Earliest reference to the Āndhras is in the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa (33.6) where they are mentioned as one of the low-caste groups along with Pulindas, Puṇḍras and Mūtibas. These castes were created by the fifty sons of Viśvāmitra as a result of his curse. The Āndhras were outcastes subsisting on wild animals.

However, Āndhra as a country and as a people has found mention in the Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata and some of the purāṇas. The country referred to was that between the rivers Godāvarī and Kṛṣṇā.

The Āndhra country was part of Aśoka’s empire. The political history of an independent Āndhra starts with the Śātavāhanas (280 B. C.—A. D. 218). The Kākatīyas (11th to 14th cent. A. D.) were another important dynasty which contri-buted to the cultural development of the Āndhra. However it was under the Vijaya-nagar kings (A. D. 1336—1556) that specta-cular progress was achieved.