A brilliant student, who graduated in mathematics but chose arts as his playing field, Karnad wrote his first play "Yayati" at the age of 23 in 1961. The family members of late Girish Karnad say that as per the wishes of the writer, there will be no last right rituals. His other acclaimed works include Tughlaq (1964), Hayavadana (1972) and Nagamandala (1988). He played the role of Chandre Gowda, whose third wife Tara uses unconventional methods to ignite sporadic acts of resistance against men. He is also remembered for his role in the TV adaptation, Swami and Friends, based on R K Narayan's stories of the fictitious town of Malgudi.
Girish Karnad in Samskara.More news: Champions League: Tottenham defender Danny Rose reminded of loss to Liverpool
Some of his popular Kannada movies include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Ondanondu Kaladalli, Cheluvi, Kaadu and Kanooru Heggaditi.
After working with the Oxford University Press, Chennai between 1963 and 1970, he resigned to take to full-time writing.
A Rhodes scholar, Mr Karnad debuted in films in 1970 and acted in almost a 100 movies since then.More news: Weather warning for heavy rain and floods in Nottinghamshire
Girish Karnad and Shabana Azmi in Swami.
He also led protests after the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh. Taking to Twitter, he called Karnad's demise the "loss of a cultural ambassador'. Girish ji's views and artistic contribution will be missed by the country".
Following a controversy over Karnataka government's decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti, Karnad had said the 18th century Mysore ruler would have been celebrated as much as Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, had he been a Hindu not Muslim. Karnad, a recipient of Jnanpith Award, was also conferred the Padma Shri in 1974 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992. He made his directorial debut with Vamsha Vriksha (1971) which won him a National Award for Best Direction.More news: Halo Infinite E3 2019 Demo Running On PC, First Next-Gen Showing?
At one of his career achievement award ceremonies, Karnad had aptly summed up his life as a playwright calling theatre "a febrile network of human relationships woven in words".