Lord Skanda-Murugan

Dr. Kamil Vaclav Zvelebil


Dr. Kamil Vaclav Zvelebil

Prof. Zvelebil was born in Prague (Czechoslovakia) on 17-11-1927. He studied at the Charles University in Prague from 1946 to 1952. He read Indology, English language, literature and philosophy. He was awarded his Ph.D in 1952 in Sanskrit, English and Philosophy. In 1959 he obtained a second Ph.D in Dravidian philology. Prof. Zvelebil died in France on 17-01-2009.

From 1952 to 1970 he was a research fellow and senior research fellow in Tamil and Dravidian linguistics and literature at the Oriental Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. His many field trips included those to South India and in 1965-66 he was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, USA, and 1967-68 at the University of Heidelberg.

He held the position of associate professor of Tamil and Dravidian at Charles University in Prague until 1968 when he and his family had to leave their native Czechoslovakia in 1968 after the Soviet-led invasion of the country. He subsequently obtained the chair in Dravidian studies at the University of Chicago, USA.

In 1970 he left the USA and was a visiting professor at the College de France, Paris, then visiting professor of the Sudasien Institute, University of Heidelberg, senior research fellow, Unversity of Leiden and settled as a professor of Dravidian liguistics and South Indian literature/culture at the University of Utrecht till his retirement in 1992.

During his career he had the oppurtunity not only to travel on his field trips but also to teach in various cities including, Delhi, Madras, Tokyo, Philadelphia, Rochester, Moscow, Leningrad, Uppsala and Lund.

He is the author of more that 500 bibliographic items including books, articles, revies and translations.

Translations include those of ancient and modern poetry and prose from Sanskrit, Tamil, Malayam, Kannada and Telugu into Czech, Slovak, English and German. Works cover the fields of descriptive and historical Tamil linguistics and dialectology, Tamil literature, Tamil Prosody, Dravidian comparative linguistics, Tribal languages and cultures of the Nilgiries (South India: in partucular Irula - described for the first time by Zvelebil), South Indian cultural and religious history, Hinduism, Sanskrit ritual texts, comparative Sanskrit and Tamil literature, Tamil Folklore Tamil Siddha movement.

  • Iconography of Skanda-Murukan
  • 'Iconography of Murugan' by Raju Kalidos
  • "Trimurti in Medieval South India"
  • "Iconography of Somaskanda"
  • "Palani Andavar Idol: A Scientific Study"
  • "Rare Image of Brahmasasta"
  • "Kinetic Iconography of Murukan"
  • The Iconography of Goddess Kaumārī
  • "Painting of Murugan, Subrahmanya or Karthikeyan"
  • "Significance of Kaumara Icons"
  • "Mailam Murukan temple"
  • "7th cent. Murukan image discovered"
  • "Vallakkottai Murukan Temple"
  • "Karttikeya Images of Ancient Java"
  • "Skanda Images in Ancient Cambodia"
  • "17 Iconographical Aspects of Subrahmanya"
  • 19th Century Bengali Watercolor of Karttikeya
  • Skanda upon Peacock, 11th-12th Cent Chola Granite
  • Galleries of Kaumara Iconography

  • Gallery One: Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam
  • Gallery Two: 1920's - 40's collection
  • Gallery Three: early to late 20th century
  • Gallery Four: 1930-50 lithographs
  • Aru Padai Veedu paintings
  • Paintings of famous temple moolavars