Kumaran Asan was one of the triumvirate poets of Kerala. A philosopher and a social reformer, he was one of the famous disciples of Sree Narayana Guru - one of the greatest social reformers of Kerala. Kumaran Asan is credited with revolutionizing the Malayalam poetry in the beginning of the 20th century.
The Kumaran Asan National Institute of Culture, situated at Thonnakal, Thiruvananthapuram, carries the memories of the great poet. It is the first memorial dedicated by the Government of Kerala to a poet. Prof. Joseph Mundassery, the then Education Minister, laid the foundation stone at the birthplace of the poet in 1958. A committee appointed by the Government carries out the administration of the institute. Exceptional personalities in the field of literature, culture, social work and the like are included in the committee. The institute was bestowed with national status in the year 1999.
Every year hundreds of tourists and scholars from different walks of life visit this national institute of culture. In the serene atmosphere of the institute the house in which the poet lived is preserved and exhibited without any change. A museum containing the belongings of the poet along with the manuscripts of his renowned works recites the life and development of the bard. Another museum with the largest collection of mural paintings is a special attraction of the institute. For the benefit of students and scholars a village lending library, a children's library, a research centre approved by the University of Kerala for language and literature, culture and history, a computer institute, a publishing and sales division etc are functioning here.
Spread over three acres of land is a beautiful garden containing rare medicinal plants maintained under the supervision of distinguished sculptor Kanayi Kunjiraman. The Freedom Gate and the four sculptures being created by Kanayi are the major attractions in the garden. The institute has a conference hall and all facilities to meet the requirements of tourists visiting the place.
Every year, the institute organizes various programmes of which the Jayanthi celebration conducted in the second week of April, the Asan National Festival conducted in the last week of December and first week of January are the most popular events. 'Vivekodayam' quarterly is the mouthpiece of the institute.
The Kumaran Asan National Institute of Culture