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. Based on the Synchronistic Tables of their Kings, 
Chieftains and Poets appearing in the^Sangam Literature. 




Price RS- 5 Foreign It- d 


SINCE the work now presented to the reader rests solely 
on the strength of the Synchronistic Table accompanying 
it, I consider it necessary to prefix a few remarks bearing 
on the undertaking and execution of such a work, 
remarks for which I have not been able to find a place in 
the body of the book itself. 

The History of the Tamils, their language, and their 
literature cannot be said io have even started its exist- 
ence, for the sufficient reason that a correct chronological 
frame-work to hold together and in right order the many 
facts enshrined in their ancient Sangam Literature has not 
yet been got at. Various have boon the attempts made 
till now to utilize the facts gathered from that Literature 
for edifying narratives, descriptions and exhortations; but 
a genuine history, none of thoso, ii must bo regretfully 
acknowledged, has boon able to evolve. Lacking the indis- 
pensable initial lime-frame, the so-called histories of 
Tamil Literature and the long-winded introductions to the 
various editions of the Tamil Classical poems remain 
to this day inane and vapid of roal instruction, 
in spite of their tedious parrot-like repetitions 
of fictions and facts culled from tradition and 
the poems themselves. Tho learned authors of 
these dissertations have been only trying to make bricks 
without straw, or rather to raise a structure with only 
bricks without the connecting mortar of Chronology. This 
lack of a scientific chronology is, however, due not to any 
paucity of relevant materials in which the Sangam Litera- 
ture is apparently rich but to a failure to apply to 
them the correct mode of manipulation their valuation 
and arrangement. Taking this view of the mailer I nerved 
myself lo the task of tesling whelher Ihe early poems of Ihe 


Tamils when subjected to modern methods could be made 
to yield the secret of their chronology or should be allowed 
to lie mute, as of yore, or worse still, to mumble out their 
incoherences, here and there, in the triad of collections to 
which a late literary but unhistorical systematist has so 
kindly consigned them. In entering on this new and diffi- 
cult piece of work T had no reason to be buoyed up by any 
strong hope of success, so divergent and even conflicting 
being the views of scholars about the Tamil Sangam and its 
Literature and so hopelessly disarranged the literary 
remains. And immediately after I sat down and began 
preparing the Synchronistic Table a revered scholar, with 
another friend, one day happened to step into my room 
and, learning what T was engaged in, lost no time in throw- 
ing a- plentiful douche of cold water on the scheme, urging 
that he himsolf had been engaged more than once in a 
similar undertaking 1 but each time had to give it up as a 
fruitless venture in sheer vexation of spirit. This warning 
coming from a scholar of his standing and that at the very 
threshold of my efforts naturally had the effect of very 
nearly wiping out even the little hope I had behind the 
back of my mind. Still realising the traditional overpar- 
tiality of some of our scholars for traditions as a class I 
persuaded myself that the scholar referred to must have 
weighted his barque with a little too much of unnecessary 
traditional lumber to have thus sent it to the bottom before 
reaching its destination. A ray of hope thus gleamed 
through this idea and accordingly I persisted in my work 
and went on verifying the various literary references and 
jot ling down the names for the projected Table. If past 
failures are but stepping-stones to future success, I thought 
that this particular scholar's discomfiture should put me 
doubly on my guard against the intrusion of legendary 
matter and unverified traditions amongst the facts of 
the Table and so vitiating their positive testimony. I 
resolved also to keep clear before my mind the distinction 
between facts and our interpretation of facts, between 

objective data and subjective constructions. Despite all 
these resolves, however, I should confess that my first Table, 
true to the for e\va ruing 1 had already received, turned out 
badly; nor could the second fare any better, though 
much superior to its predecessor in its close-jointed charac- 
ter and freedom from extraneous and irrelevant matter. 
The Table herewith presented is the result of my third 
attempt and I trust that the sacrifice of two of its fellows 
has added strength to it. Unlike its predecessors this Table 
has stood all the criticism i have been able to bring to bear 
upon it and hence on this frame I proceeded to distribute 
the various facts and events of Early Tamil Literature and 
weave a connected narrative for the period covered by it. 
Now that the Table and its interpretation are placed before 
Tamil Scholars, old and new, it is for them to pronounce 
\vhether these lay the foundation-stone for a real 'Begin- 
ning of South Indian History' based on the earliest literary 
documents available in Tamil, or, these too should go the 
way of the previous attempts in the field. 

For drawing up the preliminary lists of the Kings, 
Chieftains and Poets appearing in the Sangain Literature 
on w r hidi the construction of the Synchronistic Table was 
started, 1 have to express my thanks to Vidvan V. Verikata- 
rajalu Reddiyar and Pandit K. V. Anantarama Aiyar, then 
Fellows of the Oriental Research Institute, of whom the 
latter unhappily has since been removed by the hand of 
death beyond the reach of this deserved though belated 
recognition of his assistance. 1 should also acknowledge 
with gratitude the services of Mr. S. Somasundara Desikar 
of the Tamil Lexicon Office and Mr. K. N. Kuppuswami 
Aiyangar, B.A., of the Oriental Research Institute Office, in 
so kindly undertaking the preparation of an Index of Names 
for this book. And, above all, my most sincere thanks are 
due to the Syndicate of the University I have now the 
honour to serve, for the facilities and conveniences offered 
for Research in, this Institute without which a work of this 
nature would scarcely be possible. 



PART l.Sangam Literature: Its Valuation and 



1. Introduction .. .. .. .. 1 

2. Dravidian Pre-history and South India . . . . 5 

3. The historical period of Dravidian Culture and 

South India . . . . . . 6 

4. Tamil Literature and its historical value . . 11 

5. Early Tamil Literature, the only evidence for 

the period covered by it . . 14 

6. The Sangam Literature of the Tamils . . . . 15 

7. The Sunburn Literature: Its defects and drawbacks. 16 

8. The Slrry of the S;mg;mt c::{;mine<l .. .. 18 
!>. The Sim gam works: llu-ir collect JON and arrange- 
ment . . . . . . 27 

10. The testimony of the Four Collections- Primary .. 38 

11. The Kesult of the Literary valuation of the 

Sangam Works . . . . . . 40 

12. iSuccrssion of the Sungam Works: their broad 

arrangement in time . . . . 42 

13. The basic Works for the Synchronistic Tables .. 44 

PART II. The ftynchronislic Tables and their 

Ten Generations . . 47 

14. Difficulties in our way .. .. ..47 

15. The Personages in the Tables .. .. 51 

16. Description of the Tables .. .. ..52 

17. The Tables and the Chola line of kings . . 56 

18. A new view-point . . . . . . 60 

The First Generation: Vdiyan Tittan Period .. 67 

19. The Chola Line: Veliyan Tittan .. .. 67 

20. The Pan$ya line unrepresented . . . . 72 



21. The Chera line unrepresented . . . . 73 

22. The Chieftains .. .. ..73 

The Second Generation : Titian Veliyan alias Porvaik- 

ko Perunatfcilli Period . . . . . . 75 

23. The Ch-ola Line: Tittan Veliyan alias Porvaikko 

PerunarkilU . . . . 75 

24. The Pundiya and the Chf>ra Kinjrs . . . . 81 
The Third Generation: Mudittalai-Ko Perunarkttli 

Period . . .. .. ..85 

23. The Chola Line: 

(1) MiHlittalai-Ko-Perunarkilli 

(2) Karikalan 1 .. .. ..85 

26. The Pancliya Line: NedumtcT Celiyan alias Nedum- 

cejiyan I . . . . 98 

27. The Chera Line: 

(1) Antuvan Chcral Irumporai 

(2) IJdiyan Chf-nil alias Pcnmichorru TIdiyaii 

Cheralatan . . . . . . 103 

28. The Chiefs . . . . . . . . 105 

29. Link-names . . . . . . . . 109 

The Fourth Generation: Vcl-pah-iadakkai-Pcruviral 

Killi Period . . . . . . m 

30. The Cho]a Line: Vel-pah-tadakkai-Peruviral Killi. Ill 

31. The PaiMliya Line : Putappamliyan . . . . 112 

32. Thr Chera Line: 

(1) Celva-KaiJuiiko-Ali Atan 

(2) Kudakko-Nednmcheralatan 

() Pal-Yaiiai-CVl-Kclii-Kuttuvan .. ..116 

33. The Chieftains . . . . . . 118 

Link-names . . . . . . fm uy 

The Fifth Generation: Umva-pah-1er-Ilaiicc<f Cenni 

Period .. .. .. ..119 

34. The Chola Line : ITruva-pah-ter-lJancei,! Cenni . . 119 

35. The Pancliya Line: Pasumpfm Pamliyan .. 120 

36. The Chera Line: 

(1) Kuttuvan Irumporai 

(2) Kalaiikaykkanni Narmu^i-Cheral 

(3) Ka^al-pirakkottiya-Vel-Kelu Kuttuvan .. 124 


37. The Chieftains . . . . . . 125 

Link-names . . . . . . . . 128 

The Sixth Generation : Karikalan the Qrcai's Period. 128 

38. The Chola Line : Karikfilan II . . . . 128 

39. The Pandiya Line : Palsalai Mudukudumi Pcruvaiudi. 131 

40. Some Doubts . . . . . . . . 133 

41. The Chera Line: 

(1) Cheraman Kudakko Ilancheral Irnmporai 

(2) Aflnkotpattu Cheralatan .. . . 136 
42 n The Chiefs . . . . . . . . 140 

Link-names .. .. .. ..Ill 

The jSVfv;///? Generation : Cedeenni-Xahnnkiin Period. 141 

43. The Choja Line: Codcoimi NatamkiHi .. ..Ill 

44. The PfuK.liya Line : Talaiyfilankfinaltii^VruAYimi 

Nedmiut]iyan .. .. .. 144 

45. The Chera Lino: Chrrainan Kuttuvan Kddai .. 146 
40. The Chiefs .. .. ..146 

Link-names .. .. .. ..147 

The Eiyhlh Gnnrulion: KitltuHurrdllu-turu'iini-Kini 

Valavan Period . . . . . . 148 

47. The Choja Lino: KulanHiiTattu-tufK'iya-Kil]i V;ila- 

van .. .. .. ..148 

48. The Pfmdiya Line: 

(1) llavantikaippalji-liinciya-Naniiirinui 

(2) KfujrikrirHltii-tuficiyH-Malran Valnrli .. ]4!) 

49. The ChrM-a Line: Yanaikkan Mantaran ('heral Irum- 

porai . . . . . . 149 

50. The Chiefs .. .. .. ..150 

Link-names . . . . . . . . 150 

The Ninth General i'm: RajuxMjum'Vcthirpenniur- 

Ifilli Period .. . . 150 

51. The Chola Line: Rajasiiyam Vetta IVrunarki])! .. ]50 

52. The Pawliya Line: 

(1) Musiri Murriya CtOiyan 

(2) TTkkira Peruvaludi .. ..151 

53. The Chera Line: 

(1) Cheraman Mfiri Vanko 



(2) Cheraman Ko Kodai Marpan . . 153 

54, The Chieftains .. .. ,.153 

Link-names . . . , . , . . 155 
Th c T< ;? / h Oc n c . 'a I w n : ( Vt o[fi n Ku~ Ct uka n n a it 

