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Born in 1767
Vaikom Padmanabha Pillai was an unsung hero and military officer of erstwhile princely state of Travancore. Padmanabha Pillai was a key figure in the 20-member group from the Nandyat Kalari that attacked Tipu Sultan’s armyin December 1789. Upon the death of his army commander, Tipu himself appeared in the battlefront and Padmanabha Pillai and Tipu Sultan fought face to face. Pillai by a very swift move made a serious injury in the knee of Tipu sultan, which made him fall. Tipu immediately mounted on his horse and retreated from the battle front. Pillai also played an active role in the defeat of Tipu Sultan during his second attack in April 1790. While Tipu’s army was camped at the banks of river Periyar, Padmanabha Pillai and his friend Kunji Kutty Pillai deluged Tipu’s army by breaking down the stone walls on the embankment of the Periyar Lake to cause a flash flood which forced Tiu to retreat with heavy loss of men and materials. Later, Padmanabha Pillai was appointed the commander of the army unit of Travancore Maharaja under the leadership of Velu Tampi Dalawa. In 1808 he led a major military advancement against British control in Travancore. When Velu Thampi Dalawa rebelled against the British East India Company, Padmanabha Pillai joined him and was his army chief. Both of them together revolted violently against attempts by the British to bring Travancore under its authority. But Pillai was captured by the British and hanged in public in 1809.


Born in 1934
Father : Marthandavarma Mother : Janaky Amma

Dr.M.S. Valliathan is a world famous personality in the field of medical science and research. He was the first Director of Sri Chitra Thirunal Medical Centre, Trivandrum.He played a vital role in introducing the most modern methods of treatment in the SCTMC, 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 on October 16, 1878 at Thiroor.
Father : Mullassery Damodaran Elayathu Mother: Parvathy Amma.

Vallathol was one of the great poets of Malayalam language whose rich, dense verse was a powerful influence on succeeding Malayalam poets, and whose prose was devoted to the liberation of the country, against untouchables and other social evils. Considered as most important poet after Cherussery, Ezhuthachan and Kunjan Nambiar.He wrote Vyasavatharam and Kirathasathakam, two Manipravala poems at his age of 13. Sahithya Manjari, Achanum Makalum, Shishyanum Makanum, Chithrayogam, Bandhanasthanaya Anirudhan, Badhira Vilapom, Magdalana Mariyam are some of his important works.He was a patriot and national poet. He dreamt the victory of the downtrodden. He ranked equal to Tagore and Subramonia Bharathy. He fought for world fraternity and peace. His respect for other cultures and vision of communal harmony made him different from others. It was through Vallathol that Kerala culture and art won world acclaim. 

He is the founder of Kerala Kala Mandalam. He fostered Kath kali, Kerala’s own glorious art form and gained global fame to it. Erstwhile Madras Government awarded Aasthana Maha Kavi. Awarded Padma Bhooshan by the Government of India. Was Chairman of Kerala Sahithya Academy and Sahithya Parishad.He died in 1958


Born on 28th October 1914
Father: P.Rajapolalachary
Mother: Ammukutty Amma

S. Varadarajan Nair was a freedom fighter,  a trade union activist and a veteran Congress leader. He was the Minister for Finance from 29-1-1978 to 7-10-1979. Varadarajan Nair entered into politics as an active member of Indian National Congress in early 1940s. He became the Mayor Thiruvananthapuram City Municipal Corporation in 1947. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in the 1970 and 1977 general elections.  He held important positions in the Congress as DCC President and Vice-President, KPCC. He had also served as the President of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and attended the International Labour Organistion session held at Geneva as the workers’ representative.  He passed away on 14.10.1989.


Born on 7th April 1929 at Madavur
Father: Rama Kurup
Mother: Kalyani Amma.

Madavoor Vasudevan Nair was a renowned maestro of Kathakali. He was an actor of the Kaplingatu school of Kathakali. He started his training Kathakali at the age of 12. Trained under the famous Kathakali masters like Madavoor Parameswaran Pillai, Kurichi Kunjan Panicker and Guru Chengannur Raman Pillai, he excelled in different roles in Kathi, Pacha, Vellathadi and Minukku characters. From 1968 to 1978 he served as instructor of Kaplingatu Kathakali in the Kerala Kalamandalam. He was the Principal of Kala Bharati Kathakali Centre at Pakalkuri in Kilimanur, Thiruvananthapuram district. He is also known for his vocals in Kathakali singing. Vasudevan Nair performed Kathakali in very many places all around India and abroad.  His marvelous performances brought him scores of acclaims and awards including the Thulaseevanam Award, Alappuzha Kathakali Club Award, Keraleeya Kalakshetra Award, Guru Chengannur Memorial Award, Kerala Kalamandalam Award, Thapasya Abhinandana Pathram, Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award etc. He was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2011. While performing as Ravana at the Agasthyacodu Mahadeva Temple in Anchal on 6th February, he collapsed on stage and died.


Born in 1911

Sri. Makkappuzha Vasueven Pillai was a celebrated personality who made tireless efforts for more than half a century for the progress and uplift of the nair community. He was a member of KPCC and AICC. He was elected Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly in 1951 and 1954. He was also elected as the President of NSS.

