All About Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel Story Summary, Main Characters Names & Best Tamil / English Books, Comics editions of Ponniyin Selvan

a quick guide to the world-famous epic tamil historic novel


All About Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel Story Summary & Plot Summary in English, Main Character Names & Best Tamil / English Books, Comics editions of Ponniyin Selvan, About Kalki Krishnamurthy (Updated)

– a quick guide to the world-famous epic tamil historic novel

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About Kalki Krishnamurthy – The Author of the World-famous Epic Tamil Historic Novel

Shri Ramaswamy Krishnamurthy popularly known as the Kalki Krishnamurthy earned an indelible place in the world of Tamil mass literature – is a versatile person as a short story writer, novelist, essayist, journalist, freedom fighter, political activist, and cinema writer. His world-famous work is the epic Tamil historic novel Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan – The Ponni’s Son. He was better known by his pen name “Kalki” – named after the tenth and last avatar of the Hindu Lord Vishnu.

Shri Kalki – Ramaswamy Krishnamurthy (photo source:


Kalki is not just a novelist, but he is also a participant in the Indian freedom struggle, Lyricist and he ran his own newspaper. Kalki is Closely associated with Shri V. Kalyana Sundaranar. He participated in the liberation movement at the time as a devoted supporter of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari / Rajaji a Legendary Indian independence activist, politician, lawyer, writer, and statesman. Rajaji also wrote the Tamil version of Ramayanam called the Chakravarthi Thirumagan – சக்கரவர்த்தித் திருமகன் and the Tamil version of Mahabaratham called the Vyasar Virundhu – வியாசர் விருந்து – is a widely popular edition written in Tamil.

Shri. Kalki Krishnamurthy & Shri. Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (photo source:

Krishnamurthy / Kalki was born on September 9, 1899, as the second child of the Ramasamy-Thaiyalanaiki couple in Puthamangalam, a village of Mayiladuthurai in the old Thanjavur district. His neighbor Ayasamy had a great influence on Krishnamurthy’s life. Krishnamurthy developed his interest in books from him. Having read most Tamil novels at an early age, Krishnamurthy later turned his attention to English literature. He read the works of Charles Dickens and Alexander Duma with great intensity.

In 1921, Gandhiji launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, Kalki took part in the country’s freedom movement and left his studies. He was arrested and sentenced to 3 months of rigorous imprisonment.

Knowing Kalki’s talent, Congress leader Shri T. S. S Rajan of Trichy sent him to Thiru. V. Kalyana Sundaram recommendation letter and suggested that he join Navashakti magazine. Thiru.v.ka liked Kalki’s simple Tamil-style mannerisms and immediately offered him the post of the assistant writer in his magazine.

Kalki Krishnamurthy’s early famous works like the Parthiban Kanavu (Parthiban’s Dream) and Sivagamiyin Sapatham (Sivagami’s Vow) he was also the first significant historical novelist in Tamil and he is considered one of the greatest writers in modern Tamil literature. His prose is clear, accessible, easy to follow, and in understandable way that both common people and educated groups could easily comprehend.

His writings include over 120 short stories, 10 novels, 5 novels, 3 historical romances, editorial and political writings, and hundreds of film and music reviews.


Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan : The Ponni’s Son – World-famous Epic Tamil Historic Novel

Kalki has been highly associated with his world-famous epic Tamil historic novel ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, serialized between 29 October 1950 to 16 May 1954, in the weekly edition of his magazine Kalki and released in book form five parts in 1955. Ponniyin Selvan is a fictional work that draws from actual historical events and characters. Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan novel was accompanied by Shri Maniam’s awesome illustrations.

The title Ponniyin Selvan literally translates to “Son of Kaveri / Cauvery” – Ponni is another name for the Cauvery river, and it is one of the best historical novels ever written in the Tamil language as it isn’t just an imaginative tale, but rather a historically accurate tale with little creativity. For his research, Kalki traveled to many places for researching his Ponniyin Selvan project.

Main Characters of Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Epic Tamil Historic Novel

The five volumes of the Ponniyin Selvan tell the story of the early days of Arulmozhivarman who later became the great Chola emperor Rajaraja Chola I and who takes the title of the novel Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan.

A few of the powerful characters in this book include Vandhiyathevan, Nandhini, Azhvarkadiyan, Paluvetarayar, and Poonguzhali.

In addition to these, there are other characters like Kandaraditha’s son Maduranthaka Thevar, who the conspirators desire to be crowned king, and Anirudha Brahmarayar, Sundara Chozhar’s Prime Minister.

In the history of the Chola dynasty, As Parantaka Chozha’s first son Rajaditha had perished in battle, Kandaraditha, his second son, succeeded him. When Kandaraditha passed away, his son Maduranthaka was a young child, thus Arinjaya, Kandaraditha’s brother, took the crown. After Arinjaya’s death, his son Parantaka II aka Sundara Chozha was coronated, who is the father of Aditha Karikalan, Kundavai, and Arulmozhi Varman.

