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...

Dramatic Appraisal of Annadatri-carita (Introduction)

Annadatricarita is a short drama designed with all its dramatic elements. Even though it contains only five acts, it strictly follows almost all the features of a drama based on Natyashastra and other dramaturgical treatises. With respect to specific rules of dramaturgy, the Rupaka categorized into ten; i.e., Nataka, Prakarana, anka, vyayoga, bhana, samavakara, dima, vithi and ihamriga.

Among them, the Nataka should follow the following features-


A drama should contain a famous subject with a popular and magnificent hero or the story of a Saint King supported by divine characters, various prosperities and merits and dramatic elements like Anka, praveshaka and Vishkambha.

According to Natyashastra, the Definition of Nataka is–


The drama should include Vrittis and Vrityangas, Patakasthanas, five sandhis, twenty one Sandhyantaras, sixty four sandhyangas and thirty six lakshnas. It should include similes and poetic merits, great rasa and should convey the great bliss to the audience. Vocabulary must be sublime and major characters must also great personalities. Sandhis should be properly joined. It should be easy to perform and enjoyable to audience with lucid sound. These points should be followed by the poet to create a good drama.[...]

With reference to Sahityadarpana of Vishvanathakaviraja, a drama should have the following features-


A drama must contain a popular theme, five sandhis, hero’s merits like vilasa and vriddhi, various prosperities, happiness and sorrows, different Rasas, five to ten acts, hero should from a famous clan with awesome characteristics, divine or divine characteristics. The main sentiment should be one, shringara or vira, all other sentiments are to help the development of the story. There should be four or five main active characters. Even though each act may different in length, they should have to keep continuity with the previous act which similar to the tail of a cow.

In the Dasharupaka the definition of drama elaborately described as follows-


In a play-the hero should be of Dhirodatta type with attractive qualities with fame, eager for fame, energetic, a preserver of three vedas, a ruler of the world, a member of a famous clan, a rajarshi or any divine personality. In the theme of the play he must be renowned with the principal theme. In case, the theme is not suits to the hero or incompatible with the sentiment is to be omitted or re arranged in some another way. After determining the start and end of the play and after the division into five parts, the author should properly use small sections called Samdhis (junctions) into it. These subdivisions should be sixty-four in number, the pataka(the incidents of an episode) should have one or more anusamdhis (sub-junctions) and also insert the prakari (episodical incidents) without any moment. The Vishkambha should arrange at the beginning of an act. An act clearly exemplifies the doings of a hero based on purpose, plot and different sentiments. There should be the proper alignment of the dramatic features like pataka, bindu and bija. Thus the acts are to be prepared with praveshaka (introductory scenes). If the acts are five in number it is a short drama and with ten acts it should be considered as a big drama.

Footnotes and references:


Natyashastram (Vol.II), Tr. By K.P NarayanaPisharodi, (Thrissur: Kerala SahityaAkademi, December 2014), 8.




Sahityadarpana of Vishvanathakaviraja, Ed. With ChandrakalaSanskrit-Hindi’ Commentaries by Acharya Sheshraja Sharma Regmi, (Varanasi: Chowkhamba Krishnadas Academy, 2004), 389.


Dasharupaka of Dhananjaya with Avalokacommentary of Dhanika, Dr.KeshavaraoMusalgaonkara, (Varanasi: ChaukhambaPrakashan, reprint 2017), 276-286.

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