Sunday, November 29, 2009


Prof Dr Colonel K Prabhakar Rao (Retired)

Akkanna and Madanna were brothers and the sons of Bhanoji Pant an official at Hanmakonda in Golconda kingdom in the bye gone days ( 16 and 17 century). There is also a dispute that they were not real brothers and also were not Telugus and had Maharashtrian origin (1). Their lives were of importance as Madanna rose to become the Hindu Prime minister of Golconda State during the reign of Last ruler Abul Hassan Kutubshah ( tanasha .. meaning good king). Madanna entered the service of Syed Muzaffar Army Chief of Golconda State and by hard work rose to the rank of Mir Jumla with a title Surya Prakash Rao. There are stories that he betrayed his master Mir jumla and these can not be believed as most of historians were Hindu haters and Muslim abettors.
There is also a story that sultan Tanasha who was much impressed by Madanna and made him the Mir jumla. As per the story, once the Sultan received a letter from Emperor Aurangzeb and when it was opened nothing was found written on the scroll and the King was much puzzled. No one could answer him. When the Sultan declared that he would reward any one who could read some thing from the letter, Madanna revealed the secret of the letter by using onion juice that produces Ammonia gas. Under the effect of Juice, black letters were found in the letter and it was read by Madanna. At request of the Sultan, Madanna wrote a letter in similar way to the emperor. The Sultan was greatly impressed and made Madanna the Mir Jumla. The story is very interesting . However it is known that Syed Muzaffar who was the Mir Jumla became arrogant and was showing insubordination to the king. In fact Syed Muzaffar played key role along with Madanna in the struggle for succession after the death of Abdullah Kutubshah the 6 th king of Golconda. As a matter of fact the eldest son in law Nizamuddin of Abdullah kutubshah made all plans to become Sultan and Syed Muzaffar soon took over control of the palace and important installations being the commander in Chief of Golconda Army (2). He ensured that Abul Hasan became the Sultan after the death of Abdullah Kutubsha. Syed Nizamuddin the eldest son in law of the late king was put to death and queens of late king were put behind bars who withered away soon. In gratitude king Abul Hasan made Syed Muzaffar as Mir Jumla. But soon he became headstrong and this forced the Sultan to ease him out of the top post and he made Madanna as Mir Jumla with title Surya Prakash Rao. Akkanna his elder brother was made as army commander (3).

Madanna proved himself as an efficient administrator and Golconda state flourished under his authority and this was very much resented by many Muslim nobles. Aurangzeb at Delhi was a Suni Muslim and he hated Shiite Kutubshahi kings and always looked for some reason to attack and annex the Deccani kingdom. Shivaji the great Maratha king also visited Hyderabad during the times of Madanna and stayed for a month as a royal guest. A treaty for mutual support and help was drafted and was signed by both the rulers and this was very much resented by the emperor. Madanna developed strong Foreign Policy and stabilized the kingdom (4).Kutubshahi kings and Adilshai kings of Bijapur realized the danger from Mughals and signed treaties of cooperation and also this was strengthened by matrimonial relations. These developments automatically angered Mughals and they always planned to attack these kingdoms. Madanna in 1677 proceeded with 20000 troops to help Bijapur sultan against Mughal invasion. However he returned after he was persuaded by Bahadurshah the Mughal commander. Madanna political adjustments and policies made Golconda a prosperous state and this was the greatest eye sore to Mughals. In Golconda too they has natural enemies who could not digest rise of Hindu nobles. It was natural in those days of Muslim rule and Hindu subjugation by the Muslims. There were pressing demands from emperor Aurangzeb to remove Akkanna and Madanna as important officials in the state and the king of Golconda was very reluctant as he knew their worth. But palace conspiracies were growing.

Madanna knew about the impending attack on Golconda and advised the Sultan to take shelter at a far off strong fort such as Konda palli or Warangal. But the sultan with his queen s and others took refuge in the Golconda fort and was soon to be trapped by the invading Mughal troops. Certain queens of past king Abdulla Kutub shah were angry that the troubles faced by the state from Mughals were the result of presence of the brothers at the helm of affairs in the kingdom. They planned for their elimination. There are also arguments that the king had hand in their elimination, But this can not be believed. Some say their elimination was with full knowledge of the Sultan. On March 16, 1686, Akkanna and Madanna were returning from the palace after seeing the king and paying respects to the goddess in Golconda fort. They had no clue that their death was waiting for them. Their guards and escorts were already bribed and bought by the conspirators. At appropriate moment the killers led by Habshi Ghulam attacked the brothers while the escort and guards looked other way. Akkanna an Madanna were dragged out of their palanquins and brutally done to death. Their bodies were dragged on the streets of Golconda and their heads were cut off and were sent to the Mughal prince who inurn sent them to the emperor who was at Ahmednagar. He was much pleased and in the presence of his troops the heads were crushed under elephant legs (5). Thus ended the glorious power of the brothers who were the only Hindu nobles who rose to such positions in a Muslim rule.( Raja kishan Prashad was the prime minister to the Nizam 6 in 20 th century at a much later date in Hyderabad state under Asifjahis rule ). Akkanna Madanna perished in very sad manner because they did not build any military support for themselves and did not have their own troops for support. They were just helpless officials depending on the security provided by the state. Their security was very easily breached by the conspirators. Once the brothers were killed the attackers fell o the homes of Hindus and killed Rustom Rao a brave commander and sister’s son of Madanna. Scores of Hindu homes were looted and burnt to ashes. Their women were carried away by attackers. Many women died jumping in wells. n hearing the news it is believed that the Sultan became very much upset and lost stability of mind for some time. Such narrations indicate that the Sultan was never a co conspirator.

