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Theatre Music

How Sang Nila Utama lost his crown

Told through villupaatu, an ancient Indian storytelling artform


Subject: General, Language & Literature, Music, Character and Citizenship


Level: Upper Primary, Lower Secondary

Who doesn’t like listening to a story?

Villupaatu is an ancient storytelling art form that is supplemented by music. It is a uniquely different form that incorporates interesting riddles and interactive elements in its narrative, together with the jingle of bows and bells to the tune of singing that are accompanied by drum beats of the Parai Isai, a traditional percussion instrument.

Watch an excerpt of the performance, Rani Kalah Kadhai Neram by AK Theatre, a contemporary take on villupaatu, presented as part of Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts. In the excerpt, the storytellers share a story of how Sang Nila Utama lost his crown and eventually discovered Singapura.* 

*Performed in Tamil with Tamil subtitles. However, the printable resources have been translated into English and available for download below.