Vayalar Rama Varma (March 28, 1928 - October 27, 1975), often known as Vayalar, was a modern Malayalam poet and lyricist. His famous works include Sargasangeetham, Mulankaadu, Padamudrakal, Aayisha, Oru Judas janikkunnu.
Born in the village of Vayalar, in Alappuzha district, Kerala, Vayalar belonged to an aristocratic family but became a poet of the proletariat inspired by revolutionary ideals. His parents were Vellarapplly Kerala Varma and Vayalar Raghavaparambil Ambalika Thamburatty. He was awarded Kerala Sahithya Academy Award (Kerala literary academy award) in 1961 for Sargasangeetham, the President's gold medal for best lyricist in 1974, and the Kerala state film award for best lyricist three times. The Vayalar award for Malayalam literature, given on October 27 each year, was instituted in his memory.
Vayalar wrote about 2000 songs for 223 Malayalam movies and for several plays. Decades past his death, the movie songs he wrote are still popular among Malayalis. Among his most popular songs is the one he wrote for theatre, the KPAC naatakagaanam, "Balikudeerangalae". Many of his poems contain romantic notions about "revolution" and about the triumph of science over religion. He was associated with the leftist political movement in Kerala. Recently, his wife Bharathy Thamburatty wrote a book about Vayalar, Indradhanussin theerathu, which became controversial. The "Vayalar-Devarajan" was a prolific lyricist-composer combination which lasted till the death of Vayalar.
Vayalar was married to Bharathy Amma. The couple has four children: Sarath Chandran, Indulekha, Yamuna and Sindhu. Vayalar's elder son Vayalar Sarath Chandra varma is now a popular lyricist in Malayalam film industry.