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The Pandyan dynasty
Pandyan dynasty
was an ancient Tamil dynasty, one of the three Tamil dynasties, the other two being the Chola
Chola
and the Chera.[3] The kings of the three dynasties were referred to as the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam.[4] The Early Pandyans ruled parts of Southern India
Southern India
from at least 4th century BCE. Pandyan rule ended in the first half of the 16th century CE.[5] They initially ruled their country Pandya Nadu
Pandya Nadu
from Korkai, a seaport on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, and in later times moved to Madurai. Fish being their flag, Pandyas
Pandyas
were experts in water management, agriculture(mostly near river banks) and fisheries and they were eminent sailors and sea traders too. Pandyan was well known since ancient times, with contacts, even diplomatic, reaching the Roman Empire. The Pandyan empire was home to temples including Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple
in Madurai, and Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
built on the bank of the river Thamirabarani
Thamirabarani
in Tirunelveli. The Pandya
Pandya
kings were called either Jatavarman or Maravarman. They were Jains
Jains
in their early ages but later became Shaivaites.[6] Strabo states that an Indian king called Pandion sent Augustus
Augustus
Caesar "presents and gifts of honour".[7] The country of the Pandyans was described as Pandyas
Pandyas
by Megasthenes, Pandi Mandala in the Periplus
Periplus
of the Erythraean Sea and described as Pandyan Mediterranea and Modura Regia Pandionis by Ptolemy.[8][9] Traditionally, the legendary Sangams were held in Madurai
Madurai
under their patronage, and some of the Pandya
Pandya
Kings were poets themselves. The early Pandyan Dynasty
Pandyan Dynasty
of the Sangam Literature faded into obscurity upon the invasion of the Kalabhras. The dynasty revived under Kadungon in the early 6th century, pushed the Kalabhras
Kalabhras
out of the Tamil country and ruled from Madurai.[10][11] They again went into decline with the rise of the Cholas
Cholas
in the 9th century and were in constant conflict with them. The Pandyas
Pandyas
allied themselves with the Sinhalese and the Cheras in harassing the Chola
Chola
empire until they found an opportunity for reviving their fortunes during the late 13th century. The Later Pandyas
Pandyas
(1216–1345) entered their golden age under Maravarman Sundara Pandyan and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
(c. 1251), who expanded the empire into Telugu country, conquered Kalinga (Orissa) and invaded and conquered Sri Lanka. They also had extensive trade links with the Southeast Asian maritime empires of Srivijaya
Srivijaya
and their successors. The Pandyas
Pandyas
excelled in both trade and literature. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the South Indian coast between Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and India which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world. During their history, the Pandyas
Pandyas
were repeatedly in conflict with the Pallavas, Cholas, Hoysalas
Hoysalas
and finally the Muslim invaders from the Delhi Sultanate. The Islamic invasion led to the end of Pandyan supremacy in South India
South India
and in 1323, the Jaffna Kingdom
Jaffna Kingdom
of Sri Lanka declared its independence from the crumbling Pandyan Empire.[12][13] The Pandyans lost their capital city Madurai
Madurai
to Madurai
Madurai
Sultanate in 1335. However, they shifted their capital to Tenkasi
Tenkasi
and continued to rule the Tirulnelveli, Tuticorin, Ramanad, Sivagangai regions. Meanwhile, Madurai
Madurai
sultanate was replaced by Nayaka governors of Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara
in 1378. In 1529 Nayaka governors declared independence and established Madurai
Madurai
Nayak dynasty.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Mythology 3 Sources

3.1 Sangam literature 3.2 Epigraphy 3.3 Foreign sources

4 History

4.1 Literary sources

4.1.1 Tamil literary sources 4.1.2 Sanskrit
Sanskrit
literary sources

4.2 Early Pandyas
Pandyas
(3rd century BCE – 3rd century CE) 4.3 First Pandyan Empire
Pandyan Empire
(6th – 10th centuries CE) 4.4 Under Chola
Chola
Influence (10th – 13th centuries) 4.5 Second Pandyan Empire
Pandyan Empire
(13th and 14th centuries)

