ACK-092: Manonmani

Out of print ACK #157

This ACK is based on the play Manonmaniyam (1891) by P. Sundaram Pillai.

P. Sundaram Pillai was a Tamil scholar and also a great dramatist. He was born in Alappuzha, Kerala in 1855. Sundaram Pillai was educated at Maharaja`s College, Thiruvananthapuram. P. Sundaram Pillai worked for the Travancore Education Service and also as a professor of philosophy. He was known for his erudition in philosophy, Tamil, English and Sanskrit literature, archaeology, and education. He contributed a voluminous blank verse play To Tamil theatre.

Some of P. Sundaram Pillai`s notable works can be mentioned as Manonmaniyam in 1891. This was adapted from a story in Bulwer-Lytton`s `The Lost Tales of Miletus`. It became a landmark as the first Tamil dramatic text in the Western sense of the term. Although unstageable in full, it became very popular, dramatized in more convenient and concise prose form by mainstream commercial companies. It took the story to be one more Tamil folk legend. Several film versions resulted from its stage success. Tamils lap it up, not knowing of its origin in distant England. P. Sundaram Pillai developed a distinct southern exclusiveness eschewing all things Sanskritic and Brahmanical. The invocatory song to Manonmaniyam showered encomia on the undying vitality of the Tamil language, glowing like a crest jewel of the Dravidian land. The Dravidian movement elevated it into the anthem of Tamil nationalism. P. Sundaram Pillai died in 1897.

(~ from


Note: Manonmaniam Sundaranar University was established in 1990 by Government of Tamil Nadu.

Many many thanks to “Ajay Misra” for providing ACK scan.


  1. Hey can someone please upload this again as the privacy settings is set to private..I cannot download it :(


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