Kundanagar K.G. (1895-1965)


Kallappa Giriyappa Kundanagar, (ಕಲ್ಲಪ್ಪ ಗಿರಿಯಪ್ಪ ಕುಂದಾನಗರ) was a scholar, well versed in Kannada, Pali, Marathi, Ardha Magadhi and English who rendered yeoman service for the culture of Karnataka. He was born in Kaujalagi a small town in Gokak talluk of Belgaum district, in a family of goldsmiths. After many hardships he obtained his B.A. degree in 1919 and worked as a teacher in Gokak. He embarked upon a serious study of old Kannada, Sanskrit and epigraphy with an intent of pursuing a career as a teacher and researcher. He worked as a lecturer in Karnataka College for two years (1925-1927) before joining Rajarama College in Kolhapur , Maharashtra where he served till his retirement in 1948.

The erudite work carried on by Kundanagar in the service of Kannada spans almost five decades and covers many areas such as history of literature, prosody, literary forms, religion and art. He has published two creative works, ‘Sarasvathi’(Novel)(Authorship disputed by M.G.Biradar) (1930) and ‘Mahadeviyakka’. (Biography) (1930) He has translated ‘Bharatesha Vaibhava’, ‘Nagananda Nataka’ and ‘Ratnavali Nataka’ from Kannada to Marathi. He was keenly interested in textual criticism and edited the following works scrupulously:

1.      Leelavathy Prabandha(Partly) by Nemichandra (1936)

2.      Purvapurana by Jinasenacharya (1943)

3.      Kumudendu Ramayana by Kumudendu (1936)

4.      Adipuranam by Pampa (1953) (With A.P.Chaugule)

5.      Chinmya Chinthamani by Kalyanakeerrthi

(With A.N.Upadhye)

6.      JnanaBhaskara Charite

(With A.N.Upadhye)

He has written an authoritative work on the Mahalakshmi temple at Kolhapur in English, named ‘Some Notes on Sri Mahalakshmi Temple ’. He has published a collection of inscrptions found in that region: ‘Inscriptions in North Karnataka and the Kolhapur State : (Ed) Kundanagar K.G. (Kolhapur 1939). The excavations conducted by Kundanagar in Brahmapuri near Kolhapur are significant. His bent of mind towards research is to be found in the nuemerous articles written by him on diverse topics such as numismatics of ancient Karnataka and art during early Chalukya period. ‘Hariharadeva’ an anthlogy of critical writings on Harihara edited by Kundanagar is considered among the best in that genre. Dr M.G.Biradar has published a collecton of one hundred of his articles. (Kundangarara Lekhana Sahitya) He worked tirelessly in many institutional projects. He edited the periodicals ‘Vagbhushana’ and ‘Jinasamaya’ (Belgaum ) for some time. He was on the editorial committee of the dictionaries brought out by the Mysore University and the Kannada Sahitya Parishath.

Kundanagar was honoured with the chair of the 43rd Kannada Sahitya Sammelan held at Gadag in Dharwar district in 1961. He was presented with a felicitation volume named ‘Kundana’ again in 1961.


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