The earliest mention of the Andhras appears in the Aitareya Brahmana (800 BC). It was called Dakshina Padh during those days. Andhras, Pulindas, Sabaras, and many other sects lived in Dakshina Padh. In the Mauryan age, the Andhras were a political power in the Deccan. Megasthenes, who visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya, mentioned that Andhra had 30 fortified towns and an army of 1,00,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and 1,000 elephants. The flourishing Satvahana Empire, which followed the Mauryas, covered the entire Deccan plateau by the 1st century AD. From the seventh to the 10th centuries, the Chalukyas ruled the state. This was followed by the rule of the Cholas, Kakatiyas, and the powerful Vijayanagar Empire. By the 16th century AD, the Qutab Shahi dynasty established its firm foothold in and around Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh was constituted as a separate state on October 1, 1953, comprising the 11 districts of the former Madras state, and made Kurnool the capital. By November 1, 1956, the Nizam’s state of Hyderabad was joined with the state of Andhra Pradesh.