Shri Vidyadhiraja Chattambi Swamigal, one the greatest scholar-saints of Kerala
, was born at the historic town Kannanmoola
on August 25, 1853. Earlier called Kunjan Pillai, he was a social reformer, a contemporary of Shri Narayana Guru
. Chattambi Swamigal, was probably so named from his position as a class monitor, then called ‘Chattambi.’ The title stayed on, perhaps because of his daring, unconventional and questioning attitude.
Swamigal fought against the rigid caste system and social vices, challenging the prevalent value system. In his book ‘Pracheena Malayalam,’ Chattambi Swamigal argues that the evil of caste and the superiority claims of the Brahmins are without any logic and severely criticizes the Brahmin domination of that period. He wrote several books on religion and spirituality. Chattamby Swami's meeting with Swami Vivekananda in 1892, was instrumental in bringing about social change in a caste-ridden society. Chattambi Swamigal entered Samadhi at Panmana, 18 km north of Kollam, in 1924.