Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ancient History Of South India

South Indian History spreads over 5000 years.Today's South India was undisputed in Ancient period by Invader's until British entered south.The deep mystery surrounds south India that over 3000 years no one invaded south even Mughal's until  British entered south.Indus valley civilization is native for south Indian's.After Invasion of Aryan's the native Dravidian moved south.Asoka Empire Inscription describes about three powerful dynasty down south (Chera,Chola,Pandya).Even evidence of south Indian did trading with roman Emperor Augustus early 300 BC.South India was at different level when north India under steady invasion.Until 1000 AD Tamil and Tamil emperors dominated the south India.

Pandyan Dynasty:(Before 300 BC- 1400 AD)

  • They initially ruled their country Pandya Nadu from Korkai, a seaport on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, and in later times moved to Madurai.
  • Pandyan was well known since ancient times, with contacts, even diplomatic, reaching the Roman Empire.
  • During the 13th century AD, Marco Polo mentioned it as the richest empire in existence.
  • The Pandyas of Southern India are believed to have been founded at least five to six centuries before the Christian Era with a very strong possibility of a more ancient date of establishment.Their recorded existence and mention are found in records dating to as early as 550 BCE.
  • Emperor Augustus of Rome at Antioch knew of the Pandyan of Dramira and received a Pandyan ambassador with letters and gifts from this ancient Tamil Kingdom.
  • Strabo described an ambassador to emperor Augustus Caesar from a South Indian King called Pandyan.
  • The country of the Pandyas, Pandi Mandala, was described as Pandyan Mediterranea in the Periplus and Modura Regia Pandyan by Ptolemy.
  • The early 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 out of the Tamil country and ruled from Madurai.
  • The Pandyas allied themselves with the Sinhalese and the Cheras in harassing the Chola empire until they found an opportunity for reviving their fortunes during the late 13th century.
  • The Later Pandyas (1216–1345) entered their golden age under Maravman Sundara Pandyan and 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 and their successors.
  • They controlled the pearl fisheries along the South Indian coast, between Sri Lanka and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world.
  • Traditionally, the legendary Sangams were held in Madurai under their patronage, and some of the Pandya Kings were poets themselves.
Chola Dynasty:(300 BC-1300 BC)

  • The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Asoka, of Maurya Empire; the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century AD.
  • The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River, but they ruled a significantly larger area at the height of their power from the later half of the 9th century till the beginning of the 13th century.
  • The whole country south of the Tungabhadra was united and held as one state for a period of two centuries and more.
  • Under Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in South Asia and South-east Asia.
  • The power of the new empire was proclaimed to the eastern world by the celebrated expedition to the Ganges which Rajendra Chola I undertook and by the overthrow after an unprecedented naval war of the maritime empire of Srivijaya, as well as by the repeated embassies to China.
  • During the period 1010–1200, the Chola territories stretched from the islands of the Maldives in the south to as far north as the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Rajaraja Chola conquered peninsular South India, annexed parts of what is now Sri Lanka and occupied the islands of the Maldives.
  • Rajendra Chola sent a victorious expedition to North India that touched the river Ganges and defeated the Pala ruler of Pataliputra, Mahipala. He also successfully invaded kingdoms of the Malay Archipelago.
Chera Dynasty:(5th century BC-1120 AD)

  • During the time of Mauryas in northern India (c. 4th-3rd century BC) the Cheras (along with the Pandyas and the Cholas) were in a late megalithic phase on the western coast of ancient Tamil land.
  • The cultural exchange with the northern India and the flourishing trade with the Roman Empire later contributed to the state formation.
  • The Cheras probably expanded their kingdom from Kuttanad region (central Kerala) to northward (Kudanad, Puzhinadu) and eastward (Kongunadu).
  • Some Chera rules are said to have defeated the combined armies of the Pandyas and the Cholas and their ally states. They also made battles with the Kadambas of Banavasi and the "Yavanas" (Romans) on the Indian coast.
  • The Tamil poetic collection called Sangam literature describes a long line of Chera rulers.
  • Senguttuvan Chera (the Red/Good Chera), the most celebrated and powerful Chera king is famous for the legends surrounding Kannagi, the heroine of the legendary Tamil epic Silapathikaram.
  • Under him, the Chera kingdom stretched ruled from Kollimalai in the east to Tondi and Mantai on the western coast.
  • Senguttuvan Chera established his cousin securely on the Chola throne and defeated the Kadambas, "Yavanas" and the Kongu rulers.
  • He is mentioned in the context of King Gajabahu’s rule in Sri Lanka, which can be dated to either the first or last quarter of the 2nd century AD.
  • After second century AD, the Chera power decayed rapidly with the decline of the lucrative trade with the Romans.The domination of first Chera dynasty lasted till circa 5th century AD.
  • The early Cheras ruled parts of Kerala (Malabar) State, Kongu Nadu, Salem and Dharmapuri from time immemorial. The dynasty probably added the Southern Nagapattanam and Thiruvarur districts to their kingdom later.
  • The Chera Kingdom owed its importance to the trade with the Romans. The geographical advantages, like the abundance of black pepper and other spices, the navigability of the rivers connecting the high mountains with the Arabian sea and the discovery of favorable trade winds which carried sailing ships directly from the Arabian coast to Chera Kingdom in less than forty days, combined to produce a veritable boom in Cheras's foreign trade.
  • Muziris, the famous sea port with two Roman regiments,was in the Chera kingdom and throughout the reign of the Cheras, trade continued to bring prosperity to their kingdom, with spices, ivory, timber, pearls and gems being exported to the Middle East and to southern Europe.
  • It is said that the Romans built a temple of Augustus at Muziris. Evidence of extensive foreign trade from ancient times can be seen throughout the Malabar coast, Karur and Coimbatore districts.
  • Although weakened by wars with the Cholas and Pandyas, the Chera state very much profited from their natural resources and foreign trade.
Pallava Dynasty:(4th-9th Century AD)

