(Last Updated on : 07/04/2009)
A priceless text with a lot of unswerving historical content, the Gadyakarnamrita is a Sanskrit prose work composed in the 14th century A.D. in South India. This text has been utilized by historians in reconstructing the history of South India of the 13th-14th centuries A.D. It was written by a poet named Sakala Vidya Chakravartin. It deals mainly with the political panorama of the ancient Tamil-Karnataka areas and the turbulent situation of the times. The author enjoyed the patronage of the Hoysala rulers who were then prominent rulers in those days and also some the minor powers of the Tamil country ruling at that point of time like the Banas, who were a well-known feudatory dynasties.
Sakala Vidya Chakravartin hailed from a family of great poets, many of whom held the title Vidya Chakravartin (emperor among poets). The Gadyakarnamrita mentions that the later Chola ruler Rajaraja III in the second half of the 13th century A.D. requested the help of the Hoysala king Narasimha II and thus the latter came with his army to the Chola country. Apart from this, the book also records all these political events with minute precision in addition to data about the royal court, ministers, and a grand description of the Hoysala capital city, Dvarasamudra (present-day Halebid in Karnataka).
Numerous facts about the social and cultural conditions prevailing during that perios are also mention. The author's familiarity with the Natya Shdstro- of Bharata is clearly seen in this work. Written in very stylish prose, this historical piece gives a clear account of the activities of the common people like their festivities and celebrations. Special occasion, drinking parties, spring festivities with the throwing of colour and fragrant power on people, gymnastics, and other form of exercises are also added.
The Gadyakarnamrita is a boon to historians as it a reliable and authentic source to learn about the political, social, economic, religious and cultural conditions of South India in the 13th and 14th centuries A.D and which, corroborated with other historical and archaeological sources, have helped in the writings of scholarly tomes on the history of this region.