Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

Kannada Inscriptions-Rashtrakuta Dynasty-UPENN-Kannada Influence on TELEGU

Historical Grammar of Old Kannada (Based entirely on the Kannada inscriptions of the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries A.D.). Dissertation Series, no. 1.



History of Kannada Language – Google Books Result

by Ramanujapuram Narasimhacharya – 1990 – Religion – 337 pages
The influence of Kannada in ancient times in what .is now known as the Telugu country is evidenced by the Kannada titles applied in old Telugu inscriptions


With the ending of the Gupta
Dynasty in northern India in the early sixth century, major
changes began taking place in the Deccan south of the Vindyas and
in the southern regions of India. These changes were not only
political but also linguistic and cultural. The royal courts of
peninsular India (outside of Tamilakam)
interfaced between the increasing use of the local Kannada language
and the expanding Sanskritic culture. Inscriptions, including those
that were bilingual, demonstrate the use of Kannada as the primary
administrative language in conjunction with Sanskrit. [1] [1]
Government archives used Kannada for recording pragmatic
information relating to grants of land. [1] The local language
formed the desi (popular) literature while literature in
Sanskrit was more marga (formal). Educational institutions
and places of higher learning (ghatikas) taught in
Sanskrit, the language of the learned Brahmins, while Kannada
increasingly became the speech of personal expression of devotional
closeness of a worshipper to a private deity. The patronage Kannada
received from rich and literate Jains eventually led to its use in
the devotional movements of
later centuries. [1]

Contemporaneous literature and inscriptions show that Kannada
was not only popular in the modern Karnataka region but the
linguistic change had spread further north into present day
southern Maharashtra and to the northern Deccan by the eighth
century. [1] Kavirajamarga, the work on poetics, refers to the
entire region between the Kaveri River and the Godavari River as
“Kannada country”. [1] [1] [1] Higher education in
Sanskrit included the subjects of Veda,
Vyakarana (grammar), Jyotisha (astronomy and
astrology), Sahitya (literature), Mimansa
(Exegesis), Dharmashastra (law), Puranas
(ritual), and Nyaya (logic). An examination of
inscriptions from this period shows that the Kavya (classical) style of writing was
popular. The awareness of the merits and defects in inscriptions by
the archivists indicates that even they, though mediocre poets, had
studied standard classical literature in Sanskrit. [1] An
inscription in Kannada by King Krishna
III, written in a poetic Kanda metre, has been found as far
away as Jabalpur in modern Madhya Pradesh. [1] Kavirajamarga, a work
on poetics in Kannada by Amoghavarsha I, shows that the study of
poetry was popular in the Deccan during this time. Trivikrama’s
Sanskrit writing, Nalachampu, is perhaps the earliest in
the champu style from the Deccan. [1]

Source: http://wapedia.mobi/en/Rashtrakuta_Dynasty?p=2#4.5.


9th century old Kannada inscription at
Navalinga temple in Kuknur, Karnataka



9th century old Kannada inscription at
Navalinga temple in Kuknur, Karnataka



November 10, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada | 4 Comments

HISTORY of RAICHUR Dt.-Website-KANNADA INSCRIPTIONS-Literary & Cultural Activities


Raichur is very rich from the epigraphical point of view also. It has already yielded hundreds of inscriptions, ranging right from the Mauryan period upto the end of the Muslim period, in a variety of languages like Sanskrit, Prakrit, Kannada, Arabic and Persian and belonging to almost all the dynasties that ruled over the Dekkan. The most important places from this point of view are Maski, Koppal, Kuknur, Mudgal and Raichur.

The District of Raichur was a part of the Hyderabad State till the re-organisation of State on 1st November 1956. The recorded history of the district is traced to as far back as the third century B.C. The fact that three minor rock edicts of Ashoka are found in this district one at Maski in the Lingasugur taluk and the other two near Koppal, prove that this area was included in the dominions of the great Mauryan king Ashoka (273 – 236 B.C.). At that time, this region was under the governance of the Viceroy or Mahamatra of Ashoka. Early in the Christian era, the district appears to have been a part of the kingdom of the Satavahanas. The Vakatakas, who reigned during the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., seem to have held sway over Raichur for sometime, after which it appears to have been included in the Kadamba dominions. The next dynasty of importance, which ruled over this region, was that of the Chalukyas of Badami. According to an inscription from Aihole, Pulikeshi-II having defeated the Pallavas, occupied this area and made it a province in his empire under the governance of his son Adityavarma. Later the whole of the present Raichur district was included in the dominions of the Rashtrakutas, who rose to power in the eighth century, as could be gathered from the inscriptions of that period found in this district. According to an inscription from Manvi taluk, one Jagattunga, a subordinate ruler under the Rashtrakuta king Krishna-II, was ruling the province of Adedore Eradusavirapranta, i.e., the area constituting the present Raichur district. Nripatunga, a Rashtrakuta king, has described Koppal in his Kannada work, Kavirajamarga, as the great Kopananagara.

Numerous inscriptions of the Chalukyas of Kalyana, found in the various parts of the district, testify to the fact that this region was under their sway for a considerable length of time between the 10th and 12th centuries A.D. It is learnt from an inscription found at Naoli in Lingsugur taluk that during the reign of Chalukya Vikramaditya-V, the Adedore-pranta, i.e., the Raichur region, was being ruled by his younger brother Jagadekamalla-I. Another inscription from Maski describes the place as a capital and makes a reference to the reign of Jayasimha. There were, however, frequent wars between the Chola kings of the south and the Chalukyan kings of Kalyana for supremacy over the Raichur region and the territory had passed into the hands of the cholas for a brief period. The Haihayas and Sindas also seem to have ruled some parts of this region for sometime. Later, after the fall of the Chalukyas, Raichur passed into the hands of the Kalachuri kings. Then came the Kakatiyas in the 13th century. From an inscription on the fort-wall of Raichur, referred to earlier, it is learn that the original fort was built by one Gore Gangayya Reddy, a general of the Kakatiya queen Rudramma Devi of Warangal, in 1294 A.D., at the instance of the latter.

The district of Raichur has a hoary past. It has had an eventful & rich beginning from the days of the Mauryan King Ashoka. A number of inscriptions, rocks edicts & other records, temples, forts & battlefields bear testimony to this fact. Lying between two important Kingdoms. In the recent past, it was a part, it was a part of the princely State of Hyderabad, and since the 1st November 1956, it is a constituent district of the Mysore State.

Origin of the name of RAICHUR

The district derives its name from its headquarters town Raichur (origin of name Rayachooru in Kannada), as do most of the other districts also in the State. Though many of the villagers round about still call the place by the earlier from of the name which is Rayachooru, however, in modern times, it has come to be generally written and pronounced in Kannada as Rayachooru. The name of this place which is of considerable antiquity, can be traced back to the Twelfth Century at least. As Dr. P.B. Desai has pointed out the Raichur fortress was one of the fortresses conquered by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. This is evident from at least Three of the Hoysala inscriptions in Kannada. In the earliest of these three inscriptions which was found at Hulkera in Belur taluk of Hassan district (numbered Belur 193 in Epigraphyia Carnatica, Vol V, PartI, 1902) and which belong to the year 1161 A.D. and the region of Hoysala Narasimha I, mention is made of the Perddore (the Krishna river) as the northern boundary of Vishnuvardhana’s Kingdom and the Rachavoor as one of the places conquered by Vishnuvardhana while still a youth.

The second of these inscriptions which was discovered at Hatana in Nagamamgala taluk of the present Manday district Numbered Nagamangala 70 in Epigraphia Carnatica, Vol IV-Part II,1898) and which is dated 1178 A.D. when Hoysala Vira-Ballala II was ruling, refers to Permmana (ie., Permma+na) Rachavoor as one of the numerous forts which Vishnuvardhana captured with a frown . This lithic record indicates that the place was known at the time as Permma’s Rachavoor, this Permma being probably a local chieftain, the third of these inscriptions, which is from Hirehalli in Belur taluk of Hassan district (numbered Belur 137 in Epigraphia carnatica, Vol. V-part I, 1902) and which is dated 1183 A.D. and is also the reign of Hoysals Vira-Ballala II enumerates Rachavoor as one of the places which Vishnuvardhana captured by the might of his arm.

From the context of enumeration of places in these inscriptions and other account of exploits of Vishnuvardhana, it becomes clear that the place referred to above as Rachavoor or Rachanoor is Raichur of the present days. Racha being derived from Raja (i.e., King) and oor meaning a place of town. Rachavoor (Racha + oor) or Rachanoor (Racha+na+oor) means in Kannada King’s place showing that it was already an important town in Kannada country. By 1294 A.D., Permmana Rachavoor or Rachanoor had been shortened into Rachoor or Rachooru as is clear from a Kakatiya inscription of that year found on the fort-wall of Raichur itself. That this form of the name for the place continued during the Vijayanagara times, at least upto 1541 A.D., is known from two Kannada inscriptions of that year found at Alampur (now in Mahaboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh ) which says that the king Krishnadevaraya captured Rachoor by his expendition in the north. Thus it is obvious that this historical Rachoor or Rachooru underwent a further slight change in recent times with the addition of ya between Ra and cha to become the present Rayachooru (Ra+ya+cha+oor) . The ya here might be the second letter of the word Raya meaning again king. In Hindi and Urdu the equivalent of Raya being Rai, it seems to have become the practice to spell the name as Raichur in Urdu, later bringing that usage into vogue in English as well.

It is narrated that a chieftain on witnessing a strange spectacle of a rabbit turning on a dog that pursued him and tearing the latter (dog) to pieces at this spot, thought that the scene of this heroic and unusual action was a fit place for building a fort and accordingly constructed a formidable fort and named the place as Naichur which, in Kannada, connotes the idea of the dog being torn to pieces. The present name, Raichur, is said to be have derived from that Naichur. But this kind of the story is repeated in respect of many forts. It is also said that Rai meaning stone in Telugu, with ooru (town), gave rise to Rajooru, that is, a town of stones (because of rocks in the vicinity) which becomes Rayachooru or Raichooru. These and such other stories can be said to be only conjectures, in view of the clear historical evidence about the name already explained. It appears that Raichur had been once renamed Ferozenagar by a Bahmani Sulthan, but the appellation did not stick on to it and it continued to be called by the old name only.





Literary & Cultural Activities

Raichur district has rich cultural traditions and has been playing an important role in the field of literary activities since early times. The temples and mathas were centers of cultural, literary and social activities. A galaxy of eminent personalities, who shone in the cultural field, hailed from this district. Rulers of powerful kingdoms like those of the Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas, of Viajayanagara and of the Bahmanis and Adil Shahs, which arose in the vicinity of the district, were great patrons of arts and letters. There were independent Bhakti movements pioneered by Sharanas and Haridasas who were dedicated souls and many of whom have left a deep impress on the literature and culture of the Kannada country.

In the 11th century, nearly a 100 years before the time of Sri Basaveshvara, Naoli, in Lingsugur taluk, was known for two reputed vachanakaras, namely, Shankara Dasimayya and Dhakkeya Marayya. They were the beginners of the vachana style which produced, in the following centuries, a unique treasure of Kannada literature. In the 12th century, Ayadakki Marayya of Amareshwara in Lingsugur taluk, his wife Ayadakki Lakkamma, and Bibbi Bacharasa of Gabbur made a notable mark as vachanakaras. In the 16th century, Lingannacharya of Kallur wrote Vararamya-Ratnakara in Bhamini-shatpadi metre.

During the times of the Vijayanagara kings, the mathas were re-organised, and during the reigns especially of Proudha Devaraya and Krishnadeva Raya, cultivation of arts and letters received a great impetus. The great Haridasa tradition was propagated in Raichur district by several eminent saints like Vijayadasa, Gopaladasa and Jagannathadasa in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Vijayadasa was born in 1687 A.D., at Chikalparvi in Manvi taluk in very humble circumstances. At an early age, he went to Varanasi for education. It is said to have composed 25,000 songs, the largest number of Kannada songs, ranking second after Purandaradasa in that respect. Gopaladasa, born in 1717 A.D., at Masarkal of Deodurg taluk, was a disciple of Vijayadasa. Gopaladasa is well known for his songs, which are full of devotion. There is hardly a topic, which he has not dealt with concerning mysticism. Jagannathadasa was born in 1727 A.D., in a family of Kukarnis (village accountants) at Biagwat, a village in Manvi taluk. He was called Jagannatha Vitthala by Gopaladasa. He was an eminent scholar of Sanskrit and a proficient writer in Kannada. He composed a number of devotional songs and wrote a learned treatise called Harikathamritasara. He was admired by Purnaiya, the great Dewan of Mysore.

Manohar Vitthala of Buddinni in Manvi taluk, earlier called as Buddinni Desai Narayanappa, was a disciple of Sri Gopaladasa. He lived about 175 years back. He wrote Raghavendraguru Stotra, Manmathavilasa, Sri Krishna Jayantikatha, Gadayuddha, Sankocha Bharata, Anantakathe and other works.

Vasudeva Vitthala, whose earlier name was Venkataramacharya and later known as Paramahamsa Vyasattvagna, was a famous saint of the 18th century (1705-1801 A.D.) He was a great devotee of Sri Raghavendraswamy of Mantryalaya. He is said to have performed many miracles. He was proficient both in Sanskrit and Kannada. He wrote 13 works in Sanskrit, of which his treatises on Manasasmriti and Upasanabhaga and his comments on the seventh canto of Bhagavata are well known. In Kannada, he wrote ten ugabhogas, sixteen suladis and hundreds of padas.

Praneshadasa (Pranesh Vitthala 1744-1822), whose former name was Yogappa, was born in Lingsugur taluk. He is said to have served his guru, Jagannathadasa, for nearly sixteen years. He was the author of Parth-Vilasa, Veerabhadra-Vilasa, Aniruddha-vialasa and 12 other Harikathas and rendered Vayustuti into Kannada and composed several ugabhogas and suladis and hundreds of padas.

The other famous Dasas were Panganama Thimmanna Dasa, Kallur Subbannacharya, Guru Pranesha, Sreesha Pranesha Vitthala, Guru Sreesha Vitthala, Ananda Dasa, ModalakalSeshadasa, Sri Varadesha Vitthala, Srinivasa Vitthala, Asigyala Govinda Dasa, Manvi Gundacharya, Lingsugur Padmanabha Dasa, Panduranga Rao Kasbe, etc., and a number of others strove earnestly to continue the Haridasa tradition.

During the 18th century, there were also a good number of Veerashaiva writers. Sangavibhu of Ganekal wrote Kumara Vijaya (a Champoo kavya) and three Shatakas, namely, Basava Shataka, Pampa Shataka and Bhuvanaika-Nayaki Shataka. Ganamathadarya was the author of Bhakti-Sudharasa, while Kudlur Basavalinga Sharma wrote Brahmatatva-Ratnakara and Channamalla Kavi of Deodurg wrote Karuneshwara-Purana.

The famous writers of the 19th century were Veerabhadra kavi, the author of Aravattumuru Puratanara Purana, Gugal Parappayya who was the author of Anubhava Padyagalu and Mariswamy who also composed Anubhava Padyagalu. The late Kaviratna Chenna kavi and Maski Basavappa Sastry were famous for their Puranas. The famous works of Chenna kavi are : Hemareddy Mallammana Purana, Anagal Kumareshwara Purana, Sollapurada Nalwathar Veereshwara Purana, Mulagunda Balaveera Mahanta Shivayogi Purana, Gowlakere Annadaneshwara Purana and other works.

The research work of late Gorebala Hanumantha Rao of Lingsugur in the field of Dasa Sahitya (the literature of Dasas), has brought to light the works of several Dasas (through Varadendra Sahitya Mandala, Lingsugur) who strove hard to propagate the Dasa tradition. He brought out more than 50 works containing keertanas of several Dasas. It was also discovered that there were Harijans and Muslims too among the Dasas. During the twenties and thirtees of the present century, the literary and cultural activities gained a considerable momentum through the strenuous efforts of Pandit Taranath (1891-1942), an eminent thinker, linguist and social worker, who hailed from South Kanara District but spent many active years of his life in the Raichur region. He attracted a number of devoted followers whom he inspired to work earnestly for the country. He wrote Dharma Sambhava, Dharmada Tirulu and other works, which are thought- provoking. He was highly proficient in Ayurveda also and trained up many youths in that medical science. He founded the Hamdard High School at Raichur. The late Kallinatha Shastri Puranik wrote Puranas, like his father Kaviratna Chenna kavi, of which Sharana Basaveshwara Purana, Gudleshwara Purana, Belwantara Chennabasaveshwara Purana and Itagi Bhimambika Purana are well known. He has written also plays, songs and other works. Late Prof. D.K.Bhimasen Rao of Bidgi in Manvi taluk, who worked as the Head of the Kannada Department of Osmania University, was responsible for fostering Kannada movement in Hyderabad through Kannada Sahitya Mandir and Nizam Karnatak Sahitya Parishat. His literary contributions are Hadimurane Shatamanda Karnataka, Andhra, Maharashtra Sahitya Avalokana, Shabdamani Darpanada Pathantaragalu Mattu Harikathamrita and Humale (a collection of poems edited), etc.

Late Sri Manvi Narasinga Rao, who worked for the cause of Kannada through Kannada Sahitya Mandir, Hyderabad, contributed to the Kannada literature Saraswati Tatva (a collection of essays) and Kannada Yatre (a travelogue), etc. He was mainly responsible for organizing the Nizam Karnatak Sahitya Parishat. Sri Tawag Bhimasen Rao of Tawag in Lingsugur taluk, a retired Kannada Lecturer, made a notable contribution by establishing Kannada Shitya Sangha in Gulbarga which has become a nucleus of many Kannada activities. His contributions are mostly in the form of articles or criticism published in literary journals like Prabuddha Karnataka. Sri Siddayya Puranik (son of the late Sri Kallinatha Shastri Puranik), an administrator, whose pen-name is Kavyananda, is one of the present-day eminent poets. His Manasa Sarovara, a collection of poems, won him a State award and his Thuppa Rotti Ge Ge Ge (children’s poems) won him a National award. He has written three dramas namely Atmarpana, Rajatarekhe and Bharataveera, two collections of stories, namely, tusharahara and Kathamanjari, and a novel, namely, Tribuvanamalla. Sharanacharitamrita is his other well known book of life-sketches of sixty-three Sharanas. Besides, he has edited Kannada Padya Ratnakara, Srikara Prabandhamale, Subodha-Sara, Mahatma Kanakadasa Prashasti and Sharanaprasada. His other works are Jalapata, Karana Sravana, Kallolamale, Modala Manavanagu, Vikasa Vani, etc. His brother Sri Annadanayya Puranik has written Channabasava Shitya, Bhageeratha Nyayadarshana, etc. Dr.S.M.Hunashal, Principal of the Hamdard Higher Secondary School, Raichur, has published several works both in English and Kannada, among which are the Veerashaiva Social Philosophy, Puratana Shraneyara Vachanagalu, Bharatada Samskritiya Ithihasa and Vichara Taranga (a collection of poems). Pandit D.M.Sharma has published a Kannada work entitled Amareshwara Purana. Shantarasa, a teacher by profession, has published a collection of poems called Musuku-tere; he is also the author of Satyasnehi, Nanjumorevalu and Manasagalli (poems), and has edited Siddharama, Kalyanadeepa, Basava Shataka and other works. Sri Jaithirth Rajpurohit, another administrator, is a noted novelist and a short-story writer. Suligali, a novel of his, won him a prize in 1968 in a competition. His other literary contributions are Paravvana Panchayati, Rohini (short stories), Halu Jenu (novel), Thungeyangaladalli (plays in verse) and Kanakagireesha Charite. Sri Chandrashekhara Sastry of Raichur has brought out several works on philosophy, while Vidwan Sri Veereshwara Shastry, a journalist and editor of Amaravani (a local monthly), has written a commentary on Bhava-Chintaratna of Gubbi Mallanarya. Sri Gadwal Shankarappa of Raichur, the organizer of Sangadigar Samithi, has been responsible for publication of several books brought out by young writers. He has also written Avale Ivalu, Brahma Tatva Ratnakara and Hariharana Kathegalu. Prof. T.Srikanthaiah of the L.V.D. College, Raichur, has written Arivu (a collection of poems) and Hariharanu Chitrisiruva Kelavu Sharanaru; he has also edited Shabara Shankara Vilasa.

