Like I have mentioned earlier it is very interesting to understand that how a place gets its name. It kind of shows what all have gone through in that place and helps us unearth secrets about its past. One of the most interesting theories I’ve come across is that of the place Kurnool and how it got itself named so. The district of Kurnool gets its name from the most important town Kurnool, which was the home to the Nawabs and also stayed as an important posting center for headquarters of the British collector. Kurnool has had fantastic trade relations with the neighbouring districts and stayed to be an important point before the crossover of Godavari.
The word Kurnool is said to be a corruption of the name Kandenavolu.
Kandenavolu was the Telugu name by which it is described in books and inscriptions and it’s the name by which it was still known in colonial times by the people of the district. But one would think why the name Kandenavolu? Its literal translation is grease or kandena. So here’s the little story as to why. The time frame goes back to 11th century during the time of Chalukyas. The temple of Alampur about fifteen kilometres north of Kurnool was under construction. The carts men who were appointed to carry the stone for construction of this temple from the source would halt at a certain place for rest before crossing the mighty river Tungabhadra. When they stopped at this place, they would use the time to go ahead and grease the wheels of their car. The oil was supplied by an oil-monger who worked in a mill in the same vicinity. Over the period of time this activity led to the formation of a small settlement at this particular place which eventually became a larger town and soon rose to importance. Therefore, the town was given the name Kandenavolu , the town of Kandena or grease.
Another point of view has come to light which says that Kurnool had different name than Kandenavolu before the Alampur temple was being constructed. That older name is actually inscribed on an older stone of ancient time. Just that the part of Andhra which sees a lot of presence of black cotton soil and earned its name as Renadu in older times, similarly since Kurnool comprises of lot of stony hills it got the name Kannadu which is an amalgamation of kallu which means a stone and nadu which defines a country.
It is safe to say that area of Kurnool has seen a lot of history which is suggestive by the frequent changes in the name. It started being recorded as Kannadu to Kandenavolu and finally the name that we all know today Kurnool. Diamonds have also been known to be mined from this part. Also it has seen the best of the culture of Bellary as well as the culture from Andhra. And Tungabhadra and Krishna have been a life line to Kurnool and we hope it always stays so.
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