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Upendra Bhanja Biography | Poet

Photo of Upendra Bhanja

KabiSamrta Upendra Bhanja (Oriya) (born during 1670 (opinions differ between 1670 and 1688) at Kullada, Ghumusara, near the town 'Bhanjanagar', a princely state in Odisha and died during 1740 (again opinions differ)) was considered as the greatest poet of Oriya Literature and was awarded the title "Kavi-Samrata" (also given as Kabi) – "The Emperor of the Poets". Born in a royal family, Upendra Bhanja had never eyed for throne. His first wife was the sister of the king of Nayagarh and the daughter of the king of Banapur was his second wife, who was an erudite princess and gave Upendra Bhanja poetical inspiration in an abundant measure. His grand father King Dhananjaya Bhanja was a great poet and wrote Raghunath Bilash (The Ramayana), Ratna Manjari (a poetical romance) etc., which provided models to Upendrabhanja for writing. But unlike his grandfather, he preferred his entire life to poetry rather than to ruling over a kingdom. He had a thorough training in Sanskrit classical literature and mastered Sanskrit dictionaries such as Amar-Kosha, Trikanda Kosha and Medini-Kosha. He even wrote a dictionary Geetabhidhana for helping poets. A statue of him was built in Bhanjanagar, near State Bank of India

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