The Namboothiri community, by virtue of their extra-ordinary intellectual prowess, inherent nobility of character, simple living and high thinking, refined sense of humour and scholarship in several disciplines, commanded respect in the society. They occupied the top position in the social hierarchy. The contribution of Namboothiris to Malayalam literature as well as other branches of knowledge is unmatched by any other community of Kerala. They were pathfinders in many fields like philosophy, astrology, architecture, mathematics, grammar, etc. The dominant sway of the Namboothiris lasted till the 19th century when modern English education was introduced throughout the state. It is proposed to deal with the contribution of Namboothiris, broadly classifying them into three periods, (A) Ancient - meaning from the earliest to about 18th century AD; (B) Medieval - from 18th and 19th centuries; and (C) Modern - meaning from the start of the 20th century to date.

(A) Ancient Period
Tholan is admittedly the first Namboothiri poet of Malayalam. According to the legend he was the originator of what is called "Manipravaalam", an unique poetic style, an admixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam words. He was a court poet and jester of Kulasekhara (Click here to know more about Kulasekhara), and parodied the original Sanskrit "Slokams" in Malayalam. He is also reputed to have enacted the role of Sakunthala and lampooned the original play written by his master. Kunhikuttan Thampuran is of the opinion that his name was Neelakandhan. According to Ulloor, ‘Tholan’ is a derivative of the word Athulan meaning peerless. He is believed to have been born in the 9th century AD at a place near Adoor. He lampooned the idiosyncrasies and idiocies of Malayalam poetic style of that age. His greatest contribution is the systematisation and codification of rules regarding the presentation of Koodiyattam and Koothu. He is considered the author of the manuals of acting ("Aattaprakaarams") of several plays in Koodiyaattam.
Cherussery Namboodiri is believed to have lived between 1375 and 1475 AD. Cherussery is the name of his ancestral Illam (home). He was born in Kaanathoor village in Kolathunadu in Kannur Dist. in north Malabar. Many scholars think he is none other than Punathil Sankaran Namboodiri. He was a court poet and dependent of Udayavarma Raja of Kolathunadu. His masterpiece is "Krishnagaathha" a long poem of epical dimensions written at the behest of the Raja. It is the first "Mahaakaavyam" in Malayalam. Udayavarma rewarded him with "Veerasrimkhala" and other honours. Some scholars think that he also wrote "Cherussery Bhaaratham". Cherussery is the originator of the "Gaathha" style of poetry in Malayalam. "Krishnagaathha" is the detailed description of the boyhood pranks of Lord Krishna based on the 10th canto of "Srimad Bhaagavatham".
Poonthaanam is undoubtedly the first Malayalam poet who made poetry an effective medium of self-expression. Even though it may sound anachronistic, it can be safely and truly said that he is the first "romantic" poet of Malayalam. He is believed to be anterior to Ezhuthachhan, considered the father of Modern Malayalam poetic style. Poonthaanam's "Jnaanappaana" (song of wisdom) is the best example of emotion recollected in tranquility. It is the out-pourings of his mournful sentiments at the loss of his only son barely six months old, who was born in his old age. It is the most evocative, forceful, simple, natural, elegiac poem in Malayalam. Considered one of the pioneering devotional poets of Malayalam, Poonthaanam has got some unique distinctions. He is a poet of national vision and outlook. He sees "Bhaarath" (India) as an entity. He is also a strong critic of his contemporary society. In this respect he resembles another devotional poet Kabir. Jnaanappaana is the best example of the principle that everything great will be utterly simple. He is also the author of "Santhaana Gopaalam Paana" and several devotional poems like "Ghanasamgham", "Sreekrishna Karnaamritam", "Aanandaamritham", "Noottettu Hari", etc. He was an ardent devotee of Guvuvaayoorappan, and a contemporary of Melputhur Narayana Bhattathiri, author of "Naaraayaneeyam".
Punam Namboodiri, who lived between 1425 and 1505, was born in Kaanathur in Kannur Dist. Many believe that he is none other than Ponathil Kunhi Nambidi. He was an honoured member of the court of the Zamorin of Calicut. He was the only Malayalam poet well known as "Arakkavi" (half poet or royal poet) in the court of Maanavikraman who had a royal court of eighteen (and a half) scholars and poets [click here for "Pathinettara (18 ½) Kavikal"]. He had according to legend, close relations with a prostitute called Maaralekha, as stated in "Chandrolsavam". He wrote both in Sanskrit and Malayalam.
His main work which can be described as his magnum opus is the "Raamaayana Champu" and doubtfully "Bhaaratha Champu" and also several Muktakams.
There are more than one poet belonging to Mazhamangalam Illam. The most famous one, Narayanan Namboodiri (1525-1595) was a well-known scholar-poet and author of almost a dozen books. His Illam is In Peruvanam, Cherpu near Thrissur. He learned
three Vedams and six Sasthrams from the Chola Kingdom, according to legend. He was a priest of the famous Paramekkavu Temple, Thrissur. But he was an ardent devotee of the goddess of Oorakam temple and a loyal servant of the Maharaja of Kochi. He was also well-known as an eminent astrologer. He died in 1595.

His main works are "Naishadham", "Rajarathnaavaleeyam", "Kotiyaviraham", "Baanayudhham" and "Raasakreeda", all Champus and four Braahmani songs like "Thiruvritham", "Daarika vadham", etc. and also some works in Sanskrit.

He is the father of Mazhamangalam Narayanan Namboodiri. He lived between 1494 and 1575. He spent most of his active life in Chengannoor as a disciple of Maveli Potti. He was the author of dozen books of technical nature like "Panchabodham", "Panchabodhaarthha Darpanam", "Bhaashaa Sangraham", "Muhoortha Padavi", etc.
Believed to have been lived between 1625 - 1725. His native place was Perumanoor, Kozhikode district. His "Guru" (teacher) was Mangalassery Damodaran Namboodiri. His fame mainly rests as an outstanding astrologer. He is the author of "Bhadradeepam" a book on Astrology.

He belonged to the well known Nambudiri house of Kirangatt Mana near Cherpu, Thrissur and is believed to have lived between 1625 and 1725. His main works are "Shodasa Kriya Kaarika" and "Aasoucha Keli" (Manipravaalam).
A scholarly poet believed to have born between 1625 and 1725 in the Kaadanchery Mana in South Malabar. He is the author of "Maamaamkodhhaaranam Kilippaattu".
Chelaparambu Namboodiri (between 1690 and 1780) was a highly talented poet who can be described as the morning star of a new poetic movement in Malayalam called "Venmani movement". He introduced a refreshingly simple and natural poetic diction in place of Sanskritised "Manipravaalam" on the one hand and pure Malayalam songs on the other. His style symbolized the best in both the styles. His poetry took incidents and experiences of his own life instead of puranic episodes as their theme. In this respect also it was a harbinger of Venmani movement of the 19th century.
Unfortunately we have got only some "Muktakams" or single "Slokams" in Malayalam and Sanskrit composed by him. A study of these verses prove him to be an important milestone in the development of Malayalam poetry towards romanticism. Just like
Poonthaanam, he also gave expression to this inner feelings through his poems. According to the legend he merged with the Guruvaayoorappan while prostrating before Him.


There were two Namboodiri poets belonging to Poonthottam Illam - father and son. But normally we refer to the senior poet by this name. He was Parameswaran Namboodiri born in 1821 in Killikkurissimangalam, Palakkad district. He was a close friend and associate of Venmani Achhan Namboothiripad with whom he went to Kodungalloor and stayed there.
He was a highly talented poet of refined sense of humour and simple forceful diction. His poetry is also characterised by amazing flights of fancy and imagination. He has written several books of which we have got only a few like "Ambareesha Charitham" (Ottan Thullal), "Kaalakeya Vadham" Seethankan Thullal), "Syamanthakam" (Aattakkathha) and a few "Muktakams".He had eight children of whom his son, Damodaran Namboodiri, was also a gifted poet. He died in 1865.


He was born in 1857. Like his father Paramesawan Namboodiri, he was also an outstanding poet of Venmani movement. He was the author of several Malayalam poems like "Thaarakaasura Vadham", "Raajasooyam", "Kuchelavritham", "Guruvaayupura Maahaatmyam", etc. He died in 1946.

(B) Medieval Period
As far as can be ascertained Vishnu Nambudiripad is the first known poet of the celebrated Venmani family which is in Vellarappilly, north of the Periyar river. The exact dates of his birth and death are not known. He was a highly talented poet but was involved in religious, philosophical and spiritual pursuits. He was the paternal uncle (father’s younger brother or Apphan) of Venmani Achhan Nambudiripad. His poems do not have the typical stamp of the Venmani School of poetry. His is the author of 1. Ganapath Praathal, 2. Raghuvamsam, 3. Samsariyute Paaraavasyam and some other minor works. The most well known among his poetic output is the Slokam starting "Choodaykil Thulaseedalam Yamabhata Thallinnu Chootayvarum".
He was born in the well-known Purayannur Mana in Palakkad district, in 1775. He is the author of the legendary "Bhaagavatham Dasamam Kilippaattu". Very little is known about the life-history of Parameswaran Nambudiripad. He was a profound scholar who also wrote a masterly commentary called "Varadeepika" to the celebrated text of horoscope, "Muhoorthapadavi" of Mathur Nambudiripad. His Dasamam is noted by the simplicity of style, because it was written for the ladies for their daily recitation. He is also believed to have written another Kilippaattu called "Kusalavopaakhyaanam" which is also equally beautiful. He followed the footsteps of Ezhuthachhan, father of the Kilippaattu movement.
There were two well-known poets belonging to Etavattikkaad Illam in Kunnathunad, Ernakulam district. Narayanan (Anujan) Namboodiri was the famous poet while his elder brother, Thuppan Namboodiri was a great astrologer and magician. Both were educated in Vedam. Even in those days, Narayanan alias Anujan used to write witty and humerous poems. After Vedic studies, he and his brother went to Akavoor Nambudiripad who advised them to go back and study Tharkam (logic) and other Saasthrams, and they obeyed it. Both of them earned the respect of everybody - one as a divine scholar and the other as a highly-gifted poet. Thuppan Namboodiri married a Varier girl in Vellarappilly in Ernakulam district and was highly enamoured by her. Ridiculing him for this indulgence, the elder brother wrote a sarcastic two-liner of a Slokam on the wall of the village temple. Anujan on seeing this, wrote another couplet completing it, the next day, earning the appreciation of his elder brother. These brothers were called "Budhan" and "Sukran". Narayanan Namboodiri is believed to have died in 1815.
We have got two Sanskrit "Champoos" by Narayanan Namboodiri : 1. "Rugmaangada Charitham", and 2. "Rugmineeswayamvaram". Both these are marked by high degree of literary finesse. It is said that Narayanan also wrote an Aattakkathha ( Kathhakali play ) called "Vaisaakhapuraanam" while Thuppan reportedly wrote "Baanayudhham" Aattakkathha.
Achhan (Parameswaran) Nambudiripad of Venmani Illam was the most revered poet of the age. It was he who prepared the ground for the birth and growth of the poetic movement called Venmani movement (Prasthhaanam) which brought about a thorough, revolutionary transformation both in content and form - mainly in diction and style - of Malayalam poetry. Rare indeed is the instance of an epoch -making literary movement named after a poet. His paternal uncle Vishnu Nambudiripad was also a well-known poet.

Achhan Nambudiripad who was born in 1817 carefully studied the poetic trends and styles, which were in vogue till his time. He evolved an utterly simple poetic style, which the common people understood and appreciated. He married Sreedevi of Polpaya Mana and another girl from the Kodungalloor Royal Palace. He advised his sons, the celebrated poetic duo Venmani Mahan (son) and Kunhikuttan Thampuraan to write only in the Language we speak, whatever be the topic and theme. He was extremely fortunate to see the poetic movement of his dreams grow into a huge tree bearing sweet fruits. It is our misfortune that we have got only a small portion of his poetic output. None of his poems was printed and published in his lifetime. Still they were very popular and people knew them by-heart. Such was the intimate and direct appeal of those poems. He died in 1890.
He was the initiator of two new poetic forms:
(a) A long narrative or descriptive poem or travelogue addressing one’s own beloved.
(b) Letter-writing in verse.
These two poetic forms became very popular among the poets and the reading public. In short, Venmani can, in every sense, be described as a trend-setter in Malayalam poetry. Venmani movement is next only to the "Kilippaattu" movement started by Ezhuthachhan in the matter of influence on the development of later poetry.
He was born in the legendary Akavoor Mana, near Aluva in 1837. His "Ammaathu" (mother’s house) was Kizhekke Polpakkara Mana, Edapal. He married from Puliyannoor Mana in which wedlock he had four sons and one daughter. He was called "Valiya Thampuraan" and respected by one and all. He never touched money with his hands. He was a great scholar, poet, well-versed in the Puraanams, an expert connoisseur of Kathhakali, music and other fine arts. He was the author of about a dozen Kathhakali plays all of which were staged under the auspices of Akavoor Kali Yogam. He was a great patron of Arts and Artists. It was he who started the famous Akavoor Kali Yogam. He died in 1899.
Two of his Aattakkathhaas, "Devayaani Charitham" and "Aswamedham" were published by the Kerala University in the volume called "Unpublished Aattakathhaas". Both were written about 1894. Another Aattakathha "Paathaalavijayam" was staged in Delhi by the International Centre for Kathhakali. His Aattakkathhaas are : (1) Devayaani Charitham, (2) Devayaani Parinayam, (3) Doothavaakyam, (4) Yayaathi Saapamoksham, (5) Pattaabhishekam, (6) Khaandavadaaham, (7) Paathaalavijayam, (8) Raajasooyam, (9) Aswamedham, (10) Shatamukha Vadham, and (11) Nahusha Vijayam (apart from other devotional poems).
His real name was Sankaran but was called by his family title of Aryan Narayanan. He was born in 1841 in Vayaskara Illam near Kottayam. He earned sound knowledge of Sanskrit and Aayurvedam in his boyhood. He started Aayurvedic practice before he attended majority because he became thorough with the theory and practice. He married from Thaikkatt Mooss family near Thrissur in which he had three sons and three daughters. But he lost all the sons and one daughter in their infancy and lost his wife also in 1882. In his second marriage he had three sons. He died in 1902.
He was a great friend and benefactor of scholars and poets. Venmani Mahan was his bosom friend. Many were the poets who were his admirers. His main works are: (a) Sanskrit - 1. Sayana Sandesam (a humourous poem); 2. Nakshathra Vrithaavali; 3. Saasthrasthuti; (b) Malayalam - 1. Vaishaakhamaahatmyam; 2. Duryodhana Vadham (both Aattakathaas, the later being the most popular on the stage); 3. Mohini Mohanam; 4. Raavanaarjunam and Manorama Vijayam (all plays). He has also translated the Niranunaasika Prabandham of Melpathur which is a masterpiece because the translated version also without moral characters.
Like Venmani Achhan, Achhan (Diwakaran) Namboodiri of Naduvam Illam near Chalakkudi, Thrissur Dist., was also a very senior and respected poet of the times. His contemporaries considered him a preceptor and Guru. Born in 1841, his adviser and guide in matters of poetry was Poonthottam Achhan Namboodiri. He learned Sanskrit and Ayurvedam. But due to the utter poverty at home, he could not continue his education. He had two sons and a daughter. The eldest son Narayanan was none other than the highly gifted and well-known poet Naduvath Mahan (1868-1944). His wife became seriously ill in 1865 and was under treatment of Thaikatt Narayanan Mooss. This was a blessing in disguise for him since he got an opportunity to learn Ayuvedam from Mooss and later become a good Ayurvedic physician of repute.
But real tragedy struck him in the form of the death of his near ones, one by one. In 1875 he lost his brother and brother’s son. His Illam was completely burnt down. And in 1890 he lost his dear son, Sankaran at the young age of 23 and in 1904 his daughter drowned in the river. He wrote a few heartrending lines and sent them to Kerala Chandrika and Malayala Manorama. This is a very significant poem since it is the first elegy in Malayalam. He suffered a wound in his foot in 1910, which was healed after long and expert treatment. All the 31 well known poets of Malayalam wrote prayers in poetry for his cure. This is called "Arogyasthavam". But in 1913 he breathed his last at peace with himself and in practically good health.

His main works are (a) Ambopadesam, (b) Bhagavalstuthi (in atonement), (c) Bhagavad Doothu (drama) which is undoubtedly his master-piece, (d) Sringeri Yaathra (a travelogue in verse) (e) AshtamiYaathra (another travelogue in verse), (f) Aarogyasthavam and many other incomplete works and minor works including letters in verse.
His poetry is characterised by serenity and purity of thought, chastity of style, and undercurrent of pathos, natural simplicity and intimacy of expression and a high degree of refinement.
He is best known as the author of one of the most popular Aattakathaas, "Kuchelavritham, though he has written other works also.
He was born in 1843 in Muringoor Madham of Thiruvalla. He lost both his parents early in life. According to his own admission, he learnt Sanskrit from his Guru called Narayanan. Though he married, he had no issues. He died in 1905.
His main works are 1. Valkalavadham, 2. Kuchelavritham (he called it Kuchelodayam), 3. Malayavathi Swayamvaram, all of them being Aattakathaas. He participated in several literary debates and arguments of the time. The most well known among them is the one with Vilvattath Raghavan Nambiar.
He was a close friend of Venmani Mahan. He sent his Kuchelavritham to Venmani for opinion. Venmani’s certificate reveals the amazing expertise and insight whichVenmani had in Kathakali as well as his divine power of prediction. Venmani had no doubt that Kuchelavritham will gain top position on the Kathakali stage - just like the Kottayam plays, Thampi’s plays and Unnayi’s play. How prophetic he proved himself to be!
Venmani Mahan (Kadamban) Nambudiripad can rightly be described as a great son of a great father. His mother was Sreedevi of Polpaya Mana. After the demise of his father, Mahan was the "Aachaaryan" and guiding spirit of the Kodungallor Kalari or training centre which was virtually a University. He was the greatest architect of the Venmani movement who established it on a sound footing. There was nobody who could approach him in the matter of Shakti or inborn poetic genius which was his mainstay. He was extremely intelligent with a wonderful memory power. Another asset was his unmatched sense of humour. It is these qualifications, combined with the absence of pedantry and scholastic profundity, which made whatever he wrote, endearing. We have to remember that in those days poetry was enjoyed not visually but through ears. His poems by their intrinsic qualities, immediately registered in the minds of the listeners, never to be erased. That is why they were recited throughout the length and breadth of Kerala though none of them was printed or published.
Venmani Mahan was born in 1844 in the legendary Venmani Mana of meager means. He did not have any lessons in Sanskrit worth mentioning except the Vedams and he was a reputed scholar and practitioner of Rig Vedam. He started writing poetry from a very early age, but because of his natural laziness and lethargy he could not finish most of his poems. He never kept any of his poems in written form because he could recite whatever he wrote, at any required time. He was most careless and indifferent by nature. His main poems are (a) Pooraprabandham, a highly enjoyable poem serving the purposes of a travelogue, feature article and a long letter in verse. It is about the world famous Pooram of Thrissur. He wanted to write 1,000 verses and call it Poorasahasram but we have got only about 400 poems, though an obituary note by C P Achyutha Menon records that only about 700 verses were available. No body knows what happened to the rest; (b) Bhothibhooshacharitam another long poem left incomplete; (c) Three Aattakathhaas (not available); (d) Four Thullal works; (e) Four plays (incomplete); (f) Numerous songs, devotional  verses and erotic verses; (g) Madhuraapuricharitam, a travelogue left incomplete; (h) Ambopadesam; (i) Kavipushpamaala, long poem comparing the eminent poetry of the time to a flower each; This is his most outstanding work; (j) Sangamesa Yaathra, another incomplete travelogue in work; (k) Sangamesaashtakam; (l) Ajaamilamoksham; and (m) Translations.
His poetry reveals his mastery of poetic style, peerless and unmitigated sarcasm and sense of humour, and matchless transparency and intimacy of diction. He died in 1893 of small pox at the age of 49.
10. KARUTHA PAARA (1846 - 1898)
Karutha Paara Damodaran Namboodiri was a contemporary and close friend of Venmani Mahan Nambudiripad. Though his original ancestral house was in Thriprangode in the erstwhile Malabar area, he belonged to the branch settled in Kudamaaloor, Kottayam. Endowed with natural talent enriched by reading and scholarship, his poetry had more seriousness than Venmani’s, but lacks in that charming quality of natural flow and innate sense of humour. Even in his boyhood he acquired deep knowledge of Kaavyam, Tharkam (logic), Vedaantham (philosophy), Vyaakarnam (grammer), etc. He widened the horizon of his knowledge and experience through constant reading of Puraanams (epics) and other poetical works. He started writing poetry from a very early age. He was a veritable traveller. He was a favourite friend of many royal families and Namboothiri landlords but his greatest patron was the Saamoothiri of Kozhikode.
Though he married from the Vilaayikkot Illam of Kudaamalloor, he had only a daughter - just like his bosom friend Venmani Mahan.

He is the author of several books both in Sanskrit and Malayalam, the chief of them being:
(a) SANSKRIT - 1. Akshayapaathra Vyaayogam, 2. Kulashekhara Vijayam - drama 3. Mandaaramaalika Veethhi, 4. Vishnubhujamga Prayaatham.
(b) MALAYALAM - 1. Rukmini Swayamvaram (poem), 2. Morajapa Prabandham, 3. Akshayapaathra Vyaayogam, 4. Abhimanyu Ulbhavam (drama), 5. Krishnaarjunam (drama), 6. Baala Dhruvacharitam, 7. Ajaamila Moksham (drama), 8. Rukmini Swayamvaram (drama), 9. Kamaakshi Sekharam (drama), 10. Doothaghatotkacham (Aattakatha), etc.
He died in 1898.
11. VASUNNI MOOSS (1855 - 1913)
Vasunni Mooss was a multifaceted genius. He was a well-known Kathakali actor also. He was a great Sanskrit scholar and teacher. He was also the founding editor of Vijaana Chinthaamani and the founder of Aarogya Chinthaamani Vaidyasaala. He was well-versed in Astrology and Aayurvedam.
He is the author of several books among which mention may be made of (1) Saamoothiri Charitam, (2) Mayastavam, (3) Saaroopya Saamraajyam, (4) Janaranjini Vijayam, (5) Onavratham, all poems, and also two collections of short stories. He died in 1913.

Oravankara can be described as the scholar-poet of the period. He was a serious poet while his contemporaries were generally speaking, poets who wrote in lighter vein. He was a highly gifted poet with a refined sense of humour and inspired by a clear vision and mission of life. He never wanted to write frivolous poems. Every poem he wrote bore the mark of his scholarship and seriousness. Moreover, his poems reflect the extra-ordinary care and attention he bestowed on style and presentation. This gives a kind of artificiality to his poetic style though it was very much with seriousness of thought, profundity of his knowledge of Thaantric rites and extra-seriousness of expression almost giving an impression of a lack of natural spontaneity.

