Puttaraj Gawai was an Indian musician excelling in Hindustani Classical tradition. He has written more than 80 books in Kannada, Sanskrit and Hindi languages. He has learned to play many instruments such as Veena, Tabla, Mridangam, Violin, etc. He is popular for his devotional music. He has received Padma Bhushan award in 2008 from Government of India.
He was born on 3rd March 1914 in Hangal taluk in Haveri district in Karnataka in a Kannada Lingayat family. His father was Revaiah Venkatapurmath and his mother was Siddamma. He lost his vision when he was very young and lost his father when he was a baby of ten months old. He was taken under the care of his maternal uncle Chandrashekharaiah.
He was taken to Veereshwara Punyashrama by Ganayogi Panchakshara Gawai. Under his guidance he mastered Carnatic music and Hindustani music. He is known for his renditions of Vachanas. He set up a theater company to promote theater culture. His first play was Sri Sivayogi Sidharama.
His music school was dedicated to teach music to the disabled people of all castes and sections of the society. Shree Veereshwara Punyashrama is the charitable institution run by him to uplift the blind, orphans and poor children. He has taught more than 1000 visually impaired students. Sangeet Shastra Jnana, Tabla Shikshaka, GuruSudha, Taala Paachakshara are his books on music.
Some of the books that he has written include Akkamahadevi Purana, Haveri Shivabasava Purana, Purathanara Purana, Kalikeri Guru Mahima Purana, Sharana Basaveshwara Purana, Sri Veerabhadreshwara Puraana, Sri Chikkeshwara Puraana, etc. His books in Sanskrit include Shrimat Kumara Geetha, Shri Linga Sooktha, Tatparya Sahit Sri Rudra, Panchakshara Suprabhata and Kumareshwara Kavya.
He has also written some dramas in Kannada and Bhagavad Geeta, Upanishad, Sri Rudra and Music are his Braille works.
He died on 27th September 2010 at Gadag in Karnataka and was buried at the Veereshwara Punyashrama with government honors. His funeral was attended by more than 10 lakh devotees.
Awards & Titles
He received President Award for Basava Purana in 1961, Kannada Kavi Kulottama award, Honorary Doctorate by Karanatak University, Nadoji Prashasti, Basavashree Award, National Award, Kalidas Samman, Padma Bhushan and many more awards.