Died on August 30, 1998


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 died on July 12, 2005


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 level short story writing contest conducted by the Mathrubhoomi weekly. He has written many novels and short stories.Important works: Nalukettu, Murappennu, Asuravithu, Kaalam, Randamoozham, Manju. 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 Mathrubhum 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.


Father: Neelakanta Pillai
Mother: Kalyani Amma Born at Vayala near Anchal

Dr.Vayala Vasudevan Pillai was a Malayalam playwright and the Director of School of Drama and noted theatre personality who gave significant contributions in Malayalam theatre. On completion of his post-graduate programme in English, he joined as a teacher in English at the Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram. Later he obtained Ph.D in theatre art and playwright and appointed as the Assistant Director of the School of Drama at Thrissur. Later he became the Director of the School and continued as such till his retirement in 2005. Dr. Pillai was an associate of G.Sankara Pillai, eminent playwright and founder of Kalari theatre movement. He formed Suvarnarekha, a theatre group which presented about 30 plays. He won Kerala Sahithya Academy Award in 1981, Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy Award and Kendra Sangeetha Nadaka Academy for his contributions to theatre-playwright in Malayalam. Viswadarsanam, Thulaseevaram, Agni, Rangabhasha, Varavelpu,Kuchelagadha, The Death of Nestling, Suthradhara, Ethile... Ethile, Kunji Chirakukal, Swarnakokkukal are some of his important works.He passed away on August 29, 2011


Born in 1908 at Vazenkata
Vazhenkata Kunchu Nair was a legendary Kathakali Artist, a respected teacher, an excellent scholar in Sanskrit. Young Kunchu who was studying at Vellinezhi School, used to watch the Kathkali lessons imparted by the famous Pattinkkamthodi Ramunni Menon to his disciples in the nearby Kalari. Gradually he grew interested in the art of Kathakali and started training under Kariyattil Koppan Nair in 1924. Though Nair studied under eminent gurus, he had developed his own style and presented the roles in an appealing style and virtually metamorphosed as the characters. He served as the Principal of Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthi as well as the main teacher of Kathkali P.S.V. Natyasangham, Kottakkal, for many years. He was the first principal of Kerala Kalamandalam. He passed away in 1981.


Born in 1895Father : Krishna Panicker Mother: Paappi Amma.

Sri.Velappan became popular through the Nair Service Society.He was elected as the Member of Sree Moolam Praja Sabha twice and Travancore Legislative Council for two times. He was also elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly and became the Minister for Health. It was he who initiated action to institute Medical Colleges at Kottayam and Alappuzha. He was also the President of NSS.

Died on August 26, 1962



Born on January 9, 1912
Father : Krishna Pillai.R. Mother: Lekshmy Amma

Kalathil Velayudhan Nair was an undefeated leader of the national movement. He was an able advocate and administrator of the Travancore-Cochin Ministry. He was a farsighted politician and above all the very life and soul of the Nair Service Society. He elected to Legislative Assembly in 1952. He became the Minister for Electricity, PWD and Transport in A.J.John’s Ministry. He was elected as the President of NSS in 1968. He was the first President of National Democratic Party (NDP). He was also the Member of Senate and Syndicate of the University of Kerala. He made his firm imprints in whatever field he ventured..

Born in 1910 at Vellinezhi
Father: Koppan Nair
Mother: Karthyani Amma

Vellinezhi Nanu Nair was an eminent kathakali maestro, who excelled in Chuvanna Thadi (red beard category of Kathakali) representing ferocious characters. He started his training in Kathakali at his age of 11 in his own home under the guidance of his father, who was also a master in Kathakali. He was a member of Kerala Kalamandalam Kathakali troupe and travelled widely in India and abroad for performing Kathkali. He joined Vellinezhy High School as the Kathakali teacher in 1950 and retired in 1970. He passed away on 30th August, 1987.

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 source of major source of information.  He also wrote a novel, “Hemalatha”. He was a member of Travancore Legislative Assembly since 1914 and also the Vice-Chairman of the Legislaive Assembly.  He was versatile genius as an advocate and an eminent orator also.

Died in 1950

Born on 4th February 1963 at Payyanur
Father: Kunjukrishnan Nambiar
Mother: Janaki Amma

K.C. Venugopal is a leader of Indian National Congress party. He has been appointed as General Secretary of AICC in charge of organization. He served as the Minister for Dewaswom and Tourism in the Oommen Chandy Ministry from 2004-06. He was the Minister of State for Civil Aviation & Ministry of Power in the UPA Government. He entered into active politics through the student movement of the Indian National Congress. He became the State President of the Kerala Students Union and State President of the Indian Youth Congress. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly from Alappuzha Constituency in 1996, 2001 and 2006. He was elected to the Loksabha from Alappuzha Constituency in 2009.


Born on 16 April 1949
Father: Nagavally R.S.Kurup
Mother: Rajanmma

Venu Nagavally was an actor, screen-play writer and director of Malayalam films. He has directed 12 popular films and acted in more than 50 films. After obtaining degree and a Diploma in journalism, Venu started his career as an announcer in Akasavani. He started his career in film industry by acting in the movie Ulkkadal directed by K. G. George. Venu Nagavally passed away on 9 September 2010.



