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Tenali Rama

Tenali Rama

Tenali Ramakrishna is also known as Vikata Kavi and Tenali Rama. In the 16th century CE, during the Krishnadevaraya era, he served as a court poet for the Vijaya Nagar Empire. India's culture and legacy flourished under the Vijaya Nagar Empire, which has a significant position in Indian history.

A Golden Era in Indian History was created under Sri Krishna Deva Rayalu, the illustrious King of the Vijaya Nagar Kingdom. One of Ashtadiggajas, or Krishna Deva Raya's supporters, was Tenali Ramakrishna. The historians assert that Krishnadeva Rayalu-Ramalinga and Akbar-Birbal share a great deal of similarities.

Name Tenali Ramakrishna
Surname Tenali Rama , Tenali Raman
Degree Dark Poet
Nationality Indian
Date Of Birth 22 September 1479
Birth Place Andhra Pradesh
Father`s Name Garlapati Ramayya
Mother`s Name Lakshmma
Profession Poet
Marital Status Married
Wife`s Name Shardha Devi
Children Bhaskar Sharma
Death 5 August 1528

The Life of Tenali Rama

In the latter half of the fifteenth century, at a place named Thumuluru or Tenali (now a portion of Tenali Maalam), Tenali Rama was born as Garlapati Ramakrishna to a Telugu-speaking Niyogi Hindu Brahmin family. His father, Garlapathi Rama, worked as a priest at the Ramalingesvara Swami temple in Santharavuru.

Rama passed away when Ramakrishna (Tenali) was still a child. Lakamma, his mother, moved back to Tenli to live with her brother. Ramakrishna was named Tenali Ramakrishna since he was born and raised in the same town as his uncle.

Although Tenali Ramakrishna did not acquire any formal education while he was a youngster, his quest for information helped him to become a brilliant scholar. According to a well-known legend, the Vaishnava scholars?devotees of Vishnu?rejected to accept him as a pupil since he was a Shaiva.

Ramakrishna was still keen to complete his education, so he visited several pandits and gently urged them to accept him as one of their disciples, but they insulted and expelled him.

Later, while wandering, he came across a wise man who counseled him to worship the Goddess Kali. With his devotion, he offered the Goddess homage and summoned her.

Tenali Rama

According to legends, Maa Kali appeared to him, complimented him on his sense of humor, and gave him the good fortune of one day being hailed as a renowned poet in the court of Emperor Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara. He was also given the name "Vikaakavi" by the Goddess, who was moved by his wit and sense of humor. Saarada was his wife, Bhaskara Sarma was his son, and Amruta was his daughter.

King's Court

He eventually became a member of the renowned "Mela" group. Ramakrishna's performance drew the King's and other people's attention when the company arrived in Vijayanagara to play for the monarch.

He told Krishnadevaraya about his life, and after hearing it, the King appointed him to the position of court comedian poet, completing the Ashtadiggajas (The Eight Scholars) group. As a talented poet and jester, Ramakrishna became well-known. In the Court of Sri Krishnadevaraya, he was also known as a Special Advisor. He was envious of the royal priest Lakshmi Kumar Tathacharya. He tried several different strategies without any luck to get rid of Tenali Rama.

Later Years

He stopped serving at the court upon the death of King Krishnadevaraya in 1530 and went back to the Tenali. He succumbed to a snakebite a short time later. According to the accounts, Ramakrishna repeatedly assisted in defending King Krishnadevaraya and rescued him when things were at their worst. An old legend describes how Ramakrishna used his quick mind and cunning plan to save Vijayanagara against the Delhi Sultanate.

Literary Works Of Tenali Rama

Tenali Rama was renowned for his intelligence and wit. One of the Pacha Mah Kavyas (the Five famous Kavyas) of Telugu literature, Tenali Ramakrishna's famous work Panduranga Mahatmyam is considered a high-quality Kavya. It is notable for its sonorous grandeur of phrase. It tells the fabled story of how Saint Pundarika blessed a temple to Vishnu as Panduranga in Pandharpur. In Pandharpur, a Brahmin named Nigama Sharma passed away after living a life of frivolity and excess.

Tenali Rama

There will be conflict between the Yama and Vishnu's followers. The previous folk was interested in hauling him to Hades in view of the fact that he had lived a depraved life, while the latter group claimed he was eligible for Heaven, as he had died in a holy area. Ultimately, the court declared in support of the adherents of Vishnu.

