Kadapa (Cuddapah) is a city in Rayalseema, a region of the south-central part of Andhra Pradesh. The city's name originated from the Telugu word "Gadapa" meaning threshold or gate. It was spelled "Cuddapah" but was changed to "Kadapa" on 19 August 2010 to reflect the local pronunciation of the name.
Kadapa is located 412 kilometres (256 mi) south of the state capital, Hyderabad and is 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the Penna River. The city is surrounded on three sides by the Nallamala and Palakonda hills. The city is nicknamed "Threshold" because it is the gateway from the west to the sacred hill of Tirumala, which is known for its connections to Venkateswara Swamy.
Kishkindakanda, one of the seven kandas of the Ramayanam, is believed to have happened in Vontimitta, Kadapa District. Vontimitta is 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the city. The Anjaneya Swamy temple in Gandi was also believed to be a part of the Ramayanam. It is believed that the statue of Anjaneya Swamy in Gandi was made by Rama on a hill stone with the tip of his arrow to acknowledge his help in finding Sita.
Kadapa was a part of the Chola Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries AD. It became part of the Vijayanagar Empire in the latter part of 14th century. The region was under the control of Gandikota Nayaks, governors of the Vijayanagara empire for about two centuries. The most illustrious ruler during this time was Pemmasani Thimma Nayudu (1422 CE) (Pemmasani Nayaks) who developed the region and constructed many tanks and temples here. Muslims of Golkonda conquered the region in 1565 CE when Mir Jumla raided Gandikota fort and defeated Chinna Thimma Nayudu by treachery. Later the British took control of Kadapa District in 1800 CE. Although the town is an ancient one, it was probably extended by Neknam Khan, the Qutb Shahi commander, who called the extension "Neknamabad". The name "Neknamabad" was used for the town for some time but slowly fell into disuse and the records of the 18th century refer to the rulers not as Nawabs of Nekanamabad but Nawabs of Kadapa. Except for some years in the beginning, Kadapa District was the seat of the Mayana Nawabs in the 18th century. With the British occupation of the tract in 1800 CE it became the headquarters of one of the four subordinate collectorates under the principal collector Sir Thomas Munro. Monuments from the rule of the Kadapa District Nawabs are still found in the town. Most prominent among these are two towers and the dargahs. The city has plenty of temples in and around the city and also has three churches. Recently Kadapa was recognized as a municipal corporation.