Born in 1884 (1060 Medom 14) (M.E.) at Patyam in Kannur District. Father: Koran Gurukkal. Mother: Cheeruvamma. Vagbhadanandan was a scholar, journalist and an orator with unequal eloquence. Parents named him as Kunhikannan. Kunhikannan became a disciple of Alathur Brahmananda Sivayogi and accepted ascetic life. Thereafter, he began to known as Vagbhadananda. In 1906, he established a school for poor and oppressed at Karaparamba near Kozhikode and taught them Sanskrit. In 1917, he formed Atmavidya Sanghom, an organisation for preaching his philosophies and ideals. He traveled throughout the length and breadth of Kerala and established branches of Atmavidya Sanghom. Atmavidya, Atmavidyalekhamala, Aadhyanmayugom, Gandhiyum Sasthravyakhyanavum, Prarthananjali are his major works.


Born on January20, 1908. Father: Kaye Abdul Rahiman. Mother:Kunjachumma. Vaikom Muhammed Basheer is widely known as Beypore Sultan (Sultan of Beypore). He was an eminent novelist and storyteller, who won recognition and popularity in Kerala. He was one among the famous novel-trios – Basheer, Thakazhy and Dev. Basheer was the eldest child of his parents. After his education at the local Malayalam school, he continued his studies at the English school at Vaikom. While studying in V Form, he determined to join the Independence struggle and left the school. He went to Kozhikode and took part in the Salt Satyagraha held in 1930. His group was arrested before they could participate in the Satyagraha. He, along with his comrades, was remanded at Kozhikode sub-jail. Basheer was sentenced to three months imprisonment and sent to Kannur Central Prison. Freed from prison, he formed a terrorist movement and consequentially, a warrant was issued for his arrest and hence he left Kerala. Then he took up a long journey throughout India and many countries in Asia and Africa. After his return from his long journey, Basheer could not find any job for his livelihood. When he approached a book publisher in search of a job, he was assured some money if he wrote a story. Thus he wrote his first story Ente Thankam. Basheer continued his relationship with revolutionary leaders, which ultimately led to his arrest and imprisonment for two and half years. He wrote many of his works while he was in the jail. Basheer is known for his unconventional style of language. The major theme of all his stories is love and humanity. Main characteristic feature of his stories is its originality. Being a judicious observer of human character, he combined humour and misery in his works. Love, hunger and poverty are the recurring themes in his works. Basheer won many awards including Central Sahithya Academy Award. His main works are Premalekhanam, Sabdangal, Aanavaariyum Ponkurisum, tuppappakkoranendarnnu, Mucchittu kalikkarante Makal, Sthalatte Pradhaana Divyan, Pathummayute Aadu, Matilukal, Mantrikappuucha, Jeevitha Nizhalpatukal, Maranattinte Nizhal, Anuragaathinte Dinangal, Polisukarante Makal, Anargha Nimisham, Viddhikalute Swargam, Visappu, Visvavikhyathamaaya Mookku. He passed away in Beypore, on July 5, 1994.


Born in 1873 at Vakkom near Thiruvananthapuram. Vakkom Moulavi was an ideal journalist and valiant social leader and a scholar He was the founder of daily, Swadeshabhimani. Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai was the editor of this daily. The criticism against the Diwan of Travancore that appeared in the daily irritated the authorities and eventually resulted in the confiscation of press during 1910. Being the owner of the daily, Vakkom Moulavi stood like a rock behind Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai. Ramakrishna Pillai was banished from Travancore. After the confiscation of press, Moulavi concentrated in the social and cultural activities. He gave leadership for the development of Muslim society from its backwardness. He passed away in 1932.



Born in 1934. Father: Marthandavarma. Mother: Janaky Amma. Dr.M.S. Valliathan is a renowed personality in the field of medical science and research. He was the first Director of Sri Chitra Thirunal Medical Centre, Trivandrum. His ideas and action plans contributed for the overall progress and developments of the Centre. He is the Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University. He is also the Member, UGC, ICMR, Department of Bio-technology, Govt. of India, Energy Regulatory Board etc. The Government of India awarded him Padmasree. He was also awarded Padmavibhushan in 2005.


