The state government of Karnataka declared 20th November to be observed as “Kanakdasa Jayanti”, a state holiday every year in honour of medieval Kannada poet Kanakdasa. Kanakadasa, who lived from 1509 to 1609, was a follower of the Dwaita philosophy propounded by Madhavacharya.
Five of his major works are Nalacharitre (the story of Nala and Damyanti), Haribhaktisara (the essence of Krishna Devotion), Nrisimhastava (compositions in praise of Lord Narsimha), Ramadhanyacharitre (an epic story of Ragi Millet), Mohanatarangini (about the river Krishna). His unique writings dealt with class struggle, inequality, and injustice and always bluntly criticized those who opposed good practices. He used similes to rationalize the bhakti devotion and his writing identified more with the poor and downtrodden than with the rich. Apart from the above mentioned 5 works, he wrote more than two hundred musical compositions in Carnatic Music besides these five major works mentioned above.