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Pundarika Vittala – Musician

Pundarika Vittala is a musicologist of the 16th century AD. He was born at Satanurva village near Shivaganga Hills in the South Indian state of Karnataka. His parents were Vittala Raya and Nagamba.

A contemporary of Tansen and poet Tulsidas,Pundarika was well versed in Sanskrit and Kannada languages. He was expert on matters related to music and dance.
Literary Words of Pundarika Vittala

Pundarika Vittala is the author of a quartet of works on music.
  1. Sadragacandrodayam
  2. Nartananimayam
  3. Ragamala
  4. Ragamanjari.

Sadragacandrodayam contains autobiographical details of the artist, beside his theoretical expostulations on the nineteen musical scales and sixty five ragas. Pundarika had dedicated this work to his patron, Burhan Khan.

Ragamanjari mentions fifteen Parasikeya (of Persian origin) ragas some of which have now become defunct.

According to the noted musicologists T.S.Parthasarathy , Pundarika Vittala was perhaps the only theoretician who was well versed in both raga ragini and mela systems of India music.

Ironically, Pundarika failed to find out a patron in Vijayanagar, the abode of art and culture in Karnataka and had to turn to the court of Ahmednagar and Gwalior and, eventually, Delhi.