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Lilatilakam (IAST: Līlā-tilakam, "diadem of poetry") is a 14th century Sanskrit-language treatise on the grammar and poetics of the Manipravalam language form, a precursor of the modern Malayalam language spoken in the Kerala state of India.

Date and authorshipEdit

Lilatilakam is an anonymous work, and is generally dated to the late 14th century.[1] It is attested by two (possibly three) manuscripts, and is not referred to by any other surviving pre-modern source.[2]


Lilatilakam (literally "diadem of poetry"[3]) calls itself the only disciplinary treatise (shastra) on Manipravalam, which it describes as the "union" of Sanskrit and Kerala-bhasha (the regional language spoken in Kerala).[4]

The text is written in Sanskrit language, in form of a series of verses with commentary; it also features examples of Manipravalam-language verses.[4]


  1. ^ Eva Maria Wilden 2014, p. 347.
  2. ^ Rich Freeman 2003, p. 443.
  3. ^ Rich Freeman 2003, p. 442.
  4. ^ a b Rich Freeman 2003, p. 448.


  • Eva Maria Wilden (2014). Manuscript, Print and Memory: Relics of the Cankam in Tamilnadu. De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-035276-4.
  • Rich Freeman (2003). "The Literary Culture of Premodern Kerala". In Sheldon Pollock; Arvind Raghunathan (eds.). Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-22821-4.</ref>