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Kuvempu Profile

  • Name:
  • Kuvempu
  • Other Name:
  • Kuppali Venkatappagowda Puttappa
  • Born:
  • December 29, 1904
  • Died:
  • November 11, 1994
  • Father:
  • Venkatappa Gowda
  • Mother:
  • Seethamma
  • Awards:
  • Padma Bhushan

Kuvempu Biography

Kuvempu was a writer and poet of Kannada language. His original name was Kuppali Venkatappagowda Puttappa. He is the first one to receive Jnanpith Award for Kannada. He wrote under the pen name Kuvempu. He was revered as Rashtrakavi. He is immortalized by his work Sri Ramayana Darshanam the rewriting of the ancient Indian epic Ramayan in Kannada language. He was the one who wrote the Karnataka State anthem, ‘Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate’. He was honored with Padma Bhushan award.

Kuvempu was born on 29th December 1904 in Hirekodige, Koppa taluk of Chikmagalur district. He was brought up in Malenadu region of Tirthahalli in Shivamogga district. He lost his father Venkatappa Gowda when he was just 12. He started his education at his home by a teacher from Dakshina Kannada. Then he studied at Anglo Vernacular School in Tirthahalli. He completed his high school education at Mysore and pursued his higher studies at Maharaja College of Mysore. He got his graduation in Kannada literature in 1929.

He married Hemavathi on 30th April 1937. He had two sons, K. Poornachandra Tejaswi, Kokilodaya Chaitra and two daughters Indukala and Tarini. He gave hundreds of new words, phrases and terminologies to Kannada language. His ideas were philosophical and spiritual. He started his career as a lecturer of Kannada language at Maharaja College of Mysore in 1929. From 1936 he served as an assistant professor in Central College in Bangalore. He became the principal of the Maharaja College in 1955. In 1956 he was elected as the Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University and served there till his retirement in 1960.

He founded the Kannada Adhyayana Samsthe in Mysore University which was renamed as Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies later on. His writings reflected his resentment against the caste system. He received Jnanpith Award, Padma Bhushan, Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Vibhushan and Karnataka Ratna award. He died on 11th November 1994 in Mysore Karnataka. In 1987 a new university in the name of Kuvempu was started in Shimoga district.

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Updated: November 19, 2015

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