Oriya Literature

  ORIYA LITERATURE

WRITERS



Upendra Banja

Baladev Ratha
Fakirmohan Senapati
Kali Charan Patnaik
Mayadhar Manasingha
Satchidananda Rautray
Surendra Mohanty
Manoranjan Das
Manoj Das
Santanu Kumar Acharya
Sitakant Mahapatra








Upendra Banja (1680-1720): Upendra Banja, the author of Lavanyavati, occupies a prominent place in medieval Oriya poetry. Born into the ruling Bhanja family of Ghumsar, a feudatory state in South Orissa, Upendra is credited with nearly 70 books, some of which are still unpublished.. His poems Kotibrahmanda Sundari (Beauty of Million Worlds), Premasudhanidhi (Tresury of the Nectar of Love) and Rasikaharavali (Garlands for Connoisseurs) are some of the most beautiful poems of Oriya literature.

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Baladev Ratha (1779-1845): Baladev Ratha, the great musical poet of Orissa who was conferred the title of Kavyasurya or the sun among poets, is known for his magnum opus Champu consisting of 34 Oriya songs with short poems and prose pieces attached to each song. Ratha was a great Sanskrit scholar, singer, administrator and a versatile personality.

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Fakirmohan Senapati (1843-1918): Senapati, held as the father of Oriya fiction, was a man of parts who gained considerable repute as poet, scholar, and social reformer. He participated in the Oriya nationalist movement and started his writing career by translating and writing text-books for schools. His first original poem Utkal Bhramana (Tours of Orissa) was written when he was 50. Chamana Athaguntha (Six manas and Eight Gunthas), his first novel and masterpiece, was serialised in a monthly magazine. Fakirmohan is now remembered for his four novels, 20 short stories, and autobiography and several pieces of poetry.
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Kali Charan Patnaik (1898-1978):

Kali Charan Patnaik is undoubtably the most important Oriya dramatist of the 1940s. While his predecessors dealt mostly with historical and mythological themes, he broke away from the established vogue and based his plays on social issues and contemporary Oriya society. The pioneering instinct of Kali Charan led him to set up his own theatre company named Orissa theatres in 1939 through which he gave a new direction to Oriya drama by writing and staging more than a dozen plays mirroring social problems. Bhata (Rice) is one such play.

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Mayadhar Manasingha (1905-'73): Widely recognised as a poet, critic and educationist, Mayadhar was the first person to take a Ph.D in Oriya and the subject of his research was 'Shakespeare and Kalidasa'. Though he has authored over 50 books, including a history of Oriya literature and quite a few other prose works, he is primarily recognised as a poet. And Dhupa (Incense) has been acclaimed as the most outstanding of his poetic works. Manasingha remained a teacher whole of his life.

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Satchidananda Rautray (1916): Rautray is a major Oriya poet, acclaimed to be the harbinger of modern age in Oriya poetry. His literary career spans over 50 years during which he has contributed to different literary genras besides poetry. His principal works are Palli-Shree (The Vilage Beautiful), Pandulipi (The Manuscripts), Kavita (Poem) and Swagata (Soliloquy).

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Surendra Mohanty (1922-'90): Recipient of several literary awards and Predsident of Orissa Sahitya Academy from 1981 to 1987 , Mohanty in a writer of short stories, novels, travelogues, criticism, features and biographies. He has written about 50 books belonging to different genres. His well known books are Mahanagarira Ratri (The Night of the Metropolis), Malarara Mrutyu (The Death of a Swan), Andha Diganta (The Dark Horizon), and Mahanaivan (The Great Exit). His Nilashila earned him considerable popularity. Yadubamsa O Anayanya Galpa (The Yadubamsa and other stories) and Rajadhani O Anyanya Galpa (The Capital and other stories), Krushna Chuda (The Peacock Flower) and Ruti O Chandra (The Bread and The Moon ) are his famous short stories.

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Manoranjan Das (1927): Manoranjan Das has earned a legendary reputation in Orissa by writing plays. He took Oriya drama to new heights, probed deeply into the contemporary socio-political as well as psychological ethos as a whole, brought Oriya drama on par with new modern drama emerging elsewhere. His first play Janmamati (Land of Birth) came out in 1943 and his latest Nandika Kesari in 1985. Inbetween, he had writtren 14 other plays, including Aranya Fasal (The Wild Harvest)which won him the Sahitya Academy Award in 1971. His other plays are Jauban (Youth), August Na (The Ninth August 1947), Baxi Jagabandhu (The Sacrifice of Jagabandhu), Agami (The Oncoming), Abarodha (The Seize), Kathagodha (The Wooden Horse), and Sabdalipi (The Word-script).

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Manoj Das (1934): Manoj Das' literary career spans over decades. He has written over 12 volumes of short stories in Oriya, eight volumes in English and more than eight books of miscellaneous writings in different genres. He has been the editor of reputed literary journals Diganta in Oriya and The Heritage in English. His principal works are Dhumrabha Diganta O Anyana Kahani (The Dusky Horizon and other Stories), Crocodiles Lady, and Fables and Fantasies for Adults.
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Santanu Kumar Acharya (1934): An important novelist in the post-independence era Santanu Acharya rose to eminence with the publication of his first novel Nara Kinnar (Man and Half-beast). His other novel is Satabdira Nachiketa (Nachekata of the Century). His Karanjia Diary is remarkable for its vivid evocation of the place and the people.

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Sitakant Mahapatra (1937): Mahapatra is one of the major voices in contemporary Oriya poetry. Early in his life he was initiated into the grand epic tradition of Indian and Oriya poetry. Mahapatra combines in him a brilliant academician, a competent civil servant and a poet of rare talent. His Ph.D thesis Modernisation and Ritual: Search for Identity among the Primitive Communities of India, was published by the Oxford University Press in 1985. He is known for his poetic works such as Dipti O' Dyuti, Sabdara Akash, Chitranadi, Kahaku Puchhibi Kuha, Pheri Asabari Beli. Mahapatra won the Jnanpith award for his contribution to literature.

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