He was born in 1857 in Oravankara Illam in Annamanada in Thrissur district. After his initial training in Sanskrit from his father, he went to Kodungalloor at the age of 17 for higher studies in Sanskrit under the celebrated scholar Vidwan Kunhirama Verma. He was an expert in sorcery and witchcraft. He was involved in a very serious and long drawn-out court case resulting in loss of both wealth and health. He had married from outside his caste. He died in 1916.
Since he was practically on the move most of the time in connection with court cases and sorcery, he could not get enough time and leisure for literary action. Moreover, many of his poems were lost. Only those written after 1882 are available with us. A majority of them are devotional which are rather high brow, pedantic and pregnant with high philosophy and heavy style. Important among the rest are: 1. Baalopadesam; 2. Kuchela Vritham (Ottanthullal); 3. Varadopaakhyaanam; 4. Several devotional songs; 5. Bhaimee Parinayam (drama); 6. Deveemaahaatmyam (only 13 Slokams out of 200 are available); 7. Azhakapuri Varnanam, written on the model of Venmani Mahan’s descriptive poem; 8. Letters in verse; and 9. Ambika Vinisati.
Seevolli is number one among the Venmani poets in many aspects. He is gifted with multifarious faculties like inborn talent, brilliant sharp intellect, acquired knowledge of many subjects, mastery of various languages, mastery of different professions, wide experience grained from travels, uninhibited sense of humour, unsullied purity and nobility of character, humility and respect for others and above every thing else a clear and definite aim in life and literary activities. He is one of the few poets who never wrote a single word without a sense of purpose. Every poem he wrote is a bitter pungent medicine administered to a Malayalam poetry, very ill and afflicted with very serious complaints. He made vitriolic humour and sarcasm his main tool of criticism.
Born in 1868 in Seevolli Illam near Aluva, he learned Sanskrit including technical subjects like grammer, logic, astrology, etc. He also studied English. He studied Aayurvedam under the well known Thaikkatt Mooss. Seeing the extraordinary brilliance of the disciple, Mooss taught him many unusual secret medical treatments. He also learned allopathy under a government doctor. He even performed caesarian operations that an Aayurvedic practitioner never does.
He carefully studied the poetry of all his predecessors and evolved a new clean style combing all the good qualities and eschewing all the faults and flaws in them. He was very particular that his poetry should be devoid of any blemish. He knew Sanskrit, Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada and had working knowledge of Tulu, Marathi and English. He had acquired fairly good knowledge of music also. Another unique achievement is that in 1896 he travelled widely in India visiting Kashi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, etc., which was a real achievement at that time. And he cultivated close friendship with almost all the poets of the period. Around 1900, he suffered a severe colic pain which did not subside even after expert treatment. In 1905 he went to Chennai for surgery, fully aware that he was suffering from cancer, an incurable disease. He bade adieu to all his near and dear ones. Though expert doctors performed surgery, he could not be saved. In the last moments of his life he called his brother and dictated a Slokam, which is a standing monument to his nobility and greatness of personality. He was a rationalist who was at the same time a believer (an atheist) when an eminent scholar and physician suggested to him to make an offering of golden image to the God for the cure of his disease, his reaction was : "Is it so? Can a gift prevent death? In that case, the science of Aayurvedam must be wrong and useless".
His main works are : 1. Madana Kethana Charitham, a long but incomplete work on the model of Bhoothibhoosha Charitham by Venmani; 2. Saaropadesa Dasakam, a work written when he was only 28 but evincing materials of thought and spirituality; 3. Oru Katha, another incomplete work of exquisite craftsmanship and refined sense of humour; 4. Dathyooha Sandesam, a sarcastic lampoon of Kerala Varma’s Mayoorasandesam; and 5. Insparsa Naatakam, another burlesque like work lampooning the plethora of dramatic plays written in Malayalam after Kerala Varma’s translation of Saakunthalam. His "Thullal" work, Ghoshayaathra, though incomplete, exemplies his mastery of the medium. His devotional Slokams (stanzas) exhibit a high sense of humour and wit. They are the best examples of the rare phenomenon of humour, in devotional poetry. He has also written two poems in Sanskrit - Paarvathi Viraham and Devimaahaatmyam. The latter work closely follows and resembles the celebrated Naaraayaneeyam by Melputhur.

Like Venmani Mahan, Naduvam Mahan (Narayanan) Namboodiri may be described as the celebrated son of the great father. He is the cream of Venmani style of poetry, gifted with an inborn poetic genius, refined sense of humour most pleasant and natural style and diction and biting sarcasm when occasion demands it. He is probably the last link in the long chain of poets trained in the Kodungalloor school.
Born in 1868, he had his initial training at home. After that he was taken to Kodungalloor which was practically a University or Academy of letters. There he got traditional and deep training in different branches like Kaavyam (poetry), Naatakam (drama), Alamkaaram (poetics) Vyaakaranam (grammer), etc. He got a job as Munshi in Kodumgalloor Govt. School.
It was in Kodungalloor that he developed and improved his poetic talents. Venmani Mahan was his ideal Guru in poetic art. He was transferred to Pazhayannoor in 1895, where he stayed for five years. But on the death of his younger brother, he had to resign his job to look after his father and the family properties. He married Nanikkutty Amma from outside his caste. He was as adept in family management and business administration as in poetic art.
He carried on his poetic pursuits with vigour in the midst of other busy pre-occupations. He had very cordial relationship with all the contemporary poets.
Nobody has collected his poetic output. Apart from a few published poems like (1) Ambaashtavam (1898), (2) Saaropadesam, (3) Ghoshayaathra drama (1996), (4) Sthavamanjari (1925), (5) Mahatma Gandhi, (6) Mahatmajiyute Aasrama Pravesam, (7) Bhakthilahari, (8) Santhaana Gopalam, (9) Kaavyasakalangal (1926), (10) Guruvaayoorappanum Pishaarikkalammayum, (11) Uthararaamacharitham (drama in III act), (12) Mudraraakshasam (drama - 1893), (13) Kochi Theevanti (1902), (14) Shothrapaaraayanam (1944), his numberless poems lie scattered in several journals and publications. The last poem was written on the occasion of the birth. centenary celebrations of Venmani Mahan, scribbled a few weeks before he breathed his last.
Narayanan Mooss of Thrissur Thaikkat Illam, which was once in Malabar, was one of the traditional Ashtavaidyans of Kerala and also a well-known poet of exceptional talent. He earned his name and fame both as an expert physician and a popular poet known for his refined sense of humour and faultless, easy-flowing diction.
He was born in 1870. He lost his father and both his brothers at a very young age. All of the three died of small pox in the same month, leaving him almost an orphan with a younger sister about 18 months and his mother. The family was rescued from this pitiable condition by the venerable Pulamanthol Mooss who took them to his house and made all arrangements for the education of Narayanan. But his benefactor died in 1902. He acquired sound knowledge of Sanskrit and training in Aayurvedam from Kuttancherry Mooss and others. He married in 1886 the daughter of Aryan Narayanan Mooss of Vayaskara Illam and settled in his own ancestral house in Thrissur. He earned a high reputation as a Vaidyan. He married a second time - second daughter of Vayaskara Mooss. He died in 1907.
His main works are : (1) Yaadava Daanaveeyam, a long poem in Sanskrit, (2) Sindoora Manjari, (3) Kapotha Sandesam, (4) Nalacharitham (all poems in Malayalam), (5) Sringaara Mandanam Bhaanam (play), and (6) Viraata Vadham (Aattakkathha). Sindoora Manjari is a book on Aayurvedam.
16. NARAYANAN MOOSS (1878-1936)
He was born in Taliparamba in North Malabar. He was a great Sanskrit scholar and Malayalam poet. He was a Malayalam pandit in Moothedath High school and the editor of "Sankara Narayanan" monthly. He died in 1936.
Apart from Hanumad Vijayam Attakatha and Sree Rama Krishnaashtakam, he wrote innumerable poems which are not published.
Vasudevan Nambudiripad of Akavoor Mana, popularly known as "Valiya Thampuraan" was a poet and a scholar in "Jyothisham", "Darsanams" and the "Puranams". He had memorized the entire Mahaabhaaratham. Although he had written a large number of poems, he had only two collections of poems - "Sreekrishna Sthuthi" and "Bhakthi Lahari". "Krishnopahaaram" (1949) is mostly prose, and contains also his own translation of a part of "Naaraayanopanishad".
He is Vasudevan Nambudiripad’s "Vaimaathreya" (son of one’s father by another woman) brother. He had very deep knowledge in the Vedams, "Jata - Rattha", ans Sanskrit. He had acquired knowledge in English and Hindi., which was commendably considering the period. He was at the same time, quite conservative in observing rites and rituals.
His only publication is a collection of poems - "Sreekrishna Sthuthi", published in 1940.
He was a poet gifted with all the three essential qualities of an ideal poet, that is, (i) inborn talent, (ii) knowledge and wisdom gained from intelligent study of literary theories, and (iii) constant dedicated practice. He realized the inner secrecies of literary craft and his poems are proof of his sophistication and refinement.
He was born in 1882 in Alathur Mana near Wadakkancherry in Thrissur Dist. as the son of Alathur Janardanan Nambudiripad. His real name was Krishnan. He studied Vedams and Sanskrit in the traditional way. He also learned Ayurvedam. He acquired knowledge in many disciplines. He was engaged in literary pursuits, journalism, and paediatrics and achieved commendable success in every field. He was an active worker of Yogakeshma Sabha and also editor of its mouthpiece "Unni Namboodiri". He was a correspondent of many papers and an ideal conversationalist. He died in 1943.
He was a "Savyasaachi" being proficient in prose and poetry. He started writing from a very young age. Rani Gangadhara Lakshmi, a historical novel is one of his earlier works. He has also translated Bharthruhari into Malayalam in indigenous metres. He started a Nambudiri novel called "Vishnu Nambudiri" the earlier chapters of which were serialised in Kerala Vyaasan.
His poetry can be described by two adjectives - decent and elegant. His magnum opus is Sahitya Sourabham which contains some articles on literary theories and five poems which exemplify and illustrate those literary principles.
He was a great scholar poet and expert exponent of astrology. He was born in Puliyoor Illam of Chegannoor. He studied Sanskrit and astrology in the traditional way. He is the author of the famous Puliyoor Panchaangam, a respected and reliable almanac. He accomplished the rare feat of translating Naishadham Mahaakaavyam by Shreeharsha, a very hard nut to crack.
He was a well-known poet of the period.He was also an expert parodist. He was born in Pattamana Illam near Ettumanoor, Kottayam. After spending his childhood in his native place, he shifted to Kodunthirappully, near Palakkad, where he was a temple priest.
He wrote a number of books, all of them testifying his extra-ordinary sense of humour and capacity for parodying. His main books are: 1. Konthapuraanam, 2. Pattimaahaatmyam, 3. Thaa -takaabhyudayam, 4. Kapyaashtakam, 5. Dhoortha Sahasranaamam, 6. Sambandhha Sabhiam, 7. Kazhukaasura Vadham Kathhakali, etc. He was an exceptionally gifted humourist. He died in 1952.
He was in Kurichithanam in Kottayam district . He was well versed in Sanskrit, English, Hindi, Tamil, etc. He was a scholar poet.
His main works are Suka Sandesam, Meghasandesam, Aryaamritham and Ayyappa Charitham.

