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Pandyan Dynasty: The Richest and the Longest Reigning Indian Empire

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Pandyan Dynasty Map

Pandyan Dynasty Map

 

The Pandya Dynasty was one of the four most popular dynasties of the Southern India. The dynasty was also a part of the Triumvirate called “World of the Three” along with Chola, and Chera Dynasties. The name of the Dynasty is derived from the word Pandi meaning bull in Tamil. The first Pandya king was Kulasekharan and it was with his name that the epithet Pandya was assigned for the first time as he was of a built as strong as a bull. The Pandyas ruled for the longest time in the Indian history and are believed to be the richest dynasty in the history of India. The origin and the succession history of the Dynasty is often debated and the only source to any information on the initial rulers of the dynasty is through the epics of Tamil Literature named Silapathikaram and Manimekalai which contain short epic poems dedicated to several Pandyan Kings over a span of time.

The Pandyan rule in India is believed have been started in the 3rd century BCE generally called the Sangam Period. However, it is only after the end of the Sangam Period that their rule strengthened in India.

Pandyan Kings in Sangam Period


Some of the significant names that have emerged through various historical sources in respect to the rulers under the Pandyan Empire are Koon Pandiyan, Nedunj Cheliyan I , Aariyap Padai Kadantha Nedunj Cheliyan), Pudappandiyan, Mudukudumi Paruvaludhi, Nedunj Cheliyan II, Nan Maran, Nedunj Cheliyan III (Talaiyaalanganathu Seruvendra Nedunj Cheliyan), Maran Valudi, Kadalan valuthi, Musiri Mutriya Cheliyan and Kadalul Maintha Ukkirap Peruvaludi

The First Pandyan Empire and the Rulers
The first Pandyan Empire refers to the Pandya rule in the South India initiated by Kadungon in the sixth century by thrashing the Kalabhras. The victory gave a momentum to the empire and they grow in valour along with the Pallavas. Howver, the Chola Kings revived their lost pride by capturing Pandyan owned Thanjavur region. After this, there was no lloikng back for the Cholas and the Pandyans could not retain their earlier supremacy despite of the repeated efforts to wage wars and form alliances. Some of the significant Pandyan Rulers at this time were Kadungon 560 – 590 AD, Maravarman Avani Culamani 590 – 620 AD, Cezhiyan Cendan 620 – 640 AD, Arikesari Maravarman Nindraseer Nedumaaran 670 – 710 AD, Kochadaiyan Ranadhiran 710 – 735 AD, Arikesari Parankusa Maravarman Rajasimha I 735 – 765 AD, Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan 765 – 790 AD, Rasasingan II 790 – 800 AD, Varagunan I 800 – 830 AD, Sirmara Srivallabha 830 – 862 AD, Varagunavarman II 862 – 880 AD, Parantaka Viranarayana 880 – 900 AD, Maravarman Rajasimha II 900 – 920 AD.

The Pandya Rulers under the dominance of Cholas


Due to the efforts of Parantaka Chola, The Cholas continued to dominate the South South India, Deccan and the Eastern and Western Coast of India during AD 880- 1210 and most of the Pandyan kings were banished from their kingdoms and lands. Some of the Pandyan kings were forced to add epithet Chola with their names as they were ruling in Chola conquered lands. The Pandyan rulers who lived in misery at this time were Sundara Pandya I, Vira Pandya I and 11, Amarabhujanga Tivrakopa, Jatavarman Sundara Chola Pandya, Maravarman Vikrama Chola Pandya, Maravarman Parakrama Chola Pandya, Jatavarman Chola Pandya, Srivallabha Manakulachala (1101–1124), Maaravaramban Seervallaban (1132–1161), Parakrama Pandiyan (1161–1162), Kulasekara Pandyan III, Vira Pandyan III, Jatavarman Srivallaban (1175–1180),Jatavarman Kulasekaran I (1190–1216).