To the credit of Sri Chennabasava Swamigalu of Naradagadde, a religious place, are works of literary and spiritual value such as Savijenu, Swayamprabha, Antaranga (being collections of his vachanas) and Sri Gurusannidhi. Sri Kushtagi Raghavendra Rao is working in Mysore University as a research worker on Dasa Sahitya. Sri Devendra Kumar Hakari, a Lecturer in Karnatak University, Dharwar, has written Chinmayi, Ache Eche, Chelva Kogile and Koogutive Kallu, while Sri Panchakshari Hiremath, another noted writer of Raichur district, has written a novel Borban Club serialized in a journal. In additiona to the above person, mention may be made of several others such as Sriyuths : the late Sugaveera Sharma and Manikya Rao, G.Krishna Rao, Jambanna, Hanumnthachar Updhyay, Amarananda, Vsanta Kushtagi, Vasudeva Bhat, Kanthannanavar, Basavaiah, Seetharam Jagirdar and so on who have earnestly contributed to Kannada literature.






November 10, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada, EKAVI RAICHUR | 3 Comments

RAICHUR-District-Places of Interest-KANNADA Inscriptions-Maski-Matmari-Mudgal-

Places of Interest

The district of Raichur is rich in historical associations and cultural traditions. It has a considerable number of places, which are of interest from the points of view of history, archaeology, religion, culture, modern development, etc. A brief account of some of the more important places of interest in the district are :


Bichal, in Raichur taluk, is noted for the Matha of Sri Saviradevaru Channaveera Shivacharya Swami.


Deodurg is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name and is about 34 miles west of Raichur. It was formerly a stronghold of Bidar chieftains and has an old fort. Nearby, there is a hill, which contains talc.


Devarbhupur, in Lingsugur taluk, about 11 miles from Lingsugur, is noted for its Amareshwara temple and jaggery trade. The temple is beautifully situated amidst hillocks, which have green foliage. Under the auspices of this temple, annually a big jatra takes place in the month of Phalguna when a cattle fair is also held.


Devarsugur, in Raichur taluk, situated on the right bank of the Krishna river, is noted for its Sugureshwara or Veerabhadra temple. The annual jatra of this temple, held in the month of Margashira, attracts a large number of people.


Gabbur, in Deodurg taluk, has several old temples and inscriptions. In the old days, it was a center of education and was also known as Gopuragrama. The most important of the temples are those of Male-Shankara, Venkateshwara, Ishwara, Bangara Basappa and Hanuman. In addition to these, there are several ruined temples, two or three mathas, a few cisterns and a gateway called the Chandi-gage with a temple on either side of it. The Male-Shankara temple is built of rough grey stone and has a high plinth. The carving in the temple is plain on account of the roughness of the stone. There are two inscriptional tablets at the northern and western entrances and there is a large cistern in front of the temple.

The temple of Venkateshwara consists of three shrines, two of them containing the images of Vishnu and the third a linga. The carving on the outer walls of this temple, representing figures of various deities and animals, are elegent, the figures of elephants being particularly striking. On the eastern side of the temple, there is a large cistern, with beautifully carved masonry steps all round, called Sat baoli or seven cisterns. One of the mathas here is called Ganni Gudi Matha. It has a beautifully carved door. There is a tank, which is now in ruins. The Bangara Basappa temple has a shrine with an image of Ganesha, two Nandis (one is of fairly large in size and the other is a small one) and an inscriptional tablet. Gabbur has enclosure walls round it, which are of different periods and in different states of decay. The square form of their bastions is considered to be Muslim in design.

According to inscription dated 1109 A.D., belonging to the reign of Vikramaditya VI of the Chalukyas of Kalyana, now placed in the Hyderabad Archaelogical Museum but originally belonging to a Jaina Temple at Gabbur, the place (then called Gobbur or Hiriya Gobbur) was an agrahara town in the 12th century A.D. The same record states that it had also a Jaina temple called Brahma-Jinalaya or Nagara-Jinalaya.


Gandhal, in Raichur taluk, which is situated about 20 miles south of Raichur, has a well known temple of Panchamukhi Prana Devaru (Hanuman with five faces) on a hillock. Visitors to Mantralaya (now in Andhra Pradesh) make it a point to visit this temple also.


Gurugunta, in Lingsugur taluk, was the chief town of a small principality (samsthana) of Naiks related to the chiefs of Kankgiri and Shorapur. In the old days, these chiefs owed allegiance to Viajayanagara kings or Adil Shahs of Bijapur. The Gurugunta samsthana had survived under the Nizams and was merged in the district in 1949.

Hutti (Camp & Village)

Hutti, in Lingsugur taluk, about 11 miles from Lingsugur, is well known for its gold mines.


Jaladurga, in Lingsugur taluk, is an island fort situated picturesquely in the Krishna river, about eight miles from Lingsugur. It was an important fort of the Adil Shahs of Bijapur, and Meadows Taylor has given a fine description of it in his book, Noble Queen (1874).


Jawalgera, in Sindhanur taluk, is about 54 miles from Raichur. A Central State Farm has been started near this place, with an area of 7.569 acres.


Kadlur, in Raichur taluk, is looked upon as a sacred place. To the north of this village, the Bhima joins the Krishna. According to an inscription found at Chikalparvi, the Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya visited this pilgrim center with his family and offered worship.


Kallur, in Manvi taluk, is a large village, about 13 miles from Raichur. The village is surrounded on all sides by granite hills except the east and derives its name from the abundance of the boulders on these hills. The village and the hills around are full of antiquities.

The present village, which is a modern growth, is surrounded by an old wall, which appears to be a work of the 13th or 14th century A.D. But the five gates appear to be of Muslim period. Two of them, which are not in much use, have no names. The other three are called after the towns to which they lead, Manvi Darwaza, Kalmala Darwaza and Raichur Darwaza. The gates are more or less in a ruined condition. The superstructure of the Raichur Darwaza, which has been pulled down to construct the chavadi in the village, contained a wooden inscription in Kannada. According to this inscription, which now forms part of the ceiling of the chavadi building, the gateway was constructed by Agha Khusru, a well known Adil Shahi dignitary.

There are six temples in and around the village. Out of these, only the Markandeshwara temple deserves some notice. This seems to be the oldest temple in the village and its hall has some pillars of black polished stone with beautiful carvings on them. A number of inscriptions have been found in this village, most of them belonging to the period of the Chalukyas of Kalyana.

Another interesting feature of Kallur is that there are many large and well-built wells. Five of these wells are very spacious, which have been built of solid masonry and have flights of steps leading to their base. It is not known when and by whom they were constructed. The largest well is 50 feet X 50 feet on the surface and about 120 feet deep and contains sweet water.


Kalmala, in Raichur taluk, about 9 miles from Raichur, has the samadhi of a noted saint, Kariappa Tata.


Kavital, in Manvi taluk, is a large village, situated on the Raichur-Lingsugur road, about 40 miles from Raichur and 18 miles from Lingsugur. There is a hillock to the south-west of the village which has several natural caverns. Along the slopes of the hill, artifacts, iron slag and pieces of ancient pottery were found. To the west of the village is an ash-mound on the top of which, in later times, a temple has been built. The ash-mound marks the site of an old smelting factory. There is an interesting medieval temple in the village, called Tryambakeshwara temple, which has three shrines, two of which contain lingas. There are two Kannada inscriptions in the temple and a beautiful image of Mahishasuramardini in one of the two niches in its western wall. All the three shrines are of a uniform size, each being 9 feet deep and 8 feet broad, and each one has an ante-chamber. Also of a uniform size of 7 feet X 8 feet, connected with the main hall.

The exterior of the temple is plain, but the masonry work is very impressive. The shikharas of the shrines, which are of the Dravidian style, have been built up to about two-thirds of their height in dressed stone, while the remaining portion had been completed in brick and lime. The walls of the temple are built of huge blocks of pink granite, some of which are as big as 15 feet in length, 3 feet in breadth and about 2 feet in thickness. The plinth is covered with earth; but on the northern and western sides, some portion of it, are exposed and these show a frieze representing elephant-fights and other scenes.

Korva (Kolan) (Naradagadde)

Korva, in Raichur taluk, is a beautiful island surrounded by the Krishna river, about 18 miles north-east of Raichur. It is looked upon as a holy place and is popularly known as Naradagadde, where sage Narada is said to have performed penance. A fine road has been laid from Raichur to this place, which has been also electrified.

It has a temple dedicated to Narada, a famous Veerashaiva Matha, the samadhi of Vairagya Channabasavaswami who lived about four centuries ago and was well known for his mystic wisdom, a Shivayoga Peetha and a Basavanna temple. The annual jatra at this place attracts a large number of people and a cattle fair is also held at the time, when there is a brisk trade especially in blankets, brass vessels, bullocks and carts.

Just near Naradagadde, there is Koormagadde (Kurumakshetra or Kuravakala) which has a Dattatreya Peetha and the samadhi of Sripadavallabha Swami. It is said to be the original place of Dattatreya. It has a temple dedicated to him, which is visited by devotees from far and near.


Kotekal, in Manvi taluk, is situated on the Raichur-Lingsugur road, about 11 miles from Lingsugur. The village has two hillocks, each having a fort at its top. Along the slopes of these hillocks have been found artifacts, iron-slag and gold-crushers, belonging to the prehistoric period.


Lingsugur is the headquarters of the taluk and the sub-division of the same name and is a commercial center. Till 1905, it was the headquarters of the Lingsugur district. Neolithic implements like stone axes, hammers, flakes and cores and plain pottery were discovered here.


Manvi is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name and a centre of developmental activities under the Tungabhadra Project. It has a well-known temple of Jagannathaswami and an old fort now in ruined condition.


Maski, in Lingsugur taluk, situated 17 miles south-east of Lingsugur and 72 miles south-west of Raichur, on the right bank of a river of the same name, which is a tributary of the Tungabhadra, is highly interesting from the points of view of prehistory and protohistory. It must have been a town of considerable size and importance in the remote past, as is evident from the traces of its iron and gold workings covering a large area, and from the references made to it in a number of inscriptions ranging from the 10th to the 16th century A.D.

Maski has proved to be one of the most important prehistoric sites in the district. As early as 1888, Bruce Foote, who collected various kinds of Neolithic implements and artifacts, which are now exhibited in the prehistoric section of the Madras museum, visited the place. Later, when Mr.G.Yazdani, the then Director of Archaeology of the erstwhile Hyderabad state, visited the place in 1935-36, he was struck by the abundance of artifacts, which he noticed on the surface of some sites. Among these sites, the so called fields of Sultan Muhammad were found to be particularly rich in antiquities. According to Yazdani, these fields constitute the site of the old town of Maski, access to which from the river-side was through a gorge amidst a ring of hills which surround the site. The hills have several spurs, the highest of which has Shaivite temple which, from its architecture, appears to be of the 13th century A.D. On two other spurs near the gorge, are two other temples – one goldsmiths’ and the other weavers’. Weaving and gold-smelting are still the principal industries of the place.


Matmari, in Raichur taluk, is looked upon as a holy place. It has a temple dedicated to Veerabhadra and the well-known Matha of Sri Saviradevaru Channaveera Shivacharya Swami is nearby.


Mudgal, in Lingsugur taluk, a town about 10 miles south-west of Lingsugur, is one of the most important places of historical interest in the district, next in importance only to Raichur. Mudgal or Mudugal has a history dating back to the Yadava dynasty, several inscriptions of which have been discovered in and around the town. In the beginning of the 14th century, it was an important outpost of the Kakatiya kingdom. Malik Naib, after seizing Devagiri, captured Mudgal along with Raichur. After the establishment of the Bahmani dynasty and the Bijapur kings took possession of the western and southern parts of the territory of the Bahmani kingdom including the forts of Raichur and Mudgal.

The most important object of interest at Mudgal is the fort. In the construction of the fort at Mudgal, advantage was taken of a hillock on the top of which were built houses of royalty and a wall with bastions. The outer fortifications of Mudgal cover an area of half a square mile. The outer fort has a wide moat, which is filled with water. The width of the moat varies, being as much as 50 yards at several places. Behind the moat, there is a scarp with a row of bastions and after that, a narrow covered passage and adjoining it the counter scarp with very massive bastions. From the arrangement of the existing fort, it is apparent that the fort was rebuilt after the inventions of guns. The courses of masonry at several places are of Hindu style, but the arch-shaped parapet is of Muslim design. The moat and the row of bastions together offer a pleasing view.

In front of the Fateh Darwaza, which faces north, there is a very massive bastion, with a curtain on each side, thus making a barbican for the defence of the fort. Near this barbican is a guard’s room with three arched openings towards the north. The barbican has a narrow court with entrances towards the west and north-east, the gates of which are built in the pillar-and-lintel style. In the covered passage of this gateway, there are guards’ rooms on both sides. The massive bastion above referred to has a gun with a Kannada inscription near the muzzle. The gun has long iron pieces in its interior, which have been bound outwardly by hoops.

There is another gateway on the western side, behind the narrow passage of which there is a second gateway with an arch. The walls at this point are cyclopean in construction. There are guards’ rooms on either side of the passage of this gateway also. There is a third gateway to the left of the second, also arched, but the apex, as in the case of the previous one, is filled up with masonry. This gateway is more massive in construction than the other two, the guard’s room attached to its passage also being more commodious. There is a mosque near this gateway, which consists of a double-pillared hall, the pillars being of Hindu design. On the opposite side of the road are the remains of the Naubat Khana. On the way to the Bala Hisar is the gun-powder magazine, where, at one end, two compartments have been built for the storage of gun-powder.


The Bala Hisar or citadel is built at the top of the hillock and commands a good view of the interior of the fort as well as of the surround country. The view gives a good idea of the extent of the fort and of the large garrison, which could be accommodated therein. There are several natural depressions in the rock above, which were utilized for storing water. Bastions and walls are built at different points for the defence of the buildings of the Bala Hisar. In the middle also, there is a large bastion, round in form. The hill near this bastion rises in the form of a spur and is detached from the lower parts of the hill by a ravine. There are some natural caverns below the Nauras Burj. The fort is defended towards the south-west by a range of hills. In the western part of the fort is a large cistern called the Hikrani Baoli – about 140 yards in length and 40 to 50 yards in breadth.

When coming out from the fort, we see that the first (innermost) gateway is arch-shaped, lofty and massive. The second gateway is built in rather a hybrid style – the openings of the main entrance being in the pillar-and-lintel style and those of the guards’ rooms being arch-shaped. The plinth, the columns and ceiling of the guards’ rooms are lavishly decorated with sculpture. The outermost gate is built in the pillar-and-lintel style and the door is studded with iron spikes. It is called Kati Darwaza on account of the thorny appearance of the spikes. The panels of this door are decorated with figures of animals and gods carved in relief. A figure of a god holding a serpent is carved on the outer wall of the fort. There is another sculpture representing Hanuman. A bridge is built on the moat; but the approach is rather narrow.

There are, in this fort, at least seven inscriptions belonging to the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, 15 old Kannada inscriptions and two later inscriptions in Devanagari script.

There is an old Roman Catholic Church at this place. It is said that it stands on the foundation of one, which had been built by Jesuits before 1557 during the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah who had granted inam land for its support. The original very old church was pulled down and another was built in its place later.


Mudval, in Lingsugur taluk, is situated at about 12 miles from Lingsugur. The village has a stone-wall which shows that it was of considerable importance at some time. This is one of the important pre-historic sites of the district. Artifacts were found on the slopes of the hill about a mile and a half to the west of the village. Gold crushers and iron slags were found in abundance near this place.


Mukkunda, in Sindhanur taluk, is situated on the bank of the Tungabhadra, nearby a hill, about 20 miles from Sindhanur. There is an old and large fort on the top of the hill. At the entrance to the village, there is an old temple of Murari, built of stone. An island in the river has the dargah of Gaddikhader Wali, where an annual urs is held, which attracts a large number of people.


Raichur, the headquarters town of the district, is an important commercial, industrial and educational center. The place is of considerable antiquity. Malik Kafur captured it in 1312 and subsequently it was in the hands of Vijayanagara, Bahmani, Bijapur, Mughal and Asaf Jahi kings.

The hill fort of Raichur, which was of great importance in the past, is surrounded on three sides by a double row of massive but low circuit walls. The inner wall, which is constructed of huge blocks of well-dressed and nicely fitted stones without the aid of any cementing material, is the work of the Hindus, according to a long Kannada inscription dated A.D. 1294 on a slab in the western inner wall. The outer wall, which is built of comparatively rough stone masonry, is, on the other hand, the work of the Muslims. The outer fortifications contain five gateways : the Mecca Darwaza on the west, the Naurangi Darwaza on the north, the Kati Darwaza on the east, the Khandak Darwaza on the south and the Doddi Darwaza on the south-east. The inner wall has two gateways : the Sailani Darwaza on the west and the Sikandari Darwaza on the east.

The area inside the fort-walls abounds in the remains of ancient objects, of which a few important ones have been described here. The Mecca Darwaza and the adjoining walls were, according to the Persian inscriptions on the arches of the gateway, built by the command of one Mallu Khan in 1470 during the reign of the Bahmani king Muhammad Shah III. The modern road starting from the railway station and leading into the town passes through this way.

The road proceeding from this entrance passes through a gap in the inner wall, just by the side of the long Kannada inscription referred to above. At a little distance to the right of this epigraph, there are some marvelous drawings. Some distance to the south of these drawings, near the ancient quarry, is a large depression locally known as Banda Baoli. Further to the south, near the fort of the hill, is the Doddi Darwaza, a double-arched entrance, in the Muslim wall. Near this gateway is a beautiful circular well constructed of fine stone masonry with a long staircase leading right to the bottom; but the well is now dry.


