Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri

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Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri
Born(1939-06-02)June 2, 1939
Thiruvalla, Kerala, India
DiedFebruary 25, 2021(2021-02-25) (aged 81)
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
OccupationWriter, poet, academic, priest
Notable works
  • Swathanthrathe Kurichu Oru Geetham
  • Bhoomigeethangal
  • Indiayenna Vikaaram
  • Charulata
Notable awards
  • Vishnu Namboothiri (father)
  • Adhithi Antharjanam (mother)

Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri (2 June 1939 – 25 February 2021) was an Indian writer and scholar of Malayalam literature. Known primarily for his poems, Namboothiri also contributed to other genres such as essays, translations and children's literature. Swathanthrathe Kurichu Oru Geetham, Bhoomigeethangal, Indiayenna Vikaaram and Charulata count among his notable works. The Government of India honored him with the fourth highest civilian award of the Padma Shri in 2014 and the Government of Kerala awarded him the Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the highest literary award in Malayalam, the same year. He was also a recipient of Vayalar Award, Vallathol Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Overall Contributions, Asan Prize, Sahitya Akademi Award and Odakkuzhal Award.


Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri was born on June 2, 1939, to Vishnu Namboothiri and Adhithi Antharjanam at Seeravally Illam in Thiruvalla, Kerala.[1] After traditional education of Vedas, Puranas and Sanskrit from his grandfather, he did his school education at Prince Marthanda Varma High School, Peringara and subsequently, obtained his graduate degree from St. Berchmans College, Changanacherry and his master's degree from St. Joseph's College, Devagiri, topping the examination.[2] He started his career as a teacher of Mathematics at his alma mater, Peringara School but moved to Malabar Christian College as a faculty in English department. Later, he worked in various parts of the state such as Kozhikode, Kollam, Pattambi, Ernakulam, Tripunithura, Chittur, Thalassery (Government Brennen College)[3] and the State Institute of Languages,[4] before superannuating from service as the head of the department of English at the University College Thiruvananthapuram. Later, he also worked as the high priest at Sreevallabha Temple, his ancestral temple.[1]

Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri was married to Savithri Antharjanam[5] and the couple had two daughters, Adhithi and Aparna.[3][6]


He died on February 25, 2021, aged 81, at his home in Thycaud near Thiruvananthapuram due to age-related illnesses.[7] He was cremated with full state honours at Santhikavadam Crematorium near his home.[8]

Temple controversy[edit]

During his tenure as the high priest of Sreevallabha Temple, an official of the temple raised an issue in 1997 regarding his travel to London for presenting a paper on Vedas, which the official claimed that crossing the seas was an unacceptable practice for a priest.[9] He was asked to abstain from performing his duties as the priest. However, the controversy subsided after public resistance and Namboothiri resumed his priestly duties.[10]


Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri, whose poems are known to be a blend of tradition with modernity,[11][12][13] received the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry in 1979 for his poetry anthology, Bhumigeethangal.[14] Fifteen years later, Sahitya Akademi selected his anthology, Ujjayiniyile Rappakalukal for the 1994 Sahitya Akademi Award.[15] In between, he received the Odakkuzhal Award for his work, Mukhamevide?.[16][17] He received the Asan Smaraka Kavitha Puraskaram in 1996,[18] and Kerala Sahitya Akademi honored him again in 2004 with their Award for Overall Contributions.[1] He received the Mathrubhumi Literary Award in 2009[19] and the year 2010 brought him two awards, *Vayalar Award for Chaarulata[20][21] and the Vallathol Award.[22] The Government of India honored him in 2014 with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India,[23][24][25] and the same year, The Government of Kerala awarded him their highest literary award of the Ezhuthachan Puraskaram.[26] The other awards received by him include Changampuzha Award, Ulloor Award, Pandalam Keralavarma Poetry Award, Deviprasadam Trust Award (2005),[27] Ettumanoor Somadasan Sahitya Puraskaram[28] and C. V. Kunhiraman Literary Prize.[1][3]



