The extant major Telugu literature may be said to begin with Nannaya Bhattu,f a Vaidika
brahman of the Mudgala-gotra, who was a poet at the court of the Chalukya Raja-narendra or Vishnu- vardhana, son of Vimaladitya. Raja-narendra was king of the Vengi-nadu, the old Telugu country,! and reigned in Rajahmundry. Under his patronage, early in the eleventh century, Nannaya, with the aid of Narayana Bhattu, composed a poetical Telugu version of the first three books of the Sanskrit Maha-bharata, which was supple- mented some two centuries later by Tikkana Soma-yoji, who added a version of the greater
part of the remaining books. This " Andhra-bharata " of Nannaya and Tikkana remains
to the present day the chief classic of Telugu literature ; and in the same way Nannaya's Andhra-sabda-chintiimani has been the basis of all subsequent works on Telugu grammar and stylistic.
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