Period . . . . . . , . 155 

53. The Choja Line : Ko Ceftkanijan , . . . 155 

56. The Pantfiya Line . , .. ..156 

57. The Chora Line : Kanaikkal Irumporai . . 157 

58. The Chiefs .. .. .. ..157 

50. Retrospect and Summary . . . . 158 

PART J1I. Chronoloyy: The Probable Date of the 

Ten Generations . . 160 

60. Preliminary . . . . . . . 160 

61. Relative, Chronology of the Ten Generations inter 

ae . . . . . . 160 

62. The Absolute Chronology of 1ho (u-nerutions .. 161 

(i.'5. The Testimony of the Early Creek and Roman 

writers . . . . . . . . 162 

G4. The Aayi Kin^s and their Kingdom .. ..167 

(if). The Conquest of the J\yi country .. .. 170 

6(5. Certain considerations re this Chronology .. 170 

67. ConfiriiKilorj 1'hidemv .. .. .. 1712 

(a) Io!itical .. .. .. ..172 

68. (6) Geographical .. .. ..174 

69. (c) Commercial .. .. ..179 

70. ((7) Numismatic .. .. ..183 

71. Two types of Investigators .. .. .. 186 

7'J. Previous Attempts .. .. .. 189 

PAKT IV. Kcxults .. 191 

73. Preliminary .. .. .. ..191 

74. (i) Relnliw Chronology .. .. ..191 

7r>. (ii) Absolute Chronology .. .. ..192 

76. (iii) The Establishment of the Tamil Kingships in 

their respective capitals . . . . 192 , 

77. (iv) The Ruin of the earlier independent Chief- 

taincies . . . . . . . . 195 


78. (v) The Beginning of Aryanisation . . . . 196 

79. (vi) The legendary nature of the San gam Story .. 196 

80. (vii) Lateness of the redaction of the Sangam Works. 198 

81. (viii) Light thrown on the Sangam Literature .. 198 

82. (a) "Eitultokai"' or the Might Collections . . 199 

83. (b) "Pattuppatlu" or the Ten Idylls .. 200 

84. (c) The Eighteen Didactic Works . . . . 204 
83. (ix) A peep into the previous condition of Tamil 

Literature and Learning . . . . 205 

86. (x) Light thrown on Dravidian Polity and Civili- 

zation . . . . . . . . 209 

87. Conclusion .. .. .. ..215 

I. The Date of JUauikkaviicagar . . . . 217 

il. Toikappiyiiiii reran* Agapporuj .. .. 222 

ILL The Authorship of Kalittogai .. .. 224 

IV. Note on ^Vrkkadu' and 'Aruvalar' .. ..227 

V. Note on the Tamil suffix '.Maii'^.* ) .. 229 

VI. Note on Karuvur, the ChGra Capital .. .. 231 

VII. Note on Poet l^laikkfujar .. .. 235 

VJ11. Grammarians on the signiiicancc of u^u and C* ). 237 
IX. Note on the Elephant-marked Coins of Madura .. 249 
X. Noli; on 1li<; *Avy:;s' and t Vad<ij>u!aui' ,. 251 

XL Numismatic evidence n the Dark JVriod in Tamil 

History .. .. .. ,.253 

XII. Prof. W. F. Clifford on the Authority of Traditions 254 
X11I. Note on Tiruvalluvamdiai 
XIV. Note on the name Tirumurugdfruppafjlai 
XV. The Age of Tvttapirit/atH 
Authors and Books consulted 


1. Genealogy of the Chola Dynasty 

2. Genealogy of the Pug^iya Dynasty 

*^ ^^^ 

3, GoMftlacr of the Cktrt Djrwwty . .. xii 


of l^v**Ioj>inrfit of the |*twm in 

m 3JAii*r%!fa worUmg to t>r. & 0. 

. _ 


tti Tft*t*fr*ft* 

. Maim of lh* (kftrmUiyitA . . , . . . 166 

?, t5yti'Kr*>tit%iK Tl>k *'f ib# Tumit Kmfp *IK] Roman 

, Th- H>u*hrmiAtic (ahlr* nf tii^ Kmf*, 

HIM! Vtmtm wpArntriy ftnntofl **wt ki?pt in 
fb** him! rov*r of ita* 



117-12 Eryikrowt 
- 3 twrUjr 




I* C S3 B O / 1 . 

BC I A n *> 

23 A 

A !> 

A T T3 A P 
A I> 106 A 

A l> 11$ A 
5 A f* 13^ A 

A l> ITS A 

1 A P **CK A 

> (II) 




1 A.D. -25 A.D. (1) Nedumter-Celiyan of Korkai alias Neduficeli- 

yan I, the Conqueror of Kudal. 

25 A. D. -50 A. D. (2) Ollaiyur-tanta-Putappandiyan, probably son of (1). 

50 A.D. -75 A.D. (3) Pasumpun- Fandiy^ii aUas Nilam-taru-tiruvil- 

Paiidiyau alias Vadimbalamba-mnra-Pan- 
diyau alias Pamiadu-lanta-Paij^iyaii or Ne<Jim- 
celiyan II, the Conqueror of the Aayi country, 
probably son of (2). 


75 A.D.-100 A.D. (4) Patefclai-Mudukudumi-Peruvahidi alms Velliyam. 

balattu-tuficiya-Peruvaludi, probably sou of (3). 


100 A.D. -125 A.D. (5) Talaiyalaihkanattu-Ceru-Venra-Neduiiceliyan alias 

Nedunceliyaii III, probably son of (4). 


125 A.D. -150 A.D. (6) Ilavaiitikaipalji-tunciya-Nanmaran. 
(7) Kiidakarattu-tuficiya-Maran-Valudi. 

150 A.D. -175 A.D. (8) Musiri-Murriya-Celiyan. 

( 9 ) Kanappereyil-tanta-Ukkir apper uvajudi. 



25 B.C. -1 A. D. (1) Karuvur-Eriya-Ol-Val-KopperumclicraJ-Irumporai, 

the Conqueror of Karuvur. 

1 A.D. -25 A.D. (2) Udiyan Chf'ral 
probably son of (1). 

(3) Antuvan Choral 
probably sou of (1). 

25 A.D. -50 A.D. (4) Kudakkd(5) PalySnai- (6) Olva-Kadum- 

Neduncheralataii, Ccl-K<?]u-Kuttu- KO alias Chikkar- 

son of (a). van, son of (2). ptfJU-tuiiciya^CVlva- 

Kadumko, son of (3). 

50 A.D. -75 Ai.D. (7) Kadal- 
son of (4). 

(8) Kalaihkay- (9) 

kanni-NarmiKli- Trumi)ora,i, tho 
Choral", son of (4). Conqueror of 

Takadur, son 
of (6). 

75 A.D. -100 A.D. (10) Adukotpatfii- (11) Kudakko- 

Cheralatan, son of (4). Ilancheral-Irum- 

porai, son of (9) . 

100 A.D. -125 A.D. (12) Cheraman-Kuttuvan-Kodai. 
125 A.D. -150 A.D. (13) yanaik^an-Ocy-Mantaran-dieral-Irumporai. 
150 A.D. -175 A.D. (14) CheramanlMari-Vanko. 

(15) Cheraman-Kokkodai-Marpan. 
175 A.D..200 A.D. (16) Cheraman-Kanaikkal-Irumporai. 


The Contemporary Kings of the Early Andhra Dynasty in Mahar&shtra 
according; to Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar. 

50 B.C. -40 B.C. (1) Krishnaraja. 
40 B.C.-16 A.D. (2) Sat a k ami. 

(3) Kgaharata Nakapana aud his son -in -law Vasava- 

133 A.D. -154 A.D. (4) Gotamiputra Satakariii. 
130 A.D. -154 A.D. (5) Vasisthiputra Pulumayi. 
154 A.D. -172 A.D. (6) Gotamiputra Sri Yajna Satakarni. 

172 A.D. (7) Vasisthiputra Catusparna (Cattirapana). 
About 190 A.D. (8) Madhariputra Bakasena. 

(Early History of the Deccan, p. 32.) 


The Contemporary Kings of the Early Andkra Dynasty in 
Tailangana according to Dr. E. G. Bliandarkar. 







Siva Sri 




Jajfia Sri. 

* * * * 




Candra Sri. 







1. If the literatures of the other races in India 
should stand condemned for want of 
history, the Literature of the Tamils 
also should allow itself to be arraigned on that common 
count. Many of these races, it is true, have built up 
characteristic civilizations of their own in their respective 
areas, and thus made history in a real sense; but few of 
them had the taste or inclination to systematically record 
what they had accomplished in set works devoted to 
history. The Tamils, who have occupied the Southern 
corner of Peninsular India from a time beyond the reach 
of traditions when their migration into the land is said 
to have taken place, have also evolved therein a social 
polity and civilization which still possess features entirely 
distinct from those of the Aryan system of the North. 
It is further clear that in the long stretch of centuries 
over which this culture spreads, the Tamils have borrowed 
freely from others and given them largely of their store 
in return. When a race meets another and comes to live 
by its side for centuries, cultural drifts are bound to 
occur either way, unless a particular race takes deli- 
berately the unwise step of severe isolation from its 
neighbours. Every historian knows that such an isolation, 
if persisted in, leads in the long run to decline and decay 


and no nation, that has not been brought into contact 
with an outside race, either by its own migration or that 
of the other in its midst, could hope to come to the fore- 
front in the cultural history of man. Hence, it is little 
surprising that in the meeting of the Aryans and the Dravi- 
dians in South India a mixture of cultures should have 
taken place, and that also on no inconsiderable scale, as 
their contact all the while seems to have been very close 
and intimate down to the present day. The problem of 
problems for the historian of Southern India is to take 
this composite culture, this amalgam of civilization, 
analyse it carefully and impartially and trace its elements 
if possible to their respective sources Dravidian or 

It is sad to note, however, that in the preliminary 
efforts towards such an undertaking, the Indian 
Sanskritists as a class, consciously or unconsciously, have 
failed to do justice to the Dravidian element in the prob- 
lem. In fact, the systematic attempt of many of them 
appears ever to have been to belittle the Dravidian con- 
tribution to the cultural history of India and in their 
treatment of the question to try even to wipe out, if that 
were possible, the term Dravidian and all that it goes to 
connote. In no activities of life, either practical or 
theoretical, have they found anything that could go incon- 
testably to the credit of the Dravidians. Even after the 
appearance of that epoch-making work of Dr. Caldwell, 
which covers only a very small and limited corner in the 
extensive field of Dravidian civilization taken as a whole, 
scholars are not wanting who have taken upon themselves, 
in a truly cyuixotean spirit and manner, to tilt against 
linguistic windmills of their own creation and to claim 
thereby a victory of having demolished the claims of the 
Tamil language to a position independent of the great 
divine language of the North Sanskrit. 1 But western 

(1) Sanskrit Authors like Kshdm&ndra and others, with greater 
linguistic insight than is displayed by some present-day Indian Sanskritists, 


scholarship, as might be expected, wanted to hold the 
balance even and, in spite of the predisposition and 
partiality engendered by its equipment in Sanskrit lore, 
has now begun to feel that the judgment delivered till now 
has been wholly one-sided and faulty and that common 
fairness demands that it should be withdrawn till, on the 
momentous issues raised, the other side also had been 
allowed to have its say. If I am not mistaken, the first 
and foremost duty of the Dravidian section of the Oriental 
Research Institute started by our University is to see 
whether, in all or any of the sociological phenomena it 
may have to handle, there is anything ethnic, linguistic, 
or cultural, which could go under the distinctive appella- 
tion, the Dravidian, or whether the whole system is Aryan 
from top to bottom as some enthusiastic investigators 
hereabout have begun to assert. 

For an attempt at throwing some light on this great 
problem, it has been more than once pointed out that the 
gaze of the scholars should be directed to the South. This 
part of India, ever since the original migration of man, 
has been the home and centre of Dravidian life and culture 
and possesses the richest materials, archaeological, socio- 
logical, linguistic and literary. Except for its pre-historic 
remains, of which the recent finds of Mohenjo Daro and 
Harappa form probably but a part, North India has been 
literally swept clean of its Dravidian antiquities by the 

havQ relegated the Dravidtt or the Dravidiau group of languages to the class 
Paisaehi (the language of the demons) and thereby admitted that this group 
has no genetic relationship with Sanskrit, the language of the Gods or with 
any of its allied dialects. The attempt, however, of some modern Indian 
Sanskritists to prove that Tamil and other related languages are indebted 
to Sanskrit both for their vocabulary and their accidence, if successful, would 
only prove that the Dravidian language is only an Aryan tongue in 
disguise and should never have been given the misnomer 'Paisachi'. The 
favourite method, followed by such scholars of catching hold of a few 
linguistic resemblances and grammatical analogues here and there for rais- 
ing the widest generalisations on them, if pushed to its utmost extent of 
application, might probably go to establish the interconnection of all the 
languages in the world! Imagination, it scarcely needs pointing out, feels 
dazed before such an attempt, at least in this infant stage of linguistic 


great Aryan flood. That did not and could not happen 
in the South. Here, the so-called Aryanisation seems to 
have assumed a milder form; its mighty waves were 
splintered into ripples here. But even then it did not fail 
to spread a somewhat thick scoria of religious colour over 
the whole face of Dravidian life and spiritual outlook. 1 
This was presumably effected by the Aryan alliance with 
the Kingships raised ou the ruins of the ancient Village 
Communities of Dravidian India and by the use of poli- 
tical power as an engine for engrafting new beliefs and 
practices on the old stem. Despite this powerful move 
for powerful it must have been in a society composed for 
the most part of peaceful agriculturists, traders and 
artisans the tangled skein of the present-day Dravidian 
life contains many a filament of native purity which 
awaits the practised eye and the patient labour of the 
specialist to disentangle and separately exhibit. Thus, 
South India, both by its rich pre-historic past and by its 
existing social structure and practices, forms the most 
characteristic, if not the only, source of real information 
on Dravidian history, past and present. 

