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Proposed state
Map of India with Telangana highlighted in red
Coordinates: 18°N 79°E / 18°N 79°E / 18; 79Coordinates: 18°N 79°E / 18°N 79°E / 18; 79
Country India
 • Total114,840 km2 (44,340 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total35,286,757
 • Density310/km2 (800/sq mi)
 • OfficialTelugu
Time zoneIST (UTC+05:30)
Largest cityHyderabad
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Proposed state
Map of India with Telangana highlighted in red
Coordinates: 18°N 79°E / 18°N 79°E / 18; 79Coordinates: 18°N 79°E / 18°N 79°E / 18; 79
Country India
 • Total114,840 km2 (44,340 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total35,286,757
 • Density310/km2 (800/sq mi)
 • OfficialTelugu
Time zoneIST (UTC+05:30)
Largest cityHyderabad

Telangana is a region in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It was formerly part of Hyderabad State (Medak and Warangal divisions) which was ruled by the Nizams. Telangana is bordered by the states of Maharashtra to the north and north-west, Karnataka to the west, Chhattisgarh to the north-east and Odisha to the east. Andhra Pradesh State had three main cultural regions: Telangana, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. The Telangana region has an area of 114,840 square kilometres (44,340 sq mi), and a population of 35,286,757 (2011 census) which was 41.6% of Andhra Pradesh state population.[2][3]

Telangana comprises 10 districts: Hyderabad, Adilabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy, and Warangal. Bhadrachalam and Nuguru Venkatapuram Taluks of East Godavari district (part of coastal Andhra Pradesh), which are on the other side of the river Godavari were merged into Khammam district on grounds of geographical contiguity and administrative viability. Earlier Aswaraopeta was also part of West Godavari District and added to Khammam District in the year 1959. Similarly, Munagala mandal was added to Nalgonda district from Krishna district in 1959. The Musi, Manjira, Krishna and Godavari rivers flow through the region from west to east. Hyderabad,Warangal,Nizamabad and Karimnagar are four largest cities in Telangana.It is located in central India.

On 30 July 2013, the ruling Congress party resolved to request the Central government to make steps in accordance with the Constitution to form a separate state of Telangana (the 29th state of India). The city of Hyderabad would serve as the joint capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for ten years.[4][5] On 3 October 2013, the Union Cabinet approved the creation of a new state of Telangana by bifurcating the existing state of Andhra Pradesh.[6]

Hyderabad state in 1909

On 5 December 2013, cabinet approved the Telangana draft bill prepared by Group of Ministers(GoM). The bill has to approved by Parliament before it becomes 29th state of the union.[7]


Telangana and the language spoken in that region, "Telugu", is thought to have been derived from trilinga, as in Trilinga Desa, "the country of the three lingas". According to a Hindu legend, Shiva descended as linga on three mountains namely, Kaleshwaram, Srisailam and Draksharama, which marked the boundaries of the Trilinga desa.[8][9] This is roughly the region between Krishna and Godavari rivers or modern Telangana region.[10]

The term "Telangana" was designated to distinguish the Telugu region from Marathwada as part of Hyderabad State.[11]

Early Reference during Kakatiya rule[edit]

One of the earliest references to the word Telangana can be seen from the name of Malik Maqbul, who was called Tilangani, which infers that he was from Tilangana. He was born a Hindu named Nagaya Ganna and was called Yugandhar. He was the son of Dadi Nagadeva. Yugandhar was the commander of Warangal Fort (Kaṭaka pāludu in Telugu).[12] After promotion to commander status, he was addressed as Gannama Nayaka.

