Gopalakrishna (1811–1896) was a Tamil poet and a composer of Carnatic music. He wrote a kathakalatchepam , Nandanar Charitram, two other works in this genre, and many independent kritis.
Gopalakrishna Bharathi was born at Narimanam, near Nagapattinam A few years later he moved to Anandathandavapuram village, near Mayavaram where he lived the almost the entire part of his life. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all veena exponents and scholars in Sanskrit. After losing his parents at an early age, he worked as a cook in a temple. He then met Govinda Yati, who taught him Hindu scripture, and then the musician Ramdas, who taught him Hindustani music. Gopalakrishna started his professional career after finding a patron named Annu Iyer.
Gopalakrishna Bharathi composed several kritis on the principles of advaita. Gopalakrishna Bharathi's kritis, portraying several musical facades, were extremely well received by the public and were sung in a number of concerts during his lifetime. This prompted several musicians to approach Gopalakrishna Bharathi. The musicians would express his vision for a new kirtana and Bharathi would always oblige and compose a song to fit the musician's requirement.
Gopalakrishna Bharati used the mudra (signature) Gopalakrishna in his compositions.).
Nandanar Charitram is a kathakalatchepam, a genre of religious story-telling with music that was popular in Tamil Nadu in the 19th and early 20th centuries before the advent of film, especially the talkies. Nandanar Charitram was based on the story of Nandanar.