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Kettilamma was the title held by the Nair consorts of the principal ruling Rajahs of Malabar (Northern Kerala) in pre-democratic feudal Kerala.[1] Similarly, Nair consorts of the Maharajahs of southern Kingdoms of Kerala namely Cochin and of Travancore were known as Nethyar Ammas and Panapillai Amma respectively.[2] The form of marriage was Sambandham and was referred to as Pattum Vala, after which she assumed the honorific title of Kettilamma.


  • KM Kunhulakshmy Kettilamma (1877-1947) born in Kottayam, in Malabar, was a renowned scholar in Sanskrit and Malayalam. Her major work in Sanskrit was Prarthananjali.[3] Among her Malayalam books were savitrivrittam, Puranachandrika and Kausalyadevi. She edited the women's magazine Mahilaratnam.
  • Avinjyat Kunjani Kettilamma was one of the two consorts of Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja [4] was famous for having faithfully accompanied the Raja even into forests during his gureilla war and was captured as a sick woman by British in 1805.
  • Purameri Devaki Kettilamma was famous for her donations to the Satyagraha committee during Indian freedom struggle.


  1. ^ Epigraphia Malabarica By K. Maheswaran Nair.
  2. ^ Travancore State Manual by V.Nagam Aiya.
  3. ^ Her-self: early writings on gender by Malayalee women, 1898-1938 by J. Devika .
  4. ^ A tragic decade in Kerala history by T. P. Sankarankutty Nair

See also[edit]