(c. second century C.E.)
   Ilankovatikal (Venerable ascetic prince) was the author of the Tamil Jain classic Silappatikaram I (see Jainism), written around the second century C.E. and considered one of the five great ancient Tamil epics.
   Tamil tradition says that the author was the younger brother of the well-known Cheral (Kerala) king Senguttavan. By his name he would seem to have been a Jain monk. There is no reli-able historical account of the author’s life.
   In the poem, he indicates that he had renounced the world upon hearing that he and not his elder brother would succeed the great king Imayavarampan Netuncharalathan (169–78 C.E.) He left the palace and joined a Jain monastery on the outskirts of Vanci.
   Further reading: Parthasarathy, trans., The Cilappati-karam of Ilanko Atikal: An Epic of South India (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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