Since it is a large, diverse and geographically well spread with multiple divisions there is not 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 is believed to be the descendants of migrants of the Kaampu tribe from Kampilya (near Ayodhya) and was 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.
Kapu Community is 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 shares a similar history to the Kurmi,kunbis and Maratha castes.
Some of the very common Gothrams found in the Kapu community are Janakula, Mahipala, Paidipaala, Raghukula, Kasyapa, Dhanunjaya, Athreya, Achyuta to name a few and there are lots of other Gothrams
• 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/ Telaga /Balija /Munnuru Kapu communities have the title Setty in their Surnames who served as Traders during the Kakateeya and Vijayanagar Empires.
(Indicating their Ancestors established Powerful Trading Guilds Surnames like Bandreddy, Ramisetty, Polisetty, Kalisetty, Muthamsetty, Kamisetty, Tirumalasetty, 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 Dynasty.
Samineni, Lakkineni, Padalaneni, Vallabhaneni, chitikineni, kasineni etc.)
• Kapu and Telaga community have the title Rayudu in Coastal and Rayalaseema 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.
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 becomes synonymous with the community
Modern day Kapu Community is predominantly are an Agrarian community diversified into Business, Industry, Films, Academia, and IT etc.
Kapu in teh Pre Kakatiyan period referred to soldiers and agriculturists.
Some of the occupations or responsibilities that "Kapus" had in the medieval period:
•.Village defense committees (Kapu)
•.Administration (Pedda Kapu)
• People responsible for protecting the farms bandits and those protecting livestock were (Panta Kapu).
The term Kapu has become synonymous with Agriculturists.
Hence Reddy are called Kapu in Telangana & Rayalaseema of Andhra Pradesh.Genetics of the Communities of A.P.
There are many sub castes within the Kapu community but most of them prefer to be simply called Kapu(Kosthaa).
• Kapu • Telaga • Balija/Balija Naidu • Munnuru Kapu • Ontari • Turpu kapu • Naidu
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. They carry Caste title Naidu which is a Derivation of the word Nayaka. The Nayaka/Danda Nayaka could be found being under the Vishnukundini Dynasty of Andhra who ruled from the Krishna and Godavari Deltas during the 3rd Century A.D.
Kapu as a term is used to refer to Landowning or Agrarian 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.
. Dhulipudi • Mekala (Also found in Kamma, Boya, Chencus)
• Mogili (Also found in Yerukulas)
• Motati • Mungaru • Tungala • Thorati • Nagali • Nerati or Neravati
(Also found in Reddy)
• Pakanati or Pakinadu (Eastern territory)
(Also found in Reddy, Golla, Kamsala, Mala, and Tskala)
• Oruganti (Also found in Mudiraju)
• Nagaralu / Patrulu • Chalukya Kapu • Challa • Uggina •. Paggina • Koraganji
Konda Kapu, Vanne Kapu, Are Kapu, Kapu Savara, Moras Kapu & Reddy Subcastes like (Dommari Kapu, Godugulanati Kapu, Kodithi Kapu, Musugu kapu, Nallevelama Kapu, Pakaanati Kapu, Paala Kapu, Palle kapu, Panta Kapu, pedakanti kapu, Pokanati Kapu, Sajjana kapu, Velama Kapu, Yerlam kapu) are not Part of the Kapu Caste.
Most of the Balijas refer themselves as kapu/Telaga in Andhra and as Munnuru Kapu in Telangana. But in Rayalaseema Area they are not referred as Kapu but as Balija/Setty Balija / Balija Naidi / Naidu here kapu refers to Reddys another Community.