G. Venkatasubbiah

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Ganjam Venkatasubbiah
G. Venkatasubbaiah.jpg
Born (1913-08-23) 23 August 1913 (age 106)
Mysore, Mysore Kingdom
Pen nameG.V.
OccupationWriter, researcher, teacher
ResidenceBangalore, India
Period20th Century
SubjectLexicography, Kannada Grammar, Editorship
Notable awardsPadma Shri
Sahitya Akademi Award
Pampa Award
G. Venkatasubbiah

Ganjam Venkatasubbiah[1] (born 23 August 1913) is a Kannada writer, grammarian, editor, lexicographer and critic who has compiled over eight dictionaries, authored four seminal works on dictionary science in Kannada, edited over sixty books and published several papers. Recipient of the Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award and the Pampa Award, G. Venkatasubbiah's contribution to the world of Kannada Lexicography is vast. His work Igo Kannada is a socio-linguistic dictionary which encompasses an eclectic mix of Kannada phrases, usages, idioms, phrases, and serves as a reference for linguists and sociologists alike. Venkatasubbiah is best known for his work on Kannada dictionary science titled Kannada Nighantu Shastra Parichaya which came out exactly one hundred years after the first Kannada dictionary was authored by the German priest and Indologist Reverend Ferdinand Kittel in 1894.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

B. A. Honours II Year Maharaja College Group Photo showing B. M. Srikantaiah, S. Srikanta Sastri and G. Venkatasubbiah

Venkatasubbiah was born on 23 August 1913 at Ganjam village, Srirangapatna, in Mandya district.[3] His father Ganjam Thimmanniah was a renowned Kannada and Sanskrit scholar. He was instrumental in inspiring in Venkatasubbiah a love for old Kannada. His primary schooling was spread out across the towns of Bannur and Madhugiri in the south Indian state of Karnataka. The second child in a family of eight, Venkatasubbiah had to follow his father from town to town as he frequently kept getting transferred in his Government job. By the early 1930s, Venkatasubbiah's family relocated to city of Mysore. Here Venkatasubbiah joined Yuvaraja college at Mysore for his intermediate course where he came under the influence of K. V. Puttappa (Kuvempu). Venkatasubbiah then joined the Maharaja College at Mysore to pursue his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree. His chosen subjects included Ancient History, Sanskrit and old Kannada among others. Here he came under the tutelage of T. S. Venkannaiah who taught Pampa Bharata, D. L. Narasimhachar who taught Editorial Science, T. N. Srikantaiah who taught Kavyamimamse and S. Srikanta Sastri who taught Karnataka History.[4] Venkatasubbiah completed his M. A. between 1936–38 and was recipient of the University Gold Medal.


Venkatasubbiah taught English at Municipal High School, Mandya and Bangalore High School, Bangalore before joining Vijaya College as faculty in the Kannada department. During these years, Venkatasubbiah inspired his friend and colleague Ramachandra Sharma to publish his collection of Kannada poetry in a book form. This was brought out under the title of Hrudayageethe with a preface by Gopalakrishna Adiga and S. R. Ekkundi. At Vijaya College, he is remembered for starting the student magazine Utsaha. He served at that college as a Lecturer, Professor and Principal before retiring. He was actively involved in the Mysore University Academic Council and Private College Teacher's Association during these years.

Literary contributions[edit]

Venkatasubbiah has compiled more than 10 dictionaries, including an eight-volume Kannada-Kannada Nighantu (Dictionary). This dictionary has also been translated to the Braille language by the Braille Transcription Centre of the Canara Bank Relief and Welfare Society.[5] He has been writing the column, Igo Kannada for over a decade in the Kannada daily Prajavani. The articles published in Igo Kannada[6] have been compiled into a book in four volumes.[7] It is a social dictionary which encompasses an eclectic mix of Kannada phrases, usages, idioms and phrases. He has also authored a dictionary entitled Klishtapada Kosha (a dictionary of complex Kannada words) which was released to mark the Suvarna Karnataka (Silver Jubilee of the formation of Karnataka).[8] It is the first of its kind in Kannada language which covers different language specifications such as derivation, punctuation, phoneme and morphological patterns of Kannada language as the language has evolved over the centuries.[8]

