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Born12th century CE
Died12th or 13th century CE
OccupationPoet, Writer
Jagannatha Vijaya
Noted Kannada poets and writers in Hoysala Empire
(1100-1343 CE)
Nagachandra 1105
Kanti 1108
Rajaditya 12th. c
Harihara 1160–1200
Udayaditya 1150
Vritta Vilasa 1160
Kereya Padmarasa 1165
Nemichandra 1170
Sumanobana 1175
Rudrabhatta 1180
Aggala 1189
Palkuriki Somanatha 1195
Sujanottamsa(Boppana) 1180
Kavi Kama 12th c.
Devakavi 1200
Raghavanka 1200–1225
Bhanduvarma 1200
Balachandra Kavi 1204
Parsva Pandita 1205
Maghanandycharya 1209
Janna 1209–1230
Puligere Somanatha 13th c.
Hastimalla 13th c.
Chandrama 13th c.
Somaraja 1222
Gunavarma II 1235
Polalvadandanatha 1224
Andayya 1217–1235
Sisumayana 1232
Mallikarjuna 1245
Naraharitirtha 1281
Kumara Padmarasa 13th c.
Mahabala Kavi 1254
Kesiraja 1260
Kumudendu 1275
Nachiraja 1300
Ratta Kavi 1300
Nagaraja 1331
Noted Kannada poets and writers in the Seuna Yadava Kingdom
Kamalabhava 1180
Achanna 1198
Amugideva 1220
Chaundarasa 1300

Rudrabhatta was an influential 12th-century Kannada poet in the court of the Hoysala Empire King Veera Ballala II(r.1173–1220 CE). According to Kannada language expert Narasimhacharya, the poet was also patronized by a minister of the King.[1] The literary critic Mukherjee feels that after a century of literary revolution caused by the Veerashaiva poets, a benevolent atmosphere created by the king may have encouraged this Vaishnava writer and poet.[2]

Magnum opus[edit]

Rudrabhatta was a Brahmin and a Smartha (believer of monistic philosophy). Based on the Sanskrit classic Vishnu Purana, he wrote the epic Jagannatha Vijaya in the Champu metrical form (mixed prose-verse). The epic kavya (a narrative poem) describes the life of the Hindu god Krishna leading up to his fight with the demon Banasura. In this work, Rudrabhatta envisions the Hindu gods Hari (Vishnu), Hara (Shiva) and Brahma as one composite supreme deity (Parabrahma) who takes the form of the god Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu). According to Dalal, Rudrabhatta influenced later day notable Kannada poets such as Kumaravyasa and Lakshmisha, and Haridasa (carnatic music) composers such as Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa.[3] The Kannada scholar L.S. Sheshagiri Rao feels Rudrabhatta was essentially a poet for the learned classes.[4][5] However, according to the literary critic Shiva Kumar, though Rudrabhatta's form was ancient, his content is more medieval, making him a poet of transition in Kannada literature. Shiva Prakash and Dalal consider him adept at both the mainstream (marga) and the native (desi) styles of composition.[3][6] Based on epigraphs from the period of Veera Ballala II, the scholar Narasimhacharya dates Jagannatha Vijaya to about 1180 CE.[7]

According to the scholar Sreekantaiyya, based on internal evidence, the authorship of an important Sanskrit classic called Rasakalika is assignable to Rudrabhatta. According to him, references made by the later day Kannada poet Salva (1550 CE) in his writing Rasaratnakara gives the required evidence. Sreekantaiyya feels the author of a Sanskrit book (on love and aesthetics in poetry) called Sringaratilaka, who goes by the same name, is not the Rudrabhatta of the Hoysala court. According to Dalal, the author of Sringaratilaka belonged to the 10th century and also goes by the name Rudratta.[3][8] According to Sankaranarayanan, Rudrabhatta's Rasakalika played an important role in the development of Indian aesthetics. It was the source for poet Vidyanatha's work Prataparudriya. The poet Vasudeva quotes from Rasakalika in his comments on the writing Karpurmanjari by Rajasekhara. He feels that today's scholars have not fully recognized the influence of Rudrabhatta of the Hoysala court.[9]

See also[edit]



  1. Narasimhacharya (1988), p20
  2. Mukherjee (1999), p333
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dalal (2011), p347
  4. Sastri (1955), p364
  5. Rao in Datta (1988), p1181
  6. Shiva Prakash in Ayyappa Paniker (1997), p203
  7. Narasimhacharya (1988), p39
  8. Srikantaiya (2001), p35
  9. Sankaranarayanan, Kalpakam. Rasakalika of Rudrabhatta. The Adyar Library and Research Centre. ISBN 8185141010.


  • Sastri, Nilakanta K.A. [1955] (2002). A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. New Delhi: Indian Branch, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-560686-8.
  • Narasimhacharya, R (1988). History of Kannada Literature. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0303-6.
  • Mukherjee, Sujit (1999). Dictionary of Indian Literature One: Beginnings - 1850. Oriental Blackswan, New Delhi. ISBN 81-2501453-5
  • Sreekantaiyya, K N. (2001). Indian Poetics. Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. ISBN 81-260-0807-5
  • Datta, Amaresh (1988) Encyclopaedia of Indian literature. Sahitya Akademi. New Delhi. ISBN 81-260-1194-7
  • Shiva Prakash, H.S. (1997). "Kannada". Edited by Ayyappa Panicker. Medieval Indian Literature, An Anthology, Volume 1. Sahitya Akademi. New Delhi. ISBN 81-260-0365-0
  • Dalal, Roshan. (2011). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-143-4142-16, ISBN 978-0143414216

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