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Literature and Science

Under Cholas

The Chola rule marked a milestone in the history of Tamil literature. The Chola kings gave many concessions and patronage to Tamil scholars and writers.

Many great Tamil poets namely, Kalladanar, Kambar, Pugalandhi, Ottakoothar, Sekkilar, Avvaiyar, Thirutakkadevar lived during the period of Chola period. Literary styles like epics and new works on grammar were famous during that period.

Writing meikkirthis, narration of historical incidents, singing songs on religious Heros, were new literary trends of that time. Kalladanar wrote Kalladam about lord Siva. Thiruttakkadevar wrote Seevagasinthamani to spread the idea of Jainism among the Tamil people. Jayamkondan composed Kalingathuparani during the period of Kulothunga I. It talks about second kalinga war.

Under Chalukyas of Kalyani

A large body of Western Chalukya literature in Kannada language was produced during the reign of the Western Chalukya Empire (973–1200 CE) in what is now southern India.

For a brief period (1162–1183), the Kalachuris of Kalyani, a dynasty of kings who had earlier migrated to the Karnataka region from central India and served as vassals for several generations, exploited the growing weakness of their overlords and annexed the Kalyani.

Around 1183, the last Chalukya scion, Someshvara IV, overthrew the Kalachuris to regain control of the royal city. But his efforts were in vain, as other prominent Chalukya vassals in the Deccan, the Hoysalas, the Kakatiyas and the Seunas destroyed the remnants of the Chalukya power.

Kannada literature from this period is usually categorised into the linguistic phase called Old-Kannada. It constituted the bulk of the Chalukya court’s textual production and pertained mostly to writings relating to the socio-religious development of the Jain faith.

The earliest well-known writers belonging to the Shaiva faith are also from this period. Under the patronage of Kalachuri King Bijjala II, whose prime minister was the well-known Kannada poet and social reformer Basavanna, a native form of poetic literature called Vachana literature proliferated.

The beginnings of the Vachana poetic tradition in the Kannada-speaking region trace back to the early 11th century. Kannada literature written in the champu metre, composed of prose and verse, was popularised by the Chalukyan court poets. However, with the advent of the Veerashaiva (lit, “brave devotees of the god Shiva”) religious movement in the mid-12th century, poets favoured the native tripadi (three-line verse composed of eleven ganas or prosodic units), hadugabba (song-poem) and free verse metres for their poems.

Under the Yadavas

The Yadavas of Devagiri patronised Marathi[18] which was their court language.

Kannada may also have been a court language during Seunachandra’s rule, but Marathi was the only court-language of Ramchandra and Mahadeva Yadavas. The Yadava capital Devagiri became a magnet for learned scholars in Marathi to showcase and find patronage for their skills. The origin and growth of Marathi literature is directly linked with rise of Yadava dynasty.

Their reign also saw the literary development of Marathi. The origin and growth of Marathi literature is directly linked to this period.

Some historians believe that prior to the Yadava rule, both Marathi and Kannada had been used in Maharashtra; subsequently, at least partly due to their efforts, Marathi became dominant.

The famous Marathi saint-poet Dnyaneshwar wrote Dnyaneshwari, a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita in 1290, during Ramachandra’s rule. He also composed devotional songs called abhangas. Dnyaneshwar gave a higher status to Marathi by translating the sacred Geeta from Sanskrit.

Under the Kakatiyas

Andhra under the Kakatiyas witnessed considerable literary activity. Sanskrit occupied the place of pride and was the language of the educated few. Many epigraphs of this period are written in Kavya-style of Sanskrit. The noted poets who were the authors of the epigraphs of this age are Nandi, Acchitendra Antantasuri and Iswarasuri.

The greatest Sanskrit poets of this age were Vidyanadha and Jayapasenani. Vidyanatha wrote Parataparudrayasobhushana. Jayapasenani was the author of Nrityaratnauali and Gitaratnavali.

Coming to Telugu literature, the most important are Tikkanna Somayaji who wrote Nirvachananottarammayatn, Mantri Bhaskara who wrote Bhaskara Ramayana, Gona Budda Reddi who wrote Ranganatha Ramayanam, Nanne Choda, the author of Kumara Sambhavama, Baddena the author of Sumati Satakam and Palkuriki Somanadha, the author of Basavapuranam, and Panditaradhyacharita.

Of the above Ranganadha Ramayanam, occupies a unique place as a Dvipadakairya.

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