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We all know that various versions of Ramayana exist apart from Saint Valmiki, in Telugu, two versions of Ramayana were wondrously composed, Ranganatha Ramayanam and Molla Ramayanam. Magically, both versions have the genius of women. Molla being known solely for her Ramayana, not regarded as the first poetess in Telugu language. The credit goes to Philosopher queen Kuppambika who co-authored Ranganatha Ramayana along with her father, King Gona Buddha Reddy.

Kuppambika’s poetry became widely known through poet Ayyalaraju Ramabhadrudu who brought them to Emperor Sri Krishna Devaraya’s notice by reciting them in his court Bhuvanavijayam. Kuppambika completed the Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana and also wrote hundreds of poems. Though her poems are of early Telugu, they’re mostly readable and understandable to a commoner of today. She’s the younger sister of Gona Ganna Reddy, the trusted army general of Empress Rudrama Devi.  

She built the Gundeshwara Shiva temple at Buddhapuram along with issuing several inscriptions. She married king Malyala Gunda Dandadeeshudu. She slightly predates Molla as in Prathaparudra Charitra that Emperor Prathaparudra II honored poetess Molla. Kuppambika’s poems deal with both spirituality as well as addressing general issues during the path of enlightenment. She strongly points that, when we approach the God Within, Shiva, with utter perseverance, the supreme source will grant a life forever, and she clearly emphasizes that this is the only path to attain enlightenment.      

– Viswanath Venkat Dasari

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