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Kavi Chakravarthy
Portrait of Ottakoothar
Born Ambalak Koothar
Thiruverumbur, Tiruchirapalli
Occupation Poet
Nationality Chozhar
Literary movement Saivism
Notable works Saraswathi Andhadhi, Takkayaakaparani

Ottakoothar (Tamil:ஒட்டகூத்தர்) was a Tamil court poet of three Chola kings, namely Vikrama Chola, Kulotunga II and Rajaraja II.[1] He wrote poems in praise of these three kings, namely Vikrama Cholan Ula, Kulothunga Cholan Ula and Rajarajan Ula.[2] He was known to be born at Thiruverumbur a suburb of present day Tiruchirapalli City.

Ottakoothar also wrote Kulothungan Pillai Tamil in praise of Chola king Kulothunga II and Saraswati Andhadhi in praise of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. When some of his kinsmen who were employed as military officials requested him to write a work that praised their valor, he openly declined, saying that he would never do anything that would imply that one group was superior to another. This is taken[by whom?] as an example of impartiality and unbiasedness. Ottakoothar also performed many divine acts like bringing back to life 1008 slain soldiers through the grace of goddess Kali, requesting lord Indra to hold back rains till skanda shashti festival in kanchipuram gets completed, singing lord Siva's praise in tiruvannamalai to enable two blind temple artists to get back their vision etc. He finally sang eti ezhupatthu in praise of some military officials in order to praise their services. Ottakoothar was a great devotee of lord siva at Thillai the modern Chidambaram.

The poet's memorial is believed to be still in a place known as "Darasuram in Kumbakonam", just opposite to the famous Airavatesvara Temple. According to legend, Goddess Saraswati blessed him in Koothanur, then he became a famous poet.[3]

Popular culture[edit]

In 1957, Tamil film, Ambikapathy, Ottakoothar character was portrayed and was performed by M. N. Nambiar. The character was also played by Rajesh in Mahasakthi Maariamman, a 1986 Tamil film.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Packed with information". The Hindu (India). 27 August 2004. 
  2. ^ "Ula Ilakkiyam". Tamil Virtual University. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Consecration of 1000-yr old Saraswathi Temple on July 6". Times of India (Chennai, India). 20 June 2003.