4.5.1 Pandyan Civil War (AD 1308 to 1311) 4.5.2 Decline and fall

5 Architecture 6 Coinage 7 Government and Society

7.1 Trade 7.2 Pearl fishing

8 Religion 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References

Etymology[edit] The word Pandya
Pandya
is derived from the Tamil word "Pandu" meaning very old.[14] Another theory is that the word "Pandya" is derived from the Tamil word "Pandi" meaning bull.[15] Ancient Tamils, considered the bull as a sign of masculinity and valor.[16] Robert Caldwell
Robert Caldwell
derives the word Pandya
Pandya
from Pandu, the father of the Pandavas from Mahabharata, whose descendants Pandyans claim.[17] Another theory suggests that in Sangam Tamil lexicon the word Pandya means old country in contrast with Chola
Chola
meaning new country, Chera meaning hill country and Pallava
Pallava
meaning branch in Sanskrit. The Chera, Chola
Chola
and Pandya
Pandya
are the traditional Tamil siblings and together with the Pallavas
Pallavas
are the major Kings that ruled ancient Tamilakam. Historians have used several sources to identify the origins of the early Pandyan dynasty
Pandyan dynasty
with the pre-Christian Era and also to piece together the names of the Pandyan kings. The Pandyans were one of the longest ruling dynasty of Indian history.[18] Mythology[edit] According to the Epic Mahabharatha
Mahabharatha
the legendary Malayadwaja Pandya, who sided with the Pandavas and took part in the Kurukshetra War of the Mahabharata, is described as follows in Karna Parva (verse 20.25):[19][20] "Although knowing that the shafts (arrows) of the high souled son of Drona employed in shooting were really inexhaustible, yet Pandya, that bull among men, cut them all into pieces". Malayadwaja Pandya
Pandya
and his queen Kanchanamala had one daughter Thataathagai alias Meenakshi
Meenakshi
who succeeded her father and reigned the kingdom successfully.[21] The Madurai
Madurai
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple
was built after her. The city of Madurai
Madurai
was built around this temple.[22] It is also notable that the etymology of the name Meenakshi
Meenakshi
or Meenatchi, is derived from either the Tamil Meen (fish) and Sanskrit
Sanskrit
akshi (eyes) which collectively means the one with "Fish-shaped eyes", or the Tamil words Meen (fish) and aatchi (rule), literally meaning "Rule of the Fish".[23] Sources[edit] Main article: Early Pandyan Kingdom Sangam literature[edit]

Four-armed Vishnu, Pandya
Pandya
Dynasty, 8th–9th century CE.

Pandya
Pandya
kings find mention in a number of poems in the Sangam Literature. Among them Nedunjeliyan, 'the victor of Talaiyalanganam', and Mudukudimi Peruvaludi 'of several sacrifices' deserve special mention. Beside several short poems found in the Akananuru and the Purananuru
Purananuru
collections, there are two major works – Mathuraikkanci and the Netunalvatai (in the collection of Pattupattu) – which give a glimpse into the society and commercial activities in the Pandyan kingdom during the Sangam age.[24][25] It is difficult to estimate the exact dates of these Sangam age Pandyas. The period covered by the extant literature of the Sangam is unfortunately not easy to determine with any measure of certainty. Except the longer epics Silapathikaram
Silapathikaram
and Manimekalai, which by common consent belong to an age later than the Sangam age, the poems have reached us in the forms of systematic anthologies. Each individual poem has generally attached to it a colophon on the authorship and subject matter of the poem. The name of the king or chieftain to whom the poem relates and the occasion which called forth the eulogy are also found.[citation needed] It is from these colophons, and rarely from the texts of the poems themselves, that we gather the names of many kings and chieftains and the poets patronised by them. The task of reducing these names to an ordered scheme in which the different generations of contemporaries can be marked off one another has not been easy. To add to the confusions, some historians have even denounced these colophons as later additions and untrustworthy as historical documents.[citation needed] Any attempt at extracting a systematic chronology from these poems should take into consideration the casual nature of these poems and the wide differences between the purposes of the anthologist who collected these poems and the historian's attempts to arrive at a continuous history. Pandyas
Pandyas
are also mentioned by Greek Megesthenes where he writes about southern kingdom being ruled by women.[26] Epigraphy[edit] The earliest Pandyan king to be found in epigraph is Nedunjeliyan, figuring in the Tamil-Brahmi
Tamil-Brahmi
Mangulam
Mangulam
inscription assigned from the 2nd to the 1st centuries BCE.The record documents a gift of rock-cut beds, to a Jain
Jain
ascetic.[27] Silver Punch-marked coins
Punch-marked coins
with the fish symbol in the Pandya
Pandya
country dating from around the same time have also been found.[28] Pandyas
Pandyas
are also mentioned in the Pillars of Ashoka
Pillars of Ashoka
(inscribed 273 – 232 BCE). In his inscriptions Ashoka
Ashoka
refers to the peoples of south India – the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas
Pandyas
and Satiyaputras – as recipients of his Buddhist proselytism.[29][30] These kingdoms, although not part of the Mauryan Empire, were on friendly terms with Ashoka:

The conquest by Dharma
Dharma
has been won here, on the borders, and even six hundred yojanas (5,400–9,600 km) away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni
Tamraparni
river.[31]

Kharavela, the Kalinga king who ruled during the 2nd century BCE, in his Hathigumpha inscription, claims to have destroyed a confederacy of Tamil states (Tamiradesasanghatam) which had lasted 132 years, and to have acquired a large quantity of pearls from the Pandyas.[30] Foreign sources[edit]

Muziris, as shown in the Tabula Peutingeriana, with a "Templum Augusti".

Megasthenes
Megasthenes
knew of the Pandyan kingdom around 300 BCE. He described it in Indika as occupying the portion of India which lies southward and extends to the sea. According to his account, it had 365 villages, each of which was expected to meet the needs of the royal household for one day in the year. He described the Pandyan queen at the time, Pandaia as a daughter of Heracles.[32][33] The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
(c. 60 – c. 100 CE) describes the riches of a 'Pandian Kingdom':

...Nelcynda is distant from Muziris
Muziris
by river and sea about five hundred stadia, and is of another Kingdom, the Pandian. This place also is situated on a river, about one hundred and twenty stadia from the sea.... [34]

