P. Kunhiraman Nair

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P. Kunhiraman Nair
P.kunhiraman nair.jpg
Drawing of P Kunhiraman Nair
Born (1905-10-04)October 4, 1905
Bellikoth, Kanhangad, Kerala, India
Died May 27, 1978(1978-05-27) (aged 72)
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Occupation Teacher, Poet
Nationality Indian
Genre Poetry

P. Kunhiraman Nair (4 October 1905 – 27 May 1978), also known as Mahakavi P, was a renowned Malayalam poet whose works romanticised the natural beauty of his home state of Kerala in southern India and juxtaposed it with the hard realities of his life and times.

Born in Bellikoth near Kanhangad of North Malabar,[1] P., as he is known (simply by his initial), led a Bohemian lifestyle, wandering across Kerala, living in several places, meeting their people and making them part of his life and literature. He worked as a school teacher, having taught at Koodali near Kannur and Kollengode in Palakkad district.[2]

Poetry formed his main genre of work (it isn't exactly known how many poems he penned during his half-a-century career as many are irretrievably lost), though he has also penned stories, articles and a few plays. His autobiography, 'Kaviyude Kaalpaadukal' (The Footmarks of a Poet), is one of the celebrated works in prose in Malayalam.

The central Kerala belt of Valluvanad, known for its scenic charm and cultural vibrancy, worked as a major source of inspiration for the poet, who lived there for long—partly as a family man. His works are also dotted with metaphors from Kathakali, the classical dance-drama of his region.

Kunhiraman Nair was an award winner of both the Kerala Sahithya Akademi and the Kendra Sahithya Academy Award.[3]

Mahakavi P.Kunhiraman Nair began to write poems from his very early age of twelve years and continued till his last breath. His autobiography, Kaviyude Kalpadulal (foot prints of a poet) is quite different from other autobiographies and sweet as his poetries.

He worshipped nature and traveled extensively. He is a poet who forgot to live amidst his unending journey in quest of nature and poems. He is loved by many and known as a devotional poet. Devotion, natural beauty of Kerala, temples, deities, stories of epics, rituals and customs are resembled in his poetry

He studied at Sree Neelakanta Government Sanskrit College Pattambi and with the proficiency in Sanskrit, he initially worked at a printing press in Thrissur for a few years. Later, he published a newspaper from Kannur, before taking to teaching job and gaining name as 'Kavimaash' (poet teacher) among children. He retired from service in 1961. A sudden bout of illness claimed his life on May 27, 1978, when the poet was staying in a rest house in Thiruvananthapuram. He was aged 72 at the time of his death.[4]

Selected works[edit]

Handwrite of P Kunhiraman Nair


  • Kaliyacchan (Oriental Dance teacher, 1954)
  • Onassadya (Onam Feast, 1960)
  • Pookkaalam (spring, 1964)
  • Thaamarathoniyil (In The Lotus Boat, 1966)
  • Vasantholsavam (Spring Festival, 1972)
  • Chilamboli (Tinkling of the Anklet Bells, 1974)
  • Ratholsavam (Chariot Festival - 2 volumes, 1978)
  • Thamarathen ( Honey of the Lotus, 1983)
  • Mekalaeyude magal


  • Indira
  • Chaaithraraksha
  • Nirmala
  • Ramabai
  • Veerapratinha


  • Rangamandapam (Stage Canopy, 1956)
  • Upaasana (Worship, 1958)
  • Swapnasanchari(Dream Traveller )
  • Poonilaavu
  • Chandramandalam


  • Vichaaravibhaatam
  • Satyaraksha


  • Kaviyude kalpadukal(Footprints of poet)
  • Ennethirayunna njan(Me searching myself)
  • Nithyakanyakaye thedi (Searching for the ever virgin)


P. Smaraka (memorial) building in Kanhangad is dedicated in the memory of the poet P. Kunhiraman Nair.

In popular culture[edit]

Ivan Megharoopan, is a 2012 Malayalam biographical film, written and directed by P. Balachandran is based on the life of poet and is particularly based on his autobiography, Kaviyude Kalpadukal.[5] Also Kaliyachan, 2013 Malayalam film is based on his celebrated 1959 poem Kaliyachan with Manoj K. Jayan as lead.<[6][7]


  1. ^ MEN OF LETTERS from Kasaragod
  2. ^ "Remembering Mahakavi P.". The Hindu. 10 June 2006. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Awards & Fellowships-Akademi Awards
  4. ^ Life sketch given at the start of the poet's autobiography
  5. ^ P. K. Ajith Kumar (2010-11-19). "Poetic venture". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  6. ^ Parvathy Nambidi (24 September 2013). "Kaliyachan: Portrait of an artist". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Poetic frames". The Hindu. March 14, 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 

External links[edit]