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Vanchipattu: A Unique Form of Malayalam Poetry

Vanchipattu: A Unique Form of Malayalam Poetry

Vanchipattu is a form of Malayalam poetry that is composed entirely in the Dravidian metre known as vanchippa. Vanchippa is a four-line stanza with a fixed rhyme scheme and a variable number of syllables. The first line has 11 syllables, the second line has 9 syllables, the third line has 7 syllables, and the fourth line has 5 syllables. The rhyme scheme is abab, where the last syllable of each line rhymes with each other.

vanchipattu lyrics malayalam pdf download

Vanchipattu is usually sung in a rhythmic and melodious manner, accompanied by musical instruments such as chenda, maddalam, ilathalam, and kuzhal. Vanchipattu is often performed in public events such as temple festivals, boat races, cultural programs, and political rallies. Vanchipattu is also used as a medium of social criticism and satire, as well as a form of devotion and praise.

One of the most famous examples of vanchipattu is Kuchelavritham Vanchipattu, written by Ramapurathu Warrier in the 18th century. It is based on the story of Kuchela, a poor Brahmin friend of Lord Krishna, who visits him with a handful of beaten rice as a gift. The poem narrates how Krishna receives him with great affection and showers him with blessings. The poem also describes the glory of Ananthapuri (Thiruvananthapuram), where Krishna's temple Padmanabhaswamy is located.

If you are interested in reading or listening to vanchipattu, you can find some online resources below:

  • Kuchelavritham Vanchipattu - The full text of the poem in Malayalam Wikisource.

  • Kuchelavritham Vanchipattu - A PDF version of the poem with Malayalam script and transliteration.

  • Kuchelavritham Vanchipattu - A video of a vanchipattu performance by Kavalam Sreekumar and group.

Vanchipattu is believed to have originated from the boat songs sung by the oarsmen during the boat races and processions in Kerala. The rhythmic and fast-paced verses were meant to synchronize with the rowing of the boats and to boost the morale of the participants. The themes of vanchipattu usually revolve around historical or mythological events, legends, heroes, gods and goddesses. Some of the famous vanchipattu works are Kuchelavritham Vanchipattu by Ramapurathu Warrier, Thottam Pattu by Vallathol Narayana Menon, Magdalana Mariyam by P. K. Narayana Pillai, and Chempavu by Kumaran Asan.

Vanchipattu is considered as a unique and valuable contribution of Malayalam literature to the Indian cultural heritage. It is also a popular form of folk art that showcases the rich oral tradition and musical talent of the people of Kerala. Vanchipattu is still performed and enjoyed by many during festivals and occasions such as Onam, Vishu, Thiruvathira, and Kerala Piravi.

If you want to download vanchipattu lyrics in Malayalam PDF format, you can find some links below:

  • Vanchippattu - A collection of vanchipattu lyrics by various poets from Kerala Culture website.

  • Ramapurathu Warrier - A biography and works of Ramapurathu Warrier, including Kuchelavritham Vanchipattu, from Kerala Sahitya Akademi website.

  • Vallathol Narayana Menon - A biography and works of Vallathol Narayana Menon, including Thottam Pattu, from Kerala Sahitya Akademi website.

  • P. K. Narayana Pillai - A biography and works of P. K. Narayana Pillai, including Magdalana Mariyam, from Kerala Sahitya Akademi website.

  • Kumaran Asan - A biography and works of Kumaran Asan, including Chempavu, from Kerala Sahitya Akademi website.



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