The Chinese historian Yu Huan in his 3rd-century text, the Weilüe, mentions the Panyue kingdom: ...The kingdom of Panyue is also called Hanyuewang. It is several thousand li to the southeast of Tianzhu (Northern India)...The inhabitants are small; they are the same height as the Chinese.... John E. Hill identified Panyue as Pandya kingdom.[35] However, others have identified it with an ancient state located in modern Burma[36] or Assam.[37] The Roman emperor
Roman emperor
Julian received an embassy from a Pandya
Pandya
about 361. A Roman trading centre was located on the Pandyan coast at the mouth of the Vaigai
Vaigai
river, southeast of Madurai. Pandyas
Pandyas
also had trade contacts with Ptolemaic Egypt
Ptolemaic Egypt
and, through Egypt, with Rome
Rome
by the 1st century, and with China by the 3rd century. The 1st-century Greek historian Nicolaus of Damascus met, at Antioch, the ambassador sent by a king from India "named Pandion or, according to others, Porus" to Caesar Augustus
Augustus
around 13 CE (Strabo XV.4 and 73).[38][39] The Chineese traveler Hiuen Tsang
Hiuen Tsang
mentions a kingdom further south from Kanchipuram, a kingdom named Malakutta, identified with Madurai described by his Buddhist friends at Kanchipuram.[40] In the later part of the 13th century Venetian traveller Marco Polo visited the Pandyan kingdom and left a vivid description of the land and its people.[41][42] Polo exclaimed that:

The darkest man is here the most highly esteemed and considered better than the others who are not so dark. Let me add that in very truth these people portray and depict their gods and their idols black and their devils white as snow. For they say that God and all the saints are black and the devils are all white. That is why they portray them as I have described.[43]

History[edit] Literary sources[edit] Main article: Early Pandyan Kingdom Although there are many instances of the Pandyas
Pandyas
being referred to in surviving ancient Hindu
Hindu
texts including the Mahabharata, we currently have no way of determining a cogent genealogy of these ancient kings. We have a connected history of the Pandyas
Pandyas
from the fall of Kalabhras during the middle of the 6th century. Tamil literary sources[edit] Several Tamil literary works, such as Iraiyanar Agapporul, mention the legend of three separate Tamil Sangams
Tamil Sangams
lasting several centuries before the Christian Era and ascribe their patronage to the Pandyas.[44] The Sangam poem Maduraikkanci by Mankudi Maruthanaar contains a full-length description of Madurai
Madurai
and the Pandyan country under the rule of Neduncheliyan III.[45] The Nedunalvadai by Nakkirar contains a description of the king's palace. The Purananuru
Purananuru
and Agananuru collections of the 3rd century BCE contain poems sung in praise of various Pandyan kings and also poems that were composed by the kings themselves.[46] Sanskrit
Sanskrit
literary sources[edit]

Sculpture of Lord Rama

The Ramayana
Ramayana
makes a few references to the Pandyas. For instance, when Sugriva
Sugriva
sends his monkey warriors to search Sita, he mentions Chera, Chola
Chola
and Pandya
Pandya
of the Southern region.[47] Kalidasa's Raghuvamsha, an epic poem about Rama's dynasty, states that Ravana signed a peace treaty with a Pandya
Pandya
king.[48] The Mahabharata
Mahabharata
mentions the Pandyas
Pandyas
a number of times. It states that the Pandya
Pandya
country was located on the sea shore, and supplied troops to the Pandava
Pandava
king Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
during the war (5:19). The Pandya king Sarangadhwaja commanded 140,000 warriors (7.23). Pandya
Pandya
warrior Malayadhwaja had a one-to-one fight with Drona's son Ashwatthama (8:20). Mahabharata
Mahabharata
mentions that tirthas (sacred places) of Agastya, Varuna
Varuna
and Kumari were located in the Pandya
Pandya
country.[49] See also: Pandya
Pandya
Kingdom Early Pandyas
Pandyas
(3rd century BCE – 3rd century CE)[edit] Main article: Early Pandyan Kingdom The following is a partial list of Pandyan emperors who ruled during the Sangam age:[50][51]

Koon Pandyan Nedunjeliyan I (Aariyap Padai Kadantha Nedunj Cheliyan) Pudappandyan Mudukudumi Paruvaludhi Nedunjeliyan II Nan Maran Nedunj Cheliyan III (Talaiyaalanganathu Seruvendra Nedunj Cheliyan) Maran Valudi Kadalan valuthi Musiri Mutriya Cheliyan Kadalul Maintha Ukkirap Peruvaludi

First Pandyan Empire
Pandyan Empire
(6th – 10th centuries CE)[edit]

Manikkavacakar, Minister of Pandya
Pandya
king Varagunavarman II (c. 862 – 885 )

Jatavarman Veera Pandyan I's double fish carp black granite bas-relief of the Koneswaram temple
Koneswaram temple
in Trincomalee, reminiscent of the dynasty's coinage symbols found on the island from the pre-modern era, installed after defeating the usurper Chandrabhanu
Chandrabhanu
of Tambralinga. Pandyan affairs in Northern Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
grew stronger following the intervention of Srimara Srivallabha
Srimara Srivallabha
in 815[52]

After the close of the Sangam age, the first Pandyan empire was established by Kadungon in the 6th century by defeating the Kalabhras. The following chronological list of the Pandya
Pandya
emperors is based on an inscription found on the Vaigai
Vaigai
riverbeds. Succeeding kings assumed the titles of "Maravarman" and "Sadayavarman" alternately, where Sadayavarman denotes themselves as followers of Lord Sadaiyan ("The one with Jata", referring to Siva).[53][54] After the defeat of the Kalabhras, the Pandya
Pandya
kingdom grew steadily in power and territory. With the Cholas
Cholas
in obscurity, the Tamil country was divided between the Pallavas
Pallavas
and the Pandyas, the river Kaveri being the frontier between them. After Vijayalaya Chola
Chola
conquered Thanjavur
Thanjavur
by defeating the Muttarayar chieftains who were part of Pandya
Pandya
family tree around 850, the Pandyas went into a period of decline. They were constantly harassing their Chola
Chola
overlords by occupying their territories. Parantaka I
Parantaka I
invaded the Pandya
Pandya
territories and defeated Rajasimha III. However, the Pandyas
Pandyas
did not wholly submit to the Cholas
Cholas
despite loss of power, territory and prestige. They tried to forge various alliances with the Cheras and the Kings of Lanka
Lanka
and tried to engage the Cholas
Cholas
in war to free themselves from Chola
Chola
supremacy. But right from the times of Parantaka I
Parantaka I
to the early 12th century up to the times of Kulottunga Chola
Chola
I the Pandyas
Pandyas
could not overpower the Cholas
Cholas
who right from 880–1215 remained the most powerful empire spread over South India, Deccan and the Eastern and Western Coast of India during this period.[55][56] List of kings with dates as estimated by K. A. Nilakanta Sastri:[57]

Kadungon (r. c. 590–620 CE) Maravarman Avani Sulamani (r. c. 590–620 CE) Jayantavarman alias Seliyan Sendan (r. c. 620-645 CE) Arikesari Maravarman (r. c. 670–700 CE) Kochadaiyan Ranadhiran (r. c. 700–730 CE) Maravarman Rajasimha I (r. c. 735–765 CE) Jatila Parantaka Nedunjadayan (r. c. 765–815 CE) Maravarman Rajasimha II (r. c. 815-817 CE) Varaguna I (r. c. 817–835 CE) Srimara Srivallabha
Srimara Srivallabha
(r. c. 815–862 CE) Varaguna II (r. c. 862–885 CE) Parantaka Viranarayanan (r. c. 880–905 CE) Maravarman Rajasimha II (r. c. 905–920 CE)

Under Chola
Chola
Influence (10th – 13th centuries)[edit] The Chola
Chola
domination of the Tamil country began in earnest during the reign of Parantaka Chola
Chola
II. Chola
Chola
armies led by Aditya Karikala, son of Parantaka Chola
Chola
II defeated Vira Pandya
Pandya
in battle. The Pandyas
Pandyas
were assisted by the Sinhalese forces of Mahinda IV. Pandyas
Pandyas
were driven out of their territories and had to seek refuge on the island of Sri Lanka. This was the start of the long exile of the Pandyas. They were replaced by a series of Chola
Chola
viceroys with the title Chola
Chola
Pandyas who ruled from Madurai
Madurai
from c. 1020. Rajadhiraja III aided the Kulesekhara III by defeating the Sinhalese army and crowning him as king of Madurai.[58] The " Chola
Chola
yoke" started from about 920 and lasted until the start of the 13th century.[59] The following list gives the names of the Pandya
Pandya
kings who were active during the 10th century and the first half of 11th century.

Sundara Pandya
Pandya
I Vira Pandya
Pandya
I Vira Pandya
Pandya
II Amarabhujanga Tivrakopa Jatavarman Sundara Chola
Chola
Pandya Maravarman Vikrama Chola
Chola
Pandya Maravarman Parakrama Chola
Chola
Pandya Jatavarman Chola
Chola
Pandya Seervallabha Manakulachala (1101–1124) Maaravarman Seervallaban (1132–1161) Parakrama Pandyan I (1161–1162) Kulasekara Pandyan III Vira Pandyan III Jatavarman Srivallaban (1175–1180) Jatavarman Kulasekaran I (1190–1216)[59]

Second Pandyan Empire
Pandyan Empire
(13th and 14th centuries)[edit]

A Pandya
Pandya
Style[citation needed] sculpture

Part of a series on the

History of India

Ancient

Madrasian Culture Soanian, c. 500,000 BCE Neolithic, c. 7600 – c. 3300 BCE

Bhirrana
Bhirrana
7570 - 6200 BCE Jhusi
Jhusi
7106 BCE Lahuradewa 7000 BCE Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
7000 - 2600 BCE

Indus Valley Civilization, c. 3300 – c. 1700 BCE Post Indus Valley Period, c. 1700 – c. 1500 BCE Vedic Civilization, c. 1500 – c. 500 BCE

Early Vedic Period

Rise of Śramaṇa
Śramaṇa
movement

Later Vedic Period

Spread of Jainism
Jainism
- Parshvanatha Spread of Jainism
Jainism
- Mahavira Rise of Buddhism

Mahajanapadas, c. 500 – c. 345 BCE Nanda Dynasty, c. 345 – c. 322 BCE

Classical

Maurya Dynasty, c. 322 – c. 185 BCE Shunga Dynasty, c. 185 – c. 75 BCE Kanva Dynasty, c. 75 – c. 30 BCE Kushan Dynasty, c. 30 – c. 230 CE Satavahana Dynasty, c. 30 BCE – c. 220 CE Gupta Dynasty, c. 200 – c. 550 CE

