Nagachandra (ನಾಗಚಂದ್ರ) is an important poet who continued in the foot steps of Pampa , Ranna and Ponna with certain modifications. He was also a pioneer in writing a Ramayana in Kannada following the model given by the Jaina tradition set in motion by Vimalasuri, Hemachandra and others.

Nagachandra lived in the first half of the twelfth century in Vijayapura which is currently known as Bijapura. However another Vijayapura near Talakadu in Mandya district has also staked its claims for him. He is supposed to be under the patronage of Veera Ballala-1 a king belonging to Hoysala dynasty.

He has composed two epics in Kannada. Mallinatha Purana is the story of Mallinatha, the nineteenth teerthankara. Ramachandra Charita Purana or Pampa Ramayana is better known for its poetic beauty and the thematic changes introduced by him. His delineation of Ravana as a tragic hero who was temporarily lead astray due to human weakness is truly memorable. The poet takes the side of Ravana and goes on defending him incessantly. His character is portrayed as noble and the blame for his fall is attributed to Seetaa’s beauty. He has made a number of changes in the story line to cater to the tenets of Jainism and create in Rama a noble and non violent hero.

Nagachandra is adept in using effective figures of speech and melodious language. He is second to none in the musical quality of his diction. Nagachandra is to be appreciated for his understanding of human psychology and his ability to make use of it in the portrayal of his characters.



1. Nagachandra - Prasaranga, Mysore University, Mysore

2. Kannada sahityda naalku naayaka ratnagalu, D.R. Bendre, Karnataka University , Dharawada

3.      Nagachandra- Ondu adhyayana, by Vijaya Dabbe, Prasaranga, Mysore University .

4.      Nagachandra (Selections from) Vijaya Dabbe, Karnataka Sahitya Academy, Bangalore .

5.      Ramachandracharitapurana (Selections from) Tr. by Pradhana Gurudatta and C.K.Sukumar. (Ancient Kannada Literature, Ed. by T.R.S.Sharma, Sahitya Academy , 2000)



Home / Literature