Last updated

BornBhashyam Iyengar
(1910-11-06)6 November 1910
Tirukoilur, Madras Presidency, British India
DiedSeptember 11, 1987(1987-09-11) (aged 76)
OccupationNovelist, essayist
EducationCollege  – St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli
Period1930 – 1987
GenresTamil Historic Fiction, Tamil Social Fiction
Notable worksKadal Pura, Yavana Rani, Mannan Magal
ChildrenSadagopan, Krishnan, Padma
RelativesSrimushnam Raja Rao (son-in-law), Sean Roldan (grandson)

Bhashyam Iyengar (06 November 1910 - 11 September 1987), better known by the pen name of Sandilyan, was an Indian writer known for his historical fiction novels in Tamil. He is known for his historical romance and adventure novels, often set in the times of the Chola and Pandya empires.


Early life

Sandilyan was born in Tirukoilur, Tamil Nadu on 10 November 1910 [1] to Ramanujam Iyengar and Poongovilvalli. His family was from Thiruindalur village near Mayiladuthurai. He did his schooling in Chennai Pachaiyappa's School and Saidapet Model School. His college education came from Tiruchirappalli St. Joseph's College. While in college, he was influenced by the visit of C. Rajagopalachari and joined the Indian independence movement. He became a member of the Indian National Congress. He married Ranganayaki in 1929.

Early career

After finishing college he moved to T. Nagar in the 1930s. He became friends with his neighbours V.Swaminatha Sharma who was working in Thiru. Vi. Ka's weekly magazine Navasakthi and the noted Tamil writer Kalki Krishnamurthy. With their encouragement he wrote his first short story titled Shantha Seelan. Impressed with his work, Kalki published his short stories like Kannammavin Kadhal, Adhirshtam in Ananda Vikatan. Encouraged by this success Sandilyan started learning the Tamil language formally from a Tamil Pandit named Thirukannapuram Srinivachariar. He started writing Tamil short stories in the Tamil Weekly Sudesamithran and also worked as a reporter in Sudesamithran from 1935 to 1942. Later he became a sub-editor at the English daily newspaper Hindustan Times.

Work in films

During his time at the Hindustan Times he became friends with B N Reddy of Vijaya Studios and Chittor V. Nagaiah. [2] This bought him into the world of films. He co-wrote the screenplays of films like Swarga Seema (1945) and En Veedu (1953). He later wrote about his film world experiences in his book Cinema Valarndha Kadhai (1985). Later he also produced a documentary titled "Birth of a Newspaper".


After his stint at the Hindustan Times he returned to work at Sudesamithran and started writing full-length novels. One of his first works was a self-published political novel called Balathkaaram. He also started publishing in other magazines like Amudhasurabi. Paalaivanathu pushpam and Sandha deepam were his earliest historical novels. Sandilyan's most famous novels were serialised in Kumudam , a weekly Tamil magazine and was instrumental in increasing the circulation to a greater extent. He was one of the very few Tamil writers to get a monthly salary from Kumudam for his novels. After leaving Kumudam, he unsuccessfully ran a weekly magazine called Kamalam. His historical novels were published in book form by Vanadhi Padhippagam and became best sellers. As of 2009, many of them still remain in print, four decades after being first published. Kamil Zvelebil once called him as the "fourth most popular Tamil Writer". [1]

Nationalization Controversy

In 2009, The Tamil Nadu Government announced its intention to nationalise Sandilyan's works (along with those of 28 other authors) and provide compensation to his legal heirs. [3] This caused criticism from the legal heirs of Sundara Ramasami and Kannadasan. [4] The Government soon retracted its position saying that the offer was optional and that it would force those who did not want to lose royalty. [5] Sandilyan's legal heirs declined the Government's offer to nationalise and provide solatium. [6]

Partial bibliography


  • Porattangal – போராட்டங்கள் (1978)


  • Sri Ramanujar – ஸ்ரீ ராமானுஜர்

Short Story Collection

  • Raniyin kanavu – ராணியின் கனவு (1963)

Non Fiction

  • Cinema Valarndha Kadhai – சினிமா வளர்ந்த கதை (1987)
  • Kamban Kanda Pengal – கம்பன் கண்ட பெண்கள் (1979)

Non-Historical Fiction

  • Balathkaaram (Puratchi Pen) (1958)
  • Shenbaga Thottam
  • Manamoham
  • Nangooram
  • Madhumalar

Historical Fiction

Chozha Commander Karunagara Pallavan (later became King Thondaiman) heads the invasion of Vijaya (modern-day Malaysia and Singapore) and Kalinga (Modern Orissa). 11th century Chozha Empire.
Eastern Chozhan army commander's love story set in the back drop of assassination of Ilanchetchenni and his son Karikala Chozhan's struggle to get back his kingdom. 1st century Early Chozha Empire.
Kannimadam is set in the later part of the 12th century during the reign of Second Rajathi Raja Cholan. It revolves around the family feud in the Pandya dynasty, Sinhalese army's entry into Pandya Nadu at the request of one side, the alleged atrocities of the Sinhalese army and the war between Sinhalese and Chola armies ending with the defeat of the former.

