Thota Vaikuntam, was born in Burugupalli, in Karimnagar district, Telangana in 1942. He pursued his education from College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad and later studied Painting and Printmaking, in Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, where he was under the tutelage of pioneer artist, K. G. Subramanayan.
Vaikuntam found his muse in the traditionally dressed men and women of his home state of Telangana. His subjects have a dusky skin tone and almond shaped eyes. He focuses on their colourful and detailed traditional attire, big red bindi on the women folk’s foreheads, their golden nose rings and serpentine earrings. Men have a big red tilak on their foreheads and are often seen with a dense moustache. His colour palette is bright and vibrant, just like the cheery nature and exuberant culture of Telangana. Through his paintings, Vaikuntam captures the lifelike vibrancy of the Telangana people.In 1993, Vaikuntam won the National Award, Hyderabad Arts Society Award in 1973 and in 1988 he won the Bharat Bhavan Biennale award. He has exhibited his works in many prestigious shows, including 1972-1990, VII Triennale, India 1991, Asprey’s Auction for Helpage in 1993, Art Encounter, Encounter, Kassel, Germany in 1999, Chamatkara at London and numerous shows in major cities in India.