(Last Updated on : 01-02-2013)
Antakakkavi was a well known talented poet from the Tamil country who was popularly referred to as the Blind Poet, due to his vision impairment. Antakakkavi Viraraghava Mudaliyar, also known as Antakakkavi Virarakava Mudaliar or Virarakava Mutaliyar, was blind from birth, yet he made a mark for himself in the Tamil literary world and distinguished himself through his poetic talents, learning and erudition. The poet and erudite is believed to have lived during the 17th century. Antakakkavi Viraraghava Mudaliyar received adequate training in Tamil music during his early life and eventually gained immense popularity as a poet and author. His poetic works are considered amongst the most significant contributions in Tamil literature
. There are a number of poems and hymns that were composed by Antakakkavi Viraraghava Mudaliyar, which are most popular for their articulation, diction, presentation and profundity of connotation.
The renowned Tamil poet travelled to various regions and when he went to Sri Lanka, Antakakkavi Viraraghava Mudaliyar (Virarakava Mutaliyar) pleased and enthralled the ruler named Pararaja Singha through his poetic compositions. The ruler rewarded the poet with several gifts for his creative skills. Established scholars and erudite believe that Antakakkavi emerged between grand periods of Tamil literature which have studies in literary in the past few decades. There were other poets who followed the pattern of Antakakkavi Viraraghava Mudaliyar and composed their verses in similar style to that of the eminent Tamil poet. His exemplars also gained moderate popularity in the Tamil country. Some of his most prominent works are based on the Tamil Shaiva traditions.
Antakakkavi Viraraghava Mudaliyar acquired mastery in composing poems in the different types of versification as mention in Tamil literary tradition, such as ula, kovai
, kalampakam and pillaittamil types of works. He also created a Talapuranam
for Tirukkalukkunram. Antakakkavi wrote two other ulas, one of them was based on a sovereign and the other was on Lord Shiva
, the presiding deity at the temple of Tiruvarur. This work on Shiva is entitled as Tiruvarur Ula
and is considered by scholars as one of the most imaginative and sophisticated poetical works amongst the other ulas which are available.
Other than these works, Antakakkavi Viraraghava Mudaliyar wrote several other verses in the form of letters which are known as the Cittukkavikal or Chithukavikal (verse in the form of letter). These works are very artistic and fascinates the minds of the readers.