Palvancha Samasthanam and Fort

Palvancha or Palwancha or Paloncha Samsthanam 
Founder : Annappa or Appanna Aswarao
Capitals : Polancha, Bhadrachalam, Ashwaraopet were the capitals of Ashwarao’s descendants.

Palvancha is located in  Bhadradri Kothagudem district, Telangana State, India and was part of Warangal district in Hyderabad during Nizam reign.

This Samasthan was about 800 Sq.Miles is placed next to the samsthan of GadwalIt was also known as the Hasanabad - Sankaragiri zamindari including the present Bhadrachalam taluk which is made up of the old Bhadrachalam and Rekapalle estates .

One of the most well-known princes of the family in olden days was the recipient of the title of Aswa Rao from Maharajjah Pratapa Rudra who held sway over Warangal before the Mahomedans conquered Southern India. It would appear that the Maharajah had a horse of the best mettle, and it was ungovernable; but in spite of this defect in the animal, the Maharajah on account of the excellence of the breed conceived a great liking for it. The Prince tried the horse and rode it so well that the Maharajah was agreeably surprised and conferred on him the title of Aswa Rao (aswa meaning a horse, and Rao meaning king). From that time forward the titles has became hereditary.

This is the capital of a large zemindary tributary to theNizam, situated in the north-western quarter of the Hyderabad province, 88 miles N. W. Rajamundry, lat. 17° 56' N. long. 81° 2' E. The town is situated in a rich and luxuriant valley, about four miles wide, surrounded on all sides by lofty ranges of mountains, the passes through which are the only accesses to Paloonshah. 

The fort of Palvancha is 150 yards square, built of stone with octagon bastions, but is a post of no strength, being completely commanded by a high hill to the eastward. The rampart may be ridden up and down on any side, and resembles the bank of a tank. The faces are irregular, but on two of them the ditch is dug deep. 

1324 A. D : Anapa Aswa Rao
Anapa Ashwa Rao, who received Bahdrachalam in free jhagir from the emperor of delhi in 1324.
Annappa Aswarao who is now reckoned as the progenitor of the family was the ruling chief of the estate. The Emperor however established his suzerainty over Annappa Aswarao, and granted him a free perpetual sunnud on feudal tenure under the condition of supplying the Imperial army with five hundred soldiers whenever called upon. The Zamindari had been enjoyed by eighteen descendants of the family in succession with independent right free of any kind of assessment.

Palwancha samsthan consisted of six sub - taluqas with an annual income of only Rs 70,000. The tribute paid to the Nizam was Rs 45,875.

The leaders of Polancha Samasthan who were the descendants of Recherla Nayaks worked under Kakatiya Pratapa Rudra as Armed force Chief and Calvary heads. 

Palvancha Estate was originally obtained in 1324. During 1324, Appanna was the leader of Shankaragiri and Hasanabad.

The state was owned in the beginning by the Mutyala Family and Mutyala Aswa Rao is reckoned as the first line of Rajahs. The Zamindari was then taken possession of by the force and successively held by the Jalgam, Tandra, Settipalli, Kandimandla and Damara families.

1574 AD : Kumalapa Aswa Rao 
In 1574 Kumalapa Aswa Rao the 14th zamindar leased out Rekapalle Estate in 1574 to a family in Korukonda Venayek Razoo in lease for an annual payment of ₹600 and and condition of his keeping up a small body of armed men for service. 

1769 AD : Raja Narasimha Aswa Rao
19th Zamindar of the family.
The ruling Zamindar in 1796 was Rajah Narasimha Aswa Rao. Just then, there were many changes in the Supreme Government at Delhi, and the Zamindar, whose assistance was sought by the Moghul Emperor, asserted his right and refused to comply with his request. 

When visited by Captain Blunt in 1794, the town was populous, ajid two miles in circumference, but consisted mostly of poor Telinghy huts. It had also a manufactory of matchlocks, jinjalls, spears, sabres, and other weapons; but it has since greatly decayed, for when captured by a Madras de- tachment, in 1813, it presented a very miserable appearance. 

Palcondah, where the zemindar resides, is a common mud gurry or native fort in the plain, not different from those at almost all the large villages in the Nizam's country, besides which he possesses five or six other gurries in the neighbourhood. The country is naturally strong, and the climate sickly and unhealthy.

