• Universität Hamburg
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    Manuskriptkulturen in Asien, Afrika und Europa
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  • Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient
  • Centre d'Indologie
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Dr. des. Suganya Anandakichenin (EFEO Pondy)
Research Fellow for the Vaiṣṇava group
suganya.anandakichenin [at]
  • Translating Tirumaḻicai Āḻvār’s Nāṉmukaṉ Tiruvantāti, Āṇṭāḷ’s Nācciyār Tirumoḻi and Tiruppāvai, Toṇṭaraṭippoṭi Āḻvār’s Tirumālai and Tiruppaḷḷiyeḻucci, and Tiruppāṇāḻvār’s Amalaṉatipirāṉ.
  • Translating parts of the medieval commentaries written on the Nālāyira Tivviya Pirapantam, especially the ones composed by Periyavāccāṉ Piḷḷai.
  • Collating the first three antātis.
  • Cataloguing the Vaiṣṇava manuscripts that belong to the EFEO collection in Pondicherry and studying the way they were transmitted.

Suganya Anandakichenin studied in the French system, specializing initially in English literature up to the Masters level, and became a “professeur agrégé” teaching English in France. She then did a Masters in Tamil at the INALCO in Paris, and a PhD at Hamburg University (2015) under the guidance of Eva Wilden.


  • “The ‘Sacred’ Hill in the Eyes of the Āḻvārs and the Śrīvaiṣṇava Commentators”, Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Vol. 23, No. 2 (2015), pp. 63-86.
  • “Kulacēkara Āḻvār’s ‘The Lament of Daśaratha’” Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Vol. 22, No. 2 (2014), pp. 167-201.
  • “On the Non-Vālmīkian sources of Kulacēkara Āḻvār’s ‘Mini-Rāmāyaṇa’” In: The Archaeology of Bhakti I: Mathurā and Maturai, Back and Forth. Edited by Emmanuel Francis & Charlotte Schmid, Collection Indologie n˚ 125, Institut Français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, 2014, pp. 249-288.


Jonas Buchholz, M.A. (CSMC Hamburg)
Doctoral student in the Kīḻkkaṇakku group
jonasjbuchholz [at]

“Late-classical Tamil love-poetry: The akam works of the Kīḻkkaṇakku corpus”

Classical Tamil love-poetry (akam) is almost exclusively associated with the works of the Caṅkam literature. This project deals with the akam works found in the late-classical Patiṉeṇkīḻkkaṇakku corpus, focusing on the longest of them, the Tiṇaimālai Nūṟṟaimpatu. Though largely ignored by modern scholarship, the Kīḻkkaṇakku akam works form a crucial link between classical Caṅkam literature and later poetical genres. The goal of the project is to provide a solid philological basis for the study of the Kīḻkkaṇakku akam texts and to investigate how the poetical norms of the akam genre were transformed during the post-Caṅkam era.

Jonas Buchholz (b. 1987) studied Classical Indology, Modern Indology and Semitic Studies at the University of Heidelberg. He received his M.A. in 2012 with a thesis on C. N. Annadurai’s critique of the Rāmāyaṇa. Since 2013, he is enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Hamburg under the supervision of Eva Wilden. Since 2014, Jonas Buchholz is part of the Hamburg team of the NETamil project. He has also taught Tamil at the universities of Tübingen (2012–13) and Göttingen (2014–15).


Dr. Jean-Luc Chevillard (CNRS-HTL)
External member and
Head of the Tolkāppiyam group
jean-luc.chevillard [at]

Jean-Luc Chevillard (b. 1956) is a researcher at the French "National Center for Scientific Research" (CNRS) and currently a member of the "Laboratoire d’Histoire des Théories Linguistiques" (HTL, UMR 7597 CNRS/Paris Diderot/Sorbonne Nouvelle). He has been for twelve years the editor of the bi-annual journal HEL ("Histoire Épistémologie Language"). The core component of his research is the study of the "History of Tamil Śāstric Literature", and the study of the linguistic corpus which is its literary counterpart. The list of his main publications can be found here. Within the ERC NETamil project, he is in charge of the subgroup working on the Tolkāppiyam.

Dr. Giovanni Ciotti (CSMC Hamburg)
External member of the Tolkāppiyam group
and Codicology
giovanni.ciotti [at]

A critical edition and study of the pāyirams of the works on ilakkaṇam (grammar). Study of manuscripts reflecting the interaction between Tamil and Sanskrit. Study of colophons in manuscripts produced in Tamil Nadu written in both Tamil and Tamilian Grantha scripts.

Giovanni Ciotti (b. 1982) completed both his B.A. and M.A. in South Asian Studies in Italy, at the University of Bologna. During his M.A. he became interested in Indian grammatical literature, especially from the angle of a comparison of its theoretical frameworks with those of Western linguistics. Furthermore, he developed an interest in the import of the Indian grammatical tradition on the rise of modern Western Linguistics. He did his Ph.D at University of Cambridge (UK). In 2013 he defended his dissertation entitled “The Representation of Sanskrit Speech-Sounds: Philological and Linguistic Historiographies”. 2007 he began to study Classical Tamil in Pondicherry and in 2013 joined the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg as a research associate. His research interests are the interaction of Sanskrit and Tamil as it is reflected in manuscripts at the paratextual level, may it be Tamil glosses and commentaries on Sanskrit texts or combinations of the two languages in colophons.


