Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

Dr.Kota Shivram Karanth(1902-1997)

IGNCA Remembers Dr. Shivarama Karanth

The IGNCA regional center at Bangalore is organizing a day long National Seminar on the contribution of Dr. K.S. Karanth to the art form of Yakshagana on 28th July 2002 at Bangalore.

Yakshagana has a traceable history of at least six hundred years.  In Karnataka, the wonderful art is seen in several forms, adopted by different schools.  The two (now three) coastal districts of Karnataka have preserved this art to a great extent. Yakshagana  shares some strikingly similar features with the other South Indian ancient theatrical and dance forms such as Terukkootu, Kudiyattam, Kathakali Kuchipudi, Bhagavata Melam, Dodata, Sannata, Srikrishna Parijata etc.

Dr. Kota Shivarama Karanth was the first person to take interest in the theoretical and practical aspects of Yakshagana . He reformed the costumes, scripts, music and other ingredients that make Yakshagana  a mesmerising theatre, to suit the contemporary taste and style.  At a time when traditional art forms were fast losing audience, he made Yakshagana  an attractive art form, interesting to the present day generation. Dr. Karanth is one of the most arresting personalities in the literary and theatre world of India.  His interests have been vast and varied.  He was a great novelist, innovative playwright, unique essayist, one man-mission-encyclopaedist, cultural anthropologist, art historian, lexicographer, promoter, of science and environmentalist.

Besides honorary doctorates from several Indian universities and fellowships from two national academics – the Sahitya Akademi and the Sangeeth Natak Akademi, he has received the prestigious Janapith award in 1978, Dadabhai Navroji award and Tulsi Samman in 1990.  He has written 150 books in Kannada and English.  His works have been translated into several Indian languages and filmed as well.  Among all his achievement, his contribution to Yakshagana  the Indian theatre form is singular.

Shivaram Karanth
Kannada Writer, Novelist, Artist, Educator, Art Critic, Dancer, Philosopher, Environmentalist.

“I’ve always been confused about you two. Now that both of you are here together, my confusion is doubled!” Dr. Karanth joked as I paid him a visit in Puttur along with Dr. Suryanath Kamath.  I gave him a photograph of his, which I had taken 40 years ago, as a boy, during the Kumta Sahitya Sammelan. I even pointed to his hands in the photograph which were hiding a box of tobacco and his comments at that time. He burst out into a Yakshagana style laughter!

Dr. Karanth inspired several generations of youngsters to love and preserve our art, heritage and environment. His works on children’s education done seventy years ago are still unequalled in Kannada language. In his death, Karnataka has lost one of its foremost sons.

 Dr. Kota Shivram Karanth (1902-1997)

When one thinks of famous Kannada literary personalities, lots of names come to our minds. One of them, undoubtedly is Dr. Shivram Karanth. Dr. Karanth is not only well known in Kannada literary circles but also is well known nationally. He hails from Kota, a small village in the South Canara. Apart from his literary prowess, Dr. Karanth is also an authority in Yakshagana. He has studied the art form – Yakshagana extensively and has published books on them. Yakshagana-Bayalata (1958) in Kannada, and Yakshagana(1975) are two of his masterpieces on Yakshagana. Dr. Karanth has received international acclaim for his study on this rare folk art. Yakshagana is a folk art from Dakshina Kannada.His work includes
42 novels,
31 plays,
Four short stories,
Six books of essays and sketches,
thirteen books on art, including a history of world art and an authoritative work on Chalukyan sculpture and architecture,
A standard treatise on the Yakshagana, with which dramatic form, his name is identified,
A three volume book of knowledge for children,
A four volume encyclopedia on science for grown ups,
240 children’s books
Six books on travel,
In addition compilation of his random articles and speeches numbering a couple of thousand are being published. So far eight of these anthologies have been published. (Courtesy: Discover India)

Such is extent of Dr. Karanth’s contribution to Indian literature. Dr. Karanth is very well known for writing on a variety of topics such as social castism, social conflicts, and social rigidity. His novels are powerful in nature and represent revolt and rebillion. Dr. Karanth’s novels are well known for their uniqueness and genuiness. His most acclaimed work, which is well known, is Chommana dudi, which Dr. Karanth took only 5 days to write.

Dr. Karanth did not go to any special school to learn the techniques of writing. It came very naturally to him. He did not have any set formula for any of his book nor did he even write on the same topic. He wrote on several issues plaguing today’s society. Dr. Karanth can be best described as a revolutionary writer. He addressed many issues in his book, which were rampant in Dakshina Kannada. He wrote about the common man, who struggled, for his rights. He wrote about the woman who wanted to be treated equally like a man. He wrote about you and me and the society that we live in. Choma, Mookajji, and Nagaveni are some of characters in Dr. Karanth’s books who are still linger in our minds long after we read the book.

Dr. Karanth has received many accolades for his literary contributions. He has been bestowed with the highest honor any Indian can achieve – Padmabushan. He has also received awards and fellowships from the Sahitya Akademi, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He has also won the Jnanapeet award and also the Tulsi Samman. Dr. Karanth has also received honorary doctorates from many universities in India. Inspite of all this, Dr. Karanth chose to live a modest and a simple life in Kota, a small village in South Canara.

Karnataka has given birth to many glorious personalities who we are proud of. Dr. Kota Shivram Karanth is definitely one of them. People like Dr. Karanth has given Karnataka an identity and has also placed it on the map. Kota Shivram Karanth has become a household name in South Canara and also all over in India. His books have been made into movies, which reaches out to different people from different states all over the country.

