VIJAYANAGARA RESEARCH PROJECT
|Translations of Contemporary Literature|
Though the Project is essentially archaeological in aims and techniques, we have appreciated the importance of contemporary literature in vernacular languages, especially medieval Kannada, for interpreting the physical remains of the site.
To begin with, there are 500 or so inscriptions scattered throughout the area on buildings and boulders, studied by various scholars throughout the 20th century. An overall concordance of all these records by Patil and Patil is now available. (See Bibliography)
there are the vivid accounts of the Italian, Persian and Portuguese
Foreign Visitors) These are comparatively well known,
thanks to A Forgotten Empire, the celebrated publication brought by
Robert Sewell in 1900.
However, there are also large numbers of literary sources belonging to the Vijayanagara period, mostly in Kannada but also in Telugu and Sanskrit, which remain largely untranslated. These give insights into courtly life and traditions, activities in war and peace, palace architecture and temples, and other topics relevant to our Project.
To make these available to an English-speaking audience, we have attracted literary scholars to the Project. The late Dr Asim Krishna Das helped to compile and also translated part of the Pampamahatmya (sometimes referred to as the Hemakutakhanda), a body of local Sanskrit writings on the religious lore of the Shaivite tirtha at the Vijayanagara site. His research on the mythological geography of the region, based on this text, appears in our Vijayanagara: Archaeological Exploration, 1980-2000 monograph. (See Project Publications)
also encouraged Dr Philip Wagoner to investigate the Rayavachakamu,
a quasi-historical text in Telugu that purports to be a friendly undercover
agent’s account of the court of Krishnadevaraya. This important
literary work is now available in his translation with a comprehensive
recently, we commissioned an esteemed Kannada archaeologist, Dr C.T.M.
Kotraiah, to search through some 30 Kannada texts of the Vijayanagara
period for information relevant to our Project. The result is a compendium
of literary selections, translated and arranged conveniently under a
variety of topics. It is published as King, Court and Capital: An Anthology
of Literary Sources from the Vijayanagara Period.
©2005 Vijayanagara Research Project