The land South of Krishna River was divided into three kingdoms – Cheras, Cholas & Pandyas.
There was continuous warfare between the three.
Sangam Age Kingdom:
Emblem – Bow & Arrow.
Capital – Vanji or Karur (modern Kerala).
Port – Muzris (most famous), Tondi, Bandar.
The cheras dynasty was known as “Keralaputras” in the Ashoka’s inscription.
Senguttavan, the ‘Red Chera‘ or ‘Good Chera‘ was the greatest chera king according to the Chera poets.
He started the ‘Pattini Cult‘, which is the worship of Kannagi & built a temple for her, the Goddess of Chastity.
Silapadikaram, authored by his brother Ilango Adigal, describe his heroics.
Under Kudakko Inlanjeral Iranporai (210 A.D.), Chera kingdom was captured by Pandyas.
Emblem – Fish or Carp.
Capital – Madurai.
Port – Korkai, Saliyur.
They were first mentioned by Megasthenes who referred to it as being ruled by a warman.
Nedunjhelian was the most popular king. He defeated the cheras & cholas in the battle of Talaiyalagnam (210 A.D.).
According to Silapadikaram, in a fit of passion he ordered the execution of Kovalan, the husband of kannagi & later died broken hearted.
Emblem – Tiger or Bagh.
Capital– Uraiyur, later Puhar.
Port – Puhar or Kaveripattanam.
Chola dominion was known as Tondai Mandalam or Cholamandalam.
Uraiyur – famous for Cotton trade.
A firmer history of Cholas begin in the 2nd century A.D. with their famous king Karikala, founding the port city of Puhar.
He also got 160 km of embankment constructed along the Cauvery River.
Senganan popular for his devotion to Shiva, got built 70 fine temple for Shiva.
Sangam Age Literature:
The word Sangam is associated with South Indian history where a College or Assembly of Tamil Scholars & poets flourished under the patronage of the Pandyan kings at Madurai, between 300 B.C. & 300 A.D.
First Sangam – in Madurai; presided by Agastya; none work is survived.
Second Sangam – in Kaptapuram; presided by Tolkapiyar; work – Tolkappiyam (Tamil Grammar).
Third Sangam – in Madurai; presided by Nakkirar; work – Entire Corpus of Sangam Literature.
The whole literature is divided into- Melkannakku or 18 Major Works- Narrative ; kilkannakku or 18 Minor Works- Didactic.
Thirukural or Kural by Tiruvalluvar is called the “Fifth Veda” or “Bible” of the Tamil Land. It contain discussions of Dharma, Artha, Kama & Moksha.
Silapaddikaram or the Jewelled Anklet is an epic dealing with the love stories of Kovalan & Madhavi & Kannagi.
Manimekhalai is a sequel to it, written by Sattalai Sattanar dealing with the daughter of Kovalan & Madhavi & is considered the “Odyssus of Tamil Poetry”.
Roman king built a temple of Augustus at Muziris.
Murugan, also called Subraimanyam or Karthikeya was the most important God of Tamils.
Tolkappiyam refers to the five-fold divisions of land-
Kurinji – Hilly tracts – deity Murugan.
Mullai – Pastoral – deity Mayon (Vishnu).
Marudam – Agricultural – deity Indra (Vendan).
Neydal – Coastal – deity Varunan.
Palai – Desert – deity Korravai.
Sangam Age- Important Terms:
Amaichchar – Minister ;
Orrars – Spies ;
Variyam – Unit of revenue yielding territory ;
Ayakkanakkar – Toll tax collection ;
Anthanar – Priests ;
Thuthar – Envoys ;
Vanigars – Trade & Commerce ;
Vellalas – Agriculturists.
Q:- Which river is praised in the fifth century Tamil epic silappadikaram – Cauvery.