Raja Rao

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Sthala-Purana Term Analysis

Vernacular South Indian texts or oral traditions telling the traditional stories of particular localities, villages, and temples. Rao describes Kanthapura as a sthala-purana, which he defines as a “legendary history.”

Sthala-Purana Quotes in Kanthapura

The Kanthapura quotes below are all either spoken by Sthala-Purana or refer to Sthala-Purana. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Kanthapura published in 1963.
Foreword Quotes

We cannot write like the English. We should not. We cannot write only as Indians. We have grown to look at the large world as part of us. Our method of expression therefore has to be a dialect which will some day prove to be as distinctive and colourful as the Irish or American. Time alone will justify it.

Page Number: v
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 1 Quotes

Our village—I don’t think you have ever heard about it—Kanthapura is its name, and it is in the province of Kara. High on the Ghats it is, high up the steep mountains that face the cool Arabian seas, up the Malabar coast it is, up Mangalore and Puttur and many a centre of cardamom and coffee, rice and sugarcane. Roads, narrow, dusty, rut-covered roads, wind through the forests of teak and of jack, of sandal and of salt, and hanging over bellowing gorges and leaping over elephant-haunted valleys, they now turn to the left and now to the right and bring you through the Alambè and Champa and Mena and Kola passes into the great granaries of trade. There, on the blue waters, they say, our carted cardamoms and coffee get into the ships the Red-men bring, and, so they say, they go across the seven oceans into the countries where our rulers live.

Related Characters: Achakka (speaker)
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 5 Quotes

The Skeffington Coffee Estate rises beyond the Bebbur Mound over the Bear’s Hill, and hanging over Tippur and Subbur and Kantur, it swings round the Elephant Valley, and rising to shoulder the Snow Mountains and the Beda Ghats, it dips sheer into the Himavathy, and follows on from the Balepur Toll-gate Corner to the Kenchamma Hill, where it turns again and skirts Bhatta Devil’s fields and Rangè Gowda’s coconut garden, and at the Tippur stream it rises again and is lost amidst the jungle growths of the Horse-head Hill.

Related Characters: Achakka (speaker)
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 13 Quotes

“This is all Ramayana and Mahabharata; such things never happen in our times.”

Related Characters: Dorè (speaker), Moorthy, Rangamma, Mahatma Gandhi, Kenchamma
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sthala-Purana Term Timeline in Kanthapura

The timeline below shows where the term Sthala-Purana appears in Kanthapura. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Rao explains that every Indian village has a “sthala-purana, or legendary history, of its own.” Often, a god or hero has passed through the... (full context)