The gap in the inner wall mentioned above was made recently to give access to the road. Adjoining the Hindu wall, there is a tomb of a Muslim saint, Pir Sailani Shah. This is a handsome and fascinating structure built in Bijapur style, comprising a small rectangular hall, with an one-arched opening in each face – the arches resting on small stone pillars carved in Chalukyan fashion – and surmounted by a beautiful narrow-necked dome set on a circular row of lotus petals and ornamented with four small slim turrets at the corners. The big gateway situated here derives its name from the name of the saint and is called Sailani Darwaza. The road issuing from the gap proceeds eastwards. Some distance beyond the Hindu wall and to the south of the road, there is a large square cistern built of solid stone masonry. Further to the south and at the foot of the hillock, is a small mosque called the Kali Masjid, in the construction of which Hindu material has been freely used, as is evident from the beautifully polished Chalykyan pillars of black basalt and the fragments of Kannada inscriptions found on the slabs in its walls.

Fort Jami Masjid

The road next passes by the side of the Fort Jami Masjid situated to the north of the road. It is a handsome structure having two entrances, one in the south and the other in the east. The southern entrance, which is supported on six massive stone pillars of the Chalukyan style with square bases, cruciform capitals and circular and decorated middle portions, seems to have originally been the mantapa of some temple. Just opposite the entrance in the courtyard of the mosque is a cemetery, which is said to contain the graves of some members of the Adil Shahi dynasty. The eastern entrance of the mosque is crowned with three small domes, the middle one of which is circular and the other two pyramidal. To the left of this entrance, outside the mosque proper, is a deep well of considerable dimensions with masonry walls of stone all around.

Opposite the Jami Masjid are the remains of an ancient Hindu palace. Of the original palace, there is very little remaining now, except the old walled enclosure and the big entrance by the side of the present jail. The jail also is said to have originally formed part of this building. But the alterations and modifications of the present day, suiting the requirements of the jail, have completely deprived the building of all its antiquarian grandeur and interest.

Opposite the ruins of the palace and near the Sikandari Darwaza is a small mosque called Daftarki-Masjid. The material used for the construction of this also has been taken from some ruined Hindu temples. The mosque is entered through a domed structure, the lintel and brackets of which are supported on the pillars of that temple. The pillars in the prayer-hall are also of typically of Chalukyan workmanship. The mosque has in front a deep, oblong well, built with stone masonry.

At this point, the road gets into the Sikandari Darwaza, which formed the eastern entrance of the Hindu fortifications. The gateway has two arched entrances, one facing the west and the other south. The former, which is crowned with a battlemented parapet, is in a ruined condition. On the faces of the two walls immediately adjoining are traces of old Kannada inscriptions, which are almost completely obliterated by the conquerors, as is clear from the various geometrical designs purposely made to chisel out the original writings.


A little further, to the left of the road, is an interesting mosque known as the Ek-Minar-ki_Masjid. One Amber constructed this mosque, according to the Persian inscription on its threshold. In this mosque also, the pillars supporting the roof of the entrance area all Chalukyan pillars. It has only one minaret, as its name itself suggests. The minaret, about 65 ft. high and 13 ft. in diameter, is built in Persian style and is identical in form with the Chand Minar at Daulatabad erected in 1445 by Ala-ud-din Bahmani and the minaret of the famous college of Mahmud Gawan at Bidar built during 1472. The minaret, which consists two storeys, each furnished with windows and surrounded by projecting galleries girded with stone balustrades, gradually tapers from bottom to top and has, at the top, a round dome in the Bahmani style. A winding staircase leads up to the top-storey, from which an excellent view of the town can be had. Apart from its architectural peculiarities, this mosque, as the inscriptions in the building show, is the oldest place of Muslim worship in the town.

Another Jami Masjid

The road next leads to the Kati Darwaza, which marks the eastern limit of the Muslim fortifications. Outside the fort-walls in the same direction, is another Jami Masjid, which forms the biggest place of Muslim worship in the town. Entered through an arched entrance facing the south, the mosque has a vast rectangular courtyard in front and oblong water cistern in the south-east corner. The prayer hall is fairly large, being 101’ 6” X 24’ 5” internally, with eleven arched openings facing the east. On either side is a tall stone minaret in beautiful Bijapur style and the top is decorated with small turrets and a battlemented parapet. The flat ceiling of the mosque is supported on two rows of 10 pillars each in plan Chalukyan style.

There is another road, which starts from the old tank in the south and leads right up to the Naurangi Darwaza in the north. It first enters through the Khandak Darwaza, a ruined gateway. A little distance along the road, to the west is an extensive rectangular well, called Khas Baoli, which is built of solid stone masonry and approached by means of big staircases in the corners. In the center of the well is a high platform approached through a causeway from the west. The well is said to have supplied water to the entire fort area. A little further, in the opposite direction, is another, comparatively smaller and well known as Andheri Baoli; a staircase from the north reaches it.

From here, up to the Naurangi Darwaza, there are a number of old small mosques and other minor structures. The Naurangi Darwaza was so designated because of the lavishly painted and sculptured decorations which once adorned the gateway. The material used for its construction, from its mythological and artistic peculiarities, appears to have belonged originally to Hindu structures. The first gate of this entrance, facing the south, is flanked by a bastion on either end, one of them being square and the other circular. On a square stone slab in the former bastion, is a well carved figure of a Naga king, seated cross-legged in meditation on a fish, with a crown of five serpent-hoods on his head. Here, on other slabs, are carved various scenes from Hindu mythology.


Lastly, the Bala Hisar or the citadel is situated on the middle and the loftiest of the hills in the south-west corner of the fort. It is approached first by a flight of steps rising near the south-east corner of the inner fort-wall up to a door-way in the middle, then by a gradual slope which is not difficult of ascent and again by a few steps leading to the entrance which is fitted with a rectangular door-frame. The citadel stands on an irregularly shaped platform on the summit of the hill. The northern side is occupied by the durbar hall, a double three-arched and triple-domed structure measuring about 36 ft. X 25 ft. internally, with a battlemented and loop-holed parapet on the top. To the west of this hall is a small mosque, in Bijapur style, with one arch and two slim minarets. To the east is a small square open pavilion, with a square pyramidal dome supported on four pillars showing Hindu features.

In front of the hall is a square cistern, now filled with earth, and next to this, there is a circular platform, 32 ft. in diameter, supporting a gun in the middle. The gun, mounted on a turn-table and facing the east, is 20’ 3” long, with a circumference of 4’ 4” at its breech, the diameter of the bore being five inches. To the west of the gun, is the Panch Bibi Dargah or the Dargah of five lady saints. At the back of the hall, among the rocks, is lying the lower portion of a seated nandi or bull carved in granite. The remains of this nandi and the square pavilion mentioned above appear to be the only surviving portions of the Hindu works on the citadel. The pavilion perhaps originally formed a mantapa of some Hindu temple that might have once stood on the summit of the hall.


Ramagadde, in Raichur taluk, about 14 miles north of Raichur, is a beautiful island in the Krishna. It is looked upon as a holy place. According to a legend, Sri Ramachandra stayed here for a year and consecrated and worshipped a Shivalinga. It has a Veerashaiva Matha.


Roudkunda, in Sindhanur taluk, is situated about 6 miles to the east of Gorebal, the latter being on the Sindhanur-Gangavati road. The place seems to be an ancient one, since it is one of the important Neolithic sites in the district. To the west of the village, there are two hillocks, one of them having a small fort on it belonging to the 16th or 17th century A.D. Artifacts were found in abundance both in the valley between the two hillocks and on the slopes of the hillock having the fort.


Sindhanur is the headquarters of the taluk of the same name and is a commercial center for cotton. It occupies a central place in the Tungabhadra ayacut area in the district and is an important center of developmental activities under the Tungabhadra Project.


Somalpur, in Sindhanur taluk, about 14 miles from Sindhanur, is well known for its Ambadevi temple, situated at the foot of a hill, where annually a fair takes place in the month of Pushya, which is largely attended.


Venkatapur, in Lingsugur taluk, is about 3 miles due north of Maski. To the south of this village are two hills, along the skirts of which 45 cairns were found in a good condition of preservation. Some of them are in pairs. On the western side of these hills, there is another group of cairns with double rings, the outer ring in some cases having a diameter of about 50 feet. On the northern side of the hills, there are a few traces of square constructions, which appear to be old.

November 10, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada, EKAVI RAICHUR | 1 Comment

Records and revelations-Influence of Old Kannada on Tamil-Br-ahm-i inscriptions

Records and revelations

A book that will go a long way in establishing the historicity and antiquity of Tamil, writes INDIRA PARTHASARATHY of Iravatham Mahadevan’s Early Tamil Epigraphy.


STONE sculpted is Art and when scripted, it is History. Lucien, the Greek satirist and sophist, while lampooning the historians of his period (Second Century A.D.) said, “objective history has no favourites and manipulating history appears to be, now, the official pastime.” (How prophetic!) Inscriptions with no set goals of literary merit, but stay as the written records of a given era, define history as Lucien had visualised it. But the inscriptions need to be accurately read and dispassionately interpreted to conform to this Lucienian dictum.

Pottery with Tamil-Brahmini inscriptions, Berenike, Egypt, First Century A.D.

Tamil is one of the oldest languages with the longest literary and spoken continuity in India. And yet, what puzzled the earlier scholars was, in spite of the literary antiquity of this language, the inscriptions discovered in the Tamil region, were in two different scripts, one in Tamil belonging to the period of the Pallavas i.e. Seventh Century A.D. and the other in Va.t.te.luttu at the time of the P-a.ndyas in Eighth Century A.D. Much more intriguing was the total absence of written records in Tamil before the Seventh Century A.D. Did this mean that Tamil had only an oral tradition before this period? Considering the historical data of such an eminent past found in the Sanga works P-uran-a-n-u-ru and Pa.t.tirrupattu, brought to light by the untiring efforts of the greatest among the Tamil scholars of the last century, Dr. U.Ve Swaminatha Iyer, can one hold the view that the idea of `recording’, in whatever form, had never occurred to the Tamil?

This nagging doubt was soon set at nought by the discovery of the As´okan edicts in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu around the turn of the 20th Century. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of V. Venkayya, H. Krishna Sastri, K.V. Subrahmanya Aiyer, Mahadevan, R. Nagaswamy and a few other scholars in dating and deciphering the scripts, a few things became clear — that they were different from the edicts of As´oka in the sense that their phonological character was not Indo-Aryan, that the special characters of the Tamil language could be identified in these scripts, that the orthographic conventions were not the same as that were followed by the Mauryan Br-ahm-i but in a way related to the Bhattiproulu casket inscriptions. Once it was established that they were not in Prakrit language written in Maurya- Br-ahm-i script, it led to an astounding revelation that the earliest inscriptions in the Tamil region were in Tamil, written in the Tamil- Br-ahm-i script, which, in turn, was an innovative adaptation of the original Mauryan-Br-ahm-i script to conform to the distinctive phonological character of the Tamil language.

It was to Iravatham Mahadevan, the administrator-scholar, that this revelation came, who has been involved in this field of research for the last four decades and more. An outcome of this revelation is the book, Early Tamil Epigraphy: From the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D.

The book, which is in three parts, narrates chronologically the discovery of the cave inscriptions by the pioneers involved in this research, their attempts to read them in which they partially succeeded but were left with confusion mostly because of their certain basic wrong assumptions. The language of As´okan edicts was in Prakrit in Br-ahm-i script and as such, it was assumed earlier, that the language of the cave inscriptions found in Tamil Nadu could only be in Prakrit. But once it became known that the language was Tamil, the difficulty in reading them was attributed to the defective orthography of the inscriptions.

Dr. Kamil Zvelebil, a noted Dravidinist, went to the extent of making a sweeping statement as this: “The legitimate inference seems to be that these votive inscriptions are in a hybrid language containing Tamil as well Prakrit words … the strange jumble of words belonging to two different languages. It is of supreme importance, therefore, to remember that these epigraphs are not of great value to the study of linguistic development” (1996).

Pandya Copper coin with Tamil Brahimi Legend, Karur, First Century B.C.

The chapter on “Language” is a significant part of this book. Mahadevan studied and restudied the inscriptions over and over again and found the confusion was not in them but in the minds of those who read them wrongly. He says, “The argument for the present study is that starting from accurately copied texts and applying the orthographic rules which can be empirically formulated for reading the texts, it can be demonstrated that the language of the cave inscriptions despite the Prakrit loan words, is Old Tamil not materially different from the language of later Tamil inscriptions or even literary texts in its basic phonological, morphological and syntactical features.” He made several expeditions to those caves and edited directly from the stone that helped him arrive at this most significant conclusion. Though Br-ahm-i was the mother of all the scripts in India, Devan-agari and Dravidian, it was adapted in a way to suit the genius of the language of the region. There were five variations of the Br-ahm-i script such as (1) Northern Br-ahm-i. (2) Southern Br-ahm-i, (3) Bhattiprolu script, (4) Sinhala- Br-ahm-i and (5) Tamil- Br-ahm-i.

Tamil- Br-ahm-i evolved after certain changes were made in Br-ahm-i to suit the phonetic system in the Tamil language.

Tamil- Br-ahm-i omitted sounds not present in Tamil viz., voiced consonants, aspirates, sibilants, the anusv-ara (.m) and the visarga (-h). Tamil has certain sounds for which there were no signs in Br-ahm-i, which called for additional letters viz. -l, .l, -r, -n.

By introducing a diacritical mark called pu.l.li (dots) three things were achieved: (a) basic consonants in final position were indicated (b) ligaturing of consonant clusters was avoided (c) the short vowels `e,’ `o’ were differentiated from the respective long vowels.

Music inscription in Tamil Brahimi, Arachalur, Fourth Century A.D.

In Tamil, the consonants are basic and the “inherent” medial — a, as in Sanskrit, is absent. The pu.l.li was used as a minus-vowel marker. It was invented in Tamil-Br-ahm-i to accommodate this concept, as the parent Br-ahm-i script did not have this. The pu.l.li did not occur in the Early Tamil-Br-ahm-i inscriptions and occurred for the first time in the Late Tamil-Br-ahm-i inscription at Anaimalai (Second Century A.D.) and its frequency increased until it occurred almost without exception with all the basic consonants in the Early Va.t.te.luttu period (ca. Fifth Centuries A.D.).

Tolk-appiyam says the “the nature of the consonant is to be provided with a dot and `e’ and `o’ are also of the same nature.” It is evident from the way Tolk-appiyam defines the consonants that their nature was to have the dots, this grammatical work, one can assume, was written later than the period the pulli was invented. Also, the early Tamil-Br-ahm-i inscriptions do not represent graphically the letter -aytam (.) at all which is described by Tolk-appiyam as mupp-al pu.l.li (dots in a triangular pattern). From the inscriptional evidences, Mahadevan says that Tolk-appiyam was perhaps written between the Second and Fourth Centuries A.D. Many Tamil scholars would like to assign a much earlier date for Tolk-appiyam, that it belonged to a period not later than Sixth Century B.C.

Based on the Tamil-Br-ahm-i script’s rendering of the singularly different sounds in Tamil, Mahadevan refutes the theory of some Tamil scholars, who argue that although Tamil has no voiced consonants (as in Indo-Aryan and other Dravidian languages), voicing in medial position exists in Modern Tamil and as such, should have existed in Old Tamil also. They were not provided for in the orthography because, according to them, the early Tamils should have felt that it was not necessary to borrow Br-ahm-i voiced consonants, as they were well aware of the principle of phonemes. If this argument were true, the natural question would be, what could have been the reason for avoiding the voiced consonants even in the Prakrit loan words in the early inscriptions. Was it is not for accommodating Tamil phonology with its lack of voicing? Tolk-appiyam, the earliest Tamil grammar, made no reference to the voicing of consonants. One feels that Tolk-appiyam would have definitely dealt with this issue, had there been voiced consonants during its period, as it had devoted a whole chapter on articulatory phonetics. “On the basis of the direct and unambiguous evidence from the Tamil-Br-ahm-i inscriptions taken together with the native grammatical tradition,” Mahadevan states emphatically, “there was no voicing of consonants in Old Tamil.”

The learned author of this book holds the view that, although one cannot say that the Tamil script got derived directly from the Br-ahm-i script, it cannot be satisfactorily countered that Br-ahm-i was not the origin for all the scripts in the Indian languages. From Br-ahm-i, the Southern Br-ahm-i and Tamil- Br-ahm-i came into existence (Second Century B.C.) From Tamil- Br-ahm-i came Va.t.te.luttu (Fifth Century A.D.) This led to the arrival of Grantha script in the Sixth Century A.D. A simplification of the Grantha script resulted in the formation of what we now know as Tamil script (Seventh Century A.D.) The greatness of the Tamil language and literature will not suffer any devaluation just because its script was derived and succeeded the language after several centuries, which was true of many of the languages in the world, including Sanskrit.

Dr. Zevelbil, while computing the relative frequency of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan stems in the words used in the scriptions, put the ration as 1:1. Mahadevan has calculated in all the 307 stems of 89 Tamil- Br-ahm-i inscriptions, 213 are Dravidian, 81 are Indo-Aryan and the remaining 13 are of doubtful etymology. So according to him the ratio is 2.5:1, which only goes to prove that the language of the inscriptions is not definitely “a hybrid jargon”, as was believed by some of the reputed scholars. In the lexical items category, it is found that the Tamil inscriptions are richer in verbs when compared with the votive inscriptions in Prakrit. There are 15 verb stems, which are all Dravidian. Intransitive, transitive, causative forms, past and non-past tenses (there was no future tense in Old Tamil), participal and verbal nouns, adjectival participles and the infinitive are found in the language of the inscriptions. It only shows how the language was well settled and had acquired a considerable amount of linguistic maturity even from the date of the earliest inscriptions available to us.

As the earliest lithic records in Dravidian languages, there are some rare words used in the inscriptions, which are not found in Old Tamil and the literary texts. They are dismissed by some of the scholars as “scribal errors”. Mahadevan has found these words were used in much later inscriptions also, which, according to the learned author, only establishes that these words could have continuously existed in the spoken idiom from early times, though not represented in the literary texts. He gives the examples of the words “a.n.ni and antai”. A.n.ni is feminine honorific suffix and as it is found along with its masculine honorific suffix anna in ancient Prakrit inscriptions (borrowed from the Dravidian sources), the antiquity of this word is attested. `Antai’ as an independent word appears to be the primary kinship term, which cognates like enthai (“my father”) tantai (“our father” — reflexive pronoun, which has now become a generic word to denote `father’). Antai, as a bound word is merely honorific (like “appa-n”, “ayya-n”) and it cannot mean “father of”, as is interpreted by the Tamil grammatical tradition, according to Mahadevan. He gives illustrations from the inscriptions themselves, in which “Pi.t.tantai” and “Ko-r-rantai” mean “revered Pi.t.tan” and “revered Ko-r-ran” respectively and not “father of Pi.t.tan” and “father of Ko-r-ran”. He has, accordingly, suggested that the commentaries and the grammatical sutrams in Tolk-appiyam (E-lu.t.tu 347) and Na-n-n-ul (238) respectively, “need reinterpretation to be consistent with actual usage”.

