Sangam Age

  • The land South of Krishna River was divided into three kingdoms – Cheras, Cholas & Pandyas.
  • There was continuous warfare between the three.
Cheras –

  • 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.
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.
Cholas –
  • 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 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-

    1. Kurinji – Hilly tracts – deity Murugan.
    2. Mullai – Pastoral – deity Mayon (Vishnu).
    3. Marudam – Agricultural – deity Indra (Vendan).
    4. Neydal – Coastal – deity Varunan.
    5. Palai – Desert – deity Korravai.

    • Amaichchar – Minister ; Orrars – Spies ; Variyam – Unit of revenue yielding territory ; Ayakkanakkar – Toll tax collection ; Anthanar – Priests ; Thuthar – Envoys ; Vanigars – Trade & Commerce ; Vellalas – Agriculturists.

    —> Which river is praised in the fifth century Tamil epic silappadikaram – Cauvery.

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