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Story of Kamban Writing Tamil Kamba Ramayana – Iramavataram

The most popular version of Ramayana in Tamil is the Kamba Ramayanam written by Kamban. It is known as Iramavataram in Tamil. There is an interesting story behind the writing of Tamil Ramayana which was written during the 9th century.



Kamban was a temple musician at the famous Srirangam Temple and he was also the follower of poet-saint Nammalvar. The king of the region wanted to translate the Ramayana from Sanskrit into Tamil and he assigned the task to two poets and Kamban was one of the poet.

Kamban never found the true inspiration to translate the epic. By the time he overcame the writer’s block and found inspiration only 14 days were left for the deadline.

Kamban then started writing the Iramavataram and legend has it that Mother Goddess used to hold the lamp for him so that he can write during night.

Kamban finished the work before deadline and it was liked by all.

Legend has it that once when the Iramavataram was read in the Srirangam Temple; Narasimha Avatar of Bhagwan Vishnu appeared from a pillar in the temple and roared in satisfaction.

Kamba Ramayanam is 10,000 verses long and there are numerous diversions from the original.