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Sri Ranganatha Ramayanamu – Ramayana In Telugu

Sri Ranganatha Ramayanamu is a Telugu version of the Ramayana that has been set to music. Ramayana literature in Telugu is ancient and continuous, besides being rich and varied. Ranganatha Ramayanamu is composed in the Telugu using a two-line meter called dvipada. It contains six kandas and 34,580 lines.

Ranganatha Ramayanamu is the first and complete Ramayana in Telugu to be set to music. Some portions from it are being used by the performers of puppetry (tolu bommalata), because it is a popular work among the masses. It is composed in a simple yet dignified style, and an average reader can read it with ease and enjoy it. Though the author has followed Valmiki’s Ramayana, Ranganatha Ramayanamu is generally considered a repository of non-Valmiki details and episodes found in other Ramayana versions. Thus Ranganatha Ramayanamu incorporates the stories familiar to the general mass of people.

Ranganatha Ramayanamu was written in the 13th century CE by a royal poet named Gona Buddha Reddi, who had distinguished himself not only as a scholar in the language, but also as a person fully aware of intricacies of the Ramayana story. Buddha Reddi has been hailed as Kavikalpataru (the celestial kalpa tree for the poets) and Kaviloka Bhoja (the well known King Bhoja of the classical age). Interestingly, the story up to the coronation of Rama (Purva Ramayana) was written by Buddha Reddi and the later story (Uttara Ramayana) by his sons, Kacha and Vitthala.

The episodes of Jambukumara, Sulochana and Kalanemi are some of the non-Valmiki episodes found in Ranganatha Ramayanamu.

The excellence of devotion has been highlighted in Ranganatha Ramayanamu through an episode on the squirrel’s devotion (Uduta Bhakti) towards Rama, in a simple and dignified style, and it has become a household expression in every Telugu home.