Bharatendu Harishchandra – Father of Indian modern Hindi literature and originator of Hindi Prose

Bharatendu Harishchandra was the first creator of modernity in Hindi literature. His original name was Harishchandra and he was later given the title “Bhartendu”.  His tenure stands on the contract of that era. The beginning of modern times in Hindi literature is believed to be that of Bharatendu Harishchandra. Bharatendu, famous as the pioneer of the Indian Renaissance, portrayed the poverty, subjugation, inhuman exploitation of the rulers of the country as the goal of his literature. He used his talent towards establishing Hindi as a National language.

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Bharatendu Harishchandra is said to be the father of Indian modern Hindi literature. Rich in versatility, Bharatenduji brought about fundamental and landmark changes in various fields of literature and gave a new direction to Hindi literature. He was the first creator of modernity in Hindi literature. During his birth and tenure, India was a slave to the British. He set the goal of poverty, subjugation, inhuman exploitation of rulers, in Hindi literature. In Hindi, he made valuable contributions in journalism, drama and poetry. In Hindi, the plays are believed to have started with Bharatendu Harishchandra.

Biography of Bharatendu Harishchandra

Biography of Bharatendu Harishchandra

NameBharatendu Harishchandra[1]
Date of BirthSeptember 9, 1850
Place of BirthVaranasi, Uttar Pradesh
Father’s NameBabu Gopal Chandra
OccupationCreator, writer, journalist
DeathJanuary 6, 1885

Early Life, Family and Education of Bharatendu Harishchandra

Bharatendu Harishchandra, the father of modern Hindi literature, was born on September 9, 1850 into the Agarwal caste in Kashi. His father Babu Gopal Chandra was also a poet. His ancestors were landlords in Bengal. But his childhood was deprived of his parents’ love due to the death of his parents in childhood. Bharatenduji surprised everyone by composing poems at the age of five. He had a high knowledge of Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Parsi, Marathi, Gujarati etc. He received his higher education from Queen’s College, Benares and married at the age of 13. Bharatenduji was very generous by nature. He looted his money in the service of the country, providing financial assistance to Dalits, literary services and the poor. As a result he became indebted and died at the age of 35 due to this concern.

Also Read: Biography of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan

Literary work of Bharatendu Harishchandra

For his literary contribution to Hindi literature it is known as  “Bharatendu Yuga” from 1857 to 1900.

Mahakavi Bharatenduji was characterized by writing poems on divine devotion and ancient subjects as well as poems on new subjects like social reform, patriotism and country’s independence. His literary and innovative ideas attracted all the writers and intellectuals of the time and around him a group of writers full of national sentiments became a group of writers known as “Bharatendu Mandal”.

Bharatenduji mainly composed Hindi plays, essays, poetry compositions and novels. The works written by him are as follows:


‘Vaidika Himsa Na Bhavati’ (1873), ‘Satya Harishchandra’ (1876), ‘Bharat Durdasha’ (1875), ‘Niladevi’ (1881), ‘Andher Nagari’ (1881).


‘Bhakta Savagya’, ‘Prem Malika’ (1872), ‘Prem Madhur’i (1875), ‘Prem Tarang’ (1877), ‘Prem Prakalpa’ (1883), ‘Prem Phulwari (1883), ‘Holi’ (1874), ‘Madhumukul’ (1881), ‘Raga Sangrah’ (1880), ‘Varsha Vinod’ (1880), ‘Vinay Prem Pachasa’ (1881), ‘Phulon Ka Guchchha’ (1882), ‘Chandravali’ (1876), ‘Krishnacharitra’ (1883), ‘Uttarardha Bhaktamal’ (1876-77).

Essay Collection

‘Bharatendu Granthavali’ (1885).


‘Harsha’s Ratnavali’, ‘Vishakhadatta’s Mudrarakshasa’, ‘Ramprasad Sen’s Vidyasundar’, ‘Karpuramanjari’, ‘Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice’ as ‘Durlabh Bandhu (Invaluable Friend)’.

Bharatendu Harishchandra’s prose style resolution

Before Bharatenduji there was no specific form of Hindi prose, there was no prescribed style of prose in Hindi. Bharatenduji took the middle path and presented the Hindustani dialect as the ideal language style of Hindi prose. His style was not full of Arabic-Persian words, or the thrust of Sanskrit words. He used a well-known style that proved to be perfectly suited to the development of Hindi prose literature. In terms of prose, it was a very important task of Bharatenduji to replace Braj Bhasa with a vertical dialect.

The emergence of different prose genres

Bharatenduji’s time was the time for the emergence of Hindi prose literature. He gave birth to various prose genres like drama, essays, stories and biographies in Hindi. He wrote for himself and also inspired others to write. His friends also supported him in the development of Hindi language. Many plays, essays, novels and stories were written during this period. The Hindi literature store was filled with various prose genres during this period. His friends and colleagues became a large community known as “Bharatendu-Mandal”.  That is why Bharatenduji is called the originator of Hindi prose.

Editorial and Journalist

Bharatendu Harishchandra composed poems and edited several magazines. At the age of 18, he published a magazine called ‘Kavi Vachan Sudha’ which published the works of the great scholars of that time.  After that, he came out with ‘Harishchandra Magazine’ in 1873 Harishchandra Patrika and ‘Bal Vodhini’ magazine for women’s education in 1874. Along with these, literary institutions were also created in parallel with them. Under this he established ‘Tadia Samaj’ for Vaishnava Bhakti Prachar and did commendable work in both the native language and literature. During the independence movement, Bharatendu Harishchandraji worked to serve the country in opposition to British rule and he became very popular too. Impressed by his popularity, the Scholars of Kashi gave him the title of ‘Bharatendu’ (Moon of India)  in 1880 in recognition of his services as a writer, patron, and modernist.

Bharatendu Harishchandra’s place in Hindi literature

Bharatenduji has a very important place in modern Hindi literature. Bharatendu owned versatility. His contribution in all fields like poetry, story, drama, novel, essay etc. is unique. Bharatenduji came down in Hindi with the message of ‘Nava Jagran’. He did an important job in the holistic development of Hindi. Incorporating innovation and originality into emotions, languages and styles, he made them in line with modern times. He is considered to be one of the originators of modern Hindi. Hindi plays were also produced by him. Bharatenduji was a literary leader of his time. Many talented writers were born at that time. In the service of mother tongue, he dedicated not only his life but also the entire wealth. Due to these features, Bharatendu Harishchandra became a huge star of Hindi literature and his era became famous as the Bharatendu era.


Bharatendu Harishchandra died on January 6, 1885 at the age of 35 due to ill health and anxiety.


1. When and where was Bharatendu Harishchandra born?

Ans: Bharatendu Harishchandra was born on September 9, 1850 in Kashi.

2. What was the name of Bharatendu Harishchandra’s father?

Ans: Harishchandra’s father’s name was Babu Gopal Chandra.

3. When did Bharatendu Harishchandra died?

Ans: Harishchandra died on January 6, 1885.

4. How old was Harishchandra at the time of his death?

Ans: Harishchandra was 35 years old at the time of his death.

5. Who is the author of “Satya Harishchandra”?

Ans:  The author of “Satya Harishchandra” is Bharatendu Harishchandra.

6. Who is known as the father of modern Hindi literature?

Ans: Bharatendu Harishchandra.

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