Language, History and Literature
land of Tamil speech and people was in ancient times ruled by three
famous lines of king, the Chera, Chola, and Pandiya. . The land ruled
by them was called Chera Nadu (Chera country), Chola Nadu (Chola country),
and Pandiya Nadu (Pandiaya country) respectively.
landmass covered by the present-day Kerala State in the South India
formed a major part of Chera Nadu, the Central and Northern parts
of present Tamil Nadu were the then Chola Nadu and the Southern part
of Tamil Nadu was the Pandiya Nadu.
are of Dravidian origin. Many historians claim that the Dravidians,
before the dawn of the history of the Tamils, were spread all over
India. For various reason they split into small groups. Consequently,
the original language also split into different languages. Tamil is
found to have retained about 80 per cent of the features of the original
are three major sub-groups in the Dravidian family of language, namely,
South Dravidian, Central Dravidian, and North Dravidian.
languages of the South Dravidian sub-group is mainly,
languages of the Central Dravidian sub-group are mainly:
languages of the North Dravidian sub-group are mainly:
Tamil is spoken predominantly in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It
is spoken also in several other Indian states. In addition, Tamil
speaking populations are found in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore,
Mauritius, Fiji Islands and South Africa. Recent Tamil immigrants
are found all over the world. The distribution of Tamil-speaking population
found in the States of India according to the book ‘Distribution
of Languages in India in States and Union Territories’, 1971,
is given below:
State/Union Territory Tamil-Speaking
Andhra Pradesh 552,42 1.27
Assam & Meghalaya 2992 0.02
Bihar 15,167 0.03
Gujarat 15,995 0.06
Jammu & Kashmir 823 0.02
Kerala 505,340 2.37
Madhya Pradesh 28,735 0.07
Tamil Nadu 34,817,421 84.51
Maharashtra 233,988 0.46
Karnataka 990,409 3.38
Orissa 9160 0.04
Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. 6128 0.02
Rajasthan 3564 0.01
Uttar Pradesh 9222 0.01
West Bengal 21,454 0.05
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 14,518 12.62
Delhi 37,343 0.92
Lackshadeep, and Minicoy Islands 113 0.35
Manipur 834 0.08
Tripura 82 ----
Dadra and Nagar Haveli 11 0.01
Goa, Daman, and D 3347 0.39
Pondicherry 419,830 88.95
Nagaland 469 0.09
Arunachal Pradesh 638 0.14
The recorded history of the Tamil literature can be grouped broadly
into seven periods. They are:
1. Sangam Period - 3rd Century BCE-2nd Century CE
2. Later Sangam Period - 2nd Century CE- 6th Century CE
3. Pallava Period - 6thCentury CE-9the Century CE
4. Chola Period - 9th Century CE-12th Century CE
5. Nayak Period – 13th Century CE-17th Century CE
6. European Period - 17th Century CE-19th Century CE
7. Present Period - 20th Century CE onwards
For our purposes, the Tamil literature may broadly be classified
(i) Sangam Classics
(ii) Bhakthi or Devotional Literature
(iii) Ethics, and
(iv) Modern Literature
The early Tamil literatures are called Sangam Classics. Though there
are controversies over the time of the Classics, generally the period
between 200 BCE and 500 CE is considered the period of Sangam. Sangam
Classics are mostly descriptive. They describe nature, human feelings,
love, lovers, husband-wife relations, war, etc. Pathuppattu, an anthology
of ten poems, and Ettuthokai, a collection of eight anthologies, are
two major Sangam Classics.
following are known as Pathuppattu.
following are known as Ettuthokai.
addition to these, there is another set of poems known as Pathinenkizhkankku
that includes the following:
3. Iniyavai Narpathu
4. Inna Narpathu
5. Kar Narpathu
6. Kalavazhi Narpathu
7. Thinaimozhi Aymathu
8. Thinaimalai Nurrayamathu
9. Aynthinai Aymathu
10. Aynthinai Ezhu pthu
14. Pazhamozhi Nanuru
of the poems in this collection seem to belong to the post-Sangham
Age. It is widely accepted that among these, Thirukkural was composed
before the second century CE. The Thirukkural consists of 1330 Kural,
which are short verses of seven words. Thiruvalluvar is the author
of this book. This book consists of three major divisions, namely,
Arathuppal, Porutpal and Inbathupal.
deals with family life and ascetic life, which are called Illaram
and Turavaram respectively. Perhaps this could be somewhat equated
with the Sanskrit division Dharma (virtue). Porutpal deals with the
rulers and the ruled and all the other.htmlects relevant to them. Perhaps
this could be equated with the Sanskrit division Artha (meaning).