See also


Related Research Articles

Satavahana dynasty Indian dynasty (2nd century BCE–Early 3rd century CE)

The Satavahanas, also referred to as the Andhras in the Puranas, were an ancient Indian dynasty based in the Deccan region. Most modern scholars believe that the Satavahana rule began in the late second century BCE and lasted until the early third century CE, although some assign the beginning of their rule to as early as the 3rd century BCE based on the Puranas, but uncorroborated by archaeological evidence. The Satavahana kingdom mainly comprised the present-day Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra. At different times, their rule extended to parts of modern Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. The dynasty had different capital cities at different times, including Pratishthana (Paithan) and Amaravati (Dharanikota).

Parthiban Kanavu is a Tamil novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy.

Adithya II also known as Adithya Karikalan was a Chola prince who lived in the 10th century in India. He was born in Tirukoilur and was the eldest son of Parantaka Chola II. He was the elder brother of Rajaraja Chola I and Kundavai. He was called as Virapandiyan Thalai Konda Koparakesari Varman Karikalan.

Rajendra Chola I Chola emperor from 1014–1044

Rajendra Chola I often described as Rajendra the Great was a Chola Emporor who ruled between 1014 and 1044 CE. Rajendra succeeded his father Rajaraja I in 1014 CE. The extensive Chola empire under Rajendra I included most parts of present-day south India, with the river Krishna as the northern limit, Sri Lanka and the Laccadives and the Maldives. He carried out a successful military expedition to the River Ganges through Orissa and Bengal and brought Ganges water to his new capital down in the Kaveri Delta, Gangaikondacholapuram. Rajendra's ambitious campaign against the Srivijaya is dated to c. 1025 CE. A number of strategic places along the Straits of Malacca came under Chola control as a result of this campaign. Rajendra was succeeded by Rajadhiraja I.

Rajadhiraja Chola Chola emperor from 1044–1052

Rajadhiraja Chola I was a Chola emperor and the successor of his father, Rajendra I. During his short reign, he helped his father conquer many territories and maintained the Chola authority over most of Sri Lanka, Eastern Chalukya, Kalinga, etc. and the relations with overseas domains despite a series of revolts in the territory. Rajadhiraja Chola’s record shows that he was a born fighter who was very capable of maintaining a vast and expansive empire with territories even outside the shores of India. He was a great warrior who always led his soldiers from the front. His life is a testimony to a great king who fought his own wars, standing shoulder to shoulder with his men on front lines. He earned the title Jayamkonda Chola after numerous victories. Towards the end of his reign, he sacked the Western Chalukyan capital Kalyanapuram and assumed the title Kalyanapuramgonda Chola and performed a Virabhisheka under the name Vijaya Rajendra Cholan.

Balakumaran Indian Tamil writer

v Balakumaran was an Indian Tamil writer and author of over 200 novels, 100 short stories, and dialogue/screenplay writer for 23 films. He also contributed to Tamil periodicals such as Kalki, Ananda Vikatan and Kumudam. His notable works as a dialogue writer in Tamil Cinema include Nayakan, Guna, Baashha and Pudhupettai.

Vairamuthu Indian film lyricist, poet, and novelist

Vairamuthu Ramasamy is an Indian lyricist, poet, and novelist working in the Tamil film industry. He is a prominent figure in the Tamil literary world. A master's graduate from the Pachaiyappa's College in Chennai, he first worked as a translator, while also being a published poet. He entered the Tamil film industry in the year 1980, with the film Nizhalgal, an Ilaiyaraaja musical, directed by Bharathiraja. During the course of his 40-year film career, he has written over 7,500 songs and poems which have won him seven National Awards, the most for any Indian lyricist. He has also been honored with a Padma Shri, a Padma Bhushan and a Sahitya Akademi Award, for his abundant literary output.

