Dr K Prabhakar RaoThe provinces in Andhra Pradesh were ruled by various dynasties over the time and these rulers contributed in various ways to the literature, economy, trade, security, religion, sculpture, dance, Music and drama. There is no field left in which there was no contribution from them. Tamil kings held sway over Andhra provinces for long periods. Chieftains appointed by the sovereigns to rule provinces declared independence or changed loyalties as per the prevailing political situations. Old dynasties vanished and in the place new ones came up. Satavahans, Vengi Chalukyas and , Kakateeyas, were the most important sovereigns while Reddy Kings and Nayaka rulers of Telangana were the important provincial rulers who ruled over most part of Andhra Pradesh provinces till the Muslim conquest of South India began. Vijay nagar empire found in 14 century stood up against Islamic onslaught and for the next 300 years Vijaynagar emperors stopped Islamization of South India and after the fall of the Vijaynagar empire in 17 century, provincial powerful Chieftains of Madhura, Tanjavur, Mysore and Jinji held sway with fluctuating fortunes.
Nellore is a province at the border of present of AP state and Tamilnadu state. This was ruled by a branch of Telugu Chodas who ruled from Nellore and they were the chieftains of Kakatiya sovereigns.Gan apatideva of kakateeya dynastu was the most important ruler and he ruled over entire Andhra Pradesh.He ruled for 60 yyeras with complete authority. The famous Telugu poet, Tikkana Somayaji who translated major portion of Maharshi Veda Vyasa’s MahaBharata from sanskrtit into Telugu was the chief minister of the king Manuma siddhi at Nellore. In the introduction of his Nirvachanottara Ramayanamu, which is a scholarly work by him gave an account of the history and antecedents of this family. These Chodas also claimed descent from the famous Karikala Chola of tamilnadu provinces. They ruled over their kingdom consisting of the Nellore, Cuddapah, Chittoor and Chengalput ( Now in Tamilnadu state) districts with Vikramasimhapuri (modern Nellore) as their capital.
Chola Bijjana was the first important chief in the Nellore Choda clan. As a feudatory of the Western Chalukya Someswara I (1042–1068 ) of Kalyani, he took part in the wars of the Chalukyas and Cholas. In recognition of the loyalty and services of his descendants to the Chalukyas of Kalyani ( Now in Karanataka in Bidar dist), Vikramadiya II (1076–1126 ) appointed them as rulers of Pakanadu. Later Tikka (1223–1248 ) father of the famous Manumasiddhi, extended the sway of the Nellore Telugu Chola family as far south as the river Kaveri. He owed nominal allegiance to the already crippled Chalukya Chola emperors of the south, but was practically an independent ruler. Along with the Hoysala Vira Narasimha, he helped the Chalukya Chola ruler Rajaraja Chola III in restoring him back to his throne by repulsing the attacks of Aniyanka Bhima, Kopperunchinga II and the Pandyas.
Subsequently, when the Hoyasala Vira Narasimha's successor Somesvara, desirous of making the Chalukya Chola ruler a puppet in his hands, joined hands with the Pandyas and attacked Rajendra IIl, Choda TiKka came to the rescue of the Chola emperor. He defeated both the Hoyasala and the Pandyan forces and got thereby the Tondaimandalam region for himself. He even assumed the title Cholasthapanacharya. During the reign of Tikka's son and successor Manumasiddhi II (1248–1263), the power of the Nellore Cholas was at its low ebb.
About the year 1260, a dangerous feud broke out between King Manumasiddhi and Katamaraju, the chief of Erragaddapadu in Kanigiri region. The feud was on the issue of the rights of the two princes to use certain wide meadows as grazing grounds for their flocks of cattle. It led to the fierce engagement of the two sides and the bloody battle was fought at Panchalingala on the Paleru river. Manumasiddhi's forces were led by his army chief Khadga Tikkana, the cousin of poet Tikkana.The fight was vigorous and Tikkana s forces suffered defeat and he retired home. At home he was insulted by his wife Dasamma and mother by offering bangles. The enraged Khadga Tikkanna rode back to battle field and the battle was most vigorous and Nellore forces became victorious. However Tikkanna sacrificed his life in the battle field fighting very bravely causing havoc among the enemy by killing most of the enemy men. He became a Martyr. The story of Khadga Tikkanna ( Rana Tikkanna) has become a legend and many ballads were written about his valor and the battle. The story is also called Yadava Bharatham and Katamarjukatha. Many dramas were also written and enacted by the artists making Khadga Tikanna immortal in the history of Andhra Pradesh and India.