Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre (Kannada:ದತ್ತಾತ್ರೇಯ ರಾಮಚಂದ್ರ ಬೇಂದ್ರೆ ; Marathi: दत्तात्रेय रामचंद्र बेंद्रे) was amongst the most famous of Kannada poets of the Navodaya Period. Praised as varakavi, literally 'gifted poet', he was the second person among eight recipients of Jnanpith Award for Kannada, the highest literary honour conferred in India. He wrote under the pen-name of Ambikatanayadatta ("Datta, Child of Ambika"). He also held the title Karnataka kula Thilaka ("The light of the Kannada Nation") conferred by Udupi Adamaru Math. He was conferred Padma Shri by Government of India.
Early Life and Education
He was born on into a Madhwa Brahmin family at Dharwad in Karnataka. His Grand father was a Dasagranthi (Master of ten volumes of sacred lore) and scholar in Sanskrit classical literature. Dattatreya's father was also a Sanskrit scholar who died when Dattatreya was only 12 years old. Dattatreya later adopted the pen-name of Ambikatanayadatta which literally means Datta, son of Ambika after his mother who ran a Khanavali or eatery to feed the family. Bendre completed his primary and high school education in Dharwad with his uncle's help and completed his matriculation in 1913. He joined the Fergusson College, Pune for his higher education. After obtaining his degree Bendre returned to Dharwad and started teaching at Victoria high school. He married Laxmibai from Ranebennur in 1919. He obtained his Master of Arts degree in 1935.
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