Kurnool is an ancient city that was in existence for almost 2000 years. According to historians, it was during the 11th century that the Odderas were transporting stones in carts for the construction of a temple in Alampur and they halted at Kurnool. It was here that the locals supplied grease for the carts and the place came to be known as Kandenavolu (Town of Grease) and eventually Kurnool. Paintings dating back 30,000 to 40,000 years, and as far back as from the Paleolithic era, have been discovered in Kurnool. The state of Kurnool is believed to have been established by a Pathan general and was ruled by Nawabs following this. The town was annexed by the British in 1839. Nawad Dawood Khan was the heir to the kingdom during India’s partition in 1947, following which he emigrated to Pakistan and some of his descendants famously fought in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.
Kurnool has an interesting anecdote associated with its name. It is derived from the word Kandanavolu, which is a combination of Kandana meaning grease, and Volu. In the ancient times, when bullock carts were used as a means of transportation by the people, they used to stop at the river Tungabhadra, and apply grease to the wheels of their bullock carts before crossing the river. This gave rise to the name Kandanavolu.