Silappathikaaram by Ilango Edigal – part 1
By Ilango Edigal
Silappadikaram (Tamil: சிலப்பதிகாரம்) 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 Kochi (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, Silappatikaram 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 Silappatikaram 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.
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