Gódávari/Gazetteer/Yellavaram Division

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YELLAVARAM DIVISION.


The Yellavaram division of the Agency occupies the north-easternmost corner of the district. The whole of it is hilly, though considerable areas of level land lie among the hills, and, except for fifteen villages adjoining the plains, is covered by forest; it is also very malarious; the soil is poor and in the summer months water is always scarce; there are only 24 miles of metalled road in the whole of it; and the inhabitants are mostly Kóyas and hill Reddis. Consequently it is very backward and sparsely populated, and contains only 31 persons to the square mile. Some little irrigation is provided by a few tanks. The chief cereals are paddy, pulses and oil-seeds; but the hill men depend mostly on the produce of the tamarind trees, which grow to a great size. There are no industries worthy of the name in the division, except a very little basket making. There are five weekly markets.

Large areas which formerly belonged to the old Jaddangi estate are now Government land, but considerable tracts are held by the various hill muttadars referred to below. Round Jaddangi considerable tracts of forest have been reserved and the Forest department has opened up these with roads.

Addatigela: Head-quarters of the division. Population 459. Contains a police-station, a travellers' bungalow, a local fund dispensary (established 1901) and one of the four weekly markets of the division. It is an insignificant place and little suited to be the head-quarters of a division, being unhealthy and surrounded with jungle.

The village was the scene of some stirring events during the Rampa rebellion referred to in the account of Rampa above. Almost the first act of the insurgent leader Chandrayya was to burn down the police-station there. This occurred at the end of April 1879. The station was rebuilt and re-garrisoned, but in June was again attacked by Chandrayya. On the twelfth of that month some police under a European officer were attacked by Chandrayya in this neighbourhood, kept under fire for four and a half hours, and finally driven to take refuge in the station. There they were attacked three days later. They had to unroof the thatched station buildings for fear of fire; a reinforcement of 20 men sent to their rescue was driven back by Chandrayya; and a sortie of theirs was also repulsed by him. Detachments were then hurried up from various quarters, and the station was relieved (without opposition) on the 25th of June.

Anigéru: Two miles north-east of Addatígela. Population 211. Is the chief village of a mutta consisting of six villages and paying a quit-rent of Rs. 80. The muttadar's family is descended from the old mansabdar of Jaddangi who (see the account of that place below) was deposed in 1846. His infant son had in later years immense influence with hill people; and at the time of the Rampa rebellion he exerted it entirely in the favour of Government and materially to their advantage. It was decided to reward him by giving him the six villages of this mutta. They had formerly belonged to Dutcharti; but the holder of that mutta had not behaved well in the disturbances, and deserved no consideration. The grantee was succeeded by his son in 1887 and the latter was followed by his mother, who died in 1904.

Dutcharti: Ten miles nearly north of Addatígela; population 308. It is the chief village of the hill mutta of the same name which pays a quit-rent of Rs. 1,200. Till 1881 this was a part of the Golgonda taluk of Vizagapatam district. It was originally held on service tenure under the old Golgonda zamindar. His estate was sold for arrears and bought in by Government in 1837; and the muttadars under him thus became direct holders under Government on a service tenure.

This seriously lowered their status, as they were directly subject to the surveillance of the Collector's native ámin; and several disturbances followed.1[1]

At the time of the outbreak of the Rampa rebellion of 1879 in this district the Golgonda muttadars had no such grievances against Government as existed in Rampa; but they still fretted against the restrictions which had been placed upon their powers, and the more daring spirits among them were moved by solicitations from across the border, by a hunger for loot, and by a desire to pay off old scores against the police.

The chief of the malcontents was Chekka Venkan Dora, muttadar of Dutcharti, whose grandfather had been manager of that mutta, and, on the death of his master without issue, had obtained a sanad for it himself. The first outbreak was caused by the action of one Dwárabandham Chandrayya, a man of some substance, who afterwards became one of the chief leaders of the rebellion. His house was searched, during his absence, by the police in connection with a dacoity. Furious that such a thing should have been done when only his womenfolk were present, he collected all the budmashes in the surrounding villages, descended into Dutcharti and burnt the police-station of Addatígela. This was at the end of April 1879. Numerous parties of insurgents who were beating up recruits, flying for shelter, or levying black-mail now resorted to this country; and, though no further open outrages were committed, troops had to be sent up into these hills.

