Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri

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Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri
Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri .jpg
Born (1926-03-18) 18 March 1926 (age 93)
Kumaranellur, Palakkad
Pen nameAkkitham
OccupationPoet, social worker
Notable works
  • Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam
  • Balidarshanam
  • Idinju Polinja Lokam
Notable awards
SpouseSreedevi Antharjanam
Children2 sons and 4 daughters

Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri (born 18 March 1926), popularly known as Akkitham, is an Indian poet and essayist of Malayalam language. Known for a simple and lucid style of writing, Akkitham is the 2019 recipient of India’s highest literary honour, the Jnanpith Award,[1] and several other awards including Padma Shri, Ezhuthachan Award, Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry, Odakkuzhal Award, Vallathol Award, Vayalar Award and Aasan Prize.


Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri

Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri was born on March 18, 1926 at Amettikkara, near Kumaranallur in Palakkad district[2] of the south Indian state of Kerala to Amettu Akkithathu Manayil Vasudevan Namboothiri and Checkur Manaykkal Parvathy Antharjanam.[3] After schooling in Sanskrit, Astrology and Music, he did college education but did not complete his graduate degree course.[4] He started his career as an editor of Unni Namboothiri magazine, which he used as a platform for his social activities. He also worked as an assistant editor at Mangalodayam and Yogakshemam magazines. In 1956, he joined the Kozhikode station of the All India Radio (AIR) where he served until 1975 after which he was transferred to the Thrissur station of the AIR. He was also associated with Anaadi, a literary initiative for popularising studies of Vedas.[4]

Akkitham is married to Sreedevi Antharjanam and the couple has a son, Narayanan and a daughter, Sreeja. The family lives in Amettikkara.[5] Noted painter Akkitham Narayanan is his younger brother.[6]


Akkitham's literary works began to gain wide attention in the early 1950s and Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam (Epic of the 20th Century), a khandakavya is one of the first truly modernist poems in Malayalam literature, the book also won the Sanjayan Award in 1952.[7] He has published around 45 books comprising poetry anthologies, plays and short stories. Balidarsanam (The Vision of Bali), Arangettam, Nimisha Kshetram, Idinju Polinja Lokam, Amritaghatika, and Kalikkottilil are some of his notable poetry anthologies. Upanayanam and Samavarttanam, two collections of essays, feature among the writings in prose. Sree Mahabhagavatham, his translation of Srimad Bhagavatam, composed of 14,613 verses, covers over 2,400 pages.[7]

Akkitham has been involved in social reform activities and through his association with Yogakshema Sabha, he has strived to bring in reforms in the lives of the Namboothiri Brahmins of Kerala. He was associated with various centres in Thirunavaya, Kadavallur and Thrissur, for the promotion of vedic studies. He was also associated with the Paliyam Sathyagraha, a peaceful protest against untouchability in 1947.[7]

Awards and honours[edit]

Akkitham received the Sanjayan Award in 1952, for his work, Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam[7] and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry in 1971 for Balidarshanam.[8] He received two major honours in 1973, the Sahitya Akademi Award for Balidarshanam[9] and the Odakkuzhal Award for Nimisha Kshetram.[10] He was selected for the Asan Smaraka Kavitha Puraskaram in 1994[11] and, two years later, for the 1996 Lalithambika Antharjanam Smaraka Sahitya Award,[12] followed by the Vallathol Award in 1997.[13]

The next major honour for Akkitham came by way of Vayalar Award which he received in 2012.[14] The Government of Kerala awarded him Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, their highest literary award in 2016.[15][16][17] He received Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of the Government of India in 2017.[18][19] He could not attend the investiture ceremony due to ill health; the award was later handed over to him by the district collector of Palakkad.[20] He received Jnanpith Award, the highest Indian literary award, in 2019.[21] He is also a recipient several other honours such as Krishna Geedhi Award, Nalappad Award, Puthezhan Award, Moorti Devi Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith and Amrita Keerti Puraskar (2004). Arikil Akkitham is a documentary film directed by E. Suresh, which details the life of the poet from the perspective of his daughter, Sreeja.[6]



