Kodungallur Kunhikkuttan Thampuran

Kodungallur Kunhikkuttan Thampuran

Father: Venmani Achan Namboothirippad 
Mother: Kunhippilla Thampuratti 
Born on: Malayalam era 1040 Kanni 4.

Name: Rama Varma
Teachers: Valappil Unni Asan, Muunnaamkuur Godavarma Thampuran, Vidwan Kunhirama Varman Thampuran.
Started writing poerty in 1047. At the age of 16, turned full time to writing poetry. Started in Sanskrit. Turned to writing poetry in Malayalam under the influence of Venmani Achan and Venmani Mahan.
First book in 1062 (Kavibharatam).
Started two literary movements in Malayalam: Paccha (pure) Malayalam and Purana Translation.
Died in 1088 Makaram 10th (At the age of 49).
Works: 14 in Sanskrit. In Malayalam: 18 poems, 11 Ruupakams, 16 Gathas, 38 Khanda Kaavya, 3 in health, grammer, 18 translations.

History behind the Mahabharata translation

1068: Under the leadership of C.P. Achuta Menon, effort to translate Mahabharata as kilippaattu. Advertisement appears in 1068 Kanni 17, Malayala Manorama. Plan to finish the translation in five years. Whatever portion Kunhikkuttan Thampuran was assigned, he supposedly finished. But manuscript not found.
After 8-10 years Katatthanaattu Udayavarman Thampuran started the effort to translate Bharata Manjari by Kshemendra. Kunhikkuttan Thampuran finished Drona Parva. Effort unfinshed due to the death of Udayavarman Thampuran. Work finished upto Santi Parva.
Kunhikkuttan Thampuran started translation single handedly on 1079 Metam 25. Plan to translate 50 slokas a day, during one yaama (till 9 o'clock). Plan to finish in 4-5 years. Speed increased upto 150 slokas one yaama. Translation completed on 1082 Kanni 12 (874 days). Metre by Metre translation. He has been truthful to even broken Metres in the original!

First Printing: 1906
Second Printing: 1952 - 1958
Third Printing: 1965 (NBS)
Second Edition: (1981)

Sources: A.D. Harisarma (Introduction to NBS second edition). Mahakavi Kunhikuttan Thampuran: Jiivitavum kritikaLum by Prof. K. Sivarama Menon, published by The Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd. Calicut (1989).