Padmanabh Srichandan a poet in the tradition of ornate poetry (riti kavya), belonged to the royal family of Banki, in the district of Cuttack, and ruled from 1735 to 1757. odisha was then under the Muslim rule which was shortly followed by the Maratha rule. In ancient times, Balabhadra Dhall, a prince from Dhalbhumi came to Banki and became its king. The political history of Banki, a small principality, is
later marked by the rule of a dynasty whose royal title, Srichandan, was granted either by the Raja of Puri or Khurda. Padmanabh was the contemporary of king Ramchandra II and Birakishore of Khurda.
Padmanabh was a person imbued with scholarship and poetic genius. He was also a lover of sports. His chief poetical work, Sashirekha, is an outstanding literary product divided into thirty-six cantos. It is an imaginative kavyadesigned on the model of the famous kavya Labanyabati by Upendra Bhanja, the most outstanding poet in the ornate genre. The first canto contains benediction, worship of Lord Jagannath, the union of Lakshmi Narayan and the prayer to Lord Jagannath to bless the poet to write and complete Sashirekha.
The following cantos weave round the story of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati from whose fancies Kanjanan and Chandrakanti were born. Both being of exquisite beauty felt drawn towards each other longing for union which was not approved by Shiva and Parvati. However, they were ordained to be born on earth as man and woman and marry. Accordingly, Kanjanan was born as Padmadhwaja, the prince of Puskara kingdom, and Chandrakanti was born as Sashirekha, the daughter of the king of Indubatipur.
Gradually Padmadhwaja and Sashirekha emerge as hero and heroine and the rest of the kavya is devoted to the description of their youth,romance, separation, marriage and wedded life. This particular piece of kavya is characterised, as per the characteristics of the age, by intricate rhyme-patterns, jugglery of words and interwoven metaphors,sparkling narration of youthful romance, the vivid, suggestive and overwhelming erotic descriptions and,above all, the display of human yearning for feminine beauty which make it lively and interesting.
Besides,the flashes of various social scenes as well as minute events from the social life, descriptions of different seasons, the vision of unsurpassed beauty, idicating the warm and romantic experiences of the pair of lovers help to give the work meaning and relevance at more than one level and make the kavya a representative literary product of the medieval odia literature and the royal poet Padmanabh, by his literary practice, a distinguished poet in the feudal line.
Odia Books By Padmanabh Srichandan