South India geography

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 25 09:34:29 UTC 1998

>>Does somebody on the list know whether Tirumala Nayaka of Madurai
>>revived old cankam traditions in the late 16th century?

>        May be what you meant was Thirumalai Raayan and not
>        Thirumalai Nayakkan.

No, I meant Tirumala Nayakan, because of his proximity in time with
Rajacudamani Dikshita, the author of the Sankarabhyudaya. This text
describes a number of places in TN which Sankaracharya is supposed to
have visited, but it is only in Madurai that a reference to Tamil
literary tradition is found. And I have reason to believe that the poet
refers to many events which were in the recent past for him.

Be that as it may, what was the old Tamil custom with respect to a
palaka? Were the honored poets given a palakai (wooden seat)? Or
perhaps, only for the poet(s) adjudged to be the best in a contest? Is
there evidence of such a custom in the 16th-17th century?


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