Aksharameru's Kaliyuga Viparitan: Earliest Tripadi Poetry in Indian Literature (c. 740 AD)

Publication Type:



S Settar


Ruvari, Abhinava Imprint, Bangalore (2012)




Either its poet or its poetry made this record gain a niche in the history of Indian literature. What led the poet-scribe to repeat a line here, a verse there, and greater part of the text somewhere, cannot be imagined. In history of Indian epigraphy, one may find verbatim or near verbatim repetition of a text in two or more centres, but not the kind of extracts posted as here in different parts of the same town. The literary character of this record is settled beyond doubt. It reveals the earliest examples of the tripadi poetry in Indian literature. Making its beginning here, this genre spread across the Deccan (including Andhra Pradesh) gaining health and hues as it progressed in time and space. It made considerable impact on some of the greatest Kannada classical poets, such as Pampa, Ponna, Drgasimha, before culminating in the celebrated compositions of Sarvajna, an illustrious late medieval Kannada saint-poet. Its popularity and variety compelled the attention not only of Kannada but also of Sanskrit alankarikas. The impact of tripadi was not limited to the margi-potry, it permeated the desi poetry too, and influenced both its construction and rendition. When women folk and house-wives crooned tripadis to break monotony, enliven children, and entertain friends, they converted the three-lined verse into four-lined song, and metamorphed tripadi into chaupadi. The tripadi also inspired the 12th century Virasaiva saint-poets to evolve another genre which became celebrated as trividi.


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