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30/365 – Silapathikaram

Silappathikaram is one of the five Great Epics of ancient Tamil Literature. The poet prince Ilango Adigal, is credited with this work. He is reputed to be the brother of Senguttuvan from Chera.

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 Pandya king, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom.

The story involves the three Tamil kingdoms of the ancient era, the Chola, the Pandya and the Chera.

Structure of Silappatikaram

Silappatikaram contains three chapters:

Puharkkandam (புகார்க் காண்டம் – Puhar capter), which deals with the events in the Chola city of Puhar, where Kannagi and Kovalan start their married life and  Kovalan leaves his wife for the courtesan Madavi. This contains 10 sub divisions

Maduraikkandam (மதுரைக் காண்டம் – Madurai chapter) , is situated in Madurai in the Pandya kingdom where Kovalan loses his life, incorrectly blamed for the theft of  the queen’s anklet. This contains 7 sub divisions

Vanchikkandam (வஞ்சிக் காண்டம் – Vanchi chapter), is situated in the Chera country where Kannagi ascends to the heavens. This contains 13 sub divisions

Each of these chapters are made of several sub chapters called kaathais. Kaathais are narrative sections of the chapters.

Objectives

In the pathigam, the prologue to the book, Ilango Adigal gives the reader the gist of the book with the précis of the story.

அரசியல் பிழைத்தோருக்கு அறங்கூற்றாவதும், (Truth will punish the irresponsible erring king)
உரைசால் பத்தினியை உயர்ந்தோர் ஏத்தலும், (A woman with great morals will be praised by intellects)
ஊழ்வினை உறுத்து வந்தூட்டும் என்பதூம், (one has to pay for his acts)
நாட்டுதும் யாம் ஓர் பாட்டுடைச் செய்யுள்

Silapathikaram Work:
http://www.infitt.org/pmadurai/pm_etexts/utf8/pmuni0046.html

http://www.infitt.org/pmadurai/pm_etexts/utf8/pmuni0111.html

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silappatikaram

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