The Cheras and the Development of Malayalam

Normally we associate people to some region on the basis of the language that they speak.

If they speak Tamil we associate them with Tamil Nadu or Gujarati with Gujarat.

Every region has its own distinct language which has been developed over centuries.

Let us take an example of Chera dynasty and try to understand the connection of language and region

In the 9th century, the Chera kingdom of Mahodayapuram was established in the southwestern part of the peninsula.

Now, that region is a part of present-day Kerala.

Malayalam was the language spoken in this area.

The rulers of this area used the Malayalam language and script in their inscriptions.

This was one of the earliest use of regional language in official records in the subcontinent.

Not only Malayalam language, but the Cheras also used the Sanskrit language.

During the time of Cheras, temple theatre started.

These temple theatre performances were based on the stories from the Sanskrit epics.

The temple theatre is now a very popular performing art of Kerala.

The first literary works in Malayalam were also inspired by the Sanskrit language.

There was a book called Lilatilakam which was related to grammar and poetics, was composed in Manipravalam.

Manipravalam means “diamonds and corals” which refers the use of two languages.

Manipravalam was a literary style used in medieval texts in South India, which used a mixture of Sanskrit and regional language.

Revision

The Chera kingdom of Mahodayapuram was established in the ninth century.

It was established in the south-western part of the peninsula. Malayalam was the language spoken in this area.

The rulers of this area used the Malayalam language and script in their inscriptions.

During the time of Cheras, temple theatre started. The stories of the temple theatre of Kerala were borrowed from the Sanskrit epics.

The first literary works in Malayalam was directly indebted to Sanskrit in the twelfth century.

There was a book called Lilatilakam which was related to grammar and poetics, was composed in Manipravalam.

Manipravalam was a literary style used in medieval texts in South India, which used a mixture of Sanskrit and regional language.

The End