Neela Padmanabhan was born in Kanyakumari District. He obtained a B. Sc in Physics and a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kerala University. He worked in the Kerala State Electricity Board till his retirement in 1993. His first noted work was the novel Thalaimuraigal (lit. Generations). He has written 20 novels, 10 short story collections, 4 volumes of poetry and 7 essay collections in Tamil. In Malayalam, he has published a novel, four short story collections and a single essay collection. Besides Tamil and Malayalam, he also has a few English works to his credit. During 1985-89 he was the Tamil editor at Sahitya Akademi and was the convener of the Akademi's Tamil advisory board during 1998-2002. In 2007, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil for his novel Ilai uthir kaalam (lit. Autumn). He had earlier won the Akademi's award for translators in 2003 for his translation of Ayyappa Paniker's works into Tamil. In 2010, his novel Thalaimuraigal was made into a Tamil film titled Magizhchi (lit. Happiness). His most noted work is his novel Pallikondapuram.(lit. Where the Lord sleeps). He currently lives in Thiruvananthapuram.