Gopana (c. 14th century CE) was an army officer and a Telugu poet who composed Sindhumati Vilasamu, the first Telugu literary work of the Southern school. Gopana was also one of the important generals in the army of the Vijayanagara prince Kumara Kampana II and played a leading role in the conquest of the Madurai Sultanate.
Gopana who was the General of Kumara Kampana II, the son of Bukka Raya the founder of Vijayanagara empire credited to sweep the country clear of Islamic invaders, killed the muslim governor at Madurai, restored the temple of Srirangam to its former condition. The idol of Ranganatha was restored to its own home.
Gopana was born in an Arvela Niyogi Brahmin family and belonged to the Bharadwaja gotra. His father was one Narasanamatya. Gopana joined the service of the Vijayanagara Empire at an early age and was one of the leading commanders in Kumara Kampana’s 1371 expedition against the Madurai Sultanate which resulted in the successful conquest of Srirangam and restoration of the Ranganathaswamy Temple to its former glory. Gopana also played a part in the conquest of Madurai city in 1378.
Gopana’s only literary work of merit is the Sindhumati Vilasamu, a poem in Telugu. It relates the love affair between Jaya and Sindhumathi in Madurai. The poem consists of a total of two cantos and has a lot of Sanskrit shlokas interspersed in between.
Gopana was an ardent devotee of Venkateswara and attributed his literary prowess to Venkateswara’s grace. During his expedition into the Tamil country, Gopana came under the influence of Vedanta Desika and became a follower of visishtadvaita