Nannaya

Nannaya

Countries: India

Nannaya Bhattaraka (sometimes spelled Nannayya or Nannaiah; ca. 11th century AD) is the earliest known Telugu author, and the author of the first third of the Andhra mahabharatam, a Telugu retelling of the Mahabharata. Nannaya is held in high regard as the person who revived the Telugu language. This work, which is rendered in the Champu style, is chaste and polished and of a high literary merit.
The first treatise on Telugu grammar, the "Andhra Shabda Chintamani", was written in Sanskrit by Nannaya, who was considered first poet and translator of Telugu in the 11th century A.D. There was no grammatical work in Telugu prior to it. This grammar followed the patterns which existed in grammatical treatises like Aṣṭādhyāyī and Vālmīkivyākaranam but unlike Pāṇini, Nannaya divided his work into five chapters, covering samjnā, sandhi, ajanta, halanta and kriya.
He is also known as Adi Kavi in recognition of his great literary work. He also holds the titles Shabda Sasanudu and Vaganu Sasanudu (Law giver of the language) after his Telugu grammar work Andhra Shabdha Chintamani.
The advanced and well-developed language used by Nannaya suggests that Nannaya Mahabharatamu may not be the beginning of Telugu literature. Unfortunately, no Telugu literature prior to Nannaya is available, except royal grants and decrees, though Telugu language started to develop even before the Common Era.