Table of Contents
The Indian History is rich in prose and poetry. Needless to say, they form an integral part of the Indian Culture since time immemorial. We already know that India was a land that was ruled by different dynasties from time to time. During the reigning period of each dynasty, the emperor’s designate many skilled and talented people in his court to help him with the administration. Alongside, the best of poets, artisans , etc are also appointed for the sole purpose of entertaining the King. When we glance through the pages of Indian History, it can be seen that the courts of the ancient Indian Emperors were filled with gifted poets, who were widely known as the Court Poets. Therefore, in this article, let us list some of the Court Poets of Indian History. Make sure to read till the conclusion.
Who are Court Poets ?
During the reign of different Dynasties in the Indian subcontinent, Court Poets were extremely popular. They were the writers of poems and prose, called the “Prashasti” , who were an integral part of any Emperor’s Court. They brought life and soul to the court with the ornamented prose and poetry recitations . Majority of the Prashasti recited by the court poets hailed the Emperor and other subordinates for their achievements. The court poets heartily compared the Emperors with mythical heroes.
List of Court Poets of Indian History
The Prose and Poetry tradition in the Indian subcontinent dates back to ancient times. The rich collection of poetry by Indian poets is most of the time found to be extraordinary. As India is a multi linguistic country, so is the diversity in its poetic collections. It ranges from Sanskrit to Urdu and many other regional languages in between..
With this being said, let us now focus on the Indian History from the competition examination point of view. The questions are compulsorily asked from the Indian History topics for most of the Government examination. Therefore, having a deep knowledge in the subject is absolutely essential. However, as the Indian History is vast, it will be difficult for the candidate to cover all the topics in a stretch itself. Therefore, in this article, we will give you a list of Court Poets of Indian History in a table format. Check it out here.
Important Court Poets & their Major Works
|Sl No.||Name of the Court Poet||Court Poet of the Emperor||Most Famous Works||Language Used|
|1||Bana Bhatt or Bana||Harshavardhana||Harsha Charita, Kadambari||Sanskrit|
|3||Chand Bardai||Prithviraj Chauhan||Prithviraj Raso||Brajbhasha dialect|
|4||Bhavabhuti||Yashovarman of Kannauj||Mahaviracharita, Malatimadhava, Uttararamacharita||Sanskrit|
|6||Sri Ponna||Krishna III ( Rashtrakuta King)||Shantipurana, Bhuvanaika-Ramabhyudaya||Kannada|
& other rulers of Delhi Sultanate
|Tuhfatus-Sighr, Qiranus-Sa’dain||Urdu, Hindi|
|8||Hema Saraswati||Durlabh Narayan ( Kamata Kingdom)||Prahalad Charita||Assamese|
|9||Pandit Gangadhar Mishra||King Baliar Singh of Sambalpur||Kosalananda Mahakavya||Sanskrit|
|10||Vedanayagam Sastriar||King Serfoji II of Tanjore||Bethlehem Kuravanji, Gnanakummi||Tamil|
|11||Rajashekhara||Gurjara Pratiharas||Balabharata, Karpuramanjari, Balaramayana, Kavyamimamsa||Sanskrit|
|12||Nandi Thimmana||Sri Krishna Deva Raya||Parijathapaharanam, Vanivilasam||Telugu|
|13||Adikavi Pampa||King Arikesari II of Chalukya Dynasty||Vikramārjuna Vijaya or Pampa Bharata||Kannada|
|14||Raghavanka||Hoysala kings||Harishchandra Kavya||Kannada|
|15||Agha Hasan Amanat||Wajid Ali Shah||Inder Sabha||Urdu|
|16||Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana||Emperor Akbar||Khetakautukam, Dwatrimshadyogavali||Hindi,Urdu|
|17||Allasani Peddana||Sri Krishna Deva Raya||Swaarochisha Manu Sambhavam||Telugu|
|18||Tirumalarya||King Wodeyar||Karna Vrittanta Kathe||Kannada|
|19||Ramprasad Sen||Krishna Chandra of Nadia||Vidyasundar, Shaktigiti.||Bengali|
|20||Ravikirti||Pulakesin II||Aihole incsription||Sanskrit|
|21||Jayamkondkar||Kulottunga Chola I||Kalingattu parani||Tamil|
|22||Ottakoothar||Vikrama Chola, Kulotunga II and Rajaraja II Chola||Eetiyelupattu||Tamil|
Details of Some Famous Court Poets of India
Popularly known as ‘Bana’, Bana Bhatta was the ‘Asthana Kavi’ or the court poet of king Harsha Vardhana . He wrote prose and poetry in Sanskrit language. His works flourished in the 7th century , when Budhist Emperor Harsha was in the throne from 606–647 CE. His most famous work is the Harshacharita, which translates to ‘The Life of Harsha’, in which he had given glimpses of biography of his own life too.
One his most popular prose is given below:
tadupari kashchitsarpopyasti |
nirasataruriha vilasati nikate
tadupari manimayakutilabhujangah || “
Kalidasa is known to be one of the greatest writers and poets of ancient India. He wrote primarily in Sanskrit and Prakrit languages. He was the court poet of the great Chandragupta II. Many of his works are popular till date. He wrote two Maha Kavyas called Kumarasambhava and Raghuvamsha along with many other minor poems and prose. He loved to write about nature and one beautiful example of it is given below:
“The autumn comes, a maiden fair In slenderness and grace, With nodding rice-stems in her hair And lilies in her face. In flowers of grasses she is clad; And as she moves along, Birds greet her with their cooing glad Like bracelets’ tinkling song.”