  • “Defining the Svara Bearing Unit in the śikṣāvedāṅga Literature: Unmasking a Veiled Debate”. In Nina Mirnig, Péter Dániel Szántó and Michael Williams (eds.). Puṣpikā: Tracing Ancient India Through Texts and Traditions, pp. 1-24. Oxbow Books, Oxford - Philadelphia 2013.
  • “Like a Howling Piśāca: A Note on the Pronunciation of the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā”. In Ciotti, Giovanni, Alastair Gornall and Paolo Visigalli (eds.) Puṣpikā 2: Tracing Ancient India Through Texts and Traditions, pp. 35-54. Oxbow Books, Oxford - Philadelphia 2014.
  • “«Indigenous» Grammars. An Introduction”. In Keidan, Artemij (ed.) The Study of South Asia Between Antiquity and Modernity – Parallels and Comparisons. Coffee Break Conference 2. Supplemento n° 2, Rivista degli Studi Orientali, Nuova Serie, vol. 87 (2014), pp. 55-58.
  • “Teaching and Learning Sanskrit through Tamil: Evidence from Manuscripts of the Amarakośa with Tamil Annotations”. In Vincenzo Vergiani, Camillo Formigatti and Daniele Cuneo (eds.) The South Asian Manuscript Book [Provisional title], forthcoming 2016.
  • G.C. and Marco Franceschini: “Certain Times in Uncertain Places: A Study on Scribal Colophons of Manuscripts Written in Tamil and Tamilian Grantha Scripts”. In Giovanni Ciotti and Hang Lin (eds.) Manuscripts in Time and Space: Perspectives from Paratexts. DeGruyter, Berlin, forthcoming 2016.


Victor D’Avella, MA (CSMC Hamburg)
Researcher in the Tolkāppiyam group
vbd203 [at]

A Critical Edition of the Iḷampūraṇar's commentary on the Collatikāram. Comparative studies of Tamil and Sanskrit grammars. Development of Tamil grammatical tradition.

Victor D’Avella (b. 1982) studied classics (Latin and Greek) and Linguistics at NYU. Completed an MPhil at Oxford in Comparative Philology (Indo-Iranian and Greek) with a thesis on select hymns from the Paippalāda Atharvaveda (critical edition, translation, and notes). Teaching Fellow at Columbia University (2007-2009). Doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago in the Department for South Asian Languages and civilizations (PhD expected 2016). He has taught Sanskrit at the beginner and intermediate levels for many years both at universities as well as privately. He has recently begun teaching Classical Tamil at the Classical Tamil Seminar in Pondicherry.

Research Interests: Grammatical traditions of South Asia (Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu), Sanskrit and Tamil poetry and poetics, history of linguistics, early European grammars of South Indian languages.

Hugo David (EFEO Pondy)
Researcher in the Caṅkam group
hugo.david [at]
  • A critical edition, study and English translation of the Paripāṭal, together with the ancient gloss by Parimēlaḻakar (together with Erin McCann and Suganya Ananda¬kichenin).

Hugo David is a researcher at the Pondicherry Centre of the École française d’Extrême-Orient, which he joined in 2015. His main area of research is the history of Indian philosophical systems and traditions of linguistic analysis, with a focus on Sanskrit grammar, poetics and Vedic exegesis. His doctoral thesis, submitted in 2012 at the École pratique des Hautes Études (Paris), consisted of a critical edition, French translation and study of the Śābdanirṇaya (“An Inquiry into Verbal Knowledge”) by the 10th-century Advaitin Prakāśātman. Before joining the EFEO, he was active at the University of Cambridge (2013-14) and at the Institute for the Intellectual and Cultural History of Asia in Vienna (2015).