2. But strange to say even at this distance of time, 
when many minor problems facing the 

Dravidian Pre- Ethnologists have received their ade- 
history and South * j i A - A i_ 

India. quate exposition and solution, the 

possibilities of South India in respect 

(1) Here is Prof. Whitney's testimony about the life, thought and 
outlook of the Indian branch of the Aryan race being entirely permeated 
by religion. He writes: "The mass as it liea before us is almost exclu- 
sively of a religious character; this may have its ground partly in the ond 
for which the collections were afterwards made, but is probably in a far 
higher degree due to the character of the people itself, which thus shows 
itself to have been at the beginning what it continued to be throughout 
its whole history, an essentially religious one. For no great people, surely, 
over presented the spectacle of a development more predominantly religious; 
none ever grounded its whole fabric of social and political life more abso- 
lutely on a religious basis; none ever meditated more deeply and exclusively 
on things supernatural; none ever rose, on the one hand, higher into the 
airy regions of a purely speculative creed, or bank, on the other, deeper 
into degrading superstitions the two extremes to which such a tendency 
naturally leads". Oriental and Linguistic Studies, pp. 5-6. 


of the light to be thrown on the Dravidian- Aryan contact, 
have scarcely been explored in any methodical manner 
and worked up to lead to positive results. The nature of 
the problem the study of the Dravidian civilization in all 
its original shape and colour requires that our attention 
should be centred more on the pre-historic periods than 
on the brief span of the chequered history of South India 
in later times. It is well-known that Positive History, 
which begins with the invention of writing and evolution 
of literature, is preceded by two great periods, the semi- 
historic and the pre-historic. And it is equally well- 
known that for the pre-historic times the historian draws 
upon the fruitful science of Archaeology and for the semi- 
historic he has to depend on such new sciences as Com- 
parative Philology and Linguistics, Comparative Mytho- 
logy and Religion, a study of folk-lore, folk-songs, etc,, a 
study of man's arts, industries, professions and institu- 
tions, in short all the studies bearing upon man and going 
under the rather general title " Sociology ". The materials 
to be gathered from such varied special sciences and 
studies, though they may be seemingly mute yet convey 
to the historian cryptic messages of their own and furnish 
him with the links to connect the particular history of a 
nation with its past and with the general history of man- 
kind at large. My reason for referring to these somewhat 
patent facts is only to show what a large lee-way South 
India has still to make in creating this group of special 
sciences before she can with confidence look for a scientific 
history of her past. Works in any of these directions, 
except a few stray monographs, are yet to come and until 
specialists step in to supply the want, the historian has 
necessarily to wait. On the past phases of Dravidian 
pre-history, the views of individual scholars expressed so 
far will carry conviction only when they are reinforced 
by the necessary scientific data. And for this, a thorough 
and systematic exploration of the Dravidian antiquities 
by a group of specialists in the many fields indicated above 


is absolutely necessary. Excavations of the sites of the 
oldest capitals and ports of the Tamil sovereigns such as 
Karur, Musiri (Cranganore), Korkai, Kudal (old 
Madura), Uraiyur, and Kavirippattinam have still not 
been attempted, though such an undertaking may throw 
much welcome light on the Dravidian culture prevailing 
at about the opening centuries of the Christian era. 1 
Linguistic, literary and cultural studies from a strictly 
Dravidian standpoint and on scientific lines have not yet 
been entered upon to any extent and made to add their 
quota of evidence. The resources of the epigraphic in- 
vestigation, which relies mainly on lithic records and cop- 
per plate grants of the mediaeval kings and some private 
donors, become exhausted by the seventh or the sixth 
century A.D. the utmost reach beyond which its mate- 
rials grow scanty in the extreme. 2 In circumstances such 
as thesp, the earlier stages in the Dravidian history or 
rather pre-history, which have been indicated above, are 
bound to remain in the dark for a long time to come. 

3. Fortunately for the historical period of South 

India, the Tamils, of all the Dravidian 

Period of Drl^idian nations, have cultivated and preserved 

culture and South a literature reaching comparatively to 

a fairly good antiquity. Considering 

the limited necessities and conditions of the Early Tamils, 

their literature is apparently rich enough and, what is 

(1) Since writing the above, the Archaeological Department of Mysore 
have made certain trial excavations in Chitaldrug District of their State and 
have succeeded in alighting upon the buried remnants of prehistoric cities 
of the iron and the stone age near the Brahmagiri Hill and at Siddapura 
in Molakalmuru Taluk. The history of the ancient culture in South India 
is thus pushed back many centuries from the Early Mauryan Period. 

(2) Dr. Vincent Smith in p. 467 of his Early History of India, writes 
thus: "The eighteen Puranas pay small attention to the South, early in- 
scriptions are extremely rare, the coinage gives little help, the publication 
of Archaeological investigations in a finished form is backward, the explora- 
tion of the ancient literature is incomplete. On the other hand, from the 
ninth century onwards the mass of epigraphic material is so enormous as 
to be unmanageable." 


more important and valuable for the historian, it happens 
to contain a simple and faithful record of the happenings 
of a far-off period. Even before the historian takes up 
this body of literature, it is absolutely necessary that it 
should be judged on grounds of literary chronology and 
arranged in a scheme exhibiting continuous growth and 
development. Chronology of language and thought, on 
which Prof. Max Miiller laid much stress, is nothing but 
history extended beyond its generally accepted province 
of the civic and political events of a society. No doubt by 
this extension of the phenomena to be covered and by 
their peculiar nature the standard of accuracy becomes 
less definite and precise than in the strictly limited histori- 
cal field. But with all its loss in comparative definiteness 
and precision it carries with it an inexpugnable certainty 
of its own as any fact of orthodox history. In the absence 
of valuation of literature on principles of literary develop- 
ment based on strictly psychological standards, 1 the 
historian's handling of that literature would lead but to 
error and confusion. So I shall first try to approach 
Tamil Literature from the standpoint of literary develop- 
ment and see whether it is possible to discover in it any 
principles of the growth of the national mind. 

Taking a bird's eye view of the total ensemble of 
Tamil Literature, we find it is made up of three separate 
and clearly-defined strata, the Naturalistic, the Ethical, 
and the Religious? This division proceeds on the most 

(1) Lord Mbrley enforces this truth in the following remark: "That 
critics of art seek its principles in the wrong place so long as they limit 
their search to poems, pictures, engravings, statues, and buildings, instead 
of first arranging the sentiments and faculties in man to which art makes 
its appeaK" Burke, p. 19. 

(2) Compare with this the stages specified by Mr. P. N. Bose, B.Sc., in 
his work Epochs of Civilisation. "In the first stage matter dominate! the 
spirit, military prowess calls forth the greatest admiration, culture, being 
relegated to the gratification of the senses, takes the form of the Fine Arts. 
The second stage is characterised by intellectual development. It is tht 
age of Eeason, of Science and Philosophy, and Militarism is on the decline. 
The third or final stage is the stage of spiritual development." Vid 

Xeview, 1913, p. 435. 


fundamental characteristic of literature at large its 
dominant and guiding motive in any historic period. The 
classification of literature into periods on linguistic, 
metric, or literary forms, though helpful in its own way, 
cannot be half so satisfactory for purposes of chronology 
as the one carried out on the varieties of literary motive 
that inspires and lights up different periods of a litera- 
ture. While the literary modes and forms, the garb 
though they are of thought and expression, may change 
like fashion, the guiding and sometimes compelling ideals 
of a literature seem to possess a somewhat greater relative 
persistence. These form in short the very life and soul 
of a literature and serve as a faithful index, if not a com- 
plete record, of the national mind and its orientation in 
successive periods of its history. These should therefore 
serve us as unerring guides in our attempt towards fixing 
the relative ages of different periods of Tamil literature, 
at least in its broadest outlines. Judged by the standard 
of the motive or the ruling idea alone, each of the three 
groups mentioned above, the Naturalistic, the Ethical, and 
the Religious, reveals a new turn in the national mind and 
relates a different story. They mark also three succes- 
sive periods in the evolution of Tamil literature, in which 
the national mind is reflected, the Naturalistic being the 
earliest, the Religious the latest, with a mediating period 
marked by Ethical thought. In the poems composed 
during the Naturalistic period, man's life and his sur- 
roundings are dealt with in their most elementary phases 
and the poets, one and all, seem occupied with depicting 
these in their 'unadorned simplicity'. Man's physical 
wants and sensuous enjoyments are the only themes which 
evoke their Muse. As a class the Naturalistic Poets 
do not anywhere rise much above a 'life of the 
senses'. In the Ethical Period, however, their horizon 
gets more widened and they are found to interest them- 
selves in larger problems of man's well-being in an 
organised society. Here they try to grapple with ques- 


tions of conduct and character arising from the various 
complex relations of life in society and appear generally 
preoccupied with the evolution of a code of morals and 
polity to form the basis of an ordered social life. Advanc- 
ing still further to the last stage, the Religious, the vision 
of the Poet seems to quit man's earthly existence and his 
limited interests therein and is turned on a higher and 
grander sphere, the destiny of his soul beyond time. In 
this super-sensuous, highly abstracted intellectual order- 
ing, physical life appears almost to dissolve and disappear 
from view as of little or no account whatsoever. 

Though one may feel tempted to justify the orderly 
succession of such periods in the evolution of the Tamil 
mind on a priori grounds of its natural constitution and 
the presuppositions of social psychology, I shall confine 
myself to a consideration of certain broad facts of Dravi- 
dian national life and history as lending more than ample 
justification for the division of literary periods here 
adopted. Before their contact with the Aryans, the 
Dravidians, as I have elsewhere pointed out, were mainly 
engaged in building up a material civilization and securing 
for themselves the many amenities of life, individual and 
communal. 1 Naturally, therefore, their lives took on a 
secular colour and came to be reflected as such in the 
literature of that period. The impulse of religion, which 
came to possess them at a later period, was then absent. 
And when the first infiltration of the Aryans began, the 
Jains and the Buddhists seem to have been the earlier 
batch, all facts and traditions considered. These here- 
tical sects, finding in the Tamil land no Brahmanic religion 
on any scale to oppose, had to content themselves with the 
composition of works mostly ethical and literary. The 
Tamils too seem to have taken themselves readily to this 
impulse which ran in the direction of their national bent, 
and the second period accordingly was throughout ethical 

(1) Vide Agastya in the Tamil Land, p. 7 and pp. 18-20. 



and literary in substance and tone and seems to have 
been ushered in by the writing of such works as Kural, 
Tolk3,ppiyam, etc. The Hindu Aryans, in any force, were 
the last to come and with their arrival was opened quite 
a new channel of national activity, Religion, into which 
the whole of Dravidian life and thought have flowed 
since, the pioneer in this work being the great Saivite 
preacher and propagandist, Tirunanasambandar of the 
seventh century A.D. 1 Immediately after the dawn of the 
Religious Epoch, there arose a transition period in which 
the heretics wrote on Religion and the orthodox Hindu 
writers, on Ethics ; but this late mixture of impulses in the 
national life need not deflect our vision regarding its broad 
features and lead us to modify our conception as to the 
relative ages of the two impulses in the history of the 
Tamil nation. Thus, by the facts of the social and political 
history of the Tamil land from the beginning till now, the 
tripartite classification of its literature, based solely on 
its dominating motive and ideal, receives its amplest justi- 
fication. I shall designate these periods as the classical, 
the mediaeval, and the modern, for convenience of 

(1) This period synchronises with the Pallava domination over the Tamil 
kingdoms in the South. The later Pallavas of the Simha-Vishnu line, the 
builders of the Mamallapuram Monolithic temples, were the real protagonists 
in the Aryanisation of the South. Aryan religion, under the aegis of the 
Pallava Kings of Kaficipuram seems to have gathered a power and prestige 
all its own, which it had failed to secure during the pre-Pallava period. 
Wherever political power enters into alliance with a religion, that religion 
is bound to succeed. Buddhism, after the time of its great founder, throve 
only so long as it had powerful potentates to back it up; the moment that 
support was withdrawn, it collapsed. This only illustrates the general truth 
that independent thought amongst the masses of a society is only a alow 
growth. These generally look to the top for leading in such speculative 
matters and then blindly follow. Apropos of the Tamil connection with the 
Pallavas, I may instance an interesting irony of time brought about by 
change of historic circumstances. At the beginning, the Tamils looked down 
upon the Pallava race as a 'mixed breed 9 and in their mouth the term 
'Pallava 9 stood for a person of mean extraction. But after the establish- 
ment of the Pallava power in the Tamil laud, one of the Devaram hymnists, 
strange to say, goes out of his way to utter imprecations against such of 
the Tamil Kings as refused to pay tribute to the Pallava overlord. 


