Bommalagutta inscription, oldest evidence of Telugu literature
Epigraphists think this the oldest evidence of the use of Telugu for literature, pushing back the history of poetic use of the language by a century. In Karimnagar district, near Kurikyala village, on a hillock known as Bommalagutta, is the 11-line rock inscription spread across 25 feet. The sing-song Telugu rhyme is the work of Jinavallabha, the younger brother of Pampa who was the court poet of Chalukya Arikesari III. The king ruled between A.D. 946 and 968 from Vemulawada, the rump kingdom of Chalukyas before it was mopped up by the Chalukyas of Kalyani. The inscription was discovered by D. Venkata Ramanacharyulu and A. Virabhadra Rao. The rock inscription is a throwback to the time when Adilabad was referred to as Bellalam, Sircilla as Sidhasila, Vangapalle was referred to as Vangaparru and Nedikonda as Nidumgonna.
Present condition: Currently, Adi Kavi Nannayya and his translation of The Mahabharata is considered the oldest evidence of Telugu poetry.
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