B. Chandrashekhar

They give some insight into their past

Many outsiders spell Anantapur as ‘anantha poor’ meaning unending poverty

Efforts were made in the past to change the name as ‘Ananthapuram’, but in vain

ANANTAPUR: What’s in the name? It may sound simple. But, names of most of the places hold a credence and give some insight into their past. In fact, there’s history or interesting past behind the name of every place.

Without knowing such credence, names of most places give a wrong impression to outsiders. If we take the case of Anantapur, outsiders spell it mostly as “anantha poor”. In Telugu, ‘anantha’ means infinite. The outsiders generally presume that the district has nothing but unending poverty. In reality, the district is very rich in several aspects like culture, arts, mineral wealth, horticulture, etc.

It will be interesting to know the background of names of Assembly constituencies in the district, when elections are round the corner.

The history behind the name of Anantapur dates back to the Vijayanagara kingdom. Bukkarayalu, one of the founders of Vijayanagara empire. A tank was formed during his tenure and it was named after his wife Ananthamma, as ‘Anantha Sagaram’. Habitations developed outside the two spillways of the tank later got the names as Anantha Sagaram and Bukkaraya Sagaram. The two were changed into Anantapur and Bukkaraya Samudram later. Similarly, Hindupur got its name from the area’s ruler by the name Hindu Rao 645 years ago. The king of Chilamattur Kreeyashakti Odeyar, formed a village in the 11th Century AD in the memory of his mother Dharmamba. It was initially named as Dharmambapuram and later transformed into Dharmavaram.

The name of Guntakal has another interesting background.

There was a village by name Thimmanacherla in the area and industries and offices were established outside that village during the early days of British period.

Those working in the offices and industries lived in Thimmanacherla and outsiders used to call the villagers as ‘guntakalla varu’ (those with deep eyes). It is believed in the local culture that those having deep eyes are the fortunate. The village earned reputation with good employment opportunities and the name transformed as Guntakal later. The name of Kadiri has also some interesting past. The habitation was initially named as Khadripuram as ‘khadara’ plants were largely found in the surrounding forests and Khadri has later transformed as Kadiri.

Similarly, Tadipatri was derived from Tatipalle, a village with thick toddy tree grooves on the banks of the Penna river outside the village. Rayadurg was sourced from its ruler in 15th Century AD, Bhupati Rayalu. The habitation on the hillock (durgam’) was known as Bhupati Rayala Durgam in those days. Kalyanadurg was named after a local warlord Kalyanappa Naidu in the 18th Century AD. Madakasira was derived from its initial nomenclature of Halagiri. ‘Hala’ in the local language means a plough and ‘giri’ means hillock.

The habitation was given the name as it was developed beside a hillock appearing in the shape of a plough. Penukonda, historically known as the second capital of Vijayanagara rulers, got its name as it was developed at the foot of a large hillock locally called as ‘pedda konda’, which got changed as Penukonda later.

Uravakonda got its name from the initial Uragadri, means a hillock with snakes, Singanamala from Rushyashrunganamala, a place where a saint sat on meditation and Puttaparthi from Gollapalli. Rapthadu was derived from ‘rope’ and ‘thadu’ (rope in local language) during the British rule as they used to cross a rivulet outside Anantapur with the help of a rope.