4. The value of this body of literature for purposes 
of history should next be appraised. As 

_ , a necessary preliminary to the treat- 

Tamil Literature , A /. - * A - 

and its Historical ment of this very important question, 

vatae ' one can scarcely overlook the general 

ban under which Indian Literature as a 
whole has been placed by the Indian Epigraphists and 
their oft-repeated stricture that literary evidence, unless 
and until vouched for by the more reliable evidence from 
inscriptions and other contemporaneous documents, is not 
worthy of credence. The grounds for such a condem- 
nation are doubtless many and weighty. Indian Litera- 
ture, at least of the ancient and mediaeval times, 
sadly lacks any chronological frame-work worth the name; 
it is tainted with a profuse and indiscriminate inter- 
mixture with all sorts of legendary and mythical stuff; 
and what is more provoking than these to one engaged in 
the construction of a scientific history of the past is to find 
the generality of the Indian people exhibiting an uncritical 
proneness to accept any work of literature as sober history 
of their past and a tendency to anathematize those who 
disbelieve or doubt the veracity of that literature. The 
extreme dictum of the Epigraphist may be due to reasons 
such as these and in fairness one cannot blame him 
for being too cautious and critical in separating the 
wheat from the chaff in that huge promiscuous literary 

Still, I cannot but urge that what applies to Indian 
Literature as a whole is not at all applicable to the Tamil 
Literature of the earliest period. Setting aside the Ethical 
as of little value to history, the Religious portion of Tamil 
Literature, i.e., the later Tamil Literature, has little to dis- 
tinguish it from the general run of the Aryan Literature 
of the North and may, therefore, be allowed to lie under 
the Epigraphical embargo. Their material for the con- 
struction of history can in no way be used without the 
most careful critical examination and even then the 


demand for epigraphic corroboration regarding their 
testimony will not be considered superfluous. 

But, as far as the Naturalistic Period of Tamil Litera- 
ture is concerned, a wholly different treatment should, in 
my opinion, be accorded. The works, which go into this 
class, show human mind in the most unsophisticated stage 
of its growth. The virus of later myths and marvels has 
not yet entered it and brought about a corruption of its 
pure fountains. 1 In this connection, I feel bound to demur 
to the assumption, too commonly and too hastily made by 
some scholars, that even the earliest stratum of Tamil 
Literature bears traces of Aryan influence. I can only 
say that this assumption is entirely gratuitous and is the 
result of hazy thinking on the subject. As grounds for 
this conclusion, they invariably appeal to the use of certain 
Sanskrit words here and there in the poems of that period, 
to the existence of a few Aryans among the Tamils, and to 
some of those Aryans appearing as authors of certain 
poems, in that remote age. Granting the whole of this 
contention for, as a matter of fact, in respect of the last 
two grounds we are far too removed from that early 
period to be confidently dogmatic about the nationality of 
the individual settlers and singers of an age long since gone 
by still to say that poems like Kurumtokai, Narrinai, 
Agananuru, and Purananuru are based on Aryan models 
or inspired by Aryan ideals, in their plan or execution, is 
nothing less than a positive perversion of facts. Both in 
substance and in form, these earliest warblings of the Tamil 
Muse are native throughout and do not bear the slightest 
tinge of foreign influence. If, from the appearance of a 
few words of Sanskrit or Prakrit origin, these poems are 

(1) Sir H. S. Maine writes thus in p. 26 of his "Village Communities" 
about Oriental Thought and Literature as a whole: "It is elaborately in- 
accurate, it is supremely and deliberately careless of all precision in magni- 
tude, number and time". Though this formidable indictment is true of 
North Indian Literature and later Tamil Literature, it is utterly inappli 
cable to the specific stratum of Literature taken up for consideration in this 


divested of their indigenous character, one could, with 
equal reason, conclude that modern English Literature is 
inspired by Indian ideals on account of certain Indian 
words having got into the ever-expanding English Langu- 
age. Borrowing of words from one language by another 
is a matter of everyday occurrence and has not the least 
bearing on the question of influence on literary models 
and ideals. Further, I am at a loss to conceive how these 
theorists would dispose of the very large number of poems 
in the "Sangam" collections which have not even a single 
Sanskrit word to disturb their native harmony. Do these 
too reflect Aryan thought and life? To seek to connect 
then the presence of a few Aryans in the Tamil land at 
that early period, and the form and thought of early Tamil 
Literature is most unwarranted and is perhaps due to a 
proneness to magnify the antiquity and extent of the 
Aryanisation work in Tamilagam. Surely, these early 
poets of the Tamil land did not wait for the incoming 
Aryans to be schooled into literature in their native tongue ; 
but, on the other hand, the new arrivals had to pick up 
the knowledge of what to them was a foreign language 
and the form and technique of a foreign literary art. The 
Naturalistic class of Tamil Literature must therefore be 
considered as containing works exhibiting native 
Tamil genius in all its purity and integrity with little or 
nothing of any exotic strain in it. It has not the incrust- 
ations of fanciful myths and impossible legends to mar the 
value of its testimony. It is, for the most part, a plain 
unvarnished tale of the happenings of a by-gone age 
wholly free from the stereotyped conventions and profuse 
embellishments which the erudition and fancy of later 
times happened lo delight in. A Literature, such as this, 
which transcends the period of Aryan intermixture, that 
brought in its train all the mythological cargoes 1 of the 

(1) Springing equally with Science from the speculative side of man's 
intellectual powers, the myths, no doubt, form his first attempt at answer- 
ing certain theoretical problems he himself creates. The practical man, on 
the other hand, does not encumber himself with a consideration of such 


North, should open to us a new treasure-house of facts, a 
good deal of which can go bodily into history. Hence one 
cannot be too careful and circumspect to keep this literary 
patrimony of the ancient Tamils free from the contami- 
nation of the wild myths and legends of later times. 

5. To another consideration also, the attention of 
the Epigraphists may be invited in this 

Xitterfttore, **& connection. Even granting that literary 
only evidence for evidence, the best of it, can scarcely 
the period covered s t a nd on, a par with epigraphic testi- 
mony in accuracy and certitude, it is 
after all the only evidence, all things considered, which 
South India of the early centuries of the Christian Era 
may possibly supply us with. Excepting the few rock- 
cut caves and beds, the so-called Pandu Kulis, 1 and the 
Brahmi Epigraphs in the Tinnevelly and Madura Districts 
and in the Arcot region and, these too have not been 
satisfactorily deciphered yet almost the whole body of 
the inscriptions seems to take its rise from the founding 
of the stone-temples in the South and from the practice of 
making gifts for religious purposes to individuals or cor- 
porations. 2 If South Indian temples are admittedly off- 

questions. The myths may accordingly bo held as the science of the primi- 
tive man; they may be bad science but still they are science of a sort, 
being the product of the theoretic activity of his soul. But, however much 
these myths may have served man's purposes at the time of their origin, 
they are here condemned for the insidious influences they still exercise on 
the beliefs and practices of the present day and for delaying the advent 
of a wholly scientific outlook and method in the thought and activity of 
modern India. 

(1) Mahauiahdp&dhyaya Pandit Swaminatha Aiyar in one of his Uni- 
versity lectures gives the correct form of this name as Panda Kuli (literally 
meaning pottery-pit). 

(2) Bef erring to South Indian inscriptions as a whole, Dr. V. A. Smith 
writes: "But these records, notwithstanding their abundance, are inferior 
in interest to the rarer Northern documents by reason of their comparatively 
recent date. No important Southern inscription earlier than the Christian 
Era is known, except the Mysore and Maski editions of Asoka's Minor Bock 
Edicts and the brief dedications of the Bhattiprolu caskets. The records 
prior to the seventh century after Christ are few." (Early History of India, 
P- 17.) 


shoots of the Pallava art of Mamallapuram of the seventh 
century A.D., one will not be justified in expecting much 
epigraphic evidence for the earlier centuries. The higher 
we mount the rarer should they become. To count then 
on the construction of South Indian History from inscrip- 
tions alone, for periods anterior to the century above 
indicated, is, it seems to me, a hope that will scarcely be 
realised. Epigraphy thus failing us, we have next to fall 
back on the only available evidence within our reach 
Literature. At least, the Epigraphist can have no objec- 
tion to accept this repertory of information as the second 
best instrument of research in a region where we have 
no reason to expect anything better. Thus, then, early 
Tamil Literature, from its intrinsic merits and from its 
extrinsic historical conditions, has a value all its own, 
which is hardly worth one's while to cavil at. 

6. Before passing on to a consideration of the 
Naturalistic Group of Tamil Literature 

The sangam and its valuation, a few observations 
Literature of the , , ,, , , ,. , ,,. 

Tamils. about the larger class, of which this 

forms a part, are called for. The 
"Sangam" Literature covers, in its entirety, two of the 
groups I have indicated above, the Naturalistic and the 
Ethical. The Naturalistic group consists of the most part 
of the Eight Anthologies called the Ettutokai (literally 
the eight collections) and by far the greater portion of 
the "Ten Idylls" known as the Pattuppaftu. 1 The 

(1) The Eighth Anthologies arc: (i) Purananuru, (ii) Kurum-tolcai, 
(Hi) Narrimi) (iv) Agcm&n&ru, (v) Patirruppattu, (vi) 
(mi) Ealitlokai, and (mil) ParipcldaL The Ten Idyll* are: (i) 
arruppadai, (ii) Pattinappdlal, (til) Mullaipp&ttu, (iv) 
(v) Nedunato&dai, (vi) Perumpanarruppadai, (vii) 
(viii) Malaiyadukadam, (ix) Kuruncippattu, and (x) Tirumurug&rruppadai. 
Of thcao, Parlpddal and Tirvmurugarruppadai, the last in each of the two 
collections, are, it seems to me, of late origin bearing as they do evident 
traces of the religious motive. It is highly probable that they may have 
been composed towards the close of the Ethical Period. I have purposely 
deviated from the orthodox order of enumeration to secure a chronological 
arrangement, the grounds for which will be made clear in the course of this 


Eighteen Didactic works, in which Kural and Naladiyar 
appear, go to form the Ethical catena of the Sangam 
Literature. Though I propose to confine myself strictly 
to the Naturalistic portion, I have to utilise also the 
Ethical to mark off the stages in the History of Tamil 
Literary development. The historical valuation of the 
several works may be deferred for the present. The over- 
anxiety to judge and use historically a mass of literary 
materials, chaotically thrown together with little or no 
attempt at even a broad arrangement of their contents in 
time, will only lead to 'confusion being worse con- 
founded'. Principles of literary growth and development 
would be thrust to the background, if not completely 
overlooked, and a system of perverted chronology would 
be the sole outcome at which literary men and historians 
of literature would only stand aghast. 1 Valuation of 
literary materials on principles of development displayed 
by the national mind is hence an indispensable preliminary 
before these could be rendered fit for any historical utili- 
sation. And so I shall first try to derive whatever 
, guidance I may from that source. 

