Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Cilappatikāram (Śilappadigāram, Shilappadigaram)

  • Rayson K. Alex
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_559-1


Among the five epics of the early Tamil literary canon – Manimegalai, Civaka Cintamani, Valayapathi, and KundalakesiCilappatikaram (Cilappu + atikaram: Cilappu is derived from the word “chilampu” meaning “the jeweled anklet” and “atikaram” means “book”/“chapter”) [2] is the most popular and valued one in Tamil Nadu [3]. Cilappatikaram was composed by a Jain monk, Ilango Adigal (“Adigal” is a word denoting respect, usually adorned to most respected religious leaders and monks) [1]. He is believed to have written the epic between the first- and third-century A.D. [11]. However, tracing the period in which the epic was written is controversial. Ilango (the younger brother) and Senguttuvan (elder brother) were the two sons of the Chera King Nedunchezhiyan. The introduction to Silappadikaram(2011) reports that a soothsayer came to the court of King Nedunchezhiyan when his two sons were seated along with the king and declared that Ilango would become the next king....

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesBirla Institute of Technology and Science PilaniZuarinagarIndia