From Wikipedia

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


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:

where ( breve) denotes a short syllable, and ( 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)

(Line 1: 20 moras in 4 feet)

(Line 2: 17 moras in 4 feet)

(Line 3: 13 moras in 3 feet)

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

(Line 1: 20 moras in 4 feet)

(Line 2: 17 moras in 4 feet)

(Line 3: 13 moras in 3 feet)


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||

See also


  1. ^ a b c Kittel 1875, p. 98, Narasimhia 1941, p. 383
  2. ^ Narasimhia 1941, pp. 346, 329, 323, 295, 286, 320, 278


  • Kittel, Ferdinand (1875), Nāgavarma's Canarese Prosody, Mangalore: Basel Mission Book and Tract Depository. Pp. 104. (Reprinted, (1988) New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. Pp. 160), ISBN  81-206-0367-2
  • Narasimhia, A. N. (1941), A Grammar of the Oldest Kanarese Inscriptions (including a study of the Sanskrit and Prakrit loan words, Originally published: Mysore: University of Mysore. Pp. 375. Reprinted in 2007: Read Books. Pp. 416, ISBN  1-4067-6568-6