This is a battle that took place sometime in the years 1178-1182 AD between Nalagamaraju, a Haihaya Kshatriya king who ruled the area of Palnadu in Guntur District, and his step brother Malidevaraju. Nalagamaraju was supported by the Reddy lady Nagamma while Malidevaraju was supported by Recherla Brahmanaidu who was a social reformer.
Palnadu is the region located in the south-western area of Guntur district and covering some part of Prakasam district. It is spread over the revenue divisions of Narsaraopet and Gurazala in Guntur district and Markapur in Prakasam district.
When Anuguraju of the Haiahays migrated to the Andhra area from Jajablpur in Madhya Pradesh, he clashed with the Velanati Chodas of Velnadu who ruled from Chandavolu. Velanati Gonkaraju installed Anuguraju as king of Palnadu at Gurajala after giving his daughter Mailama Devi to him in marriage. As Anuguraju is non Telugu speaking and has migrated to Andhra area only at that time, and is unfamiliar with the local people, Gonkaraju appointed Dodda Naidu of Recherla Gotra as his minister to guide him. Anugu Raju had 2 more wives, Viravidya Devi and Bhoorama Devi. Anuguraju was however childless and adopted the eldest son of his minister Dodda Naidu. Soon after this Mailama Devi gave birth to a son called Nalagamaraju. Disillusioned with the turn of events Dodda Naidu stepped down as minister of Anuguraju and made his younger son Brahma Naidu as a minister instead. Nalagamaraju became king after Anuguraju. Nalagamaraju had a step brother called Malidevaraju who married a princess from the Kalachuris of Kalyanadurga in Karnataka. Brahma Naidu was highly respected in his time and is a warrior, scholar and reformer. Brahmanaidu captured the fort of Shimoga from the Veera Saivaites on the request of the Kalyani Chalukyan King of Kalyani. The king in turn gave his daughter Sirimadevi in marriage to Malidevaraju. Brahma Naidu was a staunch Vaishnavaite and founded a new sect called Veera Vaishnavism as against Veera Saivism which was prevalent then and which allowed the Sudras into its fold but not untouchables. Brahma Naidu allowed equal status to the untouchables. The social reforms like Chapa Koodu (having food sitting side by side on a mat irrespective of caste) initiated by Brahma Naidu have antagonized the conservatives of the Palnadu society. Brahma Naidu did not stop with Chapakoodu and in this he is centuries, nay 800 years ahead of the present day social reformers. He had all castes including the scheduled Castes in his army. In fact Kannamanedu from the Scheduled caste was treated almost like Brahma Naidus own son and was made the commander of his army. The conservatives found an able leader in one reddy lady named Nagamma who is known as Nayakuralu. Nagamma joined the court of Nalagamaraju and gained his confidence. Thereafter, she made Nalagamarju displace Brahma Naidus men from key positions. The differences in the court and the royal family grew which led to the division of the Kingdom. Nalagamaraju’s half brother Malidevarju moved to Macherla and set up a separate kingdom there. Brahma Naidu moved to Macherla along with Malidevaraju. Mutual suspicion between the two kingdoms grew and Nagamma under the pretext of Malidevas defeat in a cockfight exiled them for 7 years from Palnadu. After the exile Brahma Naidu sent Alaraju the brother in law of Malidevaraju to claim Malidevaraju’s share. The demand was turned down and Alaraju was poisoned in Cherlagudipadu by the orders of Nagamma. His wife Perindevi committed Sati with Alaraju. This enraged Malidevaraju and Kommaraju who was the father of Alaraju. Brahma Naidu then declared war on Gurajala. The battle was fought at Karempudi on the banks of the river Naguleru. Nalagamaraju was supported by the Kakatiyas, Kota Vamsa, Hoysalas and Paricchedis. Malidevaraju was supported by the Kalachuris of Kalyanadurga. Nalagamarajus side was victorious in the battle and Malidevaraju died fighting. Brahma Naidu was forced to reinstate Nalagamarju. Balachandrudu the valiant son of Brahma Naidu died in this battle along with his wife Manchala. A whole generation of Andhra warriors perished in the battle. This battle weakened the Velnati Chodas, and this later helped the Kakatiyas to take over their domain.
"Palnati Veeracharitra " written by the famous poet Srinatha in the Telugu language.
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