Facts about Kannada Literature

Following are some of the important figures of Kannada Literature.


This is the earliest available work in Kannada written in circa 850 AD by the Rasjtrakuta king Nripatunga.


Pampa was the most renowned poet of Kannada who adorned the court of the Chalukya king Arikesan II.  He is also known as Adi Kavi of Kannada. He authored the two great classics Adi Purana, which deals with the life of Vrishaba – the first Jain Tirthankara, and Vikramarjuna-vijaya (also called Pampa-Bharata), which an adaptation of Vyasa’s Mahabharata into Kannada.

Kempu Narayana

Kempu Narayana wrote Mudramanjusa in 1823, which is the first historical romance written in prose in Kannada.  He and another poet N.Lakshminarayanappa or Muddana are known as jewels of Modern Kannada Literature.


Kuppali Venkatappa Gowda Puttappa (1904 – 1994), popularly known as Kuvempu was greatest poet of 20th century Kannada literature. He is the first among eight recipients of Jnanpith Award for Kannada. He along with M. Govinda Pai are revered as Rashtra Kavi in Kannada Literature. He was awarded Jnanpith award for “Sri Ramayana Darshanam”.

Chandrashekhara Kambara

Chandrashekhara Kambara (born January 2, 1937) is a prominent poet, playwright, folklorist, film director in Kannada language and the founder-vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi.

He is known for his effective usage of North Karnataka dialect of Kannada language in his plays and poems. He has been conferred with many prestigious awards including the Jnanpith Award in 2011 for the year 2010, Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Shri by Government of India, Kabir Samman, Kalidas Samman and Pampa Award.

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