Born in 1921 at Kozhikode. Varghese Kurian is the doyen of cooperative movement and white revolution. Farmers and milk producers of Gujarat regard him as a living legend. Reached in 1948 at Anand, a village in Gujarat, Dr.Kurian gave shape to a cooperative movement with small and marginal milk producers that later became the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF). It was formed in 1973, and Dr. Kurian has been the Chairman of the GCMMF since then. AMUL, the synonym of Milk is an institution under GCMMF. AMUL brand milk and milk products gained worldwide recognition. Dr.Kurian resigned as member and chairman of GCMMF on 20th Mach 2006 consequent on a movement to adopt no confidence motion against him. Dr.Kurian was the Chairman of National Dairy Development Board from its inception in 1965 till he voluntarily resigned in 1999. He is also the Chairman of IRMA (Institute of Rural Management, Anand).


Born in 1857. Kandathil Varghese Mappila was the founder of Malayala Manorama, a leading daily of Malayalam. He was a source of energy and strength of the literary, social and cultural workers. He started his career in 1881as the Editor of"Kerala Mithram" published from Kochi. In the year 1888, he formed a Joint Stock Company and founded Malayala Manorama. It was his efforts that helped to form a common platform of all litterateurs of Kerala, which was divided into three regions. This initiative gave birth to a great movement known as Bhashaposhinisabha. Later, a magazine entitled Bhashaposhini was also published as a monthly. He passed away on July 6, 1904.


Born in April 22, 1885. T.M.Varghese was one of the luminous leaders of the Kerala. By profession, he was an advocate. He was a dedicated worker of the State Congress and gave leadership to the independence struggle. He became the President of State Congress in 1947. In the year 1936 he was elected to the Legislative Council of Travancore and became the Deputy President of the House. In 1948 he was elected to the Travancore Legislative Assembly and chosen as the Deputy Leader of the House. He also served as a cabinet member in the A.J.John's ministry of Travancore-Cochin during 1952. He passed away on December 31, 1961.


Born on 15 July 1934. Father: T.Narayanan Nair. Mother: Ammalu Amma. M.T.Vasudevan Nair is a versatile novelist of Malayalam and Jnanapeeth laureate. He wrote stories while he was a student and won first place in All Kerala short story writing contest conducted by the Mathrubhoomi weekly. He has written many novels and short stories. He won many awards like Sahithya Academy Award, Vayalar Award. He produced and directed a number of films in Malayalam.His film"Nirmalyam" won President's Gold Medal. He was the Editor of Mathrubhumi weekly. He is the visiting Professor of Pune Film Institute. Government of India awarded Padmabhooshan to him in 2005. He was also awarded Vallathol Sahithya Puraskaran for his comprehensive contributions in the field of literature. Important works: Nalukettu, Murappennu, Asuravithu, Kaalam, Randamoozham, Manju.


Born on March 2, 1926 at Kottayam. Father: V.N.Kesava Pillai. Mother: Nanukutty Amma. P.K.Vasudevan Nair became famous as an eminent parliamentarian and as the State Secretary of Communist Party of India. He was the Chief Minister of Kerala for a short period. He rose to the leadership through Students' and Youth Federations. He attained national repute as a Member of Parliament and as the Panel of Chairman of the Lok Sabha. He was elected to the Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram constituency in 2004 elections also. He passed away on July 12, 2005.


Born on July 22, 1936. Father: M.K.Padma Prabha Gowder. Mother: Marudevi. M.P.Veerendra Kumar is a celebrated author, renowned thinker, outstanding orator and popular political leader. He is a prominent figure in the social, political, cultural and literary fields. He entered into politics through Socialist Party. In 1974 he was elected as the Secretary of Socialist Party. When Socialist Party merged to the Janatha Party, he became one of its top leaders in the State. In 1977 he became the Secretary of Janatha Party and he was elected as its Vice-President of Janatha Party. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1987. He was inducted as the Minister for Forests & Wild Life in the Nayanar Ministry. In 1993 he was chosen as the President of Janatha Dal of Kerala faction. He was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from Kozhikode constitutency and inducted as the Minister of States for Finance and later as Minister of States for Labour and Parliamentary affairs. He was again re-elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in the elections held in 2004. He is the Chairman & Managing Director of the Mathrubhoomi publications. Samanvayathinte Vasantham, Buddhante Chiri, Gattum Kaanaacharadum, Raamante Dukham, Aatmaavilekku Oru Theerthayatra are some his famous works.


Born on 11th March 1894 at Alappat near Karunagapally in Kollam district of Kerala.

