The etymology of the word Telangana in Indian History; a must-read for TSPSC Group 1 Prelims

History and Evolution of the Word Telangana

What is Telangana? Why is it called Telangana? When did we first use the name Telangana? These are all interesting questions for the people of Telangana to read and stay educated about the history of the state. But for TSPSC Group 1 aspirants, learning these facts on the etymology (origin) of the word Telangana can fetch valuable marks in the Group 1 prelim examination.

The first use of the word Telangana can be traced back to the Muslim sources of the late 14th century in Indian history. Other variants of the word Telangana, such as Trilanga, Tilinga, etc., were in use before the Muslim rule and many historical sources confirm this fact.

What is etymology?

For TSPSC aspirants who are not familiar with the jargon of the historians, Etymology is the scientific study of the origin and evolution of words in history.

Saktisangama Tantra

The Saktisangama Tantra mentions the existence of Tailanga -desa as a region between Srisailam and Chola territory, it also mentions that Tailanga-desa is the bordering region to Andhra- desa.

The name Trilanga a variant derived from Tailanga is considered by some historians as a reference to the region with three lingas ( Shiva shrines)- Kalesvaram, Srisailam, and Draksharama.

Srirangam Plates

The first usage of the word Trilinga can be found in the Srirangam plates of the 14th century (1280 in Saka years). These plates define the boundary of Trilinga as a region between Kalinga, and Pandya territories.

The Ain-e-Akbari mentions the boundaries of the region as the southern frontier of the Berar region.

Vrathakanda of Hemadri mentions the rule of Rudramma and an inscription from the 16th century mentions the combined name Andhra- Trilanga madhyama desa.

Kurgod Inscription

A Kurgod inscription of the late 12th century mentions a different variant of the word as Telumga

In later parts of the history, Amir Khusrav used the word Tilang and Abdul Fazl used the most well-known among all the variants, Telangana

Telangana is a young state that was formed on June 2, 2014. However, the entity of Telangana existed for more than 2000 years in the history of India. The existence of Megalithic stone structures like cairns, and dolmens in many parts of Telangana confirms the existence of civilisation in the region dating back to several thousands of years.

Asmaka Janapada, one of the 16 Janapadas of ancient India is considered as part of the present-day Telangana

The story of Kondanna

Kondanna was one of the first disciples of Buddha. It is believed that Kondanna is from the Kondapur in the Medak district of Telangana, a Buddhist township named after the Kondanna.

Megasthenes from the 4th century BCE mentions the fortified cities of the present-day Telangana

Some of the famous and powerful kingdoms of the region include Vatakatas, Ikshvakus, Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Qutub- Shahis, and Asaf Jahis.

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