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Pandya Dynasty

Introduction Pandyas:

                                   Pandya Dynasty,History says that the involvement of the Pandyas  lasted from the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE.Ancient Tamil mythology  states that the three brothers Cheran, Chola, and Pandyas initially  ruled in one  of the southern town of Korkai.The Cheras and Cholas  established their kingdoms in the north and west.The third brother, the Pandyas, established kingdoms in the south.After the Kalabhras, the Pandyas established their dynasties in southern Tamil Nadu towards the end of the 6th century CE.The Silappathikaram says that  the emblem of the Cheras was a fish. The accounts of travellers such as Marco Polo, Wasaf and Ibin-Battuta are useful for understanding  the political and socio-cultural developments of the period.The Pandya region  is associated with Sage Agastya.The history of Madurai temple, Pandya Kovai and Madurai Tiruvannamalai provide information about the later Pandyas of Madurai.

Early Pandya Dynasty (4 BCE-3 CE):

               They ruled the present  South Tamil Nadu.They ruled with Madurai as their capital.They ruled with fish as their symbol.Their coin has a picture of an elephant on one side and a tiger on the other.Korkai port was their main face. It is known for pearl bathing and collecting conch shells.In the Periplus notes, Korkai is referred to as ‘Kolkoi’.Only the names of the Pandya kings are mentioned in the Sangam songs, and there are no details about when they assumed the throne and what their year period was.

  • Important Pandya Kings:
        1. Nedeon
        2. Nanmaran
        3. Mutukuṭumip peruvaḻuti
        4. Nedunchezhiyan

         The Mankulam Tamil-Brahmi inscription mentions the Pandya king Nedunchezhiyan of the 2nd century.Nedunchezhiyan defeated the combined armies of Cheras, Cholas and 5 Velir chieftains in the battle of Talailaganattu.Through the war, they brought the Nelkinda port near Kottayam under their control.The Pandyas supported the Tamil Sangams and compiled Sangam texts.

Early Pandya Dynast:(600-920):

                               After the death of the Kalappiyas, the Pandyas revived in the 6th century.It is known from copper plates that Kadungon restored the rule of the Pandyas.After his reign, Senthan was a great warrior.He earned the title ‘Vaanavan‘ as he conquered the Cheras.Arikesari was a  contemporary of Mahendravarman I and Narasimha I.Arikesari is identified as the hunchback Pandya who washed the Jains.Nedunchezhiyan was the donor of Velvikudi land.

                  He extended Pandya politics to Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Salem and Coimbatore. He built many VishnuSri Vallavar invaded Sri Lanka and established his authority there. He lost to Nandivarman III.His successor Varaguna II was defeated by Aparajith Pallavan in the battle of Thirupurambiyam.The Pandya kings who succeeded him could not match the rise of the Chola kingdom under the leadership of Parantaka I. Rajasimha III was defeated by Parantaka I and fled the country in 920.

Medieval Pandya rulers:

Name Reign
Kadungon 560 – 590
Maravarman 590 – 620
Chezhiyan Senthan 620 – 640
Arikesari Maravarman (Nindraseer Nedumaran) 640 – 674
Kochadayan (Ranadheeran) 675 – 730
Arikesari Parangusa (Maravarman Rajasinha) 730 – 765
Paranthaka Nedunjadayan 765 – 790
Rajasinha II 790 – 800
Varaguna I 800 – 830
Seermara Seervallabhan 830 – 862
Varaguna II 862 – 880
Paranthaka Veeranarayanan 862 – 905
Rajasimha III 905 – 920

Under the Cholas:(920-1220):

                                 The Chola king Vijayalaya conquered Thanjavur in 848 CE, weakening the Pandya rule north of the Kaveri River.The Pandyas faced a formidable alliance of the Pallava prince Aparajita, the Chola king Aditya I and the Ganga king Prithvipati I.In 880 CE, Varaguna Varma II was defeated by the Aparajtha Pallava in the battle of Tirupurambiyum.The Cholas captured Kongu Nadu from  the Pandya king Parantaka and The Pandya king Maravarman II captured Madurai from Rajasimha and earned the title “Madurai Konda”.In the Battle of Takkolam in 949 CE, they were defeated by the Confederacy.The Chola king Sundara Parantaka II defeated Vira Pandya I in two battles with the help of the Sri Lankan forces.The Chola Emperor Rajendra I continued to occupy the Pandya kingdom.

The main Rulers were:

Name Reign
Sundara Pandian I
Veerapandian I
Veerapandian II
Amarapujanga Divirakopan
Seervallabha Manakulachalan 1101–1124 CE
Maravarman Seervallabhan 1132–1161 CE
Parakrama I 1161–1162 CE
Kulasekara III 1162–1175 CE
Veerapandian III 1175–1180 CE
Jatavarman Sirvallabha 1180–1190 CE
Jatavarman Kulasekara I 1190–1216 CE


Later Pandya Dynasty:(1216-1400):

                              After the death of Adi Rajendra in the last quarter of the twelfth century,  the Pandyas tried to establish their independent rule.Later Sri Vallava Pandyan fought with Rajaraja Chola II and lost his sonLater in 1190,  Sadhaivarman Srivallabha and  Kulob I submitted to their authority and started the rule of the Pandyas.In memory of Sri Vallavappan’s coronation at Madurai, he renamed  the  settlement Sundara Cholapuram  as ‘Sundara Chola Chaturvedimangalam’ and gave it to the Brahmins.After the fall of the Cholas, the Pandyas became a dynasty in the 13th century.They established their capital at Madurai.The backwater was their port.

