Bengaluru: Search engine Google on Friday honoured eminent Kannada poet and Jnanpith awardee Kuvempu with a doodle on his 113rd birthday.
“It’s a great day for Kannadigas and Karnataka, as Google joined us in celebrating ‘Rashtra kavi’ (national poet) Kuvempu’s birthday with a sketch on him in a locale that reminds us of his scenic native place Kuppali (in Shivamogga district,” an official told IANS here.
Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa, who wrote as Kuvempu, was the first Kannada writer to win the prestigious Jnanpith award for his epic poem “Sri Ramayana Dashanam” in verse form five decades ago.
The occasion also coincided with the golden jubilee of Kuvempu’s famous novel “Malegalalli Madumaglu” released 50 years ago on his birthday in 1967.
“Day-long celebrations, including reading of Kuvemu’s select poems and writings in the lawns of his ancestral house ‘Kavi Mane’ at Kuppali in the presence of about 1,000 people from the region,” said the official of the state Kannada and Culture Department.
Located in the heart of the picturesque Malnad area near Thirthahalli in central Karnataka, Kuppali is a cultural centre and a popular tourist spot.
Born on December 29, 1904, Kuvempu spent his childhood at Kuppali and moved to Mysuru in his teenage years to study. He graduated in Kannada and English literature from the Maharaja College at Mysuru.
“Though education and teaching profession forced Kuvempu to live at Mysuru, Bengaluru and other cities in the state, he visited Kuppali every year and spent a few weeks to relive his childhood, as he was so captivated by the Sahyadri mountains around and the breathtaking view of the Malnad region,” said the official.
Kuvempu taught Kannada literature in Maharaja College and National College in Bengaluru in the 1930s-40s before he became Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University in 1956.
“Besides poetry, Kuvempu penned short stories, plays, novels and articles in Kannada and English. His beautiful poem ‘Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate’ is sung as the state anthem,” added the official.
Awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1988, he passed away at the age of 90 on November 11, 1994.