Literature after the Harsha Period


  • Sanskrit remained the main language of the literature.

  • Pali and Prakrit were used for writing the Buddhist and Jain religious literature.

  • Vakapati's Gaudavaho was the biography of Yashovarman of Kanauj. It was the last major work in the older tradition of Prakrit.

  • Apabhramsha represented the last stage of Prakrit languages. This was considered as an important development in the field of literature because the modern languages, such as Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, and Bangla have all evolved from it.

  • A number of kavyas with great significance constitutes a special feature of this period.

  • The Ramacharita of Sandhyakara Nandi written during the reign of king Mahipal of the Pala kingdom, represents both the story of Rama and the life of king Ramapala of Bengal.

  • The Raghavaphandavija of Dhananjaya Shrutokriti describes the stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata at the same time.

  • The marriage of Siva and Parvati; and Krishna and Rukmini are described in the Parvati-Rukminiya written by Vidyamadhava.

  • Vidyamadhava was the court poet of the Chalukya king Somadeva.

  • Hemachandra composed a work entitled as Saptasandhana (having seven alternative interpretations).

  • The style of writing in the intricate patterns of double, triple or even more meanings is found in the literature of this period.

  • Shatarthakavya written by Somaprabhacharya, is an example of literary climax in which every verse was meant for being interpreted in a hundred ways.

Jaina Teachings

  • In addition to all these (discussed above), a large number of Jaina narratives dealing with the lives of Jain teachers were composed. The significant of them are −

    • Adinathacharita by Vardhamana

    • Shantinathacharita by Devachandra

    • Prithvichandracharita by Shantisuri

    • Parshvanathacharita by Devabhadra

    • Kuarapalacharita and Neminathacharita by Hemachandra

    • Sukumalachariu by Shrihara

    • Neminathacharita by Haribhadra

Other Literary Works

  • The Neminathacharita by Haribhadra and Sukumalachariu by Shrihara have been entirely written in Apabhramsa.

  • Rajatarangini written by Kalhana is the most remarkable historical texts in the kavya form. It is the only known attempt to write history in the modern sense.

  • Rajendra Karnapura is a eulogy of king Harsha of Kashmir written by Shambu.

  • Other literary works of this category are −

    • Prithviraja Vijay of Jayanka

    • Dvayashraya Mahakavya by Hemachandra

    • Kirtikaumndi by Someshvara

    • Vikramankadevacharita of Bilhana

    • Navasahasankacharita of Padmagupta

    • Kirti Kaumudi by Somadeva

  • The most important among the treatises were the poetic works. Some such works are −

    • Kavyamimamsa by Rajashekhara

    • Dasharupa by Dhananjaya

    • Saraswati Kanthabharana by Bhoja

    • Kavyanushasana of Hemachandra

    • Kavikanthabharana by Kshemendra

  • The famous work in the field of prose literature are −

    • Brihatkathamanjari by Kshemendra

    • Kathasaritasagara by Somadeva

    • Kathakoshaprakarana by Jineshvara Suri

  • The famous dramas are −

    • Lalitavigraharaja nataka by Somadeva,

    • Harikeli nataka by Visaladeva

    • Prasannaraghava by Jayadeva

    • Karnasundari by Bilhana

    • Abhidhana Chintamani, Deshinamamala, Anekarthasamgraha, Nighantushesha, all written by Hemachandra.

  • The famous mathematician Bhaskaracharya also belonged to the 12th century. A.D.

  • Siddhanta-Shiromani, comprises in four parts, namely Lilavati, Vijaganita, Grahaganita, and Gola. Gola deals with astronomy.

  • Siddhanta Shiromani propounded the principle of ‘Perpetual Motion.’ It was transmitted by Islam about A.D. 1200 to Europe. This led to the development of the concept of power technology.

Raja Bhoj of Paramara dynasty
  • Rajmariganka is the work on astronomy written by King Bhoja of Paramara dynasty.

  • Madhava wrote several works on medicine. Nidana or Riguimshchana is his best known work on Pathalogy. It was translated into Arabic under the guidance of Harunal Rashid.

  • Chikitsa Kutamudgara and Yogavyakhya were also written by Madhvav.

  • Chikitsakalika or Yoga-mala written by Vagabhata II's son Tisata.

  • Yogaratnasamuchchhaya was written by Chandratha. He was the son of Tisata.

  • Brinda of Bengal wrote his Siddhayoga between A.D. 975 and 1,000.

  • Some commentaries compiled during this period are −

    • Krityakalpataru written by Lakshmidhara

    • Chaturvarga Chintamani written by Hemadri

    • Mitakasara written by Vijnaneshvara

    • Dayabhaga (Law of inheritance) written by Jimutavahana

    • Vyavaharamatrika and Kalaviveka Manuvritti by Govindaraja

    • Smrityarthasara written by Shridhara

    • A commentary on the Yajnavalkyasmriti written by Apararka

    • A commentary on the Yajnavalkyasmriti was also written by Vijnaneshvara

    • Smritichandrika written by Devanna Bhatta are other outstanding creations of this period.

  • Important works on polity are −

    • Nitishastra written by Mathara

    • Nitisara written by Kamandaka

    • Nitivakyamrita by Somadeva suri

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