Sangam Age

Sangam Age Important Facts:

  • 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.

Pre-Gupta PeriodDelhi Sultanate Architecture
Gupta EmpireDisintegration of Delhi Sultanate
Harshavardhana or Harsha (606-647 A.D.)Vijayanagar Empire (1336-1649)
Chola EmpireAdministrative System and Institutions– NIOS

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