About this text
Mangalkabya is a popular genre in Bengali, influenced by regional cults such as that of Chandi, Manasa, Dharma, or Vaishnav songs, flourished from the thirteenth century to the eighteenth. . The poems are typically written in the form of songs (panchalika) meant for performance by professional singers (mangal gayak) backed by a male chorus (dohar) during ritual worship of the particular deity who was the subject of the poem. Annadamangal Kabya was composed in 1752 by Bharatchandra Ray Gunakar, considered to be one of the leading figures in history of Bengali literature. Bharatchandra Annadamangal under the patronage of Raja Krishnachandra Ray, the zamindar of Nadia.Bharatchandra born around 1712 in a village in present day Howrah district, experienced major fluctuations of fate in his life. Bharatchandra was witness to the annual Maratha raids between 1740 to 1751. The Maratha raids caused immense sufferings to the people of Bengal, leading to destruction of crops and desertion. Bharatchandra's Annadamangal Kabya provides a picture of the crisis that Bengal underwent in the first half of the 18th Century. Bharatchandra Ray, who was adorned with the title of Ray Gunakor by Krishnachandra Ray, passed away in 1760. Annadamangal was incidentally the first illustrated Bengal book to be published in 1818. The present selections have been made from the first volume of collection of Bharatchandra's works, edited by Brajendranath Bandopadhyay and Sajanikantha Das, The collection was published by the Bangiya Sahitya Parisad in 1942.