Chekka Venkan Dora, muttadar of Dutcharti, had avoided any overt act of rebellion. But it was the belief of all the officers, civil and military, who served in those hills, that he had encouraged Chandrayya on the understanding that his own villages should be spared from plunder. It was beyond doubt both that his villages were not plundered and that he could, if he liked, have crushed the outbreak there and prevented the destruction of Addatígela. When, therefore, the rebellion was over, it was decided to remove Chekka Venkan Dora from his mutta. His brother, the present muttadar, was appointed in 1881. At the same time the six villages which now constitute the mutta of Anigéru (q.v.) were taken from Dutcharti to reward the loyalty of another influential hill chief. The muttas of Dutcharti and Guditéru, which were thought to be more accessible to the officers of this district, were also transferred from the Vizagapatam to the Gódávari Agency in the same year.1[2]

Gurtédu, or Guditéru, is a village of 300 inhabitants and containing a travellers' bungalow, which gives its name to a mutta in the extreme north-east of the division. Like Dutcharti, it formed till 1881 a part of the Golgonda taluk of the Vizagapatam district. It pays Rs. 70 quit-rent. It is quite isolated from the rest of the Yellavaram division by the Dumkonda hill and can only be reached by the Yeduvampula pass through the Vizagapatam district or from Chódavaram viá Bódulúru. Horses cannot get across this pass, and elephants have to be lightly laden. Along it may be seen the remains of the sangars built by the hill men during the Rampa rebellion.

Jaddangi: Nine miles east by north of Addatígela; population 537; contains a travellers' bungalow. Was once the head-quarters of a mansab which was formerly held on service tenure under the old zamindar of Peddápuram. When that zamindari fell into the hands of Government, the muttadar held on the same tenure directly under the new owners. He rebelled in 1845 and the mutta was accordingly resumed. It contained 80 villages.

At Jaddangi is held one of the few markets in Yellavaram. Near the village is a cave containing the image of the wellknown Bráhman saint Mándavya Mahámuni, who is supposed by the local people to have lived in the cave. The river Mádéru is said to have been called after him.

Kóta: Twelve miles north-north-west of Addatígela. Population 105. Contains a police-station, and is the chief village of the hill mutta of the same name, but is a petty collection of huts. It is said to have originally formed a part of the Rampa mansabdar's estate, under which it was prop- erly held on service tenure. Under the muttadar there are five sub-muttas ; namely, those of Yerragonda, Yarlagedda, Pasaraginni, Nulakamaddi, and Samagedda. Of these the first named pays a kattubadi to the muttadar of Rs. 80 a year, and the others each Rs. 50. The muttadar himself pays Government an annual quit-rent of Rs. 210.

The police-station seems to have been taken by the insurgents at the commencement of the Rampa rebellion, and an attempt made on March 17th 1879 by a force of police to reach and hold it was unsuccessful. It was however soon re-occupied, and resisted several attacks during April. It is now the most unpopular station in the district.

Móhanapuram: Seven miles north-west of Addatígela. Population 138. It is the chief village of a hill mutta which was formerly under the mansabdar of Rampa, and since 1879 has been held on service tenure direct from Government. The quit-rent is Rs. 25.

Nellipúdi: Twenty miles south-south-west of Addatígela. Population 835. Contains a travellers' bungalow and a weekly market. The village is held on mokhása tenure. It was given to the father of the late mokhásadar, who died in 1906, in recognition of his services to Government. The village was formerly part of the Rampa mansabdar's property. The quit-rent is Rs. 350.

Pandrapóle: Eight miles north-west of Addatígela. Population 87. Another of the old Rampa muttas. The father of the present muttadar, who is also the muttadar of Kóta, was confirmed in possession in 1879 on a quit-rent of Rs. 70.

Rámavaram: Seventeen miles north-west of Addatígela and included in the Kóta mutta. Contains a travellers' bungalow. Qn a hill near this village is a small cave in which are four idols. From the rock above hang stalactites from which water drips on to the figures below. The temple of Visvanátha in this village is worshipped by the Saivites in the neighbouring hills every Sivarátri. The god is considered especially potent in granting prayers for children.

Virabhadrapurám: Three and a half miles east by south of Addatígela; population 225. On the Dévudu Pinjari hill close by is a small cave in which is an idol called Vírabhadrasvámi. This is worshipped every Sivarátri by the neighbouring hill people.

  1. 1 These are referred to in the account of Golgonda taluk in the Vizagapatam Gazetteer.
  2. 1 Notification No. 217, Judicial, dated 29th June 1881. For these troubles in Golgonda, see the minute, dated November 1st, 1881, of Mr. D. F. Carmichael, Member of Council, who was appointed as Special Commissioner to arrange a settlement.