Plot Summary & Short Synopsis of Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan

The story begins with the setting of the emperor Sundara Chozha being ill and bedridden. Aditha Karikalan is the chief of the Northern Command troops residing in Kanchi, Arulmozhi Varman in Sri Lanka for a battle, and their sister Kundavai Piratti lived in Chola royal household at Pazhayari and where the story leads with the introduction of Vallavarayan Vandiyathevan, a charming young warrior was supposed to be the prince of the Vana clan in the Chozha dynasty and friend of Aditha Karikalan who was the crowned Prince of Chozha kingdom as he is the elder son of Sundara Chozhan.

The story is set in motion with Vandiyathevan sets out as a trustworthy messenger sent by the reigning Prince Aditha karikalan to the emperor Sundara chozhan and later on to princess, Kundavai, sister of Aditakarikalan and Arulmozhivarman. And so the travel starts from Kanchi to Tanjore and to Sri Lanka, where Arul mozhi varma resides. With some internal unrest due to indiscreet plots by small chieftains and lieges for the crown seat due to his father’s bedridden illness and also with the absence of his elder brother Aditha Karikalan who has been interested only in war, the princess Kundavai masterminds a host of attempts through Vandiyathevan to bring back Arulmozhivarman, who was loved by people of chozha dynasty.

With the support of a boat woman named Poonkuzhali, Vandiyathevan meets Arulmozhivarman in Sri Lanka and both of them become good friends.

In between on his way to Tanjore to meet the Emperor, Vandiyathevan witnesses Nandini, the queen of Pazhuvur, and the Pandya conspirators making an internal commitment to have a little child crowned emperor of the Chozha Empire in the Thirupurambayam forest. Vandiyathevan questions who is this boy and what right does he have to the throne? This is the kind of suspense that is maintained throughout the novel.

Nandini is the wife of Periya Pazhavetturayar, the commanding officer of the Chozha dynasty, and is the love of Aditha Karikalan at a young age but she turned vengeful after Aditha Karikalan killed Veerapadyan (who was either Nandini’s father or brother) and vowed to destroy the Chozha dynasty. While in returning a response to his sister’s message Arulmozhi varman goes blotted out in a cyclone and the rumor disperses that he perhaps is dead. He is still alive and was compelled to live at Choodamani Viharam, a Buddhist monastery in Nagapattinam. After recovering from illness, he returns to Chozha land to meet his sister and father.

And then slowly the dispersed family starts assembling, meanwhile, the conspirators including Nandini and Pandiya dynasty supporters, hatch a cunning plan to assassinate Sundarachozha and his two sons, Aditha karikalan and Arulmozhi varman.

Around this plot the story shuttles and with numerous twists and turns throughout the story.

Because everyone in the book has interacted with one another previously and because nothing is as easy as it seems, it is also difficult to make simple decisions, and even when you think you can predict what is going to happen, new surprises with twists and turns pop up in the Ponniyin Selvan plot.

Notable characters of Ponniyin Selvan:

Vallavaraiyan Vandiyathevan

Though the hero of the novel is Arulmozhivarman the story takes its travel with Vallavarayan Vandiyadevan. His friendship with both princes especially with Arulmozhivarman is highlighted and his poetic romance and love with Kundavai, the princess adorning the novel. In order to support Princess Kundavai and the crowned head, the author oversees the role of a shrewd personality.


Aditha karikalan

Aditakarikalan, the firstborn of Sundara Chozha king defeated Veerapandyan of Pandya dynasty at the Chevur battlefield at a young age claiming the title of Veerapandiyan Thalai Konda Kopara Kesari. After this triumph, Aditakarikalan was appointed the prince of the Empire, and he plays a pathos role in PS because of the mystery surrounding his death, which may have been the result of murder or suicide. Aditakarikalan fell in love with Nandini earlier when he was young prior to going in for a battle against Veerapandyan who is the father or brother of Nandini. He is unknown of the relationship and is claimed head of Veera pandiyan. Aditakarikalan, a great warrior who won his first war in Chevur at the age of 16 ends his life on a tragic note.

Arulmozhivarman – the Ponniyin Selvan

Historically known as Rajaraja Chozha I and all been well known him after Tanjai periya kovil. Arulmozhivarman is a favorite among the Chozha people. The people are crazy about the idea of having him take over as the Chozha Emperor and rule their country in place of Sundarachozha, but Arulmozhivarman will only accept the throne under his sister’s coercion.

Kundavai Pirattiyar

Although all of the female characters in PS are given equal attention throughout the book, the heroine Kundavai, the sister of Aditha Karikalan and Arulmozhivarman, is perhaps the most prominent one. She was widely regarded as the most powerful woman among the three Kundavai Pirattiyars mentioned in the Chozha literature. She was given the title Vallavaraiyar Vandhiyathevar Pirattiyar Aazhvar Parantakan Kundavai Pirattiyar in the Thanjavur temple inscriptions. Regarding the book’s romantic subgenre, the author made a wise choice in selecting the most well-developed love couple, Vandhiyathevan and Kundavi.

