Suryakant Tripathi “Nirala” – Indian Poet of Shadowy Era who is known as Nirala

Suryakant Tripathi was a famous Hindi poet. He was known as “Nirala.” He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1955 for his contribution to Hindi literature. A new research institute named Suryakant Tripathi Nirala National Committee has been named after him.

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Tripathi was one of the four main pillars of literary shadowism. That is, he was an important shadow era poet of Hindi literature. He was a writer, storyteller, poet, novelist, essayist and editor. He also made several sketches. Tripathi is considered to be the father of progressist, experimentalism and new poems.

Biography of Suryakant Tripathi Nirala

Biogeraphy of Suryakant Tripathi

NameSuryakant Tripathi[1]
Pen NameNirala
Date of BirthFebruary 21, 1897
Place of BirthMidnapore, Bengal, British India
Father’s NamePandit Ramsahaya Tripathi
DeathOctober 15, 1961

Early Life and Education of Suryakant Tripathi

Suryakant Tripathi was born on February 21, 1897 in Medinipur in Bengal, India. He belonged to a humble family of farmers. He had to stop schooling to support his family. His father Pandit Ramsahaya Tripathi was a government servant and was a tyrannical person. His mother died when he was three years old and his father died when he was twenty.  At a very young age, he started working as a farmer. His early education was through Bengali medium from Mahishadal Raj High School at Mahishadal village, Medinipur. He passed the high school examination, after which he studied Sanskrit, Hindi and English literature at home. After some time, he came to his village Gadhakola of Unnao district, to which his father originally belonged. Growing up, he gained inspiration from personalities like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, and Rabindranath Tagore. Feeling his keen interest in poetry, his uncle encouraged him to develop his skills at the same time. Tripathi started writing poems at the age of 15 and won several poetry competitions at the district and state levels. In 1920, he received the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for his poem’s magnum opus collection ‘August’. He got married to Manohara Devi at the age of fifteen. But his wife also died when he was 22.

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Marriage life of Suryakant Tripathi

Suryakant Tripathi Niralaji got married at the age of 15. Nirala was married to the daughter of a Pandit family. Nirala’s wife’s name was Manohara Devi.

Tripathi’s wife Manohara Devi was a beautiful and educated woman. Suryakant Tripathi’s wife has a very keen interest in music.

Nirala’s wife Manohara Devi taught Hindi to him. After that, Tripathi started writing his works in Hindi. Tripathi started spending his life very happily after marriage. But his happiness was quickly taken away, because his wife died when he was 22, and later his daughter who was a widow also expired. Nirala lost half of his family, including his wife and daughter, in the 1918 Spanish flu influenza outbreak.

Then, he started to fight the economic slowdown again. Suryakant Tripathi Nirala also worked as a reader and editor of various publishers to overcome his economic slowdown. Most of his life was somewhat in the bohemian tradition. He wrote strongly against social injustice and exploitation in society.

Work life of Suryakant Tripathi

Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ first took up a job in 1918 in the state of Mahishadal, where he worked till 1922. He served from 1918 to 1922. Then towards Independent Writing and then moved towards translation work. He edited ‘Coordination’ published from Kolkata from 1922 to 1923. He was then posted at the Ganga Book Garland office in Lucknow where he was associated with “Sudha”, the company’s monthly magazine, till mid-1935. He spent some time in Lucknow from 1935 to 1940. After that, he lived in Allahabad from 1942 till his death and worked in independent writing and translation. His first poem, ‘Janmabhoomi Prabha’, published in June 1920. In October 1920, the monthly magazine Saraswati was published.

Unlike other poets of his contemporaries, he has resorted to imagination in poetry and portrayed reality significantly. Many of Nirala’s poems were translated by David Rubin. Nirala: Atmahanta Astha was a critical analysis of his works written by Doodhnath Singh.

Literary life and Poetic Career of Suryakant Tripathi

Suryakant Tripathi is a critically acclaimed Hindi writer who has written more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction books. His work has been translated into many languages, and he has won numerous awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award, Vyas Samman and The Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary honour. Tripathi’s fantasy story lies in the daily lives of the villagers of India. His Nonfiction often explores the junction of Indian culture and history with the modern world. Suryakant Tripathi’s writings distinguished by its lyrical prose, intense insight and moral clarity.

Nirala wrote many poems, articles, novels and stories in Hindi and his first poem ‘Janmabhoomi’ was published in the magazine of that time “Prabha” in 1920. Then, in 1923, the first poetry collection ‘Anamika’ and the first article ‘Pronunciation of Bengali Language’ were published in monthly magazines. He has resorted to imagination in poetry other than his contemporary poets and portrays reality seriously.

His poems have a plurality of subject diversity and innovative experiments. His poems depict mysticism, love of race, love for nature, rebellion against racial differences, sympathy for Dalits and the poor, and sarcasm for hypocrisy and display. He emphasized the dialect of Hindi in his works. The language of his poetry, the solidarity found in the genre are the main features of his poetry. Suryakant Tripathi Nirala rarely accommodated fictional events in his poems, he shows the importance of truth in his poems.

Compositions of Suryakant Tripathi


Ram Ki Shakti Puja, Dhwani, Apara, Saroj Smriti, Parimal, Priyatam, Anamika, Geetika, Adima, Naye Patte, Geet Gunj, Aradhana, Tulsidas, Janmabhoomi, Jago Phir Ek Bar, Bhikshuk, Todti Patthar.


Apsara, Alka, Prabhavati, Nirupama, Chameli, Choti ki Pakad, Indulekha, Kale Karname

Stories Collections

Chhaturi Chamar, Sukul ki Biwi, Sakhi, Lily, Devi

Essay Collections

Prabandha-Parichaya, Bangbhasha ka Uchcharan, Ravindra-Kavita-Kannan, Prabandh-Pratima, Chabuk, Chayan, Sangraha


Kullibhat, Billesur Bakriha


Anana Math, Krishnakant ka Vil, Kapal Kundala, Durgesh Nandini, Raj Singh, Devi Chaudharani, Rajni, Sri Ramkrishna Vachnamrit, Bharat Mein Vivekanand, Rajyog

Award and Achievements

Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ was posthumously conferred with India’s prestigious honour “Padma Bhushan”.


The last part of the life of Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, the leading poet of the shadowy era of Hindi literature, was spent in a small room in Daraganj area of Prayagraj. Suryakant Tripathi Nirala died in this room on October 15, 1961.


1. When and where was Suryakant Tripathi Niralaji born?

Ans: Tripathi was born on February 21, 1897 in the royal state of Bengal.

2. What is Suryakant Tripathi’s Pen name?

Ans: Nirala.

3. When did Suryakant Tripathi Niralaji first edited the magazine?

Ans: Suryakant Tripathi Niralaji first edited the magazine in 1920.

4. Suryakant Tripathi Niralaji edited which monthly magazine?

Ans: The monthly magazine edited by Suryakant Tripathi Niralaji was called Saraswati Patrika.

5. When did Suryakant Tripathi Niralaji died?

Ans: He died on October 15, 1961.

6. What are the poems written by Suryakant Tripathi?

Ans: Poems written by Suryakant Tripathi are – Ram Ki Shakti Puja, Dhwani, Apara, Saroj Smriti, Parimal, Priyatam, Anamika, Geetika, Adima, Naye Patte, Geet Gunj, Aradhana, Tulsidas, Janmabhoomi, Jago Phir Ek Bar, Bhikshuk, Todti Patthar.

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