  • They established themselves as a notable rising power in the region in third-fourth century and by the beginning of the seventh century AD, the Pallavas along with the Chalukyas of Badami and the Pandyas of Madurai, emerged to be the three major states of southern India.
  • The term pallava means creeper, and is a Sanskrit version of the Tamil word tondai. The Pallavas were a local tribe with their authority in the Tondainadu.
  • The Pallavas gained prominence after the eclipse of the Satavahana dynasty, whom the Pallavas served as feudatories.
  • The Gupta emperor Samudragupta is known to have brought Pallavas under their sway. The early Pallavas came into conflict with the Kadambas, the rulers of northern Karnataka and Konkan in the fourth century AD.
  • Soon Pallavas recognized the Kadamba authority over them. The revolt led by the Kalabhras affected the Pallavas and it was put down by the allied efforts of Pallavas, Pandyas and Chalukyas.
  • After the Kalabhra upheaval the long struggle between the Pallavas and Chalukyas of Badami for supremacy in peninsular India began. Both tried to establish control over the Krishna-Tungabhadra doab.
  • Although the Chalukya ruler Pulakeshin II almost reached the Pallava capitalm his second invasion ended in failure. The Pallava ruler Narasimhavarman occupied Vatapi, defeated the Pandyas, Cholas and Cheras.
  • The conflict resumed in the first half of the eight century with multiple Pallava setbacks. The Chalukyas overrun them completely in 740 AD, ending the Pallava supremacy in South India.
  • In the early centuries of the Christian era the Pallavas founded their colonies in Sumatra, present day Indonesia.
The Mighty Three Kings Of South India-Chera,Chola,Pandyan

List Of South India Kings:

Pre-historic period

    30,000 BCE-Paleolithic industries in north Tamil Nadu
    8000-3000 BCE-Pre-pottery microlithic industries
    3000-1000 BCE-Neolithic and fine microlithic industries

Pre-Sangam period

    1000-300 BCE-Megalithic age
    600 BCE-Tamil-Brahmi prevalent as the Tamil script
    250 BCE-Asoka's inscription recording the four kingdoms (Chera, Cholas, Pandya and Satyaputra) of the ancient Tamil country
    200 BCE-Elara, a Tamil prince and contemporary of Dutte Gamini, rules Lanka

Sangam age

    200 BCE-200 CE-Sangam age during which books of Sangam Literature are created
    150 BCE-Kharavela of Kalinga records his conquest of a federation of Tamil kings in his Hathigumpha inscription
    130- Chera king Udayanjeral rules in the Chera country
    175-195-Gajabahu I of Lanka a contemporary of Chera Senguttuvan and Karikala Chola
    190- Chera Kadukko Ilanjeral Irumporai rules in the Chera country
    200-Writing becomes widespread and vattezuttu evolved from the Tamil Brahmi becomes a mature script for writing Tamil
    210- Pandya Neduncheliyan rules in Madurai and defeats his enemies at the battle of Talaiyalanganam

Post-Sangam period

    300-590-Kalabhras invade the Tamil country and displace the traditional rulers
    300-500-Post-Sangam period, Tamil epics such as Silappatikaram written

