Kapu is a community found mainly in the Southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh they are also concentrated in States like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Orissa. The term Kapu / Kaapu in Telugu means Protector.The community is primarily an Agragarian Community and they are also referred to by their caste titles Naidu and Setty and make up about 22% of the state's population.
Since it is a large, diverse and geographically well spread with multiple divisions there is no one root or origin but the most prevalent theories of their origin are mentioned below. Kapu seem to be the earliest inhabitants of the Deccan region who migrated from the North and cleared Forests for Agriculture and built Towns in the Deccan. They are considered to be the Original Aryan Descendants who migrated to South India. Kapu Community are believed to be the descendants of migrants of the Kaampu tribe from Kampilya (near Ayodhya) and were one of the earliest inhabitants of South India who took to clearing the forests and starting agriculture in the Deccan and of the current day Andhra Pradesh. They are also referred to as the Kaampu tribe in the Ancient Texts, which was also referred to as the Kossar tribe, who some historians believe established the Satavahanas and other ancient dynasties. Kapu Community share a similar history to the Kurmi, Kunbis and Maratha castes. The Mackenzie Manuscript suggests that Kapu Community are the Descendants of the many of the Ancient Kingdoms of Coastal AP like Satavahanas,Vishnukundis etc.
Colin Mackenzie was the Surveyor General of India who did extensive research from the available manuscripts of documented Indian history.
Kapu Community primarily served as Protectors of villages from Bandits in the Medieval Ages who later took to other Professions like Village heads and Farmers during times of peace. During times of war they also served as Soldiers, Governors (Nayaks), Commanders in many of the Andhra Dynasties. Hence the term Nayaka/Naidu becamse synonymous with the community. Kapu is a Dominant middle caste. Modern day Kapu Community is predominantly are an Agrarian community diversified into Business, Industry, Films, Academia, and IT etc. Note: Kapu in the Pre-Kakatiyan period referred to soldiers and agriculturists.
Some of the occupations or responsibilities that “Kapus” had in the medieval period:
Village defence committees (Kapu) Administration (Pedda Kapu) People responsible for protecting the farms from bandits and those protecting livestock were (Panta Kapu) The term Kapu has become synonymous with Agriculturists,hence Reddys are called Kapu in Telangana & Rayalaseema of Andhra Pradesh.
 Sub castes
There are many sub castes within the Kapu community but most of them prefer to be simply called Kapu.
* Ontari / Mudiraj / Mudaliyar
The Kapu community is primarily concentrated in the Coastal Districts of Andhra. It is probably the oldest middle caste in Andhra along with the Yadava/Golla Community of A.P. and forms the bed rock of the state.
Kapu as a term is used to refer to Landowning or Agragarian Communities in Andhra Pradesh. Today the Land Owners are called Kapu by the Agricultural Laborers, and those who served as village heads were given the title of Reddy. This is the reason the title Reddy is found among the Kapu and Reddy castes.
They are heavily concentrated in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.
 Kapu branches
Nagaralu means the dwellers in a nagaram (City). This caste was originally a section of the Kapus which took to town life and separated itself off from the parent stock. They are mainly agriculturists but are also into medicine and a number of them are Physicians and Pharmacists.
 Sub castes
The other sub castes or Geographical Names of Balija are
Back years ago Mudiraj & Munnuru Kapu brothers So Mudiraj and Naids brothers
Primarily Traders by Occupation they seem to have been formed by a small Social Change that seem to have occurred among some sections of the Kapu community. According to some Historians, the Original Balijas seem to have migrated from the Balijipeta, Vizianagaram District.
Veera Balaingyas were mentioned in Kakatiya inscriptions. They were powerful and wealthy merchants who were highly respected in Kakatiyan society. The Balijas had the title Setty and were primarily Tax collectors and Merchants. Most of the Balijas refer themsleves as Kapu/Telaga in Andhra and as Munnuru Kapu in Telangana. But in Rayalaseema Area they call themselves Balija/Setty Balija/Balija Naidu here Kapu refers to another Community.
