Senguttuvan ascended the Chera throne after the death of his father Nedunjeral Adan. He won a war against the Mokur chieftain. The Stlappadikaram tells us that he attacked Viyalur in the land of Nannan and took the Kodukur fortress in Kongu country. He successfully intervened in a civil war in the Chola Kingdom and established his relative Killi on the Chola throne. The land and naval expeditions against the Kadamba-"Yavana" allied forces were also successful. He is also said to have defeated the Kongu people. Under his reign, the Chera kingdom extended from Kollimalai in the east to Tondi and Mantai in the western coast.
Vel Kelu Kuttuvan is famous for the legends surrounding Kannagi, the heroine of the legendary Tamil epic Silapathikaram. According to the legends, Ilango Adigal, the Jain author of Silapathikaram was his younger brother. Vel Kelu Kuttuvan was born to Nedum Cheralathan and Nalchonai- the daughter of a Chola king Manikilli.