After the fall of Warangal in 1323, the Kakatiya king Prataparudra and his trusted minister and commander Gannama Nayaka were captured and taken to Delhi.[13] King Prataparudra committed suicide by drowning in the Narmada River. Yugandhar converted to Islam and was given a new name, Khan-i Jahan Maqbul Tilangani.[14]


Early history[edit]

Kotilingala in Karimnagar was the capital of Assakajanapada, considered one of the 16 great janapadas of early India. This area yielded coins issued by pre-Satavahana kings. Coins of Chimukha, the founder of Satavahana dynasty, and those cast in lead copper issued by later kings were found.[15]

The Satavahana dynasty (230 BCE to 220 CE) became the dominant power in the area. It originated from the lands between the Godavari and Krishna rivers.[citation needed]

After the decline of the Satavahanas, various dynasties, such as the Vakataka, Vishnukundina, Chalukya, Rashtrakuta and Western Chalukya, ruled the area.[citation needed].

The Satavahana dynasty had its roots in Koti Lingala on the banks of the Godavari River, in present day Karimnagar district
Torana built by the Kakatiyas in Warangal in 1163
Charminar in Hyderabad
Painting of Rama on a temple at Bhadrachalam in Khammam District

Kakatiya dynasty[edit]

The area experienced its golden age during the reign of the Kakatiya dynasty that ruled most parts of what is now Andhra Pradesh from 1083 to 1323 CE. Ganapatideva, who came to power in 1199, was known as the greatest of the Kakatiyas, and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu area under one rule. He put an end to the rule of the Telugu Cholas, who accepted his suzerainty in the year 1210. He established order in his vast dominion that stretched from the Godavari delta in the east to Raichur (in modern day Karnataka) in the west and from Karimnagar and Bastar (in modern day Chhattisgarh) in the north to Srisailam and Tripurantakam, near Ongole, in the south. It was during his reign that the Golkonda fort was constructed. Rudrama Devi and Prataparudra were prominent rulers from the Kakatiya dynasty. The dynasty weakened with the attack of Malik Kafur in 1309 and was dissolved with the defeat of Prataparudra by the forces of Muhammad bin Tughluq in 1323.

Qutbshahis and Nizams[edit]

The area came under the Muslim rule of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century, followed by the Bahmani Sultanate. Quli Qutb Mulk, a governor of Golkonda, revolted against the Bahmani Sultanate and established the Qutb Shahi dynasty in 1518. On 21 September 1687, the Golkonda Sultanate came under the rule of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb after a year-long siege of the Golkonda fort.[16]

In 1712, Qamar-ud-din Khan was appointed to be Viceroy of the Deccan with the title Nizam-ul-Mulk (meaning "Administrator of the Realm"). In 1724, he defeated Mubariz Khan to establish autonomy over the Deccan Suba and took the name Asif Jah, starting what came to be known as the Asif Jahi dynasty. He named the area Hyderabad Deccan. Subsequent rulers retained the title Nizam ul-Mulk and were referred to as Asif Jahi Nizams or Nizams of Hyderabad.

When Asif Jah I died in 1748, there was political unrest due to contention for the throne among his sons, who were aided by opportunistic neighbouring states and colonial foreign forces. In 1769, Hyderabad city became the formal capital of the Nizams. Nizam signed a subsidiary alliance in 1799 with British and lost its control over the state's defence and foreign affairs. Hyderabad State became a princely state among the presidencies and provinces of British India. Nizam in two instances ceded the Coastal and Rayalaseema districts of his dominion to British due to his inability to pay for the help that British rendered in his wars against Vijayanagar and Tipu Sultan armies. The ceded Coastal and Rayalaseema districts were called Sarkar and Ceded areas and were part of the British Madras Presidency until India's Independence and part of Madras state until 1953.

Telangana was the seat of numerous dynasties. Chowmahalla Palace was home to the Nizams of Hyderabad.


When India became independent from the British Empire in 1947, the Nizam of Hyderabad did not want to merge with Indian Union and wanted to remain independent under the special provisions given to princely states. The Government of India annexed Hyderabad State on 17 September 1948 in Operation Polo. The Telugu speaking people were distributed in about 22 districts, 9 of them in the former Nizam's dominions of the princely state of Hyderabad, 12 in the Madras Presidency, and one in French-controlled Yanam.

