Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Suganya Anandakichenin
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_163-1


Maṇipravāḷa, or “gems and coral,” is, broadly speaking, a technical term that can be used to describe a language or dialect that combines Sanskrit with a vernacular language. More specifically, it is used as a designation for languages or dialects that are explicitly identified by its speakers or in its literary corpus as falling under this general rubric in South India, e.g., Śrīvaiṣṇava Tamil Maṇipravāḷa, (Malayalam) Maṇipravāḷa, Kannada-Maṇipravāḷa, and Telugu-Maṇipravāḷa.

The Origins and Different Types of Maṇipravāḷa

The Sanskrit commentary, Jayadhavala, composed by Jinasena on Jain scripture Ṣaḍkhaṇḍāgama (ca. ninth c.), first mentions the compound maṇipravāḷa (MP) in reference to the text’s use of both Sanskrit and Prakrit. It is in Abhinavagupta’s (eleventh c.) commentary on Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstrathat the expression is first used to refer explicitly to an admixture of two languages. The author refers to MP as being a tradition from the “South,” in which Sanskrit is...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Venkatachari KKA (1978) The Maṇipravāḷa literature of the Śrīvaiṣṇava ācāryas, 12th to 15th century A.D. Ananthacharya Research Institute, BombayGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Monius A (2009) Imagining a place for Buddhism. Literary culture and religious Community in Tamil-speaking South India. Navayana, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Raman S (2007) Self-surrender (Prapatti) to god in Śrīvaiṣṇavism: Tamil cats or Sanskrit monkeys? Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Freeman R (2006) Literature and the development of regional consciousness in medieval Kerala. In: Vora R, An F (eds) Religion, culture, and politics in India. Manohar, DelhiGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NETamil / École française d’Extrême-OrientPondicherryIndia