family in Sabbinadu ruled for some time as Reddy kings and Velama kings samanthas. Madiki Singana, native of Eluru Area, is a Kavi worked in Gurijala Muppa Bupathi court. Musunuri & Gurijala are surnames in Kammas. Many Historians said they belongs to kamma community. Madiki Singanna Kavi worked in Girijala Muppabhupathi court in Sabbinadu.

(3) Madurai Nayakas ( from 1520 AD to 1740 AD): Madurai Nayaks worked as chieftains in Vijayanagar Kingdom. Sri Krishnadevarayalu appointed the Viswanatha Nayakudu as Governor of Madurai kingdom. After the fall of Vijayanagar kingdom they declared independence. They ruled half of the Tamil Nadu state for 200 years. Acharya Tirumala Ramachandra said with proofs that Tirumalai Nayakudu is a Kamma. Some people are saying that Madurai Nayakavamsam surname is Pemmasani and it was written in Penukonda charita(a familiar kamma surname, no other caste do not have this surname). Large no. of famous polygars in Madurai Nayaka kingdom are kammas. Many Kamma Samantha Rajas , after losing their kingdom to Muslims / others, went to Madurai Kingdom and settled there as Amaranayakas & Polygars like Ravella clan, Pemmasani clan, Bellam clan etc. South Tamilnadu Kammas family history is also telling Madurai Nayaks as Kamma kings.

During the Vijayanagar Dynasty nearly 40% of kammas went to Vijayanagar and worked as Worriers, Chieftains, Amarnayakas in that kingdom and settled in Rayalaseema and Tamilnadu. Like the same kammas worked as chieftains and worriers in Kakatiya, Chalukya,Vishnukundina and Satavahana kingdoms. That tells kamma caste is basically a worrier community.
Samantha Rajas / Samasthanams :
Samantha Rajas who ruled large parts in Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna & Khammam Districts between 500 AD to 1300 AD:
(1) Kondamadapati Durjayas

(2) Nathavati Durjayas

(3) Velanati Durjayas

(4) Kota kings

(5) Gudimetla / Konakodravati / Evanikodravati Durjayas.
The evidence for this claim is Aluri Pothinayakudu and Devineni Erranayakudu said in inscriptions that they belong to Durjayavamsam. In Durvasapuranam,one of Astadasa Puranams, it was written that Pratapa Rudrudu is a Kamma. Kota kings are close relatives of Durjayas kings.

Samantha Rajas from 1000 AD to 1400 AD:

(1) Ayyavamsam: They ruled Diviseema and Velanadu as samanthas to Velanati Chodas and Kakatiyas. Kakatiya King married Ayyavamsam woman and made Jayapasenani as Gajasainyadaksha. He invented one dance performance & wrote a book on dance. Ayavamsam clan is relatives of Velanati chodulu. They worked as cheiftains in Velanati Choda Dynasty. They ruled the area between Machilipatnam to Bapatla.
(2) Palnati Haihaya kings: They ruled Macherla, Gurijala areas in Guntur Dist. in 11th and 12th Centuries.

(3) Korukonda Kings: They are relatives of Musunuri Nayakas. Actually Musunuri kings built this Korukonda fort and gave this kingdom as a marriage gift. Before this they ruled from Manchikonda under Kakatiyas. Their kingdom includes East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna Districts and Bhadrachalam area of Khammam District from 1320 AD to 1420 AD.

(4) Malyala Durjayas: Ruled Janagama, Vaddeman areas during Kakatiya Period. Malyala Nayaks worked as 'Sainyadakshulu' in Kakatiya Kingdom.

(5) Polas Durjayas: Ruled Karimnagar District and Narasampet, Mulugu areas of Warangal District as Chalukya Samanthas.

(6) Viriyala Durjayas: Ruled parts of Warangal District and Khammam District from Korivi of Warangal District as capital. They are close relavtives of Kakatiyas.

Most of the Kammas went to East Godavari Dist. from Krishna Dist. to work in Korukonda Kingdom and Musunuri Kingdom . Later they were settled in East Godavari Dist.
Amaranayakas / Samantha Rajahs/Jamindars :

(1) Pemmasani kings from 1350 AD to 1650 AD: Pemmasani kings first ruled Vinukonda and Bellamkonda areas after that they ruled Yadiki, Tadipatri, Gadikota, Pulivendula, Badvelu, Porumamilla, Owk areas. Nearly 1200 villages were under their controll. They had 20 lacs income and upto 80000 soldiers. One of the important chieftains in Vijayanagar kingdom.

(2) Sayapaneni kings from 1400 AD to 1800 AD: They ruled the land between Vinukonda and Nandikotkuru, 533 villages in Prakasam, Guntur and Kurnool Dist. In inscriptions they were called as Kamma Doralu.

