The district passed into the hands of Vishnukundin during the rule of Vikramendravarma I. They ruled for over two centuries from the first quarter of the 5th Century A.D. or a little earlier. The records discovered indicate that their domain extended over Visakhapatnam, West Godavari district, Krishna district and Guntur district, besides the present East Godavari district. Ranadurjaya ruled Pistapuram or Pithapuram as a vassal of Vikramendravarma in recognition of his services to the state. Another Vishnukundin, ruler of lndrabhattaraka, defeated the rulers of Vasisthakula and re- established his authority over this region. Indrabhattaraka was followed to the throne by a few others belonging to the same family. Madhavarama III was the last important ruler of this family. Madhavarama III was, however, killed in a battle. He was succeeded by his son, Manchannabhattaraka who strove hard to maintain his hold over the ancestral dominion without much success.
Later, the western Chalukya ruler of Badami, Pulakesin II, with the help of his brother Kubjavishnu, attacked Pistapura and emerged victorious. Kubjavishnu was given the newly acquired territories in the east in token of appreciation of the service rendered by him. The rulers of eastern Chalukya dynasty founded by Kubjavishnu, ruled at first form Pistapura, then from Vengi and later from Rajamahendri (Rajahmundry). Many rulers held sway over the kingdom and their history is, at times largely a record of disputes about succession. Chalukya Bhima I, who ruled during A.D.892-921, built a temple in honor of Siva at Draksharama.
In 973 A.D. the eastern Chalukya ruler, Danarnava, was killed and Vengi was occupied by Jata Choda Bhima of Pedakallu in Kurnool district who ruled for 27 years. Vengi went on to become the bone of contention between the Cholas and Chalukyas of Kalyani to the West. Vijayaditya VII lost his and with his death in A.D 1075 the eastern Chalukya dynasty came to and end.
With the accession of Rajendra under the title of Kulottunga Chola I, an eastern Chalukyan prince and a rival of Vijayaditya VII, to the Chola throne, this district along with the rest of the Vengi kingdom became a province of the Chola Empire. These rulers were known as Chalukya-Cholas. A major portion of the district was also ruled by a local dynasty known as Velanati Cholas. The other rulers of this dynasty were Gonka I, Gonka II, Kulottunga Rajendra Chola I and Kulottunga Rajendra Chola-II (A.D. 1108-1181). The sudden demise of Kulottunga Rajendra Chola II in A.D.1181 led to the outbreak of civil war among the heirs of Kulottunga Rajendra Chola for the possession of the throne. With this, the rule of Velanati Chola over this district ended
An early ruler of Kakatiya dynasty, Prola II threw off the Imperial Yoke of the western Chalukyas of Kalyani and asserted his independence. During his reign, he was opposed by the Haihayas of Knoa. Prola II was succeeded by his son Rudra (A.D.1150-1195), who obtained the Godavari delta as a brief from the Chalukya Chola emperor Rajaraja II and attempted to avenge the defeat of his father at the hands of Haihayas of Kona. On the death of the Chalukya Chola emperor Rajaraja II in A.D.1172, Kulottunga Rajendra Chola II took advantage of the breakdown of the imperial power and made himself the master of the whole of the maritime region. He, however, died unexpectedly and the power of the Velanadu Cholas suffered a set back. Rudra was succeeded by his younger brother Mahadeva who died in a conflict with the Yadavas of Devagiri. His son Ganapathi succeeded to the Kakatiya throne. Ganapathi was succeeded by his daughter Rudramba (A.D.1259-95). During the latter part of her reign, the whole of Godavari valley appears to have come in full under her sway and remained under her control till the end of her reign. Prataparudra ascended the throne in A.D.1295. His reign faced many invasions by the Sultans of Delhi. In A.D.1323, he was defeated by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq and was sent as a prisoner to Delhi. With this, the district along with the remaining Kakatiya dominion passed into the hands of the Delhi Sultans.
Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq divided the Deccan and the South India into five provinces and entrusted the job of administering them to the governors. The rule of the governors, however, became unpopular. All the Nayakas living therein formed a confederacy and Prolaya Nayaka of Musunuri family, was chosen leader of the confederates. Prolaya Nayaka became the undisputed leader of Costal Andhra. After his death Kapaya Nayaka, a cousin of Prolaya Nayaka, Succeeded him as the leaser of the chief of the coastal tract.
Kapaya Nayaka's leadership was not able to inculcate a sense of oneness amongst the chiefs, who started acting in an independent manner. Therefore, Kapaya Nayaka entrusted the administration of this region to Toyyeti Anavota Nayaka who ruled over it with Rajahmundry as his headquarters.
The disturbed political situation was naturally taken advantage of, and the Reddy ruler, Anavota succeeded in capturing the throne. He was succeeded by Anavema Reddi (A.D.1364-86), who in turn was succeeded by Kumaragiri (A.D.1386). A large tract of land in the north, as far as the Simhachalam, was acquired by Kumaragiri's general Kataya Verma along with prince Anavota. The newly acquired territory was annexed to the Reddi Kingdom and constituted into a separate province called the eastern kingdom or the Rajamahendra Rajya. After Prince Anantova's premature death in AD 1395, Rajamahendra Rajya, was given to Kataya Vema. Kataya Vema's departure to Rajamahendravaram led to the seizure of the throne of kondaveedu by force by Peda Komati Vema. Peda Komati Vema's authority was defined by Kataya Vema. After his death, Allada Reddi ruled this region till his death in A.D.1420. About 1423 A.D., the Vijayanagar ruler Devaraya-II defeated Virabhadra, who was then ruling this kingdom and reduced it to subjection.
About this period, a dynasty of feudatory chiefs known as Virasamantas of Koppula chiefs came into prominence. After the downfall of the Kakatiya dynasty of Warangal, a minor dynasty known as of the chiefs of Korukonda rose to power. These chiefs became strong in due course and entered into matrimonial alliance with their powerful neighbours. They were reduced to submission by the Reddies of Kondaveedu and their principality was merged in the kingdom of Kondaveedu.
A period of political confusion ensued, rife with battles for control of the territory. Taking advantage of the disturbed conditions, a ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, Sultan Quli Qutb Shah, invaded the coastal region and took possession of Rajahmundry and the neighbouring kingdoms. The last ruler of this dynasty was Abdul Hasan Tana Shas who ruled during 1672-87 A.D.
The rule of the Mughal dynasty started spreading to the South around this time. The district of East Godavari was then included in Golconda, which had become one of the twenty-two provinces of the Mughal Empire. The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb appointed viceroys to carry out the administration of these provinces. The Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar appointed Nizam-ul-Mulk as the viceroys of the Deccan. Nizam-ul-Mulk's death in 1748 A.D. led to a war of succession between his son Nasir Jung and his grandson Muzaffar Jung. The dispute ended with the accession of Salbat Jung, with the help of the French General Bussy.
Salabat Jung was subsequently deposed by his brother Nizam Ali Khan who leased out Rajahmundry and Chicacole to Hasan Ali Khan. Lord Robert Clive, entered into negotiations for the ceding of the Northern Circars and obtained a Firman to that effect in August 1765, but it was kept a secret till March, 1766. General Cillaud was sent to Machilipatnam to undertake military operations, if necessary. The Nizam also made brisk preparations for war. It was, however, prevented with the conclusion of a treaty whereby English agreed to hold the Northern Circars on payment of a tribute, accepting at the same time to furnish the Nizam with some troops. This treaty was confirmed by another treaty in 1768. Hasan Ali Khan's lease expired in AD 1769 and Rajahmundry and Eluru came under the control of the newly constituted chief and council at Machilipatnam. The Zamindars came into prominence during the period preceding the transfer of the district to the English. The Zamindars of Rampa, Peddapuram, Pithapuram, Kota and Ramchandrapuram were the important Zamindars of this region.
The East Godavari district today is a residuary portion of the old Godavari District after West Godavari District was separated in 1925. As the name of the district conveys, East Godavari District is closely associated with the river Godavari, occupying a major portion of the delta area.
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