The Jnanpith Award (also spelled as Gyanpeeth Award) is a literary award in India. Along with the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, it is one of the two most prestigious literary honours in the country. The award was instituted in 1961. Eligibility is restricted to any Indian citizen who writes in one of the 22 languages listed in Schedule Eight of the Indian constitution. Here is the list of malayali writers honored with Jnanpith Award.
G. Sankara Kurup, - February 2, 1978, Vappalassery, Angamaly, Ernakulam district, Kerala), better known as Mahakavi G (The Great Poet G), was the first winner of the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary award. He won the prize in 1965 for his collection of poems in Malayalam Odakkuzhal (The bamboo flute, 1950). With part of the prize money he established the literary award Odakkuzhal in 1968. He was also the recipient of the Soviet Land Nehru Award, in 1967, and the Padma Bhushan in 1968
Sankaran Kutty Pottekkatt, popularly known as S. K. Pottekkatt , was a famous Malayalam writer from Kerala state, South India. He is the author of nearly sixty books which include ten novels, twenty-four collections of short stories, three anthologies of poems, eighteen travelogues, four plays, a collection of essays and a couple of books based on personal reminiscences. Pottekkatt won the Kerala Sahitya Academy award of 1961 for the novel Oru Theruvinte Katha (The Story of a Street) and the Jnanpith Award in 1980 for the novel Oru Desathinte Katha (The Story of a Locale), which was made into an award winning film. His works have been translated into English, Italian, Russian, German and Czech, besides all major Indian languages.
Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai (17 April 1912 – 10 April 1999) was a novelist and short story writer of Malayalam language. He is popularly known as Thakazhi, after his place of birth. He focused on the oppressed classes as the subject of his works, which are known for their attention to historic detail. He wrote several novels and over 600 short stories. His most famous works are Kayar (Coir, 1978) and Chemmeen (Prawns, 1956). Pillai, a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, was awarded India's highest literary award, the Jnanpith in 1984 for the epic novel Kayar.
Madathil Thekkepaattu Vasudevan Nair(born 9 August 1933), popularly known as MT, is an Indian author, screenplay writer and film director. He is a prolific and versatile writer in modern Malayalam literature, and is one of the masters of post-Independence Indian literature.He was awarded the highest literary award in India, Jnanpith, in 1995 for his overall contribution to Malayalam literature.
Ottaplakkal Nambiyadikkal Velu Kurup popularly known as O. N. V. Kurup or simply O. N. V. , is a renowned Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala, India, who won Jnanpith Award, the highest literary award in India for the year 2007. O. N. V. Kurup is also a lyricist in Malayalam cinema. He has penned a lot of lyrics for dramas and TV serials also.