Tenali Ramakrishna applied the topic of Panduranga Mahatmyam from Skanda Purana and improved it with tales regarding the worshipers of Panduranga. He invented an imaginary figure known as 'Nigama Sarma Akka' and used her as a narrative basis but did not assign her a name. He also wrote various spur-of-the-moment verses entitled 'Chatuvu.'

When Tenali Ramakrishna served as Krishnadevaraya's court poet, he earned the stature of a folk hero while also writing critical religious works. Today, it's possible to find three of his narrative poems.

Tenali Rama

Based on Palakuriki Somanatha's Basava Puranam, his first poem, Udbhataradhya Charitamu, is on the Shaiva master Udbhata. The holiness of Varanasi is another topic covered in Udbhataradhya Charitamu. He was also known as Tenali Ramalinga Kavi because of Tenali Ramakrishna's passion for the Shaivite faith.

The name Vikata Kavi, which in Telugu script translates as "clown-jester-poet," was given to Tenali Rama. For his creative achievements, he was given the moniker "Kumara Bharathi."

Early life

In the early 16th century, Tenali Rama was born on September 22, 1479, into a Telugu Brahmin household. He is thought to have been born in the Andhra Pradesh town of Tenali in the Guntur district.

Priest "Garlapati Ramayya" served in the Ramalingeswara Swamy temple at Tenali Nagar, where Tenali was born. Tenaliram's father, Garlapati Ramayya, passed away while he was a little boy.

Tenaliram moved in with his mother "Lakshamma" at his maternal uncle's hamlet "Tenali" after his father passed away. After the passing of his father, Tenaliram was raised by his maternal uncle. Tenaliram was called as "Ramakrishna" as he grew up in the town of his maternal uncle.

Tenali "Ramalinga," who was born within the "Shaivite" faith, eventually converted to "Vaishnavism" and changed his name to "Ramakrishna." At that time, Hinduism had two opposing sects known as "Shaiva" and "Vaishnava."

He was not offered an education because of the religious practices of his caste, but because of his intense curiosity and love of learning, he was given a scholarship. In addition, he was fluent in several languages, including Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, and Hindi.

Tenali Rama

Due to his prior devotion to Shiva, he was not recognized as a student by the Vaishnavas; hence, a renowned saint recommended he worship "Maa Kali." Tenaliram is claimed to have performed extensive penance for Goddess Kali as a result of obeying the saint, and as a result, Tenaliram received the Goddess's blessing that he would grow to be a superb comedy poet.

Literary Life of Tenali Rama

Despite not having a formal education, Tenaliram had acquired a wide range of linguistic skills. Therefore, he became a renowned poet as a result. Pandurang Mahatmyam, a collection of five epics, was written by him. Skandpuran's influence has been a factor in his writing this piece.

Poems and books by Tenali Ramakrishna are many. Consequently, he chose the moniker Chatuvu. Udbhataradhya Charitamu, one of his most well-known poems, was written by him in religious works.

In addition to this, he wrote Palakuriki Somnath, a poem based on the Basava Purana. Ramalinga and Rayalu, two of his short stories, also attained enormous recognition. He received the title of Kumar Bharti ji for his work, which was recognized. In addition, the Mahishasuramardini Stotram is a Sanskrit poem written in his honor.

The Education of Tenali Rama

The fact that such a superb poet lacked any formal schooling may astonish you. Tenali Rama possessed fluency in Marathi, Tamil, and Kannada despite not having reading or writing skills. Tenali was rumored to have converted to Vaishnavism. He started working with the renowned Bhagwat Mela troupe to support himself. He participated in several programs as a member of this ensemble.

Movies and Serials made on Tenali Rama

Numerous movies and television series have been created about the life of Tenali Ramakrishna. Cartoon Network also offers a show aimed at children featuring his life experiences and imaginative events. Several books based on Ramakrishna's life can be found in stores.

Examples of famous works are films and television programs:-

  1. In 1956, an iconic Telugu movie called Tenali Ramakrishna was brought to life with BS Ranga as the director and Sivaji Ganesan as the actor playing Tenali Rama. Nandmuri Taraka Rama Rao chose to take on the part of Sri Krishnadeva Raya.
  2. In 1982, the Kannada movie Hasyathan Ramakrishna was released, with BS Ranga at the helm of its direction. Anant Nag took on the role of Ramakrishna in this film.
    Tenali Rama
  3. Vijay Kashyap starred in the television series, Tenalirama, which was first shown on Doordarshan in 1990.
  4. 'Adventures of Tenali Rama' was a program that debuted on Program Network in the year 2003.
  5. In 2014, a movie adaptation of the humorous tales about Tenali Ramakrishna, entitled 'Tenali Raman,' was released.

