Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai

Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai

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Category: Education , Literature

Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai Profile

  • Name:
  • Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai
  • Born:
  • April 4, 1855
  • Died:
  • April 26, 1897
  • Spouse:
  • Sivagami Ammal

Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai Biography

Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai was a Tamil scholar, dramatist, playwright and artist, who became famous through Tamil drama Manonmaniyam. He was also an educator. Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, one of the leading universities of Tamil Nadu was named after him. "Invocation to Goddess Tamil" – the Tamil anthem is an adaption of the song "Niraarum Kadal Udutha" from Manonmaniam. 1942 Tamil film, Manonmani is also adapted from his masterpiece drama, Manonmaniyam. He remained a Member of Royal Asiatic Society.


His full name is Manmoniyam Perumal Sundaram Pillai. He was born on 4 April 1855 in Alappuzha of Travancore, British India. Alappuzha is now a part of Kerala state. He learnt Tamil classic works like Tevaram and Thiruvasagam during his childhood days. He studied Tamil from Nagapattinam Narayana Samy Pillai, and completed his graduation in 1876. He married Sivagami Ammal after his studies. Very soon he started his professional career as a teacher. He later served as school principal at a government school of Tirunelveli for many years, followed by H. H. The Maharaja's College, Thiruvananthapuram, where he worked as a lecturer of philosophy. He also completed his Master’s degree while working as a teacher.


Later he became the first principal of MDT Hindu College, Tirunelveli, when it got established. During his lifetime, he met Swami Vivekananda and got opportunity to teach him Saiva Sidhantham. He also established Saiva Prakasha Sabha at Thiruvananthapuram in 1885. As a playwright, Manonmaniam is his masterpiece work which he published in the year 1891. Some Milestones in the History of Tamil Literature (1895) and Nootrogai Villakkam (1888) are his other major works. He died in 1897 aged only 42. He was suffering from diabetics.

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Updated: July 10, 2018


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