Father: Velayudhan Vaidyan
Mother: Velutha Kunjuamma

Dr.Velukutty Arayan is a multifarious genius who marked his foot prints in the history of Kerala. He was a social reformer, scholar, editor, litterateur, scientist, and physician who practiced all branches of medicine. On completion of his primary education, Velukkutty Arayan continued his education in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Before attaining the age of 18 years he secured deep knowledge in Ayurveda, Sanskrit and English. Thereafter, he continued studies in Allopathic system of medicine at Madras. Along with his medical education, he learned oceanic science and law. After obtaining degree in Allopathic medicine, he underwent studies in Homeopathic medicine at the Homeopathic Medical College at Calcutta and graduated with first rank. On his return to the native country he started practice as a doctor. Though he became a doctor, he did not forget his roots, his society and his nation. Being a member of Araya community (a community inhabit in the coastal region of Kerala whose main occupation is fishing) Velukutty Arayan dedicated his life for the uplift of the Araya community from its oppressed and exploited positions. It was he who founded a “Reading Room” for the first time in the region and that too at his age of 14 years. In 1936 he established a school at his village that paved path to formal education to the children of his community.  He founded several social organizations and trade unions.  Araya Vamsa Paripalana Yogam, Samastha Keraleeya Araya Mahajanayogam, Araya Service Society, Akhila Thiruvithamcore Navika Thozhilali Samgham, Thiruvithamcore Mineral Workers Union, Port Workers Union are some of them. He was a front line activist in the independence movement also.  Dr.Velukutty Arayan was one of the leaders of the Vaikom Sathyagraha. He established a journal, viz., Arayan in the year 1917 as the mouth-piece of the Kerala society in general and Araya community in particular.  He also published a women’s magazine Araya Sthreejana Masika. His literary works spread almost all branches of literature. Kiratharjuneeyam, Onam day, Dheenayaya Damayanthi, Padya Kusumanjali, Sree Chaithra Buddhan, Sathya Geetha, Mathangi, Chirikkunna Kavithakal, Chinthippikkunna Kavithakal, Kerala Geetham, Sooktha Muthu Mala (all poetic works), Bhagya Pareekshakal (Novel), Thiruvithamcore Araya Mahajanayogam (Satirical Novel), Iruttady, Almarattom, Bale Bhesh, Lokadasan (Drama) Matsyavum Mathavum (philosophical thoughts) are a few to mention. Dr.Velukutty Arayan is well remembered for his scientific projects. Land Reclamation Scheme that controls coastal erosion and enrichment of sea shore, projects for diversification of marine products, diversification of coconut products, production of news print from the raw materials available indigenously,  invention of certain medicinal formula combining different systems of medicine are some of the outstanding projects. It was Dr.Arayan who organized the first Fisheries Conference in 1949 with a view to evolve sustainable projects and programmes for the development of the coastal region and fishermen folk.

Dr. Velukutty  Arayan passed away on 31st May 1969.

For more reading:

  1.  MOHANDAS VALLIKKAVU,Dr. 2012. Velukutty Arayan, State Institute of Languages, Thiruvananthapuram. 
  2. MOHANDAS VALLIKKAVU,Dr. 2010, Arayan,Kerala Sahithya Academy,Thrissur

Born in 1882. T.K. Velu Pillai is famous as the author of Travancore State Manual, an authoritative history of Travancore. Like Logan's Malabar Manual, this work is a major source of information. He also wrote a novel,"Hemalatha". In 1914 he became a member of Travancore Legislative Assembly and relected as the Vice-Chairman of the Legislaive Assembly. He passed away in 1950.


