Bhubaneswar: The author of ‘Purnachandra Odia Bhasakosha’, India’s first comprehensive lexicon, Shri Gopala Chandra Praharaj’s Death Anniversary is celebrated on 16th May. The ‘Purnachandra Odia Bhashakosha’ is an Odia language dictionary that lists some 1,85,000 words and their meanings in four languages – Odia, English, Hindi and Bengali. This dictionary was completed by Shri Parharaj in 27 years and was his entire life’s work.
Large amount of funding was made by royalties and nobilities for the publication of this encyclopedic work. The Raja of Mayurbhanj District, Shri Pratap Chandra Bhanjadev, at that time, invested Rs 13,000 and requested to entitle the lexicon in the name of his elder brother, Shri Purna Chandra Bhanjadev, who had passed away.
Even though the book has faced certain amount of criticism in Godabarisha Mohapatra’s ‘Paala Kosh’ and Kantakabi Laxmikant’s ‘Ardhachandra Dedhiya Bhashkosh’, still it has been reputed as a masterpiece from one and all.
Shri Praharaj was a distinguished writer and linguist of the 20th Century in the Odia language. Stories, romantic literature, children poetry, literary criticism were the area where his contributions were impressive.