13th century: A New Lease of life for the Pandyan Dynasty


After being shadowed by the Chola Dynasty for over two centuries, the Pandyan Dynasty finally made a come back under the Pandyan Kings Maravarambam Sundara Pandyan and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan 1. The Pandyans extended their rule even to the northern half of Sri Lanka during the 13th century under Jatavarman Vira Pandyan 1. As the Pandyas grew in stature, the dominion of the Cholas weakened. The alliance with the Hoysalas did no good to the Cholas and with the death of Vira Someshwara Hoysala. The Pandyans got hold of the Kongu territories, Chola Nadu and some of the Hoysala countries during the time and a new clan called Kongu Pandiyar was established under Jatavarman Vira Pandiyan. The loss of Vira Someshwara against Jatavarman Sundara Pandiyan resulted in the end of the Hoysala Empire. Jatavarman Sundara Pandiyan went inside Kannada country after conquering Tiruchy and occupied parts of Hoysala territory up to the Konkana coast and established his son Vira Pandiyan as ruler of those territories. Rajendra 3 of the Chola Empire who has defeated the Pandyan princes in history was the next target of Jatavarman. He challenged Rajendra -3 who hoping that Hoysalas will help him accepted the challenge. But the already frightened Hoysalas were in defensive mode and Rajendra -3 lost and was humiliated in the war which is believed to have taken place somewhere around 1268-70. This was the end of the Chola Empire.

Raids by the Mughals and end of the Pandyan Rule


The Khilji Dynasty ruling under Allaudin Khilji in Delhi at the time sent its general Malik Khasur to the expedition of South India with treasure hunt being the prime motive. Veera Ballala III of the Pandyan Kingdom was the first victim in Malik Khafur’s siege of South India. His defeat led to the capture of the Hindu temples at Halebidu and their subsequent loot. The next target of Allaudin was the rich Madurai about which they heard from Veera Virupaksha Ballala, son of Veera Ballala III of the Pandyan Kingdom and now a confidant of the Mughals. Sundara Pandyan decided to attack Malik Khafur’s army before they could launch an attack on them and marched with his enemies to meet the Malik’s forces at Thiruchirapalli while Vira Pandyan stayed back to protect the walled city of Madurai with his men.

The poor execution and even more poorly armed Pandyan Dynasty was soon out of stock essentials like water. The fatigued armies could not combat against the well armed soldiers of Khilji Dynasty who met them much before Thiruchirapalli. Soon, the Pandyan army collapsed in face of a well planned attack and Sundaram Pandyan was taken captive. Vira Pandyan was successful in restraining the opponents and preventing them to enter the revered Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. A truce was proposed by the Mughals under which they gained hold of all the gold and valuables of the temple and the ration in the fort of Madurai while they had to release Sundaram Pandyan and leave the deities of the temple unharmed in return. However, the later expeditions by Khilji rulers Khusro Khan in 1323 CE and Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq in 1333 CE were enough to wipe the Pandyan Dynasty from the face of South India.

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9 Responses to “Pandyan Dynasty: The Richest and the Longest Reigning Indian Empire”
  1. jegan says:

    is ther any connection between paravars and pandiyas ?

    i here some quoted that pandiyan dynassty started from paravar clan . could you explain ?

  2. chendrn says:

    The muslim regiment sided with their religious brothers of malikkhafur.It is the draining of the wealth of the pandyas that resulted in resurgence of pandyas impossible.The sabotage of the muslims resulted in the total destruction of the pandyan kingdom.A three thousand year old pure tamil dynasty was donewith.

  3. Vijay Sekara Paandiyan says:

    Pandya Dynasty is different from the others. Headed in the other caste names, father’s side., But in the maternal They derived the name of his caste.

    When a male Chola dynasty Pandya kulappennai manakkinra cerntavanakiran their son kallar race. Cheran as her daughter, her daughter manakkinra Kongu king when the king’s daughter Ganga konkar their son or counter cerntavanakiran race, as well as the alliance is really fixed maravar kutippennai maravanakiran their child. These maravarkoman, konkarkoman, that kallar pemman They can by calling the Sangam literature.

    There is no connection to paratavar kulattirkum Pandya. Paratakantam throughout the entire paratakantam tantetuttu winning in atikalat Pandya and his people became known as the Coast Guard paratavaravar concourse. Pandya and not ordinary.

