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Freedom Struggle
Political Leaders
Arts & Literature

                                                      Arts & Literature


Ponnani is a land of rich cultural heritage and has gifted a number of socio-cultural personalities to the nation.  Ponnani has also produced many writers of  fame. The following are the notable personalities among them.


Sheikh Zainudhin Makhdum.

 The most notable writer from Ponnani was of course Sheikh Zainudhin Makhdum, the author of Thuhfathul Mujahideen. His treatise on Shafi’te Jurisprudence, Fathul Mueen and Thahfathul Mujahudheen  became textbook in Egyptian universities. Thahfathul Mujahudheen (Victory of Fighters) written by Shekh Zainudhin MakhdumII is the first official book in  Kerala history.

Thunjath Ezhuthachan.

Ezhuthachan is considered as the ‘Father of Modern Malayalam’. Thunjath Ezhuthachan was born around 450 years ago at Thunchan Parampu in Thrikkandiyoor in (old) Ponnani taluk in Malappuram district. All malayalees consider Thunchan parampu as a holy place. His real name was Ramanujan and signs of brilliance were evident in his childhood. He traveled extensively in search of knowledge and returned to Thrikandiyur, his birthplace, after mastering the religious sciences.

Thunchattu Ezhuthachan, the greatest Malayalam poet of all time, wrote his two great epics Adhyatma Ramayanam and Srimahabharatam and two shorter pieces, Irupattinalu Vrittam and Harinama Kirtanam and thereby revolutionized Malayalam language and literature at once. He is rightly regarded as the maker of modern Malayalam and the father of Malayalam poetry. The study of Malayalam should properly begin with the acquisition of the skill to read Ezhuthachan's Ramayanam with fluency. It was in his works that the Sanskrit and Dravidian streams in our language as well as literature achieved a proper synthesis.

Vallathol Narayana Menon (1878-1958) .

Vallathol was born in Vettathunadu in Ponnani taluk. In the early decades of the 20th century, Malayalam poetry, fettered for a time by repetitive neo-classical works, was rejuvenated and liberated by the trio of Kumaran Asan, Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer and Vallathol Narayana Menon. Vallathol, the youngest of the three, knew little English; yet by his intuitive capacity, he imbibed the spirit of romanticism which infused new life in Malayalam literature. A classicist by discipline, Vallathol started composing poems at the age of 13. His mature poems in Sanskrit and in Malayalam appeared only after 1910. He translated Rig Veda into Malayalam at the age of 75. His major works include Magdalana Miriam (1921)- an exquisite narrative poem based on an episode in the life of Christ.


Nalappattu Narayana Menon  -- Very famous poet in Malayalam. His works include  'Kannu neer thulli',.... 'Pavangal', the Malayalam translation of  the famous book 'Les miserables',  the story of  Jeen-Val-Jeen, written by Victor Yugo  is one among his notable works.


P.C. Kuttikrishnan   -   Popularly known by his pen name  'Uroob'. He was born in Kadavanad in Ponnani. His novels and short stories played a great role in the development of Malayalam literature. He was a humanist and nature lover and Worked with AIR, Kozhikode for 25 years. Uroob was a great admirer of Mahatmaji.  His story for the Malayalam movie 'Neelakkuyil' won President's first Swarnamayooram award.  

Position held: 

President, Kerala Sahitya Akademi; Editor, Malayala Manorama
Important Works:

Pirannal, Gopalan Nayarude Thadi, Ullavarum Illathavarum,     Kumpedukkunna Mannu, Mindappennu, Aniyara,          Kumhammayum          Koottukarum, Bala Sahitya Krithikal, Ummachu, Ammini, Sundariyum Sundaranmarum etc.
Award, Honors:

Kendra Kala Samithi Award - Theekondou Kalikkaruthu.

Kerala Sahithya Akademi Award (1958, first award for Novel) - Ummachu.


