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Ponni's Beloved - Volume 1: New Floods, An English Translation Of Kalki Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan

(பொன்னியின் செல்வன் #1)

4.65  ·  Rating details ·  2,921 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan is a masterpiece that has enthralled generations of Tamil readers. Many authors have written phenomenal books in Tamil literature after Kalki Krishnamurthy, but Ponniyin Selvan remains the most popular, widely-read novel. It has just the right mixture of all things that makes an epic – political intrigue, conspiracy, betrayal, huge dol ...more
Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published February 16th 2017 by Indreads (first published 1950)
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Aravindh Kumar Look at his website. Project Madurai is a not-for-profit project collaborative for digitizing Tamil literary works.…more
Look at his website. Project Madurai is a not-for-profit project collaborative for digitizing Tamil literary works.
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Start your review of Ponni's Beloved - Volume 1: New Floods, An English Translation Of Kalki Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan
Vishnu Chevli
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, english
Last year I read "Gujarat No Nath" and "Rajadhiraj" by K M Munshi. I loved those books. Since I read those books I added historical fictions to my favorite book genre. Books like Ponnis Beloved reminded me Munshi's books. I just read the first part of five volumes and Sumeetha I am not sure whether I can wait for your next translations. I am already keeping watch on the price of the complete set.

Ponni's Beloved is the story of Chola Dynasty during Sundar Chola and his sons time. Though the main
I started learning Tamil several years ago and the question that I was invariably asked was, “Why do you want to learn Tamil? What is your goal?” Well, I had to come up with something, so I said, “I want to read Ponniyin Selvan.” I have still not read it in Tamil (and I may never get there!) but thanks to the efforts of C.V. Karthik Narayan I have been able to read this in English. This truly was a labour of love for this man. This guy is an engineer with a day job, not a professional translator ...more
Surya Nagarajan
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the elders in home told "we would read this all night. It's super good" I scoffed and said yeah sure.
Fast forward ten years I found myself up till sunrise, reading up on the schemes of Nandhini and bravado of Vandhiyathevan. Yes, the tamil is difficult to being with, but it's definitely worth it. As someone who is homesick, reading about Tanjore, where one half of my family is from, with vivid descriptions about the culture and people was pure bliss.
Dhivya Balaji
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing

The original Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki Krishnamurthy is a legendary piece of literature, (of course it was. It inspired this translation and some more like it). I have seen the set of 5 volumes, huge books that have adorned the shelves of many bookworms I knew, especially those from the previous generation. The books were treasured possessively and guarded with care. They were often perused in parts, with people seeking their favorite quotes or lines or events from the book. So f
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
When you start a classic, you are silently praying you are not disappointed. If it is the first part of 5 part series, then it becomes tougher since it may be more of context than content.

Here is a book that checks all the boxes and managed to make me steal pages over coffee breaks! Kalki's Ponniyin Selvan part 1 is a smooth and engaging read that almost inspired me to write this review in influenced tamil prose!

Part 1 of this historical fiction introduces the characters and reveals strands of
My Rating: 5/5

It was a great read!
It was definitely very hard to read the book in Tamil even though it is my mother tongue because my Tamil is very rusty and I have never read a Tamil book. But it was all worth it! I enjoyed every word of this book (even though I have to call my mom or my grandma to find out what some of the words means). I think everyone should read this book (There are many English translated versions available, I don't know about their quality though).

The characters were ex
Balaji Sriraman
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Words fail when I try to think about this reading experience. I started taking notes then stopped because there were just too many note worthy! Eager to start part 2.
Shruti Ramanujam
Review to come.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow! I'm really glad I picked it up again. I read this epic 6-7 yrs ago. I kinda forgot most part of the story unfortunately. But it's for the best. Cause I got to relive this reading experience again ♥️ Onto the next part!
Virat hooda
True Wonderer
Its the late 10th century, our hero 'Vandiyathevan', a dashing warrior of the prestigious Vaanar clan has been given an important mission by his leader and dear friend the crown prince of the great Chola empire, Aditya Karikalan. And so, our hero departs from Kanchi towards the capital Thanjavur on his adventurous journey through the Chola empire.