Inbathuppal deals with love both premarital and extramarital. This
could be somewhat equated with Kama (marital love). In short, Thirukkural
is a very good guide for life and an excellent literary work to enjoy.
This book has been translated into many Indian and foreign languages.
famous Tamil work Silappathikaram belongs to the later Sangam period.
Saint Ilango, a Chera prince, wrote this epic. Silappathikaram is
the story of a chaste woman, Kannaki. All Tamil people know the story
of Kannaki. The author, Ilango, says in the prologue that the work
is based on the truth that (i) a chaste woman is worthy of worship
even by great people, (ii) the Aram (Dharma) becomes the destroyer
of the kings who do injustice and (iii) the fate inevitably makes
one to suffer the effect of one’s own actions. There is another
epic known as Manimekalai by Sathnar, a contemporary of Saint Ilango.
These two epics are known together as ’Twin Epics’.
Bhakthi or Devotional Literature
Bhakthi literature deals with religious philosophy, the history of
saints, etc. Most of these are devotional poems. Religious teaching
entered Tamil literature for the first time in Manimekalai. Sathanar
the author of this book believed in Buddhism. The philosophy of Buddha
is extensively discussed in Manimekalai.
the 7th century CE, there was an acute fight between Saivites and
Jainas as well as Saivites and Buddhists. The Nayanmars, the saints
of Saivism, took many pains to spread and establish their religion
all over Tamil Nadu. They were, to a great extent, successful in their
attempt. Saivism as well as Vaishnavism clashed with Jainism and Buddhism.
Consequently Jainism and Buddhism lost their ground in Tamil Nadu.
Jains, Saivites, and Vaishnavites extensively used the medium of literature
for the propagation of their religions. Sivagasinthamani is the outstanding
work of Jains. Kambaramayanam is the most celebrated work of the Vaishnavites.
Thiruvasakam is one of the most popular Saiva Bhakthi songs. Apart
from these, there are many works for various religious groups.
The major part of Thirukkural deals with morals. Literature was chosen
as the best instrument to teach morals. The poetic works Naladiar,
Nanmanikkadikai, Elathi, Sirupancamulam, Athiccudi, Konraiventhan,
etc., are very popular in Tamil Nadu. Many memorize the verses of
Modern literature must be dealt with under two sub-headings:
(1) Prose and (2) Poetry.
It may be noted that prose writings have gained more popularity in
this century. Prose style is chosen as a better medium for novels,
short stories, essays, etc.
1. Prose: Prose literature may be generally classified into
two components: (a) Novels and (b) Short stories.
The first novel published in Tamil was Prathaba Mudaliar Sarithiram.
Vedanayagam Pillai who lived in the 19th century wrote this novel.
Now there are a number of novels in Tamil. Among the recent novelists
Akilan, N. Parthasarathi, Jayagandhan, Sandilyan Ashoka Mitram and
others are eminent writers.
Mu. Varadarajan’s Kallo Kaviyamo, Nencil Oru Mul and Akal Vilakku,
Akilan’s Pavvai Vilakku and Nencin Alikal,
Parthasarathy’s Kurincimalar and Ponvilangu,
Sandilyan’s Yavana Rani, Kadal Pura, and Raja Muthirai, etc,
are excellent works in the sphere of Tamil novels. Also Akilan received
the ‘Gnana Peeth Award’ for his novel, Cithirappavai. The other notable works include Kalki Krishnamurthy's novels, which are best known for his elegantly presented historical information, mostly depicting the lives of the Tamil kings Cholas and Pallavas. Among many of his known novels the two prominent ones are a) Ponniyin Selvan - depicting the lives of people during the period of Rajaraja Cholan who built the Pragatheeswara Temple, Thanjavur and b) Sivakamiyin Sabatham - on Narasimha Pallavan who was instrumental in building the historically renowned first ever rock cut temples in Mammallapuram, Tamilnadu.
