Of Poets and Couplets

Valluvar Kottam memorial honours the Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar and his classic work, the Thirukural. A weaver by trade, Thiruvalluvar lived around the first century BC in what is present-day Chennai and wrote this famed poem, providing a moral code for millions of followers. The three level memorial replicates ancient Tamil architecture and boasts an immense 39-m chariot, as well as an enormous auditorium and inscriptions of the Thirukural’s 1,330 couplets. The architectural pattern of the Valluvar Kottam is like a temple chariot (39 m high), inside which there is a huge stone effigy of the saint Thiruvalluvar. The architect under whose guidance the Valluvar Kottam was built is a South Indian architect, V Ganapati Sthapati, who is also the architect of the statue of saint Thiruvalluvar, sited in Kanyakumari. The main auditorium of the Valluvar Kottam can provide ccommodation to more than 4,000 people at one time and stands as a contemporary cenotaph to the great and distinguished poet and saint, who symbolises the splendid culture of the Tamils. A very unique feature of the Valluvar Kottam is that it stands baseless, without the support of any pillar. The 1330 verses of the epic Thirukkural are engraved on the granite columns in the facade hall corridors, enclosing the vast auditorium of the Valluvar Kottam.

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