Idasseri Govindan Nair (1906-1974)   - Poet and social reformer and was prominent among progressive writers of Kerala.  He has been awarded with Kerala Sahithya Academy award (Poetry- 1969) for his work 'Orupidi Nellikka'.

Plays:   Noolamala,Koottukrishi,Kaliyum Chiriyum,Chaliyathi,Njetiyil Pataratha,Mulla,Jarasandhanthe Puthri,Complete Plays of Edasseri

Poems:  Alakavali,Karutha Chettichikal,Puthan Kalavum Arivalum, Laghuganangal, Oru Pidi Nellikka,Kavile Pattu,Thathwashastrangal Urangumbol, Thrivikramannu Mumbil, Kunkumaprabhatham, Anthithiri, Complete Poetic Works of Edasseri

Edasseri Memorial Committee:  Edasseri Govindan Nair  is ever remembered as a leading light of the post-independence modern Malayalam poetry.  As a poet, playwright and social activist he endeared himself to all classes of people. Edasseri Memorial Committee was constituted at Ponani on December 24, 1978. The Committee was inaugurated at a function held at the Kerala Sahitya Academy Hall, Thrissur by late V.T. Bhattathiripad, renowned social reformer, orator and dramatist. The founder Secretary was the famous poet Shri Kadavanad Kuttikrishnan and the treasurer Mahakavi Akkitham Achyuthan Namboothiri. At present the Committee has as its office bearers a group of poets and intellectuals led by Mahakavi Akkitham Achyuthan Namboothiri.

The Committee owns a small building in Ponani. The Krishna Panikker Library & Reading Room functions in this building. This library & reading room was established in the forties by Shri Edasseri himself together with Shri P. Narayanan Vydiar in memory of Shri P. Krishna Panikker, a freedom fighter.

Edasseri Memorial Award:    The award was set up in 1982. The award jury selects an unpublished literary work for the award. Each year a separate branch of literature, like poetry, novel etc., is considered for selection of work. A short-list is prepared after a preliminary scrutiny of the manuscripts received for consideration, and a three-member jury decides the work for award out of this short-list. Initially the amount of Award was Rs.2,500 which was enhanced to Rs.3,000 and finally to Rs.5,000.

M.T. Vasudevan Nair(b. 1933) -  popularly known as M.T. The famous Malayalam story-writer, novelist and editor has to his credit a number of fine films as well. He has written the script for a number of outstanding films besides having directed a few. Winner of several awards including the Jnanpith(1995), burst into the literary scene with his maiden work, Nalukettu (the ancestral home of a Nair joint family), followed by Asuravithu (Asuravittu; Demon's seed: the son born to undo the family). The latter novel, written in a prose with poetic quality, bears the stamp of his genius, his mastery in subtle delineation of characters with great psychological insight.

Awards, Honors: 

Jnathapith award(1995).

Kerala Sahithya Academy(1958, Novel)  - 'Naalukettu'

Kerala Sahithya Academy(1982, Drama) - 'Gopura Nadayil'

Kerala Sahithya Academy(1986, Short Story)  - 'Swargam Thurakkunna Samayam'.

Vayalar award(1985)  - 'Randamoozham'.


C. Radha Krishnan - The famous Malayalam novelist and editor. He has written the script for some outstanding films. He is a former student of A.V. High School Ponnani. His principal works include 'Puzhamuthal Puzhavare', 'Spandamaapinikale Nandhi', 'Pullippulikalum Velli Nakshathrangalum', 'Ottayadippathakal', 'Munpe parakkunna Pakshikal',' Ellam maykkuna kadal','Nizhalppadukal'  etc. 

