Gangadhar Meher

Gangadhar Meher

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Category: Literature

Gangadhar Meher Profile

  • Name:
  • Gangadhar Meher
  • Born:
  • August 9, 1862
  • Died:
  • April 4, 1924
  • Spouse:
  • Champa Devi

Gangadhar Meher Biography

Gangadhar Meher was a renowned Oriya poet, who was fondly called Swabhab Kavi and often referred to as literary Midas who changed every piece of word to wonderful work. He was poor in wealth and education, yet rich in his literary works and contributions. His words were noted for its simplicity and innocence. In 1949, Sambalpur College in Sambalpur was renamed as Gangadhar Meher College in his honour. In 1992, Gangadhar Meher National Award for Poetry was started to award for literary pieces annually. Meher’s first poetic work was “Rasa-Ratnakara”.


He was born on 9 August 1862 in Barpali, Bargarh, Odisha. His father was an Ayurvedic doctor besides his family profession of weaving. As he was not able to meet family’s expenses, he opened a small village school. Gangadhar studied up to Middle Vernacular Standard. His intensive desire to read dragged him to a world of words where he started writing. He happened to hear Oriya Ramayan composed by Balaram Das in his early childhood which influenced him a lot. Later he himself read Mahabharata by Sarala Das. Later he mastered a great number of Sanskrit books including Raghuvamsam. He also learnt Bengali and read magazines and newspapers.


He got married at the age of 10 and assisted his father in weaving in the afternoons, as family’s financial situation was not good. He attended school in the morning. He had unique talent in weaving also. His handwriting was also good and hence people used to seek his help to make copies. Though it improved his family condition, everything was lost in a fire. Later the Zamindar offered him a job, the post of an Amin. As a writer, his career began at a younger age. He married twice. After the death of his first wife Shanta Devi, he married Champa Devi.

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Updated: February 28, 2014

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