  • “A Contribution of Vedānta to the History of Mīmāṃsā. Prakāśātman’s interpretation of ‘verbal effectuation’ (śabdabhāvanā)”; p. 79-105 in Mirnig, N.; Szántó, P.-D. and Williams, M. (eds). Puṣpikā: Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indo¬logy. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxbow books, 2013.
  • “Action Theory and Scriptural Exegesis in Early Advaita-Vedānta (1): Maṇḍana Miśra on upadeśa and iṣṭasādhanatā”; p. 269-316 in Eltschinger, V. and Krasser, H. (eds). Scriptural Authority, Reason, and Action. Proceedings of a Panel at the 14th World Sanskrit Conference, Kyōto, September 1-5, 2009. Vienna: ÖAW-Verlag, 2013
  • “Nouvelles tendances dans l’étude de la Mīmāṃsā”; Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient 99 (2012-2013): 395-408 (published in 2014).
  • “Theories of Human Action in Early Medieval Brahmanism (600-1000): Activity, Speech and Desire”, Journal of Value Inquiry 49 (2015): 567-595.
  • “Time, Action and Narration: on some Exegetical Sources of Abhinavagupta’s Aesthetic Theory”; Journal of Indian Philosophy 44.1 (2016): 125-144.
  • • “Les définitions de l’énoncé dans la tradition sanskrite: entre grammaire et exégèse”; to be published in April,l 2017 in the special issue of the journal Langages entitled L’énoncé dans les traditions linguistiques (chief editor: V. Raby).
  • “Les origines du Vedānta comme tradition scolastique: état du problème, nouvelles hypothèses”; to be published in May, 2017 in the Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient 102.
  • “Action Theory and Scriptural Exegesis in Early Advaita-Vedānta (2): Maṇḍana Miśra’s Excursus on the Buddha’s Omniscience”; to be published in McClintock, S., Lasic, H., McAllister, P. and Kellner, B. (eds). Proceedings of the 5th International Dharmakīrti Conference. Vienna: ÖAW-Verlag (written in 2015).
  • “The birth of Uttara-Mīmāṃsā: a New Look at the Early History of Vedānta from a Hermeneutic Point of View”; to be published in the collective volume Les scolastiques indiennes: naissances, développements, interactions, edited by Émilie Aussant and Gérard Colas (written in 2016).


Dr. Marco Franceschini (University of Bologna, Italy)
Member of the Additional workgroup on Codicology/Palaeography,
South-Indian Sanskrit Grantha mss.
marco.franceschini3 [at]

Study of colophons in Grantha and Tamil manuscripts, with special reference to the interpretation of the dates (included the symbols used therein) and their conversion into the Gregorian calendar.

Marco Franceschini (b. 1965) did his PhD in Indological and Tibetan Studies (University of Turin, 2005), currently Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Sanskrit in the Department of History and Cultures at the University of Bologna (Italy).

His main research interests lie in Vedic studies, in kāvya and Buddhist literatures and in South Indian palaeography, with special reference to the Grantha script in manuscripts. With respect to the last subject, he collaborated on the ‘Cambridge Manuscripts Project’ (2013-2014) by cataloguing all the manuscripts written in Grantha script held by the Cambridge University Library; he is also participating in the ‘Encyclopaedia of Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa’ project (South Asia section), based at the University of Hamburg. He is currently preparing a book on the diachronic evolution and geographic differentiation of the Grantha script in manuscripts.

He is author of three books and nine articles.

Main Publications

  • An Updated Vedic Concordance. Harvard Oriental Series 66 (2 volumes and CD), Cambridge (Mass.)-Milano: Harvard University Press and Mimesis Edizioni, 2007.
  • Buddhaghoṣa. Padyacūḍāmaṇi. Il diadema dei versi. With new critical edition of the Sanskrit text and translation into Italian. Milano: Edizioni Ariele, 2010.
  • “Certain Times in Uncertain Places: A Study on Scribal Colophons of Manuscripts Written in Tamil and Tamilian Grantha Scripts.” In Giovanni Ciotti and Hang Lin (eds.), Manuscripts in Space and Time: Perspectives from Paratexts. Berlin: De Gruyter [forthcoming].

Dr. Emmanuel Francis (CNRS & EHESS, Paris)
Research Fellow for the Caṅkam group
manufrancis [at]

“The paratextual and metatextual fields of the Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai”

Besides the preparation of a critical edition of this devotional and literary text, perhaps composed in the 7th century of the Common Era, the project focusses also on the rich paratexts and the large number of metatexts (commentaries) accessible through the available manuscripts.

Emmanuel Francis holds degrees in classical philology, Asian history and philology, and a doctorate in languages and literatures from the Université catholique de Louvain, Emmanuel Francis is a historian, Sanskrit and Tamil scholar, epigrapher and manuscript specialist. Among his recent publications are “Tamil through Epigraphical Lenses” (Indo-Iranian Journal 58, 2015, pp. 49-69) and “Found in Paratexts: Murukaṉ’s Places in Manuscripts of the Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai” in The Archaeology of Bhakti II: Royal Bhakti, Local Bhakti (pp. 495-532) ed. by E. Francis & C. Schmid, Pondicherry: IFP & EFEO (“Indologie” series n° 132), forthcoming.


Dr. Dominic Goodall (EFEO Pondicherry/Paris)
Associated scholar
dominic.goodall [at]

“Evidence for the influence of the language and culture of the Tamil-speaking South on the Temple Āgamas of the Śaivasiddhānta”

A study on this theme could be extremely wide, taking into account syntax, typically South Indian deities and iconographies, and so forth. But the aim is to produce a small lexicon of distinctive vocabulary, in the form of an article, that groups together the following: Tamil terms that are used in Sanskrit, terms that appear clearly to be Sanskrit translations of what are typically Tamil expressions, and labels for distinctively South Indian cultural phenomena. Unlike earlier studies of Dravidian loanwords in Sanskrit (e.g. Burrow 1946, Levitt 2011, etc.), this endeavour is not exclusively etymological and will focus on one group of Sanskrit texts from a relatively narrow time period (twelfth to seventeenth centuries) that seem to have been produced by Tamil-speakers.