The Central Government appointed a civil servant, M. K. Vellodi, as First Chief Minister of Hyderabad State on 26 January 1950. He administered the state with the help of English educated bureaucrats from Madras State and Bombay State, who were part of British India and familiar with Indian system unlike the bureaucrats of Hyderabad state who used completely different administrative system from British India and used Urdu has state language. In 1952, Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was elected Chief minister of Hyderabad State in the first democratic election. During this time there were violent agitations by some Telanganites to send back bureaucrats from Madras state, and to strictly implement rule by natives of Hyderabad.[17]

Meanwhile, Telugu-speaking areas in the Northern Circars and Rayalaseema regions were carved out of the erstwhile Madras state as a result of the 'fast unto death' incident by Potti Sri Ramulu to create Andhra State in 1953, with Kurnool as its capital.[18][19][20]

Telangana Rebellion[edit]

The Telangana Rebellion was a peasant revolt supported by the Communists. It took place in the former princely state of Hyderabad between 1946 and 1951. It was led by the Communist Party of India.[21]

The revolt began in the Nalgonda district against the feudal lords of Reddy and Velama castes. It quickly spread to the Warangal and Bidar districts. Peasant farmers and labourers revolted against the local feudal landlords (jagirdars and deshmukhs) and later against the King of Hyderabad State. The violent phase of the movement ended after the central government sent in the army.[22] Starting in 1951, the CPI shifted to a more moderate strategy of seeking to bring communism to India within the framework of Indian democracy.[23]

Formation of Andhra Pradesh[edit]

In December 1953, the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was appointed to recommend the reorganisation of state boundaries.[24]

Hyderabad State in 1956 (in yellowish-green). After reorganisation in 1956, the regions of the state west of the Red and Blue lines merged with Bombay and Mysore States, respectively, and rest of the state (Telangana) was merged with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh

Paragraph 382 of the SRC said "opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit; public opinion in Telangana has still to crystallise itself. Important leaders of public opinion in Andhra themselves seem to appreciate that the unification of Telangana with Andhra, though desirable, should be based on a voluntary and willing association of the people and that it is primarily for the people of Telangana to take a decision about their future.

The people of Telangana had several concerns. Their region had a less-developed economy than Andhra, but had a larger revenue base which people of Telangana feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They feared that planned irrigation projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately, even though people of Telangana controlled the headwaters of the rivers. It was feared that the people of Andhra, who had access to higher standards of education under the British rule, would have an unfair advantage in seeking government and educational jobs.[25] The commission proposed that the Telangana region be constituted as a separate state with a provision for unification with Andhra state, after the 1961 general elections, if a resolution could be passed in the Telangana state assembly with a two-thirds majority.

The Chief Minister of Hyderabad State, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, expressed his view that a majority of Telangana people were against the merger.[26] He supported the Congress party's central leadership decision to merge Telangana and Andhra despite opposition in Telangana.[27] Andhra state assembly passed a resolution on 25 November 1955 to provide safeguards to Telangana. The resolution said, "Assembly would further like to assure the people in Telangana that the development of that area would be deemed to be special charge, and that certain priorities and special protection will be given for the improvement of that area, such as reservation in services and educational institutions on the basis of population and irrigational development."[28] Telangana leaders did not believe the safeguards would work.[29][30] An agreement was reached between Telangana leaders and Andhra leaders on 20 February 1956 to merge Telangana and Andhra with promises to safeguard Telangana's interests.[31][32]

Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru initially was sceptical of merging Telangana with Andhra State, fearing a "tint of expansionist imperialism" in it.[33] He compared the merger to a matrimonial alliance having "provisions for divorce" if the partners in the alliance cannot get on well.[34]

Following the Gentlemen's agreement, the central government established a unified Andhra Pradesh on 1 November 1956.[18][35][36] The agreement provided reassurances to Telangana in terms of power-sharing as well as administrative domicile rules and distribution of expenses of various regions.