The story Kalki weaves is marvelous and as I have just started (one of five), I eagerly look forward to the others. An epic is not an ep
Geeta Nair
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A legendary piece of literature, ‘Ponni’s Beloved’ is Part One of five parts of the English translation of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Tamil Classic ‘Ponniyin Selvan.’ It has as its protagonist Vandiya Devan a young soldier who belongs to the brave warrior race of Vanars. He is on a secret mission for the Crown Prince of the Chola Kingdom. What follows is an adventurous journey through the realms of the Chola Kingdom. Spiced with bits of gossip, fun- frolic and subtle romance, the story is actually th ...more
Nitish Krishna
Probably the most celebrated Tamil Historical Fiction series ever. Kalki's Ponniyin Selvan, put very simply, is the story of the Chozha empire in its heyday and the characters (real and fictional, high-born and low) that inhabit this fascinating time in Indian history. Although I read a translation, I got a very good sense of the reading sensibilities of the 1950s Tamil public. This book which was serialized in a magazine was a huge craze and its not hard to see why. The story portrays the Golde ...more
Mayuri Nidigallu
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-2017
To begin with I hadn’t heard of the legendary Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki Krishnamurthy, till I married into the South Indian Community. Since then I have seen people go into raptures as they talk reverently about this great book. The curiosity to read was thus aroused and when Author Sumeetha Manikandan’s English translation came up for a read and review through The Book Club, I instantly filled out the form and looked forward to my copy.

Ponni’s Beloved is part 1 of Part 4, an appetizer to another
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Good to read after reading "Sivakamiyin Sabatham" and "Parthiban Kanavu". Its very excited to know about Chozhar kingdom and their great deeds
Uttara Srinivasan
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally appearing in popular Tamil literature over a period of four years in the early fifties, Ponniyin Selvan: Fresh Floods is Part One of a Five book series that documents the early life of Rajaraja Chola (Chozha, as Kalki helps us pronounce correctly) - one of the greatest emperors of the Chozha dynasty of the South that rarely finds it's rightful presence in history syllabi of the school years. That Kalki chooses to set it through the journey of Vandhiyathevan, a warrior / messenger / qu ...more
Mahathi Ramya
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it

It's been a long time since i read a lengthy novel above 300 pages. This novel is interesting throughout even though it is lengthy. 'Ponniyan selvan' which is the original of this translated work is already a popular novel in Tamilnadu. All my Tamil friends re-iterated the same. So, my expectations were really high before even i started reading it.

The story is set in the era of Cholan ruler Sundara chola and it is all about the politics in the kingdom, the beauty of the place , its culture and p
Inderpreet Uppal
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ponni’s Beloved is a labour of love - a translation of the Tamil classic Ponniyin Selvan. When Sumeetha asked me to edit and proofread her manuscript, I was astounded at her dedication, attention to detail and perseverance for the translation.

She is very thorough in her writing, ensuring to keep the tone and era of the book intact. The language and words used reflect the historical period the original novel followed. It transports the reader back to the royal era of the Chola Kings and the opule
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2017
For a long time I was searching for a big series book to read and when I saw the translated version of this famous book which is also a famous play and had also heard good things about it, it made me more curious, so I bought a copy immediately I don’t know whether this is a fantasy or historical fiction anyway I ended up starting the series. The moment I started this book I was glued to it. This book definitely took me to another world altogether and I must say the translator has done an excell ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Pooni’s Beloved is an English translation of well-known Tamil author Kalki R Krishnanmurthy’s Pooniyin Selvan. The English translation is done by Sumeetha Manikandan.

