Rajan Gurukkal is a noted historian, and a writer. He was former the vice chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. He is currently the Vice-Chairman of Kerala State Higher Education council. He has written books in Malayalam and English and has several monographs to his credit. He writes on socio-economic and cultural history of Kerala, social anthropology and human ecology. He also contributes to the leading national dailies.
He has won the Teacher Fellowship instituted by the Indian Council of Historical Research, the National Teacher Fellowship by University Grants Commission in 1980 and also the Oravakkal Mathen Memorial Best Academician Award in 1986.