Anti-Nehru politics emerged with the repression of the Telengana movement; many within the Congress Party extended their hands to leftist causes. Feroze Gandhi was among them.[37]

Separate Telangana Movement[edit]

There have been several movements to invalidate the merger of Telangana and Andhra, major ones occurring in 1969, 1972 and 2009. The Telangana movement gained momentum over decades becoming a widespread political demand of creating a new state from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh.[38]

On 9 December 2009 the Government of India announced process of formation of Telangana state. After Members of Legislative Assembly & Council from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions had submitted resignations in response to the announcement, as well as violent protests raised in those regions immediately after the announcement, the decision to form to new state was put on hold on 23 December 2009. The movement continued in Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana.[39][40]

Grievances of Telangana proponents[edit]

A Dutch-language map showing several rivers including the Godavari and Krishna. Both rivers drain Telangana, then flow into the Bay of Bengal at Coastal Andhra

Telangana is the largest of the three regions of Andhra Pradesh state, covering 41.47% of its total area. It is inhabited by 40.54% of the state's population and contributes about 76% of the state's revenues, excluding the contribution of the central government. When the central government's contribution to revenue is included, Andhra Pradesh's revenue sources come from Telangana: 61.47% (including 50% from Hyderabad); from the central government: 19.86%; from Andhra: 14.71%; and from Rayalaseema: 3.90%.[41][dead link] Proponents of a separate Telangana state cite perceived injustices in the distribution of water, budget allocations, and jobs. Within the state of Andhra Pradesh, 68.5% of the catchment area of the Krishna River and 69% of the catchment area of the Godavari River are in the Telangana region. Telangana supporters state that the benefits of irrigation through the canal system under major irrigation projects is accruing substantially, 74.25%, to the Coastal Andhra region, while the share to Telangana is 18.20%. The remaining 7.55% goes to the Rayalaseema region.

As per Volume-II of Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal Award - "The area which we are considering for irrigation formed part of Hyderabad State and had there been no division of that State, there were better chances for the residents of this area to get irrigation facilities in Mahboobnagar District. We are of the opinion that this area should not be deprived of the benefit of irrigation on account of the reorganisation of States.".[42]

There are allegations that in most years, funds allocated to Telangana were never spent. According to Professor Jayashankar only 20% of the total Government employees, less than 10% of employees in the secretariat, and less than 5% of department heads in the Andhra Pradesh government are from Telangana; those from other regions make up the bulk of employment.[43][44][45] He also alleged that the state was represented by Telangana chief ministers for only 6 1/2 years out of over five decades of its existence, with no chief minister from the region being in power continuously for more than 2 1/2 years.[43] As per Srikrishna committee on Telangana, Telangana held the position of CM for 10.5 years while Seema-Andhra region held it for 42 years.[46] Proponents of a separate Telangana state feel that the agreements, plans, and assurances from the legislature and Lok Sabha over the last fifty years have not been honoured, and as a consequence Telangana has remained neglected, exploited, and backward. They allege that the experiment to remain as one state has proven to be a futile exercise and that separation is the best solution.[40][47][48][49]

According to activists, from 2010-12 over 300 young people killed themselves - sixteen by self-immolation - demanding more political control for the locals of Telangana.[50] According to Telangana Amaraveerula Kutumbala Vedika(Telangana Martyrs families forum)'s directory there have been 904 suicides in Andhra Pradesh from November 2009 to February 2013 demanding Telangana.[51]

Proposal to form a separate Telangana state[edit]

On 30 July 2013, the Congress Working Committee unanimously passed a resolution to recommend the formation of a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh to the INC-led central government. Hyderabad was proposed to be the joint capital for both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for 10 years. Process to create proposed State gives a general overview of steps to be taken for formation of proposed state. On 3 October 2013, Union Cabinet approved the creation of a new State of Telangana by bifurcating the existing State of Andhra Pradesh. Union Cabinet has also approved the setting up of a Group of Ministers(GoM) to go into the various issues which concern both the States including setting up of a new capital for the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh.[6][52]

