Ponniyan Selvan of Kalki Krishnamurthy
English Translation by Indra
[see also Original in Tamil]
Table of Contents
List of Principal
[see also கல்கி -
when I wrote Partiban Kanavu and Civakamiyin Capatam did I realise how much
Tamil people today desire to know about the prestige of the ancient Tamil
Ra. Krsnamurti reveals in the 1948 preface to his 1944 historical romance
Civakamiyin Capatam (Civakami’s Vow). His three Tamil language novels depicting
the medieval south Indian kingly dynasties of the Pallavas (500-800 CE) and
Colas (800-1279 CE) –
Partiban Kanavu (1941),
Civakamiyin Capatam (1944) and
Ponniyin Celvan (1950) have made him (and the historical and fictional
characters he assembled) a household name among Tamil audiences."
Dwelling in Futures Past: Place,
Region and Tamil Nation in Ra. Krsnamurti’s Civakamiyin Capatam - Akhila
[Translator's Note: Ponniyin Selvan means "Beloved of the Ponni".
Ponni is the ancient Tamil name for River Cauvery. Prince Arulmozli Varma was
popularly known as "Ponniyin Selvan" or "Beloved of the Cauvery".]
Translated 1990 by Indra Neelameggham Salt Lake
City, Utah. With much thanks to R.Neelameggham and Elizabeth Ramadorai for
Thanks to B. Ganesan [biga] for maintaining the Thodarkathai
website 1997 - 2000 Translation Copyright Indra Neelameggham. Permission
is granted only for Non-Commercial uses of this etext release by Project
Madurai. Others are required to contact the author at R. Neelameggham at
Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Dr. Indra
Neelameggham for providing with the e-version of this work and also for her
permission to include this work as part of Project Madurai etext collections.
PDF and Web versions Dr. K. Kalyanasundaram, Lausanne, Switzerland
Project Madurai 2007. Project Madurai is an open, voluntary, worldwide
initiative devoted to preparation of electronic texts of tamil literary
works and to distribute them free on the Internet. Details of Project Madurai
are available at the website
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Table of Contents of
| Part 1A:
New Floods (chapters 1 to 30) also
[see also in Tamil:
முதலாவது பாகம் - புது வெள்ளம் ]
||The Gypsy Dance
||Laughter And Hatred
||Who Is In The Palanquin?
||The Astrologer of Kudanthai
||The Waxing Moon
||A Crocodile On The River Bank
||The Horse Galloped
||Battlefield And Forest
||The First Enemy
||The Curtains Parted
||Velaikara Battalion Of Velirs
||Velaikara Battalion Of Velirs
||A Cuckoo And A Crow
||Inside The Fort
New Floods (chapters 31 to 57)
also in PDF|
||A Beauty Among The Branches
||"Do You Remember?"
||The World Swirled
||"Is This Friendship?"
||"All Her Doing!" |
||A Spy Who Committed A Crime
||The People Murmur
||Mr. Esanya Bhattar Of Pazlayarai
||Swirling Pools And Flashing Eyes
||Surprise Of Surprises
||An Old Man's Wedding
||A Palace Incident
|Part 2A: Whirlwind -
(chapters 1 to 26)
also in PDF|
||The Open Sea
||"This is Lanka!"
||Honorable Anirudda Brahma-raya
||Well-known Kaikola Battalion
||Teacher and Disciple
||Two Full Moons
||An Anguished Call At Night
||Sundara Chozla's Hallucination
||Can The Dead Return?
||Which is the Worst Betrayal?
||"The Spy Is Caught!"
||Tigress against Tigress
||Sendan Amudan In Prison
||Wax in Embers
||The City Of Mattotam
||A Sword That Wanted Blood
|Part 2B: Whirlwind -
(chapters 27 to 53)
also in PDF|
[see also in Tamil:
இரண்டாம் பாகம் - சுழற்காற்று]
||The Elephant Driver
||Fist Fight .
||Eleyla Singan Play
||Killi Valava's Elephant
||Message Of The Monolith
||Is Merit Honored?
||Here Is War
||"Look Over There!"
||"I Am A Culprit"
||The Elephant Turned Rogue
||The Commodore's Death
||Song of Sustenance
| || |
List of Principal
Principal Characters in Ponniyin Selvan
Aditya Karikala -Crown Prince of the Chozla Empire, Sundara
Chozla's eldest son.
