Silappathikaram, (Tamil: “The Jeweled Anklet”)also spelled Silappatikaram, the earliest epic poem in Tamil, written in the 5th–6th century ad by Prince Ilanko.

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A statue of Kannagi holding her anklet, depicting a scene from Silapathikaram was installed on Marina BeachChennai.

Silappathikaram | Tamil epic poem by Adikal |

Madurai was ruled by Pandya king Nedunj Cheliyan I. Surprisingly, TholkAppiar included women of unchaste character in the list of those eligible for clandestine love.

Selected quotes from SilappathikAram A few passages from SilappathikAram are given below to silapthikaram some of the conclusions made in the preceding section. This being so, it is highly creditable that iLangO atikaL had the originality at the time to compose a work which had the literary merit and emotional appeal of contemporary fictions in the world.

In his words, the life of unchaste women should be regarded as low, regardless of how noble, learned and highly knowledgeable on sex matters one is: She cut off one of her breasts and threw it at the city cursing it to burn with the exception of brahmins, ascetics, silapathikarma, chaste women, old people and children, if her chastity meant anything.

A single woman, who has lost her husband, has conquered the evil King with her anklet, and has destroyed our city with fire! Veteran Tamil writer Jeyamohan rewrote the whole epic into a novel as Kotravai in Filled with anger, boiling with rage, a woman who has lost her husband, an anklet of gold in her hand, is waiting at the gate. She also pointed out that his parents gave her so much support during his absence that she felt no ill feeling towards anyone.

Retrieved 2 May Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. The moral that comes out is that it is one’s actions, and not birth, which are important. Instead of being critical, KaNNaki said that thanks to his return she had now regained the opportunity of alms giving to virtuous people, of hospitality to brahmins, and of service to ascetics.


These folk songs were described in the following sections: SilappathikAram illustrates the supreme value attached to chastity and fidelity by the Thamizh society. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

An Epic of South India”. When KOvalan returned to KaNNaki he was repenting profusely for his bad behaviour and for forsaking her and his parents. Kannagi was born in a very rich trader family under Nagarathar Community. At the same time, the royal goldsmith had stolen a pearl anklet belonging to the queen, for which he frames Kovalan.

Tamil history from Sangam literature. One example of his disparaging remarks is given below:. The Tamilian Antiquary, Volume 1, Issue 8. In order to sell the anklets KOvalan went to a local goldsmith who had already stolen the Queen’s anklets.

The movie faithfully follows the story of Silappathikaram and was a hit when it was released. Parthasarathy From the citation for the A.

At last the patron goddess of the city interceded with Kannagi, and she agreed to withdraw her curse, and the fire abated.

One passage in the whole of the epic which had stirred the souls of generations of people for more than a thousand years pertains to KaNNaki’s rage on hearing that her husband was sentenced to death by the PANdiya King’s orders.

Their only fortune was a precious pair of anklets, which she gave to him willingly. Realizing his mistake the Ailapathikaram dropped dead. University of California Press. This is an extraordinary accomplishment.

Her repentance over her past life was revealed through the words of MAdalan silapathikarm ChEran Senkuttuvan where she vowed to her mother, ChitrApathi that the family trait of unchastity should end with her life. A Primer of Tamil Literature.



A few passages from SilappathikAram are given below to illustrate some of the conclusions made in the preceding section. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we’ll add it to the article. Retrieved from ” https: Some might also feel that she might have invoked the curse of “Goddess Agni” to destroy the palace.

The Silappatikaram, apart from being the first known epic poem in Tamil, is also important for its literary innovations. View All Media 1 Image.

Silapathikaram – சிலப்பதிகாரம் – Kannagi – Kovalan

Tell the King that a woman with an anklet, an anklet from a pair of tinkling anklets, a woman who has lost her husband, is waiting at the gate. Voltaire, one of the greatest of all French writers. Besides packing these lines with deep emotions associated with the separation of lovers, iLangO atikaL, in his own inimitable style absolved MAdhavi of any wrong doing by comparing her face to the full moon and ascribed the whole episode to fate.

The story involves the three Tamil kingdoms of the ancient era, which were ruled by the CholaSilapathikarwm and Chera dynasties. Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources. Parthasarathy states “The Cilappatikaram is to Tamil what the Iliad and Odyssey are to Greek—its importance would be difficult to overstate Silambu Selvam a synopsis of Silappadikaram written by Dr.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Today my sorrows cannot be matched.