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Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala'

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Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala' (21 February 1899[1] – 15 October 1961) was one of the most famous figures of modern Hindi literature. He was a poet, novelist, essayist and story-writer. He also drew many sketches.

Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala
Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala'
Born Surjakumar tewari
(1899-02-21)21 February 1899
Midnapore, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died 15 October 1961(1961-10-15) (aged 62)
Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Pen name Nirala
Occupation Writer, poet, essayist, novelist
Nationality Indian
Period Chhayavaad
Notable works Saroj Smriti, Raam ki shaktipuja
Spouse Manohara devi
Children Saroj (Daughter) {dead after marriage}, Ramkrishna Tripathi (Son)



Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', one of the most significant poets of modern Hindi, was born on 21 February 1899, in a Brahmin family of Midnapore in Bengal (originally from Gadhakola, Unnao, Uttar Pradesh).[2] He was also a regular in literary circles such as the Kavi Sammelans and gained fame from his poetry readings. Though a student of Bengali, Nirala took keen interest in Sanskrit from the very beginning. In that time, through his natural intelligence and acquired knowledge, he became an authority on various languages – Bengali, English, Sanskrit, and Hindi.

Nirala's life, barring short periods, was one long sequence of misfortunes and tragedies. His father, Pandit Ramsahaya Tripathi, was a government servant and was a tyrannical person. His mother died when he was very young. Nirala was educated in the Bengali medium. However, after passing the matriculation exam, he continued his education at home by reading Sanskrit and English literature. Subsequently, he shifted to Lucknow and thence to Village Gadhakola of District Unnao, to which his father originally belonged. Growing up, he gained inspiration from personalities like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore.

After his marriage at a young age, Nirala learnt Hindi at the insistence of his wife, Manohara Devi. Soon, he started writing poems in Hindi, instead of Bengali. After a bad childhood, Nirala had a few good years with his wife. But this phase was short-lived as his wife died when he was 20, and later his daughter (who was a widow) also expired. He also went through financial troubles during this time. During that phase, he worked for many publishers, worked as proof-reader and also edited Samanvaya.

Most of his life was somewhat in the Bohemian tradition. He wrote strongly against social injustice and exploitation in society. Since he was more or less a rebel, both in form and content, acceptance did not come easily. What he got in plenty was ridicule and derision. All this may have played a role in making him a victim of schizophrenia in his later life and he was admitted to Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi.[3] (Incidentally Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (who was later declared national poet of Bangladesh) had also been admitted to the same institute for schizophrenia.

Nirala died in Allahabad on 15 October 1961. The world of Hindi literature is remarkable for ideological and aesthetic divisions.[citation needed] But today, the same reviled Nirala is one of the very few people in Hindi literature who are admired and respected by almost all, across all divisions.

Today, a park, Nirala Uddyan, an auditorium, Nirala Prekshagrah, and a degree college, Mahapran Nirala Degree College, in the Unnao District are named after him.[2] His life-size bust has been installed at the main market square of Daraganj, Allahabad, a place where he lived for most of his life. His family still lives in Daraganj, Allahabad. The road on which his modest house was situated is now named "Nirala Marg".


Nirala pioneered the Chhayavaad movement along with Jaishankar Prasad, Sumitranandan Pant and Mahadevi Varma. Nirala's Parimal and Anaamika are considered as the original Chhayavaadi Hindi literature. He was unrecognised during his life. His style of poetry, revolutionary for his time, often was unpublished due to its unconventional nature. He voiced his protest against exploitation through his verses. He amalgamated Vedanta, nationalism, mysticism, and love for nature and progressive humanist ideals in his works. The sources of his themes include history, religion, nature, Puranas and contemporary social and political questions. He initiated the use of blank verse in his poems. He introduced aesthetic sense, love of nature, personal viewpoint and freedom of form and content in writing which went on to become the chief tenets of Chhayawad. His multifaceted genius, which ushered in a new style of poetry, acquired him a pseudonym, Nirala (unique). His poem Saroj Smriti is one of the greatest, showing his emotions and sentiments for his daughter.

