Nanalal Dalpatram Kavi (Gujarati: નાનાલાલ દલપતરામ કવિ) was a noted author, poet of Gujarati literature, and was given a title of "Kavishwar" (God of Poets) by people of Gujarat. His name is sometimes spelt Nhanalal.


Nanalal was born on March 16, 1877 as the fourth son of Dalpatram, the illustrious and popular poet of the second half of the last century, who was a pioneer of modern Gujarati Poetry. After passing his M.A., Nanalal served as a Headmaster of the Princes’ School at Sadra and later joined the Rajkumar College, Rajkot. He then became the Chief Justice of the Native State of Rajkot before becoming Education Officer for the whole of Kathiawad under the British Political Agency in 1918. He hailed Mahatma Gandhi on his 50th birthday as the Hermit of Gujarat in a memorable poem which he composed in 1919. When Mahatma Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, Nanala Kavi responded to it by resigning his Government post in 1921, whereafter he lived in Ahmedabad, wholly devoted to writing. He breathed his last on January 9, 1946 in adverse pecuniary as a gifted poet of our time.

A romantic idealist in the tradition of the English romantic poets of the 19th century, Nanalal was a lyrical poet par excellence. He also wrote a good number of plays and attempted narrative poetry on epic scale, besides other literary forms like novel, short story, biography, essay and criticism. His books number more than eighty. Though he thoroughly imbibed tradition, he was a bold experimenter, true to his romantic spirit.

The rhythmic prose that he employed in his lyrical plays as well as in reflective and narrative poetry was an innovation of his in the direction of vers libre.

All his writing is characterized by a distinctive diction of his own. Unsurpassed in sweetness and charm, and by a consistent strain of high moral purpose coming from his poetic creed, seeing the poet as a prophet. Quite a good many lyrics of Nanalal are gems of Gujarati poetry which have enriched Gujarati literature for all time. His one of the Greatest prayers Asatyo Mahethi is still being sung in the Schools of Gujarat. Indian Post and Telegraphs Department feels privileged to bring out a commemorative postage stamp in honour of this great son of India.

Nanalal Dalpatram Kavi's Works:

Nhana Nhana Raas
Hari Lilamrat - Greatest Book of the History of the Swaminarayan Religion

Poems by Nanalal Dalpatram Kavi

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