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Vijayanagar Empire – Literature


  • The Vijayanagara rulers were also great patrons of literature.
  • The rulers encouraged Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada literatures and languages.
  • The literary development reached its peak during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya.
  • He was also a great patron of art and literature, and was known as ‘Andhra Bhoja’.
  • Sayana, the great Sanskrit scholar of this period, wrote commentaries on the Vedas.
  • These commentaries are considered as standard commentaries even today.
  • He was a minister of Harihara II.
  • Madhavacharya was a well-known Sanskrit scholar who was intimately connected with Vijayanagar royal family.
  • Gangadevi, wife of Kampana, son of Bukka, deserves a preeminent place among the writers of the age.
  • In her famous work Maduravijayam, she describes in mahakavya style the conquest of Madura by her husband.
  • Hannamma and Thirumalamma were famous poets of this period.
  • Hannamma was a reporter in the court of Deveraya II.
  • Krishnadeva Raya patronized Tamil scholars.
  • Tamil Scholars of Saivism, Vaishnavism and Jainism were encouraged.
  • Tirumalainatha and his son Paranjyothiyar were well known scholars of the period.
  • Chidambara Puranam and Chokkanatharula were written by Tirumalainatha.
  • Sevvaichchbuduvar translated the Bhagavata Puranam into Tamil.
  • Vadamalavi Annagalayyam was the author of Irusamaya Filakkain, a work on Vaishnavism.
  • Nachana Somanatha was a great scholar both in Sanskrit and Telugu.
  • The greatest poet during the era was, however, Pillalamarri Pina Virabhadra Kavi who composed the Telugu version of Kalidasa’s Shakuntalam in verse.
  • Devaraya I was a great patron of learning.
  • In his court lived the famous Telugu poet Srinatha who wrote Haravilasam.
  • Krishnadeva Raya was known as Abhinava Bhoja.
  • Eight great Telugu poets adorned his court.
  • They were known as Ashtadiggajas.
  • Allasani Peddanna, Nandi Thimmanna, Tenali Rama and others were the Telugu poets in his court.
  • Allasani Peddanna was the greatest and he was often described as ‘AndhrakavitaPitamaha’.
  • Allasani Peddanna was the author of Manucharita in Telugu.
  • Tenali Rama was the most famous scholar and jester of Krishnadeva Raya’s court.
  • He was the author of Panduranga Mahatyam.
  • Krishnadeva Raya himself wrote Amuktamlayada in Telugu.
  • It relates the story of the daughter of Periazhvar, Goda Devi (Andal).
  • He was himself a scholar of Sanskrit as well as Telugu.
  • Usha Parinayam and Jambavati Kalyanam are his famous Sanskrit works.
  • Krishnadeva Raya’s reign is regarded as the classical phase of Telugu literature and he has been therefore, rightly honoured as Andhra Pitamaha.
  • A large number of works in Kannada were produced during this period.
  • Bhima Kavi translated Basava Purana into Kannada.
  • Harihara II had earned the title of Karnataka Vidyavilasa.
  • A Kannada version of the Ramayana was composed by Kumara Velmiki.

The Ashtadiggajas (Eight renowned poets) Allasani Peddanna, Nandi Thimmana, Tenali Rama, Dhurjathy, Bhattu Murthy, Puna Vira Bhadra, Mallana and Panaji Surana.

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