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Palm Leaf Manuscript of Tipu Sultan's Poet Traced

An 18th century palm leaf manuscript of Poet Venkamathya has been traced recently. It is in Sanskrit language. It is a five-act Sanskrit play titled "Rasika Ranjani". Besides Sanskrit, the poet had command in Kannada language also.

Also known as Venkappayya, Venkamathya, Venkabhupathi and Venkappa, the poet had produced Sanskrit works in ten literary areas, but only eight had come to light so far. The unpublished palm leaf manuscript found now in his native village has brought to light one more section of Venkamathya's works and has thus become significant.

Venkamathya hailed from Thyamagondlu village, near Nelamangala, in Bangalore rural district. He became a minister of the Keladi State in his early age and gained experience in State administration as well, besides being a poet. Later, he became a Minister under the famous ruler of Srirangapatna, Hyder Ali Khan, and when the latter died under his son, the famous Tipu Sultan. Despite ups and downs in his life, Venkamathya continued his literary contributions to become the lone poet to produce works in all the 10 branches of literature.

Of the eight works of Venkamathya, the Institute of Kannada Studies of the Mysore University has published a few. Kannada researches are now hopeful of finding the poet's 10th work also to fill the void in his poetical contributions.

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