A must read book for anyone interested in knowing the rich history of beautiful Madurai, and the past of caste system in Tamil Nadu. It has a shocking narrative of the oppression of a particular community in TN, and also clearly depicts the social standing of every other community occupying Kaaval Kottam - Why it deserves the likes of a Man Booker. This novel particularly shook me and changed the way i look at Madurai forever. Its particularly more appealing when someone from Madurai reads it.

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Blogs on general topics, Temples, Book reviews etc. Venkatesan Before starting to read this book, I had an idea about this book that it is a novel by S.

Venkatesan that has been awarded the Sahitya Academy Award, and that it describes the history of Piramalai Kallars, a warrior tribe based in Southern districts of Tamilnadu, especially around Madurai. But on reading the book, I lost myself the idea that it was a fictitious novel, but that it is the record of the history of Madurai and its suburbs.

As a native of Madurai, I had a natural inclination towards its history. I had already read the book by A. But this novel has dramatized the historical events and made the reading a pleasure and to complete the first half at a galloping speed. The events leading to the accession of Viswanatha Nayak to the throne of Madurai Kingdom is elaborated in a fitting manner, explaining the loyalty of Viswanatha to Krishna Devaraya, the monarch of Vijayanagara. The incidents at the war fields during the Nayak dynasty in Madurai with the help of Poligars palaykkaarar is explained beautifully.

The second part explains the downfall of Nayak rule after Thirumalai Nayak, another famous Nayak, who awarded the rights of guarding Madurai and suburbs to a tribe called Piramalai Kallars, living in Thadhanur, a fictitious village created in the imaginations of the author. Though the name of the village was fictitious, the incidents that are explained by the author from the raise to fall of the tribe are supported by documentary evidences collected by the author painstakingly for a period of about ten years.

The records collected are evidenced at suitable places in the novel as letters shot from one officer to the other of the East India Company administratos and during the British Rule. The excesses committed by the Kallars in collecting the Kaval coolie Fee for guarding , and in case somebody refuses to pay it, how they venged them fearfully by committing murders and resorting to robbery.

The author has opined that the tribe is not the people of Tamilnadu, but the descendants of the ruthless Kalabhras, who ruled Tamilnadu during centuries BC, a period which is still described as the black age in the history of Tamilnadu. The actions taken by the British Raj to curtail the activities of the Kallars is explained at the last chapters and in this attempt all the persons belonging to that community were either killed or were removed to the reformation camps. The novel ends with the destruction or disappearance of the community from the scenario.

The historical events and the story-telling style of the author makes it easier for a reader to complete the book containing about pages of smaller fonts in a shorter period. It took hardly ten days for me to complete the entire book.

It is satisfying that S. Venkatesan has now brought a voluminous novel Chandrahasam, and I am yet to lay hands on it. I hope to have this shortly. Posted by.


S. Venkatesan

Dilkree There was a split among the people after they were transformed from a small community to a very big society. Kottan bad thing is its bit heavy to carry on hand ; Go for it if you are from madurai or want to know about madurai. I highly recommend you this one of the excellent book. Their life is all about deceiving others and stealing their property, and lead a pleasurable life. He was a very good orator as well as a good writer. Venkatesan But, this fort was demolished from inside and that too by the people themselves.


Kaval Kottam


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