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Eminent Telugu Personalities


The following are a few images of eminent people in Telugu history (posted in no particular order!). They were scanned from old magazines, journals, calendars, telugu vij~naana sarvasvamu, etc.

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures. Click on the highlighted text for related links, if any. All links with an asterisk take you outside the current web site. The images here refer not only to Literateurs but also to leaders in other areas such as politics, social sciences, philosophy, religion, physical sciences, arts & humanities, etc.



abbUri varada raajESvara raavu, (1923-1993)
[Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rao]
Prominent poet, critic and educator. On the editorial staff of several literary magazines. Taught for some time at Univ. Wisconsin, Madison.



harikathaa pitaamaha,
ajjaaDa aadiBhaTla naaraayaNa daasu
[Ajjada Adibhatla Narayana Dasu]
The foremost modern exponent of the literary and performing arts genre "harikatha." Great musician and scholar of Telugu, Sanskrit and Persian. Principal of Maharaja Music College, Viziyanagaram.



ajaMtaa (1922-)
[Ajanta -Penumarti Viswanatha Sastry]
Eminent poet and editor. Made a very big impact on modern Telugu poetry even though he wrote only a few verses in all his life in a highly individualistic tone.



akkiraaju umaakaan&taM (1889-1942)
[Akkiraju Unakantam]
Eminent scholar of Telugu, Sanskrit, English, etc. Writer. Influenced early Telugu literary criticism.



padakavitaa pitaamaha, harikeertanaacaarya,
taaLLapaaka an&namaacaarya
[Tallapaka Annamacharya
One of the greatest composers of South Indian classical tradition. World-class. Wrote more than 32000 compositions known as 'padam' as well as other major works. More than 14000 have been discovered to date on copper plate and stone inscriptions. He was the head of an astonishingly brilliant lineage. Seems to have influenced some other great composers of that time, e.g., Purandara Dasa.



aarudra (bhaagavatula Siva SaMkara Saastri, 1925-1998)
[Arudra -Bhagavatula Siva Sankara Sastry
one*, ]
Major modern poet, critic, movie lyricist and literary historian. His "tvamEvaahaM" and the encyclopedic work on Telugu literature "samagraaMdhra saahityaM" are very influential.



baapu (sattiraaju lakshmI naaraayaNa, 1933-)
[Bapu -Sattiraju Lakshmi Narayana
one*, two*, ..]
Eminent painter, cartoonist, movie director, writer, journalist. World class artist. Uniquely personalized style blending to perfection the classical Telugu lines and modern techniques. Had an enormous impact on contemporary Telugu arts, movies, etc.



BhaMDaaru accamaaMba (1874-1905)
[Bhandaru Achchamamba]
Writer and early pioneer of women's issues. Published a well known biographical work on prominent national and international women, "abalaa satcaritra ratnamaala" (1901).



caasO (caagaMTi sOmayaajulu, 1915-1993)
[Chaganti Somayajulu]
Eminent writer of short stories and poetry. Although he wrote sparingly, many of his short stories have been translated into other languages. His indirect contributions include his influence on his friends such as Sri Sri and Narayana Babu. He was a long time president of Progressive Writers Association, arasaM.



cellapiLLa vEMkaTa Saastri (1870-1950)
[Chellapilla Venkata Sastry]
Brilliant and highly influential poet in the classical genre. Prolific literary genius. Trained a large number of famous writers. The second of the great duo tirupati vEnkaTa kavulu. Honoured as the first poet laureate of Andhra.



cilukUri naaraayaNa raavu (1890-1952)
[Chilukuri Narayana Rao]
Well-known lexicographer, historian and scholar. Published "aandhra Bhaashaa caritraM" (1937) and a revised version of Sankaranarayana's English-Telugu Dictionary, etc.



sinaare (si. naaraayaNa reDDi, 1931-)
[C. Narayana Reddy
Well-known poet, educator, critic, administrator, and song writer for the movies. For his epic poem viSvaMbhara in modern style the highest literary award in India j~naanapeetha, was given to him in 1987. He also produced several other major works, e.g., karpUra vasaMta raayalu.



