Andhra Brahmins Migrated from Tamil Nadu? Surnames

Despite being Vaidikas, those who follow the Vedas,there are subtle differnces in Brahmin practices among Brahmins , though the essence remains the same.

I had posted an article on Who are South Indian Brahmins?  and another History of Brahmins.

Brahmins in Indian Cricket.jpg
Brahmins in Indian Cricket.

My view is that Brahmins, being an integral part of Sanathana Dharma, were present in the North and the South right from the earlier ages.

And Lord Rama’s ancestor Satyavrata Manu migrated from the South to the North and his offspring established the Ikshvahu dynasty.

However evidence suggests that the Brahmins initially settled around the Cauvery River in Tamil Nadu, which was ruled by the Chola dynasty whose ancestors were the Surya Dynasty, and the Cholas belong to Kasyapa Gotra.

Please read my post on this.

In ancient times, there was no division of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh ;it was Dakshina Pada,south of Vindhyas.

I have used the present political names to enable the reader to understand.

No regional connotations are intended.

Brahmins migrated , for unknown reasons to Andhra Pradesh, around 1400AD.

“There are two major divisions among Brahmins of Andhra Pradesh: Niyogi and Vaidiki, and the Vaidiki Brahmin division is further divided into several groups, one of which is Dravida Brahmin group that arrived in Andhra via Tamil or Dravida (draaviDa) country.

A group of Brahmins migrated approximately 600 years ago (~1300-1400 AD) from Saurashtra(2) towards south of Vindhyas and settled on the banks of River Kaveri in Tamilnadu and adopted Tamil language. These Brahmins are related to the Ayyars of Tamilnadu.  Later, some of these Brahmins migrated northward towards coastal Andhra to the River Godavari basin and henceforth are called Dravida Brahmins.

It is possible that Dravida Brahmins migrated to Andhra around 400 years ago(3) from Tamilnadu.  The Dravida Brahmin group continued the migration deep into north coastal Andhra, settling at various places of their convenience and based on the locations they settled in, further divided into:
Divili Brahmins
Dravidas or suddha dravidas
Tummagunta Brahmins

Aaraamadravidas are those Brahmins who settled and lived in gardens (aaraamas) initially. They are also called thota aravalu (thota = garden, aravulu = Tamils or Dravids). Some Dravida Brahmins settled in the villages and are identified by the area or the name of the village in which they settled down. For example, the Brahmins who settled in the town Peruru near Amalarpuram came to be known asPerurudraavidulu. Similarly, the Brahmins settled in the towns of Ryali, Divili, Puduru and Tummagunta came to be known as Ryalidraavidulu, Divili Brahmins, Pudurudraavidulu, Tummagunta Brahmins, respectively. In addition, there is another branch called dravidulu or suddha dravidulu.

The Dravida Brahmins included 6 jaatis (tribes), 6 vamshams (stock or clan), 18 pakshams (parts) and 18 gotrams (lineage) and several family names(4).  Due to their expertise and learning, the rulers ofCoastal Andhra(5) gave not only refuge, but also gifts and rewards of lands and agrahaaras (villages) to the migrated Brahmins. Dravida Brahmins continued their migrations in search of opportunities and are found in several states in the Indian Union, especially in the cosmopolitan cities like Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc., and also in the New World.

Dravida brahmins such as perurudaravidas, dhimiladaravidas, Dravidas etc. are very much into vedic rituals like yajnas and yagas.   Aaraamadravidas are not big on perfoming yajna and yaagas like others Dravida Brahmins, but excelled in vedic studies, poetry and literature, medicine, music, astrology etc.  As the Indian society has changed from Islamic rule to Christian  rule to independence and democracy, Brahmins have lost, to a large extent, their traditional life style and religious vocations, and are left with secular vocations in competition with rich, powerful forward castes and privileged SC, ST and BC communities everywhere in India.”

Brahmins Surnames, Andhra Pradesh.

