Kabisamrat Upendra Bhanja

Born :- 16th Century
Died :- 17th Century
Place of Birth :- Ghumusara, Ganjam

Kabi Samrata Upendra Bhanja was the greatest among the Riti era poets. Born between 1670 and 1688 at Kullada in Ghumusara, then a princely state in Bhanjanagar, 80 km from Berhampur city in south Odisha, had earned the title ‘Kabi-Samrata’  – Emperor of Poets—for the extraordinarily high standard of his poetry from all angles of poetic assessment. Though born in a royal family, Upendra Bhanja had no attraction for the throne. Before starting his literary journey, it is said, he had obtained the blessings of Lord Ram, meditating on Him while chanting the Rama Taraka Mantra.

Upendra Bhanja’s first wife was the sister of the king of Nayagarh. His second wife was daughter of the king of Banapur, who was an erudite princess and who was an inspiration behind Upendra Bhanja in his literary journey. Upendra Bhanja’s grandfather, King Dhananjaya Bhanja, was a great poet who wrote Raghunatha Bilasa (The Ramayana), Ratna Manjari (a romantic volume) etc., which worked as models for the prince to indulge in his passion of writing. But unlike his grandfather who was divided between the throne and his literary activities, the prince dedicated his entire life to poetry. He had a thorough training in Sanskrit classical literature and mastered Sanskrit dictionaries, such as– Amara KoshaTrikanda Kosha and Medini Kosha. He also wrote a dictionary titled Geetabhidhana in Odia, that too in poetic form, for helping poets. Upendra Bhanja wrote some 52 books of which only 22 are available. Many of the manually copied copies of his books have been lost. Some of his eminent Kavyas are Baidehisha Bilasa, Labanyabati, Koti Brahmanda Sundari, Premasudhanidhi, Rasika Harabali, Subhadra Parinaya, Padmabati Parinaya, Chitrakabya Bandodaya, Kala Koutuka, Rasaleela, Brajaleela and Damayanti Bilasa etc. The first published work of Upendra Bhanja was Rasapanchaka. The first dictionary in Odia, Gitabidhana, was written by Upendra Bhanja. A master of vocabulary and a master in the art of coining new words, he contributed—according to researchers— 32,300 words to Odia language and literature.

Though many poets in the seventeenth and eighteenth century belonged to the Riti school, Upendra Bhanja is decidedly the greatest of them all. Whether it is shringara, viraha, bhakti or karuna rasa, Upendra Bhanja is nonpareil in rhetorical excellence. Apart from Sanskrit, perhaps no other language in the world has a poet to be compared with him. Upendra Bhanja had employed his great poetic talent in the best use of upama, alankara and all nine rasas in all his works.

Anthology of Lyrics
Anthology of Lyrics Collection
One act Play

Copyright © 2024 Odia Virtual Academy. All rights reserved      Total Visitors-   1