Highly Decorated Personalities

Highly Decorated Personalities

Hailing Vinukonda in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, he is considered the first modern Dalit poet. Joshua overcame extreme poverty and caste discrimination and emerged as a scholar in Telugu and Sanskrit earning the title “Ubhayabhasha praveena”. Protests against untouchability and discrimination and focus on Dalit rights are recurring themes in his works.

Gurram Jashua Kavi Thoranam
Hailing Vinukonda in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, he is considered the first modern Dalit poet. Joshua overcame extreme poverty and caste discrimination and emerged as a scholar in Telugu and Sanskrit earning the title “Ubhayabhasha praveena”. Protests against untouchability and discrimination and focus on Dalit rights are recurring themes in his works.

Srinatha Kavi Thoranam
is a well-known 15th century poet who popularised the Prabandha style of writing (story in verse) which earned him the title of “Kavi Sarva bhouma’ (king among poets). He received royal patronage and was well known for works like “Haravilasam’ “Sringara Naishadam’ and Panditaaraadhya charitra”.

Annamacharya Thoranam
Tallapaka Annamacharya, the 15th century composer was the earliest known Indian musician to compose songs or Sankirtanas in praise of Lord Venkateshwara. He is known as ‘Andhra Pada kavita Pitamaha and is supposed to have written over 32,000 sankirtanas, of which some 12,000 are available.

Gurazada Apparao Thoranam
Hailing from Viziayanagaram in Andhra Pradesh, Gurazada Apparao was a noted playwright, dramatist, poet and writer whose play “Kanyashulkam” (bride price) is considered one of the greatest plays in the Telugu language. His patriotic song ‘Desamunu Preminchumanna’ has a wide following as also his style of poetry known as “Muthyala saralu”.

Sri Sri Thoranam
One of the most famous names in Telugu literature, his poems and lyrics have inspired many. He was the first modern Telugu poet to write about contemporary issues in a style and metre not used in classical Telugu poetry. “Mahaprasthanam” is his most famous anthology of poems and the Sahitya Akademi award winning poet has several literary gems to his credit.

Allasani Peddana Thoranam
is ranked as the foremost Telugu poet among the “Ashtadiggajalu (eight literary giants or gems) in the great Vijayanagara King Krishnadevaraya’s court. He was honoured with a golden bracelet by the King and was known for his works “Manu charitra” and “Harikathaasaaramu”.

Pakala Yashoda Reddy Thoranam
former Chairperson of the Official Language Commission Pakala Yashoda Reddy was a writer and poetess of eminence. She hailed From Nagarkurnool. A post graduate in Telugu and Sanskrit, she was a Telugu Professor at the Osmania University. “Bhagavatha Sudha” “Naradeeyam” and “Maa Voori Mucchatlu” are some of her prominent works.

Kavitrayam Nannayya, Thikkana, Yerrapragada Thoranam
The trinity of poets Nannayya, Thikkana and Errappragada are known for translating the Mahabharata into Telugu. Nannayya, known as “Adi Kavi “(the first poet) hailed from Rajahmundry, Thikkana belonged to Paturu in Nellore and Yerrapragada was a court poet of Prola Vemareddy of Konaveedu.

Gona Vemareddy popular as Yogi Vemana, has written one of the most popular anthologies of hundred poems in Telugu. “Vemana Shatakam”. The poet philosopher from Rayalaseema, through poems written in a simple and easy style, wrote about diverse subjects covering yoga, wisdom and morality.

Dr. Biruduraju. Ramaraju Thoranam
was a National Research Professor and veteran in folklore literature. He created history by becoming the first person to obtain Ph.D in Folklore Studies in the whole of South India. He translated the works of Sharat Chandra Chatterjee and Munshi Premchand into Telugu and introduced them to lovers of literature. He also edited the first Telugu-Urdu Dictionary. He is the author of the monumental six volume series on the “Saints of Andhra Pradesh”.

Tirupati Venkata Kavula Thoranam
Divakarla Tirupati Sastry and Challapilla Venkata Sastry are the poet duo referred to as Tirupati Venkatakavulu. They are acclaimed for their sterling contribution to modern Telugu poetry. They are credited with several monumental works that embellished Telugu literature. Many beautiful dramas and plays were penned by them based on the great epics.

Arige Ramaswamy Thoranam
was a prominent Dalit leader, politician and social reformer. A minister in the cabinet of Boorgula Ramakrishna Rao and later a three-time MLA in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, he worked for the uplift of the poor and deprived sections of society. He was also associated with “Grandhalaya (library)” movement.

Bandaru Achamamba Thoranam
A pioneer of the women’s movement, she established the first women’s association in coastal Andhra Pardesh called “Brindavana Streela Samaajamu”. She wrote several short stories and essays on women’s issues, of which her work Titled “Abaala Saccharita Ratnamala” which had 34 biographies of women, was very popular. She learnt Hindi, English, Marathi, Bengali and Sanskrit and left behind many valuable works during her short life span of 30 years.

