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Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa (Kannada: ಕುಪ್ಪಳ್ಳಿ ವೆಂಕಟಪ್ಪ ಪುಟ್ಟಪ್ಪ ; December 29, 1904November 11, 1994), popularly called by the pet name Kuvempu (ಕುವೆಂಪು) or by the abbreviation K. V. Puttappa, was a Kannada writer and poet. He is widely regarded as the greatest poet of 20th century of Kannada literature and as for whole Indian literature . He was the Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University from 1956 till his retirement in 1960. He was recipient of many prestigious awards such as Rashtrakavi (National poet), the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of India, and the Jnanpith Award for his work on Sri Ramayana Darshanam, the complete Ramayana in Kannada. Kuvempu University was established in his honour in his home district of Shimoga, Karnataka, India.


  • When I hear Kannada, my heart leaps up and I am all ears.
  • It is not correct to say that Valmiki is the only Ramayana poet. There are thousands of Ramayana poets. There is a Ramayana poet in every village.
    • He stated when he deviated from the Valmiki Ramayana epic story and was criticized for the changes made. Quoted in Mandakranta Bose Director of the Center for India and South Asia Research and the Institute of Asian Research University of British Columbia (1 September 2004). The Ramayana Revisited. Oxford University Press. pp. 140–. ISBN 978-0-19-803763-7. 
  • Amidst the early morning dew
    Walking across the greenery
    And in the evening that is scary
    While taking a breath,
    Oh, flower, I listen to your song,
    Oh flower, I defeat your love.
  • When Manmatha kissed Rati, blood from her lips may have spit on earth and blossomed into rose on the plant and kisses the viewer's eyes with its beauty now!
    • The first is a poem on flowers translated from a Kannada poem, 'Poovu', and the second is linked mythological story and both are quoted in "Poet, nature lover and humanist". Archive Organization. Retrieved on 24 November 2013. 
  • It was a day of blackest deed
    When Delhi streets of fame
    Did glitter well by cursed greed
    Of harsh Timoor the lame.
    • From Kuvempu’s writings in English on the historical subject of Timoor’s invasion of India. Quoted here.Poet, nature lover and humanist. Archive Organization. Retrieved on 24 November 2013.

About Kuvempu[edit]

  • in English

Many don't know Kuvempu wrote poems in English as early as 1922, bringing out a collection of seven poems titled 'Beginner's muse'! In 1924, when Kuvempu got introduced to the Irish poet James Cousins through Dr M H Krishnamachar, he suggested to Kuvempu that he should write only in Kannada. Though he was initially disheartened by Cousin's advice, he later realised his full potential as a poet and a multi-faceted writer in the richness of Kannada."

    • Stated by Dr Pradhan Gurudatta on the occasion of Kuvempu's Centenary Celebrations in 2004 quoted here. Poet, nature lover and humanist. Archive Organization. Retrieved on 24 November 2013.

External links[edit]

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