(C) Modern Age
Akavoor Narayanan Nambudiripad the eminent scholar and critic was born in 1929 in Akavoor Mana of legendary fame and historical importance in Ernakulam Dist, After learning Sanskrit and the Rigvedam in the traditional way, he had his modern education. He had his graduation (B Sc with Chemistry and Physics) and post-graduation (Malayalam) from Tranvancore (now Kerala) University. He joined Sree Kerala Varma College Thrissur in 1954 as Malayalam lecturer. He left the job and shifted to Delhi in 1961. After a short stint at D A V P, he joined I C A R as Editor-in-Charge (Malayalam). In1968 he joined the University of Delhi as Lecturer in Malayalam. His one important charge was teaching Malayalam to non-Malayalees. Another was taking classes on Comparative Indian Literature for the M Phil students. It was here that he worked on the contribution of Venmani Movement to Malayalam poetry and got his Ph D degree. The greatest benefit he got was the exposure to the wide world of other Indian languages and literatures. His colleagues were eminent scholars who taught all the modern Indian languages. One of them is Dr Indira Goswami, who got the Jnanpith award this year (2001). He retired in 1994. He is now serving on the advisory panel of several organizations like UPSC, UGC, Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration, Mussourie, etc. as the language expert. He is the Chief Editor of "Pranavam" a journal of "Gayathry". He is also the Chairman of the Project Committee of the International Centre for Kathakali.
He started writing in 1948. He has written articles on literary topics and book reviews in Malayalam and English in the leading journals. He used to review Malayalam books for "The Hindu" in the 1950s. Among his literary output the most monumental is "Venmani Prasthhanam", the only in-depth study of the poetic movement of the nineteenth century. He has also to his credit a dozen of other books, most of them being collection of literary essays. He has also written two books on the eminent personalities of performing arts and cultural life. He is the author of three Kathakali plays also. He has presented Seminar papers at several conferences apart from the Department seminars There are about three dozens of scholarly papers on different aspects of Malayalam literature which will be an invaluable treasure if published. A man of multifarious interests he is considered to be an authority on topics of Classical Literature and Classical Performing Arts.
[He can be contacted at or]
Akkitham Achyuthan Namboodiri is probably the most senior and serious Malayalam poet today. He was born in 1926 at Akkithathu Mana in Palakkad Dist .He had learned Vedams and Vedic rites, Sanskrit and Astrology in his childhood but he could not complete his college education. Even at a very young age he jumped into the Namboothiri Reformation movement of the Nambudiri Yogakshema Sabha. He was closely connected with the editorial work of many journals like "Unni Nambudiri"; "Yogakshemam", "Mangalodayam", etc. He joined All India Radio, Calicut as a Script Writer in1956 and continued there till 1975 when he joined AIR, Trichur as Editor of the Farm and Home programme. He retired in 1985. He was fortunate to hold several high positions like Director, S P C S, Member, Kerala Sahitya Academy, Vice-President Samskar Bharati, Agra, President, Vallathol Educational Trust, President, Edassery Smaaraka Samithi, President, Vedic Trust, Panjal, President, Vilvamangalam Memorial Trust, Vice-President, Changampuzha Smaaraka Samithi, etc.
Akkitham has got to his credit about forty five books including 25 collections of poems, 5 collections of essays, and selected poems in 3 volumes. But his magnum opus is the translation of "Srimad Bhaagavatham". It is no surprise that he has received several awards and honours like Sahithya Nipuna, Sahithyaratna, Panditharatnam, Kerala Sahitya Academy Award, Sahitya Academi Award, New Delhi, Odakuzhal Award, Ulloor Award, Asan Award, Vallathol Award, Deviprasadam Award, etc.

