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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Maṇipravala literally means ‘jewel and pearls’.

Tamil and Malayālam are the two languages considered having Draviḍian origin and not derived from or related to Sanskrit. As Sanskrit became more popular, it also became a favorite of the scholars which arose a need to integrate it with Malayālam and Tamil and produce a new style of composition. This came to be known as ‘maṇipravālam’.[1][2][3]

Writings of Maṇipravālam[edit]

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Origin of Maṇipravālam Style[edit]

The origin of this style is attributed to the poet Tolan in the court of the king Kulaśekhara.[4] Līlātilaka, a grammar of Malayālam, has systematized this style and has also evolved the necessary rules. It might have been composed around the middle of the 15th century. In this style of writing, Malayālam words and Sanskrit words already present in the common language of the people have been fused into one.

Classification of Maṇipravālam Literature[edit]

The maṇipravāla literature is generally divided into two styles:

  1. Sandeśa - Unnanilisandeśa composed probably during A. D. 1315 is a typical work of the sandeśa group.
  2. Campu - In the campu works, the poetry part is in Sanskrit metres. The prose part is in the style of Malayālam and Tamil. The Rāmāyaṇa-campu and the Bhāratacampu are the two important works of this class.


  1. Maṇi means jewel like ruby or diamond.
  2. Pravāla means pearl.
  3. Malayālam being the ‘maṇi’ and Sanskrit being the ‘pravālam’.
  4. He lived in circa 9th century A. D.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore