Ancient Kannada Woman Poets

Continuing with personalities who enriched Kannada and Karnataka Literature, we look at Woman Poetess, who did great work and recognized for it. Here is a partial list. I will continue to update as I gather more info.  

Towards the close of 11th century AD, during the reign of Tribhuvanamalladeva (Vikaramaditya VI), a Brahmin lady called Rebbaladeva earned a great repuatation for building  a temple to Keshavadeva at her birth place, Huvina-Hadgali, Bellary, which was noted for its Vedic Lore. She was wife of brave general called Ravideva, who was also very charitably deposed.
Besides donating enough land for the service of the diety, Rebbaladevi established a feeding house for Brahmins. She was well versed in learning and fine arts and was respected by learned Brahmins.

Kanti Kanti (1100AD)
Kanti, the great Kannada poetess adorned the court of the Legendary Hoysala king Ballala I, who was great patron of learning. Nagachandra, who called himself Abhinava, new Pampa and was her contemporary in the same court, thought and others also did the same about him that he had the ability to write as the great kannada poet Pampa.
Some of the verbal contests with Nagachandra are very interesting and can be read in the verses. That she was the poetess of a very high order is also borne by the fact that the poet of later generation, Bahubali (1560AD), praises her in very laudatory terms, and even calls her Abinava vag devi (new goddess of learning).

A shudra woman, Who became much reputed as the writer of a socio-political composition in Kannada. She was working in the palace of the mysore king Chikka Devaraja. She was evidently the favourite maid servant of the queen Devajamanni. She was educated at the instance of the queen by a well known scholar proficient in the vedas and vedanta, who was also the author of a drama called Mitravinda Govinda. This teacher, Alashingaracharya was evidently so pleased with the ablility of his pupil that he called her the goddess of charming literature. THis praise of a pupil by a teacher impressed the king so much that he told his queen to get a literary piece written by Honnamma. The queen must have communicated the kings wishes to Honnamma, who accordingly wrote a important book called Hadibadeya Dharma, which deals with the duties of chaste woman. It is of value also from the point of view of history, since it gives the genealogy of the Mysore kings upto the seventeenth century.

Among the later poetesses of the Karnatka Country, we may mention Cheluvamba, the queen of Dodda Krishnaraja of Mysore Empire. She is reputed as the author of a long poem called Varanadikalyana. She had written lullaby songs on the greatness of the diety Venkatachala of Tirupati and on the godess Alamelumanga. She had in addition written a prose commentary on the Tulakaverimahatmya

Helavantakatte Giriyamma
From a  place called Helavanakatte was a Brahmana poetess called Giriyamma. She was devotee of lord Ranganatha. She is remembered for her devotional poetry and some oher well known poems deal with popular themes as the marriage of sita, the stories of Chanrahasa and Uddalaka

Related Posts
Legendary Kannada Queens
Kannada Literature Works
kannada Grammer Works
Lost works of Kannada Literature 
Ancient Technical Publications
List of Kannada Dictionaries
Most Jnanapith Awards
Sahitya Academy and Pampa Awardees

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