Hampa Nagarajaiah

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ಹಂಪ ನಾಗರಾಜಯ್ಯ – Hampa Nagarajayya
Born October 7, 1936
Hampasandra, Gowribidanur taluk, Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka
Pen name Hampana – ಹಂಪನಾ
Occupation Writer, professor
Nationality India

Hampa Nagarajaiah (Kannada: ಹಂಪ ನಾಗರಾಜಯ್ಯ) (born October 7, 1936) popularly known by his pen name Hampanā, is an eminent Kannada scholar on Jainism. He was born at Hampasandra Village located in Gowribidanur taluk, Chikkaballapura District in the Indian state of Karnataka.


Hampanā completed his early education at his native village and neighbouring towns such as Gowribidanur, Madhugiri, Tumkur and Mandya. Later he moved to Maharaja's College, Mysore from where he did his graduation in BA (Honours) and completed his post-graduation in Kannada under the intellectual inspiration of Kuvempu, Theenamshree, D L Narasimhachar, S V Parameshwara Bhatta, K Venkataramappa, DeJaGou at University of Mysore in 1959. He was soon appointed as lecturer in Kannada and served at Mysore Maharani’s College, Sahyadri College of Shimoga and Government College at Mandya, DRM College at Davanagere and Govt. Arts & Science College at Bengaluru. Meanwhile he acquired PhD from Bangalore University for A Comprehensive study of Vaddārādhane.


Hampanā has delivered guest lectures on Jainism at renowned universities in UK, Germany and USA.[1] He has also delivered lectures on linguistics, poetics and Jain literature at Bengaluru University, Mysore University, Mangaluru University, Karnataka University, Kuvempu University, Mumbai University, Madras University and Madhurai University.


He served in capacities like professor and dean of arts faculty in Bengaluru University. He also officiated as Director of Jain Research Centre, Director of Institute of Jain Studies, and Director of Department of Kannada and Culture in Government of Karnataka before retiring in 1996. He also served as an honorary secretary of the Kannada Literary Chair called Kannada Sahitya Parishat from 1966 to 1974 and was elected as its president for three terms during 1978-1986. During his tenure he has published about 300 books in Kannada authored by scholars of versatile fields. When UNESCO declared 1979 as International Children’s Year he published through KaSaPa, 200 books for children written by different writers. He is the man behind erecting a well established building to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of KaSaPa in the premise of Krishnaraja Parishanmandira.


Hampanā’s contribution towards literary field is much depicted in about 114 books in Kannada and 20 in English. A closer look at the vast number of books and articles he has produced reveals the awe-inspiring intellectual capacities of this scholar. All these speak volumes of Hampanā’s brilliant and meaningful literary journey of five decades. They ably reflects devotion and dedication of a man of letters with varied interests in allied disciplines such as Ancient Kannada, Linguistics, Research, Religion, Fiction, Critics, Culture, Lectures etc. His work on the ‘Rashtrakutas’ has eplaced the pioneering work of the celebrated Indologist Anant Sadashiv Altekar. His Opulent Chandragiri has been hailed as a Treasury of Information and an authentic work of rare kind. His work on Bahubali and Badami Chalukyas is considered authentic, critical and conspectus. He has edited more than ten Jaina classics of ancient Kannada literature; published more than 40 books on Jain religion and history. ‘’Jaina Katha Kosha’’ is his magnum-opus contribution the field.

Felicitation Volumes

His students and admirers with due respect and love have offered him several felicitation volumes on different occasions. All these are filled with articles on scholastic importance. They can be listed as,

  • Pachethene (in 1983) Ed: T K Mahamood and S M Krishnaraya
  • Samkriti (in 1988) Ed: D. H J Lakkappa Gowda and Prof. Sukanya Maruthi
  • Samkarshana (in 1996) Ed: J Jnanananda & Dr. Sanjeev K Shetty
  • Baraha baagina (in 1997) Ed: H V Nagesh
  • HamGranthavali (in 1997) (A compendium of his works) Ed: Smitha Reddy & Tamil Selvi
  • Hampanā Vangmaya (in 2007) (Another compilation of his works) Ed: Dr. M Bhyregowa & B R Sathyanarayana
  • Svasti (in 2010) Ed:Prof. Nalini Balbir, University of Paris


Hampanā is conferred with so many awards. The latest is Naadoja Award (Teacher of the Land) conferred by Kannada University in 2006.[2] The Acharya Sri Mahaprajna Jain Sahitya award, constituted by Jain Shwetambar Terapanth Sabha, was conferred on litterateur Dr. Hampa Nagarajaiah., consisting of a cash of Rs. 51,000 and a memento, on July 13, 2008. Jain World Foundation USA has bestowed upon him the honor by awarding the prestigious ‘Jewel of Jain World’ award on Mahaveer Nirvana day of 2013. This award is given to selected few who have dedicated their life to serve the cause of Jainism and made significant contribution to propagate Jainism globally and enhance visibility of Jainism worldwide.[3] Apart from this he is bestowed with Karnataka Sahitya Academy award in 1993-94, Janapada Yakshagana Academy award in 1995, National award for the best child literature in 1990, Chavundaraya award in 1996, Kavyananda award in 1997, Karnataka Rajyotsava award in 1998, Shasana Sahitya award and Chi Na Mangala awards in 2001, Sham Baa Joshi award in 2000. Hampanā is felicitated by the monasteries like Nidumamidi Matha, Sringeri Matha, Chitradurga Brihanmatha, Savalagi Matha, Shravanabelagola Matha, Moorusavira Matha and Ilakal Mahantesha Matha for his contribution towards religion and literature. He is honoured with KundaKunda Jnanapeetha award at Indore, Babulal Amrithlal Sha Gold Medal at Ahmedabad, Acharya Sumathi Sagar award from Sonagiri in Madhya Pradesh for his significant contribution to Jain literature. The civic societies of Indi and Shimoga have bestowed upon him the titles Sahitya Sindhu in 1997 and as Jnanabhaskara in 2001 respectively.


Hampanā is married to Kamala Hampanā who also a veteran Litterateur. The couple have two daughters and a son. Hampanā’s biography is authored by Mr. Nagendrappa Daginakatte and Mr. Balesha Lakshetty individually. Dr. Nagappa Chalavadi has acquired doctorate on the works of Hampanā under the guidance of Dr. Channanna Valikara through Gulbarga University. Hampanā as one of the foremost exponents of Jainism has explored the rich Jain heritage which was deliberately or unknowingly hidden in the course of history. His scholarly works on almost every aspect of Jainism, its literature, philosophy, material remains and cultural impact have provided fresh insights. He is leading a life with creative, administrative and scholastic contribution towards literature and cultural heritage.


  1. "Hampanā". Jain world. Retrieved June 26, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Nadoja for Kinhanna Rai, Sarojini Mahishi, Ham. Pa. Na., two others". The Hindu. November 26, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. http://www.herenow4u.net/index.php?id=94511