Poets of Andhra


(Telugu:: అష్టదిగ్గజులు) is the collective title given to the eight Telugu poets in the court of the emperor Sri Krishna Deva Raya who ruled the Vijayanagara Empire from 1509 until his death in 1529. During his reign, Telugu literature and culture reached its zenith. In his court, eight poets were regarded as the eight pillars of his literary assembly. The age of Astadiggajsa is called Prabandha Age (1540 AD to 1600).[1] All of the Astadiggajalu had composed at least one Prabandha Kavyamu and it was Astadiggajalu who gave Prabhanda its present form.[2] Most of the Astadiggajas are from southern part of present day Andhra Pradesh state (Rayalaseema, Nellore)[2] and Astadiggajas, Allasani Peddana, Dhurjati, Nandi Thimmana, Madayyagari Mallana and Ayyalaraju Ramabhadrudu are from the Rayalaseema region. Tenali Ramakrishna hailed from the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.


These poets were Allasani Peddana, Nandi Thimmana, Madayyagari Mallana, Dhurjati, Ayyalaraju Ramambhadrudu, Pingali Surana, Ramarajabhushanudu, and Tenali Ramakrishnudu. The most famous being Allasani Peddana honoured with the title Andhrakavitapitamaha (grand-father of Telugu poetry) and Tenali Ramakrishna, Krishnadevaraya's court jester who authored several acclaimed works












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Unnava Lakshminarayana (1877-1959):








 Known for his famous novel Mala Palli (The Harijan Colony), Lakshminarayana was also an ardent freedom fighter who launched a crusade against untouchability. The novel combines within itself both social realism and spiritual idealism, a rare combination to be found in a single novel.


Rayaprolu Subba Rao (1892-1984):








Rayaprolu is hailed as one of the pioneers of modern Telugu literature.Lalitha, Andhravali, Truna Kankanam (Grass Bracelet), Kashta Kamala (Kamala in Distress), Ramyalokam (Aesthetic Perception) and Jadakutchulu (Braid Ornaments) are some of his principal works. Andhravali si considered as the watershad in Telugu literature for its modernity of themes such as naturalism, rural life, platonic love, a sense of history and fierce nationalism.


Viswanatha Satyanarayan (1895-1976): 







Won the Jnanpith award for his Ramayana Kalpa Vriksham and is the author of more than a 100 works. He won the Sahitya Academy Award for his Madhyakkaras and also was conferred the title of Padma Bushan..His Veyi Padagalu (A Thousand Hoods) is the most outstanding of his novels.


Nori Narasimha Sastry (1900-1980):

N.N Sastry was a poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist, critic and translator. A versatile and prolific writer, he laid his hands on all the literary genres, but it was the novel and particularly the historical novel which brought him fame and popularity. Narayanabattu, Rudramadevi and Mallareddiare are the major novels penned by him. The uniqueness of his novels is that each novel has a great poet as its central character.


Kodavatiganti Kutumba Rao (1909): 








 A prolific story writer, Rao produced 400 stories..His principal works are Chadvvu, Braduku Bhayam, Kalalushastriya Vijnanam, Kalabhairavudu and Karunyam.

Tripuraneni Gopichand (1910-1962):






Telugu novelist, short story writer, editor, essayist, playwright and film director, Gopichand's writings are ramarkable for an interplay of values, ideas and 'isms' -- materialism, rationalism, existentialism, realism and humanism. He is celebrated for his second novel Asamardhuni Javayatra (The Incompetent's Life Journey).This is the first psychological novel in Telugu literature.

Srirangam Srinivasarao (1910-1983): 







Known for the landmark anthology Mahaprasthanam (The Great March), Srinivasarao was a pioneer of the progressive poetry in Telugu. His poetry took an amazing leap and astounding depth when he wrote the Desa Charitralu (History of Nations). He was acknowkedged as Mahakavi of the New Proletarian Age.


Puttaparthi Narayanacharya (1914-1990):








Narayanacharya was a front-ranking classical poet, literary critic, composer, musicologist, translator and polyglot. He has about 50 works of poetry to his credit.. Considered an authority on the history and literature of the Vijaynagar period, he has written in Telugu extensively on Sanskrit, Prakrit, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam literatures..He has about 3000 musical compositions in Telugu and Sanskrit to his credit and 200 of them have been notated by himself. He had the unique and ironic experience of having written a poetic work called Penugonda Lakshmi at the age of 14, prescribed as a text when he took the Vidwan examination in his thirtees. Shivathandavam (The Cosmic Dance of Shiva) is the most representative of his genius.


