'Ithihya' means traditional legends; 'mala' is a chain or a garland. Ithihyamala is a collection of legends in Malayalam, numbering over a hundred. Its author, Kottarathil Sankunni, was a versatile scholar with extensive knowledge of Kerala's history and customs. The stories cover a vast spectrum of life, personalities, events and skills, including magic, medicine, illusion (indrajal), so on. The elephant stories are unique. The stories are remarkable for their simplicity, lucid style, richness of humour and charm. We have stories of Sri Krishna full of compassion for his devotees, and adventures of Ayyappan, Lord of Sabarimala, in which abound his companions-leopards, tigers, monkeys.
Ithihyamala is a fascinating assemblage of legends, and it has not been matched by any other tome of tales in Malayalam for their delight of reading. This volume contains chosen stories from the original classic.
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