The ancient scholarly art of Avadhana , a complex test of memory, intelligence and versification, will be showcased here from Friday.

‘Avadhani’, the central character of the event, versifies extempore to create grammatically flawless, metrically perfect and creative poetry, to the challenges posed by quizzing scholars known as ‘Prcchakas’.

According to K.B.S. Ramachandra, trustee of Padyapaana, an online platform for popularising metrical poetry, the key factors in this art are ‘dhaarana’ (memory) and ‘purana’ (completion). ‘Purana’ involves solving, in verse, the questions posed by the Prcchakas in four rounds, one line at a time. Recollecting the lines composed in earlier rounds for continuation is ‘dhaarana’.

Though there are many varieties of Avadhanas, the most popular are ‘ashtavadhana’, where eight problems are simultaneously resolved, and ‘shatavadana’, where 100 problems are simultaneously solved.

A first

Mr. Ramachandra told The Hindu that the ‘shatavadhana’ would be performed by R. Ganesh, an exponent in the form, for the first time in Kannada.

Over 2,500 people are expected to participate in the programme, in which 75 Prcchakas will pose the 100 questions.

“The programme is both educative and entertaining, especially for those interested in literature and poetry. Avadhana art will help one’s self-development also,” he said.

The Avadhana will be held at NMKRV College, Jayanagar 3rd block, over three days — from 4 p.m. on Saturday, and between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on December 2 and 3.

The event is open to the public and entry is free.