On 5 December 2013, cabinet approved the Telangana draft bill prepared by Group of Ministers(GoM). The bill have to approved by Parliament before it becomes 29th state of the union.[7]


Telangana is situated on the Deccan Plateau, in the central stretch of the eastern seaboard of the Indian Peninsula. It covers 114,800 square kilometres (44,300 sq mi) and is the largest of the three regions of Andhra Pradesh.[53] The region is drained by two major rivers, with about 79% of the Godavari River catchment area and about 69% of the Krishna River catchment area, but most of the land is arid.[54] Telangana is also drained by several minor rivers such as the Bhima, the Manjira and the Musi.

The annual rainfall is between 900 to 1500mm in northern Telangana and 700 to 900mm in southern Telangana, from the southwest monsoons. Various soil types abound, including chalkas, red sandy soils, dubbas, deep red loamy soils, and very deep b.c. soils that facilitate planting mangoes, oranges and flowers.[55] About 45% of the forest area of Andhra Pradesh is located in five districts of Telangana. There are also extensive coal deposits, which are excavated by the Singareni Collieries Company, for power generation and industrial purposes.[56] There are limestone deposits in the area, which are utilised by cement factories. Telangana also has deposits of bauxite and mica.


Telangana is a semi-arid area within Andhra Pradesh and has a predominantly hot and dry climate. Summers start in March, and peak in May with average high temperatures in the 42 °C (108 °F) range. The monsoon arrives in June and lasts until September with about 755 mm (29.7-inch) of precipitation. A dry, mild winter starts in late November and lasts until early February with little humidity and average temperatures in the 22–23 °C (72–73 °F) range.

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Climate data for Hyderabad
Record high °C (°F)33.4
Average high °C (°F)28.6
Daily mean °C (°F)22.2
Average low °C (°F)14.7
Record low °C (°F)6.1
Rainfall mm (inches)3.2
Avg. rainy days.
 % humidity56493937396171747263585756.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours279.0271.2263.5273.0282.1180.0142.6136.4168.0226.3246.0263.52,731.6
Source #1: India Meteorological Department (1951–1980),[57] NOAA (extremes, mean, humidity, 1971–1990)[58]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sun only, 1971–1990)[59] Hyderabad, IMD [60]

Demography and language[edit]

According to the Backward Regions Grant Fund 2009–10, 13 backward districts are located in Andhra Pradesh: nine (all except Hyderabad) are from Telangana and the rest are from other regions.[61]

The religious makeup of Telangana is 84% Hindu, 12.4% Muslim, and 3.2% Sikh, Christian, and others.[62][63]

About 76% of the population of Telangana speak Telugu, 12% speak Urdu, and 12% speak other languages.[64][65] Before 1948, Urdu was the official language of Hyderabad State, and due to a lack of Telugu-language educational institutions, Urdu was the language of the educated elite of Telangana. After 1948, once Hyderabad State joined the new Republic of India, Telugu became the language of government, and as Telugu was introduced as the medium of instruction in schools and colleges, the use of Urdu among non-Muslims decreased.[66]



Hyderabadi biriyani

A prominent part of the regional culture is Hyderabadi cuisine, an amalgamation of Arab, Marathwada, Mughlai, Telugu, Turkish cuisines, developed by the Qutb Shahi dynasty and the Nizams of Hyderabad. It comprises a broad repertoire of rice, wheat and meat dishes and various spices and herbs.[67][68] Specific dishes include lukhmi (savoury starter), Hyderabadi biriyani (rice dish), mirchi ka salan (chilli curry), Hyderabadi haleem (stew), Hyderabadi Marag (mutton soup), and qubani ka meetha (apricot pudding). Distinctive ingredients include coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds. Traditional utensils made of copper, brass, and earthen pots are used for cooking.


