Famous Personalities of Mangalore Part1

FAMOUS PERSONALITIES of Mangalore (Stars of Mangalore) – Part1

Mangalore has given birth to many heroes who made news in the past and are making news at present. Mangaloreans have achieved excellence in very field be it in Literature, Science, Sports, Medicine, Technology, Entertainment, Banking, Music, Politics, Education or Defense.

Govinda Pai, Poet from Kasargod, Rastra Kavi (1883-1963)

Rashtrakavi, M. Govinda Pai of Manjeshwar, is Kerala’s contribution to Kannada language and literature. Poet, art critic and literature researcher, M. Govinda Pai who has enriched Kannada literature and poetry by his famous works, was conferred the title of poet laureate by the erstwhile Government of Madras, along with Mahakavi Vallathol. He excelled himself as a poet, nationalist, historian, dramatist and linguist. Gommata Jinastuti was the first published work of Govinda Pai. He also introduced the sonnet form in Kannad. His Gilivindu, which literally means “a bunch of parrots”, contains some rare and beautiful gems of Kannada poetry. Govinda Pai also enriched Kannada learning with his historical studies and research. He was an authority on the chronology and history of Tulunad. Govinda Pai was also a prolific prose writer. His earliest composition in prose was Srikrishna Charita (1909) which provides for remarkable reading. His best works written in blank verse, viz., Golgotha (the last days of Christ, published in 1937), Vaisakhi (The last days of Budha, published in 1946) and Hebberaqlu (The Thumb, the story of Ekalavya retold, published in 1946) have won for Govinda Pai a lasting place in the gallery of the greatest poets of Kannada literature. These works also testify to his universal outlook as well as to his deep compassion for the poor and the downtrodden.

Kayyara Kinyanna Rai

Kayyara Kinyanna Rai is a Kannada poet and Indian freedom fighter who was born and resides in the Kasargod district of the state of Kerala, India. He is one of the activists in the forefront of the movement demanding the unification of the Kasargod district of Kerala into the state of Karnataka. Rai was born on March 29, 1915 at Peradala village in the Kasargod district of Kerala to Duggappa Rai (father) and Deyyakka Rai (mother) who belonged to the community of Bunts He published his first handwritten journal, Susheela, at the age of 12. He was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and participated in the freedom movement of India.

Panje Mangesh Rao, Poet from Panje, Mangalore (1874-1937)

Panje is a small village in Mangalore district. Mangesh Rao’s ancestors were from Panje and settled down in Bantwal, a small but culturally active town, which produced a good number of intellectuals at that time. Mangesh Rao was born on 22nd February 1874 of Ramappayya and Seethamma. He was a born poet. From a tender age, he was used to composing songs in Konkani and Kannada, extempore. He entertained his family members, neighbors and villagers who marveled at his soft, melodious voice rendering self composed poems with action. Panje’s Naagara Haave Haavolu Hoove! (Snake Song) continues to regale millions of kids in Kannada primary class. Huttari-Haadu (song of harvest) has attained the glory of national song of Kodava community. He is considered father of modern Kannada short story, essay-form and children’s songs.

Karnad Sadashiv Rao (1881- 1936)

Karnad Sadashiva Rao was born in 1881 in Mangalore, the only son of a rich and leading lawyer Ramachandra Rao and Radhabai. Even as as young boy, he used to give his books to poorer classmates, facing admonishing from his father, who was a strict disciplinarian. He studied at presidency college in Madras and later studied law in Bombay. He played tennis and cricket, and was a member of a elite sports club. He was responsible for building of Congress Party in the state of Karnataka. He organized people moving from town to town, and from village to village, creating awareness of freedom and independence, and spreading the gospel of Sarvodaya. In year 1923, he lost his youngest daughter, the only son, and also his soul-mate Shantabai who had actively supported him in his multifarious activities. A shattered man, Sadashiva went to Ganhiji’s Sabarmati ashram to seek solace, only to respond to distress call from his district, which faced unprecedented deluge and needed immediate relief. He organized relief camps, provided food and shelter from his personal funds. He was a front-level leader in the “No-tax” campaign and the Salt Satyagraha.

Dr Kota Shivaram Karanth, Yakshagana Activists, Poet, Jnaanapeeta award winner (1902 – 1997)

Kota Shivaram Karanth was a major Kannada writer, social activist, environmentalist, Yakshagana artist, movie maker and thinker. He was described as the “finest novelist-activist of modern India” by Ramachandra Guha. He was the third person among seven recipients of Jnanpith Award for Kannada the highest literary honour conferred in India. He was conferred Padma Bhushan by Government of India which later he returned in protest against the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi. Shivaram Karanth was born in Kota in Kundapura taluk of Udupi district of Karnataka to a native Kannada family. Being the fifth child to his parents Shesha Karantha and Lakshmamma, he completed his primary education in Kundapura and Mangalore. Shivaram Karanth was influenced by Gandhi’s principles and took part in Indian Independence movement while he was in college. He left his degree half way to participate in the Non-cooperation movement. He worked for khadi and swadeshi for five years, till about 1927. By that time Karanth had already started writing fiction-detective novels, to begin with as well as plays. He married Leela Karanth when he was well past 30.

Dr Tonse. Madhava. Anantha Pai (T.M.A Pai), Founder of Manipal Academic (1898 – 1979)

Dr. Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai, (abbreviated: Dr. T.M.A. Pai), (April 30, 1898 – May 29, 1979), was an Indian country doctor, educationist, banker and philanthropist, most well known for building the university town of Manipal, Karnataka, India. He was first to a start private, self financing medical college offering MBBS in India. Pai established the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal (KMC) in 1953 and Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957, which was followed by a string of other education institutions including Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI). He also established Syndicate Bank, which has its headquarters in Manipal. He was responsible for its popular Pigmy Deposit Scheme. The Government of India brought out a stamp commemorating Pai on October 9, 1999. Dr Pai has also been recognised by Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the person who has established the most number of education institutions in his lifetime. Dr. T.M.A. Pai has been succeeded by his son Dr Ramdas Pai, who has been instrumental in expanding the horizons of the Manipal Group. He is the present Chancellor of Manipal University, (formerly known as MAHE). From one medical college in 1953, their educational empire has expanded to 24 professional colleges in 12 professional streams with 9 campuses and 2 universities. The Manipal Group has gone global with campuses in Nepal, Malaysia, Dubai, Muscat, Sri Lanka and Antigua. It has its presence in 20 countries.

Dr Marakada Venugopal Shetty, Dr. M. V. Shetty Memorial Trust (1917-1974)

Dr. M.V. Shetty the first F.R.C.S. from South Kanara was born to Dr.Bele Ramanna Shetty and Marakada Girija Shetty on the 6th of October 1917. He has educated at the Ganapathy High School and Government College Mangalore. Dr Shetty passed out his M.B.B.S. and M.S. from the Madras Medical College in the year 1942 and 1946 respectively. The first private surgical nursing home was nevertheless, set up by the daring Dr. Shetty in 1948. Dr.Shetty surged ahead and obtained his F.R.C.S from Edinburg in the year 1955. Distinctive and courageous, Dr. Shetty chose to work and improve his standard of surgery in his own home town and pursued a career as Professor of Surgery at the well known Kasturba Medical College from the year 1956 to 1976. He was also an honorary Medical officer at the surgical unit of the government Wenlock Hospital.

Sri Vaman Srinivas Kudva (V. S. Kudva), was a founder director of the Syndicate Bank. (1899 June 1967 )

Vaman Srinivas Kudva was a founder director of the Syndicate Bank. In 1899, Kudva was born in Mulky. His father Srinivas Ramachandra Kudva owned a small hand loom unit and used to cycle to work, when cars were unknown in Mulky. Brought up in simple surroundings Kudva had his primary school education at Mulky and high school education at Udupi. He took active part in school debates and was a good writer both in English and Kannada. His father shifted to Udupi in 1908 and started a hardware shop, where Kudva spent his spare time. In 1918 he passed the Intermediate exam from the Government College, Mangalore and went to Bombay and joined the Mechanical Engineering Course at the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute, Bombay. After 3 years as a top ranking student, he gave up his studies in response to Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement and returned to Udupi. He worked as a volunteer teacher in a national school started by the Congress Party under Gandhiji’s call to replace English aided schools.

Sri. Ammembal Subba Rao Pai, a philanthropist, Founder of Canara Bank (1852-1909)

Ammembal Subba Rao Pai was a leading lawyer of Mangalore. He was the founder of Canara Bank, now one of India’s leading banks, and Canara High School in Mangalore.

Haji Abdullah Haji Kasim Saheb Bahadur, was founder president of the Corporation Bank.

Haji Abdullah is the founder president of the Corporation Bank. The Canara Banking Corporation Udupi Limited, which was started in Udupi on March 12, 1906, was the first bank to be operated in Dakshina Kannada. When the bank was opened here, Udupi had a total population of just over 7,000 and the bank’s first day’s turnover was 38 rupees, 13 Annas and 2 pies. (A rupee is divided into 16 Anna, an Anna into four-quarter Annas and a quarter Anna into three pies. Thus an Anna was equal to 12 pies and a rupee was equal to 192 pies.)

Shri Suryanarayana Adiga, The founder-chairman of Karnataka Bank (1981 – 1989)

Formerly Chairman of Karnataka Bank Ltd., and Member of Mysore Legislative Council.


