Chapter

Keshavdas of Orchha

Allison Busch

in Poetry of Kings

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199765928
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918973 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765928.003.0002

Series: South Asia Research

Keshavdas of Orchha

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Chapter 1 provides an overview of the works of Keshavdas and the political context in which he lived and wrote, both of which are paradigmatic for rīti literature. The Bundelas of Orchha were forced to submit to Mughal authority during the reign of Madhukar Shah (1554-92), which occasioned a new concern with status and cultural patronage. The Bundelas’ competition with other Rajput polities that had entered Mughal service became pronounced under King Bir Singh Deo (r. 1605-27), who was a famously generous patron of both literature and architecture. Keshavdas wrote eight major works over the course of his career. Several, including the Rasikpriyā, Kavipriyā, and Rāmcandracandrikā, are hailed as classics of the rīti tradition. This new turn towards classicism in Hindi literature can be linked to broader trends in Rajput and Mughal court culture.

Keywords: Keshavdas; Rasikpriyā; Kavipriyā; Ramcandracandrikā; Bundelas; Orchha; Madhukar Shah Bundela; Bir Singh Deo Bundela; Mughal Rajput

Chapter.  17161 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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