Hyderabad: Telugu’s rich history dates back to more than 2,500 years. Sanskrit influenced Telugu for about 1,500 years. New findings show Nannaya’s Telugu translation work of famous Sanskrit Mahabharatham, considered as the oldest literary form of Telugu, was replaced with Palkuri Somanathudu of Telangana bringing out ‘Basava Puranam’. Inscription found in Kurikyala of Siricilla district of Old Karimnagar district showed three Kanda padyams along with three Sanskrit slokas and three Prakritha slokas. The very name of Telangana (Telang or Telugu) and Anem (region) is synonymous with Telugunadu or Telugu desam. Pre-Nannayya period (before 1020 AD) Telugu literature existed in the form of inscriptions, precisely from 575 AD onwards.
Vaggeyakara’s contribution to Telugu was remarkable. The spread of Telugu beyond boundaries was due to the contribution of great carnatic music exponents like Tyagaraja, Muttuswamy and Shyama Sasthri who through their keerthanas made Telugu so popular in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Their Telugu compositions rendered in rare and beautiful Carnatic ragas got much patronage outside, especially in Tamil Nadu.
Similar, was the case of saint composer Annamancharyulu who penned around 32,000 keerthanas in pure Telugu and Sanskrit of which only 12,000 are available today. While he enjoyed popularity in his days, his compositions were forgotten for over three centuries. Mentioned in 1849, they were later found engraved on copper plates, hidden for centuries inside a small room in Sri Venkateshwara temple at Tirumala.
The beauty of Telugu came to be known from these ‘Vaggeyakaras’ who acted like language ambassadors. Beauty also lies in four-line and multi-line ‘padyams’ with a single alphabet giving different meanings in different recitations. There were writers whose kavyams had double, triple and even four meanings which was another unique feat....