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Kamma Caste

Synonyms : Kammas are referred to as Kamma Naidus or Kammavar Naidus in the southern parts of AP and neighboring Tamil Nadu, and as Choudharys in coastal AP.

Other Surnames : Challapalli, Katragadda

Religion : Hindu

Varna : Kshatriya

Language : Telugu

Regional Spread : Southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The Kamma community can be found in large numbers in Anantapur, Chittoor, Bellary, Rayalaseem, Nizamabad, Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Khammam in Telangana. Their presence is prominent in Guntur, Krishna, West, East Godavari and Prakasham districts of Coastal Andhra. A significant numbers of this community resides in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu and Bangalore as well. In the century some of them migrated to other parts of the world, particularly to the US, UK and Australia. Today, there are many Kamma communities in North America.

Traditional Occupation : Agriculture. In present times, Kammas can be found in all walks of life.

Food Habits : Mostly non-vegetarian

Marriage Preference : Prefer marriage within their community
Famous Personalities
  • Kakarla Narain Karthikeyan : Formula 1 Champion
  • Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao (NTR) : Matinee idol and former CM of Andhra Pradesh
  • A Nageswara Rao (ANR) : Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, pioneer of Telugu Film Industry
  • LV Prasad : Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, director, producer, Film lab and IMAX owner
  • T Krishna (Thottempudi) : Director of Pratighatana and Vandemataram
  • Renuka Chowdhary : Former Union Minister of Tourism
  • Pullela Gopichand : Former all England badminton champion
  • Ramoji Rao : Head of the Ramoji Group
History and Origin : Kamma is a caste found mainly in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in southern India. The word 'Kamma', according to some historians is derived from Kamboj, an Aryan warrior tribe. In medieval times, the region now known as Palnadu in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh was called Kammanadu or Kammarashtram. Kammas grew to prominence during the Kakatiya reign. In the Middle Ages they held important positions in their army. Kammas controlled South and North Tamil Nadu for several years under the title of Nayacker, which was a legacy of the Vijayanagar Empire.

Kammas became successful farmers who grew from the changes that affected the economic landscape of rural India. Along with other Andhra communities, Kammas gradually diversified into other specialties, educating themselves in areas such as literature, music, and business. Some became local landlords. An important component of the development of the Kamma community was their embrace of education. Among the non-Brahmin communities, Kammas were one of the first Andhra communities to take to education in large numbers.

Role of Kammas in Politics : During the 20th century, several Kammas were attracted to leftist ideals and this led to the establishment of the Communist Party - a strong political force in the state until the mid-sixties. A number of leaders like Prof N.G. Ranga, Gottipati Brahmaiah, and Kalluri Chandramouli took prominent parts in the national freedom movement. Many relinquished their lands and actively worked for the land distribution reforms. Later again in the 1980s, they played a prominent role in the inception of the Telugu Desam Party by N. T. Ramarao.

Kammas in Present Times : Kammas are one of the more prosperous communities in Andhra Pradesh. They are politically very active in Andhra Pradesh, especially in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. Their presence is particularly strong in politics, business, media, movies, industry and education. They are generally found in roles ranging from large-scale industries to small-scale businesses. Many Kammas in villages are landlords and agriculturists. A factor noted behind their success is their generally enterprising nature and diligence. The Kammas can claim credit for introducing modern agricultural techniques in the state. Today, some of the most efficient professional institutions in the state are run by the Kammas.

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