Monday, October 16, 2006

History of Kannada

Stone inscriptions
The first record on Kannada language is traced to Emperor Ashoka's Brahmagiri edict dated 230 BC. The first example of full length Kannada language stone inscription (shilashaasana) in Hale Kannada (Old-Kannada) script can be found in the Halmidi inscription, dated c. 450 CE. Prior to this, there is an abundance of inscriptions containing Kannada words, phrases and sentences. The 543 CE. Badami fort shilashaasana of Pulakesi I is an example of Sanskrit inscription in Hale Kannada script.

Copper plate inscriptions

An example of early Sanskrit copper plate inscription (tamarashaasana) in Old Kannada script is the Western Ganga Dynasty Penugonda inscription date early 6th c. CE.(Govt. Museum, Chennai). The earliest full length Kannada tamarashaasana in Old Kannada script (early 8th c. CE) belongs to Alupas ruled by Aluvarasa II from Belmannu, South Kanara district and has the double crest fish, their royal emblem.

Ancient manuscripts

The oldest well-preserved palm leaf manuscript is in old Kannada and is that of Dhavala, dated to around 9th century, preserved in the Jain Bhandar, Mudbidri, Dakshina Kannada district. The manuscript contains 1478 leaves written in ink.

Kannada language inscriptions are the highest of any language in India, with more than 30,000. These inscriptions were not only discovered in Karnataka but also quite commonly in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Some inscriptions were also found in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. As an example, the inscription at Jura 964 C.E. (Jabalpur) , belonging to the reign of Rashtrakuta Krishna III, is regarded as an epigraphical landmark of classical Kannada literary composition, with charming poetic diction in polished Kannada metre. This indicates the spread of the language over the ages, especially during the rule of large Kannada empires.

Impact on other cultures and languages

Kannada has had significant influence on other Indian languages and overseas cultures. It has been brought to light the influence of old Kannada on the language of Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions from the 2nd. c. BCE - 4th. c. CE. These observations were made using grammatical and lexical analysis.

Charition mime, a Greek drama discovered at Oxyrhynchus and dated to 2nd century CE. or earlier contains scenes where Indian characters in the skit speak dialogue in Kannada.

Prior to and during the early Christian era, Kannada country seems to have been in close trade ties with the Greek and Roman empires of the west. Greek dramatists of 4th century BCE., particularly Euripedes and Aristophanes seem to have been familiar with Kannada language. This is evident in their usage of Kannada words and phrases in their dramas and skits.


  • At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Whatever u have gather the informations are rigth but at present condition v have to search for kannada.

  • At 5:41 AM, Blogger Nagaraja Shivarama said…

    Thanks for your reply.
    If everyone makeup their mind and speak kannada within their office, school and other places, then there is no need to search.

    If you have a friend who don't know kannada ask him to learn, let he/she make an attempt. Instead of you speaking in their language, its better to communicate in your language.

    Many people know kannada but pritend to be unknown. This mentality has to be buried.

  • At 5:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Really a nice collection of information. Kannadigas should be proud to know that the language has an incredible history.

    But sad thing is nowadays people are neglecting Kannada and giving importance to other languages. This has to be stopped and Kannada needs to keep growing.

  • At 5:48 AM, Blogger Nagaraja Shivarama said…

    Thanks srinivas to show your response.

    I am just an servent, i am just giving awareness to our kannadigas.
    Its my pleasure to give such an articles to our kannadigas.

  • At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ಹಾಯ್ ನಾಗ್,
    ಸಂಗ್ರಹಣೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿದೆ.
    ಆದ್ರೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಬೇಜಾರಾಗಿರುವ ವಿಷಯ ಏನಂದ್ರೆ ಮತ್ತೆ ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಆಂಗ್ಲ ಭಾಷೆಯನ್ನೇ ಬಳಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದೀರಿ. :( .
    ದಯವಿಟ್ಟು ಕೆಳಗಿನ ಕೊಂಡಿಯನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ...


    ಇನ್ನು ಮುಂದೆ ಆದರೂ ಈ ಮೇಲಿರುವ ಕೊಂಡಿಯನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆಯೆರಿ.
    ಜೈ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಮಾತೆ.
    ಇತಿ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತ

  • At 6:20 AM, Blogger Nagaraja Shivarama said…

    Sharath thanks for sending the link.

    I had expected this question. See Sharath, this blog is not created only to kannadigas.

    I want other language people to look at this blog and have to think about kannada.

    If some people do it in their language, it means they are hiding. Then whats the difference between them and us.

    I want our own kannadigas to speak kannada and be proud of karnataka. Rising your head and speak loudly our sweet kannada.

  • At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Nagaraj, nice piece of info on namma Karnataka, it would be good if u add up information on Karnataka's rich and splendid architecture of temples built by Vijaynagar Kingdom.
    one more thing that can be discussed is, what could be done to save kannada and kannadigas in (especially in Bangalore)...since people from other states are dominating in our land and r not respecting Kannada & Kannadigas.

  • At 9:42 PM, Blogger Nagaraja Shivarama said…

    hello Karthik,

    I know that i have given just atom of information. I would like you all to add the informations to this blog.

  • At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Realy good information..
    Please add some info about kannada Murthy

  • At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Realy good information..
    Please add some info about kannada Murthy

  • At 1:16 AM, Blogger Nagaraja Shivarama said…

    Sure I shall add his profile

  • At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ಹಾಯ್ ನಾಗ,
    ಸಂಗ್ರಹ ತುಂಬಾ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿದೆ

  • At 9:46 PM, Blogger Nagaraja Shivarama said…

    I request u all to send extra information which i havn't included.

  • At 2:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    good collection.

  • At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I appreciate you for gathering and sharing the above information.

    As it has been mentioned above by others we are really in bad condition when it comes to speaking our language. I see many kannadigas dont respect there language. First we are the one who should use our language propely. Then we can think about teaching Kannada to others. Many of us feel that talking with others in their language is a great thing.


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