Ponniyin Selvan

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Ponniyin Selvan
This is the Cover Page of Ponniyin Selvan Part 1
Cover Page of Ponniyin Selvan Part 1 published by Vanathi Pathipagam
AuthorKalki Krishnamurthy
  • Pavithra Srinivasan
  • Indra Neelameggham (1993)
  • C.V. Karthik Narayanan (1999)
Cover artistManiam
GenreHistorical, romance, espionage, thriller, fiction
  • Serialised: 29 October 1950 – 16 May 1954
  • Book form: 1955 (Mangala Noolagam)
Published in English
Media typePrint (Serial)
ISBN9788183451536 (Kavitha Publication ed.)
Preceded byParthiban Kanavu 

Ponniyin Selvan (transl.The Son of Ponni) is a historical fiction novel by Indian author Kalki Krishnamurthy, written in Tamil. It was first serialized in the weekly editions of Kalki, a Tamil magazine, from 29 October 1950 to 16 May 1954 and later integrated into five volumes in 1955. In about 2,210 pages, it tells the story of early days of Chola prince Arulmozhivarman. Kalki visited Sri Lanka three times to gather information and for inspiration.

Ponniyin Selvan is regarded as one of the greatest novels of Tamil literature.[1] The fan-following for the series, which was published weekly in Kalki, was such that it elevated the magazine circulation to reach a figure of 71,366 copies –a vast readership in a newly independent India.[citation needed] The book continued to be admired in the modern era, developing a cult following and fanbase among people of all generations. Ponniyin Selvan has garnered critical acclaim for its tightly woven plot, vivid narration, wit of the dialogue, and portrayal of the intrigues and power struggle of the Chola empire in the 10th-century.

A film adaptation of the novel, directed by Indian filmmaker Mani Ratnam, is underway. The first part, Ponniyin Selvan: I (PS1), was released on 30 September 2022. The second part, Ponniyin Selvan: II (PS2), is set to be released on 28 April 2023.[2]

Book volumes[edit]


Volume Title Chapters Note
1 Pudhu Vellam (transl. New Floods) 57 The story unfolds with the journey of the protagonist Vandhiyadhevan to the capital Thanjavur. After discovering a conspiracy, Vandhiyadhevan makes enemies with the royalty.
2 Suzharkaatru (transl. Whirlwind) 53 The events take place in Sri Lanka where Ponniyin Selvan (Raja Raja Cholan) is stationed for "Eezhathu Por" (Battle of Lanka), the tragic stories from the past of the characters' lives.
3 Kolai Vaal (transl. Sword of Slaughter) 46 The revenge set up by the suicide squad of Veera Pandiyan (Aabathuthavigal) against Aditya Karikalan and Chola Empire, the plot devised by Nandhini.
4 Manimagudam (transl. The Crown) 46 The struggle for the crown among the members of the Chola dynasty. The inside conspiracy is being revealed eventually among the patriots.
5 Thiyaaga Sigaram (transl. The Pinnacle of Sacrifice) 91 The Climax is being set. The conspiracy is broken due to a lack of motivation and the head of the conspiracy comes to senses. The rulers are reunited and the danger is averted. The rightful prince offers the throne to his uncle out of magnanimity. The tragic deaths of the main characters also add sorrow to the fact that the story ends.


Chart of characters involved in Ponniyin Selvan.
  • Vallavaraiyan Vandiyathevan: The brave, adventurous and sarcastic warrior prince of the Vaanar clan, who later becomes the Commander for Southern Troops under the reign of Utthama Chola. He is the bodyguard and close friend of Karikalan,who sends him as a messenger to Sundara Chola in Thanjavur to invite him to the newly built golden palace in Kanchi. His impulsive actions put himself and others in danger but he comes out of them with trickery and luck. He is the lover of Princess Kundavai. He is loved one-sidedly by Manimekalai, the sister of Kandanmaran.
  • Nandhini: Pazhuvoor Princess and wife of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar whose birth and origin was doubtful in the beginning. The main antagonist of the story. She was born in Madurai and grew up in a priest family along with royal children in Pazhayarai until her youth. She is the foster-sister of Azhwarkadiyan Nambi. She hated Kundavai as Kundavai was jealous of Nandhini's beauty. Nandhini and Prince Aditya Karikalan developed a liking for each other in their childhood which nobody in the royalty liked. She was forced to flee Pazhaiyarai and live in Madurai. After Aditya Karikalan beheaded the injured Veerapandiyan, Nandhini joined Pandya conspirators and vowed to avenge Veerapandiyan's death by killing Karikalan and destroying the Chola dynasty. By marrying Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar who had lusted for her and by using him, she helped the Pandya conspirators. She had a deep hatred towards the Chola royals for their ill-treatment and also had a desire for the throne. She had a terrible childhood that affected her badly and wanted to be with her mother Mandakini. Parthibendra Pallava and Kandanmaran fell for her beauty and she used them for her plot too. [Mandakini Devi went to Thanjavur (while she was pregnant), Sembiyan Maadevi was pregnant too, so she took care of Mandakini during her pregnancy. During child birth Sembiyan Maadevi gave birth to a still born son but Mandakini gave birth to twins - a boy (Madurantaka) and a girl (Nandhini). Sembiyan Maadevi swapped her still born son with Mandakini's son. She asked Vaani Ammal (a maid in the place at that time) to bury her still born son and gave the daughter to Azhwarkadiyan's parents. After leaving the palace, Vaani Ammal notices that Sembiyan Maadevi's son (Senthan Amuthan) is alive. She fosters him and raises him as her own son.]
  • Azhwarkadiyan Nambi (alias Thirumalaiappan): A Veera Vaishnavite spy who works for the Prime Minister and Queen Mother Sembiyan Mahadevi. He is the foster-brother of Nandhini and also a close friend of Vandiyathevan. He works closely with Vandiyathevan and saves him from many dangers. He was a loyal, trustful servant to the Chola royal government. He often engages in verbal battles with Veera Shaivites and Advaitis.
  • Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar: The chancellor and treasurer of the Chola kingdom from the Pazhuvettaraiyar clan who was respected for his valor, as demonstrated by his 64 battle scars. The second most powerful man in the empire. Enamoured by her beauty, he marries a much younger Nandini, and gets scapegoated by her. He was the leader of the conspirators who tried to make Madurantakan the next emperor.
  • Ilaya Piraatti Kundhavai Devi: The Chola princess. Second child and only daughter of Sundara Chola. Lover of Vandiyathevan. She was respected much by her father and the people for her intelligence and wit. Unlike other princesses of those times, she had ambitions of expanding the Chola empire and enhancing its glory and took a vow to never leave her motherland. She used her brother Arulmozhivarman and his son to achieve her ambition. She raised and taught Arulmozhivarman to be an intelligent prince and wished to make him the Chola emperor. She sent Vandiyathevan to bring back Arulmozhivarman from Sri Lanka to guard him.
  • Rajaraja I, also known as Ponniyin Selvan and Arulmozhivarman: The titular protagonist. The youngest son of Sundara Chola. He was raised in Pazhayarai by Periya Piratti and Ilaya Piratti. He was taught well by his sister was sent to Sri Lanka at the age of 19 for battle. He was said to be saved by the Mother Kaveri herself from drowning in the river when he was 5. This gave him the title "Ponniyin Selvan" or "Son of Kaveri".
  • Aditya Karikalan: Eldest son of Sundara Chola, the crown prince and the commander of Northern troops during Sundara Chola's reign. He was a distinguished warrior who began fighting at the age of 12. He was known all over the empire for his valiant acts. His haste and irascibility alienated many, and resulted in a conspiracy against him.
  • Poonguzhali: A boat woman, she was born and raised in Kodikkarai. She was adventurous and fearless and deeply distrusted men and civilization. She holds great affection for her aunt Mandakini Devi. She also has immense love for Arulmozhivarman. She saves Arulmozhivarman when he drowns in the ocean and secretly takes him to Nagapattinam to recuperate. She was named "Samudrakumari" (The Maiden of the Ocean) by Prince Arulmozhivarman himself.
  • Senthan Amuthan: A flower seller. He is a close friend of Vandiyathevan. He helped the latter many times in his missions when he was still the son of Vaani Ammal and a calm, humble and honest Shaivite devotee.
  • Vaani Ammal: The deaf and mute foster mother of Senthan Amuthan, sister of Mandakini and aunt of Poonkuzhali. She was skilled in traditional medicine remedies.
  • Chinna Pazhuvettaraiyar: alias Kaalandhakandar. The chief in-charge of Thanjavur fort. Younger brother of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar to whom he had huge respect and love. He is the father-in-law of Mathuranthakar. Both Pazhuvettaraiyar brothers hated Vandiyathevan at first. Chinna Pazhuvettaraiyar constantly warns his brother about Nandini and her conspiracy, but his cautionary words fall on deaf ears.
  • Sundara Chola alias Parantaka II: The emperor of Chola empire. He was known for his facial beauty which gave him his name 'Sundara'. When his legs became paralyzed and his health began rapidly deteriorating, the Pazhuvettaraiyar brothers moved the emperor from Pazhayarai to Thanjavur so they could better protect him. This sparked the debate for the next rightful heir. His wish was to appoint his uncle's son as his successor. There was a widespread rumor that the emperor was kept as a prisoner by the Pazhuvettaraiyar brothers.
