R. Rakava Iyengar had studied the fundamentals of Tamil literature in the traditional manner and composed several reflective literary works. He also edited the earliest research journal in Tamil language titled Centamil that was published from Madurai. Other than these, he also wrote many essays emphasizing on the literary features mentioned in the Tamil classics. Iyengar wrote and released a few research works such as Tamilmoli Varalaru (History of Tamil literature) and Vahcimanakar Nallicaippulamai Melliyalar. The prominent Tamil scholar also wrote a detailed commentary on Kuruntokai, a classic work of the Sangam literature. R. Rakava Iyengar or R. Raghava Iyengar followed the traditional methods established in the earlier Tamil literary works and composed many poetical works such as Parikatai and Puvielupatu. These works consists of several original and inspiring verses that are pregnant with deep connotations and meaning.
The poetical composition of the work entitled Parikatai was primarily written in venpa metre and the Tamil work focuses on the prominence and magnitude of the patron of poets and philanthropist, Pari of Sangam (Cankam) fame. Besides writing several original literary and poetic works, R. Rakava Iyengar also translated the Sanskrit works of the Bhagavad Gita and Shakuntala into Tamil language.
M. Rakava Iyengar (M. Raghava Iyengar) was one of the close family members of R. Rakava Iyengar and was also a highly reputed scholar. He lived from the year 1878 to 1960. Along with his relative R. Rakava Iyengar, the scholar M. Rakava Iyengar also edited the Tamil research journal Centamil, since a very young age. He composed various significant and functional research essays regarding Tamil literature and its history. M. Rakava Iyengar possessed a traditional style of writing Tamil along with an amalgamation of rare literary words.