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‘Hortus Malabaricus’ in Malayalam

Staff Reporter

Kerala University brings out translation of the work

Photo: S. Mahinsha

Epic work: Governor R.S. Gavai releasing the Malayalam translation of Hortus Malabaricus published by the University of Kerala at a function in the city on Thursday.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Universities in the State should start emulating their counterparts across the world in publishing quality books, Education Minister M.A. Baby has said.

He was speaking at a programme organised here on Thursday by the University of Kerala where the Malayalam translation of the ‘Hortus Malabaricus’ was released by Governor R.S. Gavai. Hortus Malabaricus, originally in Latin, gives comprehensive information of the State’s flora.

Mr. Gavai complimented the university for bringing out the 12-volume translation of the Hortus.

‘Doctor’ Itti

Poet O.N.V. Kurup in his introductory remarks pointed out that more than three centuries ago when an ayurveda ‘doctor’ Itti Achuthan was drafted to write the Hortus, he wrote in Malayalam. In the years that followed the Hortus was published in Latin and later translated into many languages. Now, things have come full circle and the seminal work about the medicinal plants of Malabar has been translated into Malayalam.

Itti Achuthan’s association with Hortus was an example of how caste barriers were broken at a time when the dominance of the upper castes was all-pervading in Kerala, he said. The first copy of the Hortus was received by Mr. Kurup from the Governor. Vice-Chancellor of the University M.K. Ramachandran Nair was present.

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