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Brahmanyan
30-08-2012, 08:30 PM
TALA PATRA (TADA PATRA)

Tala Patra or Leaves of Palmyra Palm(Borassus) are one of the ancient writing materials used in our Country.
In fact Palm leaves are first writing material in most part of our Country. The writing on Palm Leaves was done with a stylus. The writing was of a very cursive and interconnected style.We use a word Thaal (தாள்) in Tamil for paper, which is derived from the Sanskrit word Thalapatra.

Palm leaf engraving, also called talapatra chitra, is an ancient form of folk art originated in the Indian State of Orissa that has timeless appeal. In palm leaf engraving, colours are muted and play only a minor part. In Tamilnadu most of the ancient works were done on Palmleaves known as Olaichuvadi or chuvadi (ஓலைச்சுவடி / சுவடி) . Dr.U.Ve.Swaminatha Iyer gives descriptive account of how they used to collect and cure Palm leaves for writing in their Thinnai Pallikkoodam (திண்ணை பள்ளிக்கூடம்) in his younger days. Latter this old man spent years of tireless efforts in collecting precious Tamil literature written in Palm leaves. In olden days our great literary works in Southern parts of the Country were engraved in Talapatra only.
Interestingly cultivation of Palmyra Palms in large tracts of Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam are found. This must have traveled along with the Hindu rulers from Tamil Nadu.

Regards,
Brahmanyan,
Bangalore.