Some of the significant observations made by the author in the “Language” chapter are, that in the Inscriptions, (1) there are no finite verbs (2) present tense is totally absent and (3) the occurrence of rare grammatical morphemes, like -a, functioning as accusative case suffix, genitive suffix and as genitive case suffix, which is not attested elsewhere in Tamil but is found in Old Kannada as genitive suffix.

Mahadevan has brought to light in this work the influence of Old Kannada on Tamil-Br-ahm-i inscriptions from a period (Second Century B.C. to Fourth Century A.D.) anterior to the earliest Kannada inscriptions and literature. This is a very interesting observation he has made on the basis of lexical and grammatical usages showing the influence of Old Kannada.

Memorial Stela for a fighting cock, Vatteluttu inscription, Arasalapuram, Fifth Century A.D.

“Erme” in Old Kannada means “buffalo”, and the Mysore region came to be known later as “mahisha-ma.ndala” (`the land of buffaloes’ in Sanskrit). In a Tamil- Br-ahm-i inscription, there is reference to “erumin-a.tu”, which would be in literary Tamil “erumainadu”. In Akan-a-n-u-ru, an important Sangam work, “erumai uran” and “erumain-a.tu” find mention in three poems written by Mamulanar and Nakkirar. “Ka.vuti” was a personal name of a Jaina nun, belonging to Mysore, who was gifted a resting place by “I.layar”. I.layar belonged to the martial race in the Tulu region. It looks like “ka.vuti’ could also be a variant of `gavu.da,’ the name strikingly similar to `Kavundhi Adigal,’ a Jaina nun, and an important character in Tamil epic Cilappatik-aram (Fifth Century A.D.) The author of this great work was a Jaina monk and said to be a C-era prince.

The traditional accounts say that Jainism reached the Tamil region from Karnataka. The Tamil-Br-ahm-i inscriptions are mostly associated with the Jaina faith. The author says, “out of 30 sites with 89 Tamil- Br-ahm-i inscriptions, included in the Corpus, 28 sites with 84 inscriptions are Jaina and the remaining two sites with five inscriptions are secular, that is, having no apparent religious significance.” Merchants and the chieftains in and around the P-a.ndyas and C-era countries supported this faith by giving grants to the monks and nuns to have their own resting place in the caves. A resting place was called “Pa.l.li”, which meant “bed”, also “a teaching centre”, and in fact, it functioned as both. The monks and nuns lived in these caves and taught their disciples. From the name of any place in Tamil Nadu that ends with “pa.l.li” suffix, like “Tiruchirapalli, Tirukattuppalli” one can say that was once a strong Jaina centre. Madurai in the P-a.ndyas country had headquartered as the seat of Jaina order during the early centuries before and after the Christian era.

Mahadevan says that D-evas-ena, the author of Darsan-asara, a Prakriti work written in 853 A.D. has mentioned that Vajranandi, the pupil of P-ujyap-ada, founded the Dravida Sa.mgha in Madurai in 468-469 A.D. The Dravida Sa.mgha was so famous that it has been referred to in the Kannada inscriptions from Karnataka. Mahadevan’s speculation that the legends relating to the three successive Tamil Sangams (literary academies) at Madurai are probably based on later recollection of the name. Dravida Sa.mgha deserves a further probe by Tamil scholars. That many of the outstanding authors like Tolk-appiyar, Tiruvalluvar, I.la.nko and Tirutthakkathevar were Jainas is also a significant point.

The Sangam society as reflected in its poetry (ca. First-Third Centuries A.D.) was free from hierarchy of any kind, social or cultural. The poets, who wrote these poems, came from all sections of the society, princes, Brahmins, farmers, merchants, workers and women. This is no surprise. Mahadevan says that the Early and Late and Va.t.te.luttu inscriptions depicted a high literate society, literacy of very popular and democratic character. It was free from elitism. Literacy was widespread covering almost all the regions, urban and rural, as evidenced by the inscribed pottery obtained during the excavations and explorations. The number of such finds is much more than elsewhere in the country. The author states, “the pottery inscriptions are secular in character and the names occurring in them indicate that common people from all strata of Tamil society made these scratchings and scribblings on pottery owned by them; on the other hand, inscribed pottery excavated from Upper South Indian sites are all in Prakrit and mostly associated with religious centres like Amaravathi and Salihundam.”

How did this happen? The author has a very convincing reason for this that cannot be bettered. The mother tongue (Tamil) was the vehicle of social transaction between all sections of the people. Literacy can be “meaningful and creative”, only if the society conducts its activity of any nature in its own mother tongue. The political independence of Tamil country was also one of the important factors for the popular literacy ratio in this region. The Upper South India was under the Nanda-Maurya domination and the administrative language was Prakrit, the language of the Northern rulers and the local ruling elite. The common people were alienated and they had no participatory role in the Government. Mahadevan’s brilliant analysis of the situation is one of the crowning achievements of this book.

Copying of cave inscriptions by the author and his team (1992).

Nothing has been written until now, on Tamil Epigraphy, so rewarding and communicating, as this book is. It is a comprehensive in-depth treatise, in which a multi-disciplinary learning of an awesome dimension is much in evidence. Mahadevan brings to bear upon this book, running to 719 pages, his rare insights, cool objectivity, immense patience, intense and rigorous scholarship, backed by a thorough knowledge of Sanskrit, Tamil and Prakrit.

The book, jointly published by Cre-A, Chennai and the Sanskrit Department of Harvard University, U.S., (the first ever book Harvard has issued on Tamil Studies) would go a long way in establishing the historicity and antiquity of Tamil, in the context of the earliest inscriptions found in this ancient language.

Early Tamil Epigraphy: From the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D., Iravatham Mahadevan, Cre-A, Chennai and the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, U.S., 2003, Rs. 1,500.

Indira Parthasarathy, well-known Tamil writer, is a retired Professor of Tamil, Delhi University and former Director of the School of Performing Arts, Pondicherry University.


November 10, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada | 2 Comments

Inscriptions of the Vijayanagar Rulers mattu Old Kannada inscription on a boulder at one of the gateways at Anegundi, Bellary Dt

Inscriptions of the Vijayanagar Rulers

edited by S. H. Ritti (in 5 vols)
B R Gopal

Inscriptions of The Vijayanagara Rulers: Inscriptions of The Rulers of The Sangama Dynasty (1336-1485) is the first of three volumes of Kannada Inscriptions in five parts, prepared under the Inscriptions Programme Planned by the ICHR, Under this Programme, a Committee for the compilation of the Vijayanagara Inscriptions was formed with Dr. Shrinivas Ritti as the Convener and the task of compliing the Kannada Inscriptions was assigned jointly to Dr. Ritti and Dr. B. R. Gopal. They comleted the task with great devotion and submitted their
scholarly work to the ICHR.

The present volume contains as many as 832 inscriptions covering a period from 1339 A.D. to 1494 A. D. Most of the inscriptions are in Kannada language and script, while some of them, particularly, copper plates, are in Sanskrit language and Nagari script. There are a few which are bilingual and bi-scriptal as well. Region-wise, they come from the wholeof the Kannada area
covered by the erstwhile Vijayanagara empire viz., between the Krishna and the Kaveri.

It is well known that Indian historiography, particularly for the early part of it, rests almost entirely on epigraphy, augmented, only to a small extent, by literature. The history of Vijayanagra is no exception.

Many of the inscriptions here, have been utilised by earlier scholars working on different aspects of Vijayanagara history. Nevertheless, their value is not diminished. It is the experience of every epigraphist that with every fresh reading of an inscriptions, new ideas and new interpretations are suggested. These inscriptions provide a variety of rich material and open up new avenues of study. It is hoped that scholats and researchers engaged in Indological studies exploit this material to the fullest extent.

Cover Photo: The Royal Emblem of The Vijayanagara

First published: 2004
Pages : lxxxviii + 304 (Part 1)
Price : Rs. 11000

Click Here to order


C. S. Patil


Dr. Channabasappa S. Patil was born on 6 October 1951 in the town of Manvi, Raichur District, Karnataka. He is survived by his wife, Vinoda, his son, his father, and several brothers and sisters. One of his brothers continues to farm the family lands near Manvi; another is on the faculty of Karnatak University in Dharwar.


A hero-stone at Kummata, Bellary Dt

C.S. took his university degrees (BA, two MAs, and PhD) at Karnatak University and the Diploma in Archaeology from the Archaeological Survey of India’s School of Archaeology in New Delhi. His advanced degrees were in Ancient Indian History, Epigraphy, and Archaeology. As his publication record attests, C.S. had a deep commitment to Karnataka archaeology, but he told me on several occasions that he missed being a Professor of French only because he could not find a South Indian PhD program in French when he was in school.

Patil died of a heart attack on 12 October 2001, only a few days after his 50th birthday. He was recovering from jaundice and should have been at home resting, but duty called. C.S. had a strong sense of duty. He suffered his heart attack on the road between Hampi and Mysore and died in the government hospital at Kudligi. At the time of his death, C.S. was Deputy Director of the Karnataka Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, where he had worked for 24 years. He was also Research Associate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

CS Patil and Sujata
C. S. Patil reads an Old Kannada inscription on a boulder to
Dr. Sujata Patil outside one of the gateways at
Anegundi, Bellary Dt.


2001 Sirival: Its Monuments, Sculptures and Inscriptions, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with Balasubramanya).

2000 Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Samputa 5, (Kannada), (Papers presented at the Seminar on Vijayanagara History and Culture at Hampi in 1999), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with M.V. Krishnappa).

1999 Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Samupta 4 (Kannada), (Papers presented at the Seminar on Vijayanagara History and Culture at Hampi in 1998), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with M.V. Krishnappa).

1999 Karnataka Kotegalu, Samputa 1, (Kannada), (Forts of Karnataka, Vol. 1), Kannada University, Hampi.

1998 Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Samupta 3 (Kannada), (Papers presented at the Seminar on Vijayanagara History and Culture at Hampi in 1997), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with M.L. Shivashankara).

1998 Inscriptions of Raichur District, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with Vinoda Patil).

1998 Inscriptions of Koppal District, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, (with Vinoda Patil).

1997 Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Samputa 2 (Kannada), (Papers presented at the Seminar on Vijayanagara History and Culture at Hampi in 1996), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with M.L. Shivashankara).

1997 Kadamba Adhyayana, Samputa 1 (Kannada), (Papers presented at the Seminar on Kadamba History and Culture at Banavasi in 1996), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with M.L. Shivashankara).

1997 Inscriptions of Bellary District, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, (with Vinoda Patil).

1997 Ballari Jilleya Sasanagalu (Kannada), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with Vinoda Patil).

1996 Vijayanagara: Progress of Research, 1988-91, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with D.V. Devaraj).

1996 Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Samputa 1 (Kannada), (Papers presented at the Seminar on Vijayanagara History and Culture at Hampi in 1995), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with D.V. Devaraj).

1996 Vijayanagara (Hampeya) Sasanagalu (Kannada), (Inscriptions at Vijayanagara), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with Vinoda Patil).

1996 Heggadehalli: A Report on Megalithic Excavations: 1995, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with D.V. Devaraj , N.V. Joshi and T.S. Gangadhara).

1996 Art and Architecture in Karnataka (Papers presented at the National Seminar on Archaeology 1985), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with D.V. Devaraj).

1995 Panchatantra in Karnataka Sculptures, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore.

1995 Inscriptions at Vijayanagara (Hampi), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with Vinoda Patil).

1995 Epigraphy, Numismatics and Other Aspects in Karnataka (Papers presented at the National Seminar on Archaeology, 1985), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with D.V. Devaraj).

1994 Karnataka Silpagalalli Panchatantra (Kannada) (Panchatantra in Karnataka Sculptures), Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore.

1993 Narrative Panels from Kadur, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore .

1992 Temples of Raichur and Bellary Districts, Karnataka, 1000-1325 A.D., Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore.

1991 Vijayanagara: Progress of Research, 1987-88, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with D.V. Devaraj).

1991 Vijayanagara: Progress of Research, 1984-87, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore (with D.V. Devaraj).


2003 Chitradurga: A Nayaka Period Successor State in South India. Asian Perspectives 42:267-286. (with Barry Lewis)

2001 “Panchatantra Sculptures in the Somesvara temple at Abbalur,” in Hemakuta: Recent Researches in Archaeology and Museology (Sri C.T.M. Kotraiah Felicitation Volume), (Eds.) A.V.Narasimha Murthy, K.M.Suresh, K.P.Poonacha and K.R.Basavaraj, Bharatiya Kala Prakashan, Delhi, pp. 187-195.

2000 “Two Panchatantra reliefs in the Somesvara temple at Somasila” in Narasimhapriya: Essays on Indian Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Art, Architecture, Iconography and Cultural History, (Prof. A.V.N.Murthy Felicitation Volume), (Eds.) I.K. Sharma, D.V.Devaraj and R.Gopal, Sundeep Prakashan, New Delhi, pp. 249-253.

2000 Panchatantra Sculptures and Literary Traditions in India and Indonesia: A Comparative Study. In Narrative Sculpture and Literary Traditions in South and Southeast Asia, (Ed.) Marijke J. Klokke, Leiden, pp. 73-95.

2000 “Kavi Somadevana Eradu Nisidhigalu,” (Kannada), in Itihasa Darshana, Vol. 15, pp. 142-145.

2000 “Chatradahalli mattu Tambrahalliya Bavigalu,” (Kannada) in Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Vol. 5, (Eds.) M.V.Krishnappa and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 47-53.

1999 “Bijapurada Topugalu,” (Kannada), in Itihasa Darshana, Vol. 14/1999, Proceedings of the Twelfth Conference of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy, Bangalore, 1998. pp. 192-197.

1999 “Sri Virupaksha,” (Kannada) in Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Vol. 4, (Eds.) M.V.Krishnappa and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 1-4.

1998 “Hombuja (Humcha)dalliya Panchatantra Silpagalu” (Kannada), in Itihasa Darshana, Vol. 13/1998, Proceedings of the Eleventh Karnataka Itihasa Academy held at Sirsi, October 1997, pp. 57-61.

1998 “Mummadi Singana mele mattashtu belaku” (Kannada) in Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Vol. 3, (Eds) M.L. Shivashankara and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 94-96.

1997 “Bearing of Sculptures on the Panchatantra Texts,” in South Asian Archaeology,1995,( Paper presented in the 13th Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, 3rd-7th July, 1995, Cambridge), (Eds.) Raymond Allchin and Bridget Allchin, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, pp. 745-758.

1997 “Araneya Vikramadityana Jaladurgada Sasana” (Kannada), in Itihasa Darshana, Vol. 12/1997, Proceedings of the Tenth Conference of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy held at Dharwar, June 1996, pp. 35-37.

1997 “Hampeya Vithala Devalayadalli Nadeyuttidda Puje mattu Utsavagalu, (Kannada), in Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Vol. 2, (Eds.) M.L. Shivashankara and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 48-53.

1997 “Kadambara Kalada Devalayagalu,” (Kannada), Kadamba Adhyayana, Papers presented at the Kadambotsava, Banavasi, 1996, (Eds.) M.L. Shivashankara and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 35-46.

1996 “Rashtrakuta Art and Architecture” in Gauravam: Recent Researches in Indology (Prof. B.K.Gururaja Rao Felicitation Volume), (Eds.) K.V.Ramesh, V. Shivananda, M.D.Sampath and L.N.Swamy, Harman Publishing House, New Delhi, pp. 242-251.

1996 “New Light on the Date of Coronation of the Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya”, in Spectrum of Indian Culture (Prof. S.B.Deo Felicitation Volume), (Eds.) C.Margabandhu and K.S.Ramachandran, Agam Kala Prakashan, Delhi, pp. 346-348.

1996 “Epgraphical Studies”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1988-91, (with Balasubramanya), edited by D.V.Devaraj and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 20-23.

1996 “Mudugal Fort and Its Bearing on Vijayanagara Defence System at Vijayanagara”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1988-91, edited by D.V.Devaraj and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 197-211.

1996 “Hosamaledurga”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1988-91, edited by D.V.Devaraj and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 236-242

1996 “Doravadi”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1988-91, edited by D.V.Devaraj and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp.243-247.

1996 “Sasanagalalli Kandante Vijayanagara Pattandada Nirina Vyavasthe”, (Kannada), in Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Vol. 1, edited by D.V.Devaraj and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 62-75.

1996 “Vijayanagarada Smarakagala Samrakshane”, (Kannada), in Vijayanagara Adhyayana, Vol. 1, edited by D.V.Devaraj and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 4-19.

1996 “Ageless wonders”, in Cheluva Kannada Nadu, edited by Sunita Budhiraja, Hyderabad, pp. 23-27.

1996 “Gangavatarana in Sculptures”, in Art and Architecture in Karnataka, edited by D.V.Devaraj and Channabasappa S.Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 55-62.

1996 “Gangavathi Talukina Sasanagalu”, in Kayaka Siri, Lim. Sri. Channabasavami Suvarna Mahotsava Smarana Sanchike, Gangavathi, pp. 5-8.

1996 “The Panchatantra Sculptures in the Tripuranatakesvara Temple at Balligave, Karnataka” in Facets of Indian Civilization – Recent Perspectives – (Essays in Honour of Prof. B.B.Lal), (Eds.) Jagat Pati Joshi, New Delhi, pp. 408-415.

1996 “Kale mattu vastusilpa” in Karnataka Charitre (A.D. 1336-1760), Vol. 3, K.S.Shivanna (Ed.), Kannada University, Hampi, pp. 357-378.

1995 “Defence System at Vijayanagara,” in Krishnasmrti: Studies in Indian Art and Archaeology, Prof. K.D. Bajpai Commemoration Volume, (Eds.) R.K. Sharma and R.C. Agrawal, Aryan Books International, New Delhi, pp. 237-243.

1995 “Mahanada Prabhugala Kotekottalagalu,” in Mahanadu Prabhugalu: Bijjavara – Madhugiri Arasumanetanagalu, (Kannada), (Eds) K.R. Basavaraju and S. Parashiva Murthy, Nolamba Veerashaiva Sangha, Bangalore, pp. 72-78.

1995 “Mahadeva Temple at Ittagi, Raichur District”, in the Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society, Bangalore, Vol. LXXXVI, pp. 51-70.

1995 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 19. Badami Kote,” in Diksoochi, January 1995, Bangalore, pp. 34-35

1995 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 20. Chitradurga Kote,” in Diksoochi, February 1995, Bangalore, pp. 32-33.

1995 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 21. Bijapura Kote,” in Diksoochi, March 1995, Bangalore, pp. 35-37.

