the capital of the erstwhile Venad, was a great centre of learning
and culture. It attracted distinguished scholars from all parts
of south India. Leelethilakam and Unnuneeli Sandesam, two outstanding
literacy works of historical importance, is contributions o0f 14th
century Kollam. The dance from of Kathakali in its new version of
Ramanattam was the creation of Kottarakkara Thampuran, who also
improved Krishnanattam by substituting Malayalam for Sanskrit.
Paravoor K.C.Kesava Pillai, a gifted
poet, prose writer, dramatist and Scholar, originated the musical
play in Malayalam through his work Sadarama. His Kesaveeyam, a Mahakavyam,
is of outstanding literary importance. In the history of Malayalam
music, he has a prominent place as a gifted composer of songs. Paravoor
Kesavan Asan, the founder editor of Sujananandini, another prominent
literacy figure, was a journalist and a prose writer of eloquence.
His Saratchadrika is a contribution to the study of Ayurvedic system
of medicine. E.V.Krishna Pillai, another literacy celebrity has
etched his name in the field of humor and satire. C.V.Kunjuraman,
editor of Kerala Kaumudi and Malayalarajayam was a poet, literacy
critic, prose writer and journalist of outstanding distinction.
Coming to modern times, Elamkulam
Kunjan Pillai and Sooranadu Kunjan Pillai, noted literary luminaries
hailing from this district. Oyoor Kochu Govinda Pillai, the Katha
Kali artist, Paris Viswanathan and Jayapala Panicker the renowned
artists also belong to this district.
Leaders like T.M.Varghese, C.Kesavan
and Kumbalathu Sanku Pillai, were the architects of freedom movement
in Kollam. R.Shanker, who played a prominent role as an educationalist
and social reformist, hails from Kolam. The district gave birth
to well known freedom fighters like Chandiran Kali ambi (Kadakkal
Manthri) and Franco Raghavan Pillai.