The earliest Brahmins to arrive in Andhra were most probably sage Viswamitra’s students and progeny around 1200 BC.  South Indian kings showed respect and patronage for Brahmins and Brahminism since ancient times, e.g., Satavahana dynasty that ruled for five centuries and extended over Andhra and central India, founded by Srimukha (221-198 BC), supported Brahminism and Vedic tradition (History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh, Rao PR, pp.viii and 8-22).  One of the most important features of Satavahana dynasty was granting land to Brahmins. (History of India, Herman Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, p. 102).  Sangam era of Chera, Chola and Pandya kings in Deep South also used to grant lands to Brahmins (History of India, Herman Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, p. 104).  Similarly there have been Brahmin migrations back and forth that continue even today.  Due to these waves of Brahmin migrations, we see today various sub-castes and traditions among Brahmins.

One of those Brahmin migrations pertinent to Dravida Brahmins was from Saurashtra to the south to River Kaveri. It is not clear why this particular group of Brahmins migrated to Tamil country in 13th and 14th centuries. However, the period in which the Dravida Brahmins migrated was full of strife and destruction due to Islamic incursions in the Northwestern Indian Continent (current Afghanistan, Pakistan and present Western India), including Gujarat. Saurashtra forms part of the area where the ancient Saraswati river existed.  Saurashtra is also known as Soruth and Sorath, a former state in the Indian continent, located on the Kathiawar peninsula of western India, which is now part of the Indian State of Gujarat. The Rig-Veda refers to the River Saraswati as a mighty river flowing from the mountains to the sea and was adored as the nurturing mother of a civilization, which drew its life sustenance on the banks of the river.  It is not clear if the southward-migrated Brahmins are related to Saraswat Brahmins of this region who migrated to other parts of the Indian continent.

From the River Kaveri region, they migrated to various other parts of Tamilanadu and up north into Andhra Pradesh somewhere between 600 to 300 years ago.  Some of the Aaraamadravida Brahmin families have migrated from Kumbhakonam, an ancient temple town in Tamilnadu on the banks of river Kaveri, 194 miles away by train from Chennai.  Kumbhakonam has mythical connections – visit Kanchi Kamakoti peetham site.

3) Although it is not clear when Dravida Brahmins migrated to Andhra, according to Anamtapadmanaabham Dvivedula (ref 1), about 300 years ago they adopted Telugu language and integrated with Telugu speaking people. If we consider the studies on language adoption in the US, the immigrants (first generation of immigrants) and their offspring (second generation immigrants) continue to speak their native tongue as well as the language of the land. The third generation of immigrants forget their ancestral language or only a small minority in that group maintains bilingualism. Speaking only English is the predominant pattern by the third generation in the US.  Thus, by extrapolation, we may assume Dravida Brahmins began migrating to Andhra around 400 years ago, which is, of course, an assumption. It could be 600 years ago!

4) Some of the aaraamadravida family names (see ref 1): Allamaraaju, addamki, addamki bhaagavatulua, ayilaavajhala, abbaavajhala, akkapamtula, annapamtula, anamtapamtula, avadhaanula, akkabhaagavatula, anamtavjhala, ayitta,  anivilla, aakomdi, aayupilla, upamaaka, oarigamti, oaleti, kamchi, kaakaraparti, kaakara, kaakaraala, kaaraadavajhala, kaampamtula,  kaamavarapu, koochibhotla, kolloori, komdaari, kolgamti, koata, gamdavarapu, goakulaanamdam, gummaa, charla, chellapilla, chakravartula, chaamarti, chilakamarti, chimtalachervu, chittapamtula, tampella, taatapoodi, tirumaamidi, toata, dvivedula, dvivedi, dvibhaashyam, duddu, sasiraaju, naldeegela, nrusimhadevara, narasimhadevara, pamtula,  pullaapamtula, puraanapamda, paalamki, pinnimti, peddimti, podila, ponnapalli, perumaalla, paina, patraayudu, ballamoodi, bulambu, boani, bhaagavatula, brahmayila, bheemasoala, bhairavabhatal, madhunaapamtula, madhuraapamtula, maddaal, madhurakavi, mahendravaada, maarepalli, muddu, munnamgi, raavooru, raamanugula, raamavarapu, raajulu, raaghavabhatlu, raamabhaktula, varadaa, vajhala, vedula, sannidhi, saamavedula, soamayaajula etc.