Amudan's Mother -A deaf-mute, garden keeper on the
outskirts of Tanjore.
Anirudda Brahma-raya -The Prime Minister and
confidant of Sundara Chozla.
Arinjaya Chozla-Sundara Chozla's father,
King Gandara Aditya's younger brother, died after ruling for merely one year.
Arulmozli Varma -Sundara Chozla's younger son.
Astrologer of Kudanthai-
An astrologer patronized by Kundavai, a spy of sorts.
Nambi, Thirumalai Appan - A follower of the Vaishnava faith, step brother of
Esanya Bhattar, a spy.
Esanya Bhattar -A priest of Pazlayarai, elder
brother of Azhvar-adiyan Nambi.
Gandara Aditya -Sundara Chozla's elder
uncle, a devout follower of the Saiva faith, ruled before Arinjaya Chozla.
Idumban Kari -A footman from Kadamboor, a conspirator against Chozla royalty,
member of a gang sympathetic to Pandiyas.
Kalyani of Vaithumba- Widow of
King Arinjaya Chozla, a famous beauty, Sundara Chozla's mother.
Kandamaran- A young man, son of Sengannan Sambuvaraya of Kadamboor.
Kundavai, Younger Pirati - Sundara Chozla's daughter.
Lord Velir of
Kodumbalur, the Elder, Bhoothi Vikrama Kesari - An important chieftain of the
Chozla Empire, Commander of Chozla Armies in Lanka. Elder-uncle to Vanathi
Lord Velir of Kodumbalur, the Younger, Paranthaka Vikrama - Younger Lord of
Kodumbalur, Vanathi's father who lost his life in a battle in Lanka.
Pazluvoor, the Elder, - Ambalavan An important and powerful chieftain, - Officer
of Taxation, Food Supply and Finance for the Chozla Empire, elder brother of
Kalanthaka, Nandini's husband, about 65 years old.
Lord Pazluvoor, the
Younger, Kalanthaka - Commander of Tanjore Fort, Captain of the Guard Corps.
Madurandaka Deva -A Chozla Prince, son of Gandara Aditya and Sembiyan Madevi, a
few years older than Aditya Karikala.
Malayaman Milad-udayar of
Thiru-kovalur -A nobleman and petty chieftain of the Chozla Empire, Empress
Vanamadevi's father and thereby grandfather to Karikala, Arulmozli and Kundavai.
Manimekala - Kandamaran's younger sister and daughter of Kadamboor Sambuvaraya.
Mazlava-raya - A nobleman, Sembiyan Madevi's brother.
Munai Raya - A
nobleman, not very confident in Lord Pazluvoor's schemes.
Sattanar - Court poet at Tanjore.
Nandini, Young-Queen - An
extraordinarily beautiful Pazluvoor woman with a mysterious past,
Azhvar-adiyan's adopted sister, raised by a priest's family near Madurai.
Parthiban Pallava - A nobleman of the Pallava clan, Crown Prince Aditya
Poonkuzlali - Daughter of the Lighthouse Keeper of
Kodi Karai, Sendan Amudan's cousin.
Ravidasa, the Sorcerer - Leader of
the Pandiya conspirators, a former retainer of Veera-pandiya, had a mysterious
hold over Nandini.
Sambuvaraya of Kadamboor - A nobleman and crony of
Sembiyan Madevi, Elder Pirati - Widow of King Gandara
Aditya, Madurandaka Deva's mother, fond of Sundara Chozla and his children,
Sendan Amudan -A flower vendor of Tanjore, lived with his
deaf-mute mother in the outskirts of the city.
Soman Samban - A
conspirator against Chozla royalty, member of Ravidasa's gang, sympathetic to
Sundara Chozla Paranthaka - Emperor of the Chozla Kingdom.
