An Andhra Kingdom was mentioned in the Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana and Mahabharata. Inscriptional evidence showed that there was a kingdom in coastal Andhra ruled by Kuberaka with Pratipalapura (Bhattiprolu) as his capital in 5th century BCE. This probably was the oldest known kingdom in Southern India. Around the same time Dhanyakatakam/Dharanikota (present day Amaravati) seemed to be a very important place. According to Taranatha: On the full moon of the month Chaitra in the year following his enlightenment, at the great stupa of Dhanyakataka, the Buddha emanated the mandala of "The Glorious Lunar Mansions" (Kalachakra). The Mauryans extended their rule over Andhra in 4th century BCE. With the fall of the Mauryan Empire Andhra Satavahanas became independent in 3rd century BCE. After the decline of the Satavahanas in 220 CE, Ikshvaku dynasty, Pallavas, Vishnukundinas, Ananda Gotrikas and Cholas ruled the Telugu land. Inscriptional evidence of Telugu was found during the rule of Renati Cholas (Kadapa region) in 5th century CE. During this period the Telugu language, emerged as a popular medium undermining the predominance of Prakrit and Sanskrit. Telugu was made official language by the Vishnukundina Kings who ruled from their capital Vinukonda. Eastern Chalukyas ruled for a long period after the decline of Vishnukundinas from their capital in Vengi. As early as 1st century CE, Chalukyas were mentioned as being vassals and chieftains under the Satavahanas and later under Ikshvakus. The Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra ruled Rajahmundry around 1022 CE. The city has traces of 11th century palaces and fort walls.
The battle of Palnadu resulted in the weakening of Chalukyan power and emergence of the Kakatiya dynasty in the 12th and the 13th centuries CE.
The Kakatiyas were at first feudatories of the Rashtrakutas ruling over a small territory near Warangal. All the Telugu lands were united by the Kakatiyas. In 1323 CE, Delhi Sultan Ghiaz-ud-din Tughlaq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country and capture Warangal. King Prataparudra was taken prisoner. Musunuri Nayaks recaptured Warangal from the Delhi Sultanate in 1326 CE and ruled for fifty years. Inspired by their success, the Vijayanagar empire, one of the greatest empires in the history of Andhra Pradesh and India, was founded by Harihara and Bukka, who served as treasury officers of the Kakatiyas of Warangal.. In 1347 CE, an independent Muslim state, the Bahmani kingdom, was established in south India by Alla-ud-din Hasan Gangu as a revolt against the Delhi Sultanate. The Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway over the Andhra country for about two hundred years from the early part of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century.
In Colonial India, Northern Circars became part of the British Madras Presidency. Eventually this region emerged as the Coastal Andhra region. Later the Nizam had ceded five territories to the British which eventually emerged as Rayalaseema region. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as the Princely state of Hyderabad, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy.
India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. The Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence from India, but the people of the region launched movement to join Indian Union. His state of Hyderabad was forced to become part of the Republic of India in 1948, after Indian Military Occupation as Hyderabad State.
In an effort to gain an independent state, and protect the interests of the Telugu people of Madras State, Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu fasted until death. Public outcry and civil unrest after his death forced the government to announce the formation of a new state for Telugu speaking people. Andhra attained statehood in October 1953 with Kurnool as its capital.
On 1st November 1956, Andhra State merged with the Telangana region of Hyderabad State to form the state of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state Andhra Pradesh.