Andhra was a kingdom mentioned in the epic Mahabharata, ruled by non-Vedic kings. It was a southern kingdom. It was ruled by Brahmin rulers in later periods. Other Brahmin kingdoms includes Dravida, Karnata and Konkana.Andhra Kingdom lied to the south of Telinga Kingdom and to the north of Dravida Kingdom. It was mostly a coastal kingdom. It is now known as Coastal Andhra region in Andhra Pradesh state of India.

The state Andhra Pradesh got its name from this kingdom / tribe.

References in Mahabharata

Andhra mentioned as an Ancinet Indian (Bharata Varsha) Kingdom+

  • Mbh 6.9

….the Angas, the Vangas, the Kalingas, the Yakrillomans; the Mallas, the Suddellas, the Pranradas, the Mahikas, the Sasikas; the Valhikas, the Vatadhanas, the Abhiras, the Kalajoshakas; the Aparantas, the Parantas, the Pahnabhas, the Charmamandalas; the Atavisikharas, the Mahabhutas, O sire; the Upavrittas, the Anupavrittas, the Surashatras, Kekayas; the Kutas, the Maheyas, the Kakshas, the Samudranishkutas; the Andhras……..

Andhras mentioned among the non Vedic tribes

  • Mbh 12.64

What duties should be performed by the Yavanas, the Kiratas, the Gandharvas, the Chinas, the Savaras, the Barbaras, the Sakas, the Tusharas, the Kankas, the Pathavas, the Andhras, the Madrakas, the Paundras, the Pulindas, the Ramathas, the Kamvojas, the several castes that have sprung Lip from Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, the Vaisyas, and the Sudras, that reside in the dominions of Vedic kings? —this was a doubt expressed by a Vedic king, named Mandhatri.

Pandava Sahadeva's conquests

  • Mbh 2.30

Sahadeva brought under his subjection and exacted tributes from the Paundrayas (Pandyas?) and the Dravidas along with the Udrakeralas and the Andhras and the Talavanas, the Kalingas and the Ushtrakarnikas, and also the delightful city of Atavi and that of the Yavanas.

Karna's conquests

  • Mbh 7.4

The Utpalas, the Mekalas, the Paundras, the Kalingas, the Andhras, the Nishadas, the Trigartas, and the Valhikas, were all vanquished by Karna.

Vasudeva Krishna, the slayer of Chanura of Andhra Kingdom+

Vasudeva Krishna is mentioned as the slayer of Chanura of the Andhra country. (13,149)

Arjuna's conquests after the Kurukshetra War

In southern regions, battle took place between Arjuna and the Dravidas and Andhras and the fierce Mahishakas and the hillmen of Kolwa. Subjugating those tribes without having to accomplish any fierce feats, Arjuna proceeded to the country of the Surashtras, his footsteps guided by the horse. (14,83)

Andhras present in Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice

  • Mbh 2.33

king Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisha accompanied by all Mlechcha tribes inhabiting the marshy regions on the sea-shore; and many mountain kings, and king Vrihadvala; and Vasudeva the king of the Paundrayas, and the kings of Vanga and Kalinga; and Akastha and Kuntala and the kings of the Malavas and the Andhrakas; and the Dravidas and the Singhalas and the king of Kashmira, and king Kuntibhoja of great energy and king Gauravahana, and all the other heroic kings of Valhika; and Virata with his two sons, and Mavella endued with great might; and various kings and princes ruling in various countries attended Pandava king Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice.

Andhras as the allies of the Pandavas

  • Mbh 5.140

The Dravidas, with the Kuntalas, the Andhras, and the Talacharas, and the Shuchupas, and the Venupas were mentioned as allies of the Pandavas, in the conversation of Vasudeva Krishna and Karna.

Andhras as the allies of Kauravas

  • Mbh 5.161, 5.162

The message sent by Duryodhana to the Pandava:-

The Kamvojas, the Sakas, the Khasas, the Salwas, the Matsyas, the Kurus of the middle country, the Mlechchhas, the Pulindas, the Dravidas, the Andhras, and the Kanchis —- these tribes protect my army.

Andhras in Kurukshetra War

On the side of the Pandavas

  • Mbh 8.12

Decked with ornaments, possessed of red teeth, endued with the prowess of infuriate elephants, attired in robes of diverse colours, smeared with powdered scents, armed with swords and nooses, capable of restraining mighty elephants, companions in death, and never deserting one another, equipped with quivers, bearing bows adorned with long locks, and agreeable in speech were the combatants of the infantry files led by Satyaki, belonging to the Andhra tribe, endued with fierce forms and great energy. (The Pandyas, Cholas, Keralas and Dravidas followed Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandin, Chekitana and the sons of Draupadi.)

On the side of the Kauravas

  • Mbh 8.73

Of terrible deeds and exceedingly fierce, the Tusharas, the Yavanas, the Khasas, the Darvabhisaras, the Daradas, the Sakas, the Kamathas, the Ramathas, the Tanganas the Andhrakas, the Pulindas, the Kiratas of fierce prowess, the Mlecchas, the Mountaineers, and the races hailing from the sea-side, all endued with great wrath and great might, delighting in battle and armed with maces, these all—united with the Kurus and fighting wrathfully for Duryodhana’s sake.

Andhras as a caste in Ancient India

  • Mbh 13.48

The son begotten by a Vaisya upon a woman of the Brahmana order comes to be regarded as a Vaidehaka. The caste called Andhra which takes up its residence in the outskirts of towns and cities, also springs up from the Vaidehakas.

See Also

Kingdoms of Ancient India

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Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 13 Jan 2010 12:01 and updated at 06 Jun 2010 11:51

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