1995 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 22. Kabbaladurga,” in Diksoochi, April 1995, Bangalore, pp. 32-33.

1995 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 23. Channarayadurga,” in Diksoochi, May 1995, Bangalore, pp. 34-35.

1995 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 24. Midigeshi Kote,” in Diksoochi, June 1995, Bangalore, pp. 32-33.

1995 “Hoysalalarige Giridurgamalla mattu Sanivarasiddhi Birudugalannitta Uchchangidurga,” in Itihasa Darsana, Vol. 10, Proceedings of the Eighth Conference of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy, held at Sandur, 1994, pp. 157-160.

1995 “A Rare Bronze of Bhikshatanamurti from Agara,” in Nagabhinandanam (Dr. M.S.Nagaraja Rao Festschrift), Essays on Art, Culture, History, Archaeology, Epigraphy and Conservation of Cultural Property of India and Neighbouring Countries, (Eds.) L.K. Srinivasan and S.Nagaraju, Bangalore, pp. 423-426.

1995 “Watgal Excavations: an Interim Report,” in Man and Environment, Vol. XX, No. 2, (with D.V. Devaraj, Jim G. Shaffer and Balasubramanya), pp. 57-74.

1995 “Tipu Sultanana Khadgagalu”, in Itihasa Darshana, Vol. 11, Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy held at Belgaum, Sept. 1995, pp. 97-99.

1994 “Namma Jilleya Itihasa Samshodhanegalu,” (Kannada) in Honnasiri, Nenapina Sanchike, Rayachuru Jilla 3neya Kannada Sahitya Sammelana – Sindhanur, edited by Shashwata Swamy Mukkundimatha, pp. 66-70.

1994 “Balligaveyalli Panchatantrada Muru Katha Silpagala Sodha,” (Kannada) in Itihasa Darshana, Vol. 9, Proceedings of the Seventh Conference of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy held at Mysore in 1993, Eds. Suryanath Kamath and Devarakonda Reddy, Bangalore, pp. 108-111.

1994 “Rayachuru Jilleya Itihasa – Ondu Avalokana,” in Ravindra Kirana, Souvenir of Sita Subbaraju Memorial College, Raichur, pp.43-45.

1994 “Hadinadu Arasumanetana,” in Veerashaiva Arasu Manetanagala Adhyayana (Poojya Shri Chennaveeraswamiji of Sarangamatha, Sindagi, Birth Centenary Commemoration Volume), edited by M.M. Kalaburgi, Sindagi, pp. 159-172.

1994 “Vijayanagara Samrajya mattu Navaratri,” in Navaratri: Dasara Mahotsava Savisanchike 1994, Mysore pp. 14-27.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 7. Manjarabad Kote”, in Diksoochi, January 1994, Bangalore, pp. 34-35.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 8. Sannati Kote”, in Diksoochi, February 1994, Bangalore, pp. 30-31.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 9. Magadi Kote”, in Diksoochi, March 1994, Bangalore, pp. 36-37.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 10. Savanadurga, in Diksoochi, April 1994, Bangalore, pp. 34-35.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 11. Devanahalli Kote”, in Diksoochi, May 1994, Bangalore, pp. 32-33.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 12. Hutridurga” in Diksoochi, June 1994, Bangalore, pp. 30-31.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 13. Huliyurudurga”, in Diksoochi, July 1994, Bangalore, pp. 42-43.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 14. Maisuru Kote”, in Diksoochi, August 1994, Bangalore, pp. 32-34.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 15. Banavasi Kote”, in Diksoochi, September 1994, Bangalore, pp. 34-35.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 16. Hanagallu Kote”, in Diksoochi, October 1994, Bangalore, pp. 38-39.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 17. Uchchangidurga”, in Diksoochi, November 1994, Bangalore, pp. 38-39.

1994 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 18. Madhugiri Kote”, in Diksoochi, December 1994, Bangalore, pp. 34-35.

1994 “Ithihasa”, in Ededorenadu Utsava Smarana Sanchike, Raichur, pp. 5.1-5.6.

1994 “Devalayagalu”, in Ededorenadu Utsava Smarana Sanchike, Raichur, pp. 7.1-7.17.

1994 “Kotegalu,” in Ededorenadu Utsava Smarana Sanchike, Raichur, pp. 1.1-1,11.

1994 “Sasanagalu,” in Ededorenadu Utsava Smarana Sanchike, Raichur, pp. 3.1-3.4.

1993 “A Portrait Sculpture of Ahavamalla (Chalukya Somesvara I) at Kuruvatti” in Sri Ramachandrika (Professor Oruganti Ramachandraiya Festschrift): Essays on Indian Archaeology, History, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Art and Religion, Vol. II, edited by A.V.N. Murthy and I.K. Sharma, Book India Publishing Co., Delhi, pp. 287-292.

1993 “Kere-Bavi-Kote-Kottalagalu” (Kannada), Hadinadu Virasaiva Arasu Manetana, edited by S. Vidyashankar, Sri. Sarpabhushana Sivayogisvara Matha, Bangalore, pp. 133-140.

1993 “Karnataka the Land of Temples” in Fifty fourth Session of the Indian History Congress, Souvenir Volume, Mysore University, Mysore, pp. 50-54.

1993 “The Panchatantra Stories in Karnataka Sculptures” in Journal of Historical Studies, Special Issue, 54th Session of Indian History Congress, University of Mysore, Mysore, pp. 48-51.

1993 “Krishnadevaraya Pattabhishiktanada Dinankada Nirdhara”, in Diksoochi, June 1993, Bangalore, pp. 32-33.

1993 “Matanaduva Kotegalu (Forts which speak): 1. Vijayanagara kote”, in Diksoochi (Kannada Monthly Magazine), July 1993, Bangalore, pp. 30-32.

1993 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 2. Kummatadurga,” in Diksoochi, August 1993, Bangalore, pp.30-31.

1993 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 3. Mudugallu kote,” in Diksoochi, September 1993, Bangalore, pp. 26-27.

1993 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 4. Rayachuru kote”, in Diksoochi, October 1993, Bangalore, pp. 28-29.

1993 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 5. Hoysalara Halebidu kote,” in Diksoochi, November 1993, Bangalore, pp. 28-29.

1993 “Matanaduva Kotegalu: 6. Srirangapattana kote,” in Diksoochi, December 1993, Bangalore, pp. 28-29.

1991 “Epigraphical Studies”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1984-87, edited by D.V. Devaraj and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 19-70, (with Balasubramanya).

1991 “Temple Architectural Terms in Vijayanagara Inscriptions”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1984-87, edited by D.V. Devaraj and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 167-173.

1991 “Malige-Kupa-Arama at Malapanagudi”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1984-87, edited by edited by D.V. Devaraj and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 177-182.

1991 “Further Epigraphical References to City Gates and Watch Towers of Vijayanagara”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1984-87, edited by D. V. Devaraj and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 191-194.

1991 “Epigraphical Studies: Anegondi Copper Plates” in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1987-88, edited by D.V. Devaraj and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 15-34.

1991 “Pre-Vijayanagara Temples at Hampi”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1987-88, edited by D.V. Devaraj and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 113-142.

1991 “Mummadi Singa, Kampila and Kumara Rama”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1987-88, edited by D.V. Devaraj and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 179-198.

1991 “Kummata” in Vijayanagara Progress of Research 1987-88, edited by D.V. Devaraj and Channabasappa S. Patil, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 199-216.

1987 “Portrait Sculptures in Mahadeva temple at Ittagi”, in Kusumanjali: New Interpretation of Indian Art & Culture (Sh. C. Sivaramamurti Commemoration Volume), edited by the M.S. Nagaraja Rao, Agam Kala Prakashan, Delhi, pp. 311-314.

1985 “Palace Architecture at Vijayanagara: Recent Excavations”, in Vijayanagara: City and Empire, edited by A.L. Dallapiccola and S.Zingel-Ave Lallement, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg, pp. 229-239.

1985 “Epigraphical Studies”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1983-84, edited by M.S.Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp.21-53, (with M.S.Nagaraja Rao).

1985 “Epigraphical References to City Gates and Watch Towers of Vijayanagara”, Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1983-84, edited by M.S.Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 96-100, (with M.S.Nagaraja Rao).

1985 “Palace Architecture at Vijayanagara”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1983-84, edited by M.S.Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp.119-132.

1985 “Sculptures at Kotilinga”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1983-84, edited by M.S.Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 138-143.

1983 “Discoveries,” in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1979-83, edited by M.S.Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 36- 40, (with M.S.Nagaraja Rao).

1983 “Krishna Temple”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1979-83, edited by M.S.Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 61-63.

1983 “Door Guardians of Vijayanagara City”, in Vijayanagara: Progress of Research 1979- 83, edited by M.S.Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, pp. 66-67.

1983 “Piprav”, in Kannada Visvakosa, Vol.11, University of Mysore, Mysore, p. 69.

1983 “Porkalam”, in Kannada Visvakosa, Vol.11, University of Mysore, Mysore, p. 250.

1983 “Pauni”, in Kannada Visvakosa, Vol.11, University of Mysore, Mysore, pp. 281-282.

1983 “Fleet John Faithful”, in Kannada Visvakosa, Vol.11, University of Mysore, Mysore, p. 758.



November 10, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada | 1 Comment



Kannada (р▓.р▓ир│Нр▓ир▓б Kannaс╕Нa) is one of the major Dravidian languages of India, spoken predominantly in the southern state of Karnataka. It is the 27th most spoken language in the world, with native speakers called Kannadigas (р▓.р▓ир│Нр▓ир▓бр▓┐р▓Чр▓░р│Б Kannadigaru) numbering roughly around 35 million.[1] It is one of the Official languages of India and the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka.[3]

Kannada is attested to by one of the earliest epigraphies in India. The first written record in the Kannada language is traced to Emperor Ashoka‘s Brahmagiri edict dated 230 BC. At present, a committee of scholars is seeking a classical language tag for Kannada based on its antiquity.[4]

The Kannada language is written using the Kannada script. The other native languages of Karnataka, Tulu, Kodava Takk and Konkani are also written using the Kannada script. Contemporary Kannada literature is the most successful in India, with India’s highest literary honor, the Jnanpith awards, having been conferred seven times upon Kannada writers, which is the highest for any language in India.[5]


History and development

The Halmidi inscription at Halmidi village dated 450 CE. (Kadamba Dynasty)

The Halmidi inscription at Halmidi village dated 450 CE. (Kadamba Dynasty)

Kannada is one of the oldest Dravidian languages with an antiquity of at least 2000 years.[6][7][8][9][10] The spoken language is said to have separated from its proto-Dravidian source earlier than Tamil and about the same time as Tulu.[11] However, the archaeological evidence would indicate a written tradition for this language of around 1600 years. The initial development of the Kannada language is similar to that of other Dravidian languages and independent of Sanskrit.[12] During later centuries, Kannada, along with other Dravidian languages like Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, etc., has been greatly influenced by Sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, grammar and literary styles.[13][14][15]

Stone inscriptions

Bilingual Kannada-Devanagari inscription of Badami Chalukyas at Badami cave temple (6th. c.CE.)

Bilingual Kannada-Devanagari inscription of Badami Chalukyas at Badami cave temple (6th. c.CE.)

The first written record in the Kannada language is traced to Emperor Ashoka‘s Brahmagiri edict dated 230 BC.[16][4] The first example of a full-length Kannada language stone inscription (shilashaasana) containing Brahmi characters with charateristics resembling those of Tamil in Hale Kannada (Old Kannada) script can be found in the Halmidi inscription, dated c. 450 CE, indicating that Kannada had become an administrative language by this time.[17][18][19][20] Over 30,000 inscriptions written in the Kannada language have been discovered so far.[21] The Chikkamagaluru inscription of 500 CE is another example.[22][23] Prior to the Halmidi inscription, there is an abundance of inscriptions containing Kannada words, phrases and sentences, proving its antiquity. The 543 CE Badami cliff inscription of Pulakesi I is an example of a Sanskrit inscription in Hale Kannada script.[24][25]

Copper plates and Manuscripts

Examples of early Sanskrit-Kannada bilingual copper plate inscriptions (tamarashaasana) are the Tumbula inscriptions of the Western Ganga Dynasty dated 444 CE.[26][27] The earliest full-length Kannada copper plates in Old Kannada script (early eighth century CE) belongs to the Alupa King Aluvarasa II from Belmannu, South Kanara district and displays the double crested fish, his royal emblem.[28] The oldest well-preserved palm leaf manuscript is in Old Kannada and is that of Dhavala, dated to around the ninth century, preserved in the Jain Bhandar, Mudbidri, Dakshina Kannada district.[29] The manuscript contains 1478 leaves written using ink.[29]

Influence on other cultures and languages

7th century Old Kannada inscription on Chandragiri hill, Shravanabelagola

7th century Old Kannada inscription on Chandragiri hill, Shravanabelagola

Badami Chalukya inscription in Old Kannada, Virupaksha Temple, 745 CE Pattadakal

Badami Chalukya inscription in Old Kannada, Virupaksha Temple, 745 CE Pattadakal

The influence of Old Kannada on the language of the TamilBrahmi inscriptions from the second century BCE to the sixth century CE has been brought to light through observations made using grammatical and lexical analysis.[10][9][30] The 9th century writing Kavirajamarga refers to the entire area between the Kaveri River and the Godavari River as Kannada country, implying that the language was popular farther north in present-day Maharashtra.[31][32][33] Owing to its popularity in modern Maharashtra during medieval times, Kannada has had an influence on the neighbouring Gujarati language as well.[34] The Charition mime, a Greek drama discovered at Oxyrhynchus and dated to the second century CE or earlier, contains scenes where Indian characters in the skit speak dialogue which appears to be in Kannada.[35][36] Prior to and during the early Christian era, the Kannada-speaking cultural area seems to have had close trade ties with the Greek and Roman empires of the West. Greek dramatists of the fourth century BCE, particularly Euripides and Aristophanes, appear to have been familiar with the Kannada language. This is evident in their usage of Kannada words and phrases in their dramas and skits.[8]

Kannada inscriptions were not only discovered in Karnataka but also quite commonly in Andhra Pradesh,[37] Maharashtra[38][39] and Tamil Nadu.[40][41] Some inscriptions were also found in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.[42] As an example, the inscription at Jura 964 CE (Jabalpur), belonging to the reign of Rashtrakuta Krishna III, is regarded as an epigraphical landmark of classical Kannada literary composition, with charming poetic diction in polished Kannada metre.[43] This indicates the spread of the influence of the language over the ages, especially during the rule of large Kannada empires. Because of coexistance with Kannada, Tulu, Kodava, Sankethi, and Konkani have also borrowed many words from Kannada.


Some early Kadamba Dynasty coins bearing the Kannada inscription Vira and Skandha were found in Satara collectorate.[44] A gold coin bearning three inscriptions of Sri and an abbreviated inscription of king Bhagiratha’s name called bhagi (390-420 CE) in old Kannada exists.[45] Recent discovery of a copper coin dated to the fifth century CE in Banavasi, Uttara Kannada district with the inscription Srimanaragi in Kannada script proves that Kannada had become an official language by the time of the Kadambas of Banavasi.[46] Coins with Kannada legends have been discovered spanning the rule of the Western Ganga Dynasty, the Badami Chalukyas, the Alupas, the Western Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Kadamba Dynasty of Banavasi, the Keladi Nayakas and the Mysore Kingdom, the Badami Chalukya coins being a recent discovery.[47][48][49] The coins of the Kadambas of Goa are unique in that they have alternate inscription of the king’s name in Kannada and Devanagari in triplicate,[50] a few coins of the Kadambas of Hangal are also available.[51]

Phases of evolution

9th century old Kannada inscription of Rashtrakutas at Navalinga temple in Kuknur, Karnataka

9th century old Kannada inscription of Rashtrakutas at Navalinga temple in Kuknur, Karnataka

The written Kannada language has come under various religious and social influences in its 1600 years of known existence. Linguists generally divide the written form into four broad phases.

Poorvada Halegannada or Pre-ancient Kananda

This is the language of Halmidi scripture known to be from the fifth century CE. From available epigraphical evidence it can be concluded that the spoken Kannada language evolved much earlier than that of the Halmidi inscription. The language of the Halmidi inscription is said to be highly Sanskritized.[52]

Halegannada or Ancient Kannada

From the ninth to fourteenth centuries CE, Kannada works were classified under Old Kannada. In this period Kannada showed a high level of maturity as a language of original literature.[53] Mostly Jain and Saivite poets produced works in this period. This period saw the growth of Jain puranas and Virashaiva Vachana Sahitya or simply vachana, a unique and native form of literature which was the summary of contributions from all sections of society.[54][55] Early Brahminical works also emerged from the eleventh century.[56] By the tenth century Kannada had seen its greatest poets, such as Pampa, Sri Ponna and Ranna, and its great prose writings such as the Vaddaradhane of Shivakotiacharya, indicating that a considerable volume of classical prose and poetry in Kannada had come into existence a few centuries before Kavirajamarga.[57] Among existing landmarks in Kannada grammar, Nagavarma II‘s Karnataka-bhashabhushana (1145) and Kesiraja’s Sabdamanidarpana (1260) are the oldest.[58][59]

Nadugannada or Middle Kannada

In the period between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries CE, Brahmanical Hinduism had a great influence on Kannada language and literature. Non-brahmin Hindu saints like Kanakadasa and Brahminical saints of the Vaishnava sect such as Purandaradasa, Naraharitirtha, Vyasatirtha, Sripadaraya, Vadirajatirtha, Vijaya Dasa, Jagannathadasa, etc., produced devotional poems in this period.[60] Kanakadasa’s Ramadhanya Charite is a rare work, concerning itself with the issue of class struggle.[61] This period saw the advent of Haridasa Sahitya which made rich contributions to bhakti literature and sowed the seeds of Carnatic music.

Hosagannada or Modern Kannada

The Kannada works produced by the end of the nineteenth century and later are classified as Hosagannada or Modern Kannada. However, till the beginning of the twentieth century there were Kannada literary works that could still be classified under the heading of Middle Kannada. Most notable among them are the poet Muddana’s works. His works may be described as the “Dawn of Modern Kannada”. Generally, linguists treat Indira Bai or Saddharma Vijayavu by Gulvadi Venkata Raya as the first literary works in Modern Kannada.

Literature and poetry

  • Kannadiga
  • Kannada American
  • Languages of India
  • List of national languages of India
  • List of Indian languages by total speakers
  • Bangalore kannada
  • Karnataka
  • Kannada literature
  • Karnataka literature – A list of famous Kannada scholars and their works.
  • Kannada language Wikipedia
  • Notes

    1. ^ a b c Languages Spoken by More Than 10 Million People. Encarta.
    2. ^ Top 30 languages of the world. Vistawide.
    3. ^ The Karnataka Official Language Act. Official website of Department of Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation. Government of Karnataka. Retrieved on 200706-29.
    4. ^ a b c Declare Kannada a classical language. Online webpage of The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved on 200706-29.
    5. ^ Awardees detail for the Jnanpith Award. Official website of Bharatiya Jnanpith. Bharatiya Jnanpith. Retrieved on 200706-29.
    6. ^ Kamath (2001), pp5-6
    7. ^ Purava HaleGannada or Pre-old Kannada was the language of Banavasi in the early Christian era, the Satavahana and Kadamba eras (Wilks in Rice, B.L. (1897), p490)
    8. ^ a b c Sri K. Appadurai. The place of Kannada and Tamil in Indias national culture. Copyright INTAMM. 1997. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    9. ^ a b Indira Parathasarathy. Records and revelations. Early Tamil Epigraphy: From the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D., Iravatham Mahadevan. The Hindu, Sunday, August 3, 2003. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    10. ^ a b Iravatham Mahadevan. Early Tamil Epigraphy from the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century AD. Harvard University Press. Retrieved on 200704-12.
    11. ^ A family tree of Dravidian languages. Sourced from Encyclopaedia Britannica.
    12. ^ Kittel (1993), p1-2
    13. ^ “Literature in all Dravidian languages owes a great deal to Sanskrit, the magic wand whose touch raised each of the languages from a level of patois to that of a literary idiom”. (Sastri 1955, p309)
    14. ^ Takahashi, Takanobu. 1995. Tamil love poetry and poetics. BrillтАЩs Indological library, v. 9. Leiden: E.J. Brill, p16,18
    15. ^ “The author endeavours to demonstrate that the entire Sangam poetic corpus follows the “Kavya” form of Sanskrit poetry”-Tieken, Herman Joseph Hugo. 2001. K─Бvya in South India: old Tamil Caс╣Еkam poetry. Groningen: Egbert Forsten
    16. ^ The word Isila found in the Ashokan inscription (called the Brahmagiri edict from Karnataka) meaning to shoot an arrow is a Kannada word, indicating that Kannada was a spoken language in the third century BCE (Dr. D.L. Narasimhachar in Kamath 2001, p5)
    17. ^ Ramesh (1984), p10
    18. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian literature vol. 2, Sahitya Akademi (1988), p1717
    19. ^ A report on Halmidi inscription, Muralidhara Khajane. Halmidi village finally on the road to recognition. The Hindu, Monday, November 3, 2003. The Hindu. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    20. ^ Kamath (2001), p10
    21. ^ Staff Reporter. Press demand for according classical status to Kannada. The Hindu, Monday, April 17, 2006. The Hindu. Retrieved on 200706-29.
    22. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p6
    23. ^ Rice (1921), p13
    24. ^ Kamath (2001), p58
    25. ^ Azmathulla Shariff. Badami: Chalukyans’ magical transformation. Spectrum, Deccan Herald, Tuesday, July 26, 2005. Deccan Herald. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    26. ^ In bilingual inscriptions the formulaic passages stating origin myths, geneologies, titles of kings and benedictions tended to be in Sanskrit, while the actual terms of the grant such as information on the land or village granted, its boundaries, the participation of local authorities, the rights and obligations of the grantee, taxes and dues and other local concerns were in the local language. The two languages of many such inscriptions were Sanskrit and the regional language such as Tamil or Kannada (Thapar 2003, pp393-394)
    27. ^ N. Havalaiah. Ancient inscriptions unearthed. The Hindu, Saturday, January 24, 2004. The Hindu. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    28. ^ Gururaj Bhat in Kamath (2001), p97
    29. ^ a b Mukerjee, Shruba. Preserving voices from the past. Deccan Herald, Sunday, August 21, 2005. Sunday Herald. Retrieved on 200704-11.
    30. ^ K.N. Venkatasubba Rao. Kannada likely to get classical tag. The Hindu, Wednesday, October 4, 2006. The Hindu. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    31. ^ Sastri (1955), p355
    32. ^ Rice, E.P. (1921), p12
    33. ^ a b Rice, B.L. (1897), p497
    34. ^ Masica (1991), pp45-46
    35. ^ Dr. Hultzsch, E. (1904), “Remarks on a papyrus from Oxyrhynchus”, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1904: 399-405
    36. ^ Shama Sastry, M. Govinda Pai and B.A. Saletore argued that the language was indeed Kannada, whereas Dr. Barnett rejected this idea. (Kamath 2001, p5)
    37. ^ Dr. Shama Shastry, N. Lakshminarayana Rao. Indian Inscriptions, South Indian Inscriptions – vol 9. Archaeological Survey of India. What Is India Publishers (P) Ltd. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    38. ^ Inscriptions, place names and manuscripts prove that regions such as Kolhapur and Sholapur were at one time Kannada-speaking areas, where Marathi is now spoken.Rice E.P.. [1] History of Kannada literature, 2nd edition (revised)]. Google. Google Book Search. Retrieved on 200706-29., p12
    39. ^ Kannada was an administrative language in Devagiri (present day Daulatabad), the Seuna capital, from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries CE. (Srinivas Ritti & O.P. Varma in Kamath 2001, p137)
    40. ^ The famous Kanchi Kailasanatha temple inscriptions of Chalukya Vikramaditya II, inscribed after the capture of Kanchipuram (K.V. Ramesh 1984, pp159-161)
    41. ^ The inscriptions of Rashtrakuta Krishna III on a victory pillar at Rameshvaram describing his victories against the Cholas, Pandyas and Keralas and the tributes he received from the King of Ceylon. (Kamath 2001, p83)
    42. ^ The princes of the Gujarat line hailing from the Rashtrakuta family signed their Sanskrit records in Kannada, examples of which are the Navasari and Baroda plates of Karka I and the Baroda records of Dhruva II (D.R. Bhandarkar in Kamath 2001, p73)
    43. ^ Kamath (2001), p83
    44. ^ The coins are preserved at the Archaaeological Section, Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, Mumbai – Kundangar and Moraes in Moraes (1931), p382
    45. ^ The coin is preserved at the Indian Historical Research Institute, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai – Kundangar and Moraes in Moraes (1931), p382
    46. ^ Dr Gopal, director, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History. 5th century copper coin discovered at Banavasi. Hindu, Monday, February 6, 2006. The Hindu. Retrieved on 200710-18.
    47. ^ Kamath (2001), p12, p57
    48. ^ Govindaraya Prabhu, S. Indian coins-Dynasties of South. Prabhu’s Web Page On Indian Coinage, November 1, 2001. Retrieved on 200611-27.
    49. ^ Harihariah Oruganti-Vice-President, Madras Coin Society. Vijayanagar Coins-Catalogue. Retrieved on 200611-27.
    50. ^ This shows that the native vernacular of the Goa Kadambas was Kannada – Moraes (1931), p384
    51. ^ Two coins of the Hangal Kadambas are preserved at the Royal Asiatic Society, Mumbai, one with the Kannada inscription Saarvadhari and other with Nakara. Moraes (1931), p385
    52. ^ a b Jyotsna Kamat. History of the Kannada Literature – I. Kamat’s Potpourri, November 4,2006. Kamat’s Potpourri. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    53. ^ The earliest cultivators of Kannada literature were Jain scholars (Narasimhacharya 1988, p17)
    54. ^ More than two hundred contemporary Vachana poets have been recorded (Narasimhacharya 1988, p20)
    55. ^ Sastri (1955), p361
    56. ^ Durgasimha, who wrote the Panchatantra, and Chandraraja, who wrote the Madanakatilaka, were early Brahmin writers in the eleventh century under Western Chalukya King Jayasimha II (Narasimhacharya 1988, p19)
    57. ^ Sastri (1955), p355
    58. ^ Sastri (1955), p359
    59. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p19
    60. ^ Sastri (1955), pp364-365
    61. ^ The writing exalts the grain Ragi above all other grains that form the staple foods of much of modern Karnataka (Sastri 1955, p365
    62. ^ Kamath (2001), p67
    63. ^ Sastri (1955), p355
    64. ^ Kamath (2001), p90
    65. ^ Jyotsna Kamat. History of the Kannada Literature-I. Kamat’s Potpourri, November 4, 2006. Kamat’s Potpourri. Retrieved on 200611-25.
    66. ^ Sastri (1955), p355
    67. ^ Sastri (1955), p356
    68. ^ The seventeenth-century Kannada grammarian Bhattakalanka wrote about the Chudamani as a milestone in the literature of the Kannada language (Sastri (1955), p355)
    69. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), pp 4-5
    70. ^ 6th century Sanskrit poet Dandin praised Srivaradhadeva’s writing as “having produced Saraswati from the tip of his toungue, just as Shiva produced the Ganges from the tip of his top knot (Rice E.P., 1921, p27)
    71. ^ Kamath (2001), p50, p67
    72. ^ The author and his work were praised by the latter-day poet Durgasimha of 1025 CE (Narasimhacharya 1988, p18.)
    73. ^ Sastri (1955), pp361-2
    74. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p20
    75. ^ Sastri (1955), p361
    76. ^ Sastri (1955), p364
    77. ^ Moorthy, Vijaya (2001). Romance of the Raga. Abinav publications, p67. . 
    78. ^ Iyer (2006), p93
    79. ^ Sastri (1955), p365
    80. ^ Rice, Edward. P (1921), “A History of Kanarese Literature”, Oxford University Press, 1921: 14-15
    81. ^ See http://baraha.com/
    82. ^ http://quillpad.in/kannada
    83. ^ Manjulakshi & Bhat. Kannada Dialect Dictionaries and Dictionaries in Subregional Languages of Karnataka. Language in India, Volume 5 : 9 September 2005. Central Institute of Indian Languages, University of Mysore. Retrieved on 200704-11.
    84. ^ Ferdinand Kittel. A Grammar of the Kannada Language: Comprising the Three Dialects of the Language. 1993. Asian Educational Services.


    November 10, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada | 1 Comment

    DEJAGOW on HungerStrike for KANNADA



    Classical status for Kannada: D Javare Gowda stages fast
    Mysore, UNI:
    Former Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University and noted writer D Javare Gowda on Saturday observed a fast here, demanding classical language status for Kannada.

    Talking to newspersons at the fast venue, Prof Gowda alleged that the Centre was showing a ”stepmotherly” attitude towards Karnataka and Kannada language.

    Prof Gowda also urged the MPs of the state to prevail upon the Centre for according classical language status to Kannada.

    It was for the fourth time in the last two years; Mr Gowda was staging a hunger strike demanding the Centre to confer classical language status on Kannada.




    Dejagow demands classical language status for Kannada


    Staff CorrespondentMYSORE: Former Vice-Chancellor of University of Mysore and noted writer, D. Javare Gowda on Saturday observed a dawn to dusk fast in front of the Kuvempu statue at Kuvempu Vidyavardhaka Trust, demanding classical language status for Kannada. It was for the sixth time in the last two years that Mr. Gowda was observing a hunger strike for the same purpose.

    Earlier, scores of writers and academicians expressed their support to Prof. D. Javare Gowda (who is popularly known as “Dejagow”) and joined him in the fast. President Karnataka Rakshana Vedike P.A. Narayana Gowda, MP Shivanna, Vice-Chancellor, Karnataka Open University, B.A. Vivek Rai, poet C.P. Krishnakumar, writer Akbar Ali and Chairman Translation Academy Pradhan Gurudutt were among them.Mr. Gowda, who had written to former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, that the language was an offshoot of the Proto-Dravidian language, Tamil. He had also threatened to return his Padmashree, if the Centre failed to address the demands of Kannadigas.

    Speaking to reporters he said that Kannada was an ancient language and should be accorded classical language status. He regretted that this was not done to mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of the State. Prof. Gowda said that there was proof that the language existed before the Christian era and it had a history of more than 2,000 years.

    He talked of noted personality Potti Sri Ramulu, who gave up his life when the then government did not accede to the demand for linguistic status in 1953.


    November 10, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada | Leave a comment

    V. Demand for granting classical language status to Kannada[Rajyasabha]





    (Proceedings other than Questions and Answers)


    Thursday, April 28, 2005/ Vaisakha 8, 1927 (Saka)

    V. Demand for granting classical language status to Kannada

    SHRI K.B. KRISHNA MURTHY: Going by the criteria set for recognition of a language as a Classical one, Kannada rightfully qualifies for accord of a classical status. On all accounts-antiquity, ancient body of literature, original living traditions and continuity-Kannada has impeccable credentials. A well-documented case has already been made by the Government of Karnataka, in its communication to the hon. Prime Minister of India, which I commend, be subjected to critical evaluation by the Sahitya Academy. Compared to Hebrew and Chinese writing systems that claim an antiquity of three millennia, among Indian languages only ‘Tamil’ and ‘Kannada’ have a long and enduring history of writing. Therefore, I request the Government of India to accord a ‘Classical Language’ status to Kannada.

    (Shrimati Prema Carriappa, Shri E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, Shri B.K. Hariprasad and Shri Jairam Ramesh associated.)

    November 9, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada | 2 Comments

    A Question Of Antiquity [with reference to CLASSICAL STATUS- Kannadigas to discuss]

    A Question Of Antiquity


    Daily Letters | 12 Mar, 2007 06:59:04PM (IST)
    Whenever there is a problem particulalrly these kannadigas switch off the Tamil television channels. Ridiculous.But Unashamedly,these Kannadigas, watch the Kannada TV channels produced,telecast and owned by Tamilian.

    The moment the issue is over ( not parmenantly)the TV channels are distributed again and the same Kannadigas watch the Tamil serials.


    Daily Letters | 12 Mar, 2007 06:59:02PM (IST)
    Whenever there is a problem particulalrly these kannadigas switch off the Tamil television channels. Ridiculous.But Unashamedly,these Kannadigas, watch the Kannada TV channels produced,telecast and owned by Tamilian.

    The moment the issue is over ( not parmenantly)the TV channels are distributed again and the same Kannadigas watch the Tamil serials.


    Daily Letters | 4 Dec, 2006 11:12:36AM (IST)
    Kannada can never be delcared classical language for the following simple reason:
    It doesnt have its own native word for even the basic words like “language”
    Also it has no original word for “classical”
    Hence it is a waste of time discussing about gnana peeth awards etc.. when even the foundation is shaking!
    Where were these mouths who shout for classical status for Kannada and try to kill themselves by fasting to death if Kannada is not given the coveted status.. when Tamil was figthing for this status right from 1961?


    Daily Letters | 9 Sep, 2006 08:50:04AM (IST)
    Please delete my entries prepared at ’08:47:24AM’ and ’08:47:13AM’. Thanks for making my original comments appear


    Daily Letters | 9 Sep, 2006 08:47:24AM (IST)
    Kannadigas get a few things clear:

    1. Central ministers from TN, DMK etc. surely may have helped Tamil to get the status of classical language but not without proof or evidence can a language possibly be granted such status. Even prominent linguists, tamil and non-Tamil worldwide will agree on the special case with Tamil

    2. For a language to be recognized classical it should not be a offshoot of some other language. All Indian languages barring Tamil evolved from Sanskrit and significantly owe to Sanskrit. Not so with Tamil. Go update your knowledge

    3. Like prof. Hart says, when Greek was identified as one the oldest of all European languages no other language groups even prominent ones like English, German, Spanish etc. had a problem with just accepting a fact. Not so with India, if Tamil is declared a classical language others talk abt ‘equality’ and ‘respect for other languages’. A fact is a fact. Why do these kannadigas feel their ‘equality’ is lost if Tamil is declared a classical language, i don’t get it!


    Daily Letters | 8 Sep, 2006 11:56:23PM (IST)
    Something that bothers me (and am sure other Tamilians) is the contant mention of the DMK / Central ministers / President from TN as being the reason for the classical language status of Tamil. Surely all that may have helped but remember there is enough evidence and proof that Tamil is an extremely old language going by the opinion of various Tamil and non-Tamil linguists worldwide. It was not an overnight decision or finding but was a long held idea. It is unfortunate it should recieve such criticism. As a Tamilian am disappointed at the lack of knowledge of others particularly Kannadigas abt the greatness and the classical qualities of the Tamil language and culture that become the backbone of the South Indian culture as it is rather commonly understand now


    Daily Letters | 8 Sep, 2006 11:17:07PM (IST)
    Hey Kannadigas, when are you guys going to learn to talk maturely and correctly?. What is actually your problem in accepting facts that the world at large believes In? What’s with the anology of elephants and dogs? Who’s supposed to be the dogs here? Get a life of your own! Why do you need Tamil to get any attention at all? On your proposed/supposed way to success is a reference to Tamil really always necessary?. As if no research was done all these years on what were the classical languages, why suddenly it occurred to you that Kannada could be a classical language?. The single most important reason why Kannada possibly can’t be a classical language is because by definition a classical language is one that has evolved independent of any other language. Kannada evolved from Sanskrit, Tamil did not. Period. In your blissful ignorance, if you thought all Indian languages evolved from Sanskrit you got it all wrong. I don’t have very good opinion abt the much hyped abt 8 Gnana peeta winners in Kannada either, a number of them non-Kannadigas, one a Tamilian too (Masti, may I say one of the best ever Kannada writer?). If you are talking abt writing, don’t forget one of the greatest English language writer from India, RK Narayan who was a Tamilian too. K i went a little offtopic. Good luck to you ppl with your task. Just remember to not make a mention of Tamil in a degrading way when you are presenting your ‘theory’ that Kannada could probably be a classical language too

    And to others who think two language groups are fighting for the classical language status, get this straight: Tamil does NOT have to “fight” for any status and has already been declared a classical language by many prominent linguists worldwide. Kannada is out here to have some fun in scene only it doesn’t know the end result is going to be even funnier. You guys in the “third category” don’t display your lack of knowledge and stupidity with innocent comments like “arrayed” on “opposite sides to lay claim to a classical status”. Talk abt Journalism at its most “intelligent” with no background knowledge on the topic and talking like a pro!

    BANGALORE   INDIA ________________________________

    Daily Letters | 1 Sep, 2006 09:36:45PM (IST)
    If tamillians got classical language, they should be happy, but why they are pulling kanndigas. It is like an example in kannada, if Elephants (kannadiga) walks on street, dogs will obviously bark. Elephants will ignore them. They know the status of them. Please mind your own business. We are bothered what you get or not. Its all politics, Central goverment is run by Congress supported by DMK, honorable president of india, who is from tamilnadu. So they took this chance to get classical status, otherwise goverment will fall at the center. this is logic tamil got “classical status” suddenly. Nobody should bother about languages, respect all of them equally. Donot unnecessary indulge us.


    Daily Letters | 23 Aug, 2006 09:46:41PM (IST)
    Tamilians are like frogs, they think “pond” is everything, but kannada people are like sharks in big oceans, they have seen everything. They know, ocean is bigger than pond. Even the tamil frogs make noises, they do not shout, they just eat them up. Do not compare frogs(tamilians) with sharks (kannada people). If we bite u will be no where.



