Shree Gopalkrushna Pattanaik

Born :- 1776 Aaswina Shukla Nabami
Died :- 1862 Falguna Shukla Dwitiya
Place of Birth :-

Gopalakrusna Pattanayaka, better known as Gopalkrushna was poet and composer of Odissi music. His songs, including chaupadis, chautisas, koilis, pois are central to the popular repertoire of Odissi music and are widely sung in Odissi music recitals across the state — and beyond, in other states of India and abroad wherever an Odia population is living — as well as other allied traditional artforms of Odisha, such as pala. The 20th-century Odissi musician, vocalist & violinist Apanna Panigrahi, also from the poet's hometown, was well-known for her renditions of Gopalakrusna's lyrics. Some of the most iconic Odissi songs, such as Syamaku Juhara Tara Premaku Juhara Ma, Jala Ani Jai Kali Kalindasutaku, Sangini Re Rasarangini Re, Kadamba Bane Bansi Bajilare, Uthilu Ede Begi Kahinkire, Ki Nadare Prana Sangini, Manasija Mana Mohana are his creations. Many of his creations are also popular as abhinaya items in Odissi dance.

Gopalakrusna was born in 1784 in a karana family of Paralakhemundi, a well-known princely state in erstwhile Odisha. His father, Banabasi Pattanayaka, was in the service of the Gajapatis of Paralakhemundi. His mother's name was Lalita Dei. At the age of twenty, Gopalakrusna was married to a young girl by the name of Hira Dei. In the early days of his life, Gopalakrusna remained in the service of the Gajapati king as a panjia karana, an accountant-scribe. Later, as his fame as a poet and musician grew, the king offered him an exclusive position in his court to encourage his literary pursuits. Kabisurjya Baladeba Ratha and Utkala Ghanta Jadumani Mahapatra were his contemporaries.

The Odissi poet-composer Haribandhu Bebartta Pattanayaka, in his childhood, was inspired by Gopalakrusna to write lyrics and set them to music. Haribandhu is credited with writing down a lot of Gopalakrusna's lyrics, as the poet himself was known to be not concerned with preserving his lyrics. Gopalakrusna would sing impromptu, overcome by divine inspiration and Haribandhu as a child would follow him, noting everything down onto a palm leaf.

Gopalakrusna's writings have been published as anthologies more than once. The first significant anthology was made by the poet's own great-grandson, Ramakrusna Pattanayaka in 1919. Before Ramakrusna's anthology, smaller collections of the poet's work had appeared in bits and pieces in Damodar Pattanayak's Sangita Sagara (1889-1903) and Gobinda Ratha's Chaupadi Chandrodaya (1895). The Gajapati Press in Paralakhemundi had also published booklets of the poet's work in the early 1900s. Subsequently, larger anthologies have been collated and published by Babaji Baisnaba Charana Dasa (1956), Kabichandra Kali Charan Patnaik (1959), Saroj Kumar Panigrahi (1969) and Dr. Krushna Charan Behera (2002).

A musical album called Lyrics of Gopalakrushna was made by the involvement of leading Odissi musicians and erstwhile chief minister Nandini Satapathy in the year 1970. Eminent Odissi Gurus such as Sangita Sudhakara Balakrushna Dash, Shyamamani Devi, Suramani Raghunath Panigrahi, Bhubaneswari Mishra and Indira Pratihari lent their voices to the various tracks.

At the poet's residence in Paralakhemundi, there is a life-size wooden statue of him made in 1921 by an elderly craftsman who had seen the poet during his lifetime. Some other items of his use, such as a karani stylus used by Odia scribes used for writing on palm leaves,  and a palm leaf manuscript of Jayadeva's Gitagovinda in Odia script are preserved by the family.

Anthology of Lyrics

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