Shiv Kumar was born on 8 October 1936 in village Bara Pind بڑا پنڈ of Zafarwal Tehsil, Narowal District, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northeastern corner of Punjab. His father was a Patwari by the name of Pandit Krishan Gopal. After the partition his family moved to Batala.
Shiv passed his matriculate exams in 1953, from Punjab University. He went on to enroll in the F.Sc. programme at Baring Union Christian College in Batala. Before completing his degree he moved to S.N. College, Qadian into their Arts program. It is here that he began to sing ghazals and songs for his class-mates. Shiv never gave the final exams he needed to pass to receive his degree.
He is one of the top five modern Punjabi poets. Shiv Kumar Batalvi, the poet, literally dominated poetic gatherings in his short life. But his main fame as a Punjabi Poet. A young man of barely 20 years of age, appeared on the scene of Punjabi poetry in East Punjab. By living a brief and intense life that was devoted to writing deeply profound, passionate and enchantingly lyrical poetic expressions of the pathos of his time, and dying young at the age of 36, a fate that he had predicted and romanticized throughout his poetry, he attained the charisma of a modern day saint and a fallen-hero in the eyes of many of his admirers.
Shiv Kumar will remain as assets even beyond the broders of two countries where Punjab lives on both side. Here a famous poetry of this young person sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
"Mae Ni Mae Mere Geetan De Nenaan Wich Birhon Di Rarrak Paway"
"ماۓ نی ماۓمیرے، گیتاں دے نیناں وچ، برہوں دی رڑک پوے"