Born in 1935
Father: Barister M.K.NambiarAdvocate K.K.Venugopal is a leading and senior counsel of Supreme Court. He is an Expert in constitutional law and even the President of India seeks his advise in matters concerning constitutional issues. He is a social 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 etc.


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 Travancore. 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. He 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 control of power centres. 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, Colonel Mec Caule 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 admit the supremacy of British in the affairs of State. Velu Thampi appealed the people of Travancore to join his revolt 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 Tampi 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 on 24 May 1954
Father: K. Bhagyanath (famous magician)
Mother: Sulochana
Vidhubala is a former Malayalam film actress who has acted in more than 100 Malayalam films. Her first movie was School Master, in which she acted as an eight year old girl. However, her debut as a lead character is in Virunnukari released in 1973.


Born in August 1943
Vijay Nambiar is a retired Indian diplomat who served as the Special Advisor to UN Secretary General. After completing his post graduate degree in Political Science from Bombay University, Nambiar joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1967 and spent his early years in the diplomatic service specializing in the Chinese language serving in Hong Kong and Beijing. He also served during the mid-1970s in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Prior to joining the United Nations, Nambiar served as Deputy National Security Adviser to the Government of India and Head of the National Security Council Secretariat. He was India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (May 2002-June 2004). Earlier he served as Ambassador of India, in Pakistan, China, Malaysia, and Afghanistan. He was also earlier Ambassador of India in Algeria. He was Chef de Cabinet (Chief of Staff) under UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon from 1 January 2007 to February 2012. He held the rank of Under-Secretary-General and was a member of the Secretary-General's Senior Management Team. During the course of his professional career in the Indian Foreign Service; he had served in numerous bilateral and multilateral appointments in Beijing, Belgrade and New York during the 1970s and 1980s. He was Joint Secretary (Director General) handling East Asia in 1988 during the period of the historic visit of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China. He also dealt with multilateral affairs at the headquarters in New Delhi during the early 1980s.



Born on 5th October 1950 at Thiruvananthapuram
Father: V.Madhavan Pillai
Mother: B.Thankamma

M.Vijayakumar is a leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist) party, former minister and Ex-Speaker of Kerala Legislative Assembly. He entered politics through students movement and one of the founding leaders of Students Federation of India (SFI). He was the first State Secretary of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). He led several agitations and assulted by police and imprisioned for several times including the emergency period. He also served as a member of the Syndicate of the University of Kerala. He was elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1987, 1991, 1996 and 2006. He served as the Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 1996 to 200. He is the first speaker who has completed his term. In 2006 he was inducted as the Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs in the cabinet led by V.S.Achuthanandan

Born on 20th December 1951 at Kuala Lampur
Father: N. N. Pillai
Mother: Chinnamma
Vijayaraghavan is an actor of Malayalam cinema. He is popular for his character roles. He is specially known for playing the iconic character. However, he has juggled with various roles with ease, be it a hero, villain, father or comedian. Vijayaraghavan made his film debut with Kaapaalika, which was based on his father's play of the same name. He appeared in just a couple of scenes in this film. His opening as a full-fledged actor occurred ten years later in 1983. He has acted, mainly in supporting roles, in more than 300 films



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.


Vadakke Koottala Narayanan Nair, popularly known as VKN in Malayalam, belongs to the genus category of writers. He made use of humour, irony, satire, and parody and burlesque in his works. It may be a coincidence that VKN was also born, brought up and spent the major part of his life in the same area where Kalakkath Kunjan Nambiar and Mani Madhava Chakkyar, who were the masters of social satire and strong art forms of Thullal and Chakkyarkoothu were born. VKN entered into Malayalam literature field in 1950s. In 1960s VKN became a prominent figure in Malayalam literature as a writer. He was a Delhi based journalist from where he caught his hero, Payyan, who appeared in almost all his major works. His important works are Pithamahan, Arohanam, Adhikaram, Payyankadhakal, Sir Chathu, Kaavi, Chathans, and Chitrakeralam.

He died in 2004

Born on 15th January 1927
Father: Narayana Menon
Mother: Lekshmikutty Amma

Popularly known as ‘Ambadi Viswam’, V.Viswanatha Menon was an advocate and a renowned leader. He politics during his student life at the age of 13 and was suspended from Sri Rama Varma High School for his participation in the Quit India movement. In 1947 he was expelled from Maharajas College, Ernakulam for various political reasons. He was also imprisoned for three years for his involvement in the political activities including the Edapally Police Station Raid Case and went underground for more than two years. Menon was elected to Lok Sabha in 1967 and was also a member of Rajya Sabha from 1974 to 1980. He was elected as a member of Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1987 from Thrippunithura Constituency and served as the Minister for Finance from 2-4-1987 to 17-6-1991, in the Ministry headed by Shri. E.K. Nayanar.
He was a member of Ernakulam Municipal Council from 1956 to 1958 and a member of the Cochin University Senate. He passed away on 3rd May 2019 3 May 2019.

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