Men of Pukar [series] | Abul Kalam Azad


Ekalokam Trust for Photography

Ekalokam Trust for Photography
Tiruvannamalai, India

Men of Pukar' is the third part of Abul Kalam Azad's ongoing series titled 'Story of Love, Desire & Agony' that draws its inspiration from Classical Tamil text Cilappathikaram, which is believed to have been composed during the Sangam / Early historic period (3rd century BCE to 3rd century CE) by the Cera dynasty’s Prince-turned-Jain-poet Ilango Adigal. This classical text is a poetic rendition of the life of Kannaki and Kovalan, and is presented in three cantos – the book of Puharkkandam deals with the events in the Chola city of Puhar, where Kannaki and Kovalan start their married life, and Kovalan leaves his wife for the dancer/courtesan Matavi; Maduraikkandam is set in Madurai, the capital of the Pandya kingdom, where Kovalan is incorrectly blamed for the theft of the queen's anklet and loses his life, and in revenge Kannaki burns the entire Capital; Vanchikkandam is of the Cera country where Kannaki ascends to the heavens, and a kavu (scared grove) is dedicated in her honor, presumably in present Kodungallur, Kerala. Since 2000, Abul has been creating photographic visuals that takes a re-look at this epic tragedy in contemporary contect. Done in Poompukar, Tamil Nadu, Abul Kalam Azad's ‘Men of Pukar’ is the third part of the series, done using lo-fi digital, large and medium format film cameras.


  • Title: Men of Pukar [series] | Abul Kalam Azad
  • Date Created: 2017-2018
  • Location: Poompukar, Tamil Nadu
  • Physical Dimensions: Lo-Fi Digital, Large and Medium Format Film Negative
  • Type: Photography
  • Rights: All rights reserved by author
  • Medium: Modern Print

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