(3) Vasireddy kings from 1400 AD to 1846 AD: Vasireddy kings first worked as Jagirdars near Pitapuram under Reddy kingdom. After that they ruled Nutakki, Thatikonda and Nandigama areas. After that they ruled the area between Penuganchiprolu to Ponnuru. Nearly 1000 villages were under their kingdom.

(4) Yarlagadda kings from 1576 AD to 1950 AD: They ruled Challapalli, Pedana areas in Krishna Dist. nearly 130 villages.

(5) Suryadevara kings from 1400 AD to 1700 AD : They ruled Repalle-Rachuru area in Guntur Dist.

(6) Ravella kings from 1350 AD to 1670 AD: They ruled Podili, Udayagiri, Tiruvanimkota, Kocherlakota, Gurrumkonda,etc. areas in Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore and Chittore Dist. as amarnayakas. They controlled upto 300 villages. They are Generals/Chieftains in Vijayanagar Kingdom participated in many battles.

(7) Pemmasani kings from 1600 AD to 1950 AD: Ruled Nikarpatti in Madurai Dist.

(8) Ravella kings from 1600 AD to 1950 AD: Chieftains in Madurai Nayaka kingdom. They played important role in wars. They ruled Ilavarasanandanam.

(9) Pemmasani kings from 1650 AD to 1950 AD: Chieftains in Madurai Nayaka kingdom. They played important role in battles. They ruled Kurvikulam area.

(10) Bellam kings from 1600 AD to 1950 AD: Chieftains in Vijayanagar kingdam. They are close friends to Madurai Nayaks. They ruled Sevalpatti area. At the beginning they ruled large areas.

(11) Golla kings: They ruled Ninynandal, Thiruvathuru areas in Ramanadapuram.

Samantha Mandaladeesulu: These Clans ruled up to 150 years during Velanati Choda, Kakatiya, Vijayanagar period
(1) Manda clan
(2) Macha clan
(3) Aluri clan
(4) Vipparla clan
(5) Surapaneni clan
(6) Alamandala clan
(7) Medarametla clan
(8) Dasari clan
(9) Adapa clan
(10) Ventipalli clan

Small Zamindars :
(1) Muktyala Vasireddy clan.
(2) Kapileswara puram Balusu clan.
(3) Varakadau Rajas
(4) Pedavegi Yarlagadda clan.
(5) Rangapuram Adusumilli clan.
Small Kamma Rajas (between 1400 AD 1950 AD) :
Kaja, Yalamanchi, Koneru, Regula, Pinnamaneni, Jesta, Parvathaneni, Kodali, Mandava, Dasari, Karlapudi, Mullanki, Tammareddy, Chalasani, Boppana, Lingam, Virapaneni, Maganti, Kalagara, Kamineni, Kommineni, Kurapati, Uppalapati, Devabaktuni, Sagi, Vakkalagadda, Dulipalla, Ravuri, Paruchuri, Manam, Madala, Kotha, Anchu, Nalla, Chodi, Numburi, Ubbatla, Pepalla, Duggina, Guntur, Kakarla, Nadendla, Pacha, Muppalla, Pullela, Ramineni, Ravula, Gaddipati, Chilukuri, Gudupudi, Mikkilineni, Ravella, etc.
Kamma Doralu : Mullapudi, Pendyala, Chitturi, Kothapalli, Karaturi, Gogineni, Kalluri, Chirumamilla, Sakhamuri, Yarlagadda, Vasireddy, Adusumilli, Kommineni, Chunduri, Sammeta, Payyavula, Bolla, Nandigam, Talluri, Varshanadu Rajas, Katta, Gollapudi, Yalamati, Chava, Nallamothu, Nagandla, Narvaneni, Kosaraju, Kakani, Paruchuri, Vadlamudi, Vunnam, Telangana Komma Doralu, Rayalaseema and Tamil Nadu Palygars, etc.
(These are only available clans most of the Rajas history is not available now)
Some more Kamma Dynasties :
(1) Chenji Nayaks of Tamil Nadu.
(2) Vellore Lingamanaidu family.
(3) Koppula kings : Ruled Pitapuram, Kotam, Elamanchili areas between 1340 to 1540.
(4) Bastar Dynasty: Ruled Bastar area from 1330 to 1950. King Pratap Rudra's son (born to one of Kakatiya Pratap Rudra wives) is the founder of that dynasty.
(5) Guntupalli kings : Ruled in Guntur district between 1600 to 1680.

