Tenali Ramakrishna

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Tenali Ramakrishna Kavi
తెనాలి రామకృష్ణ
Born Garalapati Ramakrishna
16th century
Garalapadu,Guntur District Andhra Pradesh, India
Occupation Poet
Language Telugu
Nationality Indian
Genre Religion, Folk,
Subject Telugu Literature

Tenali Ramakrishna (Telugu: తెనాలి రామకృష్ణ) who was known as Vikatakavi (jester poet) [1] is a Telugu poet who hails from the present Andhra Pradesh region. Tenali Ramakrishna composed works on religion in Telugu.[2] 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. [2]

Birth and Existence[edit]

Tenali Ramalinga was born in a Telugu Brahmin family as Garlapati Ramakrishna. His father was Garlapati Ramayya, who served as a priest in the Ramalingesvara swami temple in Tenali. [3][4]

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. [5]

Literary Works[edit]

Tenali Rama was noted for his brilliance and wit.[6] Tenali Ramakrishna's work, Panduranga Mahatyam,[7] is dedicated to Panduranga, a form of Lord Vishnu. He took the theme for Panduranga Mahatyam from the Skanda Purana and enhanced it with many stories about the devotees of God Vitthala. [8] [9]

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.[2][10] However, he has great devotion for Vaishnavism aswell which is reflected in his work Panduranga Mahatyam .

Tenali Ramakrishna's great work Panduranga Mahatyam 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). [11]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ vikatakavi tenali rama. 
  2. ^ a b c Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. 
  3. ^ Images 6. 
  4. ^ The Journal of Oriental Research. 
  5. ^ Tenali Ramakrishna. 
  6. ^ Jyotsna Atre. Tales of Tenali Rama. Unicorn Books. ISBN 8178060671. 
  7. ^ Jackson 2005, p. 139.
  8. ^ M. Indira Devi, 1988. A History of Telugu Literature. 
  9. ^ Jyotsna Atre. Tales of Tenali Rama. Unicorn Books. 
  10. ^ Nārla Veṅkaṭēśvararāvu. Studies in the history of Telugu journalism. Andhra Pradesh Book Distributors, Secunderabad, 1968. 
  11. ^ Chenchiah, Bhujanga. A History of Telugu Literature. 
  12. ^ Tenali Rama
  13. ^ The Hindu Online | Adventures of Tenali Rama Article dated June 20, 2003 by Savitha Gautam, accessed on October 20, 2008

External links[edit]