The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Years of birth and death unknown. Ancient Indian dramatist of the first half of the eighth century.

Bhattanarayana wrote in Sanskrit. A native of Kanauj, he settled in Bengal. Of his three works, the play The Plaiting of the Braid has survived. It is based on the second and eighth books of the Mahabharata and depicts episodes from the great battle in Kurukshetra. The strong expressiveness of individual scenes and images does not compensate for the general dramatic weakness of the play, which is marked by unwieldy composition and deliberately pedestrian language and style. Bhattanarayana’s play signaled the beginning of the decline of classical Indian theater.


Keith, A. B. The Sanskrit Drama in Its Origin, Development, Theory and Practice. Oxford, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The final playwright represented is the somewhat later Bhattanarayana, Venisamhara.
The play Venisamhara by Bhattanarayana (7th century A.D.), deals with the conflict for kingship between the two royal families of Hastinapur.
Bhima's bravery and heroism have been much glorified by Bhattanarayana in this drama.