    Daily Letters | 23 Aug, 2006 09:34:33PM (IST)
    tamil half water filled bottles, they show up lot, but kannada language are dated to 300 bc. The biggest district of tamilnadu dharmapuri and krishangiri districts, speak half telugu and kannada. If we take off that district tamil nadu we will be nowhere, mind it


    Daily Letters | 18 Apr, 2006 11:19:42AM (IST)
    Even my mother tongue is kannada, I am proud of Tamil language which got the classical status among the languages in south india. For the people who claiming the classical status to Kannada, please go through the George Hart’s article of ‘Classical status to Tamil Language’



    Daily Letters | 7 Feb, 2006 04:51:09AM (IST)
    Puliyai paarthu poonai soodu pottukondathu
    (A cat tries to get the status of a tiger by jumping into the fire, hoping it will get the fiery stripes of its
    The situation of Kannada vs Tamil is best explained by the above Tamil proverb!
    To get classical status, Tamil scholars and poets had to fight for over 40 years with the Indian government, which was only interested in Sanskrit and Hindi for obvious reasons. They also declared a whole year as Sanskrit year, thought Sanskrit is only spoken by about 500 people in the whole country (incidentally it is spoken only in Karnataka, it tells me clearly that one of Kannada’s parents is Sanskrit)
    It is not enough if a language is 1000 years old it becomes classical. It also should have quality and originality. For example, even though I am not a linguist, I know that only Tamil has the letter “zha” and hundreds of words using that letter. (Malayalam uses that letter but it is only a daughter of Tamizh)
    In poetry the beginning words rhyme, the ending words also in some cases. We should be proud that Tamizh is the only language in the world which has such type of rhyming scheme. It is a shame that even after a foreigner, Dr.George Hart made it clear that of the modern, living Indian languages, Tamizh and Tamizh only can claim classical status, that Indian Government announced that it is classical.
    Now the Kannadigas’ pride has been badly hurt, and although many of them were earlier telling that a living language can never be classical, now they say the Kannada should be made classical. This is hypocrisy.
    Kannada can in no way stand before Tamil. Even with the existing literature, Tamil surpasses Kannada in quantity and quality. We do know that thousands of other Tamil literary works have been destroyed by nature, and others in the form of olaichuvadi is being destroyed by insects and cockroaches, thanks to the lack of funds by Indian government, because funds are used to preserve Hindi and Sanskrit!
    Kannada no doubt is sweet and rich, but it can in no way compare with Tamil.
    If Kannada is compared to the Moon, it derives its greatness only from Tamil, the Sun.
    I happen to read arguments posed by some Kannada scholars in the site “totalkannada.com” and couldn’t stop laughing. One of them argues that “Palli” is a Kannada word. It is a know fact that Kannada derives many of its words from Tamil by replacing “pa” with “ha”. Hence palli is halli, peyar, is hesaru, pugai is hogai, paal is haal.


    Daily Letters | 3 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    I think it is plain jealousy which has provoked these kannadigas intellectuals to respond like this. I don’t understand why request for making Kannada should be linked with Tamil’s status. This is petty politics.
    It is a well known & proven fact that Tamil’s Sangam era coincided with start of christian era. Infact Tholkappiyam was written at this time, and the lore is that litreary work would precede grammatical books. So even if tamil is not the original parent language it is the oldest of all surviving dravidian languages. Let Kannadigas accept it as a reality and they have to live with it.


    Daily Letters | 4 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Primary argument from the story appears to be that a classical language is one which no one speaks today or understands. So in the Indian context Arabic and Persian are accepted as classical languages in addition to Sanskrit but Tamil is not. Another argument used as a negative indicator is that the classical language candidate should have been used at some point in time by non-native speakers. Antiquity is not the argument at all for if that were the sole criterion, Kannada has better claims to classical status than Arabic.

    None of this really disqualifies Tamil but a better case has to be made for Tamil by its proponents than has been made so far.

    Hope this helps,

    NOVI   US



    Daily Letters | 5 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    There is a story of frogs in the well. When one frog wants to climb up, other frogs do not let it jump. So nobody escapes when water dries out. I think this is especially written about India. Karnataka acts the way Pakistan acts when it comes to TN. It is an accepted fact in world linguistics that Tamil is a classical language. The recent proclamation is just a political recognition. It doesnt have anything to do with the language. If Kannadigas feel Kannada is a classical language, they should come out with scientific, and linguistic arguments to support thier view. They should not behave like Pakistan which acts as a windmill around India’s neck. A great nuissance which is there to stay, but which doesnt have anything to compare with the greatness of the other…Pakistan to India, and Kannada to Tamil.


    Daily Letters | 6 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    The story seems to lack balance. It neither clarifies what makes a language classical nor does it present the case made for Tamil by its proponents.

    NOVI   US

    Daily Letters | 6 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    The article did seem to be somewhat incomplete, but it had so many things to say about most of we Indians. The comments to this article by Mr. SHANKAR SUBRAMANIAN and Mr. GOWRISHANKAR E S is itself a good testimony to the intolerance among Tamilians and this along with the sense of insecurity they suffer leads to such demands that often emanates from Tamilian politicians. Such pathetic assertion of identity and that too for political mileage happens in every culture and DMK being one of the legs in the PM’s Chair it is probably best time to make most of it.
    As far as Kannadigas are concerned, we are one of the most tolerant and cosmopolitan people and there is no wrong in putting forward our views. The fact that out of seven Jnanapeetha Awards that Kannada has won, one has been won by a Tamilian and one by a Maharashtrian is an ample proof that tolerance could enrich ones own language and who is a FROG IN A WELL.


    Daily Letters | 6 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    The article did seem to be somewhat incomplete, but it had so many things to say about most of we Indians. The comments to this article by Mr. SHANKAR SUBRAMANIAN and Mr. GOWRISHANKAR E S is itself a good testimony to the intolerance among Tamilians and this along with the sense of insecurity they suffer leads to such demands that often emanates from Tamilian politicians. Such pathetic assertion of identity and that too for political mileage happens in every culture and now DMK being one of the legs in the PM’s Chair it is probably best time to make most of it.
    As far as Kannadigas are concerned, we are one of the most tolerant and cosmopolitan people and there is no wrong in putting forward our views. The fact that out of seven Jnanapeetha Awards that Kannada has won, one has been won by a Tamilian and one by a Maharashtrian is an ample proof that tolerance could enrich ones own language and this clearly shows that “Kannadiga frogs are not in the well while the Tamilian frogs seem to be deep in the well”.


    Daily Letters | 6 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    I think kannada should also be made a classical language.It meets the meets one important condition that it is extinct. I don’t think anybody outside India have heard of Kannada.That is my experience.


    Daily Letters | 7 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)

    I surely would support the claim of my kanndiga ethinc kinsmen if their language deserves the status of a classical langauge.
    why not?
    but u can not speak derisively of Tamil.

    just read what Dr.George L. Hart,Professor of Tamil,Chair in Tamil Studies of UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY has said on the issue:

    “pril 11, 2000.
    Statement on the Status of Tamil as a Classical Language.
    Professor Maraimalai has asked me to write regarding the position of Tamil as a classical language, and I am delighted to respond to his request.

    I have been a Professor of Tamil at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1975 and am currently holder of the Tamil Chair at that institution. My degree, which I received in 1970, is in Sanskrit, from Harvard, and my first employment was as a Sanskrit professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1969. Besides Tamil and Sanskrit, I know the classical languages of Latin and Greek and have read extensively in their literatures in the original. I am also well-acquainted with comparative linguistics and the literatures of modern Europe (I know Russian, German, and French and have read extensively in those languages) as well as the literatures of modern India, which, with the exception of Tamil and some Malayalam, I have read in translation. I have spent much time discussing Telugu literature and its tradition with V. Narayanarao, one of the greatest living Telugu scholars, and so I know that tradition especially well. As a long-standing member of a South Asian Studies department, I have also been exposed to the richness of both Hindi literature, and I have read in detail about Mahadevi Varma, Tulsi, and Kabir.

    I have spent many years — most of my life (since 1963) — studying Sanskrit. I have read in the original all of Kalidasa, Magha, and parts of Bharavi and Sri Harsa. I have also read in the original the fifth book of the Rig Veda as well as many other sections, many of the Upanisads, most of the Mahabharata, the Kathasaritsagara, Adi Sankara’s works, and many other works in Sanskrit.

    I say this not because I wish to show my erudition, but rather to establish my fitness for judging whether a literature is classical. Let me state unequivocally that, by any criteria one may choose, Tamil is one of the great classical literatures and traditions of the world.

    The reasons for this are many; let me consider them one by one.

    to contine in part-II

    to continue in part-II.


    Daily Letters | 7 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)

    First, Tamil is of considerable antiquity. It predates the literatures of other modern Indian languages by more than a thousand years. Its oldest work, the Tolkappiyam,, contains parts that, judging from the earliest Tamil inscriptions, date back to about 200 BCE. The greatest works of ancient Tamil, the Sangam anthologies and the Pattuppattu, date to the first two centuries of the current era. They are the first great secular body of poetry written in India, predating Kalidasa’s works by two hundred years.

    Second, Tamil constitutes the only literary tradition indigenous to India that is not derived from Sanskrit. Indeed, its literature arose before the influence of Sanskrit in the South became strong and so is qualitatively different from anything we have in Sanskrit or other Indian languages. It has its own poetic theory, its own grammatical tradition, its own esthetics, and, above all, a large body of literature that is quite unique. It shows a sort of Indian sensibility that is quite different from anything in Sanskrit or other Indian languages, and it contains its own extremely rich and vast intellectual tradition.

    Third, the quality of classical Tamil literature is such that it is fit to stand beside the great literatures of Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Chinese, Persian and Arabic. The subtlety and profundity of its works, their varied scope (Tamil is the only premodern Indian literature to treat the subaltern extensively), and their universality qualify Tamil to stand as one of the great classical traditions and literatures of the world. Everyone knows the Tirukkural, one of the world’s greatest works on ethics; but this is merely one of a myriad of major and extremely varied works that comprise the Tamil classical tradition. There is not a facet of human existence that is not explored and illuminated by this great literature.

    Finally, Tamil is one of the primary independent sources of modern Indian culture and tradition. I have written extensively on the influence of a Southern tradition on the Sanskrit poetic tradition. But equally important, the great sacred works of Tamil Hinduism, beginning with the Sangam Anthologies, have undergirded the development of modern Hinduism. Their ideas were taken into the Bhagavata Purana and other texts (in Telugu and Kannada as well as Sanskrit), whence they spread all over India. Tamil has its own works that are considered to be as sacred as the Vedas and that are recited alongside Vedic mantras in the great Vaisnava temples of South India (such as Tirupati). And just as Sanskrit is the source of the modern Indo-Aryan languages, classical Tamil is the source language of modern Tamil and Malayalam. As Sanskrit is the most conservative and least changed of the Indo-Aryan languages, Tamil is the most conservative of the Dravidian languages, the touchstone that linguists must consult to understand the nature and development of Dravidian.

    In trying to discern why Tamil has not been recognized as a classical language, I can see only a political reason: there is a fear that if Tamil is selected as a classical language, other Indian languages may claim similar status. This is an unnecessary worry. I am well aware of the richness of the modern Indian languages — I know that they are among the most fecund and productive languages on earth, each having begotten a modern (and often medieval) literature that can stand with any of the major literatures of the world. Yet none of them is a classical language. Like English and the other modern languages of Europe (with the exception of Greek), they rose on preexisting traditions rather late and developed in the second millennium. The fact that Greek is universally recognized as a classical language in Europe does not lead the French or the English to claim classical status for their languages.

    to continue to part-III




    Daily Letters | 7 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)

    To qualify as a classical tradition, a language must fit several criteria: it should be ancient, it should be an independent tradition that arose mostly on its own not as an offshoot of another tradition, and it must have a large and extremely rich body of ancient literature. Unlike the other modern languages of India, Tamil meets each of these requirements. It is extremely old (as old as Latin and older than Arabic); it arose as an entirely independent tradition, with almost no influence from Sanskrit or other languages; and its ancient literature is indescribably vast and rich.

    It seems strange to me that I should have to write an essay such as this claiming that Tamil is a classical literature — it is akin to claiming that India is a great country or Hinduism is one of the world’s great religions. The status of Tamil as one of the great classical languages of the world is something that is patently obvious to anyone who knows the subject. To deny that Tamil is a classical language is to deny a vital and central part of the greatness and richness of Indian culture.

    George L. Hart
    Professor of Tamil
    Chair in Tamil Studies


    Daily Letters | 7 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Mr. Sanka it is exactly your kind of species I referred to in my previous letter, you are the perfect frog in the well that refuses to see beyond its abyss. We can only be sorry for you.


    Daily Letters | 7 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Mr. Sunil. Did you understand what I meant? I said
    Tamil’s antiquity is beyond question. It is the oldest of all Dravidian languages. But my question is why should kannadiga chavunists link tamil’s status as a classical language to Kannada’s status. Why do you guys bother about this? You never answered this question.
    Another accusation is that we are fanatics. NO, we are not. We are only a proud people and you folks are the linguistic chauvinists. We did not drive out other state people (even during the anti-hindi agitation) like you guys did during cauvery riots.


    Daily Letters | 7 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Mr SUNIL N. RANGAIAH seems to fume at the reality. Please open your eyes and mind, dear friend. I am as glad as you are that 7 Jnanapeeta awards have been won by Kannada writers. It says a lot about Kannada’s versatility and the acumen of its writers. The problem is you want to think that your language will be accepted great only when others are considered inferior. That’s not really the case. As for chauvinism, insecurity, intolernace etc, Tamils are not the ones who are intolerant. They are not the chauvinists who block the erection of the statue of a poet who is a pride of India. If somebody wants to install a statue of Purandara dasa or Tagore or Iqbal in Madras, Tamils will not go mad as happens in Bangalore. Come on, learn to love your compatriots and try to embrace the diverse cultures in India and appreciate the merits of others. After all, anything that makes a part of India proud should make every Indian proud. My frog story has obviously touched ur conscience, and I am happy it has served its purpose. Be an Indian, and dont live within your closed doors. Give what is due to others, and you will get what is due to you. Vande Mataram.


    Daily Letters | 7 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    SUGATA SRINIVASARAJU is just another mischievous element in journalism. See what he/she(?) has to say: “Tamil and Kannada linguists array themselves on opposite sides to lay claim to a classical status. Is the battle pointless, given that both languages are derived?” Where did he/she find the two sides arraying themselves for a battle? There was no question of that until this person went around Bangalore for the express purpose of stirring up some problem. As if the literary intellectuals of both states are fighting with each other. NOBODY who knows what he/she speaks about doubts the classical status for Tamil. And nobody impartial would go writing a story without giving chance to the other side of the “array”. (There was a belated view from Madras though, after doing the damage).Outlook, of all the magazines should come out with such a rubbish………nauseating.


    Daily Letters | 8 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Instead of a healthy discussion; it is unfortunate that most resorted to use of language unsuitable for the situation. I would like to clarify that when I was mentioning of “Frogs” and “intolerance” I was only responding to the un-sophisticated and narrow opinion expressed by some of the readers and specifically Mr. Sanka’s comments were far from dignified and so were the comparison of Tamilians and Kannadigas to Frogs. It is not right to blame the author or the editor of this article/Magazine, the individual/s expressing their opinion on this article should have kept their language more cultured. As far as statues are concerned such issues are more related to Cauvery water politics than language. I still strongly believe that Kannadigas are more open, tolerant and cosmopolitan; one can ask any non-Kannadiga and non-Tamilian who has lived in both states for the proof. Branding of a language as Classical or not really shouldn’t make much difference to common Kannadigas and Tamilians, they should be worried about more serious issues that plague both of them as Indians.


    Daily Letters | 8 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    I am surprised that Mr Sunil asserts that Kannadiga are more tolerant, open and cosmopolitan than Tamils. I wonder if he knows that Tamils have chosen a kannadiga as their chief minister, a kannadiga as a super star, a malayalee was their CM in the past, and that lakhs of Telugu people are living in TN like brothers. Can he say honestly that any Tamil can become a CM in his state? You are not even allowing Tamils to live in peace there. All Kanndigas are not chauvinists of course. But people like Vattal Nagaraj, ur present deputy CM, Deve Gowda, Nage Gowda, Rajkumar etc, etc are all fanatics who wouldn’t let common Kanndigas remain liberal. No other state in India has a flag of its own other than our great tricolor. And u say ur state people r not chauvinists. The fact that a Tamil and a Marathi have written in Kannada to win Jnanapeet Award shows how good those two non Kanndiga writers are. Please tell me a single Kannda writer who writes in Tamil or Bengali or Malayalam etc. During Cauvery riots, Tamils in Bangalore were killed, plundered, and raped as if they were from a different country. Tamils ran to TN as refugees in their own country. That of course is kannada tolerance. No kanndiga was even touched in TN during that cruel period. If some people want to erect a statue for Thiruvalluvar in Bangalore, where does Cauvery come into the picture there? Is Bangalore a different country out of India? Linguistic chauvinism is at its peak in Karnataka. Kannada is of course the second oldest living language in India.But why do u people always worrying about what comes to Tamil? This is a very sorry state of affairs. Cauvery problem has made u see every Tamil as ur enemy, Tamil language ur target. God save u people from burning in ur own fire of envy and chauvinism.




    Daily Letters | 8 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    dear sir,
    iam a tamil by language and i read the article on language wars between tamil and kannada.iam extremely disgusted about the way in which your correspondent handled the matter.she went around collecting vengeance , hatred and jealousy.she should have also consulted some impartial linguists and scholars who are non-tamilians and non -kannadigas without any political motive.no doubt kannada is a beautiful language with very rich culture.it may be the softest among all indian languages for speaking.i came to bangalore just twice and i can read and write kannada with difficulty even before.(also malayalam and hindi).but i think comparing kannada with tamil is awkward.as far as tamil is concerned:
    1.there is an old song(kongu ther vazhkai),probably from sangam literature.legend says that ,that song was sung by lord shiva himself.
    2.tamil brahmi inscriptions have been recovered
    in egypt.
    3.tamil language and culture(mainly hindu)influenced the whole of southeast asian region.
    4.in thailand,during the crowning of royal king,thevaram songs(tamil) are sung as a part of rituals.
    5.malayalam language evolved from medivial tamil.before 300 years the language spoken in today’s kerala was called as ‘mala naattu tamil'(mountain country tamil).
    6.tamil influenced sinhala language too.sinhala kings patronised tamil studies in the past though they disliked tamils and hinduism.
    7.recently,some mud urns having skeletons were recovered from adichanallur site of south tamilnadu.the tamil brahmi inscriptions on the urns are dated as 8TH century B C.(so old).
    so comparing kannada with tamil is meaningless.in tamilnadu,tamil scholars and politicians disparaged and belittled sanskrit to glorify tamil in the past.in karnataka tamil is disparaged and belittled to glorify kannada.in future, in some other state, someone will belittle kannada to glorify his language.
    so comparisons should not be done in this manner regarding language,culture,cinema etc.
    best wishes,
    thanks a lot,


    Daily Letters | 8 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    I still strongly believe that Kannadigas are more open, tolerant and cosmopolitan; one can ask any non-Kannadiga and non-Tamilian who has lived in both states for the proof.

