Kuppali Venkatappagowda Puttappa, widely known by the pen name Kuvempu or by the abbreviation K. V. Puttappa, was a Kannada writer and poet, widely regarded as the greatest poet of 20th century Kannada literature. He is the first among eight recipients of Jnanpith Award for Kannada. Puttappa wrote all his literary works using the pen name Kuvempu. He is the second among Kannada poets to be revered as Rashtrakavi (after M. Govinda Pai). His work Sri Ramayana Darshanam, the rewriting of the great ancient Indian epic Ramayana in modern Kannada, is regarded as revival of the era of Mahakavya (Epic poetry) in a contemporary form and charm. He is immortalised by some of his phrases, and in particular for his contribution to Universal Humanism or in his own words Vishwa maanavataa Vaada. He was conferred Padma Bhushan by Government of India. He has penned the Karnataka State anthem Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate.
Early Life And Education
Kuvempu was born in Hirekodige, Koppa taluk, of Chikmagalur district to a native Kannada family. His father Venkatappa Gowda of Kuppalli and mother Seethamma of Hirekodige a near by village. He was brought up in a place in the lush Malenadu region of Tirthahalli, called Kuppali, of Shivamogga district. His education began at his home by an appointed teacher from Dakshina Kannada. He joined Anglo Vernacular school in Tirthahalli to continue his middle school education. He lost his father Venkatappa Gowda at the early age of 12 due to ill health. Kuvempu finished his lower and secondary education in Kannada and English in Theerthahalli. He moved to Mysore for further education and completed his high school from the Wesleyan high school. He pursued his college studies in from Maharaja College of Mysore and graduated in 1929 majoring in Kannada. He married Hemavathi on 30 April 1937.
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