  • Vanavan Mahadevi: Empress of the Chola empire. Chief queen, wife and caretaker of Sundara Chola. Mother of all his children. Daughter of Thirukovalur Malaiyamaan.
  • Sembiyan Maadevi alias Periya Piratti: Wife of Gandaraditya Chola and mother of Utthama Chola. A Shaivite devotee who donates a lot of resources to build temples for Lord Shiva across the Chola empire. She was steadfast in not making her son the emperor, which was also the dying wish of her husband. [Mandakini Devi went to Thanjavur (while she was pregnant), Sembiyan Maadevi was pregnant too, so she took care of Mandakini during her pregnancy. During child birth Sembiyan Maadevi gave birth to a still born son but Mandakini gave birth to twins – a boy (Madurantaka) and a girl (Nandhini). Sembiyan Maadevi swapped her still born son with Mandakini's son. She asked Vaani Ammal (she was a maid in the place at that time) to bury her still born son and gave the daughter to Azhwarkadiyan's parents. Vaani Ammal after leaving the palace notices that Sembiyan Maadevi's son (Senthan Amuthan) is alive, she fosters him and raises him as her own son.]
  • Pinaagapani: Son of the traditional healer in Pazhayarai. He was narrow-minded and ambitious and always considered Vandiyathevan his enemy but gets beaten by him all throughout the story. Pinaagapani was sent by Kundavai with Vandiyathevan to lead the way from Pazhaiyarai to Kodikkarai where the former lusts over Poonkuzhali but fails to attract her. His desire to gain high positions in the empire make him prey to Nandini's plans.
  • Thirukovalur Malaiyaman alias Milaadudaiyar: Father-in-law of Sundara Chola and maternal grandfather to his children. He was a well-wisher and advisor for Karikalan and lived with him in Kanchi. He was a rival of the Kadamboor ruler.
  • Parthibendra Pallava: Friend of Karikalan, who comes from the lineage of Pallavas. He fought along with in his battles. He lusts after Nandini and hates Vandiyathevan from the beginning.
  • Thiyaaga Vidankar: Father of Poonguzhali and in-charge of the light house at Kodikkarai. He is the younger brother of Mandakini Devi and Vaani Ammal.
  • Rakkammaal: Sister-in-law of Poonguzhali. She joined the Pandiyan conspirators due to her greed for money. Revadasa Kiramavithan was her father.
  • Anbil Aniruddha Brahmarayar: The Prime Minister of emperor Sundara Chola's Court and a close friend and confidante to the emperor. He was highly respected by the people for his wit and intelligence. On Sundara Chola's request, he became the minister and assisted Sundara Chola in matters of administration in addition to being a teacher. He was the keeper of many of the emperor's personal and royal secrets. His network of spies across the Chola empire ensured that almost nothing could happen without his knowledge. One of the best of them is Azhwarkadiyan Nambi.
  • Boothi Vikramakesari alias Kodumbalur Periya Velar: Irunkovel chieftain and uncle of Vaanathi. The Commander of the southern troops during Sundara Chola's reign. He fights alongside Arulmozhivarman against Mahindan's troops in Sri Lanka. He had a desire for Vaanathi to marry Arulmozhivarman and thus become the Queen. He and Thirukovalur Malaiyaman opposed the proposition of making Mathuranthakar the heir to the throne. The Kodumbalur Velars and Pazhuvettaraiyars were rivals though they were both loyal to the Cholas.
  • Theveraalan (alias Parameswaran), Idumbankkari, Ravidasan, Soman Sambavan, Revadasa Kiramavithan: Antagonists of the novel. Bodyguards of the late Veerapandiyan. They conspire to kill the members of the Chola royal family. Ravidasan and Parameswaran were once ministers in Chola court. Ravidasan and Revadasa Kiramavithan were acting as wizards. Idumbankkari was acting as a guard in Kadambur palace.
  • Madurantakan alias Amarabhujangan Nedunchezhiyan: Foster Son of Sembiyan Maadevi who was raised as a Shaivite also known as Uttama Chola. He was raised a calm and humble Shaivite and taught not to desire the throne. He was brainwashed by his twin sister Nandini to develop a greed for the throne. Kundavai and others thought that he was untalented and lacked the basic characteristics and skills to be an emperor. The people of the Chola kingdom did not want him to become the ruler either.
  • Mandakini Devi aka Singala Naachiyaar aka Oomai Rani ("The Mute Queen"): The deaf and mute mother of Nandini and Madurantakan. Love interest of Sundara Chola. She had great affection towards his children and her niece, Poonguzhali. She is always around Arulmozhivarman and saves him from many dangers. [Mandakini Devi went to Thanjavur (while she was pregnant), Sembiyan Maadevi was pregnant too, so she took care of Mandakini during her pregnancy. During child birth Sembiyan Maadevi gave birth to a still born son but Mandakini gave birth twins to a boy (Madurantaka) and a girl (Nandhini). Sembiyan Maadevi swapped her still born son with Mandakini's son. She asked Vaani Ammal (she was a maid in the place at that time) to bury her still born son and gave the daughter to Azhvarkadiyan's parents. Vaani Ammal after leaving the palace notices that Sembiyan Maadevi's son (Senthan Amuthan) is alive, she fosters him and raises him as her own son.]
  • Sambuvaraiyar: The petty ruler of Kadamboor from the Sambuvaraya family.
  • Kandhanmaaran alias Chinna Sambuvaraiyar: Prince of Kadamboor. Son of Sambuvaraiyar and close friend of Vandiyathevan. He is the one who arranges for the petty rulers to gather in Kadamboor and hold a meeting to conspire to make Madhurantakan the next Chola emperor. He then assumes that Vandiyathevan tried to kill him and begins to think of him as his worst enemy.
  • Murugaiyan: Elder brother of Poonguzhali. Husband of Rakkammaal. He rowed the Pandiyan conspirators to Sri Lanka from Kodikkarai. But later compensated his unknowing wrongdoing by helping Arulmozhivarman reach Thanjavur.
  • Manimekalai: Innocent and shy princess of Kadamboor. Younger sister of Kandanmaaran and daughter of Sambuvaraiyar. She had deep, immense love for Vandiyathevan that he did not reciprocate.
  • Karuthiruman aka Paithiyakaran (The Madman): An assistant of Veerapandian and prisoner in the dungeons of Thanjavur. Claims to know the location of the Pandyan crown and scepter hidden in Sri Lanka.

