Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu literature – Online Ias notes

  • The 4 Dravidan languages Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malyalam developed their own literature.

  • Tamil being the oldest of these langauges began writing earlier and produced the sangam literature – the oldest literature in Tamil.

Telugu Literature

  • The Vijayanagara period was the golden age of Telugu literature.
  • Nachana Somanatha, a court poet of Bukka I, produced a poetical work titled Uttaraharivamsam.

Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529)

  • The greatest of the Vijayanagara emperors, was a poet of great merit.
  • His work Amukta Malyada is regarded as an excellent prabandha in Telugu literature.
  • Eight Telugu literary luminaries, popularly known as “Ashtadiggajas” adorned his court.

Allasani Peddana

  • Author of Manucharitram, was the greatest.
  • He was known as Andhra kavitapitamaha.
  • The other 7 poets of the group were Nandi Timmana, the author of Parijathapaharanam, Madayagari Mallana, Dhurjati, Ayyalaraju Ramabhadra Kavi, Pingali Surana, Ramaraja Bhushana and Tenali Ramakrishna.
  • Dhurjati, a devotee of Shiva, composed two poetical works of great merit known as Kalahasteeswara Mahatmayam and Kalahasteeswara Satakam.
  • Pingali Surana composed two works Raghavapandaviyam and Kalapuranodayam.
  • In the former, he attempted a literary feat telling the story of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata simultaneously.
  • Tenali Ramakrishna, the court jester, was an interesting figure of the Krishnadevaraya’s court.
  • His practical jokes on high-placed men of the time are recounted with pleasure even today. Ramakrishna was the author of Panduranga Mahatmayam which was considered one of the greatest poetical works of Telugu literature.
  • Ramarajabhushana was the author of Vasucharitram.
  • He was also known as Bhattumurti.
  • His other works include Narasabhupaliyam and Harishchandra Nalopakhyanam.
  • It is a poetical work on the model of Raghavapandaviyam.
  • One can read in it stories of Nala as well as Harishchandra.
  • Madayagari Mallana’s work Rajashekharacharitra is a prabandha dealing with the wars and loves of Rajashekhara, king of Avanti.
  • Ayyalaraju Ramabhadra was the author of two works Ramabhyudayam and Sakalakathasara Sangraham.

Kannada Literature

  • Apart from Telugu, Vijayanagara rulers extended their patronage to Kannada and Sanskrit writers as well.
  • Many Jain scholars contributed to the growth of Kannada literature.
  • Madhava wrote Dharmanathapurana on the fifteenth tirthankara. Another Jain scholar, Uritta Vilasa, wrote Dharma Parikshe.
  • The Sanskrit works of the period include Yadavabhyudayam by Vedanatha Desika and Parasara Smriti Vyakhya of Madhavacharya.
  • Kannada language developed fully after the tenth century AD.
  • The earliest known literary work in Kannada is Kavirajamang written by the Rashtrakuta King, Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I.
  • Pampa, known as the father of Kannada wrote his great poetic works Adi Purana and Vïkramarjiva Vijaya in the tenth century AD.
  • Pampa lived in the court of Chalukya Arikesari.
  • In his poetic skill, beauty of description, delineation of character and development of rasa, Pampa is unrivalled.
  • Ponna and Ranna were two other poets who lived during the reign of Rashtrakuta Krishna III.
  • Ponna wrote an epic named Shanti Purana and Ranna wrote Ajitanatha Purano.
  • Together Pampa, Ponna and Ranna earned the title ratnatraya (the three gems).
  • In the thirteenth century new feats were achieved in Kannada literature.
  • Harishvara wrote Harishchandra Kavya and Somanatha Charita whereas Bandhuvarma wrote Harivamshabhyudaya and Jiva Sambodhana.
  • Under the patronage of later Hoysala rulers, several literary works were produced.
  • Rudra Bhata wrote Jagannathavijaya.
  • Andayya’s Madana Vijaya or Kabbïgara Kava is a work of special interest in pure Kannada without the mixture of Sanskrit words.
  • Mallikarjuna’s Suktisudharnava, the first anthology in Kannada and Kesirja’s Shabdamanidarpana on grammar are two other standard works in the Kannada language.
  • Kannada literature flourished considerably between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries under the patronage of the Vijayanagara kings.
  • Poets of all religious groups made important contribution to it. Kunura Vyasa wrote Bharata and Narahari wrote Tarave Ramayana.
  • This is the first Rama Katha in Kannada composed on the basis of Valmikis Ramayana.
  • Lakshamisha who lived in the seventeenth century wrote Jaïmini Bharata and earned the titled of Kamata-Karicutavana-Chaitra (the spring of the Karnataka mango grove).
  • The other eminent poet of this period was the great Sarvajna, popularly known as the people’s poet. His aphoristic tripadi (three-lined) compositions serve as a source of wisdom and ethics.
  • A special mention may be made of Honnamma, perhaps the first outstanding poetess in Kannada.
  • Her Hadibadeya Dharma (Duty of a Devout Wife) is a compendium of ethics.

Malayalam Literature

  • Malayalam is spoken in Kerala and the adjoining areas.
  • The language of Malayalam emerged around the eleventh century AD.
  • By fifteenth century Malayalam was recognised as an independent language.
  • Bhasa Kautilya, a commentary on Arthashastra and Kokasandisan are two great works.
  • Rama Panikkar and Ramanuj an Ezhuthachan are well known authors of Malayalam literature.
  • Though it developed much later compared to other South Indian languages, Malayalam has made a mark as a powerful medium of expression.
  • Now a large number of journals, newspapers and magazines are published in Malayalam.
  • When people read and write in their own language, they enjoy it more.
  • This is because language is a part of their culture.
  • It is so well inter woven in their social life that they can express and feel their emotions as well in their own language.

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