Arthur Cotton (1803-1899)
Perhaps the most beloved western personality in Telugu history. Knighted. One of the finest civil engineers of 19th cent. Built the anicut on Godavari at Dhavaleswaram among other things. His irrigation works and plans transformed the economy of the coastal districts and very strongly influenced its current domineering position.



Charles Philip Brown (1798-1884)
Brilliant scholar of Telugu. Although he was not an Indian, he was intimately connected with Telugu literature for nearly sixty years and immensely contributed to its progress.



daamerla raamaa raavu (1897-1925)
[Damerla Rama Rao]
Brilliant artist. Became well-known within a very short life span. Founded the Andhra School of Art at Rajamundry. There is an art gallery named after him at Rajamundry today.



divaakarla tirupati Saastri (1872-1919)
[Divakarla Tirupati Sastry]
One of the greatest classical poets in the modern era. Excelled in several genres. The first of the famous duo "tirupati vEMkaTa kavulu."



durgaabaayi dES^mukh (1909-1981)
[Durgabai Deshmukh]
Eminent freedom fighter, social reformer, educator and leader of early women's movement



gOraa (gOparaaju raamacaMdra raavu, 1902-1975)
[Gora -Goparaju Ramachandra Rao
one*, .....]
Highly influential thinker and social reformer. Dedicated his life to developing atheistic thought in Andhra and beyond. Authored several works. Founded the Atheist Center, Vijayawada. His son lavaNaM is also a well-known atheist and thinker.



navayuga vaitaaLikudu,
gurajaaDa vEMkaTa appaaraavu paMtulu
[Gurajada Appa Rao,
One, .....]
Perhaps the greatest modern writer in Telugu. Commands tremendous respect. Uncompromising intellectual and a social reformer in his own way. More than any one else's, his works defined the beginning of modern Telugu drama, poetry and short story. The
Kanyasulkam drama and much of his poetry are world class. His contributions lay not only in the techniques but also in the refreshing, original and modern outlook and a deep humanistic spirit that he instilled in Telugu literature.



viSva daata, dESOddhaaraka,
kaaSeenaathuni naagESvara raavu paMtulu
[Kasinathuni Nageswara Rao]
Great philanthropist, scholar, editor, journalist and entrepreneur



maMDapaaka paarvateeSwara Saastri (1833-1897)
[Mandapaka Parvatriswara Sastry]
Brilliant scholar of Sanskrit and Telugu. Authored 23 Satakas, several maalikas, and kaavyas. Well known for his travelogue yaatraa caritra.



maMgaLaMpalli baalamuraLee kRshNa (1930-)
[Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna
one*, ..]
Brilliant musician in the South Indian classical style. Perhaps the finest from Andhra in his generation. Composer, vocalist, and music scholar.



muTnUri kRShNaa raavu (1879-1945)
[Mutnuri Krishna Rao]
Great editor and journalist. His Krishna Patrika was instrumental in shaping the Telugu Literary scene for four decades beginning 1907.



uyyaalavaaDa narasiMhaa reDDi (d. 1847)
[Uyyalavada Narasimha Reddy]
Led one of the first popular revolts in all of India against British occupation



naTaraaja raamakRShNa (1933-)
[Nataraja Ramakrishna
one*, ..]
Very influential dancer, scholar and writer on Telugu dance forms. Single handedly revived the forgotten art form "aaMdhra naaTyaM." Although he was born in Bali, his service to Telugu, his ancestral language and its culture is very meritorious.



OlETi paarvateeSaM (1882-1955)
[Oleti Parvatisam]
Pioneering modern writer. The second of the famous duo "vEMkata paarvateeSvara kavulu." Authored major kavyas, children's literature and novels. Produced several translations.



jaateeya pataaka nirmaata,
piMgaLi vaMkayya
[Pingali Venkayya]
Freedom fighter. Great follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Designed the tricolour -the Indian national flag.



amara veeruDu,
poTTi Sreeraamulu
[Potti Sriramulu]
Freedom fighter. Led the popular movement to unite Telugu speaking people under a single government and martyred himself in the process. His act of "Satyagraha" directly led to the eastablishment "Linguistic states" in modern India.



