Nanalal was born on 16th March, 1877. He was the fourth Son of Revabai and Dalpatram Dahyabhai, who himself was a very well-known poet. The family followed Swaminarayan Religion. In 1893 Nanalal went to Vadhavan for studies, his guru was Kashiram Dave. Nanalal passed metric from Ahmedabad. He married at a very young age of 13 years to Manekba. He took History as a main subject in B.A. and passed in 1899. He passed M.A. from Pune in 1901. Nanalal loved to play cricket and was the only Guajarati player in Gujarat College Cricket Team. He started writing poetries since the young age of 15, but never told his father about it, as he was a very shy child.
After passing M.A. Nanalal joined as head master at the princess School at Sadra. After which he joined the Rajkumar College in Rajkot. Soon this young and enterprising poet became the chief Justice of his native state of Rajkot. In 1918 he became the education officer of the whole of Kathiawar under the British Political Agency. In 1919, on the occasion of 50th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Nanalal wrote a poem on Gandhiji and described him as the 'Hermit of Gujarat'. Nanalal became President of Antyuj Parishad in 1919.
When Mahatma Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation movement, Nanalal responded to it by resigning from his government post in 1921, to join it. He was keen to enter politics, but as time passed his beliefs stopped matching Gandhiji's and his followers, hence he gave up the idea and settled in Ahmadabad, deciding to give attention only to his writing.
Nanalal was not only a lyrical poet, but he also wrote a good number of plays and attempted narrative poetry on epic scale. Nanalal also wrote novels, short stories, biographies, essays and criticisms. He wrote more then 80 books. He was a pioneer of modern Guajarati poetry. He was a bold experimenter.
Nanalal expired on 9th January, 1946. On 16 th March 1978, Indian Post & Telegraph Dept. brought out a commemorative postage stamp in the great poets honour.