Ramaswamy Aiyer Krishnamurthy , better known by his pen name Kalki, was a Tamil writer, journalist, poet, critic and Indian independence activist. His writings include over 120 short stories, 10 novellas, 5 novels, 3 historical romances, editorial and political writings and hundreds of film and music reviews.
His other social novels include Thyaga Bhoomi (The land of sacrifice) and Kalvanin Kadali (Bandit’s sweetheart), both of which have been filmed. Thyaga Bhoomi, which has the Salt Satyagraha as its backdrop, dealt with women’s rights and untouchability. Parthiban Kanavu and Sivagamiyin Sapatham give a picture of the great Pallava Age ,whereas Ponniyin Selvan paints the age of the glorious Cholas. Both periods are a mixture of many aspects of the history of Tamil Nadu such as that of religions, literature, art and architecture and also of administration.
Ponniyin Selvan is Tamil historical Novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy. Written in five volumes, this narrates the story of Arulmozhivarman (later crowned as Rajaraja Chola I), one of the kings of the Chola Dynasty during the 10th and 11th centuries. Kalki finished the novel after nearly three and a half years of writing and he visited Sri Lanka three times to gather information for the novel.
The Story revolves around Aditha Karikalar,the eldest son the great king of Chozha dynasty, Sundara Chozhar. He is been invited by Nandini with the intention of revenge to kodambalur palace.Despite being advised not to accept the invite he still accepted the invite and went to meet her as he wanted to ask for forgiveness from Nandini. Aditha Karikalar takes the advice of his grandfather and blessing before he began his journey. Now Vandiyathevan and Azhwarkadiyan set out on strange task given to them and was on their way to Kadambalur. The city bustling with activity and was decorated beautiful as there high position dignitaries were arriving the palace. But both of them had reached before the guest arrived.
It is in here Kadan Maran’s sister Manimekalai comes onto picture. She is told about Vandiyathevan, his Valor, his character, his achievement. The more she kept hearing, more she fell in love with him. But as the circumstances changes, Kadan Maran talk did changed. They wanted her to get married to Maduranthakan. Now that guest were arriving to the palace she was making sure that everything was arranged and things were kept in right place. The first person expected to come palace was Pazhuvoor Ilaya Rani. She also made sure that the rooms of Aditha Karikalar and his entourage were arranged properly.
Meanwhile, Vandiyathevan took the secret passage that he found and finally ended near the back entrance of Manimekalai. There met her and sought her help to save him from the pandya conspirators. A grand welcome was given on the arrival of aditha Karikalar. Post his arrival, the enchantress nandini makes plans to kill him as revenge for killing the panda king. At the right time she took the right move, made sure Aditha Karikalar came to dungeon of the palace along with Vandiyathevan whose job was to protect and made sure he was killed at the spot. She was clever enough to act fast and ran away from vicinity. Hence the suspect of the murder was Vandiyathevan. Also it ruined the reputation of the clan in Kadambalur palace. On the other hand, the prime Minister of the Chozha clan a anirudhar was plotting to find out mute and dumb women Mundakini Devi and bring her to the king. On other hand Ravidasan and other had planned a plot to kill the king Sundarar Chozha. But eventually with the help of Mundakini Devi his life was saved and also the kingdom.
Periyar Puzhavettarayar finally understood the mistake that he had done by marrying nandini and consequences he has to face. He had broken the promise made by his clan to protect the kingdom and he took his life off due shame and unable to face the world.
Finally Vanathi and Arulmozhi got married, Illaya piratti with Vandiyathevan. Sundarar Chozha recovered from his health and shifted to Golden palace that Aditha Karikalar had build for him. MADURANTHAKAR didn’t become the king as the secret about his identity was revealed, that he was the adopted son and does not have the legal rite ascend the throne. Also it was revealed towards the end that sendhan amudhan was the legal hier and he ascended the throne as Arulmozhi Varma didn’t want to take up the throne. He devoted his entire life to development for the country which he felt would not able to do as king. He achieved what was required through Sendhan Amudhan who was the king
The book takes through or gives a fair idea on history of Chozha dynasty, their lifestyle, the culture, heritage. I felt women were give n great respect and of equal importance even in decision making. People led their lived based on values and principles and never gave up on that.
The book influenced me enough to motivate to learn more about the cultural heritage, temples with architectural importance build by the dynasty. Also the book was amazing and captivating that I didn’t feel like putting book down even once. The amount of research that has into when writing the book by the author is very inspiring. This is a very important traits which I feel missing these in many books. The beauty of the cities such tanjore in their period amazes me. As I visit these places in the recent times, am unable to believe it was once a extremely flourishing in terms of agriculture, richness in monetary term, nature and goodness of the people living then. These is great work in the field of literature and one of the most read book even in the present generation
I would rate the book 5 on 5 in terms
- style of writing
- amount of work and time that has gone into writing of the book.
- Story line
- Influence that it has on readers