The main rulers were:

Name Reign
Maravarman Sundara Pandya 1216 – 1238
Sundaravaramban Kulasekaran II 1238 – 1240
Maravaramban Sundara Pandian II 1241 – 1251
Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan 1251 – 1268
Maravaramban Kulasekara Pandyan I 1268 – 1308
Sundara Pandian IV 1309 – 1327
Veera Pandyan IV 1309 – 1345


Governance and Society:

                        The Pandyas established their capital at Madurai. Madurai was called ‘Koodal’ and  ‘Kazhukoodal‘ by the people.The army of the Pandyas was stronger than that of other countries because of the cavalry. Horses  were imported from Arab countries.It is mentioned that the king  rules according toManushastra‘.They established a settlement for Brahmins  called ‘Mangalam’  or Chaturveda Mangalam‘.The kings were  called ‘Koodalkon’, ‘Koodalkavalan’ and ‘Madurapura Parameswarman‘.The titles Pandya Adhiarasan, Pandya Maharasan,  Mannar Mannan, Avanipa Sekaran, Eka Veeran and Sakalapulavana Chakravarthi  were  also bestowed on the  original Pandya kings.To the later Pandyas, Kodandaraman, Kolakalan,

            He had Sanskrit titles like Bhuvanekaveeran, Kaliyuga Rama  and Tamil titles like Sembian, Vanavan and Thennavan.The palace of the Pandyas was called ‘Thirumalikai’ and ‘Manaparanan Thirumalikai.In order to dominate the petty chieftains  ,  they named the thrones as Pandya Tharayan, Munnaya Tharayan and Kalingatharayan.The kings issued decrees orally from the rare dam. They  are calledThirumanthiram Olai‘.Manickavasagar, Kula Jailar and Maran Kari served as ministers to the Pandyas.

    • Chief Minister Uttar Minister
    • Government Secretariat Writing Hall
    • Parivara Mudali-personal assistants of the king.

The most esteemed officers are:

    • Maran Einan
    • Sathan Ganapathy
    • Enadhi Satan
    • Thru Efficiency
    • Murthy-Einan

Titles of Commanders:

    • School Velan
    • Parantakan School Velan
    • Maran Adityan
    • Thennavan Tamilvel

Pandya Dynasty-Administrative Divisions:

                                          As in the Chola country, the Pandya kingdom was divided into several mandalams.Mandalasà were divided into à Valanadu,  Nadu, Koorangal, àMangalam, Nagaram and your/Kudi.The ruler of the countries is the ‘folk‘.Nattar is the one who  levies taxes on agricultural lands.It was inhabited by people belonging to many social groups.There was an independent political sect called Kulakkil in the Pandya region.The inscription ‘Madakulakkil Madurai’  mentions that  this means the areas below the irrigation tank.They set aside a land called Salapogam for Brahmins.They allotted ‘Thatta Kani’  of land to the metal workers.They allotted land called ‘carpenter subsidy‘ to those engaged in woodwork.The land given to the Brahmin group for teaching was called ‘Patta Vritti‘.

Pandya Dynasty-Religion and Architecture:

               It is said that the Pandyas were originally Jains   and converted to Saivism. The temple inscriptions bear testimony to this.The Pandyas expressed their support for Vedic practices.The Velvikudi plates also state that each Pandya king performed the rituals of Aswamedha Yagna, Hiranyagarbha and Vajapeya Yagna.The Pandyas repaired old temples and donated gold and  land  to them.Some of the kings were staunch Saivites and extreme Vaishnavites.

                            It is said that there were intense religious conflicts during that period.Sadayavarman Sundara Pandian donated an  idol of Lord Vishnu in  memory of his coronation of the Srirangam temple.The medieval Pandyas and later Pandyas did not build temples but only maintainedThe early Pandya temples had sculptures of Vishnu, Kotravai, Ganesha, Subramania, Surya and Brahma.They also built temples of various They are tomb temples, cave temples and structural temples.Pillayarpatti, Thirumayam, Kundrakudi,  Tiruchendur,  Kazhugumalai, Kanyakumari and Sittanavasal are also examples of temples.The inscription in the Sittanavasal temple  states that  the cave  was created by Gautama  and  later  renovated by Sri Maran and Sri Vallavan.

Pandya Dynasty-Trade:

               Along with the increase in agricultural production, handicraft activities also increased production.Barter system promoted trade.Since trade transactions were  carried out in gold coins, coins were in circulation in large numbers.They  were variously called kasu, kalanju and gold.It is  said that there were two merchant guilds, ‘Anjuvannathar‘ and ‘Manigramathar‘. The two merchant guilds were united  and functioned under the names of Ainurruvar and Valanjiar.The Anju Vannathar group consists of Western teachers, including Jews, Christians and  Muslims. They were maritime merchants.Manigramathar is  a group that trades within the country.

                    They mostly lived in interior towns like Kodumbalur, Uraiyur, Kovilpatti and Piranmalai.The headquarters of the merchants was at Airol in Karnataka.Later, maritime trade centres also emerged at Mylapore, Thiruvottiyur (Chennai), Nagapattinam, Visakhapatnam and Krishnapatnam.Sandalwood, agil,  condiments, precious  gems, pepper,  oil,  paddy, cereals and salt  were exported.They imported camphor, copper, tin and mercury.Regarding the horse trade during the Pandyan period, Vasa gives the following record: “About 10,000 horses were imported at Kayal and other ports in India.  Of these, 1400 horses belonged to Jamaluddin. The average price of a horse is 220 red gold dinars.”













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