Usually, Telugu Brahmin family names are based on their vocation, villages, awards, recognition etc.  Family names like Kuchibhatlu, Nagabhatlu, Bhairavabhatlu, Raghavabhatlu, etc. are names based on “battir“, Tamil word for pundit. Some say that Bhattu is a derivative of bhata, which means a person who works for hire and as these Brahmins were hired by kings for various priestly duties, they are calledbhat-lu. It is also said that Brahmins who considered themselves as bhattus (servants) of their family God (kula-daivam) gave their family name as bhattu or bhatla of their family God. For example,Nagahatlu means bhattus of Naga or snake God. Raghavabhatlu means bhattu of Lord Raghava or Rama.  Pamtulu, Madhurapamtulu, etc. based on their recognition as pamtulu, which means pundit or guru or teacher.  Ponnapalli, Marepalli, Kolluru, Addanki, etc are based on village names. Vedulavaru, Dvi-vedulavaru, etc. based on their learning in vedas and others like soamayaajula are based on ancestral achievements, jobs and deeds.

  • Achalla
  • Adiraju
  • Ailavajjhala
  • Akkapanthula
  • Allamraju
  • Aryasomayajula
  • Ayyagari
  • Ayyalasomayajula
  • Adibhatla
  • Akondi
  • Ayapilla
  • Aathiseashan
  • Animilla
  • Anivilla
  • Anupindi
  • Aravelli
  • Avadhanula
  • Bankupalli
  • Bhallamudi (Bhimavaram Agraharam )
  • Bhairavabhatla
  • Bhagavatula
  • Bhogapurapu
  • Chamarti
  • Charla
  • Cherla
  • Chellapilla
  • Chilakamarthi
  • Chittella
  • Choppalli
  • Chotneeru
  • Duddu
  • Irukuvajjula
  • Dwibhashyam
  • Dwibhashi
  • Dwivedula
  • Darlapudi
  • Dharmapuri
  • Dharmavarapu
  • Dhavala
  • Doddipatla
  • Gannavarapu
  • Ganti
  • Ganti Mahapatruni
  • Gumma
  • Jyosula
  • Kakara
  • Kakarala
  • Kakaraparthi
  • Kamavarapu
  • Kandala
  • Kasi
  • Karra
  • Karri
  • Kodukula
  • Kolluru
  • Kota
  • Koochibhatla
  • Kolaganti
  • Kuchibhatla
  • Maddala
  • Maruvada
  • Madhunapantula
  • Madhurapantula
  • Madhurakavi
  • Mahavratayajula
  • Mahendravada
  • Mamidi
  • Mantha
  • Mahendrada
  • Muddu
  • Murapaka
  • Mavuduru
  • Nagabhatla
  • Nagarampalli
  • Naladiga
  • Neteti
  • Nemani
  • Nrusimhadevara
  • Mula
  • Nukala (Nookala)
  • Olety
  • Oruganti
  • Pappu
  • Peddinti
  • Palanki
  • Pantula
  • Patnala
  • Penta
  • Puranapanda
  • Patrayudu
  • Peri
  • Ponnapalli
  • Podila
  • Podili
  • Pudipeddi
  • Pulakhandam
  • Pullapantula
  • Purohetham
  • Purohitham
  • Ramadugula
  • Ramayanam
  • Rambhatla
  • Rampa
  • Rejeti
  • Samavedula
  • Sanndhi
  • Saripalli
  • Sista
  • Sistla
  • Somayajula
  • Tata
  • Tatapudi
  • Vedula
  • Viswanadha
  • Voleti
  • Upamaka
  • Murapaka
  • Pariti
  • Jada
  • Vemakoti
  • Vadlamani
  • Vruddhula
  • Vayuvegula
  • Upadhyayula
  • Yellayi / Yellai


20 responses to “Andhra Brahmins Migrated from Tamil Nadu? Surnames”

  1. sir,
    kapil smriti nam ki koi smriti he kya?
    agr he to plz batyen ki us ki text kahan se mil sakti he?


