Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar

Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar (1861 – 14 November 1914) was a Malayali essayist and short story writer, and a prominent landlord of Malabar district. He is also known as the Grand Old Man Of Kerala Journalism.

Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar
Born1861 (1861)
Malabar district, British India
Died14 November 1914 (1914-11-15) (aged 53)
Malabar district, British India
GenreShort Story, Essay, Criticism
Notable worksVasanavikriti

Vengayil familyEdit

Nayanar was born in an aristocratic Nair family known as "Vengayil" in Chirackal Thaluk, Northern part of Malabar district in British India. The Vengayil Nayanar tharavad were a significant land-owning family of Malabar district in the 1800s in British India. They, at the time, owned more than 200,000 acres (810 km2) of land including vast forest lands. The land directly under ownership of the Vengayil family was comparable to the size of the 13-gun salute princely state of Kapurthala State (352 square miles (910 km2)), and 11-gun salute Morvi State (242 square miles (630 km2)).

Early Life and EducationEdit

Kunhiraman Nayanar was born to Vengayil Kunhakkam Amma and Puliyappadappu Haridasan Somayajipad, a Nambudiri Brahmin from Perinchellor Graamam, Taliparamba. His early education was in Sanskrit, and later joined the English school at Taliparamba, followed by the Saidampetta Agricultural College in Calicut. In 1904 he became a member of the Malabar District Board, and in 1917 was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly.


Nayanar came to the literary world through Kerala Pathrika (started in 1884 by C. Kunhiraman Menon (1854–1936) and Appu Nedungadi (1860–1934) at Kozhikode). He was also closely associated with periodicals like Kerala Chandrika (started in 1879 at Thiruvananthapuram), Kerala Sanchari (after 1898 under the editorship of Murkoth Kumaran) and the English Journal Malabar Spectator.[1] He wrote the first Malayalam short story, Vasanavikriti. Under the pen names "Kesari", "Vajrasoochi","Vajrabahu", Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar's works obtained wide appreciation from all over South India. Kesari was a sharp critic of social reality, criticising social inequalities. He was also a close friend of Dr. Hermann Gundert and William Logan who did a lot of research on the history, language, culture of Kerala.


Vengayil Nayanar's grandson was K. P. Candeth, a Lieutenant General in the Indian Army and first Governor of Goa. His son was A. C. N. Nambiar, an Indian Nationalist and involved with the Indian Legion during the Second World War.

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