The Language of the Gods in the World of Royal Ladies of Kerala: Toward a History of Women's Writing in Sanskrit in the 18th-to 20th-century Kerala


Lidia Sudyka
Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland


Sanskrit literature, 18th to 20th century, history of literature, Kerala, South Asia, kavya


The study addresses the subject of Sanskrit culture in Kerala and women's participation in it. Each chapter, depicting literary activities of poetesses belonging to different contexts, raises different questions. Each of the biographies included in the book brings new details concerning the life of women-writers at that time. An attempt is made to reconstruct historical reality and material culture, the practices of writing, daily routine of poetesses, objects surrounding them, etc., in each case under discussion.


  • Acknowledgements .......... 9
  • I. Background .......... 15
  • II. Women's Writing in Travancore .......... 43
  • III. Singing the Glory of the Gods: Makayiram Nal Amba Tampuratti of Punjar .......... 89
  • IV. Three Generations of Women Literati from the Cochin Royal Linage and Their Intellectual Environment .......... 111
  • V. To the North of Kerala: Lakshmi of the Kadattanad Royal House .......... 137
  • VI. Conclusions .......... 177
  • Appendices .......... 183
  • List of Illustrations .......... 199
  • Bibliography .......... 203
  • Index of Kerala Sanskrit Authoresses' Names .......... 223


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Author Biography

Lidia Sudyka, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures of India and South Asia at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Jagiellonian University. She is one of the very few Polish specialists dealing with classical Sanskrit literature (kavya), including indigenous literary theory. In the scope of her interests are also selected aspects of the contemporary and historical formas of textual transmission and persistence of literary cultures in India.


December 16, 2019

Details about the available publication format: PDF (The lowest price over the last 30 days: 24 PLN)

PDF (The lowest price over the last 30 days: 24 PLN)

ISBN-13 (15)


Details about the available publication format: Paperback


ISBN-13 (15)