7. The Early Literature of the Tamils, unhappily 
christened the " Sangam Literature", 
The Sangam has had to labour under certain serious 
defcte U ajia drawJ difficulties and drawbacks and, on this 
*<M*B. account, it has not come into its own till 

now. First and foremost is the atmo- 
sphere of myth and mystery in which the whole cycle of 
poems has been enveloped by a later generation of scholars 
and scholiasts. In the second place, the various poems 
have been collected and arranged on principles of pure 
literary form and theme by a late redactor, probably 
Perundevanar, the author of the first Tamil Mahabharatam, 
in mixed prose and verse, and of the many invocatory 
stanzas appended to five of the collections. This literary 

(1) Fide Appendix I: The Date of Manikkavacagar. 


arrangement has distorted the chronology of the works 
in the most lamentable manner imaginable. The whole 
mass has been thus rendered unfit for immediate histori- 
cal handling. If an evil genius had conceived the plan of 
playing pranks with the chronology of a nation's early 
literature and gone to work, it could not have done worse 
than what the redactor, the Tamil Vyasa, has himself 
done. It is a most perverse arrangement to say the least 
and deserves entire recasting for purposes of history. 
If the thanks of posterity are due to this Tamil 
Vyasa for having rescued these works from extinction, 
the chaos into which he has thrown them, not conducing 
to any connected historical account, must lead one to the 
sad reflection that, after all, ignorance of a particular period 
of a nation's history would have been far better than the 
myriad errors and misconceptions his effort at systemati- 
sation has since given rise to. In the third place, by far 
the greater number of scholars who have approached it 
have not written about it in the proper scientific spirit 
and with the necessary insight and sympathy. Far be it 
from me to cast any slur on the few pioneers who turned 
the first sod in the field of Dravidian research. Still one 
can hardly help remarking that the "Sangam Literature" 
has suffered more from its friends than its foes. The 
scepticism of the latter seems <to have been more than 
counter-balanced by the blind credulity almost amounting 
to bigotry of the former, who belaud this literature as the 
very acme of perfection and try to carry back the date 
of its composition to many thousands of years before the 
dawn of the Christian Era. The opposite school, not to 
be outdone in exaggeration, seems to have developed an 
over-sceptical frame of mind and is equally positive in 
assigning these works to the eighth or ninth century after 
Christ, if not lower still ! We need not for the present 
take sides with either of these parties but proceed at once 
to see what credence could be given to the story of the 
Sangam itself. 
C 3 


8. After all, the story of the Sangam is not .very 
The story of ancient as it looks. When the so-called 

the Sangam "Saiigam" Poets and Kings lived and 

accomplished their life-work, the Sangam 

had not come into existence. Considering the war-like nature 
of that early period and the unsettled state of political exist- 
ence then obtaining, the very idea of a literary Academy 
could not have been anything else than foreign to it. The 
primitive historical conditions of the Tamil land, as 
evidenced by the literature of the Naturalistic Period, 
could not have favoured any such institution coming into 
existence. The various poems in this collection of works 
have one and all been composed by different poets, living 
in different parts of the country, on many different occa- 
sions. The literary motive behind their production was 
by no means the composition of a perfect work of art to 
stand the scrutiny of a conclave of critics at the top. The 
hard lot of the poets of that period, faced with the problem 
of bread and butter, seems to have driven them on to 
attach themselves to some king or other, some chieftain 
or other, and play the part of singers of their glories and 
achievements. Wanting a public to which they could sell 
their literary wares, the Poets had perforce to depend 
on the few patrons on whom they lavished their choicest 
eulogia in return for the food and clothing they were 
provided with. Presents of elephants and gold orna- 
ments might have come once in their way, and that also 
only in the case of the singers in the front-rank of their pro- 
fession; but to the generality of the poets the problem of 
keeping the wolf from the door, in life's hard struggle, 
was too imperious to be overlooked. A Poet, with a 
famishing household behind him, and driven on its 
account to the presence of his patron, could very well be 
excused for not keeping to the ideal requirements of his 
art for the time being. His one idea, naturally enough, 
would have been to please his patron and win the most 
valued presents from him and not to court an assembly 


of fastidious critics sitting in a far-off city for a verdict 
on his work an assembly moreover of scholars equally 
famished as himself, whose approval or disapproval would 
not have in the least mattered with him in fighting the 
battle of life. Thus, even if the Sangam had existed at 
the time we speak of, il would not have functioned at all. 
But did it exist? 

If contemporary evidence is the only means at our 
disposal to arrive at any relevant conclusion on this point, 
it wholly negatives the existence of any such institution 
as a Sangam. The earliest reference to this hypothetical 
body occurs in the commentary written on Iraiyandr's Agap- 
porul, a late work probably of the 8th century A.D. Every- 
thing connected with this work is so steeped in myth and 
mystery that not even the slightest reliance can any 
one safely place on it. Agappond is decidedly later than 
Tolkdppiyam. In more than fifteen sutras, 1 the phraseo- 
logy of Tolkappiyar seems to have been borrowed whole- 
sale with little or no variation. Yet with all these 
borrowings the author of this famous work on Love 
appears to have kept himself in the background and 
allowed his handiwork to lay claim to a divine origin. 
Nothing less than Revelational authority would satisfy 
him in the hopeless struggle he appears to have entered 
upon for displacing the great classic of Tolkappiyar in 
the field of Agapporul. Along with this mystery of the 
authorship of Agapporul, there is the added mystery of 
its commentary which is ascribed to Nakkirar, one of 
the Sangam celebrities. In order that this ascription 
might gain acceptance at the hands of contemporaries 
then living, the real author of the commentary, probably 
Nilakantan of Musiri, pretends that he had Nakkirar 's 
commentary transmitted to him by word of mouth through 
ten continuous generations of disciples, intervening between 
himself and Nakkirar. How this preposterous story could 

(1) Vide Appciulix II: Tolkappiyam versus Agapporul. 


be believed in it is not for us to inquire into just now. .All 
that I want to make out is that both/the work, Iraiyanar's 
Agapporul, otherwise kno\vii as Kalaviyal, and its com- 
mentary, should stand discredited all things considered 
and that anything they contain should be subjected to the 
most careful scrutiny and examination before being 
accepted as historical matter. 

And it is in this mysterious work, the mystery of the 
Sangam tradition, all on a sudden, takes its rise. This 
tradition is not a genuine one emanating from the people ; 
it bears on its face the hall-mark of a literary workshop 
from which it has been presumably issued for general 
circulation; its too minute details about the number of 
years allotted to each Academy, the number of Kings and 
of Poets and the names of those Kings and Poets and of the 
works belonging to each preclude the possibility of the 
author ever having received such information from any 
floating tradition current before his time. Beyond doubt, 
the whole story takes its birth from the fabulising imagi- 
nation of a late scholar and owes its persistence to the 
sedulous propagation it received from the uncritical 
mediaeval commentators. 

Examining the account of the three Academies a little 
more closely, we find that the whole structure is too 
symmetrical, too methodical and artificial, to be true. The 
facts embodied in the narration of the Agapporul com- 
mentator, if distributed under their appropriate headings 
in a table, are enough to tell their own tale. They will 
undoubtedly bring home to the reader's mind the scheme 
on which the commentator has worked, in order to leave 
behind him one of the most daring of literary forgeries 
ever perpetrated. The incredibly high antiquity with 
which Tamil Literature comes to be invested by this 
legend and the high connection with divinity it brings 
about were more than enough to secure for it a ready 
acceptance by a credulous public; but to later scholars 
the tradition stands to this day a sphinx' riddle. 


Evidently the fabricator appears to have started from 
some authentic data before him. They were the so-called 
" third Sangam" works, which in all probability must 
have by that time assumed a collected form. These 
collections furnished the basis on which he proceeded to 
raise his imaginary structure of the three Sangams. The 
number of Poets appearing in these collections was too 
unmanageable for his purpose, exceeding as it did five 
hundred. He had to make a selection from this large and 
varied company of poets before investing any with the 
membership of his projected Academy. Taking the 49 
letters of the Sanskrit Alphabet, which, to the orthodox 
scholar, still represent the Goddess of Learning, he could 
not have thought of any other number so appropriate as 
forty-nine to represent the strength of her votaries 
in the last Tamil Academy. Further, this parti- 
cular number being of the odd class should have 
recommended itself to a superstitious mind to which 
even numbers are a taboo to this day by their 
inauspiciousness. With forty-nine 1 as the starting point 
most of the figures in the account appear to have been 
easily arrived at. The number of the Pandiyas admitted to 
the charmed circle of the bards composing the Sangam 
rises in an arithmetical series as 3, 5, and 7 and the period 
of duration of the three Sangams put together falls short 
of ten thousand years by ten. 2 Another notable peculi- 
arity of the arrangement is that the fabricator was deter- 
mined to see the third Sangam playing the Cinderella to 

(1) This number appears again in the 49 Tamil nadus said to have been 
submerged in the Indian Ocean; and also in the Velira' genealogy as 49 
generations from their remote ancestors who are believed to have lived in 

(2) This distributed among the 197 Pandiyas of the three Sangams 
put together gives us an average of fifty and odd years for a generation 
an impossible figure in human history. Individual cases of exceptional 
longevity there may of course be; but in the calculation of an average to 
cover 197 generations no figure, exceeding 20 to 25 years, can be safely 
adopted. Human history in any known period docs not give proofs of 
such lengthened averages for a generation. 


her elder sisters the two previous Sangams. So far as 

the figures go, she should not aspire to any figure higher 

than the lowest under each heading. Evidently the 

fabulist worked on the current doctrine of degeneration, 

whereby the golden age of man was relegated to a far 

distant time in the past, the succeeding ages getting more 

and more corrupt in morals and poorer in intellect and 

learning. Another feature of this cut-and-dried scheme 

is also worthy of special mention. Though among the five 

hundred and odd poets the various tribes and professions 

of ancient Tamilagam were strongly represented, the 

third Academy shows except for a limited sprinkling of 

a few Kilars and Vanigars (merchants) a preponderant 

Aryan element. What the author, from his superior 

station, considered the plebeian consitutent of the literary 

body was carefully kept out of his Academy. Gods, 

Kings, Rishis, and Aryan Scholars at least those whom 

he considered as belonging to that superior class do 

seem to have somehow jostled the native scholars to the 

background. This poverty of the native talent in the 

literary aristocracy admitted into the Academy should 

doubtless give us an inkling into the source from which 

the Sangam myth arose. Moreover, this patrician 

assembly gives us an entirely wrong perspective of the 

learned community of the ancient Tamil country. 1 Coming 

to the Literature prevalent at different Sangam periods 

and the Grammar on which that literature is still held to 

have been based for in the opinion of the father of the 

(1) Of the 49 poets of the third Sangam appearing in Tirwvalluva- 
malai, nearly half is made up of such scholars as Kavi Sagara 
Perundevanar, Rudra Sanma Kannar, Nalkur Velviyar, etc., who have 
not a single stanza to their credit in these collections. Evidently they 
belonged to a much later age and were brought in to strengthen the Aryan 
element of the Academy. And in the remaining half, three KUars and 
three Vanigars alone have secured admittance. It may be urged whether, 
in the world of scholarship of which the Academy was representative for 
that age, racial considerations could be brought in; but somehow that seems 
to have been the main reason which weighed with the famous fabricator 
of the Sangam in practically ignoring the native poets. 


Sangam, 1 Grammar should necessarily precede Litera- 
ture the third Sangam, with its Paripadal and Kalittokai, 
and other works for its Literature, and Tolkappiyam for 
its Grammar, was sought to be thrown into the shade by 
its more illustrious predecessors with such works as 
Perumparipadal, Pertmkalittokai and Agattiyam. These 
imaginary works were created possibly to prick the pride 
of the arrogant members of the third Academy. 2 Turning 
next to the places wherein the Academies were successively 
held, modern Madura was preceded by Kapadapuram of 
the Ramayana fame and one Southern Madura. The name 
'Madura' itself was a later coinage even for Uttara Madura, 
which probably before the period of Talaiyalankanattu- 
Pandiyan was known as Kudal as probably also Peralavayii. 
This name came into vogue only after the Aryans had 
secured some influence in the South by their increasing 
numbers and importance. If Uttara Madura itself had gone 
by some other name in any past period, the creation of 
a Southern Madura as an earlier city carries with it its own 
refutation. The name so far from establishing its anti- 
quity does just the reverse. 3 Existing Literature is wholly 
silent regarding tlie last two cities. The story-teller has 
however thrown out a hint about a deluge between the 
second and third Academies. Whether a like catas- 

(1) Cf. "In the first dialogue of the Eroici Furori, published at London 
in 1585, while Bruno was visiting England, ho expresses his contempt for 
the mere pedants who judge poets by the rules of Aristotle's Poetics. His 
contention is that there are as many sorts of poets as there are human 
entiments and ideas, and that poets, so far from being subservient to rules, 
me themselves really the authors of all critical dogmas. Those who attack 
the great poets whose works do not accord with the rules of Aristotle are 
called by Bruno stupid pedants and beasts." (Spingairn'a Literary Criti- 
cism in the Renaissance, p. 166.) 