Puthumaippithan was considered as an outstanding short story writer
and paved the way for the future field of short story in Tamil. He
was considered as king of short stories in Tamil. Jayakantan is one
of the eminent and popular storywriters in Tamil. He is not only a
storywriter, but also a novelist. His novels Parisukkupo, Vazhkai
Azhaikkiratu, etc., are worth reading. Among his novels, Akkinippiravesam
is extremely good. Another storywriter who deserves our appreciation
is R. Sutamani. She has written many stories among which Unam stands
unique. Jayasirpiyan, Sundara Ramasamy, A. Madhavan, Ashoka Mithiran,
Nava Bharathi P. Pukazhenthi, Puvai S. Arumugam and others are well
known writers in the field of Tamil short story writing.
from these stories, there are a number of stories published in several
weekly and monthly magazines. Kumudam, Anandha Vikadan, Kalaimagal,
Kalki, Tiipam, Kungumam, Taay, Minnambalam and several others are
the journals that give primary importance to stories.
The late poet Subramanya Bharathi popularly known as ‘Bharathi’
started a new era in the history of poetry. He used poetry as an instrument
to arouse patriotism, and was successful to a great extent. His poetry
went not only to the hands of scholars but also to the hands of common
people. The complete works of Bharathi were published under the title
Bharathiyar Kavithaikal. Among his works Kannan Pattu, Kuyil Pattu
and Panchali Sabadham are outstanding.
poet the late Bharathidhasan, the beloved follower of Bharathi, is
the most celebrated and outstanding poet in Tamil Nadu. He followed
Bharathi in making Tamil poetry very popular and in using it as the
best instrument to inspire people. But he deviated from Bharathi in
many respects. Bharathi believed in God but Bharathidhasan did not.
While Bharathi was preoccupied by the problems of the freedom struggle
and other national interests, Bharathidhasan was particular in the
development of the Tamil Nadu, Tamil language, Tamil people, and Tamil
culture. Among his literary works, Pandiyan Parisu, Kudumba Vilakku,
Tamil Ilakkam and Azhakin Sirippu are highly valuable.
Besides these two poets, Kannadhasan, Abddul Rahuman, Vairamuthu,
Mudiyarasan, Surada, Tamizh Azhagan, K. C. S. Arunachalam, Ponnadiyan,
and Mu. Metha and others enrich the field of Tamil poetry. Kannadhasan’s
Attanathi Athimanthi and Mangani and Mudiyarasan’s Pungodi are
excellent works. Sudhanantha Bharathi is a living poet in Tamil Nadu.
Sri Aurobindo influences him. His work Bharatha Sakthi is very famous.
This book won the Raja Rajan Award of 100,000 rupees.
these works, there are a number of anthologies of poems published
in this century. Several poems are being published in weekly and monthly
magazines. Mullaicaram, Kavidhai and a few other journals give primary
importance to poetry.
this connection, mention should be made about the new or modern poetry.
The modern poets, Pichaimurthi, Mani Vaidheswaran and others are interested
in modern poetries. They are of the opinion that the Tamil literary
field needs new experiments and new developments and they believe
that their attempt may contribute something to the Tamil literature.
TAMIL GRAMMATICAL TRADITION
In general, grammar includes phonology, morphology and syntax. But
Classical Tamil tradition seems to differ from this. The earliest
grammar Tholkappiyam deals not only with phonology, morphology and
syntax but also with personal and impersonal, internal and external
.htmlects of life, beauty of literature, behavioral.htmlects of human
life, Tamil linguistic traditions, etc., and this portion is termed
According to the tradition that Tholkappiyar followed a grammar is
(1) Ezhuthu (sounds and letters),
(2) (2) Col (words),
(3) (3) Porul (meaning).
Later it was five fold:
(2) (2) Col,
(3) (3) Porul,
(4) Yappu (versification), and
(5) Ani (beauty of literature).
Tholkappiyam, the earliest grammar available in Tamil, deals with
phonology and morphophonemics in the firs part known as Ezuttatikaaram.
It deals with morphology and syntax in the second part known as Collatikaaram.
In the third part known as Porulatikaaram, it deals with the subject
matter of literature, some literary and linguistic traditions, etc.
This grammar is considered to have been written in the early pre-Christian
Next to Tholkappiyam, Nannul is the outstanding work in the field
of Tamil grammars. Saint Pavananti who lived around the 13th century
CE wrote this grammar. This grammar contains only Ezhuthu and Col.
The first chapter Ezhuthu deals with phonology and morphophonemic,
and the second chapter Col deals with morphology and syntax.
Art of Music
The ancient Tamils possessed a highly developed system of music and
musical instruments. Their musical culture was at a high level. Works
dealing exclusively with the science of music were written during
the Sangam period, but were lost long ago. The Silappthikaram of the
second century A. D. throws flood of light on the music of the Tamils.
