The department of Malayalam started functioning in 1922. During the tenure of Prof. P V Ulahannan Mappilla, a great scholar, a gifted teacher and an orator, started BA and MA programmes in Malayalam. Affiliation for BA was granted in 1959 and for M A in 1960. Prof. K V Ramachandra Pai, a well-known grammarian, editor, and writer, was also instrumental in the growth of the department. The Herman Gundert Chair for Kerala Studies was established by the department in 1993. Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, recognized it as a Research Centre in 1994. The Ulahannan Mappilla Centre for Research was built in 2004 and instituted in his name has been funded by his children.
It is a research library in memory of the granddaughter of Prof Ulahannan Mappilla, Mary Anne John Stuttgen. The library is a unique one in the State with so many rare books and rare collections of dictionaries.
As a mark of respect and gratitude to Prof PV Ulahannan Mappilai, the legendary teacher of Malayalam, his friends, students established a facility that includes an air-conditioned seminar hall, a library and a well-equipped reading hall. The main objectives of the centre are to promote Kerala Studies and to facilitate research in the field of art, language, literature and culture. There are four research guides and sixteen research students affiliated to this centre. Researchers Meet conducted every year is a notable event of the centre. Eleven selected participants from all over Kerala are invited to present their research papers. The best paper is awarded a cash prize and a merit certificate. The proceedings of the seminar are compiled and published every year. The centre also conducts seminars, workshops and lectures on Kerala Studies. Some of the scholars who delivered lectures in the previous years include: Sri Adoor Gopalakrishan, Dr MR Raghava Varrier, Dr T Sathyanath, Dr B Ikbal, Dr PK Michael Tharakan, Prof M Thomas Mathew, Dr Scaria Zacharia, Prof MK Sanu
The Indian film festival is a joint venture of the Department of Malayalam, Film Club and the College Union. It is a five day long festival mainly focusing on five themes of Indian cinemas: Indian Cinema Now, Malayalam Cinema Now, State Focus, Master Director and Indian Classics.
The Prem Nazir International Film Fest (PNIFF) is a joint venture between the Department of Malayalam, the Film Club and the College Union. It is a week-long program that brings the acclaimed films of contemporary filmmakers from different countries to the audience. This festival is held in honour of Padmasree Shri Prem Nazir, alumnus of the college and a well-known Malayalam film actor.
Lochanam – Language Festival is an all Kerala Intercollegiate fest organized by the department of Malayalam. The aim of the language festival is to provide a platform for creative expression of the language. Various competitions, cultural events and exhibitions are arranged for Higher Secondary and College students.