C. Narayana Reddy

Cingireddi Narayana Reddy (29 July 1931 – 12 June 2017) was an Indian Telugu-language poet and writer. Reddy had produced over eighty literary works including poems, prose-plays, lyrical plays, translations, and ghazals. He was also a professor, lyricist, actor, and Rajya Sabha politician. Reddy was awarded the Jnanpith Award by the government of India in 1988, and he served as the Vice Chancellor of Telugu University.[1][2]

C. Narayana Reddy
C. Narayana Reddy.
Born(1931-07-19)19 July 1931
Died12 June 2017(2017-06-12) (aged 85)
Alma materOsmania University
OccupationPoet, playwright, composer, artist, professor, politician
AwardsSahitya Akademi Award (1973)
Padma Shri (1977)
Kala Prapoorna (1978)
Jnanpith Award (1988)
Padma Bhushan (1992)
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata
C Narayana Reddy Autograph in Telugu, Urdu and English.jpg

Early life and careerEdit

Cingireddi Narayana Reddy was born on 29 July 1931 in the village of Hanumajipet in present-day Telangana to a Telugu family of Malla Reddy and Buchamma. His father was a farmer and his mother was a housewife. After completing his higher secondary education, he went on to study at the Osmania University, Hyderabad in 1949. Reddy studied in Urdu medium till his graduation as education in Telugu was not available under Nizam's rule.[3] He took Telugu as his subject during his graduation. Reddy received his Master of Arts degree in 1954 and became a college lecturer in 1955. He received Ph.D. in 1962 on "Modern Traditions of Telugu" and became a Professor in 1976.[3][4]: 2 

He did his primary, secondary and higher secondary in Urdu medium. He studied Telugu privately during schooling in Sircilla under the guidance and tutelage of Gurus Satavadhani Seshadri Ramana Kavulu of Machilipatnam.[5] He was mentored by the legendary poet and Jnanpith awardee Kavi Samrat Viswanatha Satyanarayana of Vijayawada, the first principal of Karimnagar Government College (1959–61).[6][7] After completing his primary and secondary education at his hometown, he moved to Hyderabad to pursue his degree education. He came to know of the Modern Telugu literary giants and read books written by Gurram Jashua, Sri Sri, Devulapalli Krishna Sastry.

Naryana Reddy married Suseela and with her had four daughters. Reddy instituted an award named after his wife which is presented annually to the female writers.[8][9] Reddy was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, in August 1997.[10]

Literary worksEdit

Reddy's first published work was a poetry collection Navvani Puvvu (The Bashful Flower) in 1953 and later went on to publish several other works like Vennela Vada (The Monnlight Town, 1959), Jalapatam (The Waterfall), Divvela Muvvalu (Candle Bells, 1959), Ritu Chakram (Cycle of Seasons, 1964), Madhyataragati Mandahasam (The Smile of the Middle Class, 1968), and Mantalu Manavudu (Flames and the Man, 1970). His 1980 published poetic work Viswambhara (The Earth) received wide critical acclaim and has been translated into several Indian languages. The Sahitya Akademi appreciated it as "monumental work in free verse depicts the journey of man through the ages as he strives to attain spiritual, artistic, and scientific excellence."[4]: 3 

Reddy's Nagarjuna Sagaram is a Buddhist epic poetry based on a heart-breaking love story of a lady Santisri who comes to study Buddhism and falls in love with a sculptor Padmadeva.[11][12] His 1957 Karpura Vasantha Rayulu was an epic poem retelling the romance between the King Kumara Giri of Reddy dynasty and his court dancer Lakuma. The book was dedicated to Telugu historian Mallampalli Somasekhara Sarma whose main contributions were regarding the recording of Reddy history.[12][13]

Bhimsen Nirmal translated Vishwambhara into Hindi as Viswambhara and his Telugu poetry collection Prapanchapadulu was translated into Sanskrit as Prapanchapadi by R. Sri Hari. Nirmal and Hari won the Sahitya Akademi Translation Award for these works in 1991 and 2001 respectively.[14]