  4. Vijay Sekara Paandiyan says:

    There are five branches of the Pandya Dynasty

    1. Madurai Pandya (malikapur’s invasion ruled after the Maravarman Kulasekara Pandya and jatavarman Sundara Pandya’s (Madurai maximum Sundara Pandya), which was destroyed. Then pantiyartam the nurse and the generals, ministers and some themselves Pandya saying that belongings alattotankinar. Then British rule during the jamintarnilai eytinar.)

    2. Kongu Pandya (virapantiyar Dynasty (jatavarman Sundara Pandya’s brother) Pandya when it was on the strength of Kongu, colam, and ruled hoycalam. Ipparamparai even though it continues to fall ipparamparaiyum After the fall of the Pandya)

    3. Pandalam dynasty (Pandya Rajasekhara adults of the way. Sabarimala associated with.)

    4. Uccanki Pandya Dynasty (founded by Pandya vijayacekara tunkapatrai river shores. Although he apparamparai and over)

    5. Rokana the Pandya (dynasty that ruled the northern part of Sri Lanka. Later breakup.)

    Pandya dynasty, and among the current generation of Kongu there are only two generations.

  5. Vijay Sekara Paandiyan says:

    Paandiyaa dynasty is totally different from others. Paandiya dynasty is maternal lineage .tThey derived their race name from their mother not fron father .

    if a pandiya king married a chola girl than their kids were kallar,if he married a Chera ,kongu and Ganga dynasty girls than their kids were Gounder or Kongar, if he married Maravar clan girls their kids were Maravars .

    we have many evidence for this in sangam literatures .Sangam literetures praised Paandiyaa Kings as Maravar Komaan ,Kongar Komaan,KonguVendan,Kallar Pemmaan etc .

    There is connection between Paandiyaa dynasty and Parathavar .Paandiyaa Kings invaded north and got the title ‘ Barathakandam muluthum kondor’.

    paravars or parathavars were coast guards of Paandiyaa’s .

  6. Vijay Sekara Paandiyan says:

    there were five branches in Paandiyaa dynasty:

    1. Madurai Paandiyaas

    (who ruled Madurai during Malikafur’s invasion was the last king of Maravarman Kulasekara Paandiyan. (who belonged to Jatavarman Sundara Paandiyar (famously known as ‘Maduraiyai Meetta Sundara Paandiyar’) lineage. after the downfall of Paandiyaa kingdom army genrals and some ministers of Paandiyaa’s ruled some parts around Tirunelveli with the title of Paandiyaa and called themselves as Paandiyaa and also claimed them as heirs of Paandiyaa’s. But they are not Paandiyaas really .)

    2. Kongu Paandiyaas

    (Jatavarman Veera Paandiyaa’s ( brother of Jatavarman Sundara Paandiyar) clan . when Paandiyaas was strong in Madurai this clan ruled Kongu Nadu, chola Nadu & Hoysala Nadu . after the downfall of Madurai Paandiyaas Kongu Paandiyaa’s rule came to an end but not their clan.)

    3. Pandalam

    (Rajasekara Paandiyaa’s clan . which is associated with Sabarimalai and lord Ayyappa)

    4.Ucchangi Paandiyaas

    (VijayaSekara Paandiyaa’s clan .who ruled northern part of Karnataka in the bamks of river Thungabadra from Ucchangi.he was the firt and last person of this clan)

    5.Rohananattu Paandiyaas:

    (who ruled northern Parts of Srilanka )

    in these five only two Kongu Paandiyaa clan and Pandalam clan is surviving now also.

  7. shiva says:

    pandiyan symbol is fish
    pandiyan means meenavan
    pandiyan godess is meenachtchi means ‘rule of fish’
    pandiyan capital is korkai a seaport
    parathar is the real pandiyar read ‘kalvettu and old tamil literatures’

    thalayanam kanathu cheru vendra pandiyan was called ‘then parathavar por yeri’ means thenparavar war lion’.

  8. Rajen Rajkhowa says:

    The Ahom Dynasty in Assam was the longest rulers who rules Assam for nearly 600 year in continuity from 1228 to 1826 AD.

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