Other characters in the novel are:

  • Kudanthai Jothidar: The astrologer in the town of Kudanthai (present day Kumbakonam) who predicts that Arulmozhivarman will become a great emperor. He also predicts that Vanathi will marry Arulmozhi and bear a great king who will take the Chola dynasty to its glory. He later moves to Thiruvaiyaru since his house was destroyed in the Kaveri floods.
  • Kalyani: Mother of Sundara Chola. Wife of Arinjaya Chola.
  • Paranthakan Devi: Another wife of Sundara Chola.
  • Eesaana Sivabattar: The priest of the Shiva temple in Pazhayarai. Elder brother of Azhwarkadiyan and foster brother of Nandini. He helps Vandiyathevan secretly meet Kundavai in Pazhayarai when the Pazhuvettaraiyar brothers were searching for him there.
  • Aacharya Bhikku: The head monk in Chudamani Vihara of Nagapattinam who saves Arulmozhivarman when he was affected by a lethal flu.
  • The Pandyan Prince whom the Pandyan conspirators declared the successor of Veerapandiyan at Thirupurambiyam Pallipadai.
  • Chandramathi: Maid and companion of Manimekalai in Kadambur palace.
  • Kayalvizhi: Pandiyan prince, son of Veerapandiyan and his queen raised by Nandini.

Plot summary[edit]

The story revolves around Vandiyathevan, a charming, brave and courageous young man who sets out across the Chola land to deliver a message from the Crown Prince, Aditya Karikalan, to the Emperor Sundara Chola and the Princess Kundavai. The story shuttles between Vandiyathevan's travels in Chola country and the young Prince Arulmozhivarman's (later known as Raja Raja Chola) travels in Sri Lanka. The narrative details attempts by his sister Kundavai to bring back Arulmozhivarman to establish political peace in a land seemingly beset with unrest and civil war plotted by vassals and petty chieftains.

Parantaka Chola was succeeded by his second son Gandaraditya as the eldest son Rajaditya had died in a battle. At the time of Gandaraditya's death, his son Maduranthaka was a two-year-old child and hence Gandaraditya's brother Arinjaya ascended the throne. After Arinjaya's death, his son Parantaka II (Sundara Chola) was crowned. He had two sons, Aditya Karikalan, Arulmozhivarman, and a daughter named Kundavai.

The story begins as the emperor Sundara Chola is ill and bedridden. His son Aditya Karikalan is the general of the Northern Command and lives in Kanchi. The younger son Arulmozhivarman is in Sri Lanka on a military campaign. Their sister Kundavai lives in the Chola royal household at Pazhayarai.