Dominic Goodall (b. 1967) studied Greek and Latin, then Sanskrit at Pembroke College, Oxford. He finished his PhD there in 1995, under the guidance of Professor Alexis Sanderson, with a critical edition of the opening chapters of Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha’s tenth-century commentary on the Kiraṇatantra. In 2000, he became a member of the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO, “French School of Asian Studies”). He became Head of the Pondicherry Centre of the EFEO in 2002, where he remained until April 2011 and was then posted in Paris from 2011 to 2015. He is currently a professor (directeur d’études) at the EFEO, co-editor with Dr. Marion Rastelli of the Viennese dictionary of tantric terminology, the Tāntrikābhidhānakośa, and a contributor to the Hamburg Encyclopaedia of Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa (EMCAA)

Recent Books

  • (in collaboration with Csaba Dezső), Dāmodaraguptaviracitaṃ Kuṭṭanīmatam. The Bawd’s Counsel, being an eighth-century verse novel in Sanskrit by Dāmodaragupta. Newly edited and translated into English. Groningen Oriental Studies XXIII. Groningen, Egbert Forsten, 2012.
  • (in collaboration with Alex Watson and S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma), An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation. Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha’s Paramokṣanirāsakārikāvṛtti, a commentary on Sadyojyotiḥ’s refutation of twenty conceptions of the liberated state (mokṣa). Collection Indologie 122. Pondichéry, Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, 2013.
  • (in collaboration with Alexis Sanderson, Harunaga Isaacson and others): The Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā. The Earliest Surviving Śaiva Tantra, Volume 1, A Critical Edition & Annotated Translation of the Mūlasūtra, Uttarasūtra & Nayasūtra}, edited by Dominic Goodall, in collaboration with Alexis Sanderson & Harunaga Isaacson, with contributions of Nirajan Kafle, Diwakar Acharya & others. Collection Indologie 128 / Early Tantra Series 1 Pondicherry: IFP/EFEO/Asien-Afrika-Institut, University of Hamburg, 2015.


Dr. Thomas Lehmann (SAI Heidelberg)
External member of the Caṅkam group
thomas.lehmann [at]

“Critical edition, annotated English translation and glossary of the Aiṅkuṟunūṟu and its anonymous commentary”


Dr. (Miss) Indra Manuel (EFEO Pondy)
Senior Research Fellow for the Tolkāppiyam group
indramanuel [at]
manuel.indra [at]

“A Critical Edition of Tolkāppiyam Poruḷatikāram, Meyppāṭṭiyal, with the commentary of Pērāciriyar”

Collection of Manuscripts of Pērāciriyar's Commentary on Tolkāppiyam Poruḷatikāram, Meyppāṭṭiyal and also the relevant important printed editions and comparing them to form an edition with critical notes and a translation of the commentary.

Indra Manuel (b. 1951) was raised in Chennai, Coimbatore and Trivandrum. Did Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in Government Women's College, Trivandrum, Master's degree and Ph.D in Tamil in the Department of Tamil, University of Kerala, Trivandrum, Bachelor's degree in Education in Trivandrum and Master's degree in Education in Madras. Worked under Prof. VI.Subramoniam in the Cognate Project for teaching Dravidian Languages and was the Principal Investigator in the Regional Centre of International School of Dravidian Languages, Pondicherry. Worked in the Department of Tamil, Bishop Heber College from 1985 to 2010 as Lecturer. Was nurtured under Dr(Mrs) Gloria Sundramathy, Prof. V. I. Subramaniam, Dr. S. V. Subramanian and Dr. K. Nachimuthu.

Areas of research: Tolkāppiyam, Sangam literature , Literary Theories and Short Stories.

Indra Manuel authored four books and published about 60 papers.


  • Pālai Pāṭiya Peruṅkatuṅkō, Jayakumari Stores, Nagercoil 1973, pp. 204+60.
  • Literary Theories in Tamil (with special reference to Tolkāppiyam), Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, Pondicherry, 1997.
  • Cevviyal āyvukkalaṅkal, Grace-Vedham Pathippakam, Tiruchirappalli 17, 2009, pp. 304+20.
  • Tolkāppiyam-Porulatikāram (English Translation with Critical Notes), International School of Dravidian Linguistics, Thumba, 2010. (co- author – Dr. L. Gloria Sundramathy)

Erin McCann (SCMC Hamburg)
Researcher for the Vaiṣṇava group
mccann.erin [at]

The genesis and function of Maṇipravāḷa in Śrīvaiṣṇava literature – Edition and translation of Maturakavi’s Kaṇṇi nuṇciṟut tāmpu and Periyāḻvār’s Tirumoḻi – Critical Edition and translation of Piḷḷai Lokācārya’s Śrīvacana Bhūṣaṇam – Translation of the Guruparamparāprabhavam (6,000) – Collection and cataloguing of the Śrīvaiṣṇava Maṇipravāḷa Commentaries and Rahasyagranthas; coordination of the Tivviyappira-pantam glossary.

