Parani is among the ninety six minor literary genres in Tamil literature
, which are collectively called Sittrilakkiyam in Tamil language
. The oldest exemplar of Parani Ilakkiyam (grammar) can be traced back to the 11th century AD. The genre of Parani extols and eulogizes the bravery and heroism of a noble king or a warrior, who has been victorious in a grand battle after slaughtering one thousand elephants in a war. A fascinating attribute of Parani is that these are named after the location of the battle or the defeated and not after the victorious party. Some of the most renowned Parani texts include, Thakkayaagap Parani, Kalinkattupparani, Iranyavathaip Parani, Mohavathaip Parani and Kanjavathaip Parani.
During the 11th century, Kulottunkan (Kulottunga Chola I
), the Chola
King, won a reverberating victory over Anantavarman Codankan, the Kalinga
ruler. Karunakarattontaiman was the commander of Kulottunkan`s army. The literary work of Kalinkattupparani, written by Ceyankontar (Jayamkondar), narrates the accounts and the valour of the commander Karunakarattontaiman and the Chola king Kulottunkan as well. This is the earliest literary work in this genre in Tamil, which deals with battle as main theme. Even the work is based on an historical event the Kalinkattupparani provides a novel imaginative representation of the subject matter. Customarily the location of the battleground is situated in the country of the enemy, thus the title of the work is derived from the name of his kingdom. As the name of the country of the defeated ruler is Kalinkam, the work is titled as Kalinkattupparani.
Although its plot revolves around the incidents of the Kalinga war
, the author with his creative talent has incorporated scenes regarding human love which work as didactic preaching even. The Chola soldiers pray to goddess Kali at the combat zone. Mythological customs affirms that the goddess is encircled by hordes of ghosts. As Parani happens to be her star, thus the literary contains the name of the star. The work is composed of verses of 2 lines called Talicai in Tamil. These are renowned for their opulence and are suitable to treat the war themed literary works. As Ceyankontar is as capable poet, he makes rhythmic variations appropriate to an event with the right diction. There are hundreds of stanzas in Kalinkattupparani that are noted for their vitality and magnificence. The rhythm compares satisfactorily with the expression of different types of sentiments and emotions. These aforementioned descriptions shape the basic principles and rules for the Parani literature.
Among other literary works in the genre of Parani, Kalinkattupparani is still popular even at the present age.