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Maasthi Venkatesa Iyengar
Venkatesh Iyengar.jpg
Born (1891-06-06)6 June 1891
Hongenahalli, Malur taluk, Kolar district, Mysore State, British India
Died 6 June 1986(1986-06-06) (aged 95)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Pen name Srinivasa, Maasti
Occupation District Commissioner, professor, writer
Nationality India
Genre Fiction
Subject Kannada literature
Literary movement Kannada literature Navodaya (New birth)Navodaya

Maasthi Venkatesa Iyengar (6 June 1891 – 6 June 1986) was a well-known writer in Kannada language. He was the fourth among Kannada writers to be honored with the Jnanpith Award,[1] the highest literary honor conferred in India.[2] He was popularly referred to as Maasti Kannadada Aasti which means Maasti is Kannada's Treasure. He is most renowned for his short stories. He wrote under the pen name Srinivasa. He was honoured with the title Rajasevasakta by then Maharaja of Mysore Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadeyar.

Early life and education[edit]

Maasti was born in 1891, at Hosahalli in Kolar district of Karnataka in a Tamil speaking Sri Vaishnavaite family. He spent his early childhood in Maasti village. He obtained a master's degree in English literature (Arts) in 1914 from Madras University.[3] After joining the Indian Civil Service (Known as the Mysore Civil Service in the days of the Maharaja of Mysore), he held various positions of responsibility in different parts of Karnataka, rising to the rank of District Commissioner. After 26 years of service, he resigned in 1943, as a protest when he did not get the post equivalent to a Minister, which he deserved and a junior was promoted ahead of him.[3] He wrote some pieces in English and then switched over to write in Kannada language.[3] He used pen name Srinivasa to write short stories and novels in Kannada.[4]


He published his first work Rangana Maduve in 1910 and his last work is Maatugara Ramanna (1985).[4] His Kelavu Sanna Kategalu (Some Short Stories) was the first noted work in the modern Kannada literature. Maasti also crafted a number poems on various philosophic, aesthetic and social themes. He composed and translated several important plays. He was the editor of monthly journal Jivana (Life) from 1944 to 1965.

A prolific writer, he wrote more than 123 books in Kannada[4] and 17 in English, for over seventy years. He won the Jnanpith Award in 1983 for his novel Chikkavira Rajendra. The story was about the last Raja of Kodagu.

He died on his 95th birthday in 1986.[citation needed] Since 1993, an award in his name, "Masti Venkatesha Iyangar Award" is awarded to well-known writers of Karnataka.[5] His house located in Basavanagudi area, Bangalore is converted as a museum and maintained by Masti Venkatesha Iyangar Jeevana Karyalaya Trust.[6] His house located in Maasti village, Malur Taluk (Kolar District) is converted as library and maintained by Departments of Government of Karnataka.[7] Masti Residential School was started in memory of Masti Venkatesha Iyangar during 2006–07, at Masti village, Malur Taluk by Government of Karnataka.[8]



  • Shri Rama Pattabisheka (Coronation of Shri Ram)


Stories and Anthologies

  • Kelavu Sanna Kathegalu (Some Short Stories)
  • 100 Short stories in a number of volumes


  • Kakanakote
  • Manjule
  • Yashodhara
  • Bhattara Magalu
  • Shanthaa


  • Bhaava (Three Volumes)


  • Subbanna (1928)
  • Sheshamma (1976)
  • Shanta (1923)
  • Talikoti (1929)
  • Yashodhara(1933)
  • Kannadad Seve(1930)
  • Arun (1924)
  • Tavare(1930)
  • Sankranti (1969)


  1. ^ "Jnanapeeth Awards". Ekavi. Retrieved 31 October 2006. 
  2. ^ "Jnanpith Laureates Official listings". Jnanpith Website. 
  3. ^ a b c Ramachandra Sharama Ed., Masti Venkatesha Iyengar (2004). Masti. New Delhi: Katha. ISBN 9788187649502. 
  4. ^ a b c "Man of letters". The Hindu. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Masti Venkatesh Iyengar Award presented to Nisar Ahmed". The Hindu. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Garbage doesn't spare even Masti's house". The Hindu. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Jnanpith writer Masti's house made into a library". Deccan Herald. 16 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Masti school bereft of building, staff". Deccan Herald. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masti_Venkatesha_Iyengar — Please support Wikipedia.
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52 news items

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 20:24:34 -0800

The government's ambitious plan to develop the birthplaces of three important Kannada writers — Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, Da. Ra. Bendre and G.S. Shivarudrappa — is yet to take off, even though Rs. 1 crore was set aside in the previous budget for this.

Business Standard

Business Standard
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 05:07:30 -0800

“The place was founded in 1943 and literary figures like D V Gundappa and Masti Venkatesha Iyengar would frequent it. I want to recreate that time. I'm working on a semi-scripted conversation between six of these greats,” she shares. While she rejoices ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 11 Jun 2015 06:07:30 -0700

After his demise in 1986, an award Masti Venkatesha Iyengar Award has been instituted in his name. The Masti Venkatesh Iyengar Prashathi Samiti and the Dr. Masti Trust, Kolar, now in its 23rd year, gives this year's Masti awards to Prof. Sha. Shettar ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:41:58 -0700

... K.M. Munshi, K.M. Panikkar, D.V. Gundappa, Humayun Kabir, Suniti Kumar Chatterji, Vallathol Narayana Menon, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, Mahadevi Varma, Zakir Hussain, Ramdhari Singh Dinakar, Nilmani Phukan, and Rajsekhar Bose, among others.

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:37:30 -0700

Ultimately, Nanji-Ratna's love becomes a metaphor for a common man's dream. The play will be screened on Wednesday. Kaakana Kote, written by Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, is regarded as one of the greatest Kannada plays. It revolves around the revolt of a ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 09 Jul 2015 07:26:15 -0700

In 1951, Rao began to serialise his memoir in a Kannada literary magazine edited by Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, whom he counted as a close friend. The English version that we have here is a rendition of this Kannada memoir by two of his grandchildren: ...

Deccan Herald

Deccan Herald
Wed, 08 Apr 2015 09:56:04 -0700

Incidentally, even now one can see the residence of Dr Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, the Jnanapeeta Award winner on the same road, the house retaining the age-old architecture. Three generations were lined up in the photograph to mark the occasion.

Deccan Herald

Deccan Herald
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 11:33:45 -0700

My father, with the help of Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, the famous Kannada writer who was the publisher of the book, was able to supply the information lost in the fire. In my eighties now, I take care of the shop with the help of my son. I have no ...

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