Along with poetry, Reddy also composed musical plays Ramappa (1960), based on Kakatiya dynasty and the collection of ten plays Narayana Reddy Natikalu (Play-lets of Narayana Reddy, 1978). He published analysis of modern Telugu poetry, its precursors, its progression through various phases and its modern day forms in Adhunikandhara Kavitamu - Sampradayamulu Prayogamalu: Modern Telugu Poetry Tradition and Experiment. His 1997 published book Matti Manishi Akasam (Man Beyond Earth and Sky) consists of a long poem of around hundred pages.[4]: 3, 4  He wrote a few travelogues about his travels to various countries including a tour of Malaysia in Muchataga Moodu Varalu, about Russia in Soviet Russsialo Padi Rojulu and about the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France in Paschatya Desallo Yabai Rojulu.[4]: 5 

Reddy's first film as a lyricist was Gulebakavali Katha (1962) which was directed by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao. Reddy later went on to write more than 3000 film songs. His last song was for the movie Inkennallu (2011) which was directed by Syed Rafi.[8]


Following literary works of Reddy have been published:[15]

  1. Jalapatam (1953)
  2. Navvani Puvvu (1953)
  3. Viswageeti (1954)
  4. Nagarjuna Sagaram (1955)
  5. Narayana Reddy Geyalu (1955)
  6. Ajantha Sundhari (1955)
  7. Swapna Bhangam (1957)
  8. Karpura Vasantarayalu (1957)
  9. Tene Patalu (1957)
  10. Viswanatha Nayudu (1959)
  11. Divvela Muvvalu (1959)
  12. Vennelawada (1959)
  13. Geya Natikalu (1959)
  14. Vachnakavitha (Cini Kavi Manasnivali) (1959)
  15. Ramappa (1960)
  16. Cinare Geethalu (1963)
  17. Ritu Chakram (1964)
  18. Sama Darshanam (1964)
  19. Aksharala Gavakshalu (1965)
  20. Vyasavhahini (1965)
  21. Jati Ratnam (1967)
  22. Adhunikandhra Kavitvam (1967)
  23. Sampradaya Reethulu (1967)
  24. Madhyataragati Mandahasam (1968)
  25. Maro Harivillu (1969)
  26. Gandhiyam (1969)
  27. Meerabai (1969)
  28. Mantalu - Manavudu (1970)
  29. Mukhamuki (1971)
  30. Manisi - Chilaka (1972)
  31. Mandhara Makarandhalu (1973)
  32. Patalo Emindi - Na Matalo Emundhi (First Volume) (1974)
  33. Patalo Emindi - Na Matalo Emundhi (Second Volume) (1974)
  34. Marpu Na Tirpu (1974)
  35. Sikharalu Loyalu (1974)
  36. Tejassu Na Tapassu (1975)
  37. Taratarala Telugu Velugu (1975)
  38. Pagale Vennela (1976)
  39. Inti Peru Chaitanyam (1976)
  40. Bhoomika (1977)
  41. Narayana Reddy Natikalu (1978)
  42. Mathaanam (1978)
  43. Mruthuvu Nunchi (1979)
  44. Muthyala Kokila (1979)
  45. Viswambhara (1980)
  46. Soviat Rashyalo Padi Rojulu (1980)
  47. Maa Uru Matladindi (1980)
  48. Rekkalu (1982)
  49. Amara Veerudu Bhagatising (1982)
  50. Nadaka Na Talli (1983)
  51. Kalam Anchu Mida (1985)
  52. Telugu Gazallu (1986)
  53. Kavitha Na Chirunama (1988)
  54. Arohana (1991)
  55. Jathiki Upiri Swathantryam (1993)
  56. Drukpatham (1994)
  57. Bhoogolamanta Manishi Bomma (1996)
  58. Matti Manishi Aakasham (1997)
  59. Gadilo Samudram (1998)
  60. Vyaktitvam (1999)
  61. Dooraalanu Doosukotchi (2000)
  62. Muchataga Mudu Vharalu (2001)
  63. Prachatya Deshaloo Yabai Rojulu (2001)
  64. Samooham Vaipu (2008)
  65. Manisiga Jeevinchalani (2009)
  66. Viswam Nlo Unnapudu (2010)
  67. Nachoopu Repati Vaipu (2011)
  68. Vakkuku Vayasu Ledu (2012)
  69. Lethakiranalu (2013)
  70. Alalerthe Adugulu (2013)
  71. Ningikegire Chetlu (2014)
  72. Cinare Gazallu
  73. Prapanchapadulu
  74. Kalam Sakshiga
  75. Udayam Na Hridayam
  76. Jathiya Kavi Sammelanamloni - Veevida Bhasha Kavithala - Anuvaadhalu
  77. Telugukavitha Layathmakatha
  78. Saptati Oka Liptaga
  79. Moving Spirit
  80. Rekkala Santhakalu
  81. Jwalaga Gevenchalani
  82. Konagotimida Geevitham
  83. Kalisi Nadiche Kalam
  84. Evi A Jeeva Nidhulu
  85. Thats What I'said (English)


