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Champu-Grantha

Champu-Grantha

The champu is a composition in mixed prose and verse. This form is seen in the Brahmanas and is also found in early Sanskrit fables and romances. It is sometimes defined as a mainly poetical composition, with prose passages linking the parts, but the champu does not follow any fixed pattern. The most important champu texts are all dated after the tenth century AD. The style was widely used in South India, among the Vaishnavas of Bengal, and in the writings of the Jains.

The best known of these works is the Nala-champu or Damayanti-katha, by Trivikrama­bhatta, whose date is known by an inscription of 915 A.D. Here the famous story of Nala and Damayanti is treated over again in this form.

Other literary forms, all with some historical content, were the shasana, ordinances,. edicts and deeds of donations, many of which have epigraphic interest; the vamsha or genealogical records, some of them forming the basis of itihasa and history proper, e.g. the Harivamsha; the prabandha, a poetical tale of monks and laymen of historical times, with a commentary on morals; the charita, a biography of a ruler or saint, such as: the Harshacharita of Bana; the Vikramankadeva-charita by Bilhana (d. 1130) on the Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI.