Kollywood fans are eagerly awaiting ace director Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan: I, at cinemas near them on Sept 30.

The magnum opus is an adaptation of author Kalki Krishnamurthy's 1955 novel Ponniyin Selvan, which tells about the early days of Arulmozhivarman, who later became the great Chola emperor Rajaraja Chola I.

Before you catch it on the big screen, here's Astro Ulagam's guide on the who's who of the epic period drama:

Jayam Ravi as Raja Raja Cholan

Jayam Ravi will essay the main role as Arulmozhivarman, who later becomes known as Raja Raja Cholan. He is the youngest son of Sundara Chola, and the brother of Aditya Karikalan and Kundavai.

Vikram as Aditya Karikalan

The veteran actor plays the role of Aditya Karikalan, the crown prince and the commander of the Northern troops in Sundara Chola's Reign. He is also the eldest son of Sundara Chola, and the elder brother of Arulmozhivarman and Kundavai.

Karthi as Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan

Karthi plays the role of the adventurous and sarcastic prince of the Vaanar clan, who later becomes the Commander for Southern Troops under the reign of Uttama Chola. He is also a bodyguard and close friend of Aditya Karikalan, and the lover of Princess Kundavai.

Aishwarya Rai

The actress appears in a dual role - as the main antagonist Nandini, a Pazhuvoor queen and wife of Periya Pazhuvettairaiyar, and Aditya Karikalan's love interest, as well as her deaf and mute mother Mandakini Devi, also known as Singara Naachiyaar or Oomai Rani.

Trisha as Kundavai Pirattiyar

Trisha plays Chola princess Kundavai, the second child and only daughter of Sundara Chola. She is also the lover of Vandiyadevan, and is much respected by her father and the people for her intelligence and wit.

Prakash Raj as Sundara Chola

The emperor of Chola empire and the father of Aditya Karikalan, Kundavai, and Arulmozhivarman. He was known for his beauty, thus the moniker "Sundara. There was a rumour that he was kept as a prisoner by the Pazhuvettaraiyars after he was moved from Pazhayarai to Thanjavur for his protection, due to failing health.

R. Parthiban as Chinna Pazhuvettaraiyar

Parthiban plays Chinna Pazhuvettaraiyar, the chief-in-charge of Tanjavur fort. He's also the younger brother of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar and constantly warns the latter about Nandini's conspiracy but to no avail.

R. Sarathkumar as Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar

The actor plays Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar, the chancellor and treasurer of the Chola kingdom from the Paluvettaraiyar clan who was respected for his valour and 64 scars he got in battles. The second most powerful man in the empire next to the Emperor himself, Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar ends up getting used by his much younger wife Nandini for her nefarious plot against the sons of Sundara Chola.

Lal as Tirukoilur Malaiyaman alias Milaadudaiyar

The veteran actor will appear as the father-in-law of Sundara Chola and maternal grandfather for the latter's children. His character is a well-wisher and advisor for Aditya Karikalan and a rival of the Kadamboor ruler.

Aishwarya Lekshmi as Poonguzhali

The actress essays the role of the adventurous and fearless boatwoman Poonguzhali, who has a hatred towards and civilization. She also has feelings for Arulmozhivarman, before marrying Senthan Amuthan, a flower seller.

Kishore as Ravidasan

One of the main antagonists of the story, Ravidasan is a bodyguard of the late Veerapandiyan. He and his fellow conspirators hatch plans to kill members of the Chola family.

Vikram Prabhu as Parthibendra Pallavan

The actor plays Parthibendra Pallavan, who is a friend of Aditya Karikalan and fought alongside him in many battles. The warrior, who comes from the lineage of Pallavas, lusts after Nandini, and hates Vandiyadevan from the beginning.

It is worth noting that Ponniyin Selvan: I, also known as PS1, is the first of two cinematic parts, and is filled with a galaxy of stars. The other actors who are playing crucial roles in the movie include Prabhu, Jayaram, Rahman, and Nassar, among others.

The above is just a summary of the more key characters for better understanding before you enjoy the movie on the big screen.

Source: Wikipedia
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