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Ashta Diggajas of Sri Krishna Devaraya’s Royal Court

The other feature of Krishna deva Raya’s court was Ashta Diggajas. Ashta Diggajas are 8 elephants. I mean there is belief that you know there are 8 elephants which actually hold the earth in different directions. Like I told you the names Pundareeka, Vamana, Anjana, and of course Airavat, the elephant of Indra. These 8 great poets in Krishna Deva Raya’s court, they were called as the Ashta Diggajas. And of course, each of them had their own Indian styles. One of the most famous poets were Allasani Peddana, who was called as Andhra Kavita Pitamaha. I mean the patriarch of Telugu poetry. His famous work is Manu Charitra. There is a picture of Sri Krishna Deva Raya and Allasani Peddana. Krishna Deva Raya in fact reward Allasani Peddana to, such a large extend, that you know he often take that golden bracelet. That golden bracelet he himself would bend and put it around his leg. And there were times he himself would carry the Palanquin which he was carrying. That was the reverence which he had for Allasani Peddana. The senior most of all the 8 poets.

The other poet he had was Nandi Timmana who hailed from Anantapur district. He was also called as Mukku Timmana because he wrote a lot of series of Mukku, Mukku in Telugu means nose. So, he wrote a series of couplets of poets on that. So, the reason why he was nick named as Mukku Timmana and one of his famous works was Parijatapaharanam which is dealing with the story of Satyabhama’s Parijatham plant along with Krishna from the heavens, that story.

The other one is Madayyagari Mallana and he wrote a famous book called Rajasekhara Charithram, which is based on the legendary ruler of Avanti kingdom. Other one was Dhurjati Kavi who basically wrote most of books in praise of Shiva. This famous one was Srikalahasti Mahatyam a very famous temple town in Andhra Pradesh. Ayyalaraju Ramabhadra who was called as Pillala Ramabhadrudu. The other one was Pingali Surana, he wrote a very famous book called Kalapurnodayam where first time he made use of techniques like flash backs and Ramarajabhushanudu, who was apart from being very famous poet was also a pretty great musician too. He played the veena and, of course, Tenali Ramakrishna which I think most of you would be familiar. Of course, while most of us are familiar with Tenali Ramakrishna as gesture or something, he was also a great author too. He wrote the Panduranga Mahatyam, basically the story of Pundarika and Vittala, Vithoba in Maharashtra and that is considered as one of the Panchamahakavya, what is the five great works in Telugu literature. So, these Ashta Diggajas were the ones who adorned Sri Krishna Deva Raya’s court and they used to daily meet in a session that they called as Bhuvanavijayam. Bhuvanavijayam means sending victory over the earth. Even now they keep holding recreations of this Bhuvanavijayam there, you know, these poets meet and they come up with the poetry. Basically, the poets would meet, they would come up with debates, you know, debates with each other.

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