Erin McCann (b. 1975) studied at the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal. She expects to graduate with her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McGill University in February, 2016. During her years in the graduate program at McGill she regularly worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Katherine Young and as the Introductory and Intermediate Sanskrit instructor in the Faculty of Religious Studies from 2009 to 2015.

Areas of research: Śrīvaiṣṇava Maṇipravāḷa literature, Socio-linguistics and Contact Languages in South India, the Nālāyira Tivya Pirapantam.

Dissertation: “Ācāryābhimāna: agency, ontology, and salvation in Piḷḷai Lokācārya’s Śrīvacana Bhūṣaṇam,” McGill University (forthcoming).


Professor Dr. K. Nachimuthu (CUTN)
Member of the Tolkāppiyam group
tamizhkina [at]

Critical Edition of Tolkāppiyam Collatikāram with Teyvaccilaiyar’s commentary

Krishnaswamy Nachimuthu (b. 1947). Teaching, Car. Professor and Head, Dept. of Tamil of the Central University of Tamilnadu, Thiruvarur (2013- Professor of Tamil and former Chairperson, CIL, SLL & CS, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2007-2013), Prof. & Head, Dept. of Tamil (1973-2007), Kerala University, Dean, Faculty of Oriental Studies (2000-2002). Research Associate, Inst. of Indology, Cologne Univ., Germany, Visiting Prof. of Tamil, Warsaw Univ., Poland etc.) At present he works as the Professor of Tamil and Head, Dept. Tamil of the Central University of Tamilnadu, Thiruvarur. He earlier worked as member of the faculty of the Department of Tamil University of Kerala from 1973-2007 in various capacities including Professor and Head of the Department Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and Member of the Senate and lateras Professor of Tamil and Chairperson, CIL, SLL & CS, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2007). He is the Tamil Convener, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. He specializes in traditional grammar, history of language, lexicography, historical and cultural studies, translation and comparative studies with reference to Malayalam Hindi and Tamil in addition to place name studies. He has published/edited 20 books in addition to more than one hundred and fifty research papers in Tamil English and Malayalam.


  • Karaiyer(r)unkaruththukkal, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore 2012.
  • Lakkaṇa Āraiyccikkaṭṭuraikaḷ, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore, 2007.
  • Tolkāppiyakkaṭṭuraikaḷ, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore, 2007.
  • Tamiḻ Tanta cānrōrkaḷ, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore, 2007.
  • UlakamtetumTamiḻ, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore, 2007.
  • Kalveṭṭukaḷum Cuvaṭikaḷum, Sekar Pathippakam, Chennai, 2007.


Professor Dr. Leslie Orr (Concordia University)
External member of the Vaiṣṇava group
orr.leslie [at]


Dr. M. Prabhakaran (EFEO Pondy)
Researcher for the Tolkāppiyam group
prabhatamil [at]

“A Critical Edition of Tolkāppiyam Poruḷatikāram, Ceyyuḷiyal with the commentary of Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar.”

Collation of manuscripts of Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar's Commentary of Tolkāppiyam Poruḷatikāram, Ceyyuḷiyal and also the relevant important printed editions and make a critical edition comparing them with critical notes and a translation of the commentary.

M. Prahakaran (b. 1981) worked as Lecturer in Tamil, Noorul Islam College, Kumarkoil, Nagercoil. He did his Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr.K.Nachimuthu on the topic “A Comparative Study of Yaparunkalam and Veerachozhiyam Yappu Padalam” in the Department of Tamil, University of Kerala,Thiruvananthapuram. Also did M.A. and M.Phil in the same university. He edited a manuscript called ‘Draupadi Pulampal’ for his M.Phil degree. He worked as a Fellow in the International School of Dravidian Linguistics of Prof.V.I.Subramaniam and translated a Malayālam work on prosody ‘Viruttamañcari’ into Tamil. Did Bachelor's degree in Tamil in Vivekananda college, Agasteeswaram, Kanyakumari.

Areas of research: Tamil prosody with a comparative perspective with Malayālam and Sanskrit which is a less studied subject.

Authored one book and presented 12 papers.


  • Vīracōḻiya yāppu. Kāvyā, Chennai-600 024, XVII + 362=379p., first Edition: 2014


Dr. T. Rajarethinam (EFEO Pondy)
Research Fellow for the Tolkāppiyam group
rajarethinamtrasu [at]
rajarethinam0 [at]

“A Critical Edition of Tolkāppiyam Poruḷatikāram, Akattiṇaiyiyal with the Commentary of Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar”

Collation of manuscripts of Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar's Commentary of Tolkāppiyam Poruḷatikāram, Akattiṇaiyiyal and also the relevant important printed editions and make a critical edition comparing them with critical notes and a translation of the commentary.

