Kanaka dasa was great poet, philosopher from karnataka.He born in a kuruba(shepherd ) family in 1509 in a village "bada" of Haveri district and lived for 90 years.His father was boregowda and bachchamma.His original name was Thimmappa Nayaka, who was belongs to the warrier community.He found a treasure, so his name renamed to kanaka nayaka(In kannada, kanaka means gold).he worshipped adhikeshava of kaginele village in Haveri district.He bacame follwer of Vyasaraj. Kanakadasa is the foremost among Haridasas. He coveyed dvaita tenets, he preached kindness and equality and criticized superstitions, hollow rituals.
kanakadasa's contribution towards dasa sahithya is tremendous.He is not only poet, but also social reformer, saint, musician and composer. he wrote around 240 karnataka music compositions, which includes keeerthanes,pada, philosophical songs).Most of his compositions have the Mudrika Kagineleyadi Keshava .His writings includes the following collection.
1. Nala Charitre(Story of nala chakravarthi and damayanthi)
4. mohana tarangini and etc....
He used to critisize the untouchability, cast system . one of his poem "Kula Kula Kula vendu hodedhadadhiri" tels people living in society humans not to fight with each other, because every human is born the same way, everyone eats the same food and drinks the same water, so no one on this earth is superior or inferior to each other.
There is a window in krishna temple of Udupi called as "kanakana kindi".where krishna statue is facing the west.