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