Reddy won several awards for his literary work which includes the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973 for his poetry collection Mantalu Manavudu,[16] the Jnanpith Award for Viswambhara in 1988 and was conferred with the Sahitya Academy fellowship in 2014, the highest honor of the Sahitya Academy, India's National Academy of Letters.[17][4] Reddy was also awarded an honorary Kala Prapoorna by Andhra University in 1978,[10] the Soviet Land Nehru award in 1982,[10] and the Raja-Lakshmi Award by the Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation in 1988, "Visishta Puraskaram" of the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University in 2011.[18] The Government of India honored him with the fourth and third highest civilian awards, Padma Shri (1977) and Padma Bhushan (1992).[19] He also won the Nandi Award for Best Lyricist twice for the song "Kantene Amma Ani Ante Ela?" from the movie Preminchu and "Idigo Raayalaseema Gadda" from the movie Seethayya.


Reddy developed health complication and complained of chest pain and was shifted to the Care Hospital.[20][21] He died on 12 June 2017 at the age of 85.


  1. ^ Azam, Kousar J. (9 August 2017). Languages and Literary Cultures in Hyderabad. Routledge. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-351-39399-7.
  2. ^ India Today. 14. Living Media India Pvt. Limited. 1989. p. 83.
  3. ^ a b Suresh Krishnamoorthy (12 June 2017). "Jnanpith winner C. Narayana Reddy passes away". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Sahitya Akademi Fellowship: C. Narayana Reddy" (PDF). Sahitya Akademi. 6 July 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Literary legend walks into history". 13 June 2017.
  6. ^ "CiNaRe: A pioneer of 'free verse' in Telugu literature".
  7. ^ "Dr. C Narayana Reddy || Cheppalani Undi (చెప్పాలని ఉంది) ||Bhaarat Today". YouTube. Archived from the original on 5 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b Vishnupriya Bhandaram (12 April 2012). "Poetic parlance". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  9. ^ "C Narayana Reddy passes away: A look at his life". The Indian Express. New Delhi. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Profile: C. Narayana Reddy". The South Asian Literary Recordings Project. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  11. ^ Shu Hikosaka, G. John Samuel, Cannarttanam Paarttacarati (1992). Buddhist Themes in Modern Indian Literature. Institute of Asian Studies, Madras. p. 174. Retrieved 13 June 2017.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ a b Amaresh Datta (1987). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: A-Devo. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 598, 919. ISBN 9788126018031. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  13. ^ The Text and the Context. Bhartiya Jnanpith. 1994. p. 59. ISBN 9788170191827. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Akademi Translation Prizes (1989-2015)". Sahitya Akademi. 13 June 2017. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  15. ^ "C. N. Reddy books". drcnarayanareddy.com. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Sahitya Akademi Award in Telugu". Sahitya Akademi. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  17. ^ "The Jnanpith Award: All the past awardees from 1965 to now". Outlook India. 25 July 2003. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  18. ^ "C. Narayana Reddy selected for Telugu varsity award". The Hindu. Hyderabad. 23 November 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2014)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 21 May 2014. pp. 37–72, 94–117. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  20. ^ "Doyen of Telugu literature C Narayana Reddy dies in Hyderabad". Hindustan Times. Hyderabad. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Telugu poet and writer C Narayana Reddy, a recipient of the prestigious Jnanpithaward, passes away". Financial Express. Hyderabad. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.


External linksEdit