Nirala is also credited with bringing in free verse in the modern Hindi prose. His thinking was influenced by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekananda and in the literary field by Michael Madhusudan Dutt and Rabindranath Tagore.

Many of Nirala's poems have been translated by the late scholar, David Rubin, which are available in the collections, A Season on the Earth: Selected Poems of Nirala (Columbia University Press, 1977), The Return of Sarasvati: Four Hindi Poets (Oxford University Press, 1993), and Of Love and War: A Chayavad Anthology (Oxford University Press, 2005). Nirala : Aatmhanta Astha was a critical analysis of his works written by Doodhnath Singh.[4]



  • Ram Ki Shakti Puja (राम की शक्ति पूजा)
  • Dhwani
  • Apara (अपरा)
  • Saroj Smriti (सरोज स्मृति)
  • Parimal (परिमल)
  • Priyatam (प्रियतम)
  • Anaamika (अनामिका, 1938)
  • Geetika (गीतिका)
  • Kukurmutta (कुकुरमुत्ता, 1941)
  • Adima (अणिमा)
  • Bela (बेला)
  • Naye Patte (नये पत्ते)
  • Archana (अर्चना)
  • Geet Gunj (गीतगुंज)
  • Aradhana (आराधना)
  • Tulsidas (तुलसीदास, 1938)
  • Janmabhumi (जन्मभूमि)
  • Jago Phir Ek Bar (जागो फिर एक बार)


  • Apsara (अप्सरा)
  • Alka (अलका)
  • Prabhavati (प्रभावती)
  • Nirupama (निरुपमा)
  • Chameli (चमेली)
  • Choti ki Pakad (चोटी की पकड़)
  • Indulekha (इन्दुलेखा)
  • Kale Karname (काले कारनामे)

Collections of storiesEdit

  • Chhaturi Chamar (चतुरी चमार)
  • Sukul ki Biwi (सुकुल की बीवी, 1941)
  • Sakhi (सखी)
  • Lily (लिली)
  • Devi (देवी)


  • Prabandha-Parichaya (प्रबंध परिचय)
  • Bangbhasha ka Uchcharan (बंगभाषा का उच्चारण)
  • Ravindra-Kavita-Kannan (रवीन्द्र-कविता-कानन)
  • Prabandh-Padya (प्रबंध पद्य)
  • Prabandh-Pratima (प्रबंध प्रतिमा)
  • Chabuk (चाबुक)
  • Chayan (चयन)
  • Sangraha (संग्रह)


  • Kullibhat (कुल्लीभाट)
  • Billesur Bakriha (बिल्लेसुर बकरिहा)


  • Anand Math
  • Vish-Vriksh (विष वृक्ष)
  • Krishnakant ka Vil (कृष्णकांत का विल)
  • Kapal Kundala (कपाल कुण्डला)
  • Durgesh Nandini (दुर्गेश नन्दिनी)
  • Raj Singh (राज सिंह)
  • Raj Rani (राज रानी)
  • Devi Chaudharani (देवी चौधरानी)
  • Yuglanguliya (युगलांगुलीय)
  • Chandrasekhar (चन्द्रशेखर)
  • Rajni (रजनी)
  • Sri Ramkrishna Vachnamrit (श्री रामकृष्ण वचनामृत)
  • Bharat mein Vivekanand (भारत में विवेकानंद)
  • Rajyog (राजयोग)


  1. ^ Nirala ki sahitya sadhna, part-1 (Biography) Ram Vilas Sharma, Rajkamal prakashan private limited, New delhi, edition-2002, p.17 & 443.
  2. ^ a b Famous Personalities Archived 16 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Unnao district Official website.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Nirala : Aatmhanta Astha". Rajkamal Prakashan. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 

External linksEdit