  • Akkitham (1971). Upanayanam. S.P.C.S.
  • Akkitham. Idinju Polinja Lokam: Kavithakal.
  • Akkitham. Samavarthanam.
  • Akkitham. Balidarsanam. Kottayam: S.P.C.S.
  • Akkitham (2002). Akkitham kavithakal: sampoorna samahaaram(1946-2001). Kottayam: Current Books. ISBN 9788124011157.
  • Akkitham (2013). Thiranjedutha Kavithakal. DC Books. ISBN 9788126423446.
  • Akkitham (1997). Samanvayathinte aakaasham. Kottayam: D.C. Books.
  • Akkitham (1991). Sparsamanikal. Kottayam: D.C. Books.
  • Akkitham (1985). Amruthaghatika: Kavitha. Calicut: P. K. Brothers.
  • Akkitham (1980). Maanasa Pooja: Kavithakal.
  • Akkitham (1966). Oru kula mundiringa. Current books, Thrissur: Current Books.
  • Akkitham (1961). Sanjarikal. Current Books: Current Books.
  • Akkitham (1996). Slokapunyam. Akhila Kerala Akshara Sloka Parishath, Thrissur: Akhila Kerala Akshara Sloka Parishath, Thrissur.
  • Akkitham. Amrithaghadikam. Calicut: P.K. Brothers.
  • Achuthan Namboothiri, Akkitham (2013). Anthimahakalam (3rd ed.). Kozhikode: Mathrubhumi Books. ISBN 9788182657038.
  • Akkitham (1975). Kolaya Randu. National Bk Stall: National Book Stall.
  • Akkitham (1948). Prathikaradevatha. Mathrubhumi: Mathrubhumi.
  • Akkitham (1969). Karathalamalakam. Mangalodayam Ltd. Trissivaperur: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1966). Madhuvidhuvinusesham. Mangalodayam: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1969). Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam. Mangalodayam: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1966). Sagarasangeetham. Mangalodayam: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1963). Madhuvidu. Mangalodayam: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1951). Manasakshiyude Pookkal. Mangalodayam: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1967). Oru Kudanna nilavu. Mangalodayam: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1947). Desasevika. Mangalodayam: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1965). Avathalangal. Mangalodayam: Mangalodayam.
  • Akkitham (1998). Ponnanikalari. Kottayam: Sahithya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sankham, Kottayam.
  • Akkitham (1948). Prathikaradevatha. Yogakshemam Limitted: Yogakshemam Limitted.
  • Akkitham (1990). Kalikkottilil. Trivandrum: State Institute of Children's Literature.
  • Akkitham (2016). Kedatha Sooryan. Sukapuram: Vallathol Vidyapeetham.

Essays and literary criticisms[edit]

Children's literature[edit]




  1. ^ "Poet Akkitham bags Jnanpith award". New Delhi. 29 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri on Good Reads". www.goodreads.com. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  3. ^ "പത്മശ്രീ പ്രഭയില്‍ അക്കിത്തം അച്യുതന്‍ നമ്പൂതിരി". Mathrubhumi. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Biography of Akkitham". Akkitham. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  5. ^ "എല്ലാം സര്‍വേശ്വരന്‍െറ അനുഗ്രഹം –അക്കിത്തം". Madhyamam. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b Poet's life, as seen by his daughter. Kozhikode: The Hindu. 20 September 2015. ISSN 0971-751X.
  7. ^ a b c d "Mahakavi Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri". keralatourism.org. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry". Kerala Sahitya Akademi portal. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Kendra Sahitya Academy Awards (Malayalam)". Public Relations Department, Government of Kerala. Archived from the original on 24 May 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Winners of Odakkuzhal Award". www.keralaculture.org. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Asan Smaraka Kavitha Puraskaram recipients". asaneducation.com. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Lalithambika Antharjanam Smaraka Sahitya Award". www.keralaculture.org. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Winners of Vallathol Literary Awards". www.keralaculture.org. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  14. ^ "വയലാര്‍ അവാര്‍ഡ് അക്കിത്തത്തിന്". www.doolnews.com. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Ezhuthachan Puraskaram presented". The Hindu. 25 December 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Ezhuthachan award for Akkitham 2". The Hindu. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Ezhuthachan award for Akkitham". The Hindu. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  18. ^ "List of Padma awardees 2017". The Hindu. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  19. ^ "Padma Awards 2017 announced". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Padma Shri presented to Akkitham". Madhyamam. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Malayalam poet Akkitham wins 55th Jnanpith Award". The Hindu. 29 November 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 30 November 2019.

External links[edit]