Awards, Honors: 

C. Radhakrishnan has been honored by both the National Sahitya Academy of India (1989, for Spandamapinikale nandi) and the Sahitya Academy of Kerala (1962, for Nizhalpadukal). He has been conferred the Vayalar Award (1990 for Munpe parakuna pakshikal), Mahakavi G. Award (1993, for Verpadukalude viralpadukal), Abudhabi Malayali Samajam Award (1988, for Munpe parakuna pakshikal), C.P.Menon Memorial Award (for Aalochana), Achuthamenon Award (for Munpe parakuna pakshikal), Pandit Karuppan Award etc. His works have been translated into various Indian and foreign languages.

See the Site C.Radhakrishnan


Nalappattu Balamaniyamma

Kuttikrishna Marar -  A great literary critic, writer and a grammarian in Malayalam. He has won Kerala Sahithya Academy award (1969- Criticism) for his work 'Kala Jeevithan Thanne'.

Akkitham Vasudevan Namboothiri  - Well known poet. Won Kerala Sahithya Academy award (1971- Poetry) for  'Balidarshanam'.

Krishna Panikkar

Kadavanad Kutti Krishnan  -  Well known poet. Won Kerala Sahithya Academy award (1978- Poetry) for his work  'Suprabhatham'.

Kamala Surayya (b. 1932) - Madhavikutty is the pen-name adopted in her Malayalam writings. Though internationally renowned for her spirited poems in English, she has penned some brilliant short stories in her mother tongue. Madhavikutty's focus has always been on the tormented female self craving for love, but doomed to be cheated, exploited and abandoned. She replaced the self-pity that was a staple element of conventional women's stories with a subversive, vengeful imagination that demythified love, sex and even death. Her principal works include Naricheerukal Parakkumbol (When Bats Fly, 1960), Thanuppu (Cold, 1967), Madhavikuttiyude Kathakal (The Short Stories of Madhavikutty, 1982), and Neypayasam (Rice Pudding, 1991) and Ente Katha (My Story).

Awards, Honors: 

Kerala Sahithya Academy(1968, short story)  - 'Thanuppu'

Vayalar award(1997)  -  'Neermaathalam Poothakaalam'.


M.D. Nalappattu  -  Malayalam Writer. Director of  Mathrubhumi daily.

P. Surendran

E. Harikumar   - short story writer, Kerala Sahithya Academy award(1988 - short story) winner for the book  'Dhinosarinte kutti'.

Alankodu Leelakrishnan

K.P. Ramanunni - Novelist, Winner of Kerala Sahithya Academy award(1995 - Novel,  'Suffy paranja katha').

Prof. K.V. Abdurahman - Historian. Written a book on the  history of   Ponnani.

P.P. Ramachandran

Hamza Adanasseri   -  The finest exponent of Mappilapattu.


Arts & Music:


Artist Padmini  (1940-1968)  -  Former student of A.V High school Ponnani. Her paintings were exhibited in many exhibitions including National Exhibition of Arts (1964,69) and Association of Painters and Sculptures show in Bombay(1964). She is the recipient of several prestigious  awards including Madras  state Lalitha Kala Academy Award(1963,1967) and  Kerala state  Lalitha Kala Academy Award.

A collection of her paintings are available in National gallery for Modern arts(Madras), Salar Jung Museum(Hyderabad)  and in some other museums in India and abroad.

K.C.S. Panikkar

Artist Namboothiri  -

Khaleel Rahman  - Hindustani singer.

Aziz  Bhai -  Hindustani singer.

Ustad mayin  -  Music Director.


Socio-cultural Personalities


Adv. Koladi Govindan Kutty  -  Well known Politician and very active in socio-cultural  activities.

K. Krishna Warrier   -  Retired headmaster, A.V. High School Ponnani.

Justice.  Kunhammad Kutty  - First keralite  Justice of  Madras High court.

Prof. A.V. Moideen Kutty   -  Former principal of MES Ponnani College.

Prof. M.M. Narayanan   -  Well known Politician. Member of Kerala Sahithya Acadamy. Malayalam Professor in MES College, ponnani.

Prof. Kadavanad Mohamed  - Well known Politician and active in socio-cultural  activities. Former Professor of MES College, Ponnani.