Rajaraja Narendra

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Statue of King Rajaraja Narendra founder of Rajahmundry city

Rajaraja Narendra (Telugu: రాజరాజ నరేంద్రుడు) (1022–1061 CE) was the Eastern Chalukya king of the Vengi or Vengai Nadu(as recorded in inscriptions) kingdom in South India. Rajaraja was related to the Cholas of Tanjavur by marital and political links. Rajaraja Narendra established the city Rajahmahendravaram(Rajahmundry). His period was famous for the Social and Cultural heritage. During the time of Rajaraja Chola I, Rajahmundry got sacked. The region witnessed war between Cholas and other neighbouring dynasties and Chalukya dynasty. The solution to strengthen the feudatorial relationship with their overlord Cholas was marriage of state between the Rajaraja Narendra and the daughter of Rajendra Chola. The feudatorial relationship with the powerful Cholas of Tamil Country continued for two centuries.

Literary works during his time[edit]

At the time of Rajaraja Narendra, two literary works in Kannada language, viz., Vikramarjuna Vijayam and Gadayuddam already popularized the story of Sanskrit Mahabharata in Karnataka. Tamil translations of Mahabharata were available by the Seventh and Eighth centuries. But, Puranas were not available in Telugu. brahmins used to recite Puranaas such as Sanskrit Mahabharata in Temples and courts.

Eastern Chalukya Dynasty supported Jainism and Shaivism. Rajaraja Narendra was a Shaivite. He respected Brahmin priests, Sanskrit language and religion. He learned from the success of Jains and Buddhists that a good way to popularize religion and Puranas was to translate them into Telugu. Even a thousand years before, Buddhism and Jainism became very popular using local languages for their sermons and teachings. So, Rajaraja Narendra requested his teacher, adviser and court poet Nannayya Bhattaraka to translate Sanskrit Mahabharata into Telugu for his subjects.

He almost created his own version of Andhra Mahabharatamu by modification, addition and deletion, while maintaining the story line. His language was very sanskritized and was pleasurable to the reader.

See also[edit]