Kārtikā Tirunāḻ Bālarāma Varma’s Self-portrait in Bālarāmabharata

King, Patron and Artist

Authors

  • Agnieszka Wójcik Jagiellonian University, Kraków

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.24.2022.01.07

Keywords:

Kārtikā Tirunāḷ Bālarāma Varma, Bālarāmabharata, nāṭyaśāstra, Travancore

Abstract

Kārtikā Tirunāḷ Bālarāma Varma (r. 1758–1798) was the ruler of the South Indian state of Travancore and the author of a Sanskrit treatise on theatrology, the Bālarāmabharata. His reign constituted an important period of patronage of arts and literature, especially in the field of performing arts. The king was not only an outstanding patron but also an eminent scholar and an accomplished author. As the evidence of this great variety of roles, the paper proposes to analyse the opening passages of the Bālarāmabharata where Kārtikā Tirunāḷ Bālarāma Varma presents himself in a self-portrait of sorts: as a ruler, patron, scholar and poet. He inscribes himself in the patronage tradition of the rulers of Travancore as well as in the line of the continuators of Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstra while simultaneously showcasing his literary prowess and practical experience in the contemporary tradition of performing arts.

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Published

2022-08-18

How to Cite

Wójcik, Agnieszka. 2022. “Kārtikā Tirunāḻ Bālarāma Varma’s Self-Portrait in Bālarāmabharata: King, Patron and Artist”. Cracow Indological Studies 24 (1):131-58. https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.24.2022.01.07.