Early medieval

Chalukya Dynasty, c. 543 – c. 753 CE Harsha's Dynasty, c. 606 CE – c. 647 CE Karakota Dynasty, c. 724 – c. 760 CE Arab Invasion, c. 738 CE Tripartite Struggle, c. 760 – c. 973 CE

Gurjara-Pratihara
Gurjara-Pratihara
Dynasty Rastrakuta Dynasty Pala Dynasty

Chola
Chola
Dynasty, c. 848 – c. 1251 CE 2nd Chalukya Dynasty, c. 973 – c. 1187 CE

Late medieval

Delhi Sultanate, c. 1206 – c. 1526 CE

Slave Dynasty Khalji Dynasty Tugluq Dynasty Sayyid Dynasty Lodhi Dynasty

Pandyan Dynasty, c. 1251 – c. 1323 CE Vijayanagara, c. 1336 – c. 1646 CE Bengal Sultanate, c. 1342 – c. 1576 CE

Early modern

Mughal Dynasty, c. 1526 – c. 1540 CE Suri Dynasty, c. 1540 – c. 1556 CE Mughal Dynasty, c. 1556 – c. 1857 CE

Bengal Subah, c. 1576 – c. 1757 CE

Maratha Empire, c. 1674 – c. 1818 CE Company Raj, c. 1757 – c. 1858 CE Kingdom of Mysore, c. 1760 – c. 1799 CE Sikh Empire, c. 1799 – c. 1849 CE

Modern

The Great Rebellion, c. 1857 – c. 1858 CE British Raj, c. 1858 – c. 1947 CE

Independence Movement

Independent India, c. 1947 CE – present

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v t e

The 13th century is the greatest period in the history of the Pandyan Empire. This period saw the rise of seven prime Lord Emperors (Ellarkku Nayanar – Lord of All) of Pandyan, who ruled the kingdom alongside Pandyan princes. Their power reached its zenith under Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
in the middle of the 13th century. The foundation for such a great empire was laid by Maravarman Sundara Pandyan early in the 13th century.[60][61]

Parakrama Pandyan II (king of Polonnaruwa) (1212–1215) Maravarman Sundara Pandyan(1216–1238) Sundaravarman Kulasekaran II (1238–1240) Maravarman Sundara Pandyan II (1238–1251) Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
(1251–1268) Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I (1268–1310) Sundara Pandyan IV (1309–1327) Vira Pandyan IV (1309–1345)

The Pandyan kingdom was replaced by the Chola
Chola
princes who assumed the title as Chola
Chola
Pandyas
Pandyas
in the 11th century.[62] After being overshadowed by the Pallavas
Pallavas
and Cholas
Cholas
for centuries, Pandyan glory was briefly revived by the much celebrated Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I in 1251 AD.[63] Pandyan power extended from the Telugu countries on banks of the Godavari river to Sri Lanka, which was invaded by Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I in 1258 and on his behalf by his younger brother Jatavarman Vira Pandyan I from 1262–1264.[64] They ruled the whole peninsula and reduced the power of the Cholas
Cholas
and the Hoysala, also making Chera Nadu and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Pandyan provinces.[65] Later Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan appointed his brother to rule Kongu country, Chola
Chola
country and Hoysala
Hoysala
country.[66] The marital alliance of Kulothunga Chola
Chola
III and one of his successors, Rajaraja Chola
Chola
III, with the Hoysalas
Hoysalas
did not yield any advantage in countering the Pandyan resurgence, who got defeated by Maravarman Sundara Pandyan I, who after the victory burnt down Uraiyur and Thanjavur.[67] The Cholas
Cholas
renewed their control with the help of the Hoysalas
Hoysalas
under Hoysala
Hoysala
king Vira Someshwara.[68] The later successor of Maravarman Sundara Pandyan I, Maravarman Sundara Pandyan II got defeated by Rajendra Chola
Chola
III around 1250.[67] Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
I subdued Rajendra Chola
Chola
III in around 1258–1260 and was an equal antagonist of the Hoysalas
Hoysalas
whose presence he absolutely disliked in the Tamil country.[67] He first vanquished the Kadava Pallavas
Pallavas
under Kopperunchinga II, who had challenged the Hoysala
Hoysala
army stationed in and around Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram
and killed a few of their commanders.[69]

Pandya
Pandya
power in South India

Around 1260 dragged Jatavarman I first the Hoysalas
Hoysalas
into war by routing Vira Someshwara's son Ramanatha out of Tiruchirappalli. Vira Someshwara Hoysala, who had given the control of the empire to his sons tried to challenge Jatavarman. Between Samayapuram and Tiruchy, the armies of Vira Someshwara were routed with Vira Someshwara losing his life in this battle to Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
I in Kannanur.[63][70] Next concentrated Jatavarman I on completely wiping out the Chola empire. Rajendra Chola
Chola
III had been counting on Hoysala
Hoysala
assistance in case he was challenged by the Pandyans, keeping in mind the earlier marital alliance of the Cholas
Cholas
with the Hoysalas. Initially, Jatavarman consolidated the Pandyan hold on Tiruchirappalli
Tiruchirappalli
and Thiruvarangam
Thiruvarangam
and marched towards Thanjavur
Thanjavur
and Kumbakonam.[71] The Hoysala
Hoysala
king Narasimha III joined hands with the Pandyans, opposing alliance with the Cholas.[68] When challenged by Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan, Rajendra III marched against the Pandyans between Tanjore and Tiruchy, hoping for assistance and participation in war from the Hoysalas. However, the already vanquished Hoysalas
Hoysalas
were in a defensive position. They did not want to go to war and risk yet another defeat by the resurgent Pandyans. Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
who defeated the Kadava Pallavas, Hoysalas
Hoysalas
and also the Telugu Choda, forced Rajendra III to become his tributary vassal.[72] Jatavarman Sundara Pandiyan invaded Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
in 1258 and took control over Jaffna Kingdom
Jaffna Kingdom
by defeating the Javaka king Chandrabhanu, making the Javaka king paying tribute to him.[73] Chandrabhanu
Chandrabhanu
and two Sinhalese princes revolted against the Pandyans in 1270, and got his final defeat in 1270 by the brother of Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
I, Jatavarman Vira Pandyan.[74] Around 1279 was the combined force of Hoysala
Hoysala
Ramanatha and Rajendra Chola
Chola
III defeated by Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I, giving an ultimate end on the Chola
Chola
dynasty.[75] Pandyan Civil War (AD 1308 to 1311)[edit] After the death of the king Maravarman Kulashekhara, his sons Vira and Sundara fought a war of succession for control of the kingdom. Taking advantage of this situation, the neighbouring Hoysala
Hoysala
king Ballala III invaded the Pandya
Pandya
territory. However, Ballala had to retreat to his capital, when Malik Kafur, a general of the Muslim Delhi Sultanate, invaded his kingdom at the same time.[76] After subjugating Ballala, Malik Kafur
Malik Kafur
marched to the Pandya
Pandya
territory in March 1311.[77] His army raided a number of places in the kingdom, massacring people and destroying temples. The Pandya
Pandya
brothers fled their headquarters, and Kafur pursued them unsuccessfully, hoping to make one of them a tributary to the Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khalji. Nevertheless, the invaders obtained a large number of treasures, elephants and horses.[78][79] According to the 14th century Sanskrit
Sanskrit
treatise Leelathilakam, a general named Vikrama Pandya
Pandya
defeated the Muslims. Some historians have identified Vikrama as an uncle of Vira and Sundara, and believe that he defeated Malik Kafur. However, this identification is not supported by historical evidence: Vikrama Pandya
Pandya
mentioned in Leelathilakam appears to have defeated a later Muslim army during 1365-70.[80] By late April 1311, the rains had obstructed the operations of the Delhi forces, and the invading generals received the news that the defenders had assembled a large army against them.[81] Kafur gave up his plans to pursue the Pandya
Pandya
brothers, and returned to Delhi with the plunder.[82] After Kafur's departure, Vira and Sundara resumed their conflict. Sundara Pandya
Pandya
was defeated, and sought help from the Delhi Sultanate. With their help, he regained control of the South Arcot region by 1314.[81]

An aerial view of Madurai
Madurai
city from atop the Meenakshi
Meenakshi
Amman temple

Decline and fall[edit] Subsequently, this there were two other expeditions from the Khalji Sultanate in 1314 led by Khusro Khan
Khusro Khan
(later Sultan Nasir-ud-din) and in 1323 by Ulugh Khan (Muhammad bin Tughluq) under Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. These invasions shattered the Pandyan empire beyond revival. While the previous invasions were content with plunder, Ulugh Khan annexed the former Pandyan dominions to the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
as the province of Ma'bar. Most of South India
South India
came under the Delhi's rule and was divided into five provinces – Devagiri, Tiling, Kampili, Dorasamudra and Ma'bar.[83] Jalaluddin Ahsan Khan
Jalaluddin Ahsan Khan
was appointed governor of the newly created southern-most Ma'bar province of the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
by Muhammad bin Tughluq. In 1333, Sayyid Jalaluddin Ahsan Khan
Jalaluddin Ahsan Khan
declared his independence and created Madurai Sultanate, a short lived independent Muslim kingdom based in the city of Madurai. Hoysala
Hoysala
king Veera Ballala III, from his capital in Tiruvannamalai, challenged the Madurai
Madurai
Sultans at Kannanur
Kannanur
Kuppam near Srirangam and died fighting them in 1343.[84][85] Bukkaraya I of Vijayanagara Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
conquered the city of Madurai
Madurai
in 1371, imprisoned the Sultan, released and restored Arcot's Tamil prince Sambuva Raya to the throne. Bukka I appointed his son Veera Kumara Kampana as the viceroy of the Tamil region. Later, Nayaka governors were appointed.[86][unreliable source?] who would continue ruling till 1736.

The Gopuram
Gopuram
of Nellaiappar Temple

Architecture[edit] See also: Dravidian architecture Rock cut and structural temples are significant part of pandyan architecture. The Vimana and mandapa are some of the features of the early Pandyan temples.[87] Groups of small temples are seen at Tiruchirappalli
Tiruchirappalli
district of Tamil Nadu. The Shiva
Shiva
temples have a Nandi bull sculpture in front of the maha mandapa.[88] In the later stages of Pandyas
Pandyas
rule, finely sculptured idols, gopurams on the vimanas were developed. Gopurams are the rectangular entrance and portals of the temples.[89] Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple
in Madurai
Madurai
and Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
in Tirunelveli
Tirunelveli
were built during the reign of the Pandyas.[90]

One of the early coins of the Pandyans showing their emblem of the two fishes.

Temple between hill symbols and elephant coin of the Pandyas
Pandyas
Sri Lanka 1st century CE.

Coinage[edit] See also: Pandya
Pandya
coinage The early coins of Tamilakam
Tamilakam
bore the symbols of the Three Crowned Kings, the tiger, the fish and the bow, representing the symbols of the Cholas, Pandyas
Pandyas
and Cheras.[91] Coins of Pandyas
Pandyas
bear the legend of different Pandya
Pandya
ruler in different times. The Pandyas
Pandyas
had issued silver punch-marked and die struck copper coins in the early period.[92] A few gold coins were attributed to the Pandya
Pandya
rulers of this period. These coins bore the image of fish, singly or in pairs, which where their emblem.[93] Some of the coins had the names Sundara, Sundara Pandya
Pandya
or merely the letter 'Su' were etched. Some of the coins bore a boar with the legend of 'Vira-Pandya.[94] It had been said that those coins were issued by the Pandyas
Pandyas
and the feudatories of the Cholas
Cholas
but could not be attributed to any particular king. The coins of Pandyas
Pandyas
were basically square. Those coins were etched with elephant on one side and the other side remained blank. The inscription on the silver and gold coins during the Pandyas, were in Tamil-Brahmi
Tamil-Brahmi
and the copper coins bore the Tamil legends.[95] The coins of the Pandyas, which bore the fish symbols, were termed as 'Kodandaraman' and 'Kanchi' Valangum Perumal'.[96] Apart from these, 'Ellamthalaiyanam' was seen on coins which had the standing king on one side and the fish on the other. 'Samarakolahalam' and 'Bhuvanekaviram' were found on the coins having a Garuda, 'Konerirayan' on coins having a bull and 'Kaliyugaraman' on coins that depict a pair of feet.[97] Government and Society[edit] Trade[edit]

Silk Road
Silk Road
map showing ancient trade routes.

Roman and Greek traders frequented the ancient Tamil country, present day Southern India
Southern India
and Sri Lanka, securing trade with the seafaring Tamil states of the Pandyan, Chola
Chola
and Chera dynasties and establishing trading settlements which secured trade with South Asia by the Greco-Roman world
Greco-Roman world
since the time of the Ptolemaic dynasty[98] a few decades before the start of the Common Era
Common Era
and remained long after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.[99] As recorded by Strabo, Emperor Augustus
Augustus
of Rome
Rome
received at Antioch
Antioch
an ambassador from a South Indian King called Pandyan. The country of the Pandyas, Pandi Mandala, was described as Pandyan Mediterranea in the Periplus
Periplus
and Modura Regia Pandyan by Ptolemy.[100] They also outlasted Byzantium's loss of the ports of Egypt
Egypt
and the Red Sea[101] (c. 639-645) under the pressure of the Muslim conquests. Sometime after the sundering of communications between the Axum and Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in the 7th century, the Christian kingdom of Axum fell into a slow decline, fading into obscurity in western sources. It survived, despite pressure from Islamic forces, until the 11th century, when it was reconfigured in a dynastic squabble. Pearl fishing[edit]

Pearl fishing was an important industry in ancient Tamilakam

Pearl fishing was another industry that flourished during the Sangam age. The Pandyan port city of Korkai
Korkai
was the center of pearl trade. Written records from Greek and Egyptian voyagers give details about the pearl fisheries off the Pandyan coast. The Periplus
Periplus
of the Erythraean Sea mentions that "Pearls inferior to the Indian sort are exported in great quantity from the marts of Apologas and Omana". The inferior variety of pearls that the Tamils did not require for their use was in very great demand in the foreign markets. Pearls were woven along with nice muslin cloth, before being exported. The most expensive animal product that was imported from India by the Roman Empire was the pearl from the Gulf of Mannar.[102] The pearls from the Pandyan kingdom were also in demand in the kingdoms of north India. Several Vedic mantras refer to the wide use of the pearls. The royal chariots were decked with pearls, as were the horses that dragged them. The use of pearls was so high that the supply of pearls from the Ganges could not meet the demand.[103] Literary references of the pearl fishing mention how the fishermen, who dive into the sea, avoid attacks from sharks, bring up the right-whorled chank and blow on the sounding shell.[104] Convicts were according to the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
used as pearl divers in Korkai.[105] Megasthenes
Megasthenes
reported about the pearl fisheries of the Pandyas, indicating that the Pandyas
Pandyas
derived great wealth from the pearl trade.[106] Religion[edit] Historical Madurai
Madurai
was a stronghold of Shaivism. Following the invasion of Kalabhras, Jainism
Jainism
gained a foothold in the Pandyan kingdom. With the advent of Bhakti movements, Shaivism
Shaivism
and Vaishnavism resurfaced. The latter-day Pandyas
Pandyas
after 600 CE were Saivites who claimed to descend from Lord Shiva
Shiva
and Goddess Parvati. Pandyan Nedumchadayan was a staunch Vaishnavite.[107] See also[edit]

History of Tamil Nadu History of Kerala Economy of ancient Tamil country Industry in ancient Tamil country

Tamilakam Tammuzh List of Tamil monarchs Indo-Roman relations Indo-Roman trade relations Indian maritime history

Notes[edit]

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References[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pandyan Dynasty.