Nandini – the Pazhuvur Queen:

Nandini, a made-up fictional created by Kalki for Ponniyin Selvan, the imaginative novelist explores the myriad mysteries that surround her life story. she is the most beautiful but complex character narrated in this literature.
The twins Nandini and Maduranthagan were born to mute women Mandagini (Sundarachozha’s daughter in Sri Lanka) and Veerapandiyan.


Poonkuzhali also nicknamed Samudhirakumari by Arulmozhivarman, is brave, and beautiful, and turns out to be the queen of the Chola Empire after wedlock with Utthamachozhar.


Vanathi the princess of Kodumbalur and wife of Arulmozhivarman.

Aazhvaarkadiyan (Thirumalai Appan)

Aazhvaarkadiyan (Thirumalai Appan) is an ardent devotee of God Vishnu and spy of the minister, Anirudha Brahmarayar.


Real History behind this fictional story:

The Ponniyin Selvan’s plot is based on real-life people and events. The Chozha empire spreads over by capturing the Pallavas and the Kongu kingdom by Vijayalaya Chozha and later on, his successors (Parantaka I, Adita karikala, Rajarajachozha, and Rajendra chozha). They elaborate on the Chozha dynasty with the victory over Banas, the Ganges, the Pandya, and the King of Ceylon.

Kandaraditya, who was a Shaivite not interested in ruling the kingdom, and his brothers Rajathitha and Arinjaya both unable to be crowned after him, Sundarachozha (Paranthaka II), Arinjaya’s son has been enthroned as a Chozha Emperor.

Until he became fatally ill and immobilized owing to paralysis, Sundara chozha was ruled quite well. He had two sons – Aditakarikala, Rajaraja, and one daughter Kundavai. The older son and presumed heir of the Chozha Empire, Aditakarikala, is crowned prince, but due to the treachery at the sambuvarayar maaligai in Kadambur, his life ended in a strange manner.

Although he did not want to be king, Uttama Chozha (Madurantaka), the son of Kandaraditya and Sembian Mahadevi, ruled for 12 years. The Chozha Empire saw its greatest wealth, grandeur, and amazing fame under Rajarajachozha’s reign.

Kalki works through historical information through stone inscriptions, copper plates, and a host of books and one such is still existing is a stone inscription in Tanjore’s Thanjavur Periya Koil that reads, “The renowned elder sister of Rajarajachozha, the consort of Vandiyadevan Azwar Paranthakar Kundavaiyar.”

The names of the conspirators, including Ravidasan, were mentioned in a stone inscription. Inscriptions were also discovered that provided details on the reign of many other rulers. According to the copper plates found in Anbil and Thiruvalangadu, “The Chola people were very desirous that following Sundarachozha, Arulmozhivarman should take the throne and control their kingdom.” Arulmozhivarman, however, wisely forced Uttama Chozha, the son of Gandaraditya, to ascend to the throne as the ruler of the Chozha Empire, and forfeited his claim to honor his uncle.

The plot, the characters, and the dialogue are Kalki’s three greatest assets. This long big five-volume book never has a boring moment and the suspense is maintained throughout the novel and when you think you have understood his techniques, some incidents are left without a closure such as the question – of who murdered Aditha Karikalan.

Inbuild beauty of Kalki Ponniyin Selvan:

The prosperous Chola kingdom, and their power in war. The historical locations of the Chola kingdom are right in your front. The men of the Chozha dynasty remained a single unit and engaged in combat with one another’s foes. None of the emperors appears to have possessed the avarice and desire for the throne that would have required them to sacrifice or suffer for their own families.

Even though some of their sacrifices may be blatantly minor, Tamil women’s people intrinsically exalt chastity and sacrifice to the skies.

Added to this the presence of Buddhists, Jain, and kalamukars in the south gets to known from the work. The book explains moral principles including love, friendship, and loyalty.

Your curiosity about the Chola dynasty will grow as a result of reading the novel.


Best Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Books Tamil & English Editions:

1. Ponniyin Selvan – Part 1 to 5 Published by Vaanathi Pathippagam

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

2. Ponniyin Selvan – Part 1 to 5 Published by Vikatan Publication

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

3. Ponniyin Selvan – Part 1 to 5 Published by‎ Kizhakku Pathippagam

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

4. Ponniyin Selvan 2 vol Set Pack Published by Giri Trading

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

5. Ponniyin Selvan Published by Karpagam Puthakalayam

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Amazon India


6. Ponniyin Selvan Comics for Kids:

Ponniyin Selvan Comics Book Volume 1 – 5 (Tamil Edition) by Nila Comics

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Nila Comics

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – Tamil Edition: Nila Comics

Ponniyin Selvan Comics Book Volume 1 – 5 (English Edition) by Nila Comics

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – English Edition: Nila Comics

Buy Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Novel book – English Edition: Nila Comics

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