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Muddupalani (fl. ca. 1750) was a Telugu speaking poet and devadasi attached to the court of Pratap Singh, the Maratha king of Tanjore. Muddupalani was well versed in both Telugu and Sanskrit literature, and came from a devadasi family; her mother and grandmother were also both devadasis and poets.[1]

Her best-known work is Rādhikā-sāntvanam ("Appeasing Radha"), an erotic narrative poem that deals with the marital relationship of the deity Krishna, his first wife Radha and new wife Ila, and the appeasement of the jealousy of Radha. She received the concept of this poem when Krishna visited her in a dream and suggested that she write about the subject.[2] The poem became the subject of a censorship controversy in the early 20th century, because of its sexual frankness, and especially, because it portrayed its women characters as taking the initiative in sex.[3] Her other well-known work is Ashtapadi, a Telugu translation of Jayadeva's eponymous work.[4][5]


  1. ^ Pran Nevile, "The courtesan was also a scholar", The Tribune, December 12, 1999, accessed Dec. 8. 2010
  2. ^ Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman, Classical Telugu Poetry: An Anthology, "Muddupalani", pp. 293-296
  3. ^ Susie J. Tharu and Ke Lalita, Women Writing in India: 600 B.C. to the early twentieth century (Feminist Press, 1991; ISBN 1-55861-027-8), pp. 116-119
  4. ^ Luniya, Bhanwarlal Nathuram (1978). Life and culture in medieval India. Kamal Prakashan. p. 159. OCLC 5749542. 
  5. ^ Madhavananda, Swami; Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (1982). Great women of India. Advaita Ashrama. pp. 338–339. OCLC 9702931.