--> Skip to main content

Pundarika Vittala – Musician – Author Of Musical Texts

Pundarika Vittala was an author of musical texts and musician of the 16th century CE. He was born at Satanurva village near Shivaganga Hills in Karnataka. His parents were Vitthalaraya and Nagamba. Pundarika Vitthala was a contemporary of the legendary musician Tansen and Goswami Tulsidas the author of Ramcharitmanas. He was well versed in Sanskrit and Kannada languages, beside music and dance.

Pundarika Vitthala is the author of a quartet of works on music, Sadragacandrodayam, Nartananimayam, Ragamala and Raga Manjari.

Sadragacandrodayam contains autobiographical details of the artist beside his theoretical expostulations on the nineteen musical scales and 65 ragas. Pundalika has dedicated this work to his patron, Burhan Khan. Ragamanjari mentions 15 Parasikeya (of Persian origin) ragas, some of which have now become defunct.

According to the noted musicologist T.S.Parthasarathy, Pundarika Vittala was, perhaps the only theoretician who was well-versed in both raga-ragini and mela systems of Indian 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 courts of Ahmednagar and Gwalior and eventually Delhi.