Vattikota Alwar Swamy Thoranam
Considered the first novelist in Telugu, he was a writer, human rights activist, journalist and publisher. He was active in the library movement and the communist movement and fought against Nizam rule. He was jailed by the Nizam and wrote a book on his prison experiences titled “Jailu Lopala (inside the jail).

Surabhi Madhavarayalu
A 16th century poet and Zamindar of Jataprolu belonging to the Kolhapur Samsthanam, now in Mahbubnagar district. His wrote the book “Chandrika Parinayamu” relating to King Suchandra, a king of the Surya Vamsha and his wedding to Princess Chandrika.

Bhagya Reddy Varma Thoranam
Honoured with the Title “Varma’ by the Arya Samaj, he was an Indian politician, social reformer, activist and businessman. He campaigned for social causes fighting against child marriages, black magic, alcohol prohibition and abolition of the devadasi system.

Charigonda Dharmanna Thoranam
A 15th century poet from Kalwakurthi, he could compose hundreds of poems in one hour. He is famous for his eight-volume work called “Chita bharatam”.

Ravichettu Ranga Rao Thoranam
Hailing from Nalgonda in Telangana, he was proficient in Hindi, Marathi, English and Sanskrit, apart from Telugu. He is known for his service to education and literacy. A pioneer of the library movement, he established the Sri Krishnadevaraya Andhra Basha Nilayam and the “Vignanachandrika Grantha mandali”

Sarangu Thammayya Thoranam
was a famous Telugu poet and Karanam of Golconda. He wrote “Vyjayanti Vilasamu” during the Quli Qutb Shah period. The verses in the introduction show that he was close to the Qutub Shahis and enjoyed their patronage.

Madiki Singanna Thoranam
was the author of “Sakalaneeti Sammatamu” and Vasishta Ramyanam in Telugu. He is said to have existed during the time of the Musunuri Nayakas and his works throw light on the political, social and economic conditions that existed during this time.

Koravi Goparaju Thoranam
was a 15th century poet from Chandavolu in Guntur district. His father was a prime minister at the royal court of the King who ruled over Vemagallu. He is well-known for his work “Simhaasana dwaatrimsika” composed of 32 stories which are narrated by 32 figurines carved on the 32 legs on King Vikramditya’s throne.

Ekamranatha Thoranam
was a chronicler of the Kakatiyas who belonged to the fourteenth century. His book “Prataparudra Charitra” is a good source of information about Kakatiya history, Rudramadevi’s administrative policies, the educational syllabi for children from royal families and general conditions under the Kakatiya rule.

Singabhooopala Thoranam
The poet king from the Racherla clan that ruled the Telangana region. Pothana is said to have lived during his period and is said to have described the Rachakonda fort in his book “Bhogini Dandakam”.

Vanamamalai Thoranam
was felicitated with the title “Abhinava Pothana “ (modern Pothana) for his literary genius and scholarly work titled “Pothana Charitra”. Although he studied only up to the 7th standard, he was proficient in Telugu, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Marathi and Sanskrit. He has authored over sixty books.

Seshappa Kavi Thoranam
Belonged to Dharmapuri and was a poet who dedicated his life to Narasimha Swamy, the presiding deity. His Sathakam (hundred poems), dedicated to Narasimha, are famous.

Rakamcherla Venkatadasu Thoranam
A saint composer who composed hundreds of keerthanas for the presiding deity Yoga Narasimha Swamy in the Rakamcherla village in Oudur mandal of Rangareddy district. His songs are famous as “Rakamcherla Keerthanalu”

Nelluri Kesavaswamy Thoranam
writer known for his gripping short stories. His book ‘Nelluru Kesavaswmai Kathaa Sarvasvam’ has been well- received

Simhagiri Krishnamacharyulu Thoranam
A vaggeyakara of the 12th-13th century, he was the official bard and poet of the Simhachala temple. He is said to have composed over 4 lakh Keertanas, of which some 200 are available. There is a mention of his life and compositions in the Prataparudra Charitra and Siddheshwara Charitra.

Elakuchi Balasaraswathi Thoranam
Prominent poetess known for translations of Bhartuhari’s Subhashitas into Telugu, along with other noted works like “Mallabhupaliyamu” and “Balasaraswatiyamu”

Oddiraju Sodarula Thoranam
Oddiraju Seetharamachandra Rao and Oddiraju Raghava Ranga Rao, born in Inugurthi, Warangal, about 125 years ago have rendered yeoman service to social causes and literature. They started the “Tenugu” magazine in 1922 and published it successfully for five years. They wrote “Upadesha Ratnamala”, “Bhaktisara Charitra” and two other books jointly. They wrote many books individually and are said to have done translations from English and other languages into Telugu. The brothers were proficient in about 10 languages.

By Aruna Ravikumar

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