Pandyan Dynasty

Pandyan Dynasty

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Pandyan or Pandian dynasty was an ancient Tamil dynasty, one of the three Tamil dynasties (the other two being Chola and Chera), which ruled parts of South India until the 15th century 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 Pandyan empire was home to temples including Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, and Nellaiappar Temple built on the bank of the river Thamirabarani in Tirunelveli. The Pandya kings were called either Jatavarman or Maravarman Pandyan. From being Jains in their early ages, they became Shaivaits after some centuries of rule.

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 BC. As recorded by Strabo, Emperor Augustus of Rome received at Antioch an ambassador from a South Indian King called Pandyan of Dramira. 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. They again went into decline with the rise of the Cholas in the 9th century and were in constant conflict with them. 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. During their history, the Pandyas were repeatedly in conflict with the Pallavas, Cholas, Hoysalas and finally the Muslim invaders from the Delhi Sultanate. The Pandyan Kingdom finally became extinct after the establishment of the Madurai Sultanate in the 16th century.

The Pandyas excelled in both trade and literature before the Christian Era. 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.

Read more about Pandyan Dynasty:  Etymology, Religion

Other articles related to "pandyan dynasty, pandyan":

Pandyan Dynasty - Religion
... Following the invasion of Kalabhras, Jainism gained a foothold in the Pandyan kingdom ... Pandyan Nedumchadayan was a staunch Vaishnavite ...
Paravar - History - Pandyan Dynasty
... The Pandyan emperors allowed the Paravars to manage and operate the pearl fisheries because of their already ancient skills in that activity, which required specialist ... that the Tamil-speaking Paravars "claim" to be kshatriyas (warriors) serving under the Pandyan kings, the word used suggesting some official doubt regarding the issue ... Southern India came under the control of the Cholas in the ninth century but reverted to Pandyan control around the mid-1200s following a series of battles ...