Sage Kanva was said to be the first grammarian of Telugu.
Prakrit Inscriptions with some Telugu words dating back to 400 BC to 100 BC have been discovered in Bhattiprolu in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.The material evidence suggests that the speakers of Proto-Dravidian were of the culture associated with the Neolithic societies of South India.A legend gives the Lepakshi town a significant place in the Ramayana — this was where the bird Jatayu fell, wounded after a futile battle against Ravana who was carrying away Sita.coins were found (Tala in Telugu means head; Talai in Tamil).These artefacts, antiquities and structures offered dates ranging in between the 5th century BC to the 2nd century BC representing the early Janapada, the Mauryan, pre-Satavahana (local kings) and Satavahana dynasties.Telugu was more influenced by Sanskrit and Prakrit during this period, which corresponded to the advent of Telugu literature.
Telugu literature was initially found in inscriptions and poetry in the courts of the rulers, and later in written works such as Nannayya's Mahabharatam (1022 AD).
Tradition holds that Shiva descended as a lingam on three mountains: Kaleshwaram, Srisailam, and Bhimeswaram, which are said to have marked the boundaries of the Trilinga Desa.
Atharvana Acharya in the 13th century wrote a grammar of Telugu, calling it the "Trilinga grammar" (Trilinga Śabdānusāsana).
According to linguist Bhadriraju Krishnamurti, Telugu, as a Dravidian language, descends from Proto-Dravidian, a proto-language.
Linguistic reconstruction suggests that Proto-Dravidian was spoken around the third millennium BC, possibly in the region around the lower Godavari river basin in peninsular India.
Appa Kavi in the 17th century explicitly wrote that "Telugu" was derived from Trilinga. Brown comments that it was a "strange notion" as all the predecessors of Appa Kavi had no knowledge of such a derivation.