Music in Tamil nomenclature is isai. They had five kinds of Pans (specific
melody type), namely Mullai, Kurinji, Marudham, Neythal and Palai.
Apart from this, they had seven musical notes, viz., Kural, Thuttam,
Kaykkilai, Uzhai, Ili, Vilari and Tharam. These seven notes might
be roughly equated with the seven modern musical notes sa, ri, ga,
ma, pa, dha, and ni (saptha svaras ‘seven notes’). Tamil
books associate the following animals and birds with the saptha svaras:
sa with beetle, ri with parrot, ga with horse, ma with elephant, pa
with cuckoo, dha with cow, and ni with goat. Whereas the Sanskrit
tradition of Bharata compare saptha svaras with the cries of animals
and birds, viz., sa with peacock, ri with cow, ga with goat, ma with
heron, pa with Indian nightingle, dha with horse, and ni with elephant.
Through the Sangam works one can learn that the Tamils had many musical
instruments. They had their famous yazhs (kind of harps). Sagotta
yazh, Peri yazh, Siri yazh, Mahara yazh, Sengattu yazh, and are the
names denoting different kinds of yazhs. Sagotta yazh was a stage
instrument. Peri yazh was a large harp consisting of twenty-one strings
while Siri yazh with seven strings. Among all yazhs, Peri yazh and
Siri yazh seems to be very ancient.
Music was always associated with dancing in ancient times. The treatment
of music as an independent of its relation to dancing is found only
in later works after Silappathikaram.
appears that in the period of Nayanmars and Alwars, the native system
of music was retained with some deviations. Some of the pans are still
used in the recitals of the Devaram hymns. In the year 1943 the patron
of Tamil language, literature and arts, Dr. Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar
started the Tamil Music Academy at Chennai and thereby he attempted
to restore and enrich the Tamil music.
Tamil is broadly classified into Iyal ‘prose’, Isai ‘poetry’
and Nadakam ‘drama’. Nattiyam or Kuthu is mainly concerned
with dance. The ancient Tamils had two kinds of Kuthu: (1) Vethiyal
and (2) Podhuviyal. Vethiyal is especially meant for royal families
and Podhuviyal is meant for the public. Later on this convention had
disappeared. Since the kings had slowly lost their power the arts
patronized by them also gradually lost their glamour. Thus the Vethiyal
type of drama became extinct. The Silapathikaram furnishes the legendary
origin of dancing. The ancient Tamil country is the home of the classical
dance known as Bharata Natyam. Drama and dance gradually emerged as
two different branches. In1960s and 1970s cinema overshadowed drama.
The kings also patronized the art of drawing and painting. All over
Tamil Nadu one can see temples, small and big, and almost all the
temples are decorated by drawings and paintings. The paintings at
Cithannavasal near Pudhukkottai in Tanjavur district are worth seeing.
Tamil Nadu is famous for huge temples and marvelous Gopurams (temple
towers). Raja Rajan, the Chola king (11 A.D.), constructed a temple
in Tanjavur. This temple Gopuram is very tall and it is called Thanjaipperiya
Koil, the big temple of Tanjavur. His son Rajendra Chola, who subdued
the rulers of the region up to the river Ganges, constructed another
big temple in Gangai Konda Cholapuram. Except that the Thanjai periya
Koil is bigger in size than the temple in Gangai Konda Cholapuram,
they are exactly similar. The former was named as Rajarajeswaram and
the latter was named as Gangai Kondacholeswaram. These temples are
famous for the huge Nandis ‘bulls’ and Lingams. The temples
of Madurai Meenakshi Amman, Kanchipuram Varadharajapperumal, and Chidambaram
Natarajar are worth seeing. The skill of Tamils in architecture and
sculpture can be seen in these temples. The five Rathams (cars) carved
in rocks at Mahabalipuram are extremely beautiful. There are also
other works that show the skill of Tamils in sculpture. The Collections
of Vigrahas ‘icons,’ statues, drawings and paintings,
etc., found in the museums of Madras, Tanjavur, Pattiswaram and Kaverippumattinam
deserve special mention.
The Tamils are mainly rice-eaters. Sambar, Rasam, and Thayir ‘curd’
or Mor ‘buttermilk’ is mixed along with rice. Potato,
beans, carrots, cabbage, eggplant, okra, and other vegetables are
the side dishes. The majority of the Tamils are non-vegetarians, though
their intake is mainly vegetarian food. On special occasions a kind
of sweet dish known as Payasam is served. After taking meals, they
occasionally chew betel leaf and areca nut.
urban areas, people favor the eatables (tiffen), Iddli, Dhosai, Puri,
etc., and they drink coffee, tea or milk. In rural areas people take
rice. Nowadays almost all the villages are being urbanized in this
respect. Especially youngsters are fond of Tiffin in the morning times.
It may also be mentioned that there are people in villages who usually
take Kanchi (rice porridge) in the morning. Idlli, Vadai, Pongal,
Upuma, Puri, Chappathi, Dhosai, etc., are the tiffin items. Iddli,
Chatini and Sambar are more common items.
far as clothing is concerned, Tamil men wear Veshti (worn in the so-called
lungi fashion) and Sattai ‘shirt’ and women wear Pudavai
‘sari’, and Ravikkai ‘blouse’. Men wear pants
and shirts, too, though it’s not very common. Boys wear Kal
sattai ‘half-pant’ and shirt. Young girls wear Dhavani
‘half-sari’, Pavadai ‘petty-coat’, and Ravikkai.
Some orthodox men adorn themselves with turbans.
saris, namely, Kanchipattu pudavai woven in the town of Kanchipuram
in Tami Nadu are famous for their durability and worn by ladies on
special occasions. Ladies also wear a variety of ornaments. A few
of them are, Modhiram ‘ring’, Valayal, ‘bangle’,
Mukkuthi ‘nose ornament’, Thodu ‘ear ornament’,
necklace ‘neck ornament’, Kolusi ‘leg ornament’,
etc. Married women wear Tali ‘mangala sutra’ as the symbol
for marriage. Generally men wear wristwatch, rings, etc. All these
ornaments are made out of gold. In rural areas some people wear earrings,
wrist-chains, etc. Almost all the people in the rural areas are agriculturists
and agricultural laborers. The office-going people, daily wagers,
business people and other laborers inhabit the urban areas.
known persons meet, they exchange respect and affection by the Tamil
phrase vaanga vanakkam. This vaanga vanakkam (please do come/welcome/greeting)
is similar to namasthe or namaskar, the greetings words used widely
in the North India. At the time of departure pooy varukireen or simply
varukireen is used. Though this means in the Tamil society literally
come but implies now I go and will be back to meet you again.
There are a number of festivals observed in Tamil Nadu. Very famous
festivals are Pongal, Deepavali and Karthikai. Among them Pongal is
considered to be the special festival of Tamil Nadu and it is called
Tamizhar Thirunal, the festival of harvest celebrated for four days
in mid-January. . Pongal festival takes place towards the final stage
first day of Pongal is known as Bogi or Bogi pandikai. On that day
people worship the Rain God. Also, all the old and unusable articles
are burnt in bonfires. The second day of Pongal is the Pongal proper.
On this day people worship the Sun God. The third day is Mattu Pongal.
On this day they bathe the cattle and worship them, as they are the
mainstay of farm life. The fourth day is known as Karinal or Kanum
Pongal or Kanni Pongal. On this day villages assemble at a public
place and many native games. They meet with their friends and relatives
on this day. The young virgins pray to the god to get good partners
and happy life
is enthusiastically celebrated in both urban and rural areas of Tamil
Nadu. It is believed that Deepavali is celebrated in memory of the
demon Narakasuran who was killed by Lord Vishnu on the day of Deepavali.
Symbolically this means god destroys evil.
is commonly celebrated by all Tamils putting Diibam (lights) out every
night throughout the Tamil month Karthikai. During this period people
worship Lord Murugan also called Kartikeyan or Subramanyan son of
from these popular festivals, there are several other festivals such
as car festivals in many villages and towns. Tamil Nadu is full of
fairs and festivals in particular, car festivals.
are also a number of folk deities who are worshipped with equal if
not more fervor all over Tamil Nadu. Also the rituals and ceremonies
that take place at birth, naming, ear boring, puberty, marriage and
death differ from region to region, from caste to caste, and from
religion to religion.
