The Cultural Legacy Of The Telugu Nayaks Of Tanjore
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The Cultural Legacy of the Telugu Nayaks of Tanjore
The Nayaka Kings of Tanjore contributed many Telugu Yakshganas, Dvipadas, Gitas and etc. They also patronised many Telugu poets and literatures.
The Nayaka rule of Tanjore started with Pinacevappa Nayaka. The Nayaks were initially viceroys under the Vijayanagar Empire. The battle of Talikota in 1565, which resulted in the end of the Vijayanagar Empire, also saw the Nayaks form their own kingdoms in Tanjore and Madurai.
The cultural arts in Tanjore, which bloomed during the reign of the Cholas, grew further due to the encouragement of the Nayaks. The Nayaks were deeply influenced by the traditions of Vijayanagar and this in turn made them patrons of culture. They encouraged the development of Telugu literature in Tanjore, a Tamil region. Many Telugu artists in literature dance and music had made Tanjore their home.
The Nayak rulers, starting with Acyutappa a followed by Raghunatha Nayaka and Vijayaraghava Nayaka, who were credited with many compositions in music and dance, encouraged the growth of Sanskrit and Telugu literature. Telugu Yakshaganas, a type of dance dramas was popular during the Nayaka period.
Acyutappa Nayaka, who ruled from 1560 AD to 1600 AD, was the first ruler from the Nayaka dynasty who was a patron of learning and arts. He was said to have gifted the village of Melattur to five hundred Brahmin families to atone for having consumed a betel leaf with his left hand. Melattur grew up to be a place famous