Kunchan Nambiar was born at Kalakkath Tharavad in Killikurisimangalam of Palakkad district in the beginning of the 18th century.
He was the master of satirist poetry. The chief contribution of Nambiar is the invention and popularization of a new performing art known as Thullal. The world literally means "dance", but under this name Nambiar devised a new style of verse narration with a little background music and dance-like swinging movement to wean the people away from the Chakkiyar Koothu, which was the form popular till then. He was to use pure Malayalam as opposed to the stylized and Sanskritized language of Koothu. One of the oft-quoted lines from his poems is "Nokkeda nammude margey kidakkunna markada neeyangu maari kida saddha". (In Nambiar's retelling of the Mahabharatham, Bhima tells Hanuman to move from his way, by saying "Go lie elsewhere, you obstinate monkey").