The original name of Kurnool was Kandenaolua, a Telugu name by which it was referred in the old inscriptions and literature. Legend has it that in the 11th century AD, during the rule of Chalukyas of Badami, bullock carts that came here to dig the sand and carry stones to construct the temple at Alampur, halted here to lubricate their cart wheels with oils supplied by some oil merchants.
The city was then known as the Kandenapalli or the city of Kandena (grease). The city was also called as the city of Skanda or Kumaraswamy (the chief God of Wars). In some inscriptions, Kurnool is referred to as Kannadu or Keru Nadu (Karu means 'black', Nadu means 'territory').
When the town came under British rule, it was subsequently named as Kurnool. Kurnool was a centre of both religious and the political activities in pre colonial age. One can still see the ruins of the huge fort, which occupies most of the old part of Kurnool, the famous Konda Reddy buruju (which has a hidden underground tunnel that ends at Alampur fort, which has a sacred temple from centuries) etc.
The temples which are near and around Kurnool have history dating back to centuries and the architectural marvel of the temples is unique. Still not much information is available either about the Hindu rulers or the Muslim rulers of this city.