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Tamil historical fiction and fantasy novels

Historical fiction is a type of story or literature told in a variety of media. Stories which are based on real life historical events and set in historical time and place. However, some characters may have never existed along with their actions which that are insignificant historically, but may be included to tell a better story. For example: there may not be specific record of actual dialogue, food eaten, clothes worn, routes traveled so the author will insert information that is thought to be historically accurate for the period.

List of Top 10 Tamil historical fiction and fantasy novels

Welcome to the historical time period of Tamil literature gaining popularity over 2 centuries which spans the dynamic era of historical kings,queens, princes and princesses of Tamil Nadu who ruled over a millennium ago.This page is dedicated to the top 10 historical Tamil novels written by the famous historical fiction authors.

10 Kandhalur Vasantha Kumaran Kathai

This is the second historical novel written by famous writer and author Sujatha Rangarajan in 1995. This novel discusses about the time period of Cholas, Cheras and Pandiyas. The main plot revolves around the war(on both land and sea) fought between Chola & Chera-Pandiya over the invasion of Kandhalur sea port.Hero of the novel is Vasanthakumaran who is the messenger of Chola empire.

Sujatha had made use of the tamil words which were used during the Chola time period.Being a famous writer on sci-fi and short stories about families,societies etc Sujatha also experimented historical fiction.His first historical novel was "Ratham Ore Niram"(Color of Blood is always same) which revolves around the Sepoy mutiny around 14th century.Sujatha had expressed his interest to write a sequel to this novel as he wanted to study and research the historical incidents around Kandhalur sea port, but he was not able to complete it.

9 Nandhipurathu Nayagi

This is one of the good historical novel which is considered to be an immediate sequel to all time famous novel Ponniyin Selvan. This was published in the weekly magazine Amudasurabhi during 1957 to 1959 by author Vikraman and was published as full book in 1964. The story completes all characters which were puzzled by author Kalki for the audience when they read Ponniyin Selvan.Also it includes some other characters as well depicting the incidents during Chola ruling time period.It also tells about the adventure of great king Raja Raja Chola 1 visiting far way countries and his ruling of Tanjore.This is a must read book for all those who finished reading Ponniyin Selvan and this answers all the questions put by the readers to author Kalki though he had answered shortly at the end of his own novel.

8 Kaviri Mainthan

Another sequel to Ponniyin Selvan after a long time by Anusha Venkatesh in the year 2007 and published by Avenue Press.It had followed the principles,guidelines and style of author Kalki by adding new characters as well.Those who are still confused who would have murdered Aditya Karikala Chola at the end of Ponniyin Selvan novel, may get an answer in this 1300 page sequel. It was released in 3 parts and author has expressed the gratitude and happiness to special readers varying from 90 year old to 25 year old. Also it was read aloud to those who were blind and those who cannot read Tamil.

7 Pandimadevi

To know about the reign of Pandiya kingdom and its rulers, their act of bravery, we will have to read Pandimadevi - a historical novel written by Na.Parthasarathy in the year 1958. It was published in the tamil weekly magazine Kalki for one and half years and in 1960 it was published in the full book form. Though most of the characters are original ,author has created some characters of his own. He had done enough research on the historical places of Madurai, Kanchi, Tanjore etc and studied the details of Pandiyan kingdom and their time period.

Author had gathered the information from the pamphlets which mentioned the rule of Raasasimma Pandiya -3 from 900 to 1190 AD.The main central characters revolving around are: "Mahamandaleshwarar - Idayatru Mangalam Nambi, Vanavanmadevi. Prince Raasasimman, Vallalathevan, Narayanan Senthan, Bagavathi, Mathivathani, Vilasani".Though it is a little tough to pronounce the names of the kings, queens and people of that time period before reading this novel, it becomes easy once you finish reading :)

6 Vetri Thirunagar

This is one of the famous historical Tamil novel written by Akilan - one of the reputed historical writer,novelist and freedom fighter for India.The novel is based upon the Vijayanagara Empire. The hero of the novel is Visuvanatha Nayakkan who imprints the patriotic effect to the people and the struggle for freedom.Vetri Thirunagar here is Vijayanagara means City of Victory. Presently it is covering the south indian states leaving lot of monuments, sculptures and inscriptions as the proof. Akilan wrote a prologue about this novel in the year 1965 in weekly magazine Kalki.

5 Parthibhan Kanavu

This is the first historical novel written by author Kalki Krishnamurthy which was being published in his own weekly magazine Kalki during 1941 to 1943 The main plot revolves around the dream of king Parthibhan which is being fulfilled by Pallava king Mamalla Narasimhavarman.

4 Udayar

We will be always thrilled to read about the history of Raja Raja Chola - no matter how many novels get written depicting the real life incidents talking about Raja Raja the Great which later becomes history.So this novel is one of the longest novel written in 6 volumes by author Balakumaran.

The plot of the novel revolves around the construction of the Big Temple- Brahadeeswarar located in Tanjore by Raja Raja and it also discusses about the ruling power of Raja Raja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola. The entire temple was built by strongest granite stones which proves worth to acclaim the history of Raja Raja Chola to the entire world even after 1000 years.

3 Kadal Pura

Kadal Pura is a Tamil language historical novel written by Sandilyan. The story is based on the ancient Tamil Chola dynasty. It was named after the fictional ship built by the Chola Commander Illayapallavan Karunaagara Pallavan, who later became King Thondaiman.

2 Sivagamiyin Sabatham

This novel revolves around the Pallava dynasty, its original rulers and the fictional character Sivagami.

1 Ponniyin Selvan

This magnum opus novel was written by Author Kalki Krishnamurthy and it is really a master piece from author Kalki Krishnamurthy.Ponniyin Selvan means Son of Ponni - Here Son is Raja Raja Chola (Arulmozhivarman) the Great and Ponni is the river Kaveri.It is a 2400 page mega historical novel which was published like a mega serial in Kalki magazine for 5 years. All the people who were reading this weekly magazine during 1950-55 were surprised about the ending and had asked the author why he finished the story so soon.That itself determine the success of this historical thriller when it released as a full book in 5 volumes till date. Recently famous weekly magazine Ananda Vikatan had republished the book by original paintings drawn by Maniam.

From the beginning to the end it takes you to Chola dynasty time period itself visualizing all the historical characters such as Raja Raja Chola, Vanthiyathevan, Kunthavai Piratti, Azhvaarkadiyan, Sundara Chola, Aditya Karikala, Nandini Devi, Periya Pazhuvettarayar, Chinna Pazhuvettarayar, Mathuranthaka Chola a.k.a Uthama Chola a.k.a Senthan Amudhan, Poonguzhali and many more characters.It is an adventurous,romantic,creative,stupendous illusion and an awesome nail biting spy thriller.In my opinion, its a must read historical novel to get to the core of Indian History.

  • There is a mixture of real and fictional events. Significant historical events are historically accurate, but minor events and/or characters may be added or modified.
  • Characters are involved in a conflict or problem that is real (or mirrors life) for that time period
  • Uses descriptive writing that digs into characters making them interesting and are easy to identify with.
  • Intriguing plot that creates some sort of suspense.
  • Plot makes sense and has a solution.
  • Historically authentic setting that sets the tone for the story.
  • Is in a real place and a definite period of time in history that the reader wants to know more about.
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