3 Reasons to Make Tenali Rama Your Role Model

Children typically enjoy stories from Tenali Raman, which have exciting plots. While Indian children often favor Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Sri Krishna narratives, Tenali Raman's stories provide a unique notion. The tales teach that you can conquer any obstacle with intelligence and resourcefulness.

Not only was Tenali Raman, a court jester, but he was a figure to be looked up to and admired for his wisdom even today. Reading his stories is encouraging and inspiring:

1. Fought Against Social Evils

Despite his societal disadvantages, Tenali Raman overcame them to become a remarkable man through pure desire and perseverance. He refused to let the difficulties in his circumstances prevent him from reaching his objectives and becoming a knowledgeable scholar.

His story serves as an inspiration for how willpower and knowledge can be used to combat social ills. Tenali Raman may inspire everyone since she is an excellent role model. His proverbial tales serve as a reminder that everything is possible if you are determined and persistent.

2. Impressed King Krishnadevaraya with his Intellect

Tenali Raman joined the Bhagavata Mela group. For a performance in front of Krishnadevaraya, the mela traveled to Vijaynagara. Following his performance, Tenali attracted the King's attention. Raman, who had previously been only a comic at the King's court, then used his intelligence and humor to become an Asthadiggaj, one of the ninth intellectuals of the court. Everyone can benefit from Tenali's example. No matter who is in front of us, we shouldn't be afraid and should perform to our full potential. Your success in your work life will depend on how confident you are in yourself.

Tenali Rama

3. Great Sense of Humour

King Krishnadevaraya and Tenali Raman collaborated directly. Tenali was well-known for his wit and sense of humor. One of the main factors in Raman's strong relationship with King Krishnadevaraya was his intelligence, wit, and sense of humor. Tenali always understood how to lighten the atmosphere, get people to laugh, and make the courtroom appear really fun and entertaining.

Learning to grin and accept difficulties in these trying times will make our life easier. A sense of humor may be developed, making individuals more appealing and enhancing their viewpoint and temperament in social situations. Nowadays, having a sharp mind and a sense of humor may help you resolve many disputes.

Fatality of Tenali Ramakrishna

According to the source, Tenaliram was bitten by a snake and died as a result, only a short time after Maharaja Krishna Dev Rai passed away. He is said to have passed away on August 5, 1575.

Some Facts About Tenali Rama

  • It is rumored that in his earlier years, Tenali Rama was a devoted follower of Shiva. However, he eventually converted to Vaishnavism and dedicated himself to praying to Lord Vishnu. Due to this shift in faith, he changed his name to Ramakrishna. The famous Telugu poet was subsequently named Tenali after his hometown.
  • Tenali Rama's Pandurang Mahatmyam Kavya is highly esteemed in Telugu letters. An epic in five sections has earned the writer the nickname "Vikat Kavi."
  • Tenali Rama had obtained a well-deserved standing in the affection of Krishnadevaraya, the ruler of Vijayanagara, due to his intelligence and astute. His skills were not only limited to poetry, but he was adept at finding clever ways to protect his kingdom from the Delhi Sultans. There are numerous well-known tales regarding Krishnadevaraya and Tenali Rama.
  • The most surprising thing about Tenali Rama ji was that although he first honored Shiva, he later embraced Vaishnavism, which caused him to be barred from obtaining education in Gurukul, which is famous for its rules. Hence, Tenali Rama ji stayed uneducated, but this never hampered his astounding reputation as a brilliant sage and learned man.
  • Tenali Rama ji was most renowned as he never bowed down to his most formidable foe. Additionally, he was renowned for being the most intelligent person of his era.
  • The fictitious events of Tenali Rama's life have been wonderfully represented in "The Adventures Of Tenali Rama" on the Cartoon Network


Through his best writings, including his poetry and stories, Tenali Ramakrishna is still with us today. The position he attained, thanks to his superb work, would take a lot of work for most people to match. I hope you have learned a lot about Tenali Ramakrishna's life as a result of reading this essay.

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