The rich Sanskrit tradition of the past was kept alive by the people of Karnataka during the 18th Century Among those who contributed liberally to the development of literature of the period was Pradhan Venkamatya. He wrote works in Kannada and Sanskrit and the latter seems to have occupied most of his attention.
Venkamatya, more popularly known as Venkappaiya, was the son of "Vamamba' and Ramapuri Hampayamatya'. Obviously, he belonged to a family of ministers as indicated by the name of his father. It is said that he was born in the 'Aruveli niyogis' sect of Brahmanas His literary output in later years shows that he received good education in the arts and letters of the period during his early years. He was familiar to his countrymen by other names too; he was called Venkasuri3 and Venkatabhupati. History 3 records that he entered service under Rani Virammāji of Karnataka around the year 1757 A.D. and that he was transferred as an agent to a place called 'Hosangadi' in the South Canara district which was then included in 'Bednur'5. Venkamatya's life was closely associated with the political activities of Rani Virammaji and Hyder Ali of Mysore. The latter particularly took note of his administrative abilities and raised him to the high office of a Dewan and conferred on him the title of Pradhan His early years of service, however, was under Rani Virammaji, and it is surmised that it was during this period that he devoted his attention to the production of Sanskrit compositions.
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