    I am a Telugu and I lived in Madras many years ago for about a year or so. I keep visiting the city now and then. I can attest to the fact that Tamil-speakers are warm, friendly and tolerant, if you also happen to speak Tamil. 😉 In Bangalore, you can chat up a local in any of five languages: Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English. The chap would attempt — even if he should struggle a bit — to respond to you in the SAME language. I recall an amazing incident from ten years ago when I first came to this city. In Basavanagudi area, a Kannadiga stronghold, I asked a gentleman for directions to an address. He simply walked with me a kilometer to show me the place! Alas, Bangalore is not what it used to be, the old courtesies are gone. It’s not the Tamilians who are to blame though: it’s the northies. They brought with them brashness, rudeness, consumering and show-off culture.

    Sorry for digressing. Returning to the main point: just as we, as a secular country, accord equal recognition to all religions, so must we give equal importance to all languages. I’m for declaring all major languages spoken by Indians as “classical”.


    Daily Letters | 9 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    I am honestly wondering was this discussion of worth at all, because every time I read the opinion to this article some people are spitting more venom against Kannadigas than before. With all due respect Mr. Joe Vasanth you are sitting in cold Belfast and you are saying that “Tamils in Bangalore were killed, plundered, and raped as if they were from a different country”, I wonder if you are really aware what is going on in India. Your statement sounds more like Pakistan’s accusations on India in Kashmir, far far far from reality. You are probably a victim of LTTE’s propaganda; you are definitely not reading any good Indian publications.
    Through all my letters to this article I have never opposed giving a “classical” status to Tamil or any other language for that matter, my objections were only to the below-dignified comments made by some of the readers to the people of Karnataka. Btw – Ms. Jayalalitha is a Tamilian born in Karnataka, Mr. Rajinikanth is a Maharashtrian born in Karnataka, and I do admire the latter’s acting ability in some of his “old” movies and also former’s leadership skills. I would have even admired and respected DMK if they had used their “power” to do something more worthy to the life of common Tamil people. Lastly ; a request to everyone please stop using language that Mr. Joe Vasantha used in his letter. And thank you for Mr. Raghu Reddy for giving “third” party view.


    Daily Letters | 9 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    dear sir,
    i read the latest letter by sunil.even though iam a tamil,i have to accept the fact that kannada people are better in behaviour when compared to tamils.history may be a reason for tamilians rough behaviour.tamilnadu is the only state in india with maximum number of castes and communities as per population survey.this is due to invasions and intrusions in to the region in
    the past 500 years, by people from other regions.many outsiders(from other parts of india) and colonial forces ruled the region in the past and tamil language and culture was given step motherly treatment.sanskrit was refered as devabasha and tamil ridiculed as neechabasha.after sangam age,tamil language lost its importance until the later part of 19th century.tamils paid a heavy price for the cosmopolitanism practised by outsiders.even after states reorganisation on language basis,madras state continued as madras state until DMK came to power.all these facts led to rise of chauvinistic ideologies and related forces in tamilnadu.

    regarding tamil language,
    1.as like major languages of the world,tamil has its own indigenous medicinal system called “sidha”.in this system,texts are in tamil language and songs were composed by 18 sidhars.this system is practised in tamilnadu and some parts of kerala and ceylon.
    2.there is a martial art named ‘varma kalai’ in tamil.it is a warfare in which enemies are killed or paralysed by smashing particular nerves.it needs good training and attention.the related tamil text is said to contain verses giving all details about warfare.now it is said to be taught and practised secretly in some pockets of tamilnadu and kerala.
    4.i heard from a history professor that there was a book in tamil about building different varieties of ships,boats and other naval vessels.that book became extinct somewhere in seventeenth century.in those days, tamil people were very good in sea journey.
    3.kamasutra is the erotic literature in sanskrit.tamil has ‘kokkoha sasthiram’.i just heard ,didn’t read.
    4.tamil texts were composed only in palm leaves unlike texts of other languages.so considerable part have been lost in course of time.what world see and feel today is little.
    thanks a lot,


    Daily Letters | 9 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Its a pity that Mr Rangaiah has once again made a desparate attempt to hide the pumpkin in the rice whice proves to be futile.Even if Rajni is a Marathi and Jayalalitha is not a kannadiga its still makes the Tamil prove themselves as a tolerent society when accepting them and MGR as their leaders/S.Star,which wont happen in Karnataka.Also its Mr Rangaiah and others (who were interviewed by the author of the article) who spat the venom over the Tamils unnecessarily.The Tamils never spoke of Kannada and only some shortsighted kannadigas started the mess out of sheer jealousy.If we claim our languages right,why is it pricking you?If you can prove your tongues ‘classicalness’ it will be recognised.Moreover parties like DMK merely represent the peoples view and (unlike someothers) we are not influenced by their views.I dont understand how LTTE comes here.Btw MR Rangaiah you can well go back to the past and read the neutral publications and understand how Tamilians suffered in Karnataka.Its a well known fact in the world including cold Belfast.Also sir,you didnt answer my querry regarding the the statue of Thiruvalluvar.I think my language is definitely appropriate while reading the standard of your comments.Thank you.


    Daily Letters | 9 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Dear Mr.Sunil, the Cauvery riots are not out of fiction, but of facts. From your mails I can see that you are not a chauvinist. So I appeal to your reason and logic.

    1.You are deriding Joe that he is mislead by LTTE. I understand that you know about LTTE. They are in Sri Lanka, and not in India. They have more than enough business in their own country to come here to “misguide” brainless Tamils in TN about Cauvery riots. Simply, they gain nothing from that.

    2. Cauvery riots: The supreme court of India, (I hope you have respect to it, unlike your CMs and politicians)has recently given a verdict for the compensation and rehabilitaion of Cauvery riot victims. As you claim that Mr Joe does not read good Indian publications, and Cauvery riots are just a myth (akin to Pak claims on Kashmir), I wish to submit to your kind attention the following news from “The Hindu”(published from Madras) and the “Deccan Herald”(from Bangalore).

    http://www.hindu.com/2004/03/10/stories/20 04031001721200.htm
    http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/mar10 2004/i3.asp

    The clear facts are:
    a. The Cauvery riots in April 1991 following the Interim award of Cauvery Tribunal did happen.
    b. 16-25 Tamils were murdered in Karnataka.
    c. 9,576 Tamils were victimised in Karnataka,and 93 Kannadigas were affected in TN. Note that 100 times!! more in Karnataka.
    d. These are not our fiction, but observations by the Supreme Court of the Land. I wonder whether you will also deride it saying that the judges do not read good Indian publications and are misled by the LTTE…
    e. I was very much in Periyar district that time, not in the cold UK. I know how many refugees flocked TN and in what conditions. Either you do not know things or you are intentionally trying to hide them. I hope the former is right, judging from the views you have put forward in good faith.

    Last of all, but also MOST OF ALL, the whole controversy was kindled by the Kannada “intellectuals” in the Outlook story and in your state. Tamils never started it. We mind our business, you are not letting us to be so. I understand that you are stung by the language used by certain readers here, but I hpe you will also understand how wounded and stung Tamils would be by the language and views expressed by the “intellectuals” in the magazine article. Certainly, Tamils are not the ones who are the trouble creators. Please let us live in peace, do not keep meddling into our affairs. And if you ( I mean ur Kannada activists) do meddle, you cannot expect a glove and velvette handling from us. Hope you will think about it in the right perspective.


    Daily Letters | 9 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    If the links given for the news items in The Hindu and The Deccan Herald do not work, please search the archives section in their websites for March 10, 2004 issue.




    Daily Letters | 9 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    A correction of detail: The riots occurred between December 1991 and January 2002, and not in April as I mentioned earlier.The immediate provocation was a bandh called for by the GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA led by Bangarappa (not by some isolated fanatics). Cauvery Riot Relief Authority was a constitutional body looking into the affair. All these are documented facts with legal authority. Not simply LTTE propaganda, of course, unless Supreme Court judges are members of LTTE. (No sane person can insult the Supreme Court this way. May be S.M.Krishna and like others would do that).


    Daily Letters | 9 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    I think you mean Dec 1991 and Jan 1992.


    Daily Letters | 10 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    It is wise to declare Idli, Dose(not Dosa!!!), Vade as dishes common to all south Indian before Our friends declare it as “Classical”


    Published Letters | 19 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)

    • In the article A Question of Antiquity (July 12), Chandrasekara Kambar’s quote was wrongly attributed to U.R. Ananthamurthy in the blurb. We regret the error.

    • In the article A Hard Clay Tablet (Dec 8, 2003), we had inadvertently carried a photograph of the factory premises of Chinar Pharmaceuticals, which hinted that the company was an unlicensed manufacturer. We regret any harm caused to the company because of this mistake.


    Published Letters | 26 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    What’s Your Tam Rating?
    I read your article on Tamil vs Kannada (A Question of Antiquity, July 12). I was a student and then a colleague of A.K. Ramanujan and knew him quite well. Though he cherished Kannada and its literature, he never referred to it as ‘classical’ whereas he always spoke of Sangam literature as classical Tamil. What makes Tamil a classical language is that its literature is demonstrably older than that of any other Indian language except Sanskrit (and some Prakrits and Pali), that it has an independent (of Sanskrit) tradition and that it has an extraordinarily rich body of very early literature. The fact that it came from proto-Dravidian is immaterial, since all ‘classical’ languages derive from ‘proto’ languages (Sanskrit, Greek and Latin are from proto-Indo-European). Kannada, for all its richness, does not possess an independent tradition—it owes too much to Sanskrit—and it does not have a substantial body of literature as old as that of Tamil. Sangam literature dates from the 1st to the 3rd century AD.
    George Hart, Prof of Tamil, Univ. of California, Berkeley

    It’s astonishing that spoken Kannada contains words like uhiru for fingernail which is found only in old Tamil literature and is now extinct in spoken Tamil. When the Greeks and the Romans traded with south India, they landed at ports like Puhaar in the east and Musiri in the west which were Tamil territory. Early Sangam literature is acknowledged to belong to BC.
    Dr R. Narasimhan, London

    K.R. Narayana’s comments are appalling. Tamil is a common language that has no caste barriers, only regional dialects, just like any other language. His suggestion that Tamil is divided on casteist lines is misleading. In that case, is Kannada too divided along caste lines?
    Divya Manian, Singapore

    Rather than chauvinists on both sides hijacking and exploiting the issue, independent scholars of linguistics should deliver the verdict on whether Tamil or Kannada is the classical language. K.V. Narayana is intuitively right when he attributes different dialects of a language to castes rather than regions.
    Murali Asadha, Mugaiyur, Tamil Nadu

    I think it’s plain jealousy that’s making Kannadiga intellectuals link the request for making Kannada a classical language to the status of Tamil. It is well-known and proven that Tamil’s Sangam era coincided with the start of the Christian era. The Tholkappiyam, in fact, was written at this time. So even if Tamil is not the original parent language, it is the oldest of all surviving Dravidian languages. Let Kannadigas accept that as a reality and learn to live with it.
    Shankar Subramanian, Warsaw

    Kannadigas suffer from some inscrutable inferiority complex especially when it comes to the Tamils. They look at Tamils as their enemies—primarily because of the Cauvery water issue; riparian states assume the role of “givers”. If the case of Tamil is taken up, it is not to prove a point over any other language but to its own cause.
    Tamil Selvan, Bangalore

    You claim Tamil and Kannada linguists are “arrayed” on “opposite sides to lay claim to a classical status”. Well, they weren’t till you made them. Anyone who knows his/her subject does not doubt the classical status of Tamil.
    Gowrishankar E.S., London

    While I as a Kannadiga don’t grudge the granting of a classical status to Tamil, such a move by the government will give more ammunition to those Tamil activists (and there are many) who have nothing but contempt for other languages.
    Yashovardhana Kote, Columbus, US

    The Tamil language is beyond comparison, not just among the four Dravidian languages but also with respect to any other Indian language since it has been a contemporary of most ancient languages such as Greek, Latin, Hebrew and Mandarin. Its value and reach are so that it has been recognised outside India in four countries as one of their national languages (Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Sri Lanka). I speak Telugu.
    Arun Prasanna, Chennai

    I think Kannada too should be dubbed classical. It meets the one important condition: that it is extinct. I don’t think anyone outside India’s heard of it!
    M.S. Sankar, London, UK

    Speaking about Tamil and Kannada in the same breath is like juxtaposing Outlook with Debonair.
    Krishna K., on e-mail


    Daily Letters | 18 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    M.S Shankar writes that Kannada is extinct. the only reason being outside of India nobody has heard it. That’s because Kannadigas are smart enough to learn the local lingo wherever they are. They do not impose their language unlike their neighbours. Why can’t Tams speak proper English or Hindi do they have a genetic problem?


    Daily Letters | 19 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Whoever has raised this debate has raised the most chauvinistic issue? I dont understand what benefits get bestowed upon a race by declaring its language as classical.But by allowing people to claim the supremacy of their respective language is like allowing anybody to claim that his mother is best in comparison with others’ mothers or like allowing a violinist to claim that it is the best musical instrument over a veena or a flute.Every language has its own features verbal beauty,sweet nuances, classicism, literary forms etc, if just antiquity is the question then let be a historic decision and remain in history books. Please dont allow anybody to claim supremacy of one language as a whole, over any other language, because all other features of the language other than antiquity can only be enjoyed by people who speak it, who live with it , who enjoy and/or create literary forms in it and no body, not even an independant observer can judge it. In a multi-lingual country like ours, the call of the day is to give mutual-respect for each others’ social, traditional,religious, linguistic concerns while each practicing his own.




    Daily Letters | 20 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Most of the comments here reveal how gullible Indians are to political manoeuvre. It is a disgrace to a great language like Tamil that it got the so-called “Classical” language status ONLY because DMK is the largest supporter to the government at the centre rather than its own merits. DMK certainly achieved what they wanted by looking at comments which sheepishly follow the political stunt.
    The pro-tamil comments here betray blatant ignorance & chauvinism. Indeed it is these guys who make Tamilnadu and subsequently India what it is. Bravo !!

    CB   U.K

    Daily Letters | 21 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    First the article is written with the aim to sensationalize the Tamil classical status. Already the Outlook guys would be patting on their backs for having successfully created a fist fight among kannadigas and Tamils. Let us not give in to those. But I’m being a Tamil I would like to ask these kannadigas, why envy your neighbor, go ahead and ask for classical status to what evere you can think of and we Tamils will not crib over it unlike you


    Daily Letters | 23 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    It is Good to see Kannada people becoming assertive about their language. Otherwise Tamil will become official language of Karanataka


    Daily Letters | 25 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    “Tamil and Kannada linguists array themselves on opposite sides to lay claim to a classical status.” didn’t happen until it got published on July 12, Issue.


    Daily Letters | 29 Jul, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Its high time tamilians get to know that gone are the days when south indians were known as madrasis.It is for these kinds of chauvinist acts that makes tamilians outsiders where ever they reside and are never considered as one amongsts the locals.Loving ones language is different to being fanatic and that is what has caused such severe differences amongs the gentle and humble kannadigas and tamilians since they not only not become part of the local crowd in other regions but also try to improvise their language on others which makes them the most hateable indian breed everywhere.Please folks learn to live amicably whereever u guys settle down and let others live in peace too.


    Daily Letters | 14 Sep, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)


    Daily Letters | 14 Sep, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Dear Mr Chetan
    I am really surprised by your short sighted views regarding the tamils.Have you ever seen any Tamil improvising our language on others.
    Its the Hindi which is being imposed on others (which you whole heartedly accept without having any shame.)I do agree that most of the tamils are proud of our language.But nobody is fanatic.please understand the difference between pride and fanatism.Undoubtedly tamil is the oldest dravidian language and is the mother of the other dravidian languages.thers no Q about that.Its a fact.If anyone says this FACT why do you call him a fanatic?So do u mean that just to appease you we should never claim the classic status of our language?Does that make sense?Think before you talk.Dont shout out of Inf Complex.Hope you understand this.All the best.




    Daily Letters | 16 Sep, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Please visit the following link to clarify certain details

    http://encyclopedia.thefreedictiona ry.com/Classical+languages


    Daily Letters | 16 Sep, 2004 11:24:45AM (IST)
    Please visit the following link

    http://tamil.berkeley.edu/Tamil%20Chai r/TamilClassicalLanguage/TamilClassicalLgeLtr.html

    CHENNAI   INDIA http://www.outlookindia.com/rantsmag.asp?fodname=20040712&fname=Kannada%20(F)&sid=1&pn=8


    November 9, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada | 9 Comments

    Issue of classical tag resurfaces

    Issue of classical tag resurfaces

    Staff Correspondent

    Date:03/10/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/10/03/stories/2007100364050800.htm

    Javare Gowda observes fast in Mysore

    He will fast on November 1 and 30 to pressure the Centre

    Kannada existed before the Christian era, says Prof. Gowda

    MYSORE: With only 30 days left for the Kannada Rajyotsava, the issue of classical language status for Kannada, which was dormant all these days, resurfaced with former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore, and litterateur D. Javare Gowda observing fast from dawn to dusk here on Tuesday to urge the Centre for according the classical language tag to Kannada.

    Prof. Gowda, a recipient of Padmashree award, was observing fast for the third time in the last two years to pressure the Centre to accord the status to Kannada on the lines of Tamil, which got the tag three years ago, in consideration of its antiquity.

    Prof. Gowda had earlier threatened to return the Padmashree award, in case the Centre failed to meet the languishing demand of the Kannadigas.

    Prof. Gowda garlanded a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at Vivekananda College in Jayalakshmipurm before starting his fast. Chairman on of the Translation Academy Pradhan Gurudutt, former Vice-Chancellor of Hampi Kannda University H.J. Lakkappa Gowda, M.G. R. Urs, Mugur Nanjundaswamy, poet, Lata Rajashekar and C. Naganna also participated in the fast.

    He declared that he was fasting in the names of Gandhiji, Basaveshwara and Kuvempu and would fast both on November 1 and 30 to exhert more pressure on the Centre. If the Union Government refused to provide justice to Kannada, he would go on indefinite fast from January 1, he said.

    Prof. Gowda went on fast on November 30, 2005, seeking classical language status for Kannada and called it off in view of assurance by the Government that it would continue its efforts in this regard. He also wrote to the then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam urging him to prevail upon the Union Government to accord the status to Kannada. The octogenarian litterateur also staged one-day fast on January 30 to press for classical language status for Kannada.

    But he withdrew the fast on the assurances given by Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajashekaran that he was working towards the cause.

    Prof. Gowda said that, there was proof that the language existed before the Christian era and it had a history of more than 2000 years. Citing the incident of noted personality Potti Sri Ramulu, who gave up his life, when the then Government did not accede the demand for linguistic States in 1953, Prof. Gowda said that there was a necessity for somebody to sacrifice his life for the cause.

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    November 9, 2007 Posted by | Classical status to Kannada | Leave a comment