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v t e

Tribes and kingdoms mentioned in the Mahabharata

Abhira Andhra Anarta Anga Anupa Assaka Asmaka Avanti Ay Bahlika Bhārata Chedi Chera Chola Chinas Dakshina Kosala Dakshinatya Danda Dasarna Dasharna Dasherka Dwaraka Gandhāra Garga Gomanta Gopa Rashtra Hara Huna Heheya Himalaya Huna Kanchi Kasmira Kalakuta Kalinga Kamboja Karnata Karusha Kashi Kekeya Kerala Khasa Kikata Kirata Kishkindha Konkana Kosala Kuninda Kunti Kuru Lanka Madra Madraka Magadha Maha Chinas Mahisha Malla Malava Matsya Mekhalas Mleccha Mudgala Mushika Nasikya Nepa Niharas Nishada Odra Pallava Panchala Pandya Parada Parama Kamboja Parasika Parvartaka Parvata Paurava Pishacha Pragjyotisha Pratyagratha Prasthala Pundra Pulinda Saka Salva Salveya Salwa Saraswata Saurashtra Sauvira Shakya Sindhu Sinhala Sivi Sonita Sudra Suhma Surparaka Surasena Tangana Trigarta Tulu Tushara Ursa Uttara Kuru Uttara Madra Utkala Vanga Vatadhana Vatsa Videha Vidarbha Yavana Yaudheya

v t e

Middle kingdoms of India

Timeline and cultural period

Northwestern India (Punjab-Sapta Sindhu)

Indo-Gangetic Plain Central India Southern India

Upper Gangetic Plain (Kuru-Panchala)

Middle Gangetic Plain Lower Gangetic Plain

IRON AGE

Culture Late Vedic Period Late Vedic Period (Brahmin ideology)[a] Painted Grey Ware culture

Late Vedic Period (Kshatriya/Shramanic culture)[b] Northern Black Polished Ware

Pre-history

 6th century BC Gandhara Kuru-Panchala Magadha

Adivasi
Adivasi
(tribes)

Culture Persian-Greek influences "Second Urbanisation" Rise of Shramana
Shramana
movements Jainism
Jainism
- Buddhism
Buddhism
- Ājīvika
Ājīvika
- Yoga

Pre-history

 5th century BC (Persian rule)

Shishunaga dynasty

Adivasi
Adivasi
(tribes)

 4th century BC (Greek conquests) Nanda empire

HISTORICAL AGE

Culture Spread of Buddhism Pre-history Sangam period (300 BC – 200 AD)

 3rd century BC Maurya Empire Early Cholas Early Pandyan Kingdom Satavahana dynasty Cheras 46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

Culture Preclassical Hinduism[c] - " Hindu
Hindu
Synthesis"[d] (ca. 200 BC - 300 AD)[e][f] Epics - Puranas
Puranas
- Ramayana
Ramayana
- Mahabharata
Mahabharata
- Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
- Brahma Sutras - Smarta Tradition Mahayana Buddhism Sangam period (continued) (300 BC – 200 AD)

 2nd century BC Indo-Greek Kingdom Shunga Empire Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty

Early Cholas Early Pandyan Kingdom Satavahana dynasty Cheras 46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

 1st century BC

 1st century AD

Indo-Scythians Indo-Parthians

Kuninda Kingdom

 2nd century Kushan Empire

 3rd century Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom Kushan Empire Western Satraps Kamarupa
Kamarupa
kingdom Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture "Golden Age of Hinduism"(ca. AD 320-650)[g] Puranas Co-existence of Hinduism
Hinduism
and Buddhism

 4th century Kidarites Gupta Empire Varman dynasty

Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Kadamba Dynasty Western Ganga Dynasty

 5th century Hephthalite Empire Alchon Huns Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Vishnukundina

 6th century Nezak Huns Kabul Shahi

Maitraka

Adivasi
Adivasi
(tribes) Badami Chalukyas Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture Late-Classical Hinduism
Hinduism
(ca. AD 650-1100)[h] Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
- Tantra Decline of Buddhism
Buddhism
in India

 7th century Indo-Sassanids

Vakataka dynasty Empire of Harsha Mlechchha dynasty Adivasi
Adivasi
(tribes) Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Pandyan Kingdom(Revival) Pallava

 8th century Kabul Shahi

Pala Empire Pandyan Kingdom Kalachuri

 9th century

Gurjara-Pratihara

Rashtrakuta dynasty Pandyan Kingdom Medieval Cholas Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas) Chera Perumals of Makkotai

10th century Ghaznavids

Pala dynasty Kamboja-Pala dynasty

Kalyani Chalukyas Medieval Cholas Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas) Chera Perumals of Makkotai Rashtrakuta

References and sources for table

References

^ Samuel ^ Samuel ^ Michaels (2004) p.39 ^ Hiltebeitel (2002) ^ Michaels (2004) p.39 ^ Hiltebeitel (2002) ^ Micheals (2004) p.40 ^ Michaels (2004) p.41

Sources

Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press  Hiltebeitel, Alf (2002), Hinduism. In: Joseph Kitagawa, "The Religious Traditions of Asia: Religion, History, and Culture", Routledge  Michaels, Axel (2004), Hinduism. Past and present, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press  Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga
Yoga
and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge Univ

.