Soon the Mughal forces invaded Golconda and encircled the fort. But the administration well built by the brothers took charge of the fort and could withstand for nearly a year. The defense of the fort was impregnable and the emperor was getting impatient. Famine struck the area and many troops died due to sickness and famine. Aurangzeb paid no heed to his religious advisers who were very much against the persecution of co Muslim rulers. He was very adamant. Military victory over Golconda appeared remote to Mughals. His efforts to bribe Abdul Razak Lari the Commander of Golconda forces were fruitless. But Mughals succeeded in bribing a junior commander Abdulla Pani who opened a small window in the walls of Golconda on night of 21 September 1686. Some of the selected Mughal troops entered the fort at middle of night and made their way to the main gate killing the resisting men. Soon the main gate Fateh darwaza ( Victory gate) was opened and the Mughal troops triumphatantly entered beating drums. Abdul Razak lari on hearing the commotion along with few followers rushed on horse devoid of armor and fought tooth and nail with Mughal troops. He received multiple wounds and the horse carried him away to Nageena Bagh in the fort and dropped him there before it fell dead. The unconscious hero was rescued by the Mughals and was treated by the Mughal physicians to health. The much pleased Emperor was highly impressed with Razak lari and offered him service in his court that he politely refused and preferred to live retire life. Some claim that he took service with the emperor for some time and later retired. The sultan Abul Hasan was taken captive by the Mughal commanders an was taken to the emperor with due honors. The emperor welcomed him with respect and he was sent to Daulatabad Fort in present Maharashtra where he was interned at a palace. The captive Sultan stayed in captivity and died later on. Kutub Shahi dynasty was thus extinguished. It was annexed to Mughal empire as a province. Aurangzeb died after few years of his death and victor and vanquished were buried close to each other. That is the ultimate truth. Aurangzeb destroyed south Indian kingdoms but could not take a fistful of the soil with him when he died. He died broken, worried, and with humiliation at his inability to subdue Marathas in Deccan. His policies destroyed Mughal dynasty and empire.

Akkanna and Madanna rose to the highest level by their sheer hard work and efficiency. The courtiers who were mostly Afghans, Persians and Turks could not tolerate their rise and a section of them abetted their murders. Aurangzeb could not tolerate a Hindu noble to command the position of a Prime Minister. He probably engineered their murder through the palace at Golconda. The brothers although were wise could not defend themselves became easy targets to the killers. The saddest part is that the present government has not recognized their contribution to the state and the memory of these brothers are left to winds (6) (7). There is no monument for them. Not even a street has been named after them in Hyderabad state. There are two villages Akkanna Pet and Madanna Pet around Charminar that have become part of the city. On Tank Bund scores of statues are erected. In the city on various roads and in parks numerous statues of politicians stand to day collecting dust. But there is no place for these brothers. What apathy indeed! Is it because their origins as Telugus are doubted. Or is it due to false allegations against tem by the shady and biased Muslim historians. The main allegations leveled against madanna by the pseudo Muslim historians are many. These are Corruption, Insulting army, Killing of women of harem, persecution of employees, support to Sambhaji, negligence of defense of state and betrayal of sultan etc. these are false allegations and can not stand ground. On the whole Andhrites are ungrateful to the memory of Akkanna and Madanna.


1. Komaragiri Venakata Bhoopal Rao, Madanna Maha Mantri,( telugu), Savitri sadanam, -4-526/ 41, Lingampali, Hyderabad, Edition I, 1983,

2. Dr C V Ramachandra Rao, South Indian History, a telugu Academy Publication, Hyderabad, AP, India, edition I, 1991,

3. Cholleti Nrusimha Sarma, Mantri ( Minister) Madanna, Telanganam ( essays), Desodhharatka granthamala, 24 Publication, 2844, imambavi street, Secunderabad, AP, PP 94

4..KV Bhoopala Rao, Madannagri Videsanga Neethi ( Foreign policy of Madanna), Telanganam ( essays), Desodhharatka granthamala, 24 Publication, 2844, Imambavi street, Secunderabad, AP,

5. Cholleti Nrusimha Sarma, Mantri ( Minister) Madanna, Telanganam ( essays), Desodhharatka granthamala, 24 Publication, 2844, imambavi street, Secunderabad, AP, PP 97

6. Dr K Prabhakar Rao, Triumph of Aurangzeb over Qutubshahi Golconda, New Swatantra Times, Vol XV, No 1, Jan 2004, PP25

7..Dr K Prabhakar Rao. Madanna, the forgotten prime minister of Golconda Kingdom, New Swatantra Times, VolX, No 6, June 1998, PP 9


Shruti said...

Dear Sir,

My name is Shruti. The information that Akkanna and Madanna were our ancestors has been passed on for generations in our family. We are in the process of charting out our family tree and have been successful in reaching upto more than 16 generations before us. As a part of this activity, I am interested to meet you and discuss about Akkanna and Madanna. I stay in Hyderabad and my contact number is 9885023686. Please let me know a suitable date and time to meet you. Thank You.

Pranesh said...


Nice to read about akkanna and madanna. It looks like they were our ancestors. I have been successful in tracing my family tree up to 1820. Would be great if there is info beyond that.

Vidya Sagar Alumni said...


My family too traces it's ancestry back to Akkanna and Madanna and my grandfather lived in an area called Berban (near Golkonda) till his death. The family name is Nemali and the area where our house used to be is now developed into a housing society - Nemali Gardens.

We too are engaged in tracing out our ancestry and would be glad to share information. I live in Chennai and can be reached by leaving a comment here. Will mail my id.

Raka Sudhakar Rao said...

Can you send me your e mail ID? My name is K R Sudhakar Rao. I am a journalist by profession and a student of history.

My phone no is 9000875952