Pallava and Pandya

    560-580-Pallava Simhavishnu overthrows the Kalabhras in Tondaimandalam
    560-590-Pandya Kadungon rules from Madurai and displaces the Kalabhras from the south
    590-630-Pallava Mahendravarman I rules in Kanchipuram
    610-Saiva saint Thirunavukkarasar (Appar) converts Mahendravarman from Jainism
    628-Chalukya Pulakesi II invades the Pallava kingdom and lays siege on Kanchipuram
    630-668 Pallava Narasimhavarman I (Mamalla) rules in Tondaimandalam
    642-Pallava Narasimhavarman I launches a counter invasion into the Chalukya country and sacks Vatapi. Pulakesi is killed in battle
    670-700 CE-Pandya Arikesari Parankusa Maravarman rules in Madurai
    700-728-Pallava Rajasimha builds the Kailasanatha temple in Kanchipuram and many of the shore temples in Mamallapuram
    700-730-Pandya Ranadhira (Koccadayan) expands the Pandya kingdom into the Kongu country
    731-Succession crisis in the Pallava kingdom. Council of ministers select Nandivarman II (Pallavamalla) (731-796) as the Pallava king
    731-765-Pandya Maravarman Rajasimha aligns with the Chalukya Vikramaditya II and attacks the Pallava king Nandivarmam
    735-Chaluka Vikramaditya II invades the Pallava country and occupies the capital Kanchipuram
    760-Pallava Nandivarman II invades and defeats the Ganga kingdom at the battle of Villande
    765-815-Pandya Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan (Varaguna Pandyan) rules in Madurai
    767-Pandya forces defeat the Pallavas on the south banks of the Kaveri
    800-830-Varagunan I becomes Pandya king and extends his empire up to Tiruchirapalli by defeating the Pallava king Dandivarman
    830-862-Pandya Sirmara Srivallabha rules in Madurai
    840-Srimara invades Lanka and captures the northern provinces of the Lanka king Sena I
    848 -Rise of Vijayalaya Chola in Tanjavur after defeating the Muttaraiyar[1]Muthuraja rulers of kaveri delta
    846-869-Pallava Nadivarman III leads an invasion against the Pandya kingdom and defeats the Pandyas at the battle of Tellaru. Pallava kingdom extnds up to the river Vaigai
    859-Pandya Srivallaba defeats the Pallavas at a battle at Kumbakonam
    862-Sinhala forces under Sena II invade the Pandya country and sack Madurai. Srimara is killed in battle

Chola period

    903 -Aditya Chola defeats the Pallava king Aparajita
    949 -Battle of Takkolam. Rashtrakuta Krishna III defeats the Chola army
    985 -Accession of Rajaraja Chola I
    1010 -Rajaraja completes the Brihadisvara Temple
    1012 -Accession of Rajendra Chola I
    1023 -Rajendra's expedition to the Ganges
    1025 -Chola navies defeat the king of Srivijaya
    1041 -Rajendra invades Lanka
    1054 -Rajadhiraja Chola dies in the battle of Koppam against Western Chalukyas
    1070 -Accession of Kulothunga Chola I
    1118 -Vikrama Chola
    1133 -Kulothunga Chola II
    1146 -Rajaraja Chola II
    1163 -Rajadhiraja Chola II
    1178 -Kulothunga Chola III
    1216 -Rajaraja Chola III
    1246 -Rajendra Chola III

Chola to Pandya transition

    1190-1260 - Bana Dynasty rule Magadaimandalam with family title of 'ponparappinan' and headquarter at Aragalur
    1216 - Kadava Dynasty

Pandiya revival and Muslim rule

    1251 -Accession of Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I
    1279 -End of the Chola dynasty with the death of Rajendra Chola III
    1268-1310 - Maravarman Kulasekhara Pandiyan rules in Madurai
    1308 -Malik Kafur a general of Allaudin Khilji invades Devagiri en route to Tamil Nadu
    1310 -Sundara Pandian, son of Kulasekara Pandiyan, kills his father and becomes king. In the ensuing civil war he is defeated by his brother Vira Pandiyan.
    1311 -Malik Kafur, invades Pandiya country and attacks Madurai
    1327-1370 Madurai under the rule of Madurai Sultanate

Vijayanagar and Nayak period

    1370 - Bukka, the Vijayanagara ruler and his son Kumara Kamapna capture the entire Tamil country
    1522 -Portuguese land on the Coromandal coast
    1535 -Achyuta Raya of Vijayanagara appoints Sevappa Nayak, who established the Nayak dynasty at Tanjavur
    1535-1590 -Sevappa Nayak rules as the first independent Nayak ruler in Tanjavur
    1600-1645 -Ragunatha Nayak, the greatest of the Tanjavur Nayaks
    1609 -the Dutch establish a settlement in Pulicat
    1623-1659 -Tirumalai Nayak rules in Madurai
    1639 British East India Company purchases Chennapatinam and establishes Fort St. George
    c. 1652 -Tanjavur and Jingi fall to the Bijapur Sultan
    1656 -Mysore army invades Salem against the Madurai Nayak Tirumalai
    1675 -Maratha army from Bijapur marches into Tanjavur, Ekoji declares himself king
    1692 Nawab of Arcot established by Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Khan, a viceroy of the Moghul Emperor
    1746 La Bourdonnais of the French East India company attacks and takes Fort St. George


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  2. I have learnt in my school days about Cholas and Pandiyas, but not in a clear picture but here I got the detailed of these kings.Thank you for the valuable information.

  3. Wonderful collection of facts on Tamils. Thank you - Gopikrishna Kalyanam

  4. Only if the white people hadn't come and stole everything and left us with nothing, we would have been in peace and plenty. But as the epics say, evil will engulf the good but at the end Truth will win

  5. Nice post because The Cholas were one of the three main dynasties to rule south India from ancient times. ... This period coincided with the ascendency of the Kalabhras who moved down from the northern Tamil country displacing the established kingdoms and ruled over most of south India for almost 300 years.
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