These was a tremendous growth of regional languages like Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, Marathi and Gujarati. In the South, Malayalam emerged as an independent language in the 14th century.
The emergence of all these languages resulted in the decline of Sanskrit as they came to be used as the medium through which the administrative machinery functioned. The rise of the Bhakti movement and the use of these regional languages by the various saints helped in their growth and development.
Prithviraj Raso is supposed to be the first book in the Hindi language. It is an account of exploits of Prithviraj Chauhan.
The language went on changing as the area where it was used expanded. New words to express new situations were either coined or taken from areas coming under its influence.
The most famous figures from this period were Kabir and Tulsidas. Tuisidas wrote Ramcharit Manas based on Valmiki’s Ramayana.
Surdas wrote his Sur Sagar in which he talks of Krishna as an infant, a young lad indulging in pranks and a young man engaged in dalliance with the gopis.
During the last 150 years, many writers have contributed to the development of modern India literature, written in a number of regional languages as well as in English. One of the greatest Bengali writers, Rabindranath Tagore became the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize for literature (Geetanjali) in 1913.
However, it is only with the beginning of nineteenth century that-Hindi prose came into its own. Bharatendu Harishchandra was one of the earliest to produce dramas in Hindi which were basically translations of texts written in Sanskrit and other languages.
Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi was another author who wrote translations or made adaptations from Sanskrit. Bankim Chandra Chatterji (1838-94) wrote novels originally in Bangla. They came to be translated into Hindi and became very popular. Vande Mataram, national song, is an excerpt from his novel, Anand Math.