Kodengallur Kunhikuttam Thampuran is one of the leading stalwarts of Indian Literature, Malayalam and Samskrt language.
He was born on September 18th, 1864.
His foremost contribution is that of translating Mahabharatha from Samskrt to Malayalam.
His long list of achievements include 130 books, 18 works in Malayalam and 14 works in Samskrt, 16 gathas, 11 Rupakams, 38 Khanda Kaavyas with innumerable works on grammar and health.
Kunhikuttam Thampuran’s came from a family with literary and poetic abilities. His father Venmani Achan Namboodthirippad was also a famous poet.
Kunhikuttam Thampuran wrote his first book called Kavibharatham as a teenager.
His body of works include Dhanasastrakarika, Aryasatakam, Srisankagurucharitham, Subhadraharanam in Samskrt and a poetic treatise in Malayalam called Keralam.
Over and above all his works, Kunhikuttam Thampuran is remembered for his epic work of translating the Mahabharatha from Samskrt to Malayalam, a task considered impossible by his contemporaries due to the mammoth size of the epic. He did the translation, verse by verse, metre by metre, in just 874 days.
He got the honorific title ‘Kerala Vyasa’ for this translation.
A Connect Between Divine Language and Regional Language
This work paved the way for a creative connect between the ‘Divine Language’, Samskrt and the ‘Regional Language’, Malayalam. A narrative of pan Indian literary tradition!
This work went on to inspire other Malayalam works like P K Balakrishnan’s Ini Njan Urangatte – ‘Let Me Sleep Now’ and M T Vasudevan Nair’s Randamoozham – ‘The Second Turn’, both based on the Malayalam Mahabharatha.
His other translations include Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Othello.
Kunhikuttam Thampuran was a poet who brought into play his rich imagination to bring out his ideas. He was always seen wandering, moved by ideas and was nicknamed Pakiri.
Kunhikuttam Thampuran passed away in 1913.