The Pericchedi Kings were an ancient ruling clan in Andhra and are ancestors of the Pusapati royal family. Paricchedis built Bezawada (Modern Vijayawada) off the river Krishna by 626 AD and another capital in Kollipaka establishing themselves for nine centuries there.
Paricchedis were staunch patrons of Hindu Dharma in contrast to the Chalukyas, who initially were patrons of Jainism. The family name was changed to Pusapati after moving to the coastal region. The name is derived from the Sanskrit Pushavat (Pushan), meaning of the sun, to highlight their Suryavanshi lineage. They founded the city of Vizianagaram, named after Vijay Rama Raju, spelled with a Z to differentiate it from the Vijayanagar Dynasty in Hampi. They obtained the title of Gajapathi, after the battle of Nandapur, in the Northern Circars in the 16th century.
The Maharaja of Vizianagaram is stated to be descended from the Ranas of Udaipur,the Sisodia branch of the Guhilot tribe and Vasishta gotra. According to the traditions of the Udaipur house, a member settled in Ayodhya (Oudh) and in the 6th century AD emigrated to Telingana, accompanied by representatives of the Vasishta, Dhanunjaya, Kaundinya and Kasyapa gotras. In 1484 Pusapati Rachi Raju wrote Vasistha Gotra Kshatriya Sisa Malika.
The Rajas allied themselves with the Gajapathi Emperor of Orissa against the Vijayanagar Empire initially but after being conquered by Krishna Deva Raya they became their feudal allies. They, along with the other allies of Vijayanagar were conquered by Sultan Kali, the founder of the Qutub Shahi dynasty of Golkonda but by 1652 the 5th King of the subsequent Pusapati line was made Subahdar of the Northern Circars and they re-established themselves in the Vizagapatnam country. they received GAJAPATHI title after defeating Gajapathi's of nandapur (orissa ) in 16 th century. Emperor Aurangzeb gave Maharaja Sita Rama raju a two-edged sword (Zulfiqar), for his exceptional valour in golcunda campaign against qutubshaih's. this is still used in the coat-of-arms of the family. By 1713 they erected the fort at Vizianagaram where they have since resided. In 1827 Maharajah Vijay Rama Gajapati Raju III had several honors conferred on him by the British Government. Lord Northbrook obtained for him the title of His Highness, and had his name enrolled among those of chiefs entitled to return visits from the Viceroy with a 13 gun salute. A daughter was married to His Highness Maharaj Kumar Singh, cousin and heir apparent of H.H. Maharajah of Rewah. In 1848 the late Maharaja of Vizianagaram visited Bezawada, the home of his family for so many centuries. His visit is recorded in a telugu inscription. A descendent of this line Sir P. Vijay Anand Gajapathi Raju inherited the family estate in Benares, married the princess of Kashipur and was a captain of the Indian cricket team in the 30's. Distant relatives of this family include P.S. Kumar Swamy Raju former Chief Minister of the Madras State and P.R. Venkat Rama Raju, founder of Ramco Industries.
Marital Alliances with other Rajput ClansThe Pusapatis are related to:
- The Rathore Rajputs of Kashipur in Uttaranchal. Who are descended from the old Rajas of Kumaon.
- H.H.The Maharaja Meerza Sir Ananda Gajapathi Raju (Abhinava Andhrra Bhoja)Manya Sultan Bahadur of Vizianagaram married Kachwaha prices of Jaipur. probably daughter of H.H. Sawai Ram singhji of Jaipur.
- The Jhala dynasty Wadhwan princely state located in Saurashtra founded about 1630 as an offshoot of the Dhrangadhra princely state founded in 1090 by Harpal Dev Mokwana, the founder of the family tree of Dhrangadhra and Wankaner. Wankaner was founded in 1605 by a grandson of Raj Chandrasinhji, the ruler of Dhrangadhra. The Maharaja married the Maharani of Jodhpur.
- The Bais dynasty of Kasmanda in (Sitapur district) Orissa. The Royal family of Kasmanda is descended from Raja Salivahan of the Satavahana dynasty who defeated Raja Vikramaditya in 78AD. Raja Dinesh Pratap Singh married the daughter of Raja of Payagpur and had:
- Rajkumar Divyakar Pratap Singh who married Rani Jaya Rajya Lakshmi, daughter of the Rana of Nepal.
- Rajkumar Dinraj Pratap Singh married the sister of the Maharaja of Jaisalmer.
- Daughter married the Raja of Hindol,Orissa.
- The Sen (Chandravanshi) dynasty of the Keonthal princely state in Himachal Pradesh and brother in law to the Udaipur Maharana who is also married to the Nepal Royal family that is currently related to the Scindia Royal family of Gwalior of Maratha origin.
- The Vyricharla Raju dynasty of Kurupam, founded about 1450. They were granted the estate by the Raja of Jeypore,Orissa Raja Vyricharla Married the daughter of the Raja of Daspalla,Orissa, whose son was married to the daughter of the Pusapati Ananda Gajapathi Raju.
- Vatsavai royals of Peddapuram (Descendents of the Chagi Dynasty)