Gangadevi, also known as Gangambika, was a 14th-century princess and Sanskrit-language poet of the Vijayanagara Empire of present-day India.

Madura Vijayam 1924 Edition

Life and workEdit

Gangadevi was wife of Kumara Kampana, the son of the Vijayanagara king Bukka Raya I (c. 1360s-1370s).[1]

Gangadevi chronicled the story of the victory of her husband over the Muslims in Madurai in the form of a poem.[2] The title of the nine chapter poem was Madhura Vijayam, also known as Veerakamparaya Charitram.[2][3][4] After the discovery of the documents, a Tamil version was published by Sri Krishnamacharya of Srirangam, and then Annamalai University published an English translation in 1950.[2] In addition to writing, she also fought in battle with her husband and inspired other women.[2]

She is believed to have been a Telugu princess. At the beginning of Madhura Vijayam, Gangadevi eulogizes several Sanskrit poets of the Telugu-speaking region, and particularly admires Tikkaya (identified with Tikkana, the author of Andhra Mahabharatam). This is considered to be a strong evidence of her Telugu ancestry.[5]


Gangadevi is a key inspiration for Pampa Kampana, the protagonist of Salman Rushdie's novel Victory City.[6]


  1. ^ William J. Jackson (3 March 2016). Vijayanagara Voices: Exploring South Indian History and Hindu Literature. Taylor & Francis. pp. 97–. ISBN 978-1-317-00192-8.
  2. ^ a b c d Basu, Soma (8 February 2012). "A poetic princess". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  3. ^ Suryanath U. Kamath, A Concise history of Karnataka from pre-historic times to the present, Jupiter books, MCC, Bangalore, 2001 (Reprinted 2002) OCLC: 7796041 p162
  4. ^ Devi, Ganga (1924). Sastri, G Harihara; Sastri, V Srinivasa (eds.). Madhura Vijaya (or Virakamparaya Charita): An Historical Kavya. Trivandrum, British India: Sridhara Power Press. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  5. ^ B. S. Chandrababu; L. Thilagavathi (2009). Woman, Her History and Her Struggle for Emancipation. Bharathi Puthakalayam. p. 230. ISBN 978-81-89909-97-0.
  6. ^ "Salman Rushdie's new novel is an ode to storytelling and freedom". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 11 February 2023.