Vijay Mallya born in December 18, 1955 is an Indian businessman and Rajya Sabha MP. The son of industrialist Vittal Mallya, he is the Chairman of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines, which draws its name from United Breweries Group’s flagship beer brand, kingfisher. In 2007 Mallya was ranked as the 664th richest person in the world with a net fortune of $1.5 billion. He receives substantial press coverage that focuses on his lavish parties and his yacht, the Indian Empress. Mallya took over as Chairman of the United Breweries Group in 1983. Since then, the group has grown into a multi-national conglomerate of over sixty companies with an annual turnover which has increased by 439% to US$1.2 billion in 1998-1999 . The focal business areas of the group encompass alcoholic beverages, life sciences, engineering, agriculture, chemicals, information technology, aviation and leisure. He owned McDowell Crest, which took loans in crores of rupees from General Public. In May 2007, United Breweries Group announced the all-cash acquisition of scotch whisky maker Whyte & Mackay for 595 million pounds (approximately Rs 4,819 crore). In 2005, Vijay Mallya established Kingfisher Airlines. In a short span of time, Kingfisher Airlines carved a niche for itself. It was the first airline in India to operate with brand new aircraft. It is the first Indian airline to place orders for the Airbus A-380. At present, the airline connects 32 cities.Mallya’s Kingfisher airlines has a 46% stake in Air Deccan, a low cost airline in India. Mallya also owns the East Bengal Football Club in Kolkata

Dr. Veerendra Heggade, Dharmastala, Trustee for various SDM school, colleges and hospitals

Dr. Veerendra Heggade is the son of Shri Ratnavarma Heggade, former Dharmadhikari, was a boy of great dignity and devotion. Mr. Heggade showed great maturity at an early age, a maturity that proved itself when the mantle of Heggadeship (Dharmadhikari) fell on his young shoulders at the tender age of 20. What distinguishes Shri Veerendra Heggade is that while being the head of a revered religious institution, he is, today, far more than that. This has resulted in him being requested to grace a variety of functions and his opinions treated with immense respect. Veerendra Heggade’s first major act since he became Dharmadhikari was to realise his father’s dream by completing the carving and installation of the 39 ft., 170 ton Bahubali statue at Dharmastala.In 1993, during silver jubilee celebrations of his Patthabhisheka, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then President of India, called Veerendra Heggade Rajarshi. He was conferred the prestigious “Padma Bhushan” award instituted by the Government of India from President K R Narayanan in the year 2000 for his social service. The award has been for his services in the fields of education, religion and social welfare.

Daya Nayak

Daya Nayak (A Super Cop) was a sub-inspector with the Mumbai police force. He is said to have eliminated more than eighty gangsters of the Mumbai underworld, acting on tip-offs from a well-developed intelligence gathering network. He is often referred as an “Encounter Specialist” for this reason. Daya Nayak was born in Yennehole village near Karkala in Udupi district of Karnataka. Daya Nayak has helped fund a government school in his hometown in Karnataka.

The Hindi movies “Ab Tak Chhappan” by Ram Gopal Varma and N Chandra’s “Kagaar” and a Kannada film “Encounter Daya Nayak” were made based on his life. The 2007 film Risk by Vishram Sawant, also has overtones from Daya Nayak’s life. To Know more about Daya Nayak visit

Also, see Exclusive Interview with Daya Nayak

Dr. B. R. Shetty : Founder, MD & CEO of NMC

Dr Devi Shetty: Famous Cardaic Specilist, admired in all over India

Shri M.V Kamath

Dr. U.R Ananthamurthy, Literature

Prof. U.R RAO, Scientist- Nuclear Physics (NASA)

Ravi Shastri, Famous cricketer

T Mohandas Pai, CFO Infosys.

Shri Kadri Gopalanath, Karnataka Music on Saxophone

Sri George Fernandes, was a defence minister in the National Democratic Alliance Government (1998-2004).

Sri Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State for Labour and Employment

Sri M Veerappa Moily, was Chief Minister of Karnataka state

Sri Janardan Poojari: Popularly known as “Loan Poojari” was Deputy Finance Minister of India.

Stars of Bollywood, Filmy Industry

Aishwarya Rai

SUNIL SHETTY, Businessman and Bollywood Cine Actor

SHILPA SHETTY, Bollywood Cine Actress


Sneha Ullal: Bollywood film actress.

Deepika Padukone

Dr Girish Karnad, writer, Cine actor, director, Jnanapeeta Award Winner.

Shankarnag (From North Kanara): Was famous Kannada actor and director. His Malgudi Days Serial was very popular.

Prakash Rai

Amita Rao: Indian Model and Bollywood film actress.

Sandeep Chowta: Bollywod Music Director.

Sirish Kunder: Editor, and Bollywod film Director.

Upendra: Famous Kannada Cineactor, popularly known as Uppi.

Gurukiran (Gurukiran Shetty): Famous Kannda movie actor and music director.

Leelavathi, Famous and popular kannada film actress

Kalpana, Famous kannads film actress.

Rohini Hattangadi, Kannada, Hindi film actor. She played the role of Mahatma Gandhi’s wife Kasturba in Gandhi

Guru Dutt: Was an famous Indian film director, producer, and actor.

Muthappa Rai: An Underworld Don born in Puttur, near Mangalore

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