Bathukamma flower arrangement

A number of festivals are observed and celebrated in Telangana. Regional festivals include Bonalu (celebrating the Hindu goddess of power, Mahakali), Bathukamma (celebrating the Hindu goddess Mahagauri) and Sammakka Saralamma Jatara (celebrating tribal goddesses). Hindus in Telangana also celebrate the more widespread festivals of Holi (festival of colours), Raksha Bandhan (celebrating siblings), Vijayadashami (the victory of good over evil), Ganesh Chaturthi (rebirth of the god Ganesha), Ugadi (South Indian New Year), Diwali (festival of lights), Rama Navami (birth of the god Rama), Ekadashi (monthly fasts), Varalakshmi Vratam (the goddess Lakshmi), Naga Chaturthi/Nag Panchami (serpent gods), Krishna Janmashtami (birth of the god Krishna). Muslims in Telangana observe the Islamic festivals of Eid al-Fitr (marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan), Eid al-Adha (marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage), Muharram (first month of the Islamic calendar) and Mawlid (birth of the prophet Muhammad).

Art and literature[edit]

Telangana's cultural heritage includes the poet Pothana who composed SriMadh Andhra Maha Bhagavatamu, a Telugu translation of Sri Bhagavatham. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah was the first Saheb-e-dewan Urdu poet. Other poets of Telangana from the early era include Kancherla Gopanna or Bhakta Ramadasu, Gona Budda Reddy, Palkuriki Somanatha, Mallinātha Sūri, and Hulukki Bhaskara. In the modern era poets include such figures as Padma Vibhushan, Kaloji Narayana Rao, Sahitya Akademi Award recipient Daasarathi Krishnamacharyulu, Vachaspathi Puraskar award recipient Sribhashyam Vijayasarathi, and Jnanpith Award recipient C. Narayana Reddy, as well as P. V. Narasimha Rao, ninth Prime Minister of India. Samala Sadasiva has been selected for the Kendra Sahitya Puraskaram distinction. His book Swaralayalu on the subject of Hindustani classical music won the award for the year 2011.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Area of Andhra Pradesh districts
  2. ^ Census details for districts in Andhra Pradesh
  3. ^ Official Govt of India Website, Office of the Registrar general&Census Commissioner India (One may need to Register&Login to get this district-wise data)
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  19. ^ After Sriramulu, Andhra State
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  23. ^ History of Communist party in India
  24. ^ SRC submits report
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  26. ^ Hyderabad CM's Views on merger (Wikisource)
  27. ^ Pro-Telangana crowd mob Andhra ex-minister at airport; Hyderabad CM appeal to people: Abide by High command decision - Page 8 of Nov 16, 1955 Indian Express
  28. ^ Vishandhra here and now. Special safeguards for Telangana. -Govt motion in Andhra Assembly - Page 5 of Nov 26, 1955 Indian Express
  29. ^ No belief in Safeguards: Hyderabad PCC chief. - Page 4 of Nov 21, 1955 Indian Express
  30. ^ Telangana Leaders must Adhere to Delhi Resolution - High command advise; High command has open mind, Claims Chenna Reddi - Plea for Telangana - Page 7 of Nov 27, 1955 Indian Express
  31. ^ SRC sub committee said no decision on Visalandhra taken.- Page 1 of Feb 1, 1956 Indian Express
  32. ^ New Telugu state to be called Hyderabad. Regional council for Telangana. - Page 1 of Feb 21, 1956 Indian Express
  33. ^ Visalandhra demand was bearing a taint of "expansive imperialism": Nehru - page8 of Indian express Oct 2, 1953
  34. ^ Reorganisation, then and now
  35. ^ Andhra Pradesh to be formed with safeguards to Telangana
  36. ^ Andhra Pradesh formed
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