Harilal Upadhyay was born on the 22nd of January in the year 1916. He was a novelist and a poet in the Gujarati language. He was born in Mota Khijadiya in Gujarat, India. He has written over a hundred books in his career. His father’s name was Jadavji, and his mother’s name was Gangaben. He was born in a Brahmin family. His father was a priest in a nearby temple. He completed his school education by living with his father’s elder brother in Paddhari. His name was Bhavanishankar, and the name of his father’s sister was Dayakunwarben. Then he shifted to Jamnagar to study higher Sanskrit in order to learn new texts and rituals under the guidance of T. Shastri.
He began to write poems while he was studying Sanskrit in Jamnagar. The first poem which he recited on stage was at the age of thirteen. When he was fifteen years of age, a short story written by him named Hridoypalto was published in a popular magazine called Modhbandhu. He wrote another story which got published in a different magazine named Beghari Roj. During the period when he first started writing stories and poems, and his materials started to get published in magazines, he was attached to many bards and folk stories, all traditional. The bard which had influenced him the most was Krishnada.
He returned to his home, but he was not willing to take up priesthood like his father. His uncle was a musician, storyteller, and a traditional material expert. He used to go to the royal courts in many princely states and perform there. So Harilal decided to travel with his uncle to these places and take notes of the folk stories, music, and the incidents that would take place. He met an Indian Freedom fighter while traveling with his uncle and his name was V. Shukla. Inspired by him, Harilal wrote a poem which was five hundred stanzas long.
When Shukla brought this poem, titled Tanya, to Mumbai, the founder of the Janmabhoomi newspaper got impressed with Harilal and invited him to meet him. He then went to Mumbai to publish his first collection of stories names Jeevanchhaya. After this work, he decided to return to his home and write his stories and poems there. Unfortunately, he died on the 15th of January in the year 1994, just at 77 years of age. He has done more than a hundred works in his lifetime.