(6) Kandi kings: Ruled 100 years in Srilanka between 1740 to 1840. They are supposed to be Madurai Kings relatives.
Sections in Kamma Caste:
(1) Pedda kamma / Illuvellani Kamma.
(2) Chinna Kamma / Illuvellu Kamma.
(3) Gandikota Kamma
(4) Godavari Kamma
(5) Gampa Kamma
(6) Bangaru Kamma

Kammas are present in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Khammam, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Chittore, Anantapuram, Ballari, Kolar,Bangalore, Vellore, Arcot,Chengalpattu, Hosur, Krishnagiri, Erode, Selam, Tanjore, Tiruchurapalli, Coimbatore, Madurai, Ramanadapuram, Tirunelveli, Sivaganga Districts.

Kamma Population - A study:

As per our estimates it is nearly 67 lacs in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Andhra-Telangana = 40 lacs
Rayalaseema-Karnataka = 15 lacs
Tamilnadu = 12 lacs

According to 1881 British Censes & Hyd. Censes Kamma Population is around 8.1 lacs.But Kamma population in Khammam, Warangal and Nolgonda districts had shown in 'Kunbhi' caste. They were showing Kunbhi (Marata People) population in Khammam as around 10%. so like in other Hyd. state districts. Kammas population in Mysore state included in vakkalinga caste. This censes not showing any kamma population in Telangana and Mysore States. Some kammas did not register their name in 1881 censes due to anti British feeling. If you add Telangana and Mysore State Kamma population and population shortly taken figure it will go to 10 lacs.

The Population of india as per 1881 censes is 22 crores (Approx). That includes Bagladesh, Barma and Some Pakistan people figures. If you reduce with that figure it comes to around 19 crores. Population as of now is 112 crores. So 6 times growth is there. If you multiply with this percentage you will get around 60 lacs. Due to invention of so many medicines and medical advancement Death Rate drastically reduced in kammas for the last 150 years and population is expected to be around 67 lacs.

In British censes caste wise population figures were not taken exactly. For Example Kadapa, Kurnool Reddys population is included in Kapu Population. They were not showing any Reddy caste population is Kadpa and Kurnool. Reddy and Kapus castes population was mixed in some districts.You can find lot of mistakes in that censes. Some people were not recorded their names dues to anti british policy.

Taking all these things into view we adjusted the population figures of some Telugu castes and come to this conclusion.....
1. Kamma = 67 lacs
2. Velama = 35 lacs
3. Telugu Komati = 30 lacs
4. Kapu/Balija/Telaga/Ontari/MunnuruKapu = 130 lacs
5. Reddy = 90 lacs
6. Telugu Brahmin = 30 lacs

There is some news that Kammas and Velamas belong to one race at the beginning. We can get evidence for caste wise division from Palnati kings rule. Brahma Naidu was a velama, Nagamma Nayakuralu is a Reddy. Palanati kings of Macherla and Gurajala appointed these two as mantris during their rule in 11th and 12th centuries. Surname were also prevalent during that time. Atluri, Potluri, Gundu, Edupuganti, Nadindla etc. surnames visible in inscriptions from that time. Some more evidences for Kamma and Velama relation....

(1) Badabanala Battu divided kamma and velama gothrams and made separate lists for kammas and velamas.

(2) Battarajus tell stories that kammas and velamas were one tribe (see pages of Batrajus in Edgar Thurston South Indian Castes and Tribes Book).

(3) There is a story that Goddess Lakshmi ear ring (kamma) was taken away by some Rakshasas and she prayed the lard and some worriers born and they went for that kamma and fought with Rakshas and one group brought that kamma they were called as kammas others didnot bring the kamma they were called as Velamas.

(4) It was written in Chittore dist. manual that Those people having Gosha they were called velamas and Those poeple don't have gosha were called as kammas.

(5) There is resemblence between Kamma and Velama Gothras and Surnames. (Don't match with Reddys and Kapus Gothras and Surnames)


Reddys were inhabitants of Kadapa, Kurnool, Nalgonda and Mahaboob Nagar Dist., around 1000 AD shifted to other areas. Kapus (Telugu-Teligi Kapu-Kapu) were inhabitants of Godavari, Vishaka, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and shifted to other areas around 1000 AD.
Famous Kamma Persons:
(1) Bollela Munuswamy Naidu, Chief minister in Madras State
(2) Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, Chief Minister, AP
(3) Nadendla Bhaskar Rao, Chief Minister, AP
(4) Nara Chandra Babu Naidu, Chief Minister, AP
(5) Viko, MDMK President, M.P, TN
(6) Kotha Raghu Ramaiah, Central Minister
(7) Parvathaneni Upendra, Central Minister
(8) Bolla Bulli Ramaiah, Central Minister
(9) Renuka Chowdary, Central Minister
(10)Daggubati Purandareswari, Central Minister
(11)Prabhu, Central Minister.
(12)Yalavarthi Nayudamma, Scientist
(13)Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Dada Saheb Palke Award Winner, Cinema Hero