K. N. Kesari

Dr K. N. Kesari (b: 26 April 1875 – d: 8 June 1953) was an Indian physician, social reformer, philanthropist, author, magazine editor and patron of music. His Kesari Kuteeram Ayurveda Oushadasala, an ayurvedic medicine manufacturing unit which also featured a music academy, was a landmark in Madras (now Chennai).[1]

K. N. Kesari
Kota Narasimham

26 April 1875
Inamanamelloor, Ongole district, Andhra Pradesh
Died8 June 1953
Known forKesari Kuteeram
Notable work
Chinnanati Muchhatlu (memoirs)

He was born in Inamanamelloor in Ongole District of Andhra Pradesh as Kota Narasimham. His father died when he was five years old. His mother faced severe hardships during his childhood. At the age of 11, he went to Madras city. The story of his childhood was published in his memoir, Na Chinnanati Muchchatlu (Memories of my Childhood).[2]

Kesari succeeded in getting a scholarship to the Hindu Theological School and studied there. His mother joined him in 1889. She died after falling ill for a few days.[citation needed]

In 1928 he founded and became editor of the Telugu magazine Gruhalakshmi, which encouraged women to engage in society and politics,[3] fostered writing talent in women[4] and sponsored the Gruhalakshmi Swarnakankanam award for women writers.[5]

In 1943 Kesari took over the management of Mylapore Telugu Elementary School[6] in Madras and provided an endowment which enabled it to be elevated to high school status. His educational philanthropy expanded in 1951 when he founded the Kesari Education Society, a charitable trust which now runs several schools.[7]

The Carnatic vocalist and playback singer, P. Unnikrishnan, is Kesari's great-grandson.[8]


  1. ^ "The postman knocked". The Hindu. 19 February 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  2. ^ Datta, Amaresh (2006). The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature (Volume One (A To Devo), Volume 1. Sahitya Akademi. p. 287. ISBN 978-81-260-1803-1.
  3. ^ Thirumali, Inukonda (2004). South India: regions, cultures, and sagas. Bibliomatrix. p. 198. ISBN 978-81-901964-2-0.
  4. ^ Indian Writing Today. Nirmala Sadanand Publishers for the Centre for Indian Writers (7–14): 73. 1969. ISSN 0019-6495. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Das, Sisir Kumar (2006). History of Indian Literature: 1911–1956, struggle for freedom : triumph and tragedy. Sahitya Akademi. p. 623. ISBN 978-81-7201-798-9.
  6. ^ "Philanthropist Kesari is No More". The Hindu. 10 June 1953. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  7. ^ "What's in a name?". The Hindu. 21 August 2002. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  8. ^ "The right pitch". The Hindu. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2010.