Kota Shivaram Karanth was an Indian polymath, who was a novelist in Kannada language, playwright and an ecological conservationist. Ramachandra Guha called him the “Rabindranath Tagore of Modern India, who has been one of the finest novelists-activists since independence”. He was the third writer to be decorated with the Jnanpith Award for Kannada, the highest literary honor conferred in India.