Raya Ramananda Pattanayak was a famous Sanskrit scholar of Orissa
, during the 16th century. He was also a philosopher of the Vaishnavite sect.
Raya Ramananda Pattanayak during his early life served as an administrator under the rule of King Gajapati Prataparudra Deva. He later on became a disciple of Chaitanya, a revered saint of the Vaishnavite movement.
Raya Ramananda Pattanayak is known for his Sanskrit drama titled ‘Jagannatha Ballava Nataka.’ This drama is credited for introducing female artists on the stage for the first time in the history of Orissa.