IN TAMIL NADU
There are fifteen universities in Tamil Nadu engaged in the development
of the Tamil language, literature, culture, etc. They are namely,
Annamalai University at Annamalainagar, established 75 years ago;
Madras University, which was established over 150 years ago; Madurai
Kamaraj University at Madurai; Tami University at Tanjavur; Bharathiyar
University at Coimbatore and Bharatidasan University at Tiruchirappalli
and like. Apart from these universities, the International Institute
of Tamil Studies functioning at Madras also works for the development
of Tamil studies. There is also a technological university in Madras
named Anna University. Mother Theresa Woman’s University at
Kodaikkanal and Gandhigram Deemed University are the other universities
in Tamil Nadu.
have made significant contributions to Indian culture and the Independence
struggle. People like V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and Poet Subramania
Bharati are notable among them. In the sciences, Sir C. V. Raman and
Professor Chandrrasekhar received the Nobel Prize from Tamil Nadu.
There are many novelists who have received the prestigious Sahithya
Academy awards and Gnana Peeth Awards for their outstanding literary
Diglossia: Spoken and Written
There is a wide gap between spoken and written Tamil. Spoken
Tamil is used for face-to-face communication or in informal occasions
whereas written Tamil is used during official speeches and other formal
occasions. Spoken Tami is not generally written; thus, while writing,
the written form is invariably used. While there is a wide gap between
the two forms of Tamil, there are certain rules the use of that help
the learner to derive one form of language from another.
There are number of universities in India and Sri Lanka which have
facilities for Tamil Studies. In India (excepting Tamil Nadu) and
Sri Lanka the following institutions have programs for Tamil studies:
Punjab University, Chandigarh
2. Punjab University, Patiala
3. Delhi University, Delhi
4. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
5. Agra University, Agra
6. Lucknow University, Lucknow
7. Allahabad University, Allahabad
8. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
9. Calcutta University, Calcutta
10. Osmania University, Hyderabad
11. Sri Krishna Devaraya University, Anantapur
12. Sri Venkateswara University, Thirupati
13. Karnataka University, Dharwad
14. Mysore University, Mysore
15. Calicut University, Chittoor
16. University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram
17. University of Jaffna
18. University of Colombo
19. Peradeniya University
the US there are about ten universities that have programs for Tamil
language and literatures, and culture etc.
are twenty-five questions for the learners to check their understanding
of the above description. Check the correct answer for the question.
What is the name of the temple constructured by Raja Rajan in Tanjavur?
(a) Natarajar temple
(b) Kankai Konta coolapuram
(c) Tancaip periya kooyil
Which is the earliest grammar in Tamil?
3. Which of the following is correct?
(a) Spoken Tamil differs from written Tamil and vice-versa
(b) Spoken Tamil and written Tamil are one and the same
Which is the Tamil novel that won the Gnana Peeth Award?
(a) Pavai vilakku
Arattupal in Thirukkural could be somewhat equated with:
What is the equivalent expression in Tamil for ‘Good morning’
(c) Siva Siva
What is Nannul?
(a) It is a drama
(b) It is a novel
(c) It is a grammar book
Which of the following is correct?
(a) Spoken Tamil can be derived from written and vice-versa
(b) Spoken Tamil cannot be derived from written Tamil
(c) Written Tamil cannot be derived from spoken Tamil
Natakam or Kuthu is mainly concerned with:
(b) Musical Instruments
(c) Musical Notes
A celebrated work of Buddhism is:
Pancali Sapatam was written by:
The Raja Rajan award was given to Suthananta Bharati for his work:
(b) Bhartha Sakthi
(c) Kannan Pattu
Kancippattu sarees are produced from the town called:
The very first novel published in Tamil was:
(a) Pirathapa Muthaliar Sarithiram
(b) Kallo Kaviyamo
(c) Pavai Vilakku
15. The saint Ilango wrote the epic:
The Tamil language belongs to the:
(a) Central Dravidian sub-group
(b) North Dravidian sub-group
(c) South Dravidian sub-group
The recorded history of the Tamil literature can be broadly grouped
(a) Five periods
(b) Seven periods
(c) Four periods
The author of Thirukkural is:
The Nayanmars are the saints of:
A collection of eight anthologies of the Sangam classics is called:
The Tamil festival connected with the harvest is:
Ancient Tamil Nadu was divided into three major regions called:
(a) Chera Nadu, Chola Nadu, Pandiya Nadu
(b) Chola Nadu, Ram Nadu, Pandiya Nadu
(c) Chera Nadu, Ram Nadu, Pandiya Nadu
The phrase, Pooy varukireen is used:
(a) at the time of meeting
(b) at the time of eating
(c) at the time of departure
An anthology of ten poems in Sangam Classics is named:
Married women in Tamil Nadu wear:
(a) Valayal as the symbol for marriage
(b) Tali as the symbol for marriage
(c) Mukkuthi as the symbol for marriage