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The Story of a legendary woman - KANNAKI ?‍♀️




This is a Story about a Woman who cursed a Kingdom and burnt the whole city for wrongfully putting her husband to death.

Most of us know about the Great Epics of India Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Apart from this, there are two Tamil Works of equal Importance - Silappadikaraam and Manimegalai that are lesser-known. These are the two out of five Old Tamil CLassics given the Title “Perum Kappiyangal” which means Epics.

Silappadikaaram (Tale Of A Jewelled Anklet) - Ascetic-Prince Ilango Adigal is credited to this work, he was the younger brother of Warrior King Senguttuvan of Chera Dynasty.

Ilango Adigal Author of Silappadikaaram.

This Epic revolves around “Kannagi”, who lost her husband “Kovalan” to a miscarriage of justice at the court of the Pandyan King of Madurai, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom.

Though the Silappadikaram was written 1500 years ago, the story of Kannagi and her Fury is much older



  • Kannagi was the daughter of a Merchant and Ship Captain Manayakan from Puhar.
  • She was married to Kovalan son of a Wealthy merchant in Kaveripattanam, kovalan’s family were sea traders.

  • Kannagi was virtuous wife to her husband kovalan and they lived very happily together until her husband met Madhavi.
  • Kovalan met Madhavi a dancer at a festival at the Royal court and kovalan fell in Love with her. He bought her favours and in his infatuation, he forgot Kannagi and his Home.
  • Madhavi cared for Kovalan’s wealth rather than his love and Lute-Playing prowess.
  • Gradually he spent all his wealth on Madhavi and at last became bankrupt, he realised everything and immediately returned to his Innocent and Uncomplaining wife Kannagi. Their only fortune was a precious pair of Anklets.
  • Kovalan hoped to recoup his fortunes by trade in Madurai, by selling the precious Anklets of Kannagi. Willingly Kannagi gave the Anklets to him.
  • On their arrival at Madurai, they found shelter in a cottage and kovalan went to the market to sell one of Kannagi’s Anklet.
Kovalan and Kannagi’s Anklet - Gold Smith - Queen of Madurai - King Neduncheliyan

Queen of Madurai had just been robbed of a similar anklet by a wicked Jeweller.

  • When kovalan went to the market to sell the anklet, where Kovalan falls into the trap of wicked a Gold Smith who had stolen the Queen's. Gold Anklet.
  • The Jeweller sees Kovalan with Kannagi’s Anklet he incriminates Kovalan as the Thief and gives away the anklet to the King.
  • The king orders the execution of Kovalan ina hasty judgement that is quickly carried out and Kovalan is killed by the guard.
  • When the news was taken to Kannagi she was shocked and enraged immensely at the injustice meted out to her beloved husband. Kannagi with her eyes blazed in anger rushed to the Pandya Court.

  • Kannagi accuses the Pandiyan King of Injustice. In court, there is a heated argument between Kannagi and the King.
  • The king claims her husband stole but Kannagi says she has the proof that he did not steal the Anklet.
  • The anklet which belonged to Kannagi was filled with Rubies and the Queen’s filled with Pearls.

  • Kannagi proves her case by breaking the Anklet that was recovered from her husband Kovalan.
  • She breaks the anklet and it is filled with Rubies as opposed to the Queen’s anklet which was filled with Pearls.

  • Realizing the fault, the king died heartbroken. After seeing this the queen also dies.
Epic Revenge

  • The death of the King and the queen did not lessen the anger of Kannagi, her rage turned towards the Ancient City of Madurai.
  • Kannagi uttered a Curse that the Entire City Of Madurai is Burnt and in the process, she tore off one of her Breast and threw it at the city and the city was burnt down by her spiritual powers of a Chaste Wife.


  • And the Capital Of Pandyas - Ancient Madurai was set ablaze resulting in Huge losses.


However, at last, the patron Goddess of Madurai (Meenakshi Amman) interceded and requested Kannagi to stop it.


And Kannagi calmed down and agreed to withdraw her curse, and the fire abated. Weak with loss of Blood from her self - amputated breast.

Kannagi struggled a few days and attained Salvation.

Meanwhile, the News of Kannagi her revenge and her salvation spread throughout Tamil Land.

She was deified, temples were raised and festivals held in her honour and she became the Patron Of Goddess of Wifely Loyalty and Chastity.

There is a Temple dedicated to Kannagi - Theni District - Tamil Nadu.



Thank You.