Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala

Asan Memorial Association in Kayikkara

Renaissance poetry began in Malayalam at the beginning of the 20th century and with Kumaran Asan’s ‘Veenapoovu’ in 1907 renaissance on romanticism began in Malayalam. The author of Veenapoovu, Nalini, Leela Sree Budhha Charitham, Chintavishtayaya Seetha, Karuna and many other immortal pieces were penned by N.Kumaran Asan who was born on 12 April 1873 at Kayikkara Village, Chirayinkeezhu, Thiruvananthapuram. When the poet died in a boat accident at Palana River, he was 51 years old.

The Asan Memorial Association was registered at Kayikkara in 1957 during the chief ministership of R.Sankar. An auditorium and an office building were built in 1971. In 1973, during the centenary celebrations of Kumaran Asan, a library started working.

A remarkable step of the association is the introduction of Asan World Prize (The title ‘Asan’ refers to a scholarly person). The recipients of Asan World Prize have been writers selected from different countries. It was at the age of 35 that ‘Veenapoovu’ was first published. A landmark in the history of Malayalam Literature, at its 100th year, the then Chief Minister, V.S Achuthanandan declared that the prize money has been enhanced to Rs.3 lakhs. So also, Asan's 125th birthday was celebrated in a big way. 

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