Balashankar Kantharia was Gujarati poet, He was born on 17-May-1858 at Nadiad, Gujarat. He is also known as father of Gujarati Gazal. It is believed that Kalapi had learned Ghazal poetry from him.
He had studied till the first year of his college. He was polyglot and knew Gujarati, Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Braj and Hindi languages as well as music and archeology. He briefly worked in government service. He managed Bharati Bhusan, Itihas Mala, Krishna Mahoday magazines. He served as an editor of Buddhiprakash magazine briefly. He is considered as the founder of the modern Gujarati poetry and Ghazal. Manilal Dwivedi was his close friend. He considered himself as a follower of Dalpatram and was expert in poetry in Shikharini metre.
Kalant Kavi, Bal were his pen names. He is credited for bringing Persian style poetry such as Ghazal in Gujarati literature. Kalant Kavi and Hariprem Panchdashi are his collections of poetry. He had translated Karpuramañjari by Rajasekhara, M?cchakatika and Sufi Ghazals of Hafez in Gujarati. "Gujare Je Shire Tare" is his popular ghazal poetry composed in Bah’r Hazaj Saalim metre.
He died on 1-April-1898 at Vadodara, Gujarat