 Balija branches
Setty Balija - These were the Rich and Powerful Traders and Merchants of the Kakatiya dynasty. There was mention of some very old Trading Guilds concentrated in Bellary in Karnataka.Infact Historian's suggest this was the first branch in Balijas. Balija Naidu - Balija Naidu is a derivation of the term Balija Nayakulu. This sub caste seems to have formed during the Kakatiya dynasty times primarily to protect the Balija / Setty trading caravans from being attacked by bandits.The current Anantapur Dt and Nellore Dt were ruled by Balija Naidu Kings/Families. Kota Balijas the Araveedu dynasty of Vijayanagar Empire was from this lineage so are the Madurai Nayaks and the Tanjavore Nayaks. Gajula Balija/Sugavansi Balija(Pure) Myth is that Siva’s wife Parvati made a penance in order to look beautiful for Siva and the person that brought her bangles riding a donkey was the ancestor of the Gajula Balija. Kavarai(Kavara Balija Naidu or Gavara Balija Naidu)."Kavarai is the name for Balijas(Telugu trading caste), who have settled in the Tamil country" as per Thurston of Castes and Tribes of Southern India.Kavarais call themselves Balijas(Born from fire).They use the titles Naidu,Nayakkan ,Chetti or Setti and Nayak.Gajula Balija is the largest sub -division of Kavarais.The equivalent name for Gajula Balija in Tamil is Valaiyal Chetti.(The meaning of Tamil name Valaiyal in Telugu is Gajulu(Bangles).Gajula Balijas attained this name as they were involved in manufacturing and selling bangles initially though they made their mark in various other fields later. Rajamahendravaram Balija or Musu Kamma Balija(Named after a special ear ornament worn by women) Gandavallu or Gundapodi Vandlu (Supposed to have originally Komatis)
Balijas are concentrated throughout Andhra and Rayalseema Region.
Excerpts from Thimmamba Charithra (Eddula Nandi Reddy) & Penukonda Charitra (Puttaparthy Narayana Charyulu) & Rallapalli Ananta Krishna Sharma in Andhra Prabha on Research Papers on Penukonda Charithra. Mentioned In Penugonda Chartira about Srikrishna Devarayas surname is Sammeta or Sampeta. He belongs to Balija Caste. Still the same surname balijas are heading villages in Anantapur Dist Anegondhi vilage. Krishnaraya had matrimonial alliances with Matli or metla ("Siddavatam, Kadapa District"). Sri Timmamba great women belongs to Balija cast took sathi after her husband died, she belonged to Gangarajula family around 14th century they build a fort near Kadiri,( Gootibayalu).There is temple and world famous baniyan tree called Timmamma Marrimanu (its recorded in Guinniess Book) Linga Balija of Ande doralu Prasannapaa, pavadappa palegar of Bukkarayapatnam. There were several small kingdoms in Anantapur and Kadapa Dist owned by Balijas. Gandikota (Near chitravati River) ruled by Gangaraju and Pemmasinga Timma Nayudu, Kalyanadurgam Butna family, Rayadurgram, Siddavatam and Rajampet etc. Still some palces in Anantapur Balijas calling as Raja Balijas.
 Special Note
Balijas and Lingayats is having relation
Lingayats and Devangs is having relation [In karntaka]
Devangs and Padmal (Padmashali) is having relation
Padmal and Patkar & Senapatulu is having relation
Padmal and Mudaliyar is having relation [In Tamilnadu]
Mudaliyar and Mudiraj is having relation [In Tamilnadu]
Mudiraj and Munnurukapu is having relation
Munnurukapu and KAPU is having relation
Kapus and Telagas is having relation
Telagas and Velamas is having relation
So ours is very big community in Andhrapradesh 42 % Population
We should made Mega Naid Community
 Munnuru Kapu
Munnuru Kapu's are primarily concentrated in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. By Occupation they are Farmers. The name Munnuru seems to be of a recent origin, which means three hundred. They were a part of the Telaga community and were the Imperial guard of the Tanjore Nayaks. The Nawab of Hyderabad requested the Tanjavore Nayaks to send a battalion of his best infantry and cavalry for his personal security. The Tanjore Nayak dispatched three hundred Telaga men and their families. The descendants of these three hundred families are now called Munnuru Kapu. There also seems to be a Traditional Rivalry that existed between the Mudiraj community and the Munnur Kapu community. The Munnuru Kapu's have always been associated with one Kingdom or the other in the form of Interior Palace Guards like Tanjavore Nayaks,Devarakonda, Nizam etc.
 Telaga Telaga is a Community of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, concentrated primarily in the Coastal Areas of Andhra. The Telagas are Agriculturists by Profession and have been Fuedal landlords. Telaga is a Branch or a Division of the Kapu, or Naidu Community of Andhra.They have the caste title Naidu.
 Sub castes
The other sub castes or geographical names of Telagas are
Important ruling clans:
Pulakesin II’s brother, Kubja Vishnu Vardhana, founded the Eastern Chalukya Empire after he was appointed Viceroy of Vengi and gave many of his trusted generals fiefdoms to rule over as his vassals and took up reign as Telaga Nayakulu (Governors). Most of the Telagas are fuedal landlords concentrated mainly in the coastal areas of Andhra.