The story advances when rumors abound that there is a conspiracy against Sundara Chola and his sons. Vallavarayan Vandiyathevan confirms these suspicions by eavesdropping on a secret meeting at the Kadamboor palace of his friend Kandhanmaaran.

In his youth, Aditya Karikalan had fallen in love with Nandhini, but she turned vengeful and vowed to destroy the Chola dynasty after Aditya Karikalan killed Veerapandiyan. We also meet Kundavai Piratti, who after hearing the news of the conspiracy sends Vandiyathevan to Sri Lanka to give a message to Arulmozhivarman to come back immediately.

Besides these, there are other characters like Maduranthaka Thevar (the man whom the conspirators want to crown king), the son of Gandaraditya, and Aniruddha Brahmarayar, Sundara Cholar's Prime Minister and the man who has eyes and ears everywhere. Vandiyathevan also meets Brahmarayar's spy Azhwarkadiyan Nambi, a man who roams the country challenging Shaivites to debates. He collects information for the Prime Minister and is always around Vandiyathevan, rescuing him from trouble.

Other characters include Vaanathi, a Kodumbalur princess (the woman who later becomes Arulmozhivarman's wife) who is in love with Arulmozhivarman; Poonguzhali, the boat woman who rows the future king to Lanka; Mandakini, the deaf and mute birth mother of Maduranthaka Chola and the aunt of Poonguzhali. Most memorable among the female characters is Nandhini, whose beauty is said to have the power to influence any man. Manimegalai, the sister of Kandhanmaaran (the Kadamboor prince) who helps Nandhini without any knowledge that she is the conspirator and who also turns against Vandhiyathevan, his best friend.

Meanwhile, with Poonguzhali's help, Vandiyathevan reaches Sri Lanka, meets Arulmozhivarman, and becomes his close friend. In Sri Lanka, Arulmozhivarman realizes that his father had spent some time on a nearby island and had been with a girl who was born deaf and mute. He meets her and realizes from her drawing that she and his father have had two children. Who are those children and do they have the right to the throne? Later one day in Thirupurambayam forest Vandiyathevan sees Nandhini and the Pandya conspirators place a small boy on a throne and take a vow in front of him. Who is this boy and what right does he have to the throne?

While coming back from Sri Lanka, Arulmozhivarman is caught in a cyclone and goes missing. Rumor spreads that he is dead, but he survives and recuperates at Choodamani Viharam, a Buddhist monastery in. Then slowly the dispersed family starts assembling. The conspirators meanwhile choose a day in which both the emperor and both of his sons will be assassinated.

Nandhini in the meantime calls Aditya Karikalan to Kadamboor Palace to discuss the future of the kingdom. Though Karikalan knows that his life is in utter danger, he travels to Kadamboor to meet with Nandhini. Aditya Karikalan is then assassinated at the palace.

Meanwhile, Arulmozhivarman recovers and returns to Thanjavur, where he was initially forced to accept the crown. He appears to acquiesce, but later tricks everyone during the coronation ceremony and crowns his uncle Uthama Chola instead. Thus the fifth part of the book is named as Thiyaaga Sigaram, the pinnacle of sacrifice.


The novel was first serialised in the weekly editions of Kalki during the period from 29 October 1950 to 16 May 1954 resulting the total period of development of work be 3 years, 6 months, and 18 days. The following year, Managala Noolagam released the novel in book form.[3][4]


Film and television[edit]

There have been several attempts to create film adaptations of Ponniyin Selvan, beginning with an attempt in 1958 by M. G. Ramachandran. He bought the film rights to the novel for 10,000 (equivalent to 810,000 or US$10,000 in 2020), and announced that he would produce, direct and star in the adaptation which would feature an ensemble cast including Gemini Ganesan, Vyjayanthimala Bali, Savitri, and Padmini. Ramachandran chosen Mahendran to write screenplay for the film.[5] Before shooting could begin, Ramachandran met with an accident, and the wound took six months to heal, Ramachandran was unable to continue with the film despite renewing the rights four years later.[6][7][8]

In the late 1980s, actor Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam worked together on adopting the novel into a film.[9][10] Ratnam revealed that he worked on a first draft of the film alongside Kamal Haasan, who had bought the rights of the novel from Ramachandran, but the pair shelved their plan as the project did not make financial sense at the time.[11][7] Ramachandran also requested Bharathiraja to make the film.[12] Kamal Haasan then attempted to make the story into a forty-part television series during the early 1990s, and worked with writer Ra. Ki. Rangarajan on the screenplay, but the project was later stalled.[13]

