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Balamani Amma, grandmother of Malayalam literature

  • Published
    19th Jul, 2022

Google Doodle celebrated the 113th birthday of famous Indian poet Balamani Amma, known as the grandmother of Malayalam literature.


About Balamani Amma:

  • Balamani Amma, the grandmother of Malayalam literature, was born on 19 July 1909 in Thrissur district.
  • She continues to be known as the ‘amma’ (mother) and ‘muthassi’ (grandmother), of Malayalam poetry.
  • Balamani Amma never received any formal education.
    • She was taught at home by her uncle Nalappat Narayana Menon, who was also a famous Malayali poet.
  • Balamani Amma was also the mother of Kamala Das.
    • Kamala Das was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1984.
  • She passed away in 2004 and was cremated with full state honours.


  • Her first poem, titled Kooppukai, was published in
  • Her most famous works include Amma (1934), Muthassi (1962), and Mazhuvinte Katha (The Story of the Axe) (1966).


  • Amma was the recipient of various awards and honours like the
    • Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour, in 1987;
    • the Sahitya Akademi Award for Muthassi in 1965;
    • the Saraswati Samman for Nivedyam in 1995
  • The Kochi International Book Fair gives a cash prize for writers in her name, the Balamani Amma Award.


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