Rajarethinam (b. 1974) did his bachelor's degree in Tamil,Vivekananda college, Agasteeswaram, Kanyakumari. He received his Master's degree, M.Phil Degree and Ph.D in Tamil from the Department of Tamil, University of Kerala, Trivandrum. Worked under Prof. VI.Subramoniam in the International School of Dravidian Linguistics (ISDL), Trivandrum as Project fellow for eight months. Worked under Dr.V.Jeyadevan, in the Lexicon Revision Project, University of Madras as Project fellow for four months. Worked in the Department of Tamil, PGP Arts and Science College from 2007 to 2012 as Lecturer. Was nurtured under Dr(Mrs) Gloria Sundramathy, Prof. V. I. Subramaniam and Dr. K. Nachimuthu. Areas of research – Tolkāppiyam, Caṅkam literature, Literary Theories and Poetics.

Authored four books and published about 20 papers.


  • Citampara antāti kataippāṭal. Nām tamiḻar patippakam, Ceṉṉai 5. 2005.
  • Peruntalaivar kāmarājariṉ makkaḷ paṇiyum mēlāṇmaiyum, IITS, Ceṉṉai 2012.
  • Akapporuḷ viḷakkam, Kavvya, Ceṉṉai 2014.
  • Ilakkaṇak kaṭṭuraikaḷ, Kavvya, Ceṉṉai 2014.

Dr. (Miss) T.Rajeswari (EFEO Pondy)
Senior Research Fellow for the Caṅkam group
tvrajeswari7 [at]

Critical Edition of Kuṟiñcippāṭṭu with the Commentary of Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar; collation of Kuṟiñcippāṭṭu manuscripts (from various libraries) with the commentary of Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar; comparing the text along with its commentary; comparing the poetic lines of Kuṟiñcippāṭṭu with the quotations in the commentaries of Tamiḻ grammar like Iḷampūraṇar, Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar, Pērāciriyar (for Tolkāppiyam, Ilakkaṇviḷakkam, etc.). Making the word index of Kalittokai with word meanings in Tamil and English along with a morphological analysis.

T.Rajeswari (b. 1946) got her Bachelor's degree in Zoology in S.T.Hindu College, Nāgercoil. Did Master's degree in Tamiḻ, Ph.D, and Post Doctoral Research in Tamil in the Department of Tamil, University of Kerala, Tiruvanantapuram.

Ph.D Topic: Edition and Critical Study of Bhāratha Māvintham. Post Doctoral Research Topic: Technical Terms in Vīracōḻiyam Yāppuppaṭalam. Got Bachelor's degree in Education through Maturai Kamaraj University, and Master's degree in Education through Annamalai university, Citambaram. PG Diploma in Manuscriptology, I.I.T.S., Adayar, Chennai-113. PG Diploma in Higher Education, IGNOU, Chennai-113. Worked as a Research Assistant in the project “Dictionary of Idioms and Phrases in Contemporary Tamil” under Prof. (Dr.) P.R.Subramoniam, Chief editor in Mozhi Trust at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai.

Published three books and 30 papers.


  • Edition of Kācivicuvanāta Cathakam, I.I.T.S. Adayar, 1999, pp.
  • Edition of Catakattiraṭṭu Vol. I & Vol. II, I.I.T.S., Chennai – 113. 2001
  • Critical Edition of Kalittokai, vol.1 & 2, Tamilman Patippagam/EFEO, 2014, pp.789+ccxxiv

N. Ramawamy alias Babu (EFEO Pondy)
ramaswamypondy [at]

Receives requests from scholors for digitisation of manuscripts, plans the trips, organises the digital photos taken during the trips, and goes for fieldtrips when required.

N. Ramaswamy did his schooling in Andhra Pradesh. He did a HINDI-Praveen (the final degree course) in Hindhi Bharatha Prachara Sabha in Pondicherry in 1980s and his B.A. history in Annamalai University, Chidambaran in distance education by postal degree in 2008. Since 19?? he has been working in the EFEO Pondicherry as Photo Archives and Field trip assistant. He has widely traveled South India for the digitisation of temples sculptures and copying inscriptions.


(Mr) SLP Anjaneya Sarma (EFEO Pondicherry)
Consultant for the Tolkāppiyam group
slpasarma [at]

After receiving a traditional education under his father and paternal uncle, S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma took MA and PhD degrees in Sanskrit poetry and grammar from Andhra University in Vishakhapatnam. From 1972 to 1987 he was Assistant Professor at Matrushri Oriental College in Andhra Pradesh and since 1987 he has been working at the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) in Pondicherry. Apart from numerous articles, he has authored two monographs in the field of Sanskrit grammar: “Guruprasādapariśīlanam” (Study of the Guruprasāda, a commentary on Laghuśabdenduśekhara) and “Ṇeraṇau-sūtra-vyākhyānāni” (Commentaries on the Aṣṭādhyāyī 1.3.67). He has also co-authored “Bhaṭṭojī Dīkṣita on the Gajasūtra” (with François Grimal and Luthor Obrock) and “An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation: Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha’s Paramokṣanirāsakārikāvṛtti” (with Alex Watson and Dominic Goodall).