Though I haven’t read the original work or any of Sumeetha’s previous works, still I must say this is the best translated work I have ever read. Even if it's in English, it has still retained the Tamil essence in it. Appropriate translation and significance of a festival or place or a person; is an added advantage for people who
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a grand beginning! The first book of Ponniyin Selvan introduces Vanthiyathevan, Princess Kunthavai and Pazhuvoor Ilayarani Nandini. I cannot think of another book that gives so much importance to the women characters. In fact, in this book it is the women who are central to the plot. All the men are only supporting characters.
Characters behave in the most natural manner possible, i.e., they reveal their true intentions to anybody who poses a direct question. Poonkuzhali and Arulmozhivarman
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-2017
A book full of characters, politics, spying, love, betrayal and friendships. The book is fast-paced and full of drama, a story that keeps you engrossed. This is the first book in a 5 part series. The book does not feel like a translated read. It is easy to read and smooth. Before reading this book, I had not heard of the original Tamil version. I still enjoyed reading the book and waiting with bated breath for the next ones. The only difficult thing I found was in the tongue twisting Tamil names ...more
Reshma Ranjan
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful read: Ponni's Beloved
From the word go the story pans through the period of tenth century AD taking the reader through the time without a drop. The politics, the intrigue never seems to fade. Thankful to Sumeetha Manikandan for giving the translation of one of the most celebrated Tamil works “Ponniyin Selvan” for a non-Tamil reader. The book leaves the era etched into the reader's mind. I am eagerly looking forward to picking the next of coming volumes.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kalki has the power to completely transport you to a time and a place that is far away. The way he describes the locations, the surroundings and the characters whisks you away to another world. The First Floods has set up a platform for what promises to be an epic tale, and I can't wait to start the next volume.
Sivaraman S
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first tamil novel (translated),. Set in India, thousand years back during the Chola reign. Excellent !
Saravana Sastha Kumar
One of the greatest classics from Kalki. loved every page. While I read it in Tamil, for people not familiar with Tamil it is highly recommended to read the English translation of the book.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a Tamilian, it is my dream to read this legendary masterpiece. It is a fantabulous experience to know about the history of my place and to understand the significance of it. Kalki is undoubtedly a legendary author. Even though I have already read the english translations of this book, in my opinion they didn’t do justice to it. Thanks to the audiobook by Sri, I was able to relish the book in Tamil. Absolutely mind blowing and I can’t wait to complete the other volumes.
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfect one to read. Everyone must read this book because it's too good and worth reading.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional writing. Loved this book.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
During the times when treason was a part of life and spies were roaming the streets of India, Ponni's Beloved is set during those times. A time when the Chola dynasty was at their zenith.

The story is introduced to the readers by a brave, young man, who is a great fighter too, and a messenger of Aditya Chola (forgive me if I got my history wrong). Aditya Chola, heir to the throne was suspecting a conspiracy and had sent Vandiya Devan to warn the King. In his journey, Vandiya Devan meets the diffe
Amith Ghosh
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a novel that the people loving historical fiction or anything related to mythology couldn't dare to miss.....
I had to take a moment to believe the novel was actually written in 1950s. my god, the creativity*, the narration*, the characterisation*, the twists and turns of events* etc, everything just awed me......
the story is partly a fiction although based on the real characters...... to be clearly emphasised, the story is an entanglement of different plots, conspiracies, unexpected romantic re
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Kalki (Tamil: கல்கி) was the pen name of R. Krishnamurthy (Tamil: ரா. கிருஷ்ணமூர்த்தி) (September 9, 1899–December 5, 1954), a noted Tamil writer, film & music critic, Indian independence activist and journalist from Tamil Nadu, India. ...more

Other books in the series

பொன்னியின் செல்வன் (5 books)
  • பொன்னியின் செல்வன் - சுழற்காற்று
  • பொன்னியின் செல்வன் - கொலை வாள்
  • பொன்னியின் செல்வன் - மணிமகுடம்
  • Ponniyin Selvan - Part 5 (Tamil)

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The must-read summer beach book is a kind of American tradition. The crash of the waves. The glare of the sun. The sand in the pages. Is t...
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“Stars! It looks as if you're winking amused at the idiocy of the people on this earth. You have every reason to laugh. You saw the battle that happened a hundred years ago, and the blood that flooded the ground a long time afterwards. You wonder why there should be so much enmity among human beings, so much carnage and bloodshed. And why this should be known as heroism!"
"Even after a man has been dead a hundred years, people continue to hate him. This is an enemy's pallipadai where people gather to torture the living in name of the dead. Stars in the sky! Why wouldn't you laugh! Laugh!”
“அடித்துக்கொண்டு பறந்தன. ஆயிரம் பதினாயிரம் குயில்கள் ஒன்று சேர்ந்து இன்னிசை பாடின. மலை, மலையான வண்ண மலர்க் குவியல்கள் அவன் மீது” 1 likes
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