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Sursinhji Gohil 'Kalapi'
Sursinhji Gohil Kalapi.jpg
Sursinhji Gohil "Kalapi"
Native name સુરસિંહજી તખ્તસિંહજી ગોહિલ
Born Sursinhji Takhtasinhji Gohil
(1874-01-26)26 January 1874
Lathi, Amreli
Died 9 June 1900(1900-06-09) (aged 26)
Pen name Kalapi
Occupation poet, writer
Language Gujarati
Nationality Indian
Education Std. 5 (English medium)
Alma mater Rajkumar College, Rajkot
Period pre-independence Gujarati literature
Genres Ghazal, Narrative poetry, Metrical verse
Subjects Love and Spirituality
Notable works
  • Kalapino Kekarav (1903)
  • Kashmirno Pravas (1912)
Years active 1892–1900
  • Rajba a.k.a. Rama (1889–1900)
  • Kesharba a.k.a. Aanandiba (1889–1900)
  • Monghi aka Shobhna (1898–1900)

Official website
Handwriting of Kalapi (A letter, written to Monghi a.k.a. Shobhana

Sursinhji Takhtasinhji Gohil (Gujarati:સુરસિંહજી તખ્તસિંહજી ગોહિલ) (1874–1900), popularly known by his pen name, Kalapi (Gujarati:કલાપી) was a poet and the royal of Lathi state in Gujarat.

He lived in Lathi-Gohilwad, which is located in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.


Rajba a.k.a. Rama
Kesharba a.k.a. Anandiba
Monghi a.k.a. Shobhana

Sursinhji was born to the royal family of Lathi in 1874. His mother's name was Ramba. He had a very short life of 26 years, and died in 1900. He was educated at Rajkumar College, Rajkot. He was married to two princesses. Rajba-Ramaba, the princess of Kutch - Roha, and Kesharba-Anandiba, the Princess of Saurashtra-Kotada at the age of 15. Ramaba was elder to Sursinhji by eight years, while Anandiba was elder to him by two years. When he was 20 years old, he fell in love with Shobhana, who was serving as a maid to his royal family.

It is believed that Kalapi's love for Shobhana became the reason of conflicts with Ramaba, and then the reason for his accidental death due to poisoning by his own wife.[1][2]


In spite of his short life, poet Kalapi's creation was immense and enormous. His creation includes about 250 poems (including 15,000 verses). He has also given a number of prose writings. His 900 letters to his friends and wives brought the facts and truth. He not only used Gujarati language as his medium to elaborate his own creation, but also translated four English novels in Gujarati.

In his relatively short life, he still managed to mentor a minor number of budding poets, who carried on his style of writing, becoming very famous in their own right. The most prominent among these was Kavi Lalitji, who was about the same age as Kalapi, and already an established poet, when he was invited to the Lathi Darbar as a tutor for the Royal children. He came under Kalapi's influence, the two became great friends, and Kavi Lalitji went on to become the Rajya Kavi (Royal Bard) of Lathi.

All of Kalapi's creations, reading, study and achievements were packed by Kavi Lalitji during the period of his age from 16 years to 26 years.

Kavi Kalapi had written poems in various Chhand of Gujarati language. Like Mandakranta, Shardulvikridit, Shikharini etc. To write poem in particular Chhand, one has to follow the structure of that chhand and the rules of chhandas poem. Kavi kalapi is the only poet who has written maximum number of poems in these chhands.

Today, a museum has been set up in the present Lathi town, where visitors can gather more information about Kavi Kalapi's life and the history of Gohilwad Kingdom.

Kalapi award[edit]

In his remembrance, the Indian National Theater, Mumbai gives Kalapi Award to the established Gujarati ghazal poet annually since 1997.

In popular culture[edit]

Kalapi Museum At Lathi

The 1966 Gujarati film, titled "Kalapi" is based on his life, with Sanjeev Kumar playing the titular role, and Padmarani playing the role of his wife, Rama. The film was directed by Manhar Raskapur.[3]


  1. ^ Amaresh Datta (1988). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature. 2. Sahitya Akademi. p. 1436. ISBN 978-81-260-1194-0. 
  2. ^ "Kavi Kalapi's birth anniversary celebrated". The Times of India. Jan 27, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ K. Moti Gokulsing; Wimal Dissanayake (17 April 2013). Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-136-77284-9. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 

Other sources[edit]

  • Milestones in Gujarati Literature by K M Jhaveri.
  • Brahmbhatt, Prasad. (2003) Kavyasarita. (Literary Criticism of the evolution of Poetry). Ahmedabad: Parshwa Publication.
  • Trivedi, Ramesh. M. (1994) Arvachin Gujarati Sahityano Itihaas. (History of Modern Gujarati Literature). Ahmedabad: Adarsh Prakashan.
  • Trivedi, Ramesh. M. (2005) Gujarati Sahityano Itihaas. (History of Gujarati Literature). Ahmedabad: Adarsh Prakashan.

External links[edit]