Mar 25 , 2017


Silapadigaaram (Tamil: ?????????????, Cilappatik?ram, republished as The Tale of an Anklet) is one of The Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature according to later Tamil literary tradition. A Jain poet-prince from Kodungallur near Kochi (part of ancient Tamilakam, now in modern Kerala), referred to by the pseudonym Ilango Adigal, is credited with this work. He is reputed to have been the brother of Vel Kelu Kuttuvan, the Chera dynasty king.

As a literary work, Silapadigaaram is held in high regard by the Tamil people. It contains three chapters and a total of 5270 lines of poetry. The epic revolves around Kannagi, who having lost her husband to a miscarriage of justice at the court of the Pandyan Dynasty, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom.

Regarded as one of the great achievements of Tamil genius, the Silapadigaaram is a poetic rendition with details of Tamil culture; its varied religions; its town plans and city types; the mingling of different people; and the arts of dance and music.

Silapadigaaram has been dated to likely belong to the beginning of Common era, although the author might have built upon a pre-existing folklore to spin this tale. The story involves the three Tamil kingdoms of the ancient era, which were ruled by the Chola, Pandyan and Chera dynasties. Silapadigaaram has many references to historical events and personalities, although it has not been accepted as a reliable source of history by many historians because of the inclusion of many exaggerated events and achievements to the ancient Tamil kings.