    • Kapila has not written any Smriti.
      He is one of the founders, if one may say so in Hinduism,of Sankhya Philosphy.
      Lord Krishna declres him to be a perfect being in Bhagavad Gita 10.26


  2. Yet another tamilian – who thinks everything originated from Tamil Nadue – lord Ram’s ancenstors / andhra brahmins …brahmins dominate the sports … get a life


  3. With agasthya maharshi crossing Vindhyas, telugu brahmins Smarthas settled in land between Godavari and Krishna rivers even before birth of Christ.Then some sects moved downwards to Cauvery river and spoke Tamil so called Iyer and ayyangar. Reference of andhras were found in Ramayana as well as Mahabharata.Telugu brahmins were in Kashi also. Tamil brahmins focussed on Tamil instead of Sanskrit


    • Thank you for your comment. Godavari Valley is least researched and I plan to do it and I am sure it will throw some surprises. I request Telugu scholars to send deatails in this regard.Regds


      • Sir,
        Brahmins did not migrate to Andhra in the 1400’s. Around 6th century AD, the Chola empire ( which had extended till the North of India ) shrinked to Andhrapradesh in south and the Brahmins who were part of the Chola empire settled down with the Chola kings in Andhra pradesh. Pleaser refer to Telugu Chola kings from 8th century AD. Just for info. Not to criticise. Don’t mistake me.


      • My blog is exploratory. Is being constantly. So kindly be patient till full information emerges. Am updating constantly. Regards


  4. I am a 68 years old Tamilnadu origin (Panayur Vamsam located close to Sivagangai near Madurai) Telugu Brahmin with Thotapalle family Name, Telanganyam Subsect and Gautama Gotra. When I opened this topic, I was eagerly looking for my roots in Andhra with Telanganyam subsect.However, i am disappointed as we have a few thousand Telanganyam Telugu Brahmins spread all over Tamil Nadu even before separation of Andhra Pradesh and looking for their roots.

    Can any one throw light on this ignored subject matter?.


    Good day to you.
    I can give you some insight into the topic. I belong to Teleganyulu (may be Telanganyam in your place) sect of Brahmins. My surname is Addaguduri, not a familiar surname. I spoke to elders in my family and asked them about the surname. They told me, this sect of people (Teleganyulu) migrated from present Telengana region, in Nizam rule. They went along the banks of Godavari and settled in other places. I am not sure what made them to move. Thus most of the people in this sect have the names of the villages (they migrated from) as their surnames.
    1. Now come to my surname Addaguduru- Village in Mothkur mandal of Nalgonda district Telangana >> Nalgonda >> Mothkur (Recently there is some change in the district pattern of Telengana)
    2. I studied a small clip of story about Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastry (famous poet known as Raavi Sastry) , once he attend some function in Nalgonda district and visited his ancestors village; The article further stated that he collected some small amount of sand from the place saying “here my ancestors lived”. Rachakonda is in Narayanapur Mandal in Nalgonda District
    3. From my mothers side surname is Devulapalli , roots back to a village in Medak district.
    4. Same with your family name Thotapalli.
    I can certainly provide some more information, please drop a mail to


  6. My surname is Ayyagari (Dravida Brahmin – mentioned as the same surname exists in other sakhalu also), I have been trying hard to find roots of AYYAGARI’S but i could not get much information, I have clear information till my father’s great grandfather only. To be precise we are known as Rajam (vizianagaram district) Ayyagaris. If you have information I would be glad to get that.

