(Last Updated on : 30/07/2011)
Culture of Vijayanagar Empire
gained prominence under the reign of King Krishanadev Raya
. The kings of this empire were great patrons of music, literature and architecture.
Music of Vijayanagar Empire
Music was an important aspect of Vijayanagar society. Music was mainly related to religion and was commonly practiced in the shrines. The great composer of Carnatic music Annamacharya
(1408-1503) lived during the Empire. His prolific work includes more than 32,000 poems and even a poetic way of Ramayana
The father of Carnatic music was Purandara Dasa
(1484-1564). His birth and formation coincided in time with the ascent to the throne of Krishna Deva Raya. At that time Carnatic music
was a few lined religious chants. Purandara Dasa modified it from the experiences of ordinary people. He synthesized and merged the basic musical patterns, with his innovation. All the great composers of Carnatic music have since worked Purandara Dasa following established rule.
Literature of Vijayanagar Empire
During this rule, poets, philosophers composed their writings in Kannada, Sanskrit and other regional languages. They wrote on a array of subjects like religion, biography, Prabhanda (fiction), music, grammar, poetry and medicine. With the growing time Telugu language became a prominent literary medium of this empire. Most of the Sanskrit works are taken from Vedas
, Ramayana and Mahabharata
. The Kannada poets and scholars of the empire delivered important writings supporting the Vaishnava Bhakti movement
heralded by the Haridasas (devotees of Vishnu), Brahminical and Virashaiva (Lingayatism literature. The Haridasa poets celebrated their devotion through songs called Devaranama (lyrical poems) in the ragale metre.
The most famous writing in Telugu literature
was Manucharitamu. King Krishnadevaraya was an accomplished Telugu scholar and wrote the celebrated Amuktamalyada.
Architecture of Vijayanagar Empire
The architecture of empire is a beautiful amalgamation of the Chalukya styles, Pandya, Chola and Hoysala, predominant in the region in previous centuries. Its legacy of sculpture, architecture and painting influenced the development of the arts long after the empire came to an end. Its notable hallmarks are the ornate pillared Kalyanamandapa (marriage hall), Vasanthamantapa (open pillared halls) and the Rayagopura (tower). Constructors used the locally available hard granite because of its longevity since the kingdom was under constant threat of invasion. While the empire's monuments are spread over the whole of Southern India, nothing surpasses the vast open air theatre of monuments at its capital at Vijayanagara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.