Telugu originated from a hypothesized Proto-Dravidian language. Although Telugu belongs to the South-Central Dravidian language subfamily, it is a highly Sanskritized language. As Telugu savant C.P Brown states in page 35 of his book "A Grammar of the Telugu language": "if we ever make any real progress in the language the student will require the aid of the Sanskrit Dictionary, and cannot even talk or write Telugu with any ease or precision, unless he masters the first principles Sanskrit orthography."

(Quoted from Wiki)