 Telaga names
The Telagas are also called Naidu and they also have prefixes like Setty and Reddy in their names denoting their Profession
 Popular surnames
Some of the surnames are derived from the Weapons used by this warrior community Sunkara, Tupakula, Kathula
And Other Surnames are Village names and Names which came out of their Professions having suffixes like Setty and Reddy CHOWDULA,YEDLAPALLI,ANUKULA,MEKALA,AMBATI,THOTA,ORUGANTI,PUNIYASRI,MADDHALA,KATIKIREDDY,GUNDUMOGULA, puppala, Pulagam,gundubilli, Nagam, Reddipalli, pupala, vempala, basava, battula, tellakula, masupu Yerramsetti, Ayitham, Chakrala, Chikkam, Chinimilli, Palacholla, Nimmakayala, Bonam, Dasari,gedala, Gudi, Gudey,Dodda,Draksharamam, Vuragayala, Chilakalapalli, Davala, Konidela, Nalanagula, Allu, Kota, Kaikala, Kambala, Kalyanam, vejju, Adabala, Pappula, Vangaveeti, Addagarla, Sunkara, Cheruku, Kondra, Kolla, Gandham, Chodisetty, Polisetty, Pilla, Turumulla, Tirumalasetti, Majji, Mande, Mucherla, Namburu, Neelam, Padala, Kommana, Yerrabolu, Alla, Bontha, Batreddi, Konidena, Dwaram, Theegala, Thota,Tuta, Mallepudi, Koppana,Koppusetty, Ramisetty, Rangisetty, Nagisetty, Kamisetty, elisetti, mokka, Koppireddy, Kunche, Grandhi, Savaram, Surabattula, Siddireddi, Oosuri, Yadla, Vaddi, Ambati, Yenugula, muppidi, Yalavarthi, Tanneru, Gatti, Badiga, Akula, uppu, nallam, chintalapudi, villa, maddimsetty, tadi, rednam, ganji, bhimala, kotipalli, mutyala, katnam, akkireddy, vungarala, pinaka, Pinisetty, kethinidi, kasireddy, nukala, arigela, yedida, akasam, saladi, ghanta, davuluri, desamsetty, chilaka, vallamsetty, Ravada, Rudra, Singamsetty, Nandam, Kantamsetty, Yepuri, Allu, Gurram, Yedida, yarra, sirigineedi, kunapareddi, nagireddi, mutyala, jagata, guruju, tikkisetti, adapa, addala,yalla ,NANDIKOLLA and arava,Dudala or DUDALA,
 Turpu Kapu
Turpu in Telugu means east. The Kapus living on the eastern frontier of Andhra Pradesh called themselves Turpu Kapus. There have been some rulers of coastal kingdoms from this community. They are hard working poor and middle farmers. They are majority community especially in Vizianagaram District but many of them still show their feudal loyalty to erstwhile Zamindars of Bobbili and Vizianagaram etc. Off late however the political awakening of this Caste pushed some representatives of this caste group to be more Politically Active.
 Popular surnames
Bonda,Revalla, Botsa, Yeddu, mandala, gorle, bevara, buridi, Talari, Reddy, Pushpala, Allada, Katreddi, Thota, Kanna, Mekala, yazzavarapu,.etc
The following are some ruling clans associated with Kapu (Balija) community:
C.P. Brown mentioned that the Poligars of Anantapur belonged to the Balija Naidu community. The Current Nellore was also ruled by Balija Naidu's. Etukuri Bala Rama Murthi in "Andhrula Samkshiptha Charithra" Cholas gradually came to be called as Kapu and Telaga. The surnames Chaladi, Chode, Chodapaneedi, Chodasetty, Chodepala, Konidena and Chodavarapu show link to the Telugu Cholas(Choda) Dynasties with the Kapus. Even some of their gotra (is a patrilineal classification and identification of a caste) is referred as "CHOLLA" or "Chola". These Kings were from the Chaturtha Kulamu (Source Palanati Veera Charitra) and Kasyapa as their Gothram.
Balijakula Charithra", the Kotikam Kaifiyat says as follows:
" _ _ _ _ _Sree Manmahaa mandaleshwara Achyuthadeva Mahaa Raayalayya vaaru Daivaprasaada labdavasaath chethanu, karunatho goodi Balija Varna Garikepaati Vamsamuna Kalgina Sree Sree Viswanatha Naayaka gariki Paandya mandalaadhiraaju ane rendunnara koti dravya Raajyaanku sasthrothkamuga pattaabhisekham Vijayanagaramandu Cheyinchiri.
