Garalapadu, Guntur District Andhra Pradesh, India
Tenali Ramakrishna (Telugu: తెనాలి రామకృష్ణ) who was known as Vikatakavi (jester poet) is a Telugu poet who hails from the present Andhra Pradesh region. Tenali Ramakrishna composed works on religion in Telugu. Tenali Ramakrishna was one of the Ashtadiggajas or the eight poets at the court of Krishnadevaraya, the Vijayanagara emperor. He is generally known for his wit and humor.
Birth and Existence
Tenali Ramakrishna was born in a village called Garalapadu in Andhra State during the early part of the sixteenth century while it is widely believed that he was born in Tenali. His father Ramaiah died when Ramakrishna was very young. The boy was deprived of his father’s love. His mother Lakshmamma returned to her native place Tenali to live with her brother. Ramakrishna grew up in his uncle’s town and so came to be known as Tenali Ramakrishna.
Tenali Rama was noted for his brilliance and wit. Tenali Ramakrishna's work, Panduranga Mahatmyam, is dedicated to Panduranga, a form of Lord Vishnu. He took the theme for Panduranga Mahatmyam from the Skanda Purana and enhanced it with many stories about the devotees of God Vitthala.  
Tenali Ramakrishna attained the status of a Folk hero when he was the court poet of Shri Krishnadevaraya, but at the same time he composed serious works on religion. Three of his narrative poems are available today. His first poem, Udbhataradhya Charitamu about the Shaiva teacher Udbhata which is based on Palakuriki Somanatha's Basava Puranam. Udbhataradhya Charitamu also deals with the sanctity of Kashi. Because of Tenali Ramakrishna's affinity towards Shaivite religion, he was also known as Tenali Ramalinga Kavi. However, he has great devotion for Vaishnavism as well which is reflected in his work Panduranga Mahatmyam .
Tenali Ramakrishna's great work Panduranga Mahatmyam is a Kāvya of high merit, remarkable for its sonorous dignity of phrasing, and is counted as one of the Pañcha Mahā Kāvyas (the Five Great Kavyas).
In Popular Culture
- Tenali Ramakrishna is a 1956 Telugu film directed by B. S. Ranga. This film was also made in Tamil and is named as Tenali Raman. N. T. Rama Rao appeared as Shrikrishna Devaraya in both films where Tenali Ramakrishna is played by A. Nageswara Rao in Telugu and Tenali Raman is played by Sivaji Ganesan in Tamil.
- Hasyaratna Ramakrishna is a 1982 Kannada film directed by B. S. Ranga. The film stars Anant Nag and Aarathi in the lead roles. In the film, Anant Nag plays the role of a poet, Ramakrishna.
- Tenali Rama, a 1990 Hindi TV series aired in Doordarshan made by T.S. Nagabharana in which Vijay Kashyap played the lead role. It was based on short-stories by Kamala Laxman.
- The Adventures of Tenali Raman, an animated series by Cartoon Network (India) in 2003.
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- The Hindu Online | Adventures of Tenali Rama Article dated June 20, 2003 by Savitha Gautam, accessed on October 20, 2008