1769 AD - 1778 AD : Zafrad-daulah, also known as Zabid Jung
Zafrad-daulah, also known as Zabid Jung, who was on hostile terms with Rajah Narasimha Aswa Rao foully murdered him and carried away immense treasure, and also the old sunnuds and other important papers connected with the estate. To the titles of the Aswara Rao family were added the distinguished epithets of Rifuth va avail panaha. H. H. The Nizam took possession of the estate which under his management was called Parganai Hasanbad va Senharagiri Sarhar Kammamet Suhai Phiralmnd Buniyad Hyderabad Deccan.

1778 AD - 1779 AD : Ramachendra Aswa Rao
After the death of Zafarudowla, Ramachendra Aswa Rao, one of the descendants of Narasimha Aswa Rao, regained his estate and enjoyed it for a year.

1779 AD - 1812 AD : Damera Venkata Rama Aswarao
 Later on, Rajah Venkatarama Narasimha Aswa Rao, the twenty-first in succession from Annappa Aswarao, who originally obtained a sunnud from Tamerlane, was granted a fresh one by Meer Nizam Ali Khan Bahadur in the year 1798, 1240, Hezree with the titles of Rajah, Bahadur, Savai, and Munsubdar. He was further permitted to maintain an army of two thousand horse, and three thousand foot and carry an Alam, and Nagara, and sunnuds were issued by His Highness the Nizam accordingly.

1809 AD : Adoption, first in the family caused great deal of disturbance and even bloodshed.The adopting zamindar belong to the Damara Ashwa Rao family and selected as his heir a boy of the Kundemulla family. This choice was resented and resisted by other family. The Setpilly Ash Rao family who thought one of their members are to have been selected. The struggle between the members of this families went on for more than 40 years and Setpilly family was at first victorious, but the representative made a raid into British territory, and was taken prisoner and carried up to Hyderabad in 1811. 

1811 AD - 1850 AD : Rajah Narasimha Aswarao
After him, Rajah Narasimha Aswarao, who was commonly known as Savanna Aswarao, ascended the  Palavancha

1811 AD : The Damara adoptee was now appointed zamindar of Nizam, but he was so harassed by the Setpilly, 1819 a European officer Mr. Ralph was sent with the body of local troops to Palwancha where he remain to keep order for three years

In 1812, Ashwa Row, the zamindar of Palvancha, became notorious as the instigator and protector of a band of robbers that infested the British territories, who sought an asylum on his estates, and shared with him the booty of their marauding expeditions. His ordinary force was estimated at from 2 to 3000 irregular foot, armed with matchlocks and pikes, and probably as many more could be mustered, if any adequate prospect of plunder were held out. In con- sequence of these depredations, a detachment was marched against Paloonshah in 1813, but the place was found entirely deserted except by a few peons left in charge of the fort, Ashwa Row having retired to the village of Badrachellum, on the left bank of the Godavery, where an attempt was made to surprize and take him prisoner, but he escaped. There was found here a country iron 12- pounder in front of the gate outside, and on the bastions a few one and two- pounders, and some jinjalls. Although on this occasion the zemindar saved his person, he was not equally fortunate in preserving his purse, for he was the same year condemned to pay the sum of 50,000 Hyderabad rupees, as a com- pensation for depredations committed by his followers in the Masulipatam dis- trict, which sum, after many delays and evasion, was at last realized in 1816, and paid over to the sufferers.

The Nizam soon intervened again, this time, granting a small portion of the estate to the settipalli's, and one village to the Damaras and taking the rest under his own management.

1844 AD - 1851 AD : The Setpillys defied the local authorities in 1844 and seized the greater part of the estate, but the representative died in 1851

In 1848 some of the Rohillas in the Setpilly Zamindars Service became so troublesome that for companies of the Hyderabad contingent with some irregular Cavaleri under the command of Captain Hall, and another officer was dispatched against them from Warangal, The Rohillas having shut themselves up in the Zamindars house, which was surrounded by Highwall, assisted the troops, and there was a shot engagement which ended in the defeat of the Rohillas. Captain, Howell died of sunstroke from the exposure, and the other officer, who was with him, was wounded in the foot

Raja Narasimha Aswarao died leaving three minor sons and two daughters; one of the latter died unmarried. 