  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan. Vaishnavam. Mathrubhumi Books. ISBN 9788182654662.
  • Vishnunarayanan Nambudiri (1968). Swaathandhryathe-Kurich Oru Geetham (in Malayalam). Kōṭṭayaṃ: SPCS. OCLC 31893744.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan (1985). Aparājita: theraññeṭutta kavitakaḷ (in Malayalam). Kōṭṭayaṃ: Little Prince Publications. OCLC 17123469.
  • Vishnunarayanan Nambudiri (1987). Āraṇyakaṃ. Kozhikode: Mathrubhumi Books. OCLC 24213789.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan (2010). India Enna Vikaram. National Book Stall.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan. Ujjayiniyile Raapakalukal (in Malayalam). Mathrubhumi Books. p. 88. ISBN 8182643902.
  • Viṣṇunārāyaṇan Nampūtiri (1978). Bhoomigeethangal (in Malayalam). India: Viṣṇunārāyaṇannampūtiri : Kōṭṭayaṃ : Vitaraṇaṃ, Nāṣanal Bukkst̲āḷ. OCLC 1121464462.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan. Mukhamevide.
  • Vishnunarayanan Nambudiri (1986). Athirthiyilekkoru Yaathra. Kōṭṭayaṃ: DC Books. OCLC 18260284.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan (2012). Parikramam. National Book Stall.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan. Sreevalli.
  • Viṣṇunārāyaṇan Nampūtiri (2006). Uttarayanam. Title on p. Facing t.p.:Utharaayanam. Kozhikode: Poorna Publications. ISBN 9788130003795. OCLC 679299312.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan. Ente Kavitha (in Malayalam). Mathrubhumi Books. p. 208. ISBN 9788182645646.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan (2013). Pranayageethangal. SPCS. ISBN 9780000194237.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan. Kayyoppu Maram.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan (2012). Charulatha. National Book Stall.
  • Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan (2015). Jayaprakasham. Mathrubhumi Books.




  • Bhasan (2007). Karnabhaaram. Translated by Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan. Kerala Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 978-8176901284.
  • Rithu Samhaaram
  • Gandhi
  • Bold, Harold C; Nārāyaṇan Nampūtiri, Viṣṇu (1974). Sasyalōkam. Translated by Namboothiri, Vishnunarayanan. Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Bhasha Institute. OCLC 1065261213.
  • Kuttikalude Shakespeare

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "കവി വിഷ്ണു നാരായണൻ നമ്പൂതിരി അന്തരിച്ചു". ManoramaOnline (in Malayalam). Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri". Humans of Thiruvalla. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "കവി വിഷ്ണുനാരായണന്‍ നമ്പൂതിരി അന്തരിച്ചു Mathrubhumi". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Prominent personalities of Kerala". State of Kerala. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Kerala State - Everything about Kerala". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Acclaimed Malayalam Poet Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri passes away". News Track. 26 February 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Poet Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri passes away". The Hindu. 25 February 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  8. ^ B. S. Anil Kumar (25 February 2021). "Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri: Malayalam poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri passes away". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Poet, teacher, priest Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri no more - Times of India". The Times of India. 26 February 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Poet, teacher, priest Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri no more". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Malayalam Poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri Dies, PM Expresses Grief". Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  12. ^ "Malayalam poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri passes away". Hindustan Times. 26 February 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  13. ^ Bharat, Divya (25 February 2021). "Poet Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri passes away - Divya Bharat". Divya Bharat 🇮🇳. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Awards for Poetry". 26 June 2018. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  15. ^ "..:: SAHITYA : Akademi Awards ::." 4 March 2016. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Winners of Odakkuzhal Award". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  17. ^ "Winners of Vallathol Literary Awards". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Winners of Asan Prize". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Mathrubhumi Literary Award". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  20. ^ "Vayalar Award for poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  21. ^ "Winners of Vayalar Award". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  22. ^ "Vishnunarayanan Namboodiri gets Vallathol award". Archived from the original on 13 October 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  23. ^ "Padma Awards Announced". Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 25 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  24. ^ "List of Padma awardees". The Hindu. 25 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  25. ^ "List of Padma awardees". The Hindu. 25 January 2014.
  26. ^ "Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri gets award". The Hindu. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  27. ^ "Awards, Trusts and Scholarships: 2: Deviprasaadam Trust". Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  28. ^ "ഏറ്റുമാനൂര്‍ സോമദാസന്‍ സാഹിത്യ പുരസ്‌കാരം വിഷ്ണു നാരായണന്‍ നമ്പൂതിരിക്ക്". DC Books. Retrieved 2 January 2015.

External links[edit]