Parantaka Chola II Rajakesari

Parantaka Chola II was a Chola emperor. He is also known as Sundara Chola as he was considered an epitome of male beauty. He was the son of Arinjaya Chola and Kalyani, a princess from the clan of Vaidumbas, an Andhra dynasty based in Kurnool and Kadapa districts. Parantaka II ascended the Chola throne despite the fact that his cousin Uttama Chola, the son of Gandaraditya was alive and he had equal if not more claim to the Chola throne.

Subarayar Vembu, better known by the pseudonym of Vikiraman, was an Indian novelist, short story writer and a journalist who wrote in Tamil. He was also a writer of children's literature.

Pa. Raghavan

Pa. Raghavan, a well known Tamil writer, winner of the prestigious ‘Bharathiya Basha Parishad Award’ in 2004. His best known and most appreciated work is Yathi, a Novel, which shows the world of Indian Sanyasis (Monks). His non fictions like Dollar Desam and Nilamellam Raththam are considered to be the milestones in Tamil non-fiction writing.

Chola Navy Military unit

The Chola Navy comprised the naval forces of the Chola Empire, a Tamil thalassocratic empire of southern India, one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the world. The Chola Navy grew in size and status during the Medieval Cholas reign. Between 900 and 1100 CE, the navy grew from a smaller entity to a potent maritime and diplomatic force across Asia, with maritime trade links extending from Arabia to China.

S. Rangarajan, better known by his allonym Sujatha, was an Indian author, novelist and screenwriter who wrote in Tamil. He authored over 100 novels, 250 short stories, ten books on science, ten stage plays, and a slim volume of poems. He was one of the most popular authors in Tamil literature, and a regular contributor to topical columns in Tamil periodicals such as Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam and Kalki. He had a wide readership, and served for a brief period as the editor of Kumudam, and has also written screenplays and dialogues for several Tamil films.

Jikki Indian singer

Pillavalu Gajapathi Krishnaveni, more famously known as Jikki, was an Indian playback singer from Andhra Pradesh. She sang around 10,000 songs in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, and Sinhalese languages. Her mother tongue was Telugu. She spoke Tamil fluently.

Nanjil Nadan

Nanjil Nadan is the pseudonym of G. Subramaniam, a Sahitya academy winning Tamil writer from Tamil Nadu, India.

Malavika Avinash Indian spokesperson, actress, television personality and politician

Malavika Avinash is an Indian spokesperson, actress, television personality and politician who is the current State spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party of Karnataka. She is known for her work in Kannada and Tamil films. She hosted Baduku Jataka Bandi, a television show that aired on Zee Kannada. She is a part of the ensemble cast in the highest grossing Kannada movie - K.G.F: Chapter 1.

<i>Uliyin Osai</i> 2008 Indian film

Uliyin Osai is a 2008 Indian Tamil-language period drama film directed by Ilavenil, written by Karunanidhi, and produced by S. P. Murugesan. The film stars starring Vineeth and Keerthi Chawla, while Sarath Babu, Manorama, Kovai Sarala, and Ganja Karuppu play supporting roles. The soundtrack album and background score were composed by Ilaiyaraaja with cinematography by B. Kannan and editing by Suresh Urs. The film released on 4 July 2008.

Vietnam Veedu Sundaram was an Indian playwright, screenwriter and film director. He wrote films such as Gauravam, Vietnam Veedu, Gnana Oli, Satyam, Grihapravesam, Justice Gopinath, Annan Oru Koyil, Naan Yen Pirandhen and Naalai Namadhe. He also directed a few films and is well known for his family themes. He written stories films in languages such as Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. He also worked as an actor in films and television.

Panchanathan Arunachalam was an Indian writer, director, producer and lyricist who worked in Tamil cinema. He was mentored by poet Kannadasan who was his uncle. He also worked as a lyricist in the Tamil cinema industry. He started producing films under his production banner named P. A. Arts. His son Subbu Panchu Arunachalam is an actor and dubbing artist in the Tamil film industry. As a writer, he worked in over 100 films. He was also a lyricist, composing lyrics for 200 films. He is the man who introduced the Most Prolific Indian Music Composer Ilaiyaraaja to the World of Cinema.


R. Krishnan (1909–1997) and S. Panju (1915–1984), collectively referred to as Krishnan–Panju, were Indian film directors. The duo directed more than 50 films in South Indian languages and in Hindi.

M. K. Athmanathan is a music director and lyricist in Tamil cinema. He was honoured by the Tamil Nadu government with the Kalaimamani award in 1978.