In the 2000s, there were further attempts to make the book into television series by Makkal TV and by Kalaignar TV, through a project directed by Naga.[14] A 32-hour animation film was planned by Rewinda Movie Toons, a Chennai-based animation studio, in 2008 and took seven years to complete. The film was set to be released by April 2015, but remains unreleased as of October 2022.[15] In late 2010, Ratnam renewed his interest in his film project and worked alongside writer Jeyamohan to finalise the script for the film adaptation of Ponniyin Selvan. The film was later shelved before the start of the filming stage, as the expected cost of production escalated. Jeyamohan stated that the film did not materialise as the team struggled to find available locations to shoot the film. He revealed that temple officials in Tamil Nadu refused to allow the team to film scenes on the premises and that the expensive cost of producing replica sets meant that it would not be a viable solution.[16]

In 2016, Eros International engaged Jeyamohan and Soundarya Rajinikanth, as a creative producer, to make the book into a web-series but the project did not develop into production.[17][18] In early 2019, Soundarya Rajinikanth associated with another production house, May 6 Entertainment, and director Sooriyaprathap to make a web-series of the novel for MX Player. After years of little promotion, Soundarya announced that the project was still under the planning phase during September 2021.[19] In January 2021, a further adapted web series produced by Eternitee Motion Krafte and directed by Ajay Pratheeb titled Chiranjeevi Ponniyin Selvan was announced. The makers announced that the series would have 125 episodes, with technicians such as Ilaiyaraaja and Sabu Cyril joining the team.[20][21]

2022 film[edit]

In early 2019, Mani Ratnam officially restarted production on his film project. His two-film adaptation featured an ensemble cast consisting of Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jayam Ravi, Karthi and Trisha.[22] In September 2021, the filming for both the parts got completed.[23] The film was released on 30 September 2022 in five Indian languages.[24]

Stage play[edit]

Avvai Shanmugam was the first to organise a conference on Tamil drama in Erode, and the first to organise a drama contest, in 1945. One of the prize winning scripts was 'Raja Raja Chozhan,’ which was staged in 1955 with Shanmugam as prince Rajendra. 'Raja Raja Chozhan' was also presented at the Motilal Nehru Centenary celebrations in Delhi in 1961, earning compliments from Nehru for the splendid acting. In Singapore, 'Raja Raja Chozhan' was also enacted 90 times. Overall it was staged 2,146 times.[citation needed]

Avvai Shanmugam played the role of Maamallan in Kalki's 'Sivakamiyin Sabatham' and the sets were grand, befitting the story. For the scene in which Paranjothi tames an elephant that runs amok, two men inside a specially made elephant, operated levers as they walked in unison.[25]

In 1999 the book was adapted into a stage play by E. Kumaravel and was staged by Magic Lantern Theater in Buck's Theatre inside YMCA Nandanam, Chennai.[26] The script's length was originally over nine hours long, but was shortened into a performance time of four hours and 20 minutes and featured 72 actors on a multi-level setting.[citation needed]

Again, the book was adapted into a stage play in a very grand scale by SS International Live along with Magic Lantern theatre group in Chennai, in June 2014. The crew includes Kumaravel, who penned the screenplay & dialogues, Thotta Tharani as art director, Preethi Athreya as costume designer and Bhanu leading the make-up and hair styling department. Pravin directed the play.[27]

Chicago Tamil Sangam staged the play in May 2013 with over 40 volunteers in cast and crew.[28]

Novels and Comic books[edit]

The Tiger Throne by Preetha Rajah Kannan is a retelling of this novel.[29]

In 2017, Nila comics started releasing series of comic books where every comic book is an adaptation of two chapters from the novel.[30] It is available in Tamil and English. As of January 2019, There have been 18 comic books released in Tamil and 10 in English.[31][32]

English and other translations[edit]

There are at least five different translations of Ponniyin Selvan available in English by Indra Neelamegam,[33] Pavithra Srinivasan, CV Karthik Narayanan, Varalotti Rengasamy and Sumeetha Manikandan. On 21 February 2015, a Sanskrit translation by Rajalakshmi Srinivasan was released at a public function in Chennai.[34][35]

English translations[edit]

Translator Title Pages Publication date Publisher(s) Ref(s)
Pavithra Srinivasan Ponniyin Selvan Book 1: Fresh Floods 454 1 December 2019 [36][37]
Ponniyin Selvan Book 2: Whirlwinds 482 1 December 2019
Ponniyin Selvan Book 3: Sword of Slaughter 424 1 October 2020
Ponniyin Selvan Book 4: The Jewelled Crown 426 2 April 2021
Ponniyin Selvan Book 5: The Zenith of Sacrifice 866 1 January 2022
C.V.Karthik Narayanan Ponniyin Selvan Part 1 : The First Floods 404 Macmillan Publishers,