"Garikepati" is the last name of Madura Balija Kings."Alluri" is the last name of Thanjavur Balija Kings. "Chinthalapudi" is the last name of Khandi (Ceylon) Balija kings. Vijaya Bhupala Naidu who ruled Khandi was the brother-in-law of Kumara Krishnappa Naidu of Madurai Balija Dynasty. There were matrimonial alliances between Kapu community and major Dynasties like Eastern Chalukyas, Telugu Chodas, Kakatiya, Vijayanagar,Madurai and Thanjavur Kingdoms. Some inscriptions belonging to the Eastern Chalukyan King Bhima Raja, who was the Ancestor of Raja Raja Narendra, point to a possible link between the Chalukyan Dynasties and the Kapu Community of Coastal Andhra. The following are some of the interesting matrimonial alliances among Balija/Kapu Dynasties of Vijayanagar, Madura, Thanjavur and Kakatiya. Vijayanagar emperor Sri Krishna Deva Raya’s half brother was emperor Achyuta Deva Raya. Achyutha Deva Raya's wife Thirumalamba's own sister Murthimamba (Achyuta Deva Raya's sister-in-law) was married to Thanjavur king Alluri Sevappa Naidu. One of the members of Thanjavur king Sevappa Naidu was married to Madura king Garikepati Thirumala Naidu. Thanjavur King Vijaya Raghava Naidu's daughter and Sevappa Naidu's great Grand daughter Mangamma was married to king Chokkalinga Naidu, the grandson of the celebrated Thirumala Naidu of Madura dynasty. Queen Sri Ranga Devi, sister of Veera Narasimha Rayalu of Narapathi dynasty was married to king Bhuvanaika Malla of Kakatiya dynasty. (Note: Narapathis are also called Chalukyas. Araveeti families come under Genealogical tree of Narapathis. Vijayanagar emperor Sri Krishna Deva Raya's son-in-law Rama Rayalu belongs to Araveeti family of Kapu caste. According to Vijaya Kumari and Sepuri Bhaskar In "Social Changes among Balijas" the famous Vijayanagar King Sri Krishna Deva Raya belonged to Kapu caste.) The Kona Kings were Descendants of Haiheya and had Kasyapa as their Gothram found in the Kapu Community. The Vijayanagar Araveeti line of Kings called themselves as Chalukya Prince's and were descendants of these Haiheyas and can also be found in History as Arayeti during Eastern Chalukyan Rule and had Atreya as their Gothram which is found in the Kapu communities. Despite inscriptional evidence of the Chalukyas claiming Kshatriya status, off late this has become questionable. Historian Suravaram Pratapa Reddy hypothesizes that though Raja Raja Narendra called himself a Kshatriya this was done to justify his rule and subsequent legacy. He may have even gotten the Kshatriya classification through matrimonial alliances.
 Kapu names
Some of the very common Gothrams found in the Kapu community are Janakula, Paidipaala, Raghukula, Kasyapa, Dhanunjaya, Athreya, vishapala, Achyuta to name a few and there are lots of other Gotrams.
Naidu in Andhra refers to the Kapu/ Telaga/ Balija/ Ontari/ Turpu Kapu community. Balijas have the title Naidu and Setty In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka they are called Balija Naidu. In Southern T.N Districts Balijas have the title Naicker Munnuru Kapu's have the title Rao and Reddy in Telangana. Kapu/Balija/Telaga/Munnuru Kapu communities have the title Setty in their Surnames who served as Traders during the Kakateeya and Viajayanagar Empires.....
(Indicating their Ancestors established Powerful Trading Guilds Surnames like Polisetty, KaliSetty, Muthamsetty, Kamisetty, Rangisetty, Singamasetty, Chennamsetty etc)
Telaga/Kapu Community also has the title Reddy in their Surnames in Coastal Andhra Region.
(Indicating some of their ancestors were village heads. Maddireddy, Muthareddy, Kunapareddy, Katreddy, kasireddy, rayapureddy, Siddireddy, dharapureddy, peddireddy etc..)
Some Kapu/Telaga Surnames end with the title Neni which is a derivation of Senani.
(Indicating the Ancestors of these families served as Commanders under the Kakateeya Dynasity. Samineni, Lakkineni, Padalaneni, Vallabhaneni, Chitikineni, Kasineni etc)
Kapu and Telaga community have the title Rayudu in Coastal and Rayalseema Regions which is a legacy of the communities association with the Vijayanagar Empire.
Chola-Chalukyas used titles Udayar or Odeyar for certain period of time.
Native captain or headman Title of honour among Hindus in the Deccan. "The kings of Deccan also have a custom when they will honor a man or recompense their service done, and raise him to dignity and honour. They give him the title of Nayak." -Linschotaen It evolved in the following manner during different phases of history.
Many people with the Naidu surname had some remote ancestor who was a soldier that was promoted to "Nayaka". It is equivalent to a Baron. They served as Nayaks under the Chalukyas, Kakatiyas and Vijayanagar Emperors. The Kakatiya Dynasty had many prominent Nayakas, of which several were from a Kapu background. The Vijayanagar kings also had several Nayakas of Kapu, Telaga and Balija background.