Vanamadevi of Thiru-kovalur - The Queen Consort, wife of Sundara Chozla, mother
to Karikala, Kundavai & Arulmozli.
Vanathi Devi - A young noblewoman of
the Kodumbalur clan, Kundavai's friend, in love with Prince Arulmozli.
Vandiya Devan Vallavarayan - A scion of the Vaanar clan of Vallam, Aditya
Vasuki - Nandini's maid.
Pandiya King vanquished and killed by Prince Aditya Karikala.
Aadi - A month of the Tamil calendar, about July-Aug
Aavani - A month of the Tamil calendar, about Aug-Sept
Advaita - A
philosophy, belief in the non-dual nature of God
Akka - Elder sister, a
respectful greeting for an older girl
Amma - Mother, a respectful
greeting for women
Ankush - A goad used by elephant drivers
Elder brother, respectful address for older men
Araya, raya, arasa King,
Ayya - Father, mode of address for an older man
Bharata Natyam - Classical dance style
Chakra - Discus
A fragrant flower
Chanakya - A medieval personality of political cunning,
Devi, Deva Lady, Lord
Iruvatchi - A fragrant flower
Jaamam - A period of time 3 hrs long;
1 Jaamam = 7˝ Nazli; 1 Nazli = 24
Jaggery - Unrefined or brown sugar
Kaadal - Love
Kaadam - A league or about 10 miles
Kaavi Reddish, ocher dye
Kadamba - A flower
Kama - Love, Passion
- 1. A musical instrument 2. Bear
Karagam - Folk dance with balancing
Karaiyar - Coastal, fisherfolk
Karppu - Sanctity of
a married woman. Chastity
Kavi - 1. Poet 2. Monkey
Konnai - A
Kumkum - Red powder, used to decorate the forehead
Kummi - A folk dance of women circling while clapping hands
Kunrimani - A
tiny red-black berry or bead
Kural - Ancient Tamil couplets
Kuravai - Koothu Gypsy dance or dance by maidens
Malai - Mountain
Mariamman - A village deity, a pagan Goddess
Marudai - A shade giving
tree, a colloquial name for Madurai City
Mattalam - Drum
Illusion, Deception, unreal
Moringa - A leafy tree
Mu-ttholl-ayiram - A collection of romantic verse in Tamil
Muzlai - Cave
Naadu - Country
Naamam - A vertical, make-up like, caste mark worn by
followers of Vishnu
Nanal - A sedge like grass
Nandavan - Garden
Netri-chutti - Forehead ornament
Padai Veedu - Army Housing
Padinettam Perukku - Eighteenth day flood
Palli Padai - Memorial temple
Panchayat - Council of Village Elders, often five persons
Parai - A kind
of country drum, an announcement
Perumal - Lord, God
Lady, Royal Princess
Pitam - Monastic seat
Punnai - A tree with
Rudraksha - A multifaceted bead, a sacred berry
Saelai - Loose pleated garment of women worn with one loose end thrown over a
Saiva - A sect of Hinduism, follower of Shiva
Salli - A
Selvan - Beloved, Darling (masculine)
Beloved, Darling (feminine)
Silappadikaram - A Tamil Epic
Puli -Tamarind A shade giving tree bearing a sour fruit
Thambi - Younger brother, mode of address for young men
Thaye - Mother,
mode of respectful address for women
Thaazlai - A fragrant cactus
Thevar-aalan -Divine man, dancers
Thevar-aatti - Divine woman, dancers
Thevaram - Devotional Poems
Thiru-vai-mozli - Devotional Poems
Thinnai A raised platform or dias on the front porch of houses in South India.
Often used like a living room; for family gatherings, seating visitors, and
sleeping in the night.
Udukku - Small palm held drum
Uriyadi - A
game to get the prize-pot tied to a pole similar to the Maypole
Loose lower garment of men
Vaishnava - A sect of Hinduism, follower of
Vamsa - Dynasty
Veena - A musical stringed instrument
Velan Attam - A semi-religious dance, usually by a man
Villu-pattu - Folk
songs accompanying a string instrument, story telling
Vinnagara - Vishnu