Laxmi Publications,

Trinity Press,

Pustaka Digital Media

Ponniyin Selvan Part 2 : The Cyclone 370
Ponniyin Selvan Part 3 : The Killer Sword 288
Ponniyin Selvan Part 4 : The Crown 274
Ponniyin Selvan Part 5 : The Pinnacle of Sacrifice – Volume 1 300
Ponniyin Selvan Part 5 : The Pinnacle of Sacrifice – Volume 2 387
Ponniyin Selvan – All Volumes 2831
Indra Neelamegam Ponni's Beloved: Part 1– New Floods 264 1993, updated 2022 free on Project Madurai

ePub available at Smashwords,

Barnes and Noble

Ponni's Beloved: Part 2 -- Whirlwind 254 1995, updated 2022
Ponni's Beloved: Part 3 -- A Killing Sword 252 Updated 2022
Ponni's Beloved: Part 4 -- Jeweled Crown 280 2022
Varalotti Rengasamy Kalki's Ponniyin Selvan Part-1 to Part-5 Set 2128 2016 Kavitha Publication [41]
Sumeetha Manikandan Ponni's Beloved Volume 1: New Floods 341 2019 [42]
Ponni's Beloved Volume 2: The Storm 389 2019
Ponni's Beloved Volume 3: The Sword 386 2020 The Sword – Ponni's Beloved Volume 3: An English Translation Of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan https://www.amazon.in/dp/B085XS8MC1/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_FW0FYP79B4Q0T8Z1ZW0A
Ponni's Beloved Volume 4: The Crown 314 2020 The Crown – Ponni's Beloved Volume 4: An English Translation of Kalki Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan https://www.amazon.in/dp/B089NHF632/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_STJ1V77S8GPGP5SWCFCC
H. Subhalakshmi Narayanan Ponniyin Selvan, Book 1: New Waters 2150 2016 Ailum Books
Ponniyin Selvan, Book 2: Whirling Cyclone
Ponniyin Selvan, Book 3:The Killer Sword
Ponniyin selvan, Book 4: The Crown
Ponniyin Selvan, Book 5 & 6:The Epitome of sacrifice

Malayalam translations[edit]

Translator Title Pages Publication date Publisher(s) Ref(s)
G.Subramanian Ponniyin Selvan 1200 2022 DC Books
Translator Title Pages Publication date Publisher(s) Ref(s)
Sajith M. S Ponniyin Selvan (പൊന്നിയിൻ സെൽവൻ ) 2022 Pratilipi Malayalam Free Reading Also Available in Pratilipi FM

