Ponnar Shankar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ponnar Shankar epic)
Jump to: navigation, search
Ponnar Shankar .jpg
Ponnar Shankar.jpg

The legendary folklore Annanmar Kathai also called Ponnar-Shankar Kathai is set in the medieval period (600–1300 CE), post-sangam history of the Tamil country. This period saw the rise and fall of many kingdoms some of which were empires that exerted influence far and wide. This story is about the considered the unwritten epic of Gounder community. It is also named as a source of their cultural materials and traditions, transmitted orally from one generation to another either by messages or testimony or speech or song or street theatre and many other forms.

The society back in the time may have used rustic traditions prevalent, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants, to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledge across generations without a writing system. A narrower definition of oral tradition is sometimes maybe appropriate as well.

The Story[edit]

The legendary story of brothers, known as Ponnar also known as Periya Annan and Shankar also known as Chinna Annan, revered as the Annanmar Swami. The story has been recited and passed as a folk tale through many generations in very rustic traditions as songs which were known as gramiya padalgal or folk songs and have been enacted as folk entertainment through street theater which were known as Therru Koothu. The Ponnar-Sankar story starts from their grandfathers. The chieftain of the Vazhavanthi country in Chera kingdom (part of Southern Namakkal district) was Kolaththa Gounder, eldest among the twelve brothers belong to Perungudi clan of Kongu Vellalar gounders. Kolaththa Gounder and his wife Pavalaththal decide to leave their country Perungudi because of atrocities of his unjust brothers. They go to Mathukkarai to Goddess Sellandiya amman temple. In the temple, they find the three great kings, Chera King, Chola King and Pandya King sitting in front of the goddess and re-drawing their disputed tri-nation borders as process to bring lasting peace and stability. They are in a conundrum and cannot agree borders. Kolaththa Gounder finds a solution that is agreeable to all the three kings and resolves the disputes fairly. Impressed with this skills and solution Chola King gifts him the lordship to sizeable territory which back in the day could be akin to a size of a small country. The granted as gift was called Konad.

The couple went to Konadu and has founded the initial settlements, the area was vast wasteland but with their hard work and dedication they set out to develop these wastelands into cultivable farm lands. With their ingenuity they had devised and laid out an extensive system of ponds and shallow pits and lakes which acted as catchment zones and increased the fertility of the lands which in turn made it more cultivable and fertile. Their efforts over a period of time pays off making the country prosperous. After while the erstwhile Konad was renamed as Valanad.

Meanwhile, Kolaththa Gounder’s other eleven brothers who remained in Vazhavanthi country faced severe droughts successively and reached out to seek refuge with their eldest brother, who is now the chieftain of Valanad(Konad) which was located in the Chola kingdom. The eldest brother, as a Karaalan, gave refuge to his eleven brothers within the borders of his country Valanad(Konad).

Kolaththa Gounder and his wife Pavalathathal were living prosperous life, but they were unhappy that did not have child to succeed their lineage. So the couple sort some divine grace to alleviate their unhappiness and made several temple visits far and near asking the great lord to bless with them children. After a long penance they indeed were blessed with a male child and they named him as Mannudaiya Gounder(later called as Kunnudaiya Gounder). Mannudaiya Gounder as boy was little bit sluggish and was innocent child. Unfortunately for him, his parents died of natural causes, leaving the five year old child fend for himself. After the death of Kolaththa Gounder and his wife Pavalathathal the 11 brothers were already jealous of the prosperity and abundance found the opportune moment to assimilate their eldest brother’s wealth and kingdom.

The eleven brothers colluded and drove the young Mannudaiya Gounder out of Valanad. As young child he managed to wander his way into Aathi Chetti palayam (currently near Puliyur, Karur district). He went to a Chettiyar(Merchant) home, this chettiyar was merchant selling rice bran. The chettiyar, a kind man took young Mannudaiya Gounder into his house and sheltered him. Happenstance, After the arrival of Mannudaiya Gounder the Chettiyar’s luck blooms and he becomes very prosperous.

.[1][2][3] Although there is no official geographic area called Kongu Nadu at present, it covers the districts of Coimbatore, Karur, Erode, Salem, Tirupur, Namakkal, Dindigul, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, India[4][5] [6]


  1. ^ "Ponnar-Sankar shooting begins". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  2. ^ Vēlucāmi, Na (2006). Dr. Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi: a study. Tamizhcholai. 
  3. ^ K. Chellappan, "Editor's Note," in Kumar, Prema Nanda (1995). Dakshina: a literary digest of south indian languages, 1986-1988. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 231–37. ISBN 978-81-7201-733-0.  p. 232.
  4. ^ "KMK seeks ban on Ponnar Sankar". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2011-03-25. 
  5. ^ In South, films about politics, by politicians - Indian Express
  6. ^ "KMK leader criticises film based on CM's novel - Times Of India". The Times Of India. 2011-03-24. 

External links[edit]