Venkatasubbaiah is remembered for his work on Kannada dictionary science titled Kannada Nighantu Shastra Parichaya which came out exactly one hundred years after the first Kannada dictionary was authored by the German priest and Indologist Reverend Ferdinand Kittel in 1894.[2][9] Between 1964 - 1969, while at the Kannada Sahitya Parishat (Kannada Literary Centre), he had the distinction of being its youngest president. As President, he was instrumental in increasing the society's financial grants from the Government. He was chief editor of the 'Kannada - Kannada Dictionary' project. He was involved in Kannada Encyclopaedia Project, Sahitya Sammelana (Literary Fest) at Karwar and Shravanabelagola and as the Editor of Kannada Sahitya Parishat's monthly magazine Kannada Nudi. He has served as the vice-president of the Lexicographical Association of India for 17 years.[7] In 1998, he was appointed as an advisor to the multilingual dictionary project of the Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai, which comprises Japanese, Kannada, English and Tamil.[7] He was also appointed as a consultative committee member in the Telugu lexicon project initiated by the Telugu Academy of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He was the First President of Bidar District 1st Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (Kannada Literary Festival) held in the year 1974. He was honoured with the Presidency of 77th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (All India Kannada Literary Meet) held at Bangalore on 2011.


  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1975) - Kannada – Kannada Concise Dictionary[10]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1981) – Kannada – Kannada – English Dictionary[11]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1993) – Kannada Nighantu Shastra Parichaya
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1996) – Muddanna Padaprayoga Kosha
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1998) – Patrika Padakosha
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1998) – Eravalu Padakosha (Borrowed words in Kannada)
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1996 - 2013) – Igo Kannada (1) – Sociolinguistic Dictionary[12]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2001 – 2013) – Igo Kannada (2) – Sociolinguistic Dictionary
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2009 – 2013) – Igo Kannada (3) – Sociolinguistic Dictionary
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2001) – Prof G. V.’s Prism English – Kannada Dictionary
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Kannada Nighantu Parivara
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2006) – Kannada Klishtapada Kosha
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2010) – Shabda mathu artha
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2012) – Kannada Lexicography and other articles

Literary Criticism and History of Kannada Literature[edit]

  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1942) – Nayasena[13]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1952) – College Translation
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1954) – Translations Lessons (1)
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1954) – Translations Lessons (2)
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1954) – Translations Lessons (3)
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1957) – Anukalpane[14]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1968) – Kannada Shashana Parichaya
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1978) – Kannada Sahitya Nadedubanda Dari[15]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1986) – Prof. T. S. Venkannayya
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1996) – D. V. Gundappa
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1999) - Kannaḍavannu Uḷisidavaru[16]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1999) – Kannadavannu Ulisi Belisidavaru
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2000) – Sahitya mathu Shikshana
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2000) – Kannadada Nayakamanigalu
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2002) – Inuku Nota[17]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Karnataka Vaibhava
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Paramarshana
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Kavya Chinthana
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Seelunota
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2006) – Margadarshakaru
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2007) – Gatiprajne
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2008) – Samaya Sandarbha Sannivesha[18]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2010) – Kumaravyasana antaranga – Yudha Panchakadalli[19]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – Sarigannada Sarasvaturu
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – Kavya Chinthana mathu Jivana Manthana
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – G. V. Vichara Vihara
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – Ondishtu Ramayana Ondishtu Mahabharata
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2013) – Purana Kathavaliya Ganjam Thimmannayya

Editorial Work[edit]

  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1964) – Kannada Rathna Parichaya
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1966) – Nalachampu Sangraha
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1966) – Akrura Charithreya Sangraha
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1966) – Karna Karnamruta[20]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1968) – Kavya Lahiri
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1970) – Kavya Samputa
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1987) – Muddanna Bhandara, Part 1[21][22]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1987) – Muddanna Bhandara, Part 2
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1991) – Tamilu Kathegalu
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1991) – Telugu Kathegalu
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1991) – Malayalam Kathegalu
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1991) – Kannada Kathegalu
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1993) – Iruvatu Kannada Cherukathakal (Malayalam)
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1996) – Kannada Kathanikala Sankalanam (Telugu)[23]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1996) – Ratnakaravarni
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1996) – Sri Rama Sambhava
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2007) – Baligondu Belaku, Ramayanada Drishti
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2007) – Karnatakada Ekikaranada Anubhavagalu
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2008) – Barthruhari Virachitha Vakyapadiyada Sadhana Samudhesha
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2008) – Hoysala Karnataka Rajyothsava Samputa
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2010) – Samskruta Ramayana Natakagallali Patra Vaividhya
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – Nagarasana Karnataka Bagavadgeethe
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2012) – Ramayanada Antaranga
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2008-15) – Hoysala Male (series)


