The Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja National Award for Literature and Arts was conferred on eminent Odia poet Ramakanta Rath at a function in Berhampur on Sunday. The award, instituted by the Berhampur University, was presented to Rath on the occasion of 56th Foundation Day function of the university.
While receiving the award, Rath emphasized on the fact how Baidehisha Bilasa, Subhadra Parinaya, Labanyabati and other creations of Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja contributed immensely to Odia literature. Though the words used by Upendra Bhanja were mostly not understood by the common man, the Bhanja Sahitya has dominated Odia literature and remains highly popular. Without the contribution of Kabi Samrat, the Odia language could not have reached the height that it has now, Rath added.