1851 AD - 1859 AD Seeta Ramachendra Savai Aswarao Bahadur
After a little disturbance and some negotiation, the property was handed over finally to the Damaras on a decision being passed in their favor in 1852 AD by an influential  zamindars 

1852 AD : Captain Bullock, with the force of six companies under command marched from Warangal on sixth April 1852, and engaged a party of Rohilla's at Palooncha and took 200 prisoners

During the minority of these children, the Settipalli family disputed with them for the estate, and the Government having referred the matter to arbitration decided the dispute in favour of the minor princes. The eldest of these princes having died a bachelor, the second one succeeded to the estate and held it for sometime, and was again succeeded by his brother Seeta Ramachendra Savai Aswarao Bahadur, who again obtained a permanent sunnud from the Nizam's Government. But during the reign of this Rajah the estate ran into debt and was mortgaged to a greedy sowcar. About this time, the Nizam made over to the British Government the territory lying along the left bank of the Godavari, which included a portion of the estate of the Aswaraos called Sri Bhadrachalam.

Until the Bhadrachalam was handed over to the British government by the Nizam in 1860 the zamindar always kept a troop of Rohillas, who received very little pay for their services and lived chiefly by looting. The country around the Taluq was divided into 10 samutus, each of which theoretically contain 25, Koya villages, and each of which had to supply for a month without pay or batta 100 Koyas to carry burdens, fetch supplies, etc. for the rulers and 100 Madigas to act as horse keepers. The whole country appears to have been at the mercy of this undisciplined Rohilla's.

All was grist, right Mr. Cain that came to their mill, even the clothes of the poor Koya woman who are frequently stripped and then regarded as subjects of ridicule. The Koyas has frequently told me that they never could lie down to rest at night without feeling that before morning, the slumbers might be rudely disturbed that house is burnt and the property carried off. As a rule, they hid their grain in caves and holes of large trees. The last great plundering took place in 1859 not far from but Parnsala

Seetha Ramachendra Savai Aswarao soon after died a bachelor, leaving after him an aged mother, and a married sister. 

1859 AD - 1874 AD : Kanee Lakshmi Narasamma Rao
1860 AD : Rekapalle Estate was part of Palvancha estate of Aswa Raos, after Bhadrachalam and Rekapalle were transferred from Nizam dominions to Central Provinces. Bhadrachalam Zamindars were called superior proprietors, while Rekapalle Zamindars were called Inferior Proprietors.

The estate was therefore registered in the name of his mother Kanee Lakshmi Narasamma Rao. While matters stood thus, the mortgagee sowcar who managed the estate for twelve years instituted a suit for the recovery of a very large amount, the principal having multiplied itself half a dozen times under the most complicated system of compound interest. The defendant Ranee, being unable to contest the suit ably, the sowcar gained his case and obtained a decree for six lakhs of rupees, whereby for only a half of the amount decreed, he carried off the best portion of the estate—the two patties of Mulluru and Ramanujavaram; and had the remaining three lakhs paid out of the Nizam's exchequer. 

Dispossessed of her ancient estate thus, Ranee Lakshmeenarasamma Rao died in disappointment and despair, leaving a daughter and a daughter's son, Sree Rajah Parthasarathy Appa Rao Savai Aswarao Bahadur in whose veins runs the blood of both Aswarao and Appa Rao families. 

Followed before her death in 1874 by her daughter son Parthasarathy, Apparao who is that

1874 AD - 1910 AD : Raja Parthasarathi Appa rao
The young prince proceeded early in his life to Hyderabad and instituted a suit for the recovery of his maternal estate.

Sri Rajah Parthasaradhi Appa Rao Savai Aswa Rao Bahadur is most respectably connected also on the paternal side. He is the eighteenth in descent from the first member of the family, of which Venkayya Appa Rao, generally known as Vijaya Appa Rao, had obtained two sunnuds on the 30th January 1763 from Asaf Jah, whereby he was granted the large Zemindari of Nuzvid.

Srinathuni Venkata Rama Kavi composed the books “Sri Rama Pattabishekam” or “Ashwaraya Chatitra”. Raja Parthasarathi Appa rao had a title Sahitya Visharada. Sri Kottapalli Venkatarama Lakshmi Narayana Sharma was his court poet.

Narashima Appa Rao was succeeded by his son Venkatadri Appa Rao, who died on 18th May 1891, leaving his son and successor, Sree Rajah Parthasaradhi Appa Rao, the present Rajah and Badshahee Munsubdar ot Palavancha and Bhadrachelam estates. He is as already described the grandson (Dawhitra) of Ranee Lakshmi Narasamma Rao, and the British Government recognising his heirship to that Ranee, registered the Bhadrachalam portion of the Palavancha estate in his name in 1896.

Sri Raja Vijaya Apparao  II
Sri Raja Vijaya Apparao was patron of Andhra Vangmaya Samithi established in Burgampadu and Paloncha. Sri Kottapali Venkataramalakshmi Narayana Sharma composed Paloncha Samasthan Charitra.