K. C. Kesava Pillai

K. C. Kesava Pillai

K. C. Kesava Pillai

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K. C. Kesava Pillai (1868–1914) was a composer of Carnatic music, Poet Laureate of Travancore and made contributions to Malayalam literature

Life and Education

K. C. Kesava Pillai was born in KOTHETHU VEEDU,POZHIKKARA Paravur in Kollam (Quilon) District of Kerala in India in 1868. He had a school education up to the 5th grade and gained a proficiency in music. He watched Kathakali learnt the basics of Kathakali literature, costumes and mudras. Aged 15, he wrote his first attakadha, but was encouraged to learn Sanskrit so that he could correct his work himself and was subsequently taught it by Paravoor V. Kesavan Asan. and grammar by his brother Ennakkattu Rajaraja Varma. Later in his life, in 1896, he had become a teacher in Kollam Malayalam school; within a few years was promoted to the position of Sanskrit Munshi, or the A close associate of Kerala Varma and Rajaraja Varma, K. C. Kesava Pillai died in 1914, aged 46 years. On account of his musical and poetical achievements, he was awarded the title of Sarasa Gayaka Kavimani by Sangeethasahityakovda Kerala Varma Valiya Koyi Thampuran.


  • Sangeetha manjari and Sthavaratnavali: both contain kritis and bhajan songs
  • Sangeethamaalika and
  • Eswarasthothranga
  • Sthavaratnamalika

Attakadha (Gesture Stories)

  • Prahlaada Charitham, later renamed, Hiranyasuravadham Written aged 15
  • Soorapadmasuravadham
  • Sreekrishnavijayam


  • Asanna Marana Chinta Satakam (Reflections of a Dying Man)although written for a......
  • ...

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