Andhra kEsari,
TaMguTuuri prakaaSaM paMtulu
[Tanguturi Prasam]
One of the greatest freedom fighters of India, eminent leader and administrator. Chief minister of Madras Presidency and the first chief minister of Andhra.



caMDra raajESvara raavu (1915-1994)
[Chandra Rajeswara Rao]
Freedom fighter, eminent socialist, long time general secretary of the communist party of India



svaami raamaanaMda teertha (?-?)
[Swami Ramananda Tirtha
one*, ..]
Freedom fighter. He and other prominent communist and non-communist leaders led the free Telangana movement.



telaMgaaNaa pOru biDDa
raavi naarayaNa raavu
[Ravi Narayana Rao]
Eminent freedom fighter, philanthropist, reformer, and parliamentarian. Spear headed liberation of Telangana movement. Founding member of the communist party of India.



alluuri seetaaraama raaju (1897-1924)
[Alluri Sitarama Raju
one*, two*]
Fearless freedom fighter. Led the most famous armed revolt in Telugu history against the British occupation



kamyuuniShTu gaaMdhi,
puccala palli suMdarayya
[Puchchalapalli Sundarayya]
Great freedom fighter, social reformer and parliamentarian. Led communist movements in Andhra and beyond for many decades.



ten&nETi viSvanaathaM (1895-1979)
[Tenneti Viswanatham]
Freedom fighter, parliamentarian, leader and administrator. Close associate of Tanguturi Prakasam.



naada brahma,
kaakarla tyaaga raaju
[Tyaga Raja
one*, two*, three*, four*,.]
Perhaps the most famous of all the South Indian composers. Part of the great trio of Carnatic music. Great writer. Devotee of Lord Rama. He has a very large lineage of brilliant pupils (SiShya paraMpara). Greatly praised and revered as a saint. Hailed as "on whose art no human hand can improve!"



vEdaaMtaM satyanaaraayaNa Sarma (1927?-?)
[Vedantam Satyanarayana Sarma
one*, ..]
Famous exponent of the kUcipUDi style dance drama. Well-known for his portrayal of female roles, e.g., satya bhaama in bhaamaa kalaapaM. Influenced several other artists.



telugu caitanyOdyama saarathi,
kaMdukuuri veerESaliMgaM paMtulu
[Kandukuri Viresalingam]
One of the most brilliant and profoundly influential writers in Telugu. One of the greatest social reformers of 19th century India.



velcEru naaraayaNa raavu (1932-)
[Vecheru Narayana Rao,
one*, ..]
Eminent literary critic and educator. Krishnadevaraya Professor of Languages and Cultures of Asia, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison. Produced several well-known translations of medieval Telugu poetry in English. Collaborated with many western scholars. His seminal work "telugulO kavitaa viplavaala svarUpaM" is highly influential.



veMpaTi cina satyaM (1930?-)
[Vempati China Satyam
one*, ..]
Eminent dancer, scholar and dance composer in the kUcipUDi style. Founded the Kuchipudi Art Academy, Madras
and a trained several top performers.



kavi samraaT,
viSvanaatha satyanaaraayaNa
[Visvanatha Satyanarayana]
The greatest classical style writer in modern times. A literary institution all by himself. His work and personality invoked just about every superlative (positive as well as negative) from various critics. Prolific writer and critic. Eminent educator. Significantly contributed to many diverse literary genres . Received India's highest literary award j~naanapeeTha for his raamaayaNa kalpa vRkshaM. His novels such as vEyi paDagalu are equally famous.











Seshu Madhava Rao Adluri
First posted: Feb. 1999. Last Revised: June: 1999.
Eleven scans taken from te.vi.sa are courtesy of
Sreenivas Paruchuri.
Six other pictures are courtesy of
Andhra Today.
Suggestions, additions and corrections to the above will be gratefully appreciated.
Especially wanted are better quality pictures than were available to us.

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