  A fitting tribute to a giant

Soon, visitors to Udupi will have to include the Shivarama Karanth Smaraka Kalagrama in their itinerary, reports GANESH PRABHU



An artist’s impression of the Dr. Kota Shivarama Karanth Smaraka Kalagrama complex THE TEMPLE town of Udupi, famous for the Krishna Temple and the fine beach at Malpe, will have a new landmark in the form of the Dr. Kota Shivarama Karanth Smaraka Kalagrama, for which Rani Satish, Minister of State for Kannada and Culture, laid the foundation stone late last month.

The Kalagrama is a befitting institution in memory of one of the greatest Kannadigas, K. Shivarama Karanth (1902-1997), who was born in Kota in Udupi district. This multi-faceted genius left his imprint on practically every cultural arena. A literary giant, his invaluable contribution to Kannada literature earned him that literary Holy Grail, the Jnanpith, in 1978. His literary output includes over 40 novels, four anthologies of short stories, two volumes of poems, over 90 plays, nine encyclopaedias, and hundreds of articles on various issues and subjects. Besides being hailed for his progressive views on education, he introduced several innovations in the field of Yakshagana. Apart from all this he was a painter, an environmentalist, and an anti-nuclear activist. Karanth was known for his anti-nuclear views. In fact, he contested in the Lok Sabha elections from Kanara parliamentary constituency because he fiercely opposed the Kaiga Nuclear Power Project.

A memorial to this magnificent man was long pending, especially in his native Udupi district. The Rs. 4-crore project, conceptualised by S.R. Umashankar, Deputy Commissioner, will be taken up in four phases and will be located on 60 acres of land on the Manipal-Alevoor Road. It was for this purpose that the Government constituted the Dr. Shivaram Karanth Smaraka Samsthapana Mandali with Ms. Satish as its President. The Mandali had sanctioned Rs. 50 lakh for the Kalagrama, of which Rs. 24 lakhs has been released. The remaining amount is expected soon.

The Kalagrama will take four or five years to be completed. It will come up at the location earlier earmarked for the Jinke Vana, a picturesque locale in Udupi. The Kalagrama will comprise three enclaves: the first consisting of a training centre in the arts and a museum of Karanth’s literary works and artefacts native to Udupi district. Karanth’s personal belongings are likely to be displayed too.

The training centre will impart instruction in Yakshagana, drama, dance, and folk arts. It will have a a ranga mandira, and the Rs. 10 lakh allotted for the District Ranga Mandira will be used for this purpose.

The Hampi Kannada University proposes to set up a Karanth Samshodhana Kendra to facilitate in-depth research of the great man’s works. Also in the pipeline are a permanent and temporary art galleries.


The second enclave will skirt the rivulet flowing through the hilly terrain of the Jinke Vana. There is a plan to form a pond by constructing a small dam across the rivulet. Acknowledging the special place Karanth had for children, a children’s park and a children’s science centre will come up here. Information on various branches of science will be disseminated through multimedia presentation. There will be facilities for young people to do basic experiments at the science centre.

Also on the cards are a bayalu ranga mandira and a camping ground, besides residential quarters for scholars and dormitories for NCC and NSS cadets would be constructed.

The third enclave will have a nature information centre that will have data on the flora and fauna of the region. Fittingly, Kalagrama will have a trekking path too. There is a proposal to construct a meditation centre atop the hill here and organisations such as the ISKCON and others would be asked to take meditation courses in turns. This enclave will promote geo-art.

Harmony is the keyword and all the three enclaves will complement one another. The idea is to develop Kalagrama as both a cultural and tourist centre.

With co-operation from local experts, the authorities cut the costs of consultancy charges for the project by about Rs. 10 lakh -12 lakh. They will seek public donations while the Central Government will be approached for Rs. 1.5 crore for the Karanth Memorial Museum. A sum of Rs. 5 lakh saved by the Udupi Utsav Committee will go into the project.

Apart from the Kalagrama, the Mandali proposes to build a memorial on the land housing Karanth’s samadhi in Kota.

Works on Shivaram Karanth to be released

Staff Correspondent

22 volumes have already been brought out



Kota Shivaram Karanth



Udupi: Medical Education Minister V.S. Acharya will release four volumes on the dramas of Jnanpith Award winner late Kota Shivaram Karanth here on July 15.

Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, principal of MGM College M.L. Samaga said that the function is being jointly organised by the Department of Kannada and Culture, and the college. Dr. Kota Shivaram Karanth has 417 works and over 900 essays to his credit. He has written poems, novels, dramas, short stories and travelogues. The Government has already brought out 22 volumes.

MLA K. Raghupati Bhat will preside over the function. Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University at Hampi, B.A. Viveka Rai; secretary to the Department of Kannada and Cultre I.M. Vittalmurthy; and Registrar of the Academy of General Education K.K. Pai will be chief guests.

The function would be followed by rendition of “Nada geethe” and “Ranga geethe” by the senior artiste Subhadramma Mansur, Prof. Samaga said. Director of Govinda Pai Research Centre Heranje Krishna Bhat and Assistant Director of the Department of Kannada and Culture R.S. Dalwai, were present.


July 21, 2007 - Posted by | HAMPI, KARANTH

1 Comment »

  1. Shivaram karant is a great human being.. his approach to the life and literature is appreciable..
    hats off to this great personality…

    Comment by Arunkumar.k | January 15, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: