Book of Vanci questions and answers

The Book of Vanci, also known as the Vanji Maalai or Maduraikkanchi, is a Tamil epic poem that tells the story of the town of Madurai and its rulers. Here we have provided Book of Vanci questions and answers

Table of Contents

Short Questions and Answers(SAQ)

Who is Ilango Adigal?

A: Ilango Adigal was a Tamil poet and the author of the epic poem “Cilappatikaram.”

Q: What is “Cilappatikaram” about?

A: “Cilappatikaram” is an epic poem that tells the story of a young woman named Kannagi and her husband Kovalan. The poem explores themes of love, morality, justice, and karma.

Q: What is “The Book of vanci” in “Cilappatikaram”?

A: “The Book of Vanci” is the third book of “Cilappatikaram.”

Q: What is the relationship between Kovalan and Madhavi?

A: Kovalan becomes infatuated with Madhavi and spends all his money on her. However, he eventually realizes that she is only interested in his wealth and leaves her to return to his wife Kannagi.

Q: What is the significance of “The Book of Vanci” in “Cilappatikaram”?

A: “The Book of Vanci” serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of desire and attachment. Kovalan’s experience with Vanci illustrates how desire can lead to ruin and the importance of remaining true to one’s moral values.

What is the name of the meter used in the Cilappatikaram? 

The meter that is used in the Cilappatikaram by Ilango Adigal is ‘Akaval ‘ meter.

Q: What is the role of women in “Cilappatikaram”?

A: Women play a central role in “Cilappatikaram.” The epic portrays women as strong, intelligent, and capable of making important decisions. The character of Kannagi, in particular, is revered for her unwavering commitment to justice and her ability to challenge the patriarchy.

Q: What is the meaning of the word Cilappatikaram?

A: It means the Tale of an Anklet”.

Where was the King Cenkuttuvan camping?

The King Cenkuttuvan camped at the bank of the Periyar river along with the famous poet Cattan. The poet told the king about the unfortunate series of events that had happened with Kannaki at Mathurai.

What is the Goddess form of Kannaki?

Kannaki is known as the goddess Pattini, who is revered as the goddess of chastity.

Q: What is the style of “Cilappatikaram”?

A: “Cilappatikaram” is written in Tamil and is known for its lyrical style and use of imagery. The poem also features a complex structure that includes multiple narratives and flashbacks.

Who were defeated by King Cenkuttuvan?

During the war, King Cenkuttuvan and his warriors emerged victorious by defeating the skilled chariot fighters of the Arya kings. The Arya kings were left in awe of Cenkuttuvan, who seemed like the incarnation of death itself, capable of ending their lives in an instant.

Q: How has “Cilappatikaram” influenced Tamil literature and culture?

A: “Cilappatikaram” is considered one of the greatest works of Tamil literature and has had a profound influence on Tamil culture. It is regarded as a masterpiece of Tamil poetry and has inspired many other works of literature, music, and art. The epic’s exploration of themes such as love, morality, justice, and karma continues to resonate with Tamil audiences today.

What are the key elements in The Cilappathikaram?

The Cilappathikaram is a classic Tamil epic that tells the story of Kovalan, a wealthy merchant who falls in love with a courtesan named Madhavi and leaves his wife Kannagi. However, he eventually loses all his wealth and returns to Kannagi, and the two set out on a journey to the city of Madurai to start a new life.

However, in Madurai, Kovalan is falsely accused of stealing the queen’s anklet and is executed without a fair trial. Kannagi, who is devastated by her husband’s unjust death, goes on to prove his innocence and get revenge by destroying the city of Madurai.

The key story elements in The Cilappathikaram include love, betrayal, justice, and revenge. The epic also explores themes such as social inequality, morality, and the power of women. The story is known for its rich and vivid descriptions of ancient Tamil culture and society, as well as its use of metaphors and symbolism.

Long Questions and Answers(LAQ)

What is the significance of the Anklet in Tamil tradition?

The anklet, also known as “Salangai” or “Paayal” in Tamil, holds significant cultural and traditional value in Tamil Nadu. In the epic Tamil poem “Cilappatikaram,” the protagonist Kannagi is described as wearing a beautiful pair of anklets. These anklets were not just a piece of jewellery but were also symbolic of the purity and chastity of Kannagi.

In Tamil culture, the anklet is believed to have spiritual and medicinal properties. It is believed that wearing anklets can help in balancing the energies in the body and enhance overall health. Additionally, the rhythmic sound of anklets is believed to calm the mind and relieve stress.

In Tamil weddings, the bride is gifted a pair of anklets by the groom’s family. These anklets are considered a symbol of marital bliss and are worn by the bride throughout her married life. The sound of the anklets is also considered auspicious and is believed to ward off evil spirits.

In classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, anklets are an integral part of the dancer’s attire. The sound of the anklets, as the dancer’s feet move in rhythm, adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the performance.

