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Akilandam (better known as akilan)
Born(1922-06-27)June 27, 1922
Perungalur, Pudukkottai State, British India
Died1988 (aged 6566)
Pen nameAkilan
OccupationAuthor, social activist, media person
Notable worksChithirappavai, Vengayin Maindhan, Pavai Vilakku

Akilandam, better known by his pen name Akilan, was an Indian writer and novelist who wrote in Tamil. He was attracted by Gandhian philosophy during his school days and he discontinued his college education at Pudukkottai to join the freedom struggle. Later, after Indian independence, he joined the Railway Mail Service, after which he joined the All India Radio and became a full-fledged writer. His stories began to appear mostly in small magazines.


He was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award and the Jnanpith Award by the Government of India for his novels Vengayin Mainthan and Chitra Pavai in 1963 and 1975 respectively.

Early life

He was born on 27 June at Perungalur, Pudukkottai District. He spent his childhood in a village called Perungalur near Pudukkottai. His father Vaithiya Lingam Pillai was an accounts officer and adored his only son Akilan very much. Unfortunately, the boy lost his loving father at an early age. But his mother Amirthammal was a loving person, and being a creative person herself, she moulded her son into a writer.

Awards won

In 1975 the novel Chitra Pavai won the prestigious Jnanpith Award. [1] This work of his has been translated in all Indian languages. In 1963 his historical novel Vengayin Mainthan was awarded by Sahitya academy of Govt of India.

Enge Pogirome எங்கே போகிறோம் is a unique socio-political novel of his, won the Raja Sir Annamalai award in 1975. His children's book Kanana kannan won the special prize given by Tamil Nadu educational department. The author has written about 45 titles, most of which have been translated in all Indian state languages. Apart from this his works has been translated in other foreign languages such as English, German, Czech, Russian, Polish, Chinese, and Malay.


Historical novels

In this novel, Akilan gives insight about the life and achievement of the great Rajendra Chola who was a Vengaiyin Maindhan to the rest of the world. RajendraCholan is the son of Rajaraja Cholan and his period can be referred as the height of Tamil empire in art, literature and administration. He captured many countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia (Kadaaram), southern and eastern coastal parts of India. He lived around 1010 AD and his dynasty had many business relationships with foreign countries. This novel depicts his victory over Kadaaram and the building of new city Gangaikonda Cholapuram upon his victory over northern part of India. The newly built temple and the city internally had so many architectural designs for war-time and peace activities. Along conquering the nations, Ilango Vel conquered the hearts of beautiful girls Arulmozhi and Rohini. Their love and affection was depicted in simple yet powerful words by Akilan. Vandhiya Thevan appears in this novel as an elderly counselor, who guides Rajendra Cholan in war and administration. This novel can also be considered as a sequel to kalki's Ponniyin Selvan. Because of the narration and depiction of historic facts during Chola period using proper language there is no wonder this novel received the Sakithya Academy Award from Government of India. (Sakithya Academy award-winning novel) Chola's historical novel

Social novels

Short stories



Art and literature



Children books


Short story collections

Films adapted from novels

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  1. "Jnanpith Laureates Official listings". Jnanpith Website. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007.