Chand Bardai, an Indian poet based in Rajasthan during the reign of Pritviraj Chauhan, composed the legendary work ‘ Pritviraj Raso’. This depicts the life of PritviRaj Chauhan, one of the greatest of all the Chahamana kings.Some of the famous lines from his work is given below:
“Prithviraj ki shurveerta,
ghar ghar bani desh ki aan,
dhoop me damke rao nigoda,
jo veero ka veer mahan..
jai jai prithviraj chauhan
jai jai Prithviraj Chauhan.. “
Born in Vidharbha, he is yet another poet and prose writer whose works are hailed till date. He was the court poet of King Yashovarman of Kannauj Dynasty. His works are often considered very similar to that of the Great Kalidasa. He is popularly called as ‘Udumbara Brahmin’. One of his famous quotes goes like this- “One day a man shall live to share my thoughts, for time is endless and the world is wide”.
An adamant devotee of Lord Vishnu, Saint Parmanand is believed to be born in kannauj. He was a great poet and writer who adorned the court of The Rajput Emperor, Shivaji. Some of his famous hymns are included in the Guru Grant Sahib.
He was an iconic name in the court of the Delhi Sultanates. Abu’l Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrau, popularly known as Amir Khusro, is of Indo-Persian origin.He was a scholar, poet, singer and writer who was an embellishment in the court during the reign of almost 7 sultans of Delhi. He is often called ‘The India parrot’ for his delightful prose and poetry recitation.
He wrote the popular lines “Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.” that translates to,
“If there is a paradise on earth,
It is this, it is this, it is this”
Apmpa was an ancient Indian poet whose works mostly reflected on his beliefs. He was the court poet of King Arikesari II of Chalukya Dynasty. He was given the title “Adikavi” in great honour and respect for his works.He is known widely for his works Adi Purana and pampa Bharata that are written in Kannada language.
One of the ‘Ashtadiggajas’ (Eight Elephants) of the King Krishna Devaraya’s court, Nandi Thimmana, was a well known Telugu writer and poet who lived in ancient India. He was praised by people for his beautiful poems. He even wrote numerous poems based on Lord Shiva, for he was a die hard fan.
One of his famous quotes says “Don’t curse the god for your fate. You are only responsible for your own actions.”, clearly shows his broad mindedness.
She is one of the very few Assamese writers and poets who is extremely popular for her work.Hema Saraswati lived in the late 14th century and wrote the famous work “Prahlada Charita” in Assamese language. She was the court poet of King Durlabh Narayan ( Kamata Kingdom).
Pandit Gangadhar Mishra
The court poet of King Baliar Singh of Sambalpur was Pandit Gangadhar Mishra.One of his prominent works Kosalananda Kavya is written in Sanskrit language and depicts the Chauhan rule. It is written in palm leaf manuscript.
Rooted in Tanjore of Tamil Nadu, Vedanayagam Sastriar was the court poet of King Serfoji II of Tanjore. He has written over 133 books and more than 500 lyrics.
One of the famous court poets during the reign of Gurjara Pratiharas, Rajashekhara was an eminent prose and poetry specialist. His poems still serve as a great example for other poets to learn the composition of elements required for a good poem.
He was the court poet of the Hoysala Kings who flourished between the 12th and 13th century. He has numerous great works to his credit written in Kannada language that popularized the use of 6 line verses.
Agha Hasan Amanat
The princely state of Awadh had Agha Hasan Amanat as their court post who was an eminent urdu writer and poet. Along with numerous poems and prose, he is credited for having written the first stage play in Urdu language, called ‘Inder Sabha’.
Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana
Popularly known as Rahim, Khanzada Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim, was one of the Nine Gems of the Akbar’s Court. He was a poet of great influence who played the role of mentor to Emperor Akbar.
His poems are usually couplets called ‘Dohe’ that are rich in meaning and beauty. Here is one such mesmerizing couplet by Rahim-
“जो रहीम उत्तम प्रकृति, का करी सकत कुसंग.
चन्दन विष व्यापे नहीं, लिपटे रहत भुजंग.”
Court Poet and one of the eight prominent figures in the court of the king Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara empire, Allasani Peddana has numerous great works to his credit. Most of his writing was in Telugu language.
Tirulmalarya was the court poet of Raja Wadeyar. His major works are in Kannada language.Some of his famous works include Karna Vrittanta Kathe, Apratimavira Charite, chikkadevaraja Vijaya, etc
Ramprasad Sen is known to some of the rarest Ancient Bengali poets whose works are still awe inspiring. He was a saint as well as poet , who wrote mainly in bengali language. He was the court poet of Raja Krishna Chandra of Nadia.
The court poet of Pulkeshin II, Ravikirti, is credited with the Aihole Inscription. The victories of King Pulkeshin against other rulers are described beautifully in it.
He was a 12th century Tamil Poet who was the court poet of the Cholas. He describes the Kalinga- Chola war in his work Kalingattu Parani, which is considered an epic.
Ottakoothar was another Tamil poet who was the court poet to the later Cholas. Three of the prominent kings to whom Ottakoothar served as the court poet include Vikrama Chola, Kulotunga II and Rajaraja II.
In order to make it easy for our readers, we have attached a free PDF containing the entire list of court poets of India. You can download it by simply clicking on the link given below.
With this article, we aimed to make your competitive exam preparation easier. As most of the competitive examination has Indian History as one of the topics in the syllabus, we hope that this article was beneficial to you. Stay tuned to us for more such articles on Indian History for your exam preparations!