Dr. S. A. S. Sarma (EFEO Pondy)
Research Fellow for the Vaiṣṇava group
sassarma [at]

“Survey of Tamil manuscript Catalogues”

This project will aim to survey, collect and digitize the Tamil manuscript catalogues (printed as well as handwritten) and hand lists (in the case of private collections).

“Survey of Vaiṣṇava manuscripts”
This project will aim to survey the manuscripts of Divyaprabandham (nālāyira tivviyapirapantam) and its commentaries.

“Divyadeśams of Kerala”
This project will aim to study the thirteen Divyadeśams of Malai Nadu / Kerala.

S.A.S. Sarma (b. 1965) after his post-graduation course joined the Adyar Library and Research Centre as a research scholar where he worked under Prof. K. Kunjunni Raja and Prof. K. V. Sarma on various indological projects. While at the Adyar Library he began work on his Ph.D at the University of Calicut under the guidance of Prof. N. V. P. Unithiri and produced a critical edition of Kapilasmṛti, which he submitted as a doctoral thesis in 1991 and subsequently published with Cesmeo. (Torino, Italy, 2007).

S. A. S. Sarma joined the Pondicherry Centre of the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO) as a researcher in 1989. His interest in Tamil Bhakti literature led to his working with Jean-Luc Chevillard for several years on the Digital Tevaram project (published in the form of a DR-Rom in 2007).

Authored eleven books and published about 20 papers.


  • (with N. V. P. Unithiri and H. N. Bhat) The Bhatimandākinī: An elaborate commentary by Purnasarasvati on the Viṣṇupādādikeśastotra. Critical Edition with English Translation and Notes, Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indologie 118), Pondicherry 2011.
  • (with K. V. Sarma), Saṃvarta Tradition: Saṃvarta-Smṛti and Saṃvarta-Dharmaśāstra, Critically edited with English Translation, Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum, CESMEO (Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum Volume III), Torino (Italy) 2002.
  • (with Dominic Goodall et alii), The Pañcāvaraṇastava of Aghoraśiva: a twelfth-century south indian prescription for the visualisation of Sadāśiva and his retinue, An annotated critical edition. Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indologie 102), Pondicherry 2005.
  • (with Jean-Luc Chevillard) Digital Tēvāram, with the complete English gloss of the late V. M. Subramanya Ayyar (IFP) and furnished with a full concordance of the Tamil text accompanied by 6 hours of MP3 audio recordings (illustrating all the 24 pan-s) various maps (showing all the 274 talam-s) and other related material. Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indologie 103), Pondicherry 2007.

For a detailed Bibliography of works of S. A. S. Sarma see:

Dr. R. Sathyanarayanan (EFEO Pondy)
Research Fellow for the Vaiṣṇava and codicology group
rsatreya [at]

Cataloguing the palm-leaf manuscript collection of EFEO Pondicherry and supporting the editorial work of Tamil scholars utilising tamil and grantha manuscripts. Also teaching Sanskrit texts.

Sathyanarayanan obtained his doctoral degree (on Ānandaraṅgacampū – A study and Translation) from Pondicherry University in 2003. He joined the EFO in 1989 and was involved in a project that produced an edition of “Pondicherry Inscriptions” and helped catalogue the collection of palm-leaf manuscripts housed at the Institut Français de Pondichéry (IFP), which was recognised as a Unesco “Memory of the World Collection” in 2005. Currently, Dr. Sathyanarayanan is preparing a critical edition and translation of the Siddhāntadīpikā, an eleventh-century monograph of Rāmanātha. This text summarises the key components of Śaiva Siddhānta doctrine, including a description of the ontological categories and reality levels (tattva) that comprise the metaphysical framework of this tradition. He is also engaged in several other projects of the centre, including a critical edition of the Ratnatrayaparīkṣā in collaboration with Dr. T. Ganesan (IFP); this Kashmiri Saiddhantika text elucidates a central triad of categories found in Śaiva Siddhānta tradition.


  • (in collaboration with Dominic Goodall, Nibedita Rout, S.A.S. Sarma, T. Ganesan, S. Sambandhasivacarya), The Pañcāvaraṇastava of Aghoraśivācārya: A twelfth-century South Indian prescription for the visualisation of Sadāśiva and his retinue, Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indologie 102) , Pondichéry 2005.
  • (with S.A.S Sarma) Dhyānaratnāvalī of Trilocanaśivācārya, Srikantha Sivacharya Research Institute (SSSRI Series 004), Karaikkal 2013.
  • (with Dominic Goodall) Śaiva Rites of Expiation, A First Edition and Translation of Trilocanaśiva’s Twelfth-Century Prāyaścittasamuccaya (with a transcription of a manuscript transmitting Hṛdayaśiva’s Prāyaścittasamuccaya) , Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indology 127), Pondicherry 2014.

