Vijayawada

‘Katamaraju kathalu’ adds value to SVU’s manuscripts collection

Rare treasure: Y. Shanmugam Yadav (right), state President of Akhila Bharata Yadava Mahasabha, presenting palm leaf manuscripts on Katamaraju kathalu to SVU Oriental Research Institute Director Damodar Naidu in Tirupati.   | Photo Credit: K_V_Poornachandra_Kumar

The Oriental Research Institute (ORI), premier research wing of the Sri Venkateswara University, became richer with the inclusion of 63 manuscripts on ‘Katamaraju Kathalu’, considered a great value addition in terms of folklore research.

Katamaraju was a 13th century Yadava king of Kanigiri area in the present Prakasam district, who had fought a fierce battle with Nalama Siddhi, king of Nellore, over the right of cattle grazing in the fertile meadows. The battle and the related events became collectively known as the ‘Katamaraju Kathalu’, a collection of valorous folk stories. The stories used to be enacted, sung or performed during folk festivals and village fairs of the Rayalaseema region for long, but, of late, have been reduced to be rendered during death anniversaries or memorial services of the Yadava clan.

The 62 palm leaf manuscripts were painstakingly collected by Prof. Tangirala Venkata Subba Rao during his research study in the SVU taken up in the eighties, when he had toured Srikakulam, Prakasam, Chittoor and Nellore districts. Later, he intended to hand over the collection to the Akhila Bharata Yadava Mahasabha, as it was about the Yadava king. Mahasabha State president Y. Shanmugam Yadav however thought it fit to preserve the treasured manuscripts in the ORI library for the benefit of posterity and also offered to get them cleaned, scanned, digitised and saved in DVD format. The proposal to present the manuscripts was initially made way back in 2012 during the World Telugu Conference (WTC) held in Tirupati which however materialised during the next WTC under way in Hyderabad.

ORI Director Prof. Damodar Naidu, who received the manuscripts stacked in a rack made of teak wood, appreciated the noble intention of the donors in promoting ancient stories of Andhra Pradesh, thus preserving its rich heritage and culture. While 56 sets of manuscripts are of Katamaraju Kathalu, the remaining seven pertain to Rukmini Kalyanam, Palnati Yuddham (2 volumes), Narakasura Vadha, Kamsuni Katha, Battu Rayabaram and Tarkavedam. The 62 volumes are being made available on the web portal www.katamarajukathalu.com.

Shanmugam Yadav, as the chairman of the ‘Jai Yadav Jai Madhav Trust’ and Ala Venkateswarlu, president of the Sri Krishna Seva Samithi (Guntur) announced to jointly fund a scholarship of ₹10,000 per annum for researchers taking up study of Katamaraju.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 11:17:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/katamaraju-kathalu-adds-value-to-svus-manuscripts-collection/article21860867.ece

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