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Topics in Sangam literature
Sangam literature
Akattiyam Tholkāppiyam
Eighteen Greater Texts
Eight Anthologies
Aiṅkurunūṟu Akanāṉūṟu
Puṟanāṉūṟu Kalittokai
Kuṟuntokai Natṟiṇai
Paripāṭal Patiṟṟuppattu
Ten Idylls
Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai Kuṟiñcippāṭṭu
Malaipaṭukaṭām Maturaikkāñci
Mullaippāṭṭu Neṭunalvāṭai
Paṭṭiṉappālai Perumpāṇāṟṟuppaṭai
Poruṇarāṟṟuppaṭai Ciṟupāṇāṟṟuppaṭai
Related topics
Sangam Sangam landscape
Tamil history from Sangam literature Ancient Tamil music
Eighteen Lesser Texts
Nālaṭiyār Nāṉmaṇikkaṭikai
Iṉṉā Nāṟpatu Iṉiyavai Nāṟpatu
Kār Nāṟpatu Kaḷavaḻi Nāṟpatu
Aintiṇai Aimpatu Tiṉaimoḻi Aimpatu
Aintinai Eḻupatu Tiṉaimalai Nūṟṟu Aimpatu
Tirukkuṛaḷ Tirikaṭukam
Ācārakkōvai Paḻamoḻi Nāṉūṟu
Ciṟupañcamūlam Mutumoḻikkānci
Elāti Kainnilai

Muthollaayiram (Tamil : முத்தொள்ளாயிரம், literally "triple nine-hundred") is an ancient Tamil anthology. The work consists of three sets of 900 verses each, making a total of 2,700 verses in all, sung in praise of the three ancient Tamil rulers of the Cheras, the Cholas, and the Pandyas. This is in line with an ancient Tamil custom of writing 900 verses to complete a work, as in several other works such as Vaccha Thollaayiram and Arumbai Thollaayiram. It tells about various characteristics of these ancient rulers, namely, land, fortification, army, fighting spirit, valour, generosity, and so forth. The author of the work is not known. Much of it has been lost, with only a small portion available. Out of the 2,700 verses, only 109 verses have been found.

Tamil language language

Tamil is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Chindians, and Douglas. Tamil is an official language in three countries: India, Sri Lanka and Singapore. In India, it is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry. Furthermore, Tamil is used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. Tamil is spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.

Chera dynasty One of the three ruling dynasties of daksinapatha, in the medieval period.

The Chera dynasty was one of the principal lineages in the early history of the present day states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in southern India. Together with the Cholas of Uraiyur and the Pandyas of Madurai, the early Cheras were known as one of the three major powers (muventar) of ancient Tamilakam in the early centuries of the Common Era.

Chola dynasty one of the Three Crowned Kings (dynasties) of Tamilakam

The Chola dynasty was a Tamil dynasty of southern India, one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the world's history. The earliest datable references to the Chola are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE left by Ashoka, of the Maurya Empire. As one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, along with the Chera and Pandya, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century CE. Despite these ancient origins, the period when it is appropriate to speak of a "Chola Empire" only begins with the medieval Cholas in the mid-9th century CE.


Publication of the work

M. Raghava Iyengar first published Muthollaayiram verses in 1905 in the magazine Senthamil. In 1938, S. Vaiyapuri Pillai, head of the Tamil research department at the University of Madras, published a book containing the verse collections of Muthollaayiram. [1]

M. Raghava Iyengar Indian scholar

Maha Vidhwan Rao Sahib Mu Raghava Iyengar (1878–1960) was a well known Tamil scholar and researcher of Tamil literature.

Rao Sahib S. Vaiyapuri Pillai was a renowned scholar and Professor of Tamil. An advocate by profession, he edited and published several Tamil classics from original manuscripts. He is best remembered as the editor of the Tamil lexicon published by the Madras University in the 1920s. He was a voracious reader and had in his own private collection thousands of books in Tamil, English, Sanskrit and Malayalam. His collection also included hundreds of palm-leaf manuscripts. This collection was later donated to the National Library of India in Kolkata.

University of Madras public university in India

University of Madras is a public state university in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Established in 1857, it is one of the oldest universities in India after University of Calcutta. The university was incorporated by an Act of the Legislative Council of India.

In 1943, S. Vaiyaapuri Pillai wrote in a journal opining that there could only be 300 songs on each rulers, making only 900 songs in total.


T. K. Chidhambaranadhar wrote a simple commentary to the verses of the Muthollaayiram. In the commentary, he indicated that the meaning of 9 verses remains murky and included those verses without any elaboration as an appendix in his commentary.

T. K. Chidambaranatha Mudaliar (1882–1954) was a Tamil scholar from Tenkasi. He was one of the founding authors of Tamil renaissance movement. He had authored Tamil books and Kambar Tharum Ramayanam. He was popularly known as "Rasigamani". He was A member of Madras Presidency Legislative council in 1927.

See also

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  1. Muthollaayiram, இரட்டையர்கள், Marumalarcchi (Tamil Magazine), April 1948, Yalpanam, Sri Lanka.