O M Anujan was born in 1928 in Olappamanna Mana (Palakkad district), a well-known aristocratic family of Kerala, famous for the promotion and patronage of literature, classical performing arts and Vedic studies. Anujan grew up in an atmosphere conducive to the development of his inborn talents. He took his B A from University of Madras and M A from University of Kerala. He served as Assistant Professor of Malayalam in Madras for a short period, which helped him to come in contact with other languages and literatures. In 1959 he migrated to Delhi to work as a lecturer in Malayalam in the Department of Modern Indian Languages of the University of Delhi. He served the department with distinction for more than three decades and retired as a professor. During this period he worked on the metres of Malayalam and obtained his Ph D. Anujan’s poetry can be described as a continuation of evolution of the romantic tradition of the ealier poets like Vallathol, Sankara Kurup and Changampuzha. He is not a blind follower of "Modernism" so far as the content and form of his poetry is concerned. He gives expression to his feelings and thoughts in a more cultured, refined and subtle manner than most of his contemporaries. His approach is more rational and objective than emotional.
Anujan has more than a dozen collection of poems to his credit, apart from some other minor works,, the significant collections being :
Poetry - Actaeon (1961), Nagarasilpikal (1961), Vaisaakham (1966), Srishti (1967), Jeevithakaavyam [autobiogrhy in verse] (2000).
Travalogue -Poorva Europpil Oru Saamsakaarika Paryatanam.
Aattakkathhaas - Nearly half a dozen in number.
Well-known personality in Malayalam literature as a journalist, author, short story writer, essayist and humorist. Aryan Namboodiri was born in 1915 in the Namboothiri family of Perunthadi near Amballur, Thrissur Dist. Though he had his early education in the Vedams and Sanskrit, he could not complete his school education beyond 7th standard. He learned Hindi by his own efforts and became a Hindi teacher for a very short period. From 1960 to 1973, he was Assistant Editor of the Malayalam daily, "Express" of Thrissur. He actively participated in the Nationalist movement and courted arrest.
He has published short stories, poems, one-act plays and essays in several journals like "Unni Namboodiri", "Jayakeralam", "Chitrabhaanu", "Democrat", etc. He is also the author of a biography of Ottoor Kunhan Nambudiripad, "Naalukettilninnu Naattilekku", and also "Naduvam Kavikal" (biography and study of Naduvam poets).
Thamarassery Kesavan Bhattathiri, younger brother of Krishnan Bhattathiri was born in 1922. He was a scholar of Sanskrit and Hindi. Also he had expert knowledge of Astrology and Aayurvedam. From 1948 onwards, he was a Hindi teacher in a high school in his own village. He was also a gifted actor.
His most celebrated work is the beautiful translation into Malayalam of the celebrated "Raama Charitha Maanas" of Thulasidas, apart from some other minor works like "Sree Sabarimala Dharmasaastha".
Thamarassery Sankaran Bhattathiri is the son of Krishnan Bhattathiri. He was born in 1929. He passed several examinations in Hindi like Vidwan, Visaarad, etc. He got the gold medal in the poetry competition conducted by the Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishad at Thrissur in 1967. He was a high school teacher and has published poems both in Sanskrit and Hindi. Even now he is very active in the literary field. He writes poems of a religious nature in various journals of spiritual nature.
Thamarassery Krishnan Bhattathiri, otherwise known as "Murali" was born in 1906 in the famous Thamarassery Mana of Kanjangad, Kannur district. He had his traditional education in the Vedams and Sanskrit. He developed his poetic talents from a very early age. He was also interested in music. He soon became an accomplished orator and commentator of our religious texts and epics. He wrote many devotional poems under the pen name "Murali". He very soon earned name and fame, respect and esteem for his mastery of religious discourses and for the high quality of his devotional poems. His brother Kesavan Bhattathiri was also a well-known personality as a scholar and author. Krishnan Bhattathiri died in 1988.
His main books are "Muraleenaadam", "Muraleegaanam", "Premarasmi", Sreekrishna Kathhaamritham" (an epic poem) and numberless poems scattered in several journals, yet to be collected and printed in book form.
A little known writer who was a scholar and author of some technical books. He was born in 1929 in Karuvaad Mana of Punnayurkkulam.
His major works are "Grihanirmaana Pravesika" and translation of Bhagavad Geetha, apart from several poems and articles.
Mullamangalath Parameswaran Bhattathiripad, popularly known by his pen name "Premji" was a towering personality both in the social reforms movement and the world of letters. He was also an accomplished actor both on the stage as well as on the screen, who won the best actor award for his sterling performance in the film "Piravi". Born in 1909, he studied Sanskrit and Vedams in the traditional way. He could not have the benefit of formal English education.
He was a proof-reader in "Mangalodayam" magazine throughout his career and he distinguished himself in that capacity by winning the acclaim of veteran workers and critics.
At a very young age he joined the social reforms movement by the Namboothiri Yogakshema Sabha (click here). He was the second Namboothiri to take the bold step by marrying a young widow, which was a highly revolutionary and revolting act at that time. He was also an active worker of the Communist Party of India. It was actually to writing political and revolutionary poems that he adopted the pen name of "Premji" to camouflage his identity.
As a gifted poet of exquisite diction and dignified expression, he is perhaps one of the last poets belonging to the Venmani school. He was never a prolific writer. We have got only three collections of poems from him, namely, "Premji Paadunnu", "Sapathni", "Rakthasandesam", Naalkkaalikal", "Mattamma" and several political poems. His play "Rithumathy" is a classic, which was rightly praised as the "Saakunthalam of Malayalam". He died in 1998. (Click here for "Premji Award").
Mullamangalathu Raman Bhattathiripad, better known as MRB is the brother of Premji and was born in 1908. Like his brother, he also joined the social reforms movement of the Namboothiri Yogakshema Sabha along with V T Bhattathiripad and others. MRB was the first Namboothiri who took courage to marry a young widow and set a noble example for others to follow. But there were few to emulate him. He was equally active in the progressive literature movement. He served in the Kerala Sangeetha Naataka Academy for a long period.
He stands unrivalled as the writer of beautiful literary essays which are sheer poetry in prose. A major portion of these essays is collected and published under the heading "Essays of MRB". Most of these essays record the author’s experience of thrill and joy while rubbing shoulders with the eminent poets and writers of Malayalam. They are a veritable source of beautiful pen pictures of Malayalam writers. His outstanding contribution towards the emancipation of Namboothiri women is the legendary play "Marakkudakkullile Mahaanarakam" (1927) and "Ente Omana" (1928). There are also two collections of short stories, "Mazhavillu" and "Vaalkkannaadi". He died in 2001.
Pattath Narayanan Bhattathiripad is the younger brother of Parameswaran Bhattathiripad. He was also a poet of quality and also a teacher. But unfortunately his output was meagre. His life was cut short at a young age. His only book, printed and published is "Vidhava".
 Pattath Parameswaran Bhattathiripad popularly known as "Achchan Bhattan" was a highly gifted poet and teacher. Though he studied only up to SSLC, he was a voracious reader of English books and an able translator. He has written several books like "Adhhyaapakan", "Purathu Povoo" which is a highly satirical work criticizing the system of "Sambandham", written during the Yogakshema movement and published by Namboothiri Yuvajana Sangham. He died in …
V T Bhattathiripad is the greatest social reformer, the Namboothiri community has produced in the 20th century. He has been the beacon light for all the major movements. No wonder that he became a legend in his lifetime.
Vellithiruthi Thaazhathu Raman Bhattathiripad was born in 1896. From the age of seven, he studied Vedams and Sanskrit. Though he studied till the school final class, he could not finish his studies because, kindled with patriotic fervour, he went to Ahmedabad to attend the Congress session. He had also to do menial jobs in the Mangalodayam Press, Thrissur. Apart from social activities and literary pursuits, he never had any worthwhile job in his life. He was a forceful speaker and writer. His drama " Adukkalayilninnu Arangathekku" (From Kitchen to the Stage) (1929) was a bomb. He has written three volumes of his autobiography in addition to several short stories and collections of essays. Fortunately we have got a volume of "Complete Works of V T" (2000). He died in 1982.
Better known as "Moothiringod", he was born to that Illam in 1902. In his early years, he studied "Vedam", "Tharkam" and English. He was quite active in the Namboothiri Yogakshema Sabha, wrote a number of articles in "Unninamboothiri" magazine and was one of their main speakers. He was also an active worker in "Mangalodayam".
Moothiringod’s "Apphante Makal" was indeed a milestone in Malayalam social novels. "Poonkula", "Aathmaarpanam" and "Marupuram" are some of his other major works. He had a unique style in the use of the language. He was not only a great connoisseur of music and Kathakali, but highly knowledgeable too. M C Nambudiripad (vide 26), the famous science litterateur and the late Prof: M N Nambudiripad, a great all-runner in electronics to the arts, are his younger brothers. Bhavathrathan Nambudiripad died in 1944.
He is a poet and teacher. He was born in 1941. He worked in several schools as teacher. He also learned magic and is running a magic institute. His poems are published in a number of journals.
His major work is "Mookkillaatha Maharshi".
He was an outstanding scholar of Sanskrit and Indian studies and a renowned exponent of Indology and Vedic studies. He has participated in several scholarly discussions and seminars and won awards and other honours.
He was born in 1916 in Moorkanaad Mana. Educated in Sanskrit and Vedams in his childhood, he passed Saasthra Rathna, Sanskrit Vidwan and Sasthra Divakara tests.
He is the author of a large number of scholarly books like "Sounaka Siksha", "Varnochaarana Deepika", "Sreemad Sankaraachaarya Charitham", "Rigveda Jyothis", "Aadi Sankara and the Kalady Village", etc. He died in …
Divakaran Potti is mainly known for his valuable contribution in the field of translation. He has translated into chaste Malayalam, all the major works of Munshi Premchand. The total number of books he translated into Malayalam will be about 30. Apart from translations from Hindi, he has also prepared a Hindi-Malayalam dictionary. No wonder he has won the Sahithya Academy award fro translation.
Born in 1918 in Edamana Illam in Puthenchira, Thrissur district, he passed BA and BEd examinations and also Malayalam Vidwan and Rashtrabhasha Praveen. He was the younger brother of Prof: E K Narayanan Potti. He was an active worker in the Congress party and subsequently in the Communist Party of India. He was arrested in 1948. He was a school teacher by profession from 1950 to 1973 in the Kizhakkambalam High School.
His major works include "Prathhamaanjali", "Naalathe Prabhaatham", "Vijaya Rangam", "Balipeetthathil", "Godaan", "Premapanchami", etc.
Durgadathan Bhattathiripad, who was blessed with inherent poetic talents and a sense of humour, was born in 1920 in Nediyaparambath Mana in Venkitangu. He did not possess much of formal education nor hold high posts, and spent most of his time writing poetry. Since he was quite shy and disliked fame, he did not even bother to publish his works. He was self educated and served for eight years as a Hindi teacher in Mullassery High School near home. According to "Premji", his works show the "Rachanaachaathuryam" of Vallathol, "Ullekha Kolaahalam" of Ulloor and "Artthagowravam" of Aasaan. It stands to the credit of N V Krishna Warrior for bringing to the light some of his works by publishing the best ones in "Mathrubhoomi" Weekly. He then got published many of his poems in "Kavana Kouthukam" magazine.
His first book "Nilaathirikal" was published during his "Shashtthipoorthy" (60th birthday). His fame as a poet will certainly be sustained through the publication of a collection of his works in 1998 - after his death in 1990 !
K P G Namboodiri was a revolutionary communist poet who gained name and fame in 1940s. He was born in 1917 in the Kaaranathu Mana near Karukkutty. A graduate teacher, he was one of the leading poets of the progressive literature movement. He was given the Nehru Award of the Soviet Land in 1968. He is the author of several collections of poems. He died in 1973.
He is a talented poet of earlier generation who has written several books with a sense of dedication and seriousness. He never went after fame and publicity. He was born in 1913 in Kuttamperoor in Kottayam district. After passing SSLC, he learned engineering also without completing the course. He got a Government job in the Public Works department as junior engineer. He retired from the Electricity Department and afterwards he ran an Ayurvedic shop.
The most important titles of his many collections of poems include "Onappulari", "Thonikkaari", "Saahithya Sumangal", "Ayyappan", "Swaami Darsanam", "Chilambolikal", "Vinoda Rasmikal", "Iruththirinja Pookkal", etc.
Kakkaad Narayanan Namboodiri stands out among the modern Malayalam poets in changing the style and spirit of Malayalam poetry in a comprehensive manner. Each of his writings was a bold experiment. Many of his works cannot end up with just a reading, but need deeper study and analysis. They mostly touch upon the present day moral degradation.
Many of his works reflect the deep imprint he received as a result of the extensive training and scholarship in Vedams, Ithihaasams, Thanthram and Yogam. His poems impact not only the casual readers but the serious ones too.
Born in 1927 in Kakkaad Illam of Avitanalloor near Kozhikode, he obtained a BOL degree, and was an active social reformer, especially through Yogakshema Sabha. He worked in Aakaasavaani (AIR), Kozhikode Station for a long time and retired from there.
Collections of his poems include "Salabha Geetham", "1963", "Paathaalathinte Muzhkkam", "Ithaa Aasrama Mrigam, Kolloo, Kolloo", "Kavitha", "Vajrakundalam", and "Sapphalamee Yathra". Two of his criticisms are : "Kavithayum Paaramparyavum" and "Avalokanangal". Long after his death in 1987, his complete works was published as a single volume titled "Kakkaadinte Kavithakal" (2002).
He won the Vayalaar Award, Odakkuzhal Award, Aasaan Prize and Cherkaad Award for his works in general and "Sapphalamee Yaathra" in particular. He served also as a member of the Director Board of "Saahithya Pravartha Sahakaran Sangham".
Kesavan Namboodiri’s poetry was well known for sensitivity, nobility and sheer natural beauty. Many of his works overflowed with patriotic fervour. His own personal humility and nobility is found reflected in his poems too.
Born in 1923 in Valiya Paalathara Aaattaattuvally Illam near Thalassery, he earned a BA, Hindi Praveen, Prachaarak and an MA. He taught Hindi at St Joseph’s College, Devagiri, Kozhikode, during his long professional career.
Three times he stood first in the literary competitions of the "Saahithya Parishath". There are only a few books to his credit, and his works are scattered in several weeklies and magazines. Among his main works are "Kalithoni", "Panineerpookkal", "Kaazhcha Banglaavil", "Rajatharekha", Bheema Pravesam" and "Paadunna Thoonukal". He wrote several essays and poems in Hindi also. But his most popular work was the Malayalam translation of "Raamaayanam", telecast in Dooradarsan.
Kesavan Namboodiri was careful about the subtlety and meaning of words, and was very particular about choosing the right words and forming their apt combinations.
He died in 1999.
She is counted among the top Malayalam poets and story writers, and perhaps the literary figure among Antharjanams. Born with poetic talents which reflected even in her stories, she had an excellent imagination and a sweet style of presentation. She has written touchingly about the oppression and sufferings faced by Namboothiri women. Her novel "Agnisaakshi" received much praise and a State award, and was even made into a movie. In her early years, her literary talents found expression in poems and later in stories.
Lalithambika was born in 1909 in Kottavattathu Illam in Kottarakkara and obtained only non-formal education at home. Her husband Amanakara Narayanan Namboothiri encouraged her literary activities. She was an active worker in Yogakshema sabha, and had been a member of "Saahithya Pravartha Sahakaran Sangham" Director Board, Kerala Sahithya Academy, and the Text Book Committee. The well-known story writer N Mohanan (vide 58, below) is her son. Her works :
Collections of Short Stories - "Theranjedutha Katthakal", "Aadyathe Katthakal", "Moodupadam", "Thakarunna Thalamura", etc.
Collections of Poems - "Nissabda Samgeetham", "Lalithaanjali", etc.
Studies of Women Characters in Ithihaasams - "Seetha Muthal Sathyavathy Vare"
Novel : "Agnisaakshi"
Children’s Literature - Four in number
Lalithambika died in 1987.
(Click : "Lalithambika Antharjanam Memorial Trust" under "Awards, Trusts and Scholarships")
Famous for her children’s books under the pen-name "Sumangala", she was born in 1934 as the daughter of O M C Narayanan Nambudiripad of Olappamanna Mana. She had completed high school education and was married to Desamangalam Ashtamoorthy (DA) Nambudripad. For quite some time, she worked in Kalaamandalam, Cheruthuruthy.
Leela was into writing since childhood. Apart from short stories and novels, she wrote some 50 stories and short novels for children. Her own version of "Panchathanthram" and "Thaththa Paranja Kathhakal are quite popular. She has translated into English for the Smithsonian Institute, a "Krama Deepika" and "Aattaprakaaram" of "Aascharya Choodaamani" in Koodiyaattam (Sanskrit drama). Her children’s literature includes "Kurinjiyum Koottukaarum", "Neyppaayasam", "Chathurangam", "Katamakal", "Nunakkuzhikal", "Ee Kattha Kettittundo" and "Naadodi Cholkkatthakal". Another of her main contribution is the two-part "Pacha-Malayala Nighandu".
Born in Maadambu Mana, he is famous as a novelist ("Aswatthaamaavu", "Bhrashtu", "Entharo Mahaanubhaavalu"), short story writer, dramatist, screen-paly composer, actor and a good speaker.
Mohanan deserves a place among the top story tellers by making Malayalam short stories so thoroughly enjoyable as the Bhaagavatham condensed or as soul music. He is the son of the famous writer Lalithambika Antharjanam (vide 39, above) of Amanakara illam. After his MA in Malayalam and a two year teaching stint in Sree Sankara College, Kalady, he entered Kerala Government Service in the Cultural Department and climbed up to the top position there. He had led several cultural groups and traveled all over the country.
Mohanan’s works radiate the light of genius and the brightness of sheer story-telling ability. "Ente Kattha, Ninteyum", "Dukkhathinte Raathrikal", "Poojakkedukkaatha Pookkal" are collections of his short stories and "Innalathe Mazha" is his novel about Vararuchi (click: Vararuchi and Mezhathol Agnihothri).
Avitanalloor Ambalaputhoor Parameswaran Namboodiri was born in 1927 and rose to become a well-known critic and teacher. After he got his BOL from Thrissur Kerala Varma Varma College, he taught in Farook College near Kozhikode, for a long period. He was an active worker in "Grandhasaalaa Sangham", Private College Teachers’ Association and "Kerala Saahithya Samithy, and was a member of Kerala University enate and Calicut University Oriental Faculty Board of Studies. His wife A P Parvathy is a school teacher.
His entry into the literary world was as a young poet of the "Yogakshema Sabha", along with Olappamanna, Dr O M Anujan and Akitham. Later he became a critic, which is how he is more popularly known. He has written plays too. His works are :
Plays : "Kozhinjuveena Poomottu", "Maanjupoya Mazhavillu", "Mullum Poovum", "Rakthabandhangal", etc. (total six in number).
Criticisms: "Bhaaratheeya Saahithyam", "Naatakathilekkoru Natappaatha", "Kavithayilekkoru Kaithiri", "Neeruravukal", "Thiramaala", "Avagaahanam", "Aasaan - Nizhalum Velichavum", "Unnathangalil", "Udaathangalil", "Daladarsanam", "Malayaalathile Niroopana Saahithyam", etc.
Poems : "Sopaanam", "Koorambukal".
APP died in 1991. (Click here for "APP Namboodiri Smaaraka Puraskaaram" in awards, Trusts and Scholarships.)
Popularly known only by his initials I S, he was born in 1923 in Ittyaamparambath Mana, in Chalavara near Shoranur and rose to become a well-known journalist and translator. He was the younger brother of the famous socio-cultural activist I C P Namboodiri, who was also known only by his initials. Their sisters were married to their contemporary activists M R B, V T and Kallaat Krishnan. For a very long time, I S was on the editorial staff of "Soviet Naadu" (Soviet Land). Earlier he had worked for "Mangalodayam", "Republic", "Navajeevan" and "Desabhimani". His wife is Arya.
"Bahiraakaasathu Ninnulla Oru Sandarsakan" (collection of science fiction), "Viplava Vaayaaditham" (translation), "Dange-yude dogmatism" (translation) are some of his important works. In addition, he has translated several portions (chapters) of Das Capitals of Carl Marx.
He lived in Madras (Chennai) for a long time. He was highly knowledgeable in music - not just Carnatic, but Hindustani too. He died in 1994, before his soul-mate and elder brother I C P.
Born in 1927 as the son of Pasupathi Namboodiri and Savithry Anthajanam in Chettupuzha Maanampilli Illam, he writes articles and poems under the pen name Kuruva Narayanan Namboodiri. He worked for five years as a clerk in the government service, and as manager of Arunodayam Press. After the partition of his family in 1952, he took up residence in Kuruva Illam in Malappuram. His wife Uma Antharjanam is from Kuzhikkaatt Illam.
In addition to his works "Bhaavana", "Chalanangal" and "Swarahaatham", he has published a number of essays in various magazines.
Better known as a Marxian thinker and interpreter and an exceptional political leader, EMS was a periodic writer too. Born in 1909 in Elamkulam Mana, Sankaran Namboodiripad participated in "Niyamalamghanam" (breaking of the law) of 1932 when he was a BA student. Later, in 1957, he became the Chief Minister of the new State of Kerala, in the first ever-elected communist ministry in the world. He was the Chief Minister again in 1967, and a Member of Parliament for several years. He died in 1998, followed later by his wife Arya Antharjanam and their eldest son Sreedharan and his wife, Yamuna. Their other children are Dr Malathy and Radha and son Sasi.
He participated actively in the modernization of the Namboothiri community. He was the editor of the Namboothiri Yuvajana Sangham’s paper and an important leader of the Yogakshema Sabha. His writings are numerous, the important ones being "Jawaharlal Nehru", "Socialism", "Kerala Charithram" (in three volumes), "Keralathile Deseeya Prasnam", "Keralam Malayaalikalute Maathrubhoomi" and "Onnekkaal Kodi Malayaalikal". He has written in English too. After his death, his complete works are being published in 100 volumes.
Chettoor Narayanan Nambudiripad was born in 1917. He was the editor of the Yogakshemam paper in Kottayam, and also the organising president of Kottayam Working Journalists Association in its early years, while being a Magistrate too.
"Kavana Maalika", "Randu Kannuneerthullikal", "Divyanugraham" (Eulogy for his mother on her death), and "Ente Utharendyan Theertthayaathra" are his major works. He died in 2003.
32. NAMBUDIRIPAD M C (click : "Namboothiris in the Mainstream of Science Popularisation")
33. NAMBUDIRIPAD O P (click : "Namboothiris in the Mainstream of Science Popularisation")