Baliwada Kantharao (1927):

Kantharao is the author of many works including Vamsadhara and Daga Padina Tammudu (The betrayed Younger Brother) and also hundreds of stories.

Vasireddy Seethadevi (1933):






Seetahdevi is an acclaimed writer in Telugu. She has published around 40 novels and 10 short story collections. Mattimanishi (Son of Mother Earth) is one of her best novels. The novel is a landmark in modern Telugu fiction. 

Yogi Vemana

Of Vemana's history, little is known. He was not a Brahmin but a capoo, or a farmer; a native of Cuddapah district and born, I believe, in the neighborhood of Gandicotta. He lived in the beginning of the eighteenth century. It is said that in a verse he has fixed the date of birth which is believed to have been his own. This date coincides with A.D. 1652. The date is given in the cycle of sixty years; but which cycle is intended is unknown. Many verses, however, prove satisfactorily that he wrote in the latter part of the 17th century when the Mohamedans were governors of that part of India. His family was powerful, but that he renounced the world and became a sanyasee or ascetic. He calls himself a yogee. 

Madhurantakam Rajaram

Madhurantakam Rajaram has been contributing to Telugu literature for more than four decades. He left no genre of literature untouched. He writes novels, plays, essays and lyrics besides short stories. Yet he is more well known as a short story writer. The author himself once said, "I am a short story writer ... it is in the short story that I could find out my medium of expression. It overwhelmed me by completely occupying my consciousness. It made me laugh. It haunted me and taunted me. It also made me shed tears ... I was in ecstasy when I realised that a writer could successfully communicate his impression as intensely as he experienced to the reader."

Madhurantakam Rajaram is adept at realistic portrayal of life. He comes from Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh which has its own identity. There the life style is different, especially of the village folk, who are naive, down to earth, loving, caring yet bearing the burden of poverty as stoically as they can. Their hard life with its day to day problems has not hardened their attitudes and perceptions. All these aspects and many other nuances get reflected in Madhurantakam Rajaram Kathalu which won the Sahitya Akademi Award for 1993.

Kandukuri Veeresalingam

Kandukuri Veeresalingam (1848-1919) and Paravastu Chinnayasuri are considered prophets of Modern Andhra. Veeresalingam awakened Andhras out of their suffocating medieval orthodox customs and superstitions. He was not only a reformer, but also a literary activist. His literary activities were varied. He was the first to write a Telugu novel, Telugu drama, books on natural sciences and history in Telugu, and Telugu prose for women. He was considered the father of renaissance in Andhra.
Veeresalingam was born into a poor Brahmin family on 16 April 1848 at Rajamundry. His father was Subbarayudu and mother was Purnamma. He lost his father at the age of four. In spite of poverty, his mother sent him to the Government District School. He finished Matriculation in 1869 and worked as a teacher in Korangi Town. Later he worked in Rajamundry City as a Senior Telugu Pundit. 




Sumathi Sethakamu
Vaemana Sethakamu
Daasaradhee Sethakamu
Kumaara Sethakamu
Bhaaskara Sethakamu
Kaalahastheeswara Sethakamu
Krishna Sethakamu
Ambikaa Sethakamu
Raamalingaeswara Sethakamu
Jaanaki raama Sethakamu
Vaenugopaala Sethakamu
Madanagopaala Sethakamu
Narayana Sethakamu
Barthtuhari Sethakamu(Telugu)
Bhadhradhri raama Sethakamu
Nrusimha Sethakamu
Sivadaeva Sethakamu
Raghuveera Sethakamu
Ambikaa Sethakamu
Venkateswara Sethakamu
Aanjaneya Sethakamu
Kukkutaeswara Sethakamu
Yama Sethakamu
Veeranaarayana Sethakamu


Kancherla goapanna
Ficci appala narasu
Soorana kavi
Dhoorjati kavi
Nrusimha kavi
Raavipaati Tripuraanthakudu
Aadidhamu Soorakavi
Vaelpoori venkata kavi
Chaekoori Sidhdhaih
Chengalva raamakavi
Yerramilli suryaprakashakavi
Bammera Pothana
Yaenugu Lakshmanakavi
Paavuloori mallana
Saeshappa kavi
Sivadaeva manthri
Ayyala raju
Raavipaati Tripuraanthakudu
Taallapaaka chinnanna
Ayyala raju
Koochimanchi timmana
Ganapavarapu venkata kavi
Raavuri sanjeeva kavi