King Krishnadevaraya, Akbar and other rulers of past India who nurtured arts and treasured intellect
History has marked the success and valor of some great emperors but the reign of Krishnadevaraya stands out as the pinnacle in the history of Vijayanagar Empire. Being an accredited writer in Telugu and Sanskrit, he was the patron to Kannada and Tamil literature. He paid tribute to men of letters and gathered a grand assembly of scholarly men each year and bestowed them with honors’. One such gathering led to the discovery of Tenali Rama. The rest is an adventurous history which we cherish as stories even today.
Let us take a look at instances when some legendary rulers were patrons to exceptional artists and scholars.
Akbar and Birbal
One of the most celebrated pair of ancient times, Akbar and Birbal marked their presence in our lives from a very young age. The great Mughal emperor Akbar during one of his hunting escapades came across a young boy, Mahesh Das who later came to be known as Birbal. Akbar was intrigued with Mahesh’s wit and sense of humour and later bestowed him with title ‘Raja’. Mahesh Das was appointed a permanent place in Akbar’s court and was given a new name, ‘Birbal.’ Birbal was included in a special committee of nine advisers, who were also known as ‘Navratans.’
Krishnadevaraya and Tenali Rama
We’ve grown up enjoying the tales of Tenali Rama. Little did we know that under Krishnadevaraya’s rule, art and literature flourished in Vijayanagar Empire. Being a patron to literature and during his quest to discover great scholars, the king found Tenali Rama. Tenali with his immense wit, intelligence and simplicityearned a place among the Astadiggaj (group of 8 scholars) and came to be the most trusted legendary court poet known for his unique humour and unconventional yet simple solutions to everyday problems for the king of Vijayanagar.
SambhajiMaharaj and KaviKalash
The eldest son of the celebrated king in Maharashtra, ShivajiMaharaj, was SambhajiBhosle. KaviKalash was SambhajiMaharaj’s most trusted personal advisor, a friend and a poet. KaviKalash is known to have not left SambhajiMaharaj’s side when his own brother betrayed him. Their tale is a pure celebration of loyalty and friendship.
Chandragupta Maurya and Chanakya
This teacher disciple duo were the reason the great Maurya Empire was found. Chanakya was the teacher and then the prime minister and advisor to the ruler of Maurya Empire, Chandragupta Maurya.Chanakya is considered as the pioneer of the field of political science and economics in India. Chandragupta’s dedication to him and appreciation towards ChanakyaNeeti, made him the ruler of one of the largest empires in India.
Chandra Gupta II and Kalidasa
Chandra Gupta II, also known by his title Vikramaditya was the powerful emperor of the Northern India. Under his reign, as the country enjoyed peace and prosperity, Vikramaditya patronized learning. Among the various scholars in his court, Kalidasa was one of the great names in the Indian history. A Sanskrit poet and dramatist and one of the renowned Indian writers of all times.Kalidasa enjoyed immense appreciation in the court of Chandra Gupta II.
It’s said that “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” These instances in our history teach us how greatly scholars and artists were celebrated and treasured by some of the legendary rulers in the Indian history.
Witness such extraordinary tales of King Krishnadevaraya and Tenali Rama come to life every Monday- Friday at 7:30 pm on SONY SAB and watch the adventures unfold.