Sri K.V. Puttappa (Ku.vem.pu: KuppaLi Venkataiah gowDa Puttappa) was born on 29th December 1904. According to the Hindu lunar almanac that was a Thursday, BahuLa Sapthami (seventh day of waning moon) in the month MArgasheersha of the year KrOdhi. The birth star was Uthara. This happens to be the birth date of Sri MAthe ShAradA DEvi also. In fact, it was a matter of great joy and pride to Puttappa. The boy baby Puttappa was born in the village HirekoDige. This remote village is in Koppa taluk of Chikkamagalur district in the state of Karnataka, South India. What we call as villages at the lap of mighty SahyAdri range of mountains are mostly isolated single houses. HirekoDige is one among them. Later, Seethamma, maiden mother of a boy baby returned to the KuppaLi house with her cradle bound child. Then onwards the KuppaLi house became the house of Puttappa.
Cross the mother (river)Tunga
My village KuppaLi lay
Nine miles away
Not a village, Nay,
For us there
A village meant a house
The KuppaLi house was more affluent and contented than the parental house of Puttappa's mother Seethamma. People respected the KuppaLi house as 'DoDDa Maney' - a mansion- and the family as great people- 'DoDDa Jana'. Rice fields, areca plantations, cattle, workers, the power of 'Patel' hood -it had everything and aplenty.
The nature around the KuppaLi house abounds with richness. This nature has given essential breath to life of Puttappa. That would later blossom into a great poet and nurtured the poet's heart in him.
Though nature bestowed splendour upon KuppaLi, it had cursed the life of commoners with diseases and ignorance. The MalenADu region, it appears, has made good this want by giving birth to Puttappa. It was in the beginning of the twentieth century. Puttappa would become the forerunner among those attempted, in the modern times, to bring scientific approach face to face with the ignorance. For the simple reason of that, Kuvempu stands tall among his contemporary writers.
KuppaLi house is a mansion that looks like a small fortress. A huge front door, massive compound wall and the walls built paying more attention to the endurance than the appearance tell about the need for keeping them so. They have to withstand and survive the torrential rains, the thunderbolts, and the blowing winds.
Kuvempu describes how the house (village) got the name KuppaLi: "As one had to hop his way to reach the house the house got the name KuppaLi". In Kannada, the word KuppaLisu means 'hop'. KuppaLi sits on the lap of MalenADu range of hills. Dense forests crown these hills. A few yards sneak from the house, towards east, takes us to the forest through the hill. Towards north east and south lay hills of great heights that lift the horizon to the mid sky. There are hills toward the west too. But, they are about a mile away. There are patches of forest in between. There is an areca plantation between the KuppaLi house and the eastern hill. Bordering the plantation, there is a tank that belongs to the KuppaLi House. It rests calmly at the foot of the hill. Huge trees, bushes and the bamboo thickets have grown around it.
The balcony of the KuppaLi house opens to the east sky. Though there are windows on walls covering all sides, it is from the balcony that one can see the vast and dense forests and the range of hills in their enchanting beauty.
Just in front of the house, starting from the areca plantation and stretching into the mid sky, lay the steep hill, majestically encircled by dense and ever-new-looking forest. From the backyard it spawns into the sparsely vegetated Kavi Shaila -the pinnacle of the 'poet's hill'. These have breathed, like critical lungs, vital air into the life of what would some day become a great poet. It appears, convincingly, that the destiny would not have created a better canvas for blooming of the bud into flower than this.
[Picked from Shri K. C. Shiva Reddy's book - Ugada Kavi (Poet of the Era). Translated to english by Shri R Vijayaraghavan]