Velu Thampi Dalawa was born in 940 (ME). He was the elder son of Kunchu Mayitti Pillai and Valliyamma Pillai Thankacy of Kalkulam Village in the erstwhile Travancore state. Velu Thampi who was efficient, loyal and just was selected as the leader of the Nattukootam (local body). Later he was appointed as "Karyakkar' of Kalkulam Village. Having understnd the abilities and loyalty, Karthika Thirunal Maharaja appointed him as 'Sarvadhikaryakkar' and then as the Dalawa of Travancore. Velu Thampi introduced several administrative reforms in the country. He established schools in all 'Karas'. The land was surveyed and levied land tax from the owners. He established courts of law and maintained law and order situation in the country scrupulously and without any fear or favour. In the beginning, Velu Thampi was in good terms with the British Empire. But he rose up against them when he found their attempts to have total political control of Travancore. Gradually, he turned against the British Resident. He persuaded the Maharaja of Travancore to request the Madras Government to recall the Resident from Travancore. Infuriated with the action of Velu Thampi, the Resident started torturing the subjects. Velu Thampi Dalawa had allied himself with the Dewan of Kochi Paliyath Achan in the armed campaign against the British. After almost a year of battles, Velu Thampi Dalawa fled the kingdom. The power of the British Resident was now paramount and the Maharaja had to accept the supremacy of British. Velu Thampi appealed the people of Travancore to join and cooperate with him to fight against the atrocities of British through famous 'Kundara Proclamation' announced on 11 January 1809. He continued his legendary revolt against the British with the help of soldiers who fall in with him. But Veluthampi Dalawa and his soldiers failed miserably in the fight held at Kollam and he was defeated. Velu Thampi is said to have ended his life by himself rather than face humiliation at the hands of his opponents. He met his tragic death at Mannady.


Born in 1935. Father: Barister M.K.Nambiar. Advocate K.K.Venugopal is a leading and senior counsel of Supreme Court. He is an expert in constitutional law. He is a social thinker, a lover of humanity and man of great vision. He was the Additional Solicitor General during 1979-80. He was also the President of International Association for Lawyers. He appeared for several important and historical cases like Pondichery Assembly Speaker election case, dismissal of Karunanidhi's Ministry during emergency period, Babri Masjid case, Mandal Commission case etc.


Born on 23 June 1928. Vilasini is the pseudonym of M.Kuttikrishna Menon (M.K.Menon), who wrote beautiful novels in Malayalam. He was also a teacher and journalist. His novel Avakashikal, published in 1980, is the largest one ever written in Malayalam and perhaps, in Indian languages. His other important works are Niramulla Nizhalukal, Inangattha Kannikal, Oonjaal, Chundeli,Yaathraamukham. He passed away on 15 May 1993.


Father: Sri Govinda Kurup,Mother: Smt. Bharathi Amma.Born at Kuttanand in Alappuzha district Vinayan is a gifted cine director and producer.  He has so far directed 36 movies (31 in Malayalam, 4 in Tamil and 1 in Telugu). He produced 4 movies, written story for 20 movies, scripts and dialogues for 12 films and penned lyrics for 5 films. He introduced many new actors in the Malayalam film industry. Vinayan created history by writing and directing the Malayalam film Albhuthadweep which was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of Records for casting the most number of dwarf actors in a movie and also for featuring the shortest male lead actor in a movie. The film was a success in box-office and it was remade in Tamil language by Vinayan himself. His film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum won two National Film Awards including a Special Jury Award for best actor and best male playback singer. He won Kerala Film Critics Award for best director and for best film for Meerayude Dukhavum Muthuvinte Swapnavum and his film Kasi won the Tamil Nadu State Award for best actor.
Vinayan is the founder/president of the MACTA Federation. He has also launched a co-operative society for the benefit of film workers. He is also the Advisory Member of the Cine Workers Welfare Board, sponsored by the Government of India. He has been appointed as the Chairman of the Kerala Horticultural Development Corporation.

VKN (Vadakke Koottala Narayan Nair)

Vadakke Koottala Narayan Nair, popularly known as VKN in Malayalam, is an eminent author whose sense of humour is second to none. He has paved a unique humour technique in Malayalam literature. With the efficient strategy of language manipulation, he revealed a different world before the readers. He ridiculed the hyphocracies of the world through his writings and makes us to laugh and think. Highest form of satire can be seen in his works. He used humour, irony, satire, parody, mockery and everything that he deemed fit in his works. It may be a strange coincidence that VKN was also born, brought up and spent the major part of his life in the same area where Mani Madhava Chakkyar and Kalakkath Kunjan Nambiar, who were the great masters of Chakkyarkoothu and Thullal respectively, which are the strong art forms of social satire. VKN's entry into Malayalam literature was in 1950s. In 1960s VKN came to prominence as a writer. He was a Delhi based journalist from where he caught his hero, "Payyan", who appeared in almost all his major works. VKN's important works are Pithamahan Arohanam, Adhikaram, Payyankadhaka , Sir Chathu, Kaavi, Chathans, and Chitrakeralam. He passed away in 2004.