definition of Wikipedia
||This article needs attention from an expert on the subject. (March 2011)|
|84.6 million (Andra pradesh 2011) 
world Telugu people = ~110 millions 
|Regions with significant populations|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Telugu people or Telugu Prajalu are a Dravidian ethnic group of India. They are the native speakers of the Telugu language, the third most commonly spoken language in India after Hindi and Bengali. They are mostly native to Andhra Pradesh, with significant populations in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. The Telugu constitute one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.
After Apastamba's death the Andhra tribes crossed the Vindhya mountains, reached the south, and merged with the other Andhra tribes. The Atreya Brahmana says that the Andhras lived on the south side of Vindhya Range along with the Pundras, Pulindas, Sabaras and Mootibas. The tribe was originally called the Andhras and the term Telugu came much later. Some of the early mentions of Andhras were found in the Aitareya Brahmana of 600 BC. Whereas, the early references to Telugus were found many centuries later in the Puri inscription of the Indra Verma of Gangas.They were Nomads who dwelled at the banks of River Ganges.
The Sanskrit epics mention the Andhra Kingdom, named for the Aryan tribe of the Andhras. They are mentioned again at the time of the death of the great Mauryan King Ashoka in 232 BC. This date has been considered to be the beginning of the Andhra historical record. Various dynasties have ruled the area, including the Andhra (or Satavahana), Sakas, Ikshvakus, Eastern Chalukyas, The Bobbili (Velama), the Vijayanagara Kingdom, the Qutb Shahis of Golconda, and the Nizams (princes) of Hyderābād.
The term Kalinga has been historically relevant to this region, incorporating north-east Andhra Pradesh and modern day Orissa. Andhras and Kalingas supported the Kauravas during the Mahabharata war. Sahadeva defeated the kingdoms of Pandya, Dravida, Odra, Chera, Andhra Pradesh, and Kalinga while performing the Rajasuya yajna. Chanoora was killed by Krishna in Mathura. Hari Vamsa Purana corroborates the fact that Chanoora was the king of Karoosa Desa (to the North of the Vindhyas and on the North Bank of the Yamuna river) and was an Andhra. Buddhist references to Andhras are also found.
The Jataka Tales were written during 200–250 BC. The Tel river is a Tributary of the Mahanadi in Orissa. The tribe in this region were called Kalingas. The books cited above describe the Andhras and Kalingas as two different branches of a single tribe. Sometimes these two words (Andhras and Kalingas) are used as synonyms.
Andhra tribes established relationships with Naga, Yaksha, and Dravida tribes of the Vindhya mountains who were already living there. A tribe called Tailang in Myanmar is proposed to be related to Telugu people.
The first great Andhra empire was that of the Satavahanas, who came to power when the last Kanva emperor Sisuman, was assassinated by his prime minister Sipraca, of the Andhra tribe. They reigned for 450 years and the last was Puliman or Puloma the pious, who after conquering India put an end to his life by drowning himself in the holy waters of the Ganges river, after the example of his grandfather. Because of this king, India was called Poulomeun-koue, the country of Puliman by the Chinese. While in the west the inhabitants of the Gangetic provinces were denominated Andhra Hindus. The Satavahana rulers are said to have been held in the highest veneration all over India; and their fame was extended to the Malay Archipelago, the Maharajas of India being a favorite subject of Malayan poetry.
Andhra, Karnataka and Maharastra states observe the same new year day. This calendar reckons dates based on the Shalivahana era (Shalivahana Saka), which begins its count from the supposed date of the founding of the Empire by the legendary hero Shalivahana. The Satavahana king Shalivahana (also identified as Gautamiputra Satakarni) is credited with the initiation of this era known as Shalivahana. The Salivahana era begins its count of years from the year corresponding to 78 AD of the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the year 2000 AD corresponds to the year 1922 of the Salivahana Era.
Telugu is a South-Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. Early inscriptions date from 620 AD and literary texts from the 11th century, written in a Telugu script adapted from the Bhattiprolu script of the early inscriptions.
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