(2) The story of the chastisement administered to that uncompromising 
critic Nakklrar, related at some length in Tiruvilayadal-puranam, is also due 
to the same motive. 

(3) The name 'Madura' has travelled beyond the limits of South 
India. Yule and Burnell write in their HdbsonJobson "Thus we 
have Madura in Ceylon; the city and island of Madura adjoining Java; 
and a town of the same name (Madura) in Burma, not far north of 
Mandate, Madeya of the Maps", 


trophe intervened between the first and the second Sangam 
we have no means of knowing. Probably the author did 
not think it safe to appeal to two deluges marking the 
termination of the first two Academies. Failing a deluge 
what other cataclysm then could one interpose between the 
first two Sangams for explaining the shifting of the head- 
quarters of the Assembly from Southern Madura to 
Kapadapuram? Another interesting problem in connec- 
tion with these periodic convulsions to which Tamilagam 
was subject is in regard to the means by which such 
complex details as are found embodied in the tradition 
reached the hands of the eighth century fabulist. Were 
they communicated by word of mouth from generation 
to generation as in the case of the famous commentary on 
Iraiyanar's Agapporul or did this great historian come upon 
some secret archives which had escaped the deluge? It 
is unnecessary to probe further into this elaborate myth, 
which proclaims itself as a crude fabrication of the Reli- 
gious epoch in almost every fibre of its make-up. If any 
additional testimony were necessary to fortify this conclu- 
sion, this one fact, I think, would suffice; that in the first 
Academy the revered name of Agattiyanar heads the list 
and stands above even that of God himself! Such was the 
power of priesthood then and so god-compelling were the 
mantras of which it was the custodian, that it could with 
impunity measure strength with Omnipotence itself. No 
other writer outside the ranks of the priests would have 
dared performing this heroic feat! 1 

I may here summarise the grounds thus far offered 
to establish the purely legendary character of the Sangam 
story. (1) The tradition regarding the Sangams is not a 
popular one but was brought into existence and propa- 

(1) This is what A. M. Hoeart says in p. 133 of his book Kingship: 
"This probably started in India and was the result of the gradual rise 
of the King or priest to be a god in himself and not merely the spokesman 
of a god. We know that the Indian priests carried the divinity of man 
to such extremes that eventually the priest became superior to the gods 
from whom he had originally derived all his prestige and authority ". 


gated by a literary and priestly coterie for purposes of 
its own; (2) The so-called Sangam works contain abso- 
lutely no reference to any Sangam whatever; (3) The 
political and social conditions of the period reflected in 
Sangam Literature were not at all favourable for the 
creation and maintenance of any such Sangam; (4) The 
facts and figures contained in the tradition are so artifi- 
cial and symmetrically disposed as to lead but to one 
conclusion that they cannot be natural and are * faked 1 
throughout; (5) The constitution of the Sangam contain- 
ing as it does mythical characters and members drawn 
disproportionately from the Aryan community shows the 
lateness of its origin, when the Aryans had come in larger 
numbers to the Tamil land and begun to introduce the 
northern myths in the south; 1 (6) The period of duration 
of the three Academies put together, viz., 9,990 years, if 
distributed among the 197 Pandiya Kings will be found to 
give us an average of fifty and odd years per generation 
certainly an impossible figure in the history of man, 
being more than double the general average which it 
discloses: (7) One or two deluges intervening, the narra- 
tor, in the natural course of events, could not have any 
authentic source of information as regards at least the 
first two Sangams and his testimony based on data whose 
source is still wrapped up in such deep mystery 
is hardly worthy of acceptance; (8) The late origin 
of the name 'Madura' for Uttara Madura itself for it 
could not be earlier than Talaiyalankanattu-Pancliyan's 
time, the city till then going under the name of Kudal 
shows unmistakably that the Tamils of the first Sangam 

(1) How in process of time myths develop is also commented upon 
by H. Kern in his Manual of Indian Buddhism, pp. 5-6. He writes: "In 
general it may be said that the stock of tradition, common to all Bud- 
dhists, increased among the non -orthodox sects by much additional matter. 
New mythological beings such as Bodhisattvas, Avalokitesvara and Manjusri 
make their appearance; a host of Buddhas of the past, present and future, 
are honoured and invoked along with Sakyamuni, whose image, however, 
far from being effaced, is clad in brilliant majesty more than ever." The 
same has been the case with Hinduism also. 

C 4 


could not have dreamt of such a foreign name for their 
southern Capital at that far-off period and that the name 
'Southern Madura' is thus a pure coinage of the romancer 
from * Madura ' which he converted into 'Uttara Madura 1 
to lend support to his own story; (9) The non-existence 
of any of the works of the first or the second Academy 
raises the presumption that they were more the creations 
of the romancer's imagination than actual works of real 
authors, swept away by the deluges which on the whole 
are but a clumsy attempt at explanation when so many 
other details regarding the works themselves have 
come down to us intact; (10) The whole scheme is 
against the course of natural events and hence is 
unscientific in its character. History of learning and 
knowledge in any country at any time must show in the 
main a gradual progress and development from small 
beginnings. The Sangam tradition reverses this natural 
order and shows a -continuous decadence from the golden 
age of the first Academy till we reach the iron age of 
the third. 

Reasons so many and substantial as these should 
lead any fair-minded scholar to reject the Sangam tradi- 
tion as entirely apocryphal and not deserving of any 
serious historical consideration. It will, however, furnish 
a chapter in the study of myths and the psychological 
tendencies of the age in which it arose. Though worth- 
less as testifying to any objective facts of Tamil history, 
the tradition itself claims our notice as a phenomenon of 
a certain type at a particular period of a nation's thought. 
I strongly suspect whether the eighth century tradition 
is not after all a faint reflex of the earlier Sangam 
movement of the Jains. We have testimony to the fact 
that one Vajranandi, a Jaina Grammarian and Scholar 
and the pupil of Devanandi Pujyapada, an accomplished 
Jaina Sanskrit Grammarian, in the Kanarese country, of 
the sixth century A.D., and the author of a grammatical 
treatise, 'Jainendra 9 , one of the eight principal author!- 


ties on Sanskrit Grammar, went over to Madura with the 
object of founding a Sangam there. 1 Of course, that 
'Sangam' could not have been anything else than a college 
of Jain ascetics and scholars engaged in a religious pro- 
paganda of their own. 2 This movement must have first 
brought in the idea of a Sangam to the Tamil country. 
It is more than likely that, following closely the persecu- 
tion of the Jains ruthlessly carried out in the seventh 
century A.D., 3 the orthodox Hindu party must have tried 
to put their own house in order and resorted to the crea- 
tion of Sangams with divinity loo playing a part therein, 
for the express purpose of adding to the authority and 
dignity of their literature. It was the sacerdotal 'Sangam' 
of the early Jains that most probably supplied the ortho- 
dox party with a cue for the story of a literary Sangam 
of their own on that model. The very name 'Sangam' 
unknown to the early Tamils proclaims its late origin and 
to attempt foisting the idea it signified on the so-called 
Sangam Literature as its inspiring cause is little short of 
perpetrating a glaring and absurd anachronism. 

9. Leaving out of account the Ethical group of the 

Sangam Literature, the eighteen Didac- 

Tha Sangam works: tic works, which are admittedly later 

their collection and ... ., , <>, 

arrangement. compositions, the real Sangam collec- 

tions embrace the Ten Idylls (Pattup- 
pdttu) and the Eight Collections (Ettuttokai), which 
form the Naturalistic group. Evidently the stanzas or 
groups of stanzas appearing in these collections belong to 
different authors, treat of different subjects, sometimes 
with reference to particular kings or chiefs and sometimes 

(1) Tide E. P. Rise's Kanaresc Literature, pp. 26-27. 

(2) "Samgha, Dr. Buhler (p. 6) acknowledges to be as much a 
Jain as a Buddhist technical term for their orders or societies" (T. W. 
Rhys Davids, 'On the Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon 9 , (p. 59). It 
may here be pointed out that this term refers to one of the Buddhist Tri- 
ratnas: Buddha, Dharma and Snmgha. 

(3) "A terrible persecution of the cognate religion Jainism occurred 
in Southern India in the Seventh Century". (Elliott, Coin* of Southern 
India, p. 126 post, Oh. 16, Sec. 2). 


not. The various poets whose poems have been gathered 
into these collections can scarcely be considered as belong- 
ing to one generation. They must have lived generations 
apart and left their fugitive works in the custody of some 
sovereign or chief, whose glories they happened to sing 
about. At least a goodly part of these collections must 
have lain snug in the palace archives of some king or 
other before they were arranged and set in their 
present order by a late redactor. In which repository 
these poems lay, who conceived the first idea of arranging 
them, and who carried out the arrangement, are matters 
about which we know absolutely nothing at present. 
Internal evidence there is to the extent that one Bharatam 
Padiya Perundeyanar has affixed invocatory stanzas to 
five at least of the Eight Collections, vis., Puranaw&ru, 
Agananuru, Narrwai, Kuruntokai, and Amkurunuru. Of 
the remaining three, Patirruppattu, (The 'Ten Tens') 
appears rather in a mutilated .form with the first and the 
tenth 'Ten' missing; Kalittokai contains an invocation by 
pne Nallantuvanar, who is reported to be its redactor, 
but may #lso have been its author; and in Paripadal, 
twenty-four out of the seventy pieces have been published 
and these bear unmistakable evidence of their very late 
origin. Literary tradition handed down by fugitive 
stanzas and allusions in the words of the commentators give 
us some specific information about the scholars who made 
some of these collections and the kings by whose orders 
such works were carried out. 

Poem. Scholar who collected. King who directed 

the Collection. 

1. Ainlwuniiru * . . Pulatturai Murriya Chera King by name 

Kudalur Ki]ar Yanaikkanchoy Man- 

(KQdalur Kilar, who taran Choral Irum- 
was the master of the porai. 
whole domain of know- 

2. Euruntokai . . Not known . . Pann&dutanta Pandiyan 

3. Narrfaai . . Not known . . Purikko 

Maran Valuti. 

4. Agttodwaru .. tTruttira Sanman .. Pandiyan Ukkira Peru. 


5. Pwan&nuru . . Not known . . Not "known. 


Keeping Aiiikuruwlru apart, a work decidedly later 
than the others on .literary and historical grounds, the 
last four go together both by their subject-matter and 
style of composition. The principles that appear to 
have guided the redactor are the nature of the subjdct- 
matter of the compositions, their style of versification, and 
even their bulk, the number of lines of verse of each 
stanza furnishing a standard for his classification. If the 
subject-matter of tfye literary compositions was distributed 
wholly under either 'Agam' (Love) or 'Puram' (War, 
Politics and other miscellaneous matters), the first classi- 
fication from this standpoint must have been effected by 
one author. It is very unlikely that the various groups 
of poems existed as such in the archives of different kings; 
nor is it probable that if they had lain together in the 
palace library of any one sovereign the other sovereigns, 
with whose names tradition associates 'certain composi- 
tions, could have in any manner directed such compila- 
tions. Even supposing that one particular king was so 
deeply attached to war that he was pleased to patronise 
only the Purana.nuru collection, the triad of 'love' poems, 
Kurunlokai, with stanzas containing from four to eight 
lines, Narrinai, from 9 to 12 lines, and Agawanuru, 
from 13 to 37 lines, these at least should be 
considered to have been collected by one editor, at 
one time, and not as they stand now distributed 
among different sovereigns and different scholars. 
Further, there arc certain features in the collections 
themselves which may rouse reasonable suspicion in the 
mind of any candid scholar. Each of the 'Puram' and 
'Agam' collections contains stanzas to a fixed number 400 
or thereabouts. Are we to assume that the redactor for 
some reason or other fixed a uniform limit for these collec- 
tions! This might be conveniently assumed if there had 
been only one redactor. But at present the collections 
are assigned to different scholars and the question may 
naturally arise why should these later authors allow 


themselves to be constrained to stick to th(e original 
number 'four hundred'. Could it be the result of a mere 
sense of uniformity or a blind copying of an established 
model? It would be interesting also to inquire how these 
late redactors would have gone lo their work if the poems 
they happened to handle had fallen short of or exceeded 
the particular number 'four hundred'. Then again, the 
Brahman Poet Kupilar, of whose sixty-six poems in the 
Agam collections, sixty pieces happen to be of the Kurinci 
class, 3 seems to have been brought in to figure as the author 
of Kurinripattu, in the Ten Idylls, of the third hundred 
treating of the Kurinci Love in Ainkurunuru, and of 
the Kurincikkali section in Kalittokai. It is very unlikely 
that a much-travelled poet as Kapilar was reputed to have 
been should have confined his poetical efforts to the 
description of only the KurARci Love. His poems in the 
PwraM&nuru collection are enough to establish the width 
of his interests, the catholicity of his views, and the com- 
prehensiveness of his poetical talents. However, in the 
opinion of an admiring posterity, he was somehow made 
to play on only the Kuriiici key. Then again, a careful 
comparison of Ainkurunuru, and Kalittokai brings to light 
certain interesting bits of information about the manner 
in which these collections were made. Ainkurunuru, the 
earliest collection made probably by Perundevanar, who 
sang the Mahabharata story in Tamil, stands thus, its 
five divisions being distributed among five different 

Division. Subject-matter. Poet. 

