Vadapalli Gangachalam hailed from the village of Vadapalli in the Razolu taluk of East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh, India. He belonged to the Rajaka community and participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. On 30 March 1931, during the Venkateswaraswami Car festival in Vadapalli, a Congress Flag and photos of Mahatma Gandhi and other national leaders were placed on the chariot alongside the deity.
Government officials objected to this and, as the procession was about to commence, the Sub-Inspector of Razolu removed the portraits of the national leaders. The people refused to draw the car without the portraits, resulting in a commotion at Chinnavadapalli. The police arrested some individuals and resorted to lathi-charge, while the crowd retaliated by throwing stones and mud at them. The police then opened indiscriminate fire on the crowd, and Gangachalam was shot and died while being taken to his house.