Annadatri-carita (study)

by Sarannya V. | 2020 | 34,082 words

This study analyzes the Annadatri-Carita: an epic poem connected with a regional history written by Prof. K Balarama Panicker. The plot of the drama is based on a Sangam period myth connected with the epic Mahabharata. The author introduces Utiyan Ceralatan as Vancishvara, an ancestor of the last Travancore ruler named Chithira Thirunal Balarama Va...

The Sangam literary works like Akananuru, Purananuru, Natrinai are the main sources of references about Uthiyan Cheralathan. “Muranciyur Mutinakarayar”, “Mamulanar”,“Ilamkiranar”and “Kottampalattu Tunciya Ceraman Makkotai” were the poets who admired him in the Sangam literature. Even though, their songs provide an approximate sketch of Utiyan Ceralatan’s life, but cannot accept it as an accurate history.

1. Muranciyur Mutinakarayar

Muranciyur Mutinakarayar might be honoured as the “first poet”[1] of the Sangam literature and he considered as a native of Kerala. He belongs to the clan of an ancient landlord “Muriyanatu Nambiar” located in the Muriyanatu (Muringur) village of Mukundapuram Taluk[2]. The name “Mutinakarayar” means “Nair Feudalist”.[3] He was a royal poet of Utiyanceral’s assembly. The first song after the prayer (Katavul Vazhttu) in Purananuru (the 2nd Puram) was attributed to him. Obviously this indicates the importance of that king and poet. The language and literary style of this poem is too antique when compared to other songs of the whole text. There is only one poem by him in the whole Purananuru.

The second song of Purananuru, by Muranciyur Mutinakarayar gives some hints about the reign of Uthiyan Cheralathan. He uses the simile of five elements (Pancabhutas) to start praising the King.

vicumpu taivaruvaliyum
ti muraniyanirumentan


Hail, noble King! Whose nature well combines
The qualities of all the elements;
Whose long forgiving suffering is a match
To mother Earth’s; whose judgement wise is wide
As all-pervading ether, and whose might
Like air illimitable, and like fire
Resistless, with refreshful mercy still
Is tempered, which thy glorious sway upholds,
As water cool enlivens nature’s face.[5]

He admired that,the supremacy of Utiyan Ceralatan was tremendous in the whole Earth and sky was the borderline of his kingdom.


(Sky bounds thy land alone!)

Mutinakarayar praised about the good qualities of the king. He illustrated an ideal and righteous king in his song. According to his words, “the milk may musty, sun may become dark and even the righteous Vedas may turn out to false, but King Utiyan and his assembly will always efficiently complete their responsibilities”. He compared Utiyan with “Mount Himalaya” in the eminence and equivalent to “Potiyil Mountain[7] in fame.

paal pulippinum pakalirulinum
na al vetaneritiriyinum
tiriyaccurramotumuzhutu cen vilanki
natukkinri niliyavarovattaiyatukkattuc
mutti vilakkirruncum
porkottimayamumpotiyamum ponre[8]


Illustrious king! Though luscious milk may sour,
The sun his brilliance lose, and even the four
Vedas themselves their holy teachings change,
Mayst thou by ministers be served, whose love
For thee and wisdom in thy councils shall
Constant through all vicissitudes remain!
Mayst thou in power and glory steadfast shine
Throughout all time like Potiya’s sacred mount
And golden-peaked Himalaya, were rest
The dainty headed fawn and large-eyed deer
Securely by the holy triple fire
Which for their ev”ning rites the sages raise![9]

2. Mamulanar

Mamulanar was also considered as a Kerala poet[10]. He was lived in the 6th century of Common Era. By chance he mentioned about Utiyanceral in three “Palaippattu” in Akananuru (Akam55, 65 and 233).[11] The 55th song was about the demise of the king in the battle of Venni against Karikala Cola and 233rd song is about a ritual conducted by the king. The 65th song praises the generosity of the king.

natukan akarriya utiyancerar
uvavinivazhitozhi avare


Let us rid ourselves of the women in
Our village who tells lies and gossips.
Now you be happy like the musicians
Who went to singing to king Uthiyancheral
Who expanded his country.[12]

(Akam. 65)

In Akam 233, Mamulanar referred about a bounteous feast in a ritual counducted by Uthiyan Cheralathan to satisfy his ancestors.

marappataikkutiraimara maintin
turakkameytiyatoyya nallicai
mutiyarppeniya utiyan ceral
pruncorukotutta nantaiirumpal
kuli ccurrnkuzhi iyiruntanku-
kkuriyavumnetiyavun kunrutalaimananta
curanira ntakanrna rayinum….


He has gone with an unbending mind, confused
Through the wasteland hugged by mountains
Short and tall, like ghouls and their relatives
When king Uthiyanceral gave offerings to his
Very brave ancestors with unspoiled fame,
…who have gone to the upper
…world with their horse brigades,
In summer, when clouds move away from the huge,
Proud forest that is burned, surrounded by fire, and
Elephants have lost their flesh and are sad.

(Akam, 233)

3. Kottampalattu Tunciya Ceraman Makkotai

Kottampalattu Tunciya Ceraman Makkotai was a king of Cera dynasty. In Akam 168th song, he mentions the charity of king Utiyan Ceralatan. He referred that Kuzhumur, the citadel of Utiyan was located at the valley of “Pallankunnu” mountain and there are many herds of good breads of cows and a stream. The sound of the stream resembled the sound of vessels in the kitchen of the king Uthiyan Cheralathan.

nallan parappiru kuzhumurankatu
kotaikkata nenra kota nenci-

(Akam, 168)

…where herds of
Cows are spread in the shade of Pallankundram mountain.[13]

Footnotes and references:


Kaviyoor Murali, Purananooru OruPaddanam, (Kottayam: DC Books, 1999), 151.


Narayanankutti Melangath, Sanghasahityacharitram, (T hiruvananthapuram: Kerala Bhasha Institute, January 2003), 162.




Puram 2 by Mutinakarayar


SeshaAiyyar K.G., Cera Kings of the Sangam Period, (London: Luzac& Co., 1937,),6




The “Potiyil” was the old name ofPothigai hills, which located on the southern side of Western Ghat. It is also known as Sivajyothi hill or Agasthiyar Mountain or Southern Kailash. In Sangam works this hill area was mentioned in different names like Potiyil, Potiyal, Potikai and Potalaka. In ancient works its references can be seen in relation to the river Tamraparni and the ancient Sage Agastya (Akattiyan)






Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai P.N., AnnatteKeralam, (Published by the Author, Kottayam: Distributed by National Book Stall, April 1970), 58.




Akananooru-65th Song, Herbert Vaidehi, Aknanuru -Translation with English meaning, Chennai: Digital Maxim LLC, 2013


Akananooru-168th Song, Herbert Vaidehi, Aknanuru -Translation with English meaning, (Chennai: Digital Maxim LLC, 2013)

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: