EMINENT PERSONALITIES FROM PURI
The famous poet Kavi Jayadeva folurished in the 12th
century A.D. and produced his immortal work Gitagovinda . Jayadeva was
born at Kenduli on the river Prachi, a village located under the
Balianta police station of Puri district.
Gobardhanacharya and his brother UDAYNACHARYA were noted Sanskrit
scholars of the last part of the 12the century. They are supposed to be
the residents of the area comprising the present district of
Puri.Gobardhana wrote "Aryasaptasati' a Sanskrit poem in 700 stanzas and
Udayan wrote "Bhabavibhabinitika' in Sanskrit, the first commentary on the "Gita Govinda of Jayadeva.
SHRIDHARA SWAMI of the 14th century was born in the village of
Maraigaon in the present Nilagiri subdivision of the Balasore district in
Orissa. For his vast learning and saintly character, he was selected as
Mahanta of the Govardhana pitha, a famous Sankarite moastery at Puri,
where he wrote some notable works chief amoung them being his
Bhabarthadipika tika on the Bhagabata Purana. This work is considered to
be the most famous commentary on the Bhagabata.
JAGANNATH DAS the famed translator of the Bhagabat into Oriya was
also a great scholar and writer in Sanskrit. His chief Sanskrit works
are Krushnabhakti Kalpalata Upasana Sataka , Niladri Sataka ,
Niyaaguptamala of Nityagupta Chintamani , etc.
RAYA RAMANANDA PATTANAYAK (16th century A.D.) was an
administratior under Gajapati Prataparudra Deva, but later became a
disciple of Shri Chaitanya and relinquished his job. He was a great
Sanskrit scholar and Vaishnava philosopher.His Sanskrit drama Jagannatha
Ballava Nataka was staged at Puri in which for the first time in Orissa
he introduced female artists on the stage.
KANHAI KHUNTIA was a Sevaka of Lord Jagannath and the resident of
Puri town. He became a disciple of Shri Chaitanya, and is known to have
written a Sanskrit work named Mahabhavaprakas.
JAYADEV II(16th century A.D.) was a poet of repute who wrote
Piyusa Lahari , a one-act play in Sanskrit, which was staged in the
compound of jagannath temple at Puri.
KAVI CHINTAMANI MISRA lived near the town of Puri in the middle
of the 16th century A.D. He wrote Kadambarisara , Sambararicharita and
Bangmayaviveka, a scholarly work on prosody and dramaturgy written in
verse. He is also known to be the author of some other Sanskrit works
which include Krutyapuspabali a work on Smriti.
BALARAM DAS is one of the five famous sain-poets of Orissa who
flurished in the 16th century A.D., and are popularly known as the
Panchasakhas or the five companions of Chitanya, the great Vaishnava
saint and prophet. He is the author of many books on religion and Yoga,
namele, Guptagita , Amarkosh Gita , Vendantasara Guptagita , Bata Abakasa
, Bramhanda Bhugola , Saptanga Yogasara Tika , Bhabasamudra,etc., but is
chiefly remmbered for his Ramayana, known as Dandi Ramayana of Jagamohan
Ramayanas, which has reached the humblest cottage in Orissa. He is also
the author of a small book named Lakshmi Purana which is very popular in
JAGANNATH DAS is the most celebrated saint-poet of Orissa
belonging to the Panchasakha group. He is held in high esteem for his
immortal work the Bhagabat , which is a free and mellifluous rendering of
the Sanskrit Bhagabat into Oriya in simple Oriya metre. Jagannath Das's
Bhagabat is very popular in Orissa and is read and workshipped in every
Oriya household. Along with Balaram Das's Ramayana it has deeply
influenced and moulded the national character of the Oriya speaking
people for generations. Jagannath Das was great scholar and has written
many books both in Sanskrit and Oriya. Among his other works in Oriya
mention may be made of Gupta Bhagabat , Darubramha Gita , Gajastuti,
Artha Koili and Tulabhina.
BHAKTA KAVI SALBEG (17th century A.D.) was the son wife, Lalbeg,
a Mughal Officer at Cuttack, and his Oriya Brahmin wife. Salbeg was a
great devotee of Lord Jagannath and has composed many beautiful
devotional songs in honour of the Lord Salbeg spent the last part of his
life at Puri where his tomb still exits.
DINAKRUSHNA DAS of the 17th century is a famous Vaisshnava poet
of Orissa. He is well known for his Rasakallola, a highly lyrical and
sensuous Kavya on the Krishna theme. Heis also the author of some other
works in Oriya of which Artatrana Chautisa deserves special mention.