For a detailed Bibliography of works of R. Sathyanarayanan see:

Dr. Charlotte Schmid (EFEO Paris)
External member of the art history group
scharlottes [at]

Dr. Marcus Schmücker (Academy of Sciences, Vienna)
External member of the Vaiṣṇava group
Marcus.Schmuecker [at]


Thilakasivasundaran. B (EFEO Pondy)
thilakbaskaran [at]

In charge of organising the filing system on the NETamil server and working towards preparing a database which is accessible to NETamil members.

Thilakasivasundaran studied Diploma in Information Technology at Elumalai Ploytechnic College, Villupuram. After finishing his Diploma (Information Technology, 2010), he came to Coimabatore for his Bachelors Degree in Information Technology. After completing his graduation (2013) he joined ARA technologies Pondicherry as a technical advisor. He worked as a freelancer in National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) Chennai as IBM server Administrator and Instructor. He joined EFEO in 2014 and working as Informatician in NETamil project.


Dr. Vincenzo Vergiani (Cambridge University)
External member of the Tolkāppiyam group
vv234 [at]

Professor (em.) Dr. G.Vijayavenugopal
(EFEO Pondy)

Senior Research Fellow for the Caṅkam group
gvvg [at]
gvvgopal14 [at]

“A critical edition of the Puṟanāṉūṟu”

G. Vijayavenugopal (b. 1935) was educated in Annamalai University – M.A. (Tamil language & Literature (1961), M.Litt. (1963), Ph.D. (!975), Diploma in Linguistics (1963), Diploma in Telugu (1965), Diploma in Epigraphy and Archaeology (1975). After teaching at the Annamalai University (1965-68) he joined the Madurai University (1968) and held positions like Professor of Comparative Literature , Professor of Art History and Aesthetics, Special Officer for Planning and Development, Founder – Principal of Madurai Kamaraj University College, Director, Evening College. He taught at the College of Wooster, Ohio, USA (1971) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA (1977-79). After retiring from Madurai Kamaraj University he joined the Centre of Pondicherry of the Ecole française d’Extrême Orient in 1997. His present areas of specialisation are Epigraphy and Tamil linguistics.


  • A Modern Evaluation of Nannul, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar, 1968.
  • Nominal Composition in Tamil, Madurai Kamaraj University, 1979.
  • Intiya Ilakkiya-k-kotpatukal – Part I , Thamarai Publications, Madurai, 1984.
  • Pondicherry Inscriptions – Part I+II, Introduction and Texts with Notes (Compiled by Bahour S.Kuppusamy), English Translation of Part I with Glossary and Appendices. Edited by G.Vijayavenugopal, Institut Francais de Pondicherry, Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient, Collection Indologie 83.1+83.2, Pondicherry, 2006 + 2010.


PD Dr. Eva Wilden (CSMC Hamburg/EFEO Pondicherry)
PI of NETamil, Caṅkam group, Vaiṣṇava group, codicology group
wilden.eva [at]

Coordination of the Caṅkam group and the Caṅkam glossary; critical edition with annotated English translation of Akanāṉūṟu and its anonymous commentary; annotated English translation of the three earliest Vaiṣṇava Antātis (in collaboration with Marcus Schmücker) and of the works of Nammāḻvār.

Eva Wilden (b. 1965) studied Indology and Philosophy at the University of Hamburg, where she took a doctorate on Vedic ritual and afterwards specialised in Classical Tamil under the guidance of S.A. Srinivasan. Her habilitation Literary Techniques in Old Tamil Caṅkam Poetry: The Kuṟuntokai was published in 2006. Since 2003 she is employed as a researcher at the École Française d'Extrême-Orient in Pondicherry, which for a number of years gave her the occasion to study daily with the late lamented T.V. Gopal Iyer. She is head of the Caṅkam Project, occupied with the digitisation and edition of Classical Tamil manuscripts ( and organiser of a yearly Classical Tamil Summer Seminar in Pondy. She is external member of the Sonderforschungsbereich 950 at the Hamburg Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures.


  • Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Naṟṟiṇai + Glossary. 3 volumes, EFEO/Tamilmann Patippakam, Critical Texts of Caṅkam Literature 1.1-1.3, Chennai 2008.
  • (Ed.) Between Preservation and Recreation: Tamil Traditions of Commentary, Proceeding of a Workshop in Honour of T.V. Gopal Iyer, IFP-EFEO, Collection Indologie 109, Pondichéry 2009.
  • Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Kuṟuntokai + Glossary and Statistics. 3 volumes, EFEO/Tamilmann Patippakam, Critical Texts of Caṅkam Literature 2.1-2.3, Chennai 2010.
  • Manuscript, Print and Memory: Relics of the Caṅkam in Tamilnadu. Studies in Manuscript Cultures 3, de Gruyter, Berlin 2014, 445pp.


Professor (em.) Dr. Katherine Young (McGill University)
External Member of the Vaiṣṇava group
katherine.young [at]