On Hotee Vidyalankar and other learned brAhmaNa ladies

Copying from Halley Gowami because some things deserve a more permanent media than a Facebook post


” Some ladies recieved higher education and managed to rise to great hieghts ! Amongst such rare women , Hotee Vidyalankar , Hotu Vidyalankar , Anandamayee Devi (1752 — 1772) and Priyamvada Devi (16th cent–17th cent) stands out .
Hotee Vidyalankar was the most famous of them all . Born to ‘kulin’ brahmin family she was a widow from childhood . She became an authority on Sanskrit grammer , poetry , Smriti , Navya-nyay and established her own ‘chatuspathi’ ( centers of higher learning ) at Varanasi ! Brahman Pandits bestowed her with the title of Vidyalankar . She died at an advanced age in the year 1810 .

Hotu Vidyalankar’s real name was Rupamanjari . She was not a brahmin , but her father , Narayan Das noticed her exceptional intellgence and sent her at the ‘chatuspaathi’ of a brahmin pandit . There Rupamanjari mastered Ayurved , Grammer and other branches of studies . Her fame spread far and wide and students used to come from far off places to learn or get opinions on Ayurved , charak samhita and grammer . Ayurvedic doctors of the age used to consult her on matters of medicine ! Rupamanjari never married and kept her head shaven with a ‘shikha’ ( Chuda / tuft of hair ) and dressed as a man . She died 100 years of age at 1875 . ”

Someone in the comments mentions that Narayan Sanyal wrote a book রূপমঞ্জরী on haTI vidyAla~Nkara.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s