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Palkuriki Somanatha was one of the most noted Telugu language writers of the 12th or 13th century. He was also an accomplished writer in the Kannada and Sanskrit languages and penned several classics in them.[1] He was a Veerashaiva (devotee of the Hindu god Shiva) by faith and a follower of the 12th century social reformer Basavanna (also called Basaveshwara), and his writings were primarily intended to propagate this faith.[1]



His early life has been debated by historians. Palkuriki Somanatha's place of birth and his early sectarian affiliation is uncertian. It is generally accepted that Somanatha was born into a Brahmin family and he later took to Shaivism (devotion to the god Shiva). Indication that he was not a Shaiva by birth comes from the fact that he mentions the names of his parents in his very first work, Basavapurana, violating a general practice of Shaiva writers who do not mention their real parents but rather consider the god Shiva as the father and his concert Parvati as the mother.[1] However, the scholar Bandaru Tammayya has argued that he was born a Jangama (devotee of the god Shiva).[2] The scholar Seshayya places him in the late 13th to early 14th century and proposes that the writer lived during the reign of Kakatiya king Prataparudra II, whereas the Kannada scholar R. Narasimhacharya dates his writings to the 12th century and claims Somanatha was patronised by Kakatiya king Prataparudra I (1140–1196).[3][4] His place of birth is uncertian because there is a village by the name Palkuriki in the Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh as well as in the Kannada speaking region (Karnataka).[1][5]


Telugu language

Basavapurana, Paditaradhya charitra, Malamadevipuranamu and Somanatha Stava–in dwipada metre ("couplets"); Anubhavasara, Chennamallu Sisamalu, Vrishadhipa Shataka and Cheturvedasara–in verses; Basavodharana in verses and ragale metre (rhymed couplets in blank verse); and the Basavaragada.[6]

Kannada language

Basavaragada, Basavadhyaragada, Sadgururagada, Silasampadane, Sahasragananama, Pancharantna and several Vachana and ragale poems are his contributions to Kannada literature. Somanatha's Telugu Basavapurana was the inspiration for Vijayanagara poet Bhimkavi (c. 1369) who wrote a Kannada book by the same name. Somanatha was the protagonist of a 16th century Kannada purana ("religious text") written by the Vijayanagara poet Tontadarya.[7]

Sanskrit language

Somanathabhashya, Rudrabhashya, Vrishabhastaka, Basavodharana, Basavashtaka, Basava panchaka, Ashtottara satanama gadya, Panchaprakara gadya and Asharanka gadya are his contributions to Sanskrit literature.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Sahitya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
  2. ^ Bandaru Tammayya in Sahitya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
  3. ^ Seshayya in Sahitya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
  4. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p. 20, p. 68
  5. ^ Shastri (1955), p. 362
  6. ^ a b Shatiya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
  7. ^ Shastri (1955), p. 362; Shatiya Akademi (1992), p. 4133


  • Various (1992) [1992]. Encyclopaedia of Indian literature – vol 5. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 8126012218.  
  • Sastri, Nilakanta K. A. (2002) [1955]. A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. New Delhi: Indian Branch, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-560686-8.  
  • Narasimhacharya, R (1988) [1988]. History of Kannada Literature. New Delhi, Madras: Asian Educational Services. ISBN 8120603036.  


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