Tripadi ( Kannada, lit. tri: three, pad or "adi": feet) is a native metre in the Kannada language dating back to c. 700 CE.

## Definition

The tripadi consists of three lines, each differing from the others in the number of feet and moras ( Sanskrit matras), [1] but in accordance with the following rules:

• The first line has 4 feet, each with 5 moras, and a caesura at the end of the second foot. [1]
• The 6th and 10th feet of the tripadi are each required to have the metrical pattern of a Brahma foot:

${\displaystyle -\smile \ \mathrm {or} \ \smile \smile \smile \ \mathrm {or} \ --\ \mathrm {or} \ \smile \smile -\ \ }$

where ${\displaystyle \smile }$ ( breve) denotes a short syllable, and ${\displaystyle -}$ ( macron) a long one.

• The remaining feet have either 5 moras or 4, chosen to satisfy the rules of Nagavarma II: [1]

Line 1 20 moras in four feet
Line 2 17 moras in four feet
Line 3 13 moras in three feet.

## Metrical structure

An example, of a possible scansion (metrical structure) of a tripadi, is given in ( Kittel 1875, p. 98), where it is also stressed that it is not the form of the moras, but the number that is important. (Here * denotes a caesura)

${\displaystyle \overbrace {\smile \smile \smile -} ^{\mathrm {Foot1} }|\overbrace {\smile \smile \smile -} ^{\mathrm {Foot2} }\star \overbrace {\smile \smile \smile -} ^{\mathrm {Foot3} }|\overbrace {-\smile -} ^{\mathrm {Foot4} }}$ (Line 1: 20 moras in 4 feet)

${\displaystyle \overbrace {\smile \smile \smile \smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot5} }|\overbrace {\underbrace {--} _{\mathrm {Brahma} }} ^{\mathrm {FootVI} }|\overbrace {\smile \smile \smile -} ^{\mathrm {Foot7} }|\overbrace {\smile \smile \smile \smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot8} }}$ (Line 2: 17 moras in 4 feet)

${\displaystyle \overbrace {\smile \smile \smile \smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot9} }|\overbrace {\underbrace {--} _{\mathrm {Brahma} }} ^{\mathrm {FootX} }|\overbrace {\smile \smile \smile -} ^{\mathrm {Foot11} }||}$ (Line 3: 13 moras in 3 feet)

Another example ( Kittel 1875, p. 99) is:

${\displaystyle \overbrace {\smile \smile -\smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot1} }|\overbrace {--\smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot2} }\star \overbrace {\smile \smile -\smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot3} }|\overbrace {-\smile -} ^{\mathrm {Foot4} }}$ (Line 1: 20 moras in 4 feet)

${\displaystyle \overbrace {\smile \smile \smile \smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot5} }|\overbrace {\underbrace {-\smile } _{\mathrm {Brahma} }} ^{\mathrm {FootVI} }|\overbrace {\smile \smile -\smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot7} }|\overbrace {-\smile \smile \smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot8} }}$ (Line 2: 17 moras in 4 feet)

${\displaystyle \overbrace {\smile \smile -\smile } ^{\mathrm {Foot9} }|\overbrace {\underbrace {-\smile } _{\mathrm {Brahma} }} ^{\mathrm {FootX} }|\overbrace {\smile \smile \smile -} ^{\mathrm {Foot11} }||}$ (Line 3: 13 moras in 3 feet)

## Example

A well-known example of the tripadi is the third stanza in the inscription of Kappe Arabhatta (here the symbol | denotes the end of a line, and ||, the end of the tripadi):

Sādhuge1a Sādhu1b mādhuryange1c mādhuryam1d |
bādhippa1e kalige2a kaliyuga2b viparītan2b |
mādhavan2c ītan2d peran2e alla2f ||

The literal translation of the tripadi is: [2]

To the good people,1a good;1b to the sweet,1c sweetness;1d |
causing distress1e to the kali age,2a an exceptional man in Kaliyuga,2b |
Madhava (or Vishnu)2c this man,2d another2e is not2f||