The 81-year-old artiste, a master playwright, screenwriter, actor, director and a colossus in India's cultural landscape, passed away at his residence in Bengaluru earlier in the day.
Apart from acting in several films in various languages, Karnad also acted in two Malayalam films.
Kerala Minister of Culture and Cinema A.K. Balan said the country has lost one of its most talented and multi-faceted personality and it's going to be an irreparable loss.
"He will be remembered for his overall contribution to the society, be it in the form of theatre, cinema, writings and even in the way he stood up for secularism," said Balan.