Allasani Peddana (15th and 16th centuries CE) was a famous Telugu poet and was ranked as the foremost of the Ashtadiggajalu, the title for the group of eight poets in the court of King Krishnadevaraya, a ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Peddana was a native of Somandepalli near Anantapur. He later moved Peddanapadu, a small village located at 5 km from Yerraguntla on Yerraguntla-Vempalli road in Kadapa District, which is an Agraharam given by Krishnadevaraya. Alternative sources say his birthplace as Dornala village near the present day Srisailam. Still there are few remains around the village which strongly indicates about his presence in that area. He was a nandavarika Brahmin.
He wrote the first major Prabandha, a form of fictional poetry in Telugu, and for this reason, he is revered as Andhra Kavita Pitamaha (literally the grand father of Telugu poetry). It is believed that he was also a minister in the king's court and is hence sometimes referred as Peddanaamaatya (Sandhi: Peddana + Amaatya = Peddana, the minister). He dedicated his works to king Krishnadevaraya.
- The emperor himself lifted and bore the weight of the palanquin in which Peddana was seated.
- He was bestowed with Kanakabhisheka by the king.
- He was the only poet who had the privilege of mounting the royal elephants.
- On the demise of Sri Krishna Deva Raya the poet Peddana expressed his profound sorrows telling that " Atti Krishna Rayala thoti divikegaleka brathiki yundithi jeevatchavamba naguchu "
Meaning I became a living dead by not going to heaven along with Sri Krishna Deva Raya .
His famous work was Swaarochisha Manu Sambhavam (also known as Manu Charitra). This work is the development of an episode in Markandeya Puranam relating to the birth of Svarochishamanu, who is one of the fourteen Manus. Pravarakhyudu is a pious Brahmin youth who goes to Himalayas for sight seeing. In Himalayas Varudhini, a Gandharva girl falls in love with him, but Pravarakhya rejects her love as he is already married. Knowing this a Gandharva youth who was earlier rejected by Varudhini assumes the form of Pravarakhya and succeeds to win her love. To them is born Svarochi, the father of SvArochishamanu.
Some of his other famous works such as Harikathaasaaramu are untraceable now.
- The Great king Krishna Devarayalu ornamented Peddana's leg with a big golden bangle/bracelet called " GANDA PENDERAM " as a mark of excellent poetry
The theme for his Manu Charitra is a short story from Markandeya Purana. It is about second Manu of fourteen manus (fathers of mankind societies according to Hindu mythology), translated into Telugu from Sanskrit by Marana (1291–1323), disciple of Tikkana. The original story was around 150 poems and Peddana extended into six chapters with 600 poems by adding fiction and descriptions. His work was treated as one of the Pancha Kavyas, the five best works in Telugu. Peddana used a mix of words from Telugu and Sanskrit and a small number of Kannada words.
Awards and Titles
- He was honoured with Title Andhra Kavita Pitamaha by Krishnadevaraya.
- His style of poetry was described as 'Allasani Vani Allika Jigi Bigi'
- Srinatha, the first Telugu Prabandha writer.
- Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 109. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
- Adluri, Seshu Madhava Rao (1998). "aShTadiggajamulu (Introduction)". mun.ca.
- "Allasani Peddana (Peddi Reddy)". vedapanditulu.net.
- peethika to manucharitra by Vavilla Ramaswamy Printing Press Madras
- P.T, Raju; Rao. A Telugu Literature. India: Onal Book House.
- Adluri, Seshu Madhava Rao (1998). "allasAni peddana". mun.ca.
- A Great Compilation of Telugu poets / poetesses
- Peddana Allasani
- Peddana style
- K.A. Nilakanta Sastry, History of South India, From Prehistoric times to fall of Vijayanagar, 1955, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002) ISBN 0-19-560686-8
- Golden age of Telugu Literature
- Literary activity in Vijayanagara Empire
- The Story of Manu, by Allasani Peddana, translated by Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman, Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press (January 2015), hardcover, 656 pages, ISBN 9780674427761