    Thanks in advance 🙂


  7. For those that are interested about surnames found in the Telugu Brahmin community, the following list covers many of them, including Niyogi and Dravida Brahmins:
    Abburi, Achanta, Adaalatu, Addanki, Adimulam, Adiraju, Aditham, Adivi Adukuri, Aduri, Ainaparti, Ainamprolu, Aitharaju, Ajjarapu, Akhandam, Akkanapragada, Akkinapragada, Akkenapragada, AkkaRaju, Akkinepalli, Akkiraju, Akunuri, Alapattu, Aleti, Alladi, Aluru, Amancherla, Ambadasu, Ambarukhana, Amruthavakkula, Anantavarapu, Andukuri, Andukuru, Anipeddi, Annapragada, Annamraju, Annavaram, Annavarpu, Anumarlapudi, Aradhyula, Arjarapu, Attota, Atreyapurapu, Avatapalli, Ayinambrolu, Ayinpura, Ayyadevara, Ayyagari, Ayyalaraju, Bendapudi, Birudavolu, Bakaraju, Balabhadrapatruni, Balanthrapu, Balemarthy, Balivada, Ballijepalli, Bapatla, Bhadriraju, Bharatham, Bhattiprolu, Bhogaraju, Bhograj, Bhupatiraju, Bitragunta, Bodapati, Bollapragada, Bommireddipalli, Bondalapati, Boyinepalli, Buddhavarapu, Budhiraju, Bollapragada, Bhavaraju, Bhattacharyula, Bhimavarapu, Budharaju, Chaganty, Challa, Chakilam, Cheruku, Chillara, Chadalawada, Challapally, Chamarthy, Chandarlapati, Chatrathi, Chamaraju, Cheemalamarri, Chennapragada, Chilakalapudi, Chimakurthy, Chinta, Chintapalli, Chittamuri, choragudi, Chitrapu, Chitturi, Chodavarapu, Chitrapu, Chittem, Dubagunta, Durgaraju, Damerla, Desiraju, Damaraju, Dammalapati, Danam, Desabhatla, Desabhatla, Desiraju, Devarabhotla, Devulapalli, Dinavahi, Doddavarapu, Dronamraju, Duggaraju, Duggirala, Edlapalli, Eedupalli, Eranki, Errapatruni, Errapragada, Enjeti, Gangaravula, Gampa, Gatraju, Gaddapalli, Gadidasu, Ganapatiraju, Ganugapati, Gajulapalli, Gadicharla, Ghali, Gorijavolu, Gade, Gadiraju, Gaddamanugu, Gandavarapu, Gangaraju, Ganjam, Gollamudi, Gollapudi, Goparaju, Goteti, Govindaraju, Gudipati, Gudladona, Gudlavalleti, Gundimeda, Gundlapalli, Gundamaraju, Gunnikuntla, Gurazada, Iduri, Inugurthi, Inumella, Ippagunta, Iragavarapu, Ivaturi, Jeedigunta, Josyula, Jakkaraju, Jeedigunta, Jonnalagedda, Jayagiri, Kanchikacharala, Kanchugantala, Kathari, Kanakabhattula, Kavulu, Kavuluri, Kakarlapudi, Kakarlamudi, Kamaraju, Kanukollu, Karinapati, Karlapudi, Kasarabada, Katta, Kesharaju, Koochi, Kotamraju, Komaravolu, Korlimarla, Kuppila, Khandaladinne, Kaasiraju, Kalapatapu, Kaligotla, Kalugotla, Kadambari, Kamakolanu, Kamaraju Gadda, Kambhammettu, Kanala, Kanchnepalli, Kandukuri, Kanukollu, Kanukolanu, Kanuparthy, Karavadi, Karanam, Karri, Kasavaraju, Kasturi, Kasukurthi, kesaanapalli, Kavi, Kallakuri, Kancherla Kesinapalli, Khambhammettu, Kocherlakota, Koduri, Koka, Kolanu, Kalluri, Komaravolu, Kona, Konda, Kondepudi, Kondapally, Konduri, Konduru, Konidena, Korimilli, Korrapati, Korupolu, Kotamraju, Kotamarthi, Kotaru, Kotharu, Kotichintala, Kovuru, Krovvidi, Kummamuru, Kurapati, Lakkaraju, Lakkapragada, Lakkavajjula, Lingamgunta, Mannava, Mannem, Mocherla, Matukumalli, Machavaram, Machiraju, Maddali, Madiraju, Malkapuram, Mallapragada, Malyala, Manapragada, Manchikalapati, Manchikanti, Manchiraju, Mandapati, Mangu, Mannava, Mantri, Mantripragada, Maramraju, Marella, Marripati, Mattigunta, Matukumalli, Medikonduru, Medukonduru, Mittagunta, Mooparti, Moorthiraju, Mukkamala, Mulakaluri, Mulugu, Mulpur, Mulpuri, Munimanikyam, Munipalle, Muppalla, Mynampati, Mukkapati, Mylavarapu, Nadimpalli, Nedunuri, Nissankala, Nadela, Nadella, Namburi, Nandanavanam, Nandiwada, Nanduri, Naraparaju, Nadimpalli, Navuluri, Neelamraju, Nellutla, Nemalikanti, Nidamarthi, Nimushakavi, Nimishakavi, Nissankala, Palepu, Parimi, Parupudi, Potula, Poruri, Pabbaraju, Pagolu, Palakodety, Palivela, Palutla, Pamulaparthi, Pamulapati, Panamgipalli, Panchalavarapu, Panguluri, Panthangi, Paramatmuni, Paramkusham, Parimi, Pegatraju, Pathikonda, Pemmaraju, Penamakuru, Penumudi, Perala, Petluri, Pingali, Pillutla, Piduru, Pindiprolu, Pochiraju, Poduri, Poolla, Polamraju, Polavaram, Poluri, Ponduri, Ponnada, Poruri, Pothapragada, Potharaju, Potturi, Pragadaraju, Pulijala, Pulikanti, Pulipaka, Pullamaraju, Punyamurthula, Puttabakula, Puvvada, Rachapudi, Racherla, Raghavachari, Rajasekharuni, Rayabharam, Rayala, Ravella, Regadamilli, Rupanagunta, Ramajaru, Ramaraju, Rangaraju, Ravinutala, Ravulaparti, Ravuri, Rupanagunta, Srikaram, Sandepudi, Sampatam, Sambaraju, Sambatur, Sattenapalli, Sambharaju, Sandepudi, Santapur, Sarraju, Sarikonda, Sarvepalli, Sattiraju, Saathamraju, Satyavolu, Seethamraju, Seethimraju, Siddiraju, Singam, Singampalli, Singaraju, Siripurapu, Suraparaju, Satram, Sannikandlapadu, Samudram, Saripalli, Savidi, Somaasi, Somayajula, Sthaanam, Tammera, Toleti, Torthi, Tadanki, Tadakamalla, Tadikonda, Tallapragada, Tallamraju, Talluri, Tanuku, Tamvada, Tanguturi, Tadakamalla, Tadinada, Tadimeti, Tallapaka, Tanikella, Tamirisa, Tatavarthy, Tetali, Thungathurthi, Tummurugoti, Timmaraju, Turaga, Turlapati, Turlapaty, Twarakavi, Udayagiri, Ullaganti, Unnava, Uppaluri, Upadhyayula, Upadrashta, Uppala, Urakaranam, Uta Uttaralingamakuntla, Vaddiraju, Vadduri, Vadlamudi, Vaduri, Vahi, Vallambhatla, Valluri, Vanam, Vangipurapu, Vonkamamidi, Vankeswarapu, Varagani, Varahagiri, Vareswaram, Varkhola, Vasa, Vasiraju, Veladi, Velagapudi, Vepachedu, Vedantham, Vissamraju, Vaddadi, Vadlamannati, Vadrevu, Vajja, Vakkalanka, Vangipurapu, Vankamamidi, Varanasi, Varahagiri, Vedagiri, Vedururu, Veladi, Velagapudi, Velaparti, Veldurthy, Velichety, Vempati, Vemula, Vemulakonda, Vemuri, Ventrapragada, Venuturupalle, Vepakomma, Viriyala, Volety, Vurakaranam, Wuriti, Yabaloori, Yallapragada, Yandapalli, Yarrapragada, Yedida, Yendluri, Yerramilli, Yerrapragada, Yeddanapudi, Wuppalapati, and Vajja


  8. Hello sir, Million thanks for finding the details and providing them. I am murthy and my surname is Aravalli, I have been searching the roots form quite a long time. I request you, can you please provide me the source of the information thota aravalu (thota = garden, aravulu = Tamils or Dravids).
    I am happy to find this blog and really appreciate your efforts. Thanks again.


  9. Dear Ramanan,

    Thank you for an insightful article.

    I request you to throw light on the origins of the following surnames listed in your article and also in the comments above. Are they of Tamil origin?


    Thank you


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