Telugu Mahābhārata. Udyōga Parva (The Book of Effort), circa 1700

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/tnnwp

Digital Material Available in this Collection

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Vīrarāghavakavi, Kōṭikalapūḍi, 1663-1712
Title: Telugu Mahābhārata. Udyōga Parva (The Book of Effort), circa 1700
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 444
Extent: 0.25 cubic feet (1 box)
Abstract:One palm-leaf manuscript of the Telugu Mahābhārata, Udyōga Parva (The Book of Effort), circa 1700.
Language:Materials entirely in Telugu.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Due to the fragile nature of the manuscript, access to the original manuscript is limited to researchers needing to evaluate the physical item. Digital surrogates are available.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Gift of Velcheru Narayana Rao, 2018.

Custodial History

Given to V. Narayana Rao by Dr. and Mrs. Gopala Rao of Richmond, Virginia.


[after identification of item(s)], Telugu Mahābhārata. Udyōga Parva (The Book of Effort), MSS 444, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Brandon Wason and Aalekhya Malladi, April 2019.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Kōṭikalapūḍi Vīrarāghavakavi (1663-1712) is the author of this Telugu Mahābhārata.

Scope and Content Note

The Mahābhārata is an epic poem detailing the Kurukṣetra War and other shorter narratives including the story of Rāmāyaṇa. The work was developed over a long period of time, dating as early as approximately 400 BCE and coming to its final form in Sanskrit around 400 CE. Three famous poets retold the Mahābhārata into Telugu over several centuries. It was initiated by Nannaya in the eleventh century, and completed by Tikkana (thirteenth century) and Errapragda (fourteenth century). The particular edition of the Telugu Mahābhārata represented by this manuscript is a separate endeavor by the poet Koṭikalapūḍi Vīrarāghava. The Mahābhārata contains 18 books (or parvas). This particular manuscript contains the Udyōga parva (The book of Effort), the fifth parva. The Udyōga parva covers the efforts to engender peace among the warring brothers: the Kauravas and the Pandavas.

This work was written on a palm-leaf manuscript (dried palm leaves were used as a medium for writing in South Asia). There is a total of 143 palm leaves in the manuscript. Each leaf is roughly 35mm x 430mm and is inscribed on both sides. There are also two holes in each leaf and the leaves are bound together with a cord running through the two holes and the whole manuscript is encased with wooden ends. Rounded scripts (such as Telugu) were used on palm-leaf manuscripts because angular letters split the leaves.

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1 1 Telugu Mahābhārata. Udyōga Parva (The Book of Effort), circa 1700.