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Malaipatukataam (Tamil: மலைபடுகடாம், meaning the rut of the mountains) is a Tamil poetic work in the Eighteen Greater Texts (Pathinenmaelkanakku) anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE–100 CE. Malaipatukatam contains 583 lines of poetry in the Achiriyappa metre. The poems were written by the poet Perunkosikanaar from Perunkunrur. In praise of a minor chieftain named Nannan Venmaan. Malaipatukatam belongs to the Ten Idylls (Pattupattu) collection and follows the Arruppadtai style, a device used by most of the books in the Pattupattu collection.
Arruppatai poems read like travelogues in which poets who were returning with gifts received from a king, encourage other poets to do the same by describing in glowing terms the king and his country. This gives the opportunity to the poet, among other topics, to describe in great detail the natural beauty, fertility, and resources of the territory that has to be traversed to reach the palace of the patron.
Malaipatukatam describes the various sounds generated and echoed in a mountainous terrain and uses the analogy of an elephant for the mountain to explain these sounds. It also describes the lifestyle of the folk dancers of the ancient Tamil country.
- Mu Varadarajan (1969). The Treatment of Nature in Sangam Literature.
- Mudaliyar, Singaravelu A., Apithana Cintamani, An encyclopaedia of Tamil Literature, (1931) - Reprinted by Asian Educational Services, New Delhi (1983)
- Malaipatukatam eText at Project madurai
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