1st Hundred . . Marutam . . drampokiyar. 

2nd . . Neytal . . Aminuvanar. 

3rd ' . . Kuriuei . . Kapilar. 

4th .. Palai .. Otal Antaiyar. 

5th .. Mullai ... Peyanar. 

(1) Love of the Kurinci type is the 'love at first-sight', the love 
which springs naturally in the breast of lovers when they meet each other. 
The convention of the Tamil Poets restricts this to happen, only in the hilly 
places. This type of love leads at once to the sexual union of the lovers 
and brings about their natural marriage, marriage without the preliminaries 
of parental consent and other shastraic rites and requirements. 


It would be instructive to note whether these five poets 
and Perundevanar, the redactor, appear as authors of 
any of the poems in the Puram and Agam collections and 
if they do so, what the nature of their poems is. For 
facility of comparison, I give the facts in a tabulated 



H 4 TS t-4 M>^' .^ 13 

!' g s g 2 g * 

**- tUse'l 3 111 a 4 

5 ulhll S*3 Sw 

EH OiHfH | ' 

4> J'S- ^*S '^^ "-',il 

^ W ^ rt |^ OH |g gj -H |g CO WrH^ 

'! 1 1-a |3|3 

s I *s 

"~ IS S WrtH IS 

'5 S 'S 


~ ~ - "" _" 

61 S rt IS g rt 

I i I i *l 

I I Ji 1 4 9 ll 



First as to Perundevanar, who affixes invocatory 
stanzas to the Agam, Pur am, and Ainkurwwru, coltec- 
tions, tradition distinguishes him from the Perundevanar 
who has left us two poems in Agananuru and Narrinai and 
from a later namesake, whjo composed the Mahabharata 
story in 'venba' verse, and was a contemporary of the Pal- 
lava King 'Nandipottarasan' of the ninth century A.D. We 
have absolutely nothing by way of evidence either to 
confirm or contradict this assertion. Still judging from 
literary evidence alone gathered from a comparison of the 
fragments of Bharatam Padiya Perundevanar 's work 
(composed in the Champu style of the Sanskrit authors 
in mixed verse and prose) with the Bhdrata Venbd of 
the ninth century Perundevanar, one can scarcely feel justi- 
fied in identifying their authors. Nor can one 
dogmatically assert the authenticity of the float- 
ing stanzas preserved in the work of the com- 
mentators the ancient Champu Tamil Bharatam comes 
to us in no better garb than these. Hence one has to be 
very careful and cautious in using such disconnected lite- 
rary chips for historical purposes. Sadly have the biogra- 
phies of even many later poets been twisted into fantastic 
forms by certain unscrupulous writers interlarding the 
account with their own pieces, composed solely with a view 
to embellish such narratives. Even if Bharatam Padiya 
Perundevanar could not be identified with his 9th century 
namesake, 1 find no reason why the Perundevanar of the 
Sangam works, who seems to belong to a much later period 
than Paranar or Kapilar, could not be assumed as the 
author of the missing Champu treatise and the redactor of 
the Sangam works in question. It is bootless, however, 
to move in a region of pure speculation where there is not 
even a solitary foot-hold to support us. Though we know 
so little of this Perundevanar, his handling of Ainkurunuru 
is suggestive of some valid reflections. Any reader of this 
work must be convinced that it is a much later production 
by its style and treatment and is the handiwork of one 


author. Probably the redactor, not having before him the 
name of the author and thinking that the collection work 
he was engaged in required that the work should be consi- 
dered a joint-production, carried out his idea of distributing 
its authorship among five poets of a past age. In this dis- 
tribution, however, he appears to have been guided by a 
consistent and rational principle. The table appended above 
will show that the first three poets, who have been assigned 
by him to the Marutam, the Neytal and the Kurinci 
hundred respectively, were exactly those who have sung 
the most in Marutam, Neytal and Kurinci, in the Agawi 
collection. The last two, Otalantaiyar and Peyanar, how- 
ever, do not figure so prominently for Pdlai and Mullai 
compositions. If Palai Padiya Perunkaduiiko and 
Mamulanar two other poets in those collections who seem 
to have specialised in Pdlai had preceded him, certainly 
the name of either of them would have been invoked 
instead of Otalautai's. However, this omission appears to 
have been rectified by a still later redactor of Kalittokai, 
who brings in Palai Padiya Peruiikadunko to play the 
author of the Pdlaikkali chapter in that work. Here also the 
whole Kalittokai -containing 150 stanzas inclusive of the 
invocation seems from internal evidence to be the work 
of one author, belonging to Madura country, if not to 
Madura itself. 1 It forms an artistic whole by itself and 
its authorship was ascribed to Poet Nallantuvanar by the 
late Damodaran Filial in the first edition. But some 
scholars would not be satisfied with one writer claiming 
the authorship of the whole work which unhappily was 
named Kalittokai (literally collection of 'kali' verse) and 
set themselves furiously to think whether a work openly 
going under the name 'Collection' could in any manner be 
ascribed to a single author. Forthwith they produced a 
floating stanza 2 such verses carry considerable weight 

(1) Vide Appendix III: Authorship of Kalittokai. 


with the people and made a distribution which, for the 
most part, follows no principle whatever. The distribu- 
tion of Kalittokai, effected in the later edition stands thus : 

I. Pafaikkali ascribed io Palai Padiya Perunkadufiko. 

II. Kurincikkali Kapilar. 

III. Marutakkali Manitan Ilanagan. 

IV. Muttaikkati Nalluruttiraii. 
V. tfcylarkali Nallautuvanar. 

Leaving aside Palai Padiya Perunkaciunko and 
Kapilar, who have a very large number of Palai and 
Kurinci pieces to their credit, the other three authors 
require some justification. Of them, Nalluruttiran does 
not appear in any of the collections we just now consider; 
and NaUantuvan has two stanzas of the Palai and the Ku- 
rinci class in his name and has not touched Neytal at all. The 
most glaring piece of short-sightedness appears to have 
been as regards Marutakkali. This late systematiser was 
evidently misled by the name Marutan Ilanagan, Ilana- 
gan, the son of Manitan, and supposed that he must have 
been so called by his having specialised in poems treating 
of the Marutam love. But a reference to the Agam or 'love 
collection' will demonstrate that of the five kinds of love 
treated of by the Tamil poets, he seems to have composed 
the fewest possible stanzas in Marutam. Of 'the thirty- 
nine poems of his appearing in Agananuru, Narrinai and 
Kuruntokai, 17 deal with Palai, 9 with Kurinci, 5 with 
Muttai, 5 with Neytal, and only 3 with Marutam. A 
more unhappy choice to represent a Marutam singer 
could not certainly have been made! Perhaps it might 
be urged that this paucity of Marutam stanzas was 
sought to be remedied by the Poet composing Marutakkali 
which contains 35 stanzas on the whole. There is however 
no use in exhausting possibilities by such suppositions. 
No doubt, the classification of the poems by Tinais and 


Turais 1 is the product of a later systematisation and need 
not be pressed too much for any positive conclusion. One 
fact, however, stands prominently out: that Kalittokai 
collection or rather distribution was made at a period 
much later than when Ainkurunurw was taken up by 
Perundevanar. That being established, it would be 
pertinent to inquire why Perundevanar, the earlier writer, 
should have omitted handling Kapilar's Kurincikkcdi, 
which he should have doubtless come across? Turning to 
Patirruppattu (The 'Ten Tens'), it is another collection 
of poems which comes to us in a mutilated form. The 
issued edition of the work contains only eight poems by 
eight poets (each poem comprising ten stanzas), the first 
and the tenth poem not appearing in any of the existing 
manuscripts. Unlike the other collections, this particular 
set of poems is confined to the glorification of one parti- 
cular dynasty of the Tamil sovereigns the Chcras. We 
may reasonably conclude that it should have been composed 
and put into the present shape under the patronage of the 
Chera rulers of the West Coast. It seems to be purely a local 
collection and as such can scarcely take rank with the other 
poems in their general authority. Considering the style 
of some of the pieces appearing in it, I am inclined to assign 
some at least to a little later period than the Agawanuru 
and Purandnnru collections. Take for instance, the 
fourth poem by Poet Kappiyarru Kappiyanar and you 
will find it is composed on the principle of what is known 
as 'Anthathi thodai', a device in versification by which a 
poet begins a stanza from some word or phrase which 
marks the close of the preceding stanza. 1 am sure this 
device of a later versifying period did not exist at the time 
when the poets of the Agananuru age extemporised 

(1) The course of love is first distributed under five major classes called 
Tinai, following the five classes of land, KwiMoi (hill-country), Palai 
(desert), Mullai (forest), Marutam (agricultural country or cultivated 
plains), and Neytal (sea-coast), in which it happens to take place. Turai 
is the name of the sub-classes portraying subjective states or objective 
situations bearing on them, under each Tinai named above. 


their poems with little or no idea of the cut-and-dried 
formulae of the later prosodists. Moreover, this work, 
like Ainkurunuru and Kalittokai, seems toAave been com* 
posed on a uniform plan previously agreed upon by the 
various authors concerned. These loot like so many 
competition essays on a prescribed theme to comprise a defi- 
nite number of stanzas, with coincidences in sentiments 
and phraseology in their actual make-up. If these had 
been written by different authors, one should assume that 
each one of them followed a common model and had also 
confined himself to one particular portion of the subject 
treated of. I doubt whether Patirruppattu or at least a good 
portion of it is not the work of one author, set to the work of 
glorifying the lino of the Chera Kings by a later sovereign of 
that dynasty. Even here, as in the case of Kalittokai, the 
later redactor with no clue about its authorship may 
have ascribed the pieces to different contemporary poets. 
It is also possible to conceive that the redactor had before 
him a bunch of poems by various authors and that by a 
judicious selection ho picked out some and put them on a 
uniform plan. Speculations like these, however, will not 
help us to any settled conclusion until these works have 
been subjected to a strict critical examination conducted 
primarily on linguistic grounds. And this can be under- 
taken only after the indexing work of the Sangam poems 
which is now under preparation is completed and a com- 
parative study is entered upon and carried out on 
scientific linos. Till then we have to suspend judgment. 
On one point, however, there cannot be any two opinions: 
that most of the poems in the four collections Puranawfrru, 
Aganawuru, Narrinai and Kuruntokai belong to a period 
decidedly anterior to that of Patirruppattu, Ainkurunuru, 
Kalittokai and Paripddal. Of the latter class, only Patif- 
ruppattu, the rest not treating of the dynastic annals, con- 
tains matter historically useful and it may be utilised to 
draw such secondary evidence from as would throw addi- 
tional light on the primary evidence of the four earlier col- 


lections. Pattuppattu (the 'Ten Idylls') also may supply 
us with valuable secondary evidence of a like kind. 