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jayaram joins Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan?". indianexpress. Indian Express. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Ponniyin Selvan 2: Vikram And Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's Film Gets A Release Date". NDTV.com. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  3. ^ Ponniyin Selvan Eng Pt. 1 (1999), p. xv, Introduction. Ponniyin Selvan was first published in serial form in the Tamil weekly magazine Kalki ; it was begun in the issue dated 29 October 1950 and concluded in the issue for 16 May 1954.
  4. ^ Ponniyin Selvan Book (1955).
  5. ^ "எம்.ஜி.ஆர். மூலமாக திரை உலகில் நுழைந்த மகேந்திரன்". Maalai Malar. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  6. ^ Bali, Karan (14 March 2018). "Films Announced But Never Started: Ponniyin Selvan". Upperstall.com. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b Srivathsan, A. (19 October 2011). "Age hardly withers charm of Ponniyin Selvan". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Mani is likely to drop Ponniyin Selvan". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  9. ^ "பொன்னியின் செல்வன்: கமலின் கனவுகள்..." Kalki (in Tamil). 29 October 1989. pp. 2–4. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  10. ^ "Mani Ratnam first discussed 'Ponniyin Selvan' with Kamal Haasan in 1989. Details inside". The Times of India. 6 September 2022. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  11. ^ Mohammed, Khalid (January 1994). "Mani Matters". Filmfare. Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  12. ^ Life History of Bharathiraja: Ep 62 - Ponniyin Selvan -ஐ படமா எடுனு MGR சொன்னார் (in Tamil). En Iniya Tamil Makkale. 30 November 2020. Archived from the original on 27 December 2022. Retrieved 27 December 2022.[time needed]
  13. ^ "Ponniyin Selvan lures all — from MGR to Kamal Haasan to Mani Ratnam". The Federal. 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 16 July 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  14. ^ "Ponniyin Selvan: It took 60+ years to bring the story on screen!".
  15. ^ B. Kolappan (9 April 2015). "Ponniyin Selvan in 32-hour animation film".
  16. ^ "Writer Jeyamohan reveals why Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan was shelved". The News Minute. 8 September 2016. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  17. ^ Kolappan, B. (27 March 2015). "Ponniyin Selvan to come alive on screen". The Hindu.
  18. ^ "Live Chennai: Ponniyin Selvan serial in internet: Eros announces,Ponniyin Selvan serial,internet, Eros announces".
  19. ^ "Puthu Vellam: Soundarya Rajinikanth announces Ponniyin Selvan web series".
  20. ^ "Another Ponniyin Selvan adaptation: A 125-episode series with music by Ilaiyaraaja".
  21. ^ "MGR's dream project to be turned into film, web series by Ajay Pratheeb".
  22. ^ "Mani Ratnam's 'Ponniyin Selvan' poster out, lyricist not mentioned in crew". www.thenewsminute.com. 2 January 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Mani Ratnam wraps 'Ponniyin Selvan' shoot". The New Indian Express. 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ Palisetty, Ramya (19 September 2021). "Mani Ratnam wraps up Ponniyin Selvan shoot, film is set to release in 30th September 2022". India Today. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  25. ^ Krishnamachari, Suganthy (16 August 2012). "Labour of love". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  26. ^ "The stage is his world". The Hindu. 27 February 2009. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  27. ^ மு, ராகினி ஆத்ம வெண்டி. "வறட்சியால் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட விவசாயிகளுக்கு இழப்பீட்டுத் தொகை!". www.vikatan.com/ (in Tamil). Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  28. ^ "Ponniyin Selvan".
  29. ^ p-themes. "The Tiger Throne [English]". Bookkish. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  30. ^ Poorvaja, S. (31 October 2017). "Ponniyin Selvan, now in comic book avatar". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  31. ^ "Buy Tamil Books – Nila Comics". Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  32. ^ "Buy English Books – Nila Comics". Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  33. ^ "Ponniyin Selvan".
  34. ^ "Linguistic diversity an asset: Smriti Irani". The Hindu. Chennai. 22 February 2015. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  35. ^ Ponniyin Selvan Eng Indra (1993); Centenary Volume (1999).
  36. ^ "Amazon.in: Ponniyin Selvan". Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  37. ^ "Writer Pavithra Srinivasan no more". The Hindu. 16 July 2021.
  38. ^ "C.V.Karthik Narayanan English Novels | English ebooks online | Pustaka". www.pustaka.co.in. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  39. ^ "Amazon.in: C.V.Karthik Narayanan ponniyin selvan: Kindle Store". www.amazon.in. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  40. ^ Neelameggham, Indra. "Book Links". IndrasPonniyinSelvan. Indra Neelameggham. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  41. ^ Kalki's Ponniyin Selvan Part-1 to Part-5 Set (English) (Historical Novel) Paperback – 2016. ASIN 8183455476.
  42. ^ "Amazon.in: Sumeetha Manikandan Ponniyin Selvan: Kindle Store". www.amazon.in. Retrieved 3 January 2020.


  • Krishnamurthy, Kalki (1955). Ponniyin Selvan பொன்னியின் செல்வன் (in Tamil). Madras: Mangala Noolagam. OCLC 84057533.
    • Krishnamurthy, Kalki. Puthu Vellam புது வெள்ளம் (in Tamil). Vol. 1.
    • Krishnamurthy, Kalki. Chuzharkaattru சுழற்காற்று (in Tamil). Vol. 2.
    • Krishnamurthy, Kalki. Kolaivaal கொலை வாள் (in Tamil). Vol. 3.
    • Krishnamurthy, Kalki. Manimakudam மணிமகுடம் (in Tamil). Vol. 4.
    • Krishnamurthy, Kalki. Thyaaga Sigaram தியாகச் சிகரம் (in Tamil). Vol. 5.
  • Neelameggham, Indra (1993). Ponniyin Selvan of Kalki Krishnamurthy.
    • Neelameggham, Indra. Neelameggham, R; Ramadorai, Elizabeth (eds.). Part 1A New Floods. Online: Project Madurai.
    • Neelameggham, Indra. Neelameggham, R; Ramadorai, Elizabeth (eds.). Part 1B New Floods. Online: Project Madurai.
    • Neelameggham, Indra. Neelameggham, R (ed.). Part 2A Whirwind. Online: Project Madurai.
    • Neelameggham, Indra. Neelameggham, R (ed.). Part 2B Whirwind. Online: Project Madurai.
    • Neelameggham, Indra. Neelameggham, R (ed.). Part 3A A Killing Sword. Online: Project Madurai.
  • Krishnan, Mini, ed. (1999). Kalki R. Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan. New Delhi: Macmillan India. OCLC 263145239.

External links[edit]