Shantaveri Gopal Gowda was born on 14th March 1923 in an Araga farming family of Thirthahalli taluk of Shivamogga district. His father was Kolluraiah and mother Seshamman. This couple has three children. The last one was Gopal Gowda. Brother Dharmaiah and elder sister Siddamman. His father Kolluraya, who could read and write, worked as a postman.
Gopal Gowda’s primary education took place in Araga. Couldn’t go to another town for further studies. Along with working as a postman, he also helped Kolluraiah, who kept a small farm, engaged in hard work such as tending cattle, roaming in the wild meadows and fetching green vegetables.
Later he completed his lower secondary examination at Shikaripur. Struggled for freedom, moved to Thirthahalli for high school studies before the prison. As a young student in high school, Gopal Gowda began to show his influence.
During the Quit India Movement of 1942 (due to activities like cutting telegraph wires) he was imprisoned in Shivamogga Jail for several months. In the summer of 1951, landless tenants in Kagodu, a village in Sagar taluk of Shivamogga district, protested against their landlords against tenure rules.
Shantaveri Gopal Gowda was elected from Sagar-Hosanagar (1952) in the first post-independence Legislative Assembly election and later two time win from Thirthahalli (1962 and 1967). His election campaigns, which were always carried out with modest resources borrowed from the common man, had immense local admiration for his courage and charisma, and people supported him beyond their caste and other social dictates.