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Category: Literature

Molla Profile

  • Name:
  • Molla
  • Other Name:
  • Molla (poet)
  • Profession / Known For:
  • Poet

Molla Biography

Molla was a Telugu poetess who lived in the 14-15th century in Andhra Pradesh. She was also known by the names - Kummari Molla or Mollamamba. She belonged to potter community and she translated the epic Ramayana from Sanskrit to telugu, which came to be known as Molla Ramayanam. She was one among the earliest female poets from India who earned recognition from foreign writers and critics. Though there is no clear cut evidence of her birth date and death date, it’s widely believed that she lived during the period, 1440–1530. She is widely recognized as the second poetess of Telugu after Timmakka, wife of Annamacharya.  


She was born in a potters' family in Kadapa in the mid-15th century. Her father Kesana was a potter of Gopavaram village, who was a great devotee of Lord Siva. He gave his daughter the name, Molla which literally means Jasmine. Molla too was a great devotee of Lord Siva and regarded him as her guru. Her work - Molla Ramayana is widely regarded as the second poetry by a female Telugu poet and is one of the simplest forms of Ramayana written in Telugu literature. She used Sanskrit words only rarely throughout her work. Earlier poets who translated the epic freely used Sanskrit words throughout their works. She believed poetry should feel like honey on the tongue.


Though she was a Saivaite, it is bit surprising that she wrote Ramayana, incarnation of Lord Vishnu. She also refused to dedicate her Ramayana to any king, which was a common procedure in those days. She recited Ramayana in front of Krishnadevaraya and his court poets. She spent her old age at Srisailam.

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Updated: June 27, 2014


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