Lakshmanarao Komarraju was a historian, writer, a polyglot and a social reformer. He was born on May 18th, 1877 in a Brahmin family in Penuganchiprolu village in Krishna district. His father was Venkatapayya and mother was Gangamamba. His father died very early in his childhood. So, Lakhsmanarao grew up in Nagpur in the care of his uncle Madhavarao Bhandaru and finished high school and college education in Nagpur. He graduated from University of Nagpur in Philosophy.
As his entire education was in Maharashtra, he became proficient in Marathi - the national language of Maharashtra. He wrote several works in Marathi. His works included stories and satires involving social reforms. He also learned Sanskrit, Bengali, Urdu and Hindi languages. From Nagpur, he used to write essays in Telugu for various Telugu journals in Andhra Pradesh. Later, he wrote Hindu mahayugamu (Hindu Era) and Muslim mahayugamu (Muslim Era). His research articles were published as “Lakshmanarao vyasavali (Lakshmanarao’s Essays).” He also wrote Shivaji charitra (History of Shivaji) and published it in 1902.
After finishing his education in the Maratha land, he was appointed as diwan (minister in the king’s court) by the King of Munagala Estate (in the State of Hyderabad), Raja (king) Venkatarangarao Nayani. The king was a social reformer with new ideas. He was also very much interested in development of Telugu language. Soon Lakshmanarao became a friend of the king. King Nayani gave all the support to Lakshmanarao for the development of Telugu language.
In 1901, Srikrishna Devarayandhra Bhasha Nilayam institution was established in Hyderabad to develop Telugu language and literature in Telangana province of independent Hyderabad State. Lakshmanarao, together with King Venkatarangarao Nayani and Rangarao Ravichettu, founded this institution.
He was instrumental in establishing “vijnana chandrika mandali” in Hyderabad in 1905, with the main purpose of publishing texts on history and science in Telugu language. However, because of Nizam’s (the Muslim King of Hyderabad State) restrictions, this institution was moved to Chennai (then Madras, capitol of Madras province of British India, of which coastal Andhra was a part). This institute published various books in Telugu on history, chemistry, zoology, physics, mathematics, geography, economics, political science, Veeresalingamgari sweeya charitra, Andhrula charitra by Veerabadhrarao Chilakuri, Chandragupta charitra etc. under his guidance. Also, novels like Vimaladevi were published.
He also published “Andhra vijnana sarvasvam” which included three volumes of essays on various topics in science and arts. He contributed about 40 essays that included articles on diverse subjects like language, mathematics, astrology, history, arts etc. During this period of intensive research on various topics he ignored his health and became ill and died on July 14, 1923 at a very young age. He was not only a great person, but also an institution by himself.
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