A Revised and Enlarged Account of the Bobbili Zemindari/The Founder of The Samasthanam/II. Rajah Lingappa Ranga-Rao Bahadur Garu

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Rajah Lingappa Ranga-Rao Bahadur Garu.

Rajah Lingappa selected the site of the old Bobbili Fort as his head-quarters, on account of the frequent disturbances along the foot of the hills, in which his services were constantly called for by the then Government. There he built a fort and town which he named Bebbooly, after the name of his patron, Sher Mahammad Khan (Sher means tiger; Bebbooly, a royal tiger), and resided there, as all the ancient Prabandhams say without the slightest difference amongst them. He also rendered important services in connection with the disturbances, then of frequent occurrence, in Bastar and other hill tracts. He obtained the hereditary title of Ranga-Rao under the following circumstances :—

A son of Sher Mahammad Khan, Nawab of Chicacole, an agent to the Mogul Emperor, while out shooting, was seized and confined by a powerful Fittooridar at Rangavaka near Palasa in Ganjam. That part of the country, being covered with impenetrable clumps of bamboos, afforded no passage for the Nizam's cavalry. The Nawab, therefore, called for assistance from Rajah Lingappa Bahadur, who at once proceeded to Rangavaka with a strong force of his own, captured the Fittooridar in a single battle, rescued the boy, and restored him to his bereaved father. The result was that the Nawab commended the Zemindar to the favourable notice of the Emperor, who permitted Rajah Lingappa Bahadur to enjoy, free of peishcush, as many villages in his Zemindari as he could in one night adorn with festoons (thoranams). The villages in which he hung festoons were twelve in number, and these, which are still known by the significant name of Potu-Gramamulu, are: — (1) Ampavilli, (2) Vantaram, (3) Gangada, (4) Antlavara, (5) Terlam, (6) Gangannapadu, (7) Vuttaravilli, (8) Narayanapuram, (9) Palagara, (10) Kancharam, (11) Gallavilli, (12) Vuddavolu.

At the same time he received from the Mogul Emperor the hereditary title Ranga-Rao (Lord Rangavaka). "Vaka" means an elevated flat surrounded by hills, usually a seat or resort of a Fittooridar. It has also another meaning "Victor in Battle." This title has since then been used by the Rajahs of Bobbili, as well as by all male members of the Bobbili family, after their names. It is also said that on another occasion he killed the chief of Hiramandalam.

In the Presidency Manual it is stated that the Bobbili Zemindari consists of five pergunnahs : Bobbili, Rajam, Kavitey, Sitanagaram, and Mettu-Gramamulu. There is, however, no such pergunnah as Mettu-Gramamulu. Mettu-Gramamulu means dry villages; and there are dry villages in every pergunnah. It is evident that the word Mettu- Gramamulu has been used in error for the word Potu-Gramamulu, as the Potu-Gramamulu above referred to were at that time and up to the death of the late Rajah (1868) managed as one pergunnah. The error is probably due to the writer of the Presidency Manual not knowing, or misunderstanding, the meaning of the word Potu, fight.

Rajah Lingappa Ranga-Rao having no male issue adopted Vengal Rao, the third son of Madhava Rao, a member of the Venkatagiri family.