Dinakrushnawas a resident of Puri.
UTKALMANI PANDIT GOPABANDHU DAS (1877-1928) Pandit Nilakantha Das and Pandit Godavarish Mishra, all belonging to Puri district, are popularly known as the Satyabadi group of poets and writers, All of them, at one time or other, were associated with the satyabadi school started by Pandit Gopabandhu Das, the
great patriot and political leader of Orissa.
Besides his political activities, Pandit Gopabandhu Das
(1877-1928) was also a poet and journalist of repute. His 'Bandira
Atmakata' 'Kara Kavita'and 'Dgarmapada' written in simple Oriya, breathe
of his deep humanism and parriotic fervour.
PANDIT NILAKANTHA DAS (1884-1967) was a politician, versatile
scholar, critic and poet. His major contribution to Oriya poetry are his
works "Konarke' and "Mayadevi' , in which he has tried to deviate from
the prevailing poetic norm established by the famous poet Radhanath Roy.
His "Dasa Naik' and "Pranayini' are successful Oriya adaptations of Lord
Tennyson's "Enoch Arden' Pandit Nilakantha is also a poerful writer of
Oriya prose. His "Oriya Sahityar Kramaparinam' is a landmark in Oriya
literary criticism. He received the Central Sahitya Akademi Award for
his autobiography. 'Atma Jivani'. He was also a great Parliamentarian during
the pre and post Independence era of the country.
PANDIT GODAVARISH MISHRA (1886-1956) was a distingushed politician and educationist.He was also alitterateur of repute and has
made rech contributions to Oriya poetry,drama,and fiction,He excelled in
the writing of Oriya ballads,taking for his theme local myths and
legends. 'Alekhika' a collection of his ballads, is popular.He was given
the Central Sahitya Akademi Award for his autobiography,Ardha Satabdira
Orissa O Tahinre mo Sthana'.He is the most popular poet and writer of the
PANDIT KRUPASINDHU MISHRA (1887-1926) devoted himself chiefly to
historical writing.His outstanding contributions in this field are his
'Orissa Itihas' 'Konarka' and Barabati.
Modern Oriya literature is enriched by many scholars , poets and
writers who belong to the district of Puri. Prominent among them and
Kuntala Kumari Sabat (Her parents and grandparents belonged to Khurda),
Dibyasingha Panigrahi, Padma Charan Pattanayak, Bankanidhi Pattanayak,
Aparna Devi, Binayak Mishra, Govind Chandra Tripathy, Jagatbandhu
Mohapatra, Godavaris Mohapatra, Kulamani Das, Rama Chandra Mohapatra,Chintamani Mishra, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, Mayadhar Mansinha, Bhagabati
Panigrahi,Gopal Chandra Kanangow, Adwaita Chandra Mohanty,Ramaranjan
Mohanty,Sachidananda Rautray, Ananta Pattanayak,Kunjabihari Das,
Rajkishore Roy, Kenarnath Mohapatra, Sadasiva Ratha Sharma, Rama Chandra
Mishra, Natabar Samantaray, Gopal Chandra Mishra, Janakiballav Mohanty
(Bharadwaj), Upendra Mishra Akhilmohan Pattanayak, Satyananda Champatiray
Smt.Nandini Satapathy and Ramakanta Rath.
Padma Bhusan Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra
Guru Kelu Charan Mahapatra is undoubtedly the most important figure in Odissi dance today and has been the guru at some time of nearly every important Odissi dancer and teacher in India and throughout the world. Born in Raghuraipur, a village in Puri
District of Orissa in 1926, he belongs to a family of Patachitra painters who used to paint patachitras of Lord Jeganath. He started learning Gotipua Nritya and Pakhawaj under the great gurus, Mohan Sundar Deva Gaswami and Pankaj Charan Das at an early age. He performed with a Rasleela troupe before joining the theatre. After Indian independence, he started to work to popularise Gotipua Nritya and the Mahari dance, and has subsequently received many awards for his contribution. He is one of the main architects of the contemporary Odissi repertoire and vocabulary. His creative ability is very evident in his choreography, while it is also informed by his study of ancient scriptures and sculpture in the temples of Orissa. Guru Kelu Charan Mahapatra's attitude towards dance is, in essence, devotional; to him dance is not so much a vocation as it is an expression of life. He was awarded both Padma Shri and Padma Bhusan.