  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1964) – Lindon Johnson Kathe[24]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1965) – Samyuktha Samsthanagallanu Parichaya Madikolli
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1972) – Śaṅkarācārya (original by T M P Mahadevan)[25]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1974) – Kabir
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1985) – Saraladasa
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1980-82) – Idu Namma Bharata
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2005) – Beyond the Known
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2007) – Muddannana Mooru Ramayanagalu

Children's books[edit]

  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1967) – Robinson Crusoe[26]
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1972) – Kavi Janna
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (1975) – Chavundaraya
  • G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – Chinnara Chitra Ramayana[27]


Numerous felicitation volumes have been brought forth in honour of Venkatasubbiah's contribution to the world of Kannada literature and lexicography. In addition to these, various awards have been bestowed upon him. On his 60th birthday, a felicitation volume titled Sahityajeevi was presented to him. Similarly, in his ninetieth year, Shabdasagara was brought forth. In 2011, he was presented with a felicitation volume Vidvajeevita which was a collection of articles authored by writers from South Canara region of Karnataka and edited by Dr. Padekallu Vishnubhatta. To mark his centenary, another felicitation volume titled Shatanamana was presented to him at a gala function at Bangalore. Venkatasubbiah at the age of 102 years was the presiding guest of honour at the book launch of Srikanthayana - collection of writings in English on subjects related to History, Indology and Archaeology by his teacher S. Srikanta Sastri in 2016.

List of awards[edit]

G. Venkatasubbiah being felicitated by L. K. Advani at Bangalore - 2012
  • Vidyalankara – from Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji
  • Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award
  • Rajyotsava Award
  • Karnataka Sahitya Academy Honorary Award
  • Karnataka Ekikarana Prashasthi
  • Shamba Prashasthi
  • Sediyapu Prashasthi
  • Shivaram Karanth Award
  • Press Academy Special Award
  • Aryabhata Award
  • Maasti Award[28]
  • Gorur Award
  • Srikrishna Award
  • Aa Na Kru Prashasthi
  • Alvas Nudisiri
  • Thalthaja Keshavabhattara Smaranartha Keshava Prashasthi
  • Gokak Prashasthi
  • Sri Vanamali Seva Prashasthi
  • K. M. Munshi Award
  • Rotary Pioneer Extraordinary Award
  • Cited at the "First International Lexicographers Meeting" held at the Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu.[7]
  • Paul Harris Fellowship
  • Nadoja Award – Hampi University (D. Litt.)[29]
  • Honorary Doctorate from Rani Chennamma University
  • 77 All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelana Presidency
  • Pampa Award
  • President of India – Oldest Living Achiever and Alumni Honour – University of Mysore Centenary Celebration.[30]
  • Padmashri – 2017[31]

A documentary on Venkatasubbiah was brought out in 2010 by Dharmasthala Manjunatha Dharmothana Trust titled Lipyantara. Gold medals have been instituted in his name at both Mysore and Bangalore Universities. A corpus of rupees one lakh has been set aside, the interest from which is to be given to the student with the best PhD Doctoral Thesis at the Hampi Kannada University.



  1. ^ "Venkatasubbaiah deserves Jnanpith: Haranahalli". The Hindu. 20 January 2003. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b Arun, G. V. (2013). ಕನ್ನಡದ ಅರ್ಥವನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಸಿದ ನಾಡೋಜ ಪ್ರೊ. ಜಿ. ವೆಂಕಟಸುಬ್ಬಯ್ಯ (First ed.). Bangalore: Jwalamukhi Mudranalaya. pp. 1–64.
  3. ^ "Venkatasubbaiah deserves Jnanpith: Haranahalli". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 20 January 2003. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
  4. ^ Sastri, S. Srikanta. "G. Venkatasubbaiah – Dr S. Srikanta Sastri | Official Website". www.srikanta-sastri.org. Website Administrator. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Braille version of dictionary". Online Edition of The Deccan Herald, dated 30 March 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2007.[dead link]
  6. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1996). "Igō Kannaḍa: sāmājika nighaṇṭu". Worldcat. Navakarnāṭaka Prakāśana. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d K. N. Venkatasubba Rao (25 February 2004). "Portraying the life of a lexicographer". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 25 February 2004. Chennai, India. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
  8. ^ a b K. N. Venkatasubba Rao (2 May 2007). "Expert for permanent lexicography section". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 2 May 2007. Chennai, India. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  9. ^ Venkatasubbaiah, G (2013). ಪುರಾಣ ಕಥಾವಳಿಯ ಪ೦ಡಿತ ಜಿ. ತಿಮ್ಮಣ್ಣಯ್ಯನವರು (First ed.). Bangalore: Hoysalamale Sampadaka Mandali. pp. 1–56.
  10. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G; Basavarādhya, N (1 January 1970). "Kannaḍa Sāhitya Pariṣattina Kannaḍa nighaṇṭu". WorldCat. Kannaḍa Sāhitya Pariṣattu. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  11. ^ Narasiṃhācār, Ḍ. L.; Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1971). "Kannaḍa Sāhitya Paris attina Kannaḍa nighaṇṭu /[Di. El. Narasiṃhāchār ... et al.]". WorldCat (in Kannada). Kannaḍa sāhitya Pariṣattu. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  12. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1996). "Igō Kannaḍa: sāmājika nighaṇṭu". WorldCat. Navakarnāṭaka Prakāśana. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  13. ^ Venkatasubbaiah, G (1 January 1966). "Nayasēna". WorldCat (in Kannada). Prasārāṅga, Maisūru Viśvavidyanilaya. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  14. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1957). "Anukalpane: kavi-kāvya vimarśe". WorldCat. Pratibhā Prakaṭaṇa Mandira. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  15. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1978). "Kannaḍa sāhitya naḍedubanda dāri". WorldCat (in Kannada). Aibiec Prakāṣana. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  16. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1999). "Kannaḍavannu uḷisidavaru". WorldCat (in Kannada). Karnāṭaka Sangha. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  17. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 2002). "Iṇuku nōṭa: hosagannaḍadalli halạgannaḍada siri". WorldCat (in Kannada). Vasanta Prakaśana. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  18. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 2008). "Samaya-sandarbha-sannivēśa". WorldCat. Sapna Buk Haus. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  19. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 2010). "Kumāravyāsana antaraṅga: yuddhapañcakadalli". WorldCat. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  20. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1967). "Karṇa karṇāmr̥ta". WorldCat. Kannaḍa Sāhitya Pariṣattu. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  21. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, Gañjām (1 January 1987). "Bhaṇḍāra. 1". WorldCat. Kannaḍa mattu Saṃskr̥ti Nirdēśanālaya. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  22. ^ Veṅkaṭsubbayya, G (1 January 1987). "Muddaṇa bhaṇḍāra". WorldCat (in Kannada). Kannaḍa mattu Saṃskr̥ti Nirdēśanālaya. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  23. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G; Śarmā, Rāmacandra (1 January 1996). "Kannaḍa kathānikala saṃkalanaṃ". WorldCat. Sāhitya Akādemī. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  24. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1967). "Liṇḍan jānsannara kathe". WorldCat. Higgin Bāthams. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  25. ^ Mahadevan, T. M. P (1 January 1972). "Śaṅkarācārya (Translation by G. V.)". WorldCat. Nyāṣanal Buk Ṭrasṭ. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  26. ^ Defoe, Daniel; Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G (1 January 1967). "Rābinsan Krūsō". WorldCat. Karnāṭaka Sahakāri Prakāśana Mandira. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  27. ^ Veṅkaṭasubbayya, G; Pant, Bhawanrao Srinivasrao (1 January 2011). "Ciṇṇara citra Rāmāyaṇa: Bhavānarāva Śrīnivāsarāva ūrpha Bāḷāsāhēba Paṇḍita Pantapratinidhi, saṃthāna aundha, ivaru racisidda citragaḷōḍane". WorldCat. Prisam Buks. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Masti Award". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 26 April 2005. Chennai, India. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  29. ^ "Nadoja Award". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 26 April 2005. Chennai, India. 26 April 2005. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  30. ^ Express, New Indian (28 July 2015). "President of India felicitating G. Venkatasubbiah (2015)". News Reportage (Mysore). New Indian Express Editorial Team. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  31. ^ [[1]]

External links[edit]