Bobbili is a town, mandal headquarters and a municipality in Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh, India. The town is famous for its fort, the legendary Venugopala Swami Temple and more famous for the "Battle of Bobbili" that was a major incident in the memory of Andhra Pradesh history. The Battle of Bobbili that took place in 1757 is one of the major incidents in the history of the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Battle of Bobbili commenced between the Zamindar of Vizianagaram and the French on one side and Pedda Rayadu, the Raja of Bobbili on the other. Pedda Viziarama Raju, the Raja of Vizianagaram and the Zamindar of Bobbili, killed the entire family of Pedda Rayadu which made Pedda Rayadu kill Pedda Viziarama Raju. During the same incident Pedda Rayadu's sister also committed suicide. Pedda Rayudu was the 15th descendant of the Rajas of Venkatagiri and was the Raja (or the King) of Bobbili. He was also known as "Gajabaludu" and "Simha Vikramudu". The Battle of Bobbili brings back memories of valour and pride to Bobbili. During this massive destructive war against Vizianagaram, Bobbili was almost wiped out. But the courage with which the battle was fought, brought name, fame and honour in the Telugu world for Bobbili. Even today in some of the government records (like railways and telegraphs department) Bobbili is referred to as "Veera Bobbili" (or Brave Bobbili).
The town is adorned with many places that once belonged to the Royal family if Bobbili. The living example is the fort of Bobbili. Though most of the parts of the fort are now in a ruined state, some parts of the fort still hold the splendors of the bygone era. To quote few places, the "Durbar Mahal" or the meeting hall (built in 1893) where Raja held his court is a piece of marvel. At the stairway leading to the Durbar hall there are two stone elephants on either side. Of the many palaces inside the fort complex, the Pooja Mahal was built by Rani (Queens) of Bobbili while the Raj Mahal, also known as Chikkavram Guest House and Bobbili Guest House, was built by Bobbili Rajas. Opposite to this Mahal there is Prang Mahal that is maintained as heritage building even today.
All over Bobbili there are beautiful and luxurious homes built by some of the prominent cousins of Bobbili king. While most of them turned into heritage buildings, few are still owned by the members of royal family. A 'chavadi' or a square, which bears the name of Pedda Rayadu, was erected in Bobbili town in 1900. Bobbili is said to be one of the prominent places where the fine arts flourished. The town is more famous for the manufacturing of "Veena" (famous south Indian instrument). Over three centuries, a unique style of playing the Veena has developed in Bobbili that was called as "Bobbili Veena Sampradayam".