10. The fbur collections, Purananuru, Aganawiiru, 
Narrinai and Kuruntokai, from the 

The testimony of the testimony of which the Synchronistic 
four collections: Pri- -. , , , . .. , . ., 

mary. Tables are constructed, have, in spite 

of the later accretions to their main 
corpus, still a value of their own. Fortunately, the 
later interpolations are mostly in the Agam group of poems, 
which may safely be left out of account. They can offer us 
but little help in the determination and arrangement of the 
historical facts with which alone the Synchronistic Tables 
here attempted will concern themselves. As for the main 
historical testimony derived from these works, I have to 
urge that its value should in no way be discounted on the 
ground of the mere accident of its having been tampered 
with by the systematizing zeal of a late editor or the 
mytho-poetic elaboration of the Sangam fabulist. These 
later efforts were doubtless due to the idea that the Sangam 
poems themselves would thereby gain immensely in value. 
But the irony of circumstances has brought about a new 
critical spirit, which considers and cannot but consider 
these well-meant endeavours on the part of the old 
scholars as having only muddled the pure waters of the 
head stream. The modern critic has to strip away the 
mythic and f ormalistic wrappages thrown by later scholars 
round a body of genuine works, before arriving at the 
central kernel of truth. Even after piercing through such 
later accretions he is now and then brought face to face 
with certain inherent features of the works themselves 
which, on account of their strangeness, are apt to raise in 
his mind doubts about the genuineness of the 
writings embodying them. To mention but two of 
these, he comes across the names of Kings and Poets, 
which, to his modern ears attuned to other sounds, can- 
not but have a strange and even fantastic ring about them. 
Names such as Unpotipasuiikudaiyar, Irumpidarttalaiyar, 


Kalattalaiyar, Kalaitinyanaiyar, Kakkaipatiniyar, Kuntfu- 
kan-paliyatan, Nariveruttalaiyar, Nalli, Kijli, Pari, Ori, 
Kari, EUni, Evvi, Atan, Alisi, Kankan, Katti 1 must 
naturally sound uncouth. And the names of the early 
sovereigns of the three famous Tamil dynasties, the Chera, 
the Chola and the Pandiya, have little or no connection with 
the more polished and sonorous Sanskrit names of 
their successors in the line. Add to this another peculi- 
arity due to the limitations under which the late redactor 
had to carry out his self-imposed or patron-directed task. 
The names of many poets seem to have been lost for ever 
by the time the poems reached his hands. He was actually 
faced with the difficulty of finding out the names of the real 
authors of such pieces and appears to have hit upon the 
ingenious plan of creating descriptive designations for the 
innominate authors by some striking turn of expression or 
thought occurring in tiieir poems. Here is, for instance, one 
poet in the Kunmtokai collection called Cempulappeymrar 
from the phrase 'Cempulappeynir' (water falling on red 
soil) of stanza 40; and in 41, the phrase 'Aniladumunril' (a 
courtyard whore squirrels play) gives rise to Anila^u 
Munrilar, the descriptive name for the poet whose proper 
appellation we have no means of tracing out at present. 
Very many names occur like this in the other collections 
also; but these singularities due to the distance of time 

(1) A comparison of such personal names with the proper names of 
individuals of later times is instructive mid interesting. At present South 
Indian personal names arc borrowed mostly from the names of Gods and 
Goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon and this practice must have come into 
vogue with the dawn of the Religious epoch the period of Hindu reaction 
against the heretical sects. Tn names, at least, the work of the go-called 
Aryanisation has been thorough. Ever since the Aryan domination came 
to be felt in politics and religion of the Tamil country, a process of re- 
naming of persons, countries, cities, rivers, mountains, and other objects 
was set on foot and seems to have been steadily pursued. This was the 
first step in the Aryanisation work. And after the new names became estab- 
lished in currency, all sorts of stories were later on spun round them to 
show how the cities and rivers came into existence after the Aryan contact 
with the south. A study of the ancient geography of Tamilagam as disclosed ia 
the works of Pliny, Ptolemy and the Periplttx will establish how this re- 
naming has rendered the task of identification extremely difficult and 


which separates us from the date of their composition 
should not lead us to place these ancient works out of 
court. It will be known to our readers that Prof. Julien 
Vinson of Paris, a Tamil scholar of reputation in the 
West, could not bring himself to view such singularities 
with true critical insight and sympathetic imagination. 
From a few of these strange features catching his eye 
and ear, he seems to have jumped to the amazing conclu- 
sion that this vast group of early Tamil Literature is one 
grand pile of daring forgery and hence does not and can- 
not serve the historian in any manner whatsoever. I shall 
revert to this wholesale condemnation proceeding from the 
extreme sceptical school in a later part of this paper and 
try to present the reader not with any a priori counter- 
arguments of my own but only with facts culled from this 
group of works and standing inter-related with one 
another in a wholly consistent manner. Forgery on a 
large scale will hardly possess an inner coherency of its 
own unless the author takes very elaborate care to previ- 
ously arrange the materials on a consistent plan. Indeed the 
charge of forgery against the whole group of the works 
styled the "Sangam poems" is too preposterous to be en- 
tertained as a serious hypothesis. Involving as it does a 
whole cycle of poems, the assumption of forgery requires 
not merely one or two individual authors but a large 
number of them of different places and times conspiring 
to bring into existence a factitious literature on a very 
extended scale. And, what, after all, could be the motive 
for such an elaborate system of forgery t I can well 
understand the inspiring motive of individual fabricators 
in producing isolated works and palming them off on a 
credulous public; but the assumption that such a motive 
could energise a company of writers to build up a mass of 
faked literature is too wild to deserve any detailed criticism. 

11. Reserving however this part of the subject for 

The Result of the * ater commen t as occasion may arise, 
utwrary valuation. j g^all briefly recapitulate the results 


of the literary valuation to which the Naturalistic group of 
the Sangam Compositions has been subjected at such length 
and the light it throws upon the succession of such 
works in time. As already pointed out, the Ethical group 
is the latest in this cycle. The Naturalistic group, which 
precedes this, is composed of the Pattuppattu (the 'Ten 
Idylls'), and the EttuttoJcai (the Eight Collections). 
Paripddal, one of the Eight Collections, happens to be the 
latest among these both by its style and subject-matter. 
Its scarcely concealed religious motive stamps it as later 
than many of tho Ethical treatises. This work accord- 
ingly has been left out of the purview of this paper. Kalit- 
tokai and Ainkurun&ru, though they are earlier composi- 
tions than ParipadaJ, are also of later origin and further 
have little value for tlije general historian. These also I 
have refrained from utilising. Of the remaining, the four 
collections known as Pwranwiuru, Aganuwum, Narrinw 
and Kuruwtokai form the main basis and supply us with 
the primary evidence for the early history of the Tamils; 
the two remaining works, Patirruppattu and Pattuppattu, 
though decidedly later than many poems in the four 
collections, are by their style and subject-matter not far 
removed from them. I intend using them as offering valu- 
able corroborative testimony to the facts which are 
disclosed by the four collections themselves. Wherever 
these two works, Patirruppattu and Pattuppdttu, happen to 
conflict with the evidence of the primary group, they have 
to be discarded. In no way can we use these to overthrow 
the testimony of those early works. But in matters 
where their facts fit in well with those contained in the 
primary group, their coincidence should naturally supply 
us with an additional ground for confidence in the validity 
of the truths we arrive at. It needs scarcely pointing out 
that in such an endeavour as I am here engaged in, wherein 
a goodly portion of the legitimately styled Sangam works 
themselves have been excluded from utilization on the 
suspicion of their late origin, such works as Cilappadi- 
C 6 


Jcaram and Manimekalai stand entirely ruled out. They 
are decidedly much later than the latest of the Naturalistic 
group, Kalittokai and Paripadal; and cannot even come 
very near the main work of the Ethical period, Kural for 
instance. They may be ascribed to the period just preced- 
ing the dawn of the Religious epoch, say the sixth century 
A.D., at the earliest. Herein I am guided by a sense of 
the literary development alone and my complaint against 
certain scholars who have valiantly fought for the inclu- 
sion of these two works in the Sangam collections is that 
they have wholly failed to apply the preliminary literary 
test to them before trying to quarry into the shafts of 
these later formations for historical materials. Their 
overzealous championship of these late works has only 
made their opponents the more determined than ever to 
bring down the dates of the earlier works to the level of 
these evidently later compositions. 

12. Whatever be the centuries to which we may 
ascribe these works, the scheme that 

Succession of the i s se t forth in the previous section as 
Sangam Works: Their 
broad arrangement in a result of our literary valuation fur- 

e * nishes us with a key for reading the 

history of their relative development in time. Taking into 
consideration the predominant national characteristic of the 
Tamil race its materialistic and utilitarian bent of mind 
the Religious epoch could not have preceded the Ethical, nor 
the Ethical, the Naturalistic period of its thought and life. 
Confining our attention to the Naturalistic period, here too 
we find the longer compositions could in no way precede 
the shorter efforts. Trying to reverse their order of 
succession would be just like attempting to misread the 
life-history of a tree, by shifting its sapling stage to 
succeed its fully-developed condition. The laws of mental 
growth as exhibited by a nation are as invariable as the 
physical laws and as incapable of inversion or deviation. 
This scheme then gives us the initial guidance for distri- 
buting the works under certain broad periods. Within 


each period the works may have to be arranged by a resort 
to nicer and more accurate methods. The standard 
furnished by a sense of the literary development, based on 
the growth of the national mind, necessarily proceeds on 
averages and is certainly not applicable to the judgment 
of individual minds or their works. Few will doubt the 
utility of large balances weighing tons of material for not 
coming up to the delicacy and accuracy of a chemist's 
balance devised to measure exceedingly small particles of 
matter. The former is as necessary as the latter and is 
equally trustworthy if some allowance be made for a 
narrow margin of error. Both in the shorter and 
longer compositions, it is necessary to make a further 
distinction by the application of another well-known 
psychological truth. These efforts of individual poets may 
proceed either upon a subject furnished by an external 
object or person ; or upon a subject improvised by the poet 
himself for his own satisfaction. By the accepted psycho- 
logical uniformity of the perceptual activity of the mind 
preceding the oon-ceptual, in individuals as in nations, the 
compositions having an objective reference should be 
considered as naturally preceding those of a purely 
subjective kind. Human mind is thrown on its own 
resources only when it fails to get an object of the external 
world to fasten itself upon. The metaphysical view of the 
mind embodied in the 'Soul* theory, which invests it with 
certain inherent powers not derivable from its contact with 
Nature, does not, however, lend itself for any treatment 
from the standpoint of the Natural Sciences. A natura- 
listic view of the mind, on which alone its uniformities could 
be observed and enunciated, requires of us to consistently 
apply this principle in the valuation of a nation's literary 
works and seek to arrange them in the right order of 
sequence. Accordingly, the Purananurw collection, 
which deals with the objective events and conditions, should 
precede the Agam group of poems and Pattuppdttu 
and Patirruppattu among the longer compositions should 


for a like reason stand anterior to Ainkurunuru, Kalittokai 
and Paripadcd. A general comparison instituted between 
these works on various linguistic and literary grounds also 
goes to confirm the justice of the broad chronological 
arrangement herein proposed. Another consideration also 
adds its weight to this arrangement. Later interpolations 
have crept in more into what I may call the * subjective' 
group than in the 'objective'. From the very nature of 
the 'subjective' poems themselves, it is much easier to 
tamper with pure mental constructions than with the compo- 
sitions which have an immediate and even organic 
relationship with external facts, persons or events. In 
the latter case, apart from other grounds, distance in time 
alone should place the fabricator under the most serious 
difficulty "to execute his interpolation with success. As an 
instance, I may point out that in the Pwraw.anuru collection 
of poems I have not the least doubt that pieces of late 
authors have found their way; but, these later pieces not 
having any intimate relationship with the persons and 
events therein celebrated, by far the greater number of the 
poems of that "collection stand apart and could be spotted 
out with a little careful discrimination. This circumstance, 
then, is an additional ground why the compositions having 
an objective reference should be considered as forming 
most of the earliest efforts of the Tamil Muse. 

13. The somewhat detailed inquiry we have thus far 
pursued and the literary valuation 
The basic works for thereby effected enable us to accept 
Tables. Synchronistic for the construction of the Synchro- 
nistic Tables only six works as valu- 
able and authoritative for the earliest period of Tamil 
History. Of the nine works forming the Naturalistic 
group, Ainkurunuru, Kalittokai, and Paripadal are