In summary, the anklet holds significant cultural and traditional value in Tamil Nadu. It is believed to have spiritual and medicinal properties, symbolizes purity and marital bliss, and is an integral part of classical dance performances.

The central theme of The Book of Vanci of Cilappatikaram is the deification of Kannaki’s chaste woman and kingship.

The Book of Vanci, also known as the Vanji Maalai or Maduraikkanchi, is a Tamil epic poem that tells the story of the town of Madurai and its rulers. While the deification of Kannaki and the idea of kingship are certainly important themes in the epic, it would be more accurate to say that the central theme of the Cilappatikaram (which contains The Book of Vanci as one of its five books) is the idea of dharma or righteous conduct.

The epic tells the story of Kovalan, a wealthy merchant who falls in love with a courtesan named Madhavi and leaves his wife Kannaki to be with her. When Kovalan is unjustly accused of theft and executed by the king of Madurai, Kannaki seeks justice for her husband and ultimately causes the destruction of the city.

Throughout the epic, the characters are constantly struggling to understand and uphold their dharma, or moral duty. Kovalan is torn between his love for Madhavi and his duty to his wife, while Kannaki remains steadfast in her adherence to the principles of dharma even in the face of great adversity. The idea of kingship is important insofar as the kings are expected to uphold dharma and ensure justice for their subjects, but it is not the primary focus of the epic.

In conclusion, while the deification of Kannaki and the idea of kingship are certainly important themes in The Book of Vanci, the central theme of the Cilappatikaram as a whole is the idea of dharma or righteous conduct.

Discuss the themes of the Book of Vanci by Ilango Adigal

the themes of Cilappatikaram, the epic poem deals with a wide range of themes that are still relevant today. Some of the key themes include:

  • Love and Betrayal: The story of Cilappatikaram is centred around the love triangle between Kovalan, his wife Kannagi, and his mistress Madhavi. The theme of love and betrayal is explored in depth as Kovalan’s infidelity leads to his downfall and ultimately to his tragic death.
  • Justice and Revenge: The theme of justice and revenge is central to the story of Cilappatikaram. Kannagi’s quest for justice and revenge against the unjust execution of her husband is a powerful commentary on the importance of seeking justice in the face of oppression and corruption.
  • Gender and Power: The epic poem is notable for its portrayal of women as strong and powerful figures who are able to challenge the patriarchal norms of their society. Kannagi is a particularly powerful example of a woman who uses her voice and her strength to fight for justice and to challenge the power structures of her society.
  • Morality and Ethics: The story of Cilappatikaram explores themes of morality and ethics, as characters are forced to make difficult choices and navigate complex moral dilemmas. The poem encourages readers to think deeply about the ethical implications of their actions and to consider the consequences of their choices.

Overall, Cilappatikaram is a rich and complex work of literature that explores a wide range of themes that are still relevant today. The poem offers a powerful commentary on love, justice, power, and morality, and continues to be studied and appreciated by readers around the world.

What are the three dynasties that get referred to in The Cilappathikaram?

The Cilappatikaram is an epic poem divided into three books, each set in the capital of one of the three Tamil kingdoms: Pukar (the Chola capital), Maturai (Madurai, the Pandya capital), and Vanci (the Chera capital).

The first book is set in the Chola country (Cholavalanadu) in the east, which is famous for its rice cultivation in the Cauvery river basin. This region is the ancestral home of Kovalan, the protagonist of the story.

The second book is set in the Pandya country in the south, where pearl collection (Muthukkulithal) from the Southern Ocean was the primary business activity of the Tamils in the region. Kovalan and Kannaki, his wife, planned to start their new life here.

The third book is set in the Chera country in the west, where the wealth of the royalty was based on their vast elephant herds. When the Chera king, Chenguttuvan, returned from his campaign in the north with the Himalayan stone for sculpting an idol of Kannaki, people greeted him with elephants. This region is where the temple of Kannaki was ultimately established.

Who was Madhavi in Cilappatharikam?

Madhavi, a prominent character in the epic, was a beautiful courtesan and professional dancer, belonging to the Parathiyar caste, which was considered low in status. Despite her profession, Madhavi was not like other dancing girls who sold themselves for money. She practised chastity and lived happily with Kovalan for some time.

Unfortunately, Madhavi’s mother stole all the wealth of Kovalan’s wife, Kannaki, using Kovalan’s ring without Madhavi and Kovalan’s knowledge. Three years later, Kovalan found out about the theft during the festival of the God Indra and became angry with Madhavi. He left her and returned to Kannaki.

Eventually, Madhavi discovered her mother’s theft and showed her moral character by returning all of Kovalan’s wealth to his father. She then renounced the world and became a Buddhist nun. Despite being a courtesan by profession, Madhavi’s virtuous actions and devotion to righteousness make her a notable and respected character in the epic.

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