Vishnu Namboothiri of Asamannoor Kaarakkaatt Illam, Perumbavur, born in 1931, taught in several high schools and the Devaswam Board college. He was at one time an Executive Committee member of Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishath. He is married to Subhadra Antharjanam.
Even at a young age he had started writing and articles. He has got published two collected works : "Ambalapraavu" (short stories) and "Navapallavam" (essays), and several other learned articles and short stories.
Born in 1932 in the well-known "Maanthrika" family of Kaattumaadam, his education was mostly in his native place and in Thrissur. He spoke and wrote authoritatively on drama as well as on "Thanthra Vidya" and "Manthravaadam" (click), his family traditions.
"Sofroclesinnoru Mukavura", "Malayaala Naatakangaliloode" and "Suddhaatmaakkal" (drama) are his major works. His wife Padmini is Akavoor Iravi Nambudiripad’s daughter. Their son Anil is now following the family traditions.
Kaattumaadam Narayanan died in 2005.
This great poet was born in 1918 in Veluthaat Illam of Chennara in Valamaruthur Desam. He studied Sanskrit in the traditional manner, and some English. He completed his school education in fits and starts, with financial difficulties coming in its way.
This naturally talented poet, with meticulous research into earlier commentaries, translated "Saakunthalam". In addition, he had translated the 14th Sargam of "Raghuvamsam", "Vikramorvaseeyam", and a number of single "Slokams". He is the father of the learned historian Dr Veluthaat Kesavan.
Though blessed with an uncommon and analytical mind and latent talents, he did not apply them single-mindedly for producing literary works. He concentrated his energies in the socio-political arena.
He was born in Changaarappilly Illam of Haripad in 1918. He studied in S B College, Changanassery, took Malayalam Honours in Arts College, Thiruvananthapuram, durin 1938 - 41, and in Law College during 1949 - 50. With Malayalam as elctive, he stood first in the University’s first Honours course. Though he was the Head Master of Haripad High School, and taught in Arts College and the University College in Thiruvananthapuram, he resigned to enter politics. In 1952 and in 1954, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly. In 1952 and in 1954, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly. Later he was the editor of "Desabandhu" and "Kerala Bhooshanam", and chief editor of "Malayaali". He was also the full-time editor of the Malayalam encyclopaedia "Viswa-vijnaana Kosham" put out by "Saahithya Pravartha Sahakaran Sangham". He had translated certain parts of "The capital".
Poems, articles with a touch of humour, essays and an Aattakkattha "Karuna" are his important works. He died in 1993.
He is famous for his aesthetic essays on literature. Narayanan Potti born in 1911 in Edamana Illam of Puthenchira, had his education in his home town and in Thiruvananthapuram. After finishing his MA in Malayalam in 1942, he taught in C M S School in Thrissur, C N N High School in Cherpu and for one year in Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Ernakulam. He taught in Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, from its inception in 1947, rising in 1951 to Professor and Head of the Department. He was a member of the Board of Studies for Malayalam and Faculty of Oriental Studies, both in Kerala University.
Out of his writings only a limited number has been published, "Saahithya Darsanam", "Vinoda Sanchaaram" and "Prasanna Pooja" are collections of his essays. This pleasant, likeable and popular teacher died in 1998.
Born in 1929 in Vezhaparambu Puthumana Illam near Cherthala, after serving in the Indian Defence Forces at Jabalpur, Delhi, Kashmir, etc., later served as Panchayat Executive officer in Kerala Government service.
His works are : "Agnihimaalaya", "Daivaputhran Vannu" and "Parivarthanangal".
He was born in 1947 in Seevolly Illam of Alangad near Aluva, where Narayanan Namboodiri (vide No. 13, Medieval period), the famous poet lived in the 19th century. After MA Malayalam, he taught in St. Paul’s College in Aluva, and had taken a Ph D degree too with his research work on the "Venmani Prastthaanam". He died in 1993 at the young age of 46.
Seevolly’s poem "Oru Kattha" has been published along with studies and commentaries on it. He had prepared commentaries on the works of "Venmani" for DC Books.
Among the Namboothiri poets, Olappamanna Subrahmanian Nambudiripad ranks at the top. The nobility and feudal culture that he enjoyed is reflected in his works. While he did take pride in that heritage and culture, he could also expose and discard its vulgarity. Olappamanna’s works reflect his development into a global vision of human nature as well as into a mature composer. As for inborn talent, there are few to match him. His poetry is filled with optimism and clarity.
Born in Olappamanna Mana of Vellinezhi in 1923, he started composing poetry at an early age. During the 1940s, a number of poems were published, authored jointly with his younger brother Dr O M Anujan (vide No. 3 above). He was active in Yogakshema Sabha and used to write and read many poems in its meetings.
He had won both the State (1967) and Central (1989) Saahithya Academy Awards. He had served as the President of "Saahithya Pravartha Sahakaran Sangham", Chairman of Kerala Kalaamandalam and Executive Committee member of Sangeetha Naataka Academy. He was also active in Samastha Kerala Saahithya Parishad and Kerala Saahithya Samithy.
"Rubber Wife-um Mattu Kavithakalum", "Paanchaali", "Nangemakkutty", "Katthaa-kavithakal", "Ehisoonari" and "Aanamuthu" are among the 20 or so collections of poems and "Khanda Kaavyams"; and "Jaalakappakshi" is a much more comprehensive collection. In addition he has also composed a Kathakali Aattakkattha "Amba" (click: Aattakkatthaakaaranmaar").
Olappamanna died in 2000.
Among the present day Malayalam poets Paloor Madhavan Namboodiri, popularly known as M N Paloor, combines seriousness of thought, simplicity of style and beauty of originality. Having had no formal education, he still was able to develop his natural poetic talents by himself. He had a stint of Kathakali training under no less a person than Pattikkanthodi Ravunny Menon, and that too in Kalaamandalam. But he did not have many stage performances. He learned Sanskrit under the great scholar K P Narayana Pisharody. After leaning car driving, he became a driver. He spent most of his life in Mumbai as driver in the Indian Airlines. After retirement, he settled in Kozhikode and spends the timereading and writing.
"Namboothiritham" is reflected in his poems, which has also been benefited by his reading Mahaabhaaratham and re-reading it many-a-time. He is one of the first to bring in a sprinkling of urban culture in Malayalam poetry. He had realized quite early the sugar-coated bitter truth in lines like "Anacin aakunnu pradhaana bhakshanam" of the people of the day. His recent works, however, are more philosophical.
His books are relatively few and include "Pedithondan", "Kalikaalam", "Theerttha Yaathra", "Sugama Sangeetham", "Kavitha", "Bhangiyum Abhangiyum", "Pacha Maanga", etc.
This great scholar was not lucky enough to get the fame nor recognition that he deserved. He was born in 1896 in Aayaamkudi Ettikkara Illam of Kaduthuruthy. He was known as "Pandithar" E V Raman Namboodiri as he had passed Pandit examination. After teaching a while, he worked most of his life in the Manuscript Library at Thiruvananthapuram, when he was a dear colleague of Mahaakavi Ulloor. He was a multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary scholar. He had received several titles such as "Vidyaarathnam", "Dharma-visaaradam", "Saahithyaalankaar", and "Vidyaa-vinod and Saahithya-nipuna" degree from the Maharaja of Kochi.
His literary works are numerous, but they are all unfortunately scattered all over, and none including him have made the effort to make a collection of the works. He has around 60 publications including translations, commentaries and criticisms. "Vaikhareeya-hari", "Panditha-mandanam", "Vaidika Vichaara Veechi", "Mahaacharamam", Pradyumnaabhyudayam" and "Manusmruthi" are among the important works. He died in 1957.
Born in 1931 in Kalady, he took a B A degree and a Diploma in Library science, worked as a librarian in Sree Sankara College, Kalady, and from 1960 as District Information Officer in the Public Relations Department and as Radio Graama-Rangam Chief organizer. He has also worked in "Aakaasavani" (All India Radio) on deputation.
He became famous through his essays on biographical studies of national leaders, and on scientific aspects of libraries, but has also published poems and short stories. His works include "Upanyaasangaliloode", "Grandhaalaya Saasthram" and "Navabhaaratha Silpikal".
He is the grandson of the famous poet, Naduvath Achhan Namboodiri (vide : No.7, Medieval Period). Sankaran is naturally talented and got his training from Naduvath Mahan Namboodiri (vide : No. 14, Medieval Period). Born in 1920, he had passed the Intermediate and Vidwan examinations, and taught in government high schools.
His major works include "Jaraasandhha-Vadha-Vyaayogam", and "Saanthi Vilaasam".
Kaanippayyur Sankaran Nambudiripad also was famous as a great "Thachusaasthrajnan" (architecturist), an expert in Jyothisham, a Sanskrit scholar and a social revolutionary, was an establishment by himself as well as a movement. Born in 1891 near Kunnamkulam, Thrissur district, he got trained in the above-mentioned disciplines in the traditional "Gurukulam" style. He established and developed the Panchaangam Press. He was an active organizer in Yogakshema Sabha, working as its secretary and in other capacities. The Maharaja of Kochi awarded him with the "Panditharaajan" title.
He has around 30 books to his credit. "Jaathakaadesam", "Panchabodham" (both Jyothisham), "Kettitangal", "Manushyaalaya Chandrika", "Kaikkanakkum Atangal Pattikayum", "Manushyaalaya Bhaasha", "Thanthra Samuchayam" (all Thachu Saasthram / Vaasthu Vidya), "Nammude Naatturaajyangal", "Kshethraachaarangal", "Samskritha Malayala Nighandu", "Oushadha Nighandu", "Aarynmaarute Kudiyettam (4 parts), "Ente Smaranakal" (autobiography - 4 parts), "Nithya Karmangal" are the major ones.
He had a broad and progressive outlook, and favoured "temple-entry". He had served the public as Presidents of Arthattu Panchayat and Kunnamkulam Town Council. (click : Sanskrit Scholars of 20th Century).
Through her trade mark of nobility, Sreedevi can claim a senior position among story tellers and novelists, especially among women and certainly Antharjanams.
She was born in 1940 in Vellakkaat mana of Vaniyambalam in Malappuram district. Her formal education was initiallyin wandoor V M C High Sachool and then in Thripunithura Girls High School. Apart from learning Sanskrit and music at home, she got advanced training in Sanskrit from Panditharaajan P S Subbarama Pattar. She lives in Thrissur and is married to late Brahmadathan Nambudiripad of Kootalloor Mana.
Her novels include "Moonnaam Thalamura", "Yajnam" and "Agnihothram", of which "Yajnam" the 1974 Kumkumam Award. In 1976 she got the State Film Award for the story of the movie "Niramaala", which also bagged the 1982 Rotary award.
The other works are "Chaanakkallu", "Mukhathodu Mukham", "Thiriyuzhichil", "Kuttithirumeni", "Commonwealth" and "Krishnaanuraagam". In addition, "Daasarattham", "Devahoothi", "Vruthraasuran", "Kurooramma" are novels with an epic background. She has a couple of research publications : "Malayaala Vanithaa Katthaakrithukalute Katthakal" (The Stories of Malayalam Women Writers) sponsored by Kerala Sahithya Academy, and "Praacheena gurukulangal Kerala Samskaarathinnu Nalkiya Sambhaavana" (Contributions of ancient "Gurukulams" to Kerala Culture) under a senior fellowship from the Ministry of Human Resources of the Government of India. She is presently working on an investigative novel on "Karinkaali", the goddess of agriculture of the tribes of Eranad.
Sreedharan Namboodiri of Kurumappilly Mana near Cherpulssery of Palakkad district (b.: 1921) was a prolific writer on various disciplines. After obtaining BA and BT degrees, he became a high school teacher. He wrote poems in his early years and later switched to essays, analyses and discussions on different issues and topics in various weeklies and magazines.
A native of Asamannur (b.: 1917), he deserves to be described as a "master of all arts". Studied Sanskrit, Jyothisham and Kaavyams during his early years. Then he was trained in Kathakali ("Vesham") by Guru Gopala Panikkar, and could play any character. On the Kathakali stage, he could sing and play on the drums - both Chenda and Maddalam. Popularisation of this art form was a major mission in his life.
He was a talented poet too. "Viswaamithra Menaka", Achhanum Makalum", "Bhaashaa Soundaryalahari Stothram, "Kiraathaavasishtam", etc. were some of his works. He also got published his poems regularly in "Kavanakouthukam" magazine.
Born in 1921 in Kodungal mana of Perungazha of Muvattupuzha, he was a scholar and a mature poet. Though he only had a high school education, he learned Sanskrit, English and Hindi also. In 1949, he was the editor of "Desabandhu" weekly and later taught in a tutorial college. He studied Aayurvedam too.
He has numerous works, both in prose and more in poem, contributing regularly in "Kavanakouthukam" magazine. He has also produced some translations and children’s literature.
"Step", "Captain-te Puthri", "Debrovski", "Land Lady", "Chekov-inte Katthakal", "Alice Kanda Atbhutha Lokam", "Jay Somanath", "Anderson-te Yakshikkatthakal" are all translations from English. He has translated Bharthruhari’s poems ("Slokams") too. "Subhaashitha Saahasri" is a collection of a thousand gems skillfully extracted from Sanskrit literature. "Maathrubhoomiyute Paadangalil", "Valippameriya Kannukal", "Kuttikalude Naadodikkatthakal", "Poojaapushpangal", etc. - the list continues.
He was born in 1875 in Vellimana Illam of Karunagappilly, worked for the uplift of his community and set a new path in Malayalam poetry. He was an M A graduate and was a teacher most of his life. He was a "Malayalam Pandithar" in the Maharaja's College, Ernakulam, an Assistant Translator in the Huzoor Court, Sub-registrar, Assistant School Inspector and a High School Head Master.
He wrote an elegy - "Oru Vilaapam" - in 1997, the first elegy in Malayalam. "Oru Viraham" is another one. In addition, he has nine translations to his credit : "Durgesa Nandini", "Aardraavathaaram", "Neelolpalam", "Daasan", etc. It was Potti who first published Kumaran Aasaan's "Veena Poovu", with a foreword. He has translated some of Jules Verne's science fictions also. Potti died in 1994.
"Bhakthakavi-thilakam" T S Thirumumbu is an unusually talented poet, scholar, orator, translator and a philosophical thinker. He was in the forefront of the national freedom struggle and later in building up the Communist party, described by EMS as the singing sword of his party. He got out of politics in 1948, went into hiding for some years and re-emerged with translations of the Mahaapuraanams.
He was born in 1926 in the Thazhaykkatt Thimiri Mana of Cheruvathur in Kasaragod district, and had formal education only up to high school. He had been jailed for six months participating in "Salt Sathyaagraham", nine months for writing a poem, and two years for his Sathyaagraham. He was awarded the titles, "Bhaktakavi Tilakam", "Vidya-rathnam" and "Saahithya Nipunam".
His main works are : "Vandemaatharam", "Vikaasam", "Navotthaanam", etc. (six collections of poems), and translations of "Sree Devee Bhaagavatham", "Sreemad Bhaagavatham", "Sree Sankara Digvijayam", "Durgaasaptha Sathi", "Yogavaasishttham" and "Vivekannda Saahithya Sarvaswathile Ethaanum Kavithaka".
Satire and humour are his forte. Behind that pen-name is S Subrahmanian Potti who was born in 1932 in Thiruvananthapuram. He worked in the Jail department, University office and the investigation wing of Police department.
Sukumar has the inherent ability to recognize the idiosyncrasies in ordinary life and convert them into satirical pieces. He has interest also in painting, sculpture and music. In the 1970 Kerala State Police Drama Competition, Sukumar won a prize for his part as a playwright. In the visual media, he got fame for handling "Kashaayam", a comic serial.
"Pothujanam Palavidam" (2 vol.), "Oru Non-gazetted Chiri", "Raja Kesavadadanum Major Kuttan Pillayum", etc. are some of his important works. He is a cartoonist too.
Born to Thrivikraman Nambudiripad (Sr) and Uma Antharjanam in AlathiyurMoothedath mana in 1922, Thrivikraman Nambudiripad (Jr) was a physician by profession, thinker and a scholar. After high school education, he studied Aayurvedam diligently, and later taught Aayurvedam, main teacher and physician in the panchakarma department of Bombay University Health Centre, and chief physician in Coimbatore Arya Vaidya Pharmacy's Head Office and their Delhi branch. He did not have much personal or social relationships and spent all his spare time to read and write. His main works are "Vyaasa-Prasaadam", "Vyaasa-Pranaamam" and others mainly from the "Mahaabhaaratham". He died in 2000.
An outstanding devotional and mystic poet and commentator of Puraanams, Unni (real name, Subrahmanian) Nambudiripad was born in 1904 in the well-known Ottoor Mana. Upto the age of 15, his study was mainly concentrated on the Vedams and a few Kaavyams of Sanskrit. Ill health did not allow him to study beyond the 9th standard.
He was a gifted poet and a blessed soul who could realize God. He wrote numberless devotional poems eulogizing Him from various angles. He was also a talented prose writer and short story writer. He is the author of books without number, the major ones being "Naamaambika", "Shyaamasundaran", "Mandaakini", "Aanandamurali", "Yamunaakunjam", "Neelachandrika" apart from "Satheerthhyante Kaazhcha (drama), "Pooppaalika", and "Thriveni" (short story collections). "Rasamaadhuri" and "Sreeramakrishna Karnaamrutham" (Sanskrit books) and many poems yet to be collected and published in book form. He almost became a recluse or "Samnyaasi" towards the end of his life. He breathed his last in 1989. The M. Phil. Thesis The Sanskrit Poet in Ottur of Dr. C. Sreekumaran of Guruvayoorappan college, Calicut reveals more of this great poet's work.
This Sanskrit scholar, poet, multi-linguist and commentator was born in 1923 in Chennamangalam, in Pandalam. Holding B A and B L degrees, he practiced as an advocate in Haripad Munsif court and Mavelikkara district court. He took a B Ed degree, Hindi Bhooshan, Raashtrabhaasha Visaarad and Hindi Vidwan, and later in 1966, he took an M A degree in Sanskrit. From the next year (1967) onwards he taught Sanskrit in Bishop Moore College at Mavelikkara. He was the editor of the encyclopaedia "Viswa Vijnaana Kosham".
His major works are: "Naaraayaneeyam" translation ("Vrithaanuvrutham"), "Subhaashitha Thrinayi" (translation), "Keralapaanineeyathiloode", "Bhaasha-saasthram", "Abhinava Malayaala Vyaakaranam", "Gadya Silpam", "malayala Bhaasha-bodhinam" and "Bhagavad Geetha Nithya Jeevithathil", etc. Proficient in Hindi, Sanskrit, English and Malayalam, he had written books on law, linguistics, Vyaakaranam, Darsanam, Jyothisham, Kaavya-saasthram and Chess.
This son of the well-known revolutionary V T Bhattathiripad from Mezhathur Vellithiruthy Thaazhath Mana, is a writer and a famous journalist. After teaching in Kalady Vidya Peettham, he became a correspondent for "Mathrubhoomi" at mezhathur. He took a major role in getting his father's works published - "Karma Vipaakam" and "Sampoorna Krithikal" (complete works).
Born in 1925, he was the brother of the famous critic and teacher A P P Namboodiri. After taking B A degree from St Thomas College, Thrissur, and also B T, he taught in Ganapat High School, Kozhikode, and in naduvattam High School, becoming Head Master in 1958. He took the M A degree later. He has published a number of poems in magazines in the name Avitanalloor Vasudevan, and a collection of poems, "Nanavinte Pookkal". He died in 2001.
A natural poet and story teller, he had acted in plays too. He showed his mettle in short stories, poems, criticisms and translations. Born in 1932 in Mozhikunnath Mana of Cherpalcherry, Palakkad district, he had taught for several years.
Born in 1891as the son of the immitable Vaazhakunnam Raman Atithiri of Thiruvegappura, he was a poet and a good speaker who made new waves in Bhaagavatham Vaayana (discourse). He learned the Vedam, Sanskrit, Kaavyams and various Saasthrams, and established a Sanskrit Vidyaalayam (school) at Harivilaasam, anf taught there. His sweet voice, clear diction , style of presentation and his handsome figure made him unparalleled in Bhaagavatham discourse. The Kaharaja of Kochi had given him "Veera Srimkhala" (bracelet) on both his hands, and ravi varma Koyi Thampuran awarded him with the title of "Bhakthasiromani", and monthly wages.
This blessed poet has several woks to his credit. "Vaasudeva Karnaamrutham", "Bhaagavatha Samgraham", "Bhaagavatha Samgraham Gaattha", "Sreedharaachaaryar", "Bhagavatha Vyaakhyaanam", "Bhaagavatha Makarandam", "Raadha", etc. are among the dozen commentaries on Puraanams, one act plays, Sthothrams, etc. He had written in Sanskrit also.
Before his death in 1947, he was able to attract the common man to Bhaagavatham. The Ph.D. Thesis Life and Works of Vazhakunnam Vasudevan Nambudiri of Dr. C. Sreekumaran of Guruvayoorappan college, Calicut reveals more of this great poet's work.
Vasudevan Nambudiripad of Karumaarapatta Mana in Wandoor of Malappuram district (b.: 1890) was a great scholar with deep knowledge in Jyothisham. He had published "Panchaangam" (almanac) for 30 years, and later took up Samnyaasam.
He will be remembered for a long time for his extensive commentaries on Ulloor's "Umaakeralam". Another of his works is "Jyothisha Saaram".
Dr Vishnu Namboodiri belongs to Payyannur (b.: 1939) holds a research degree on the theme of folk arts. He is a teacher and is also the chairman of the Kerala folklore academy.
His main works are: "Mukhadarsanam", "Kaakkavilakkinte Velichathil", "Thottam- paattu" and Thiruvarkkaattu Bhagavathy Thottam".
He undoubtedly ranks among the top poets of the modern era, owing to his poetic talent, individuality and serious style. The philosophic coating gives his poems an unusual beauty and nobility and vibrant quality. Devoid of the modernism, his poems have a wonderful blend of the Sanskrit and Malayalam styles, the Eastern and Western techniques and the ancient and modern outlooks.
Born in 1939 in Cheeravally Illam in Thiruvalla, he took B A and B Ed degrees with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Hindi, and M A in English. He served a teacher of English in Kozhikode, Kollam, Pattambi, Ernakulam, Tripunithura, Chittoor and Thiruvananthapuram; and also worked in State Institute of Languages. Though he loved poetry even in his early years, he started writing much later.
His main collected poetic works are: "Swaathanthryathe-kurichu Oru Geetham", "Aparaajitha', "Aaranyakam", "India Enna Vikaram", "Ujjayiniyile Raappakalukal", "Bhoomigeethangal", "Mukhameite ?" and "Athirthiyilekkoru Yaathra". In addition, collection of essays, "Asaahitheeyam" and "Kavithayude DNA", and translations such as "Rithu Samhaaram", "Gandhi", "Sasyalokam" and "Kuttikalude Shakespeare". He had won the Kerala Academy Award, Odakkuzhal Award, and the Changampuzha Award.

(C) Modern Age
[ ABBREVIATIONS : f. - father; m. - mother; p.a. - permanent address;
m.a. - mailing address; o. - occupation; w. - works; r. - recognitions.]
w. Manivedi (Poems)
2. NAMBOODIRI V N P (1927 - 1965)
f. Cheriya Narayanan Namboodiri, m. Aryadevi Antharjanam
 Born in Vanjeri Mana, Tirur, Trikandiyur, Malappuram dist.
o. Served as Captain, Air Force; Died in an accident.
w. Priya (novel) published in Mathrubhumi Weekly
f. Sreedharan Nambudiripad, m. Devasena Antharjanam
p.a. K Parameswaran Nambudiripad, Kadalayil Mana, Poopathi P.O. - 680 783, Poyya, Thrissur dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Retired Teacher, Airanikulam High School
w. Kayam (poems)
Poet, Critic
f. Narayanan Namboodiri, m. Nangeli Antharjanam
p.a. Palakeezh Mana, Pattikad, Malapuram dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Retired Professor
w. Aanandamadhom (translation); Karl Marx (biography); VT Oru Ithihaasam
5. VAIRASSERY K M NAMBOODIRI (b. 1943) (K Madhavan Namboodiri)
f. M Krishnan Namboodiri, m. Savithry Antharjanam
p.a. Vairassery Mana, Vettuveni, Haripad P.O., 690 514, Alapuzha dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Retired. Accounts Officer, KSE Board, Mavelikkara.
w. Pushpakavimaanam, Sudarshanam, Dakshayaagam, Theerthhakanangal (poems)
6. NARAYANAN P M (b. 1945)
f. P M Jayanthan Namboodiri
p.a. Panjavoor Mana, Mudur, Vattamkulam, Malappuram dist.
m.a. State Bank Colony, Thondayad, Kozhikode - 673 016
o. Retired Deupty Manager, State Bank of India
w. Enthinu, Foot Ball, Thadaakam (poems); Njaan Aaraanu (essays)
f. P E N Potti, m. Devaky Antharjanam
p.a. (Periya Mana) Sreepadam, Thuruthi P.O., Changanassery, Kottayam dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Retired. Professor, Mar Evanios College, Thiruvananthapuram
w. Ayyada Maname, Akkuthikkuthu, Aanamutta, Aana Vanne, Aarpoo Eeyyo, Irattimadhuram, Oonjaalppaalam, Edukkeda Kudukke, Ezharapponnaana, Kashtam Kashtam Konaare, Kilippaattukal, Kunnimanikalum Konnappookkalum, Koonante Aana, Thettum Thiruthum, Ponnum Thenum (children's literature); Agnisarmante Ananthayaathra (stories); Thevaaram, Sadrushavaakiam, Nakshathrathinte Maranam (plays); Samarppitha (poem).
r. NCERT Award for Malayaala Baalasahityam, SBI Award for Poetry.
f. Paramewaran Nambudiripad, m. Umadevi Antharjanam

p.a. Prathibha, Vellinezhi P.O. - 679 504, Palakkad dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Retired Teacher, ALP School, Munnoorkod
w. Nirvrithi (poems)
9. VIJAYAN P N (b. 1951)
Novelist, Short story writer, Poet
f. P N Namboodiri, m. Savithry Antharjanam
p.a. Pulikkathodi Mana, Karikad, Manjeri, Malapuram dist.
m.a. Railway School,.Podannur, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
o. Teacher, Railway School, Podannur
w. Bhaarathapuzha, Swaasakosathil Oru Salabham, Kathhaayaanam, P N Vijayante
 Kathakal (stories); Tharpanam, Panthu Urulukayaanu, Ini Madangaam (novels).
r. Mathrubhumi Vishuppathippu Contest: Play 1st, Poetry 3rd
 Cherukaad Smaaraka Samithi Award: Poetry 2nd
 Chandrika Novel Award 1998: Panthu Urulukayaanu
 Yogakshema Kattha Award 1999: Katthaayaanam (short stories)
10. ARYAN KANNANOOR T (b. 1952)
f. Parameswaran Adisseripad, m. Leela Pathinaadi
p.a. Thrikkazhippurathu Mana, Njangattiri P.O., Palakkad dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Teacher Educator, Teachers' Training Institute, Cheruthuruthi
w. Surapathham, Shyamaraadha, Idam Na Mama (novels);
 Sambhavichukondirikkunnathu (stories); Neerkkumilakalum Kaakkachiyude
 Kudumbavum, Kelukkurukkan, Malamuthiyude Makkal, Najngal
 Naattinpurathukaar, Jim Tharikida Dhom, Munshiyammaavante Chooral
 (children's literature)
r. M P Paul Award 1981 for Surapathham
11. ASHTAMOORTHI (b. 1952)
Novelist, Short story writer
f. K K Vasudevan Nambudiripad, m. Sreedevi Antharjanam
p.a. Kadalayil Mana, Arattupuzha P.O.- 680 562, Thrissur dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Accountant, SNA Oushadhasala Pvt. Ltd., Thrissur
w. Rehearsal Camp (novel); Thirichuvaravu (novellettes); Veedu Vittu Pokunnu,
 Kathhaasaaram, La Pathaa, Pakalveedu, Maranashiksha (stories)
r. Kunkumam Novel Award 1982: Rehearsal Camp
 Kerala Sahitya Akademi Short Story Award 1992: Veedu Vittu Pokunnu
Short story writer
f. Krishnan Namboodiri, m. Saradadevi
p.a. Kizhakkedathu Mana, Kodanad P.O. - 683 544, Ernakulam dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Federal Bank
w. Praavukalude Freddy (stories)
13. SAILAJA K P (b. 1952)
f. Krishnan Bhattathiripad, m. Uma Antharjanam
p.a. Mathur Mana, Peringode - 679 535, Palakad dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Teacher, Peringode High School
w. Published poems in Mathrubhumi Weekly, Kalakaumudi, etc.
r. 1st Prize in Grihalakshmi Short Story Competition held in 1983
14. USHA NAMBUDRIPAD (b. 1952)
f. Ashtamoorthy Nambudripad, m. Leela Antharjanam ("Sumangala")
p.a. (Kurur Mana) B-4, New Faculty Quarters, Chitra Campus, Kumarapuram,
 Thiruvananthapuram - 695 011
m.a. (same as above)
w. Malayaalathile Sambodhanaa Padangalude Saamoohika Pashchaathalam,
 Saamoohika Bhaashaa Vijnaanam; Henry V, Richard II, Pride and Prejudice,
 Aeneid, William Tell, Remembrance of Things Past (translations); Three books in
 the series "Mahachcharithamaala"
f. Thekkedathu Kadalayil Narayanan Nambudiripad, m. Devaky Antharjanam
p.a. Chemmangat Mana, Adatt, Thrissur dist.
m.a. (same as above)
w. Kannaadi Kaanumbol (poems)
16. HIRANYAN K K (b. 1954)
Poet, Critic
f. Kunjunni Namboodiri, m. Savithry
p.a. Kadavath Ullanur Mana, Ammadam, Thrissur dist.
m. a. 28/537, Ullanur, West Palace Road, Vadakkechira, Thrissur City P.O. - 680 020 o. Professor, Govt. College, Thrissur.
w. Published poems and criticisms in Mathrubhumi, India Today, Bhashaposhini, etc.
r. Won Prizes in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1974 for Poetry Competition held by
 Mathrubhumi Vishupathippu.
17. VADAKKUMPAD NARAYANAN (b. 1954) (V K Narayanan Namboodiri)
f. Krishnan Namboodiri, m. Nangeli Antharjanam
p.a. Vadakkumpattu Mana, Aloor P.O. - 680 603, Mattam, Thrissur dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Teacher, Sree Ramakrishna Gurukulam, Puranattukara
w. Vadakkumpaadinte Kavithakal
Poet, Painter
f. Veettikkat Narayanan Namboodiri, m. Savithry Antharjanam
p.a. Veettikkat Mana, Pattambi, Palakkad dist.
m.a. (Presently at Thiruvananthapuram)
o. Freelance Artist
w. Cherivu, Dehaantharam (poems)
r. Kunchuppilla Smaaraka Award for poetry, 1990
 Udaya Bharati National Award for poetry, 1994
19. GEETHA HIRANYAN (1957 - 2002)
Poet, Short story writer
f. Sreedharan Potti, m. Vasumathidevi. Born in Kottavattam Illam, Kottarakkara
w. Ottasnaappil Othukkaanaavilla Oru Janmasathyam, Asanghatitha (stories), Geetha
 Hiranyante Kavithakal.
r. Kunchuppilla Award, 1993 for Ardhanaareeswaran, Won Prize for Story
 Competition held by Mathrubhumi Vishuppathippu in 1974.
20. RAJESH KUMAR N (b. 1959)
Critic, Editor
f. E P N Bhattathiry
p.a. Edavoor Madom, Vazhar Mangalam P.O., Chengannur - 689 125
m.a. D C Books, Kottayam - 686 001
o. D C Books, Kottayam
w. More than 500 articles for various encyclopaedias such as Akhila Vijnaana
 Kosham, Bhaaratha Vijnaana Kosham, Sarva Vijaana Kosham, etc.
21. AJAYAKUMAR N (b. 1960)
f. P D Neelakadhan Namboodiri, m. M D Umadevi Antharjanam
p.a. Thevarathu Madhom, Puthuveli P.O. - 686 641, Kottayam dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Lecturer, Malayalam Dept., Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University
w.Kavithrayathinte Saahithyavimarsanam, Aadhunikatha Malayaala Kavithayil
22. HRISHEEKESAN P B (b. 1960)
f. P H Brahmadathan Nambudiripad, m. Gauri Antharjanam
p.a. Paduthol Mana, Melur P.O., Chalkudi, Thrissur dist.
m.a. 2-B, Kedarnath, Anushakti Nagar, Mumbai - 400 094
o. Scientific Officer, BARC, Mumbai
w. Pathi Polliyoraksharam, Kannadippuzha (poems)
r. Changampuzha Award, Moodadi Damodaran Award, Hariharan Poonjar Award.
23. SASTHRUSARMAN A (b. 1965)
Poet, Artist
f. Agnisarman Namboodiri, m. Umadevi Antharjanam
p.a. Alampilly Mana, Keezhayoor P.O., Pattambi - 679 303, Palakkad dist..
m.a. (same as above)
o. Govt. High School, Chathanur
w. Published poems in Mathrubhumi, Bhashaposhini, Desabhimani, Kunkumam,
 Ureka, Thaliru, etc.
Short story writer
f. P Jathavedan Potti, m. Ambika Devi
p.a. Thombil Madhom, Azhoor, Pathanamthitta PO. - 689 645, Pathanamthitta dist.
m.a. (same as above)
o. Mechanical Engineer, Kerala Ceramics Limited, Kundara
w. Nadiyum Madangivarum (stories)
r. Malayala Manorama Annual 1988 Story Contest: 3rd Prize
Selcted as one of the promising writers among five (Survey conducted by Malayala Manorama in 1994).

[This list is incomplete. Readers are encouraged to send in information on others that they may know of. - Editor]

| Article No:23.1 | Last update of this article:23rd March 2006 |

Articles written by:
1. Dr. Akavoor Narayanan, F-3, Medha Apartments, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi - 110 091. Phone : 011-22711882 (Sections A, B and C-Modern Age)
2. K. V. Ashtamoorthy Nambudiripad