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Gangadhar Meher Poems In Oriya Pdf 51

Gangadhar Meher: The Self-Taught Poet of Odia Literature

Gangadhar Meher (1862-1924) was a renowned Odia poet of the 19th century, who is also known as Swabhab Kavi, meaning the natural or self-taught poet. He was born in a poor weaver family in Barpali, a small town in present-day Bargarh district of Odisha. Despite his lack of formal education and financial resources, he became one of the most prolific and original contributors to Odia literature, writing more than 50 books of poetry and prose in various genres and themes. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of Odia literature, along with Sarala Dasa and Fakir Mohan Senapati.

Early Life and Career

Gangadhar Meher showed his interest and talent in poetry from a very young age. He was influenced by the Odia Ramayana by Balarama Dasa and the Odia Mahabharata by Sarala Dasa, which he heard and read as a boy. He also learned Sanskrit, Hindi and Bengali languages and read many classical and modern works of literature. He got married at the age of 10, as per the custom of his community, and helped his father in weaving and teaching. He also earned some money by writing documents for people with his clear and beautiful handwriting.


When he was 17 years old, his ancestral house caught fire and he lost all his belongings. He was offered a job as a patwari (land surveyor) by the local zamindar (landlord), Lal Nruparaj Singh, who recognized his intelligence and honesty. He later became a moharir (accountant) and served in various places such as Sambalpur, Bijepur and Padmapur. He finally returned to his native place Barpali on a salary of Rs. 30 per month. He continued to write poems in his spare time, often on palm leaves or scraps of paper. He also organized a social conference of Mehers, his weaver community, to uplift their social and economic status.

Literary Works

Gangadhar Meher wrote poems on various topics such as nature, love, devotion, patriotism, philosophy, social reform and humanism. He used simple and lucid language, rich imagery, musical rhythm and lyrical beauty to express his thoughts and feelings. He also experimented with different forms and styles of poetry, such as sonnets, ghazals, ballads, epics and lyrics. Some of his famous works are:

  • Indumati: His first published work, which is a lyrical poem based on the love story of Indumati and Aja from the Sanskrit epic Raghuvamsham by Kalidasa.

  • Tapaswini: His magnum opus, which is an epic poem based on the life of Savitri, who saved her husband Satyavan from the clutches of death by her penance and devotion.

  • Rasa-Ratnakara: A collection of 51 sonnets on various themes such as nature, love, patriotism and philosophy.

  • Balarama-deba: A historical poem based on the life and achievements of Balarama Deva, the founder of the Sambalpur kingdom.

  • Pranaya Ballari: A collection of love poems inspired by his second wife Champa Devi, whom he married after the death of his first wife Shanta Devi.

  • Kichaka Badha: A dramatic poem based on the episode of Kichaka's death by Bhima from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata.

  • Ayodhya Drusya: A poetic description of the city of Ayodhya from the Sanskrit epic Ramayana.

  • Padmini: His last work, which is a lyrical poem based on the legend of Padmini, the queen of Chittor who committed self-immolation to protect her honor from the invading Sultan Alauddin Khilji.

Legacy and Recognition

Gangadhar Meher's poems have been translated into many languages such as Hindi, Bengali, English, French, German and Russian. He has been honored with many awards and titles such as Kavya-Samrat (Emperor of Poetry), Kabi-Surya (Sun of Poetry) and Kabi-Kokila (Nightingale of Poetry). He has also been conferred with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, posthumously in 1962.

Many institutions and places have been named after him, such as Gangadhar Meher University in Sambalpur, Gangadhar Meher College in Barpali, Gangadhar Meher Park in Bhubaneswar and Gangadhar Meher Airport in Jharsuguda. His birth anniversary is celebrated as Swabhaba Kabi Divas (Natural Poet Day) every year on the full moon day of Shravana month. His life and works have been the subject of many books, films, documentaries and songs. He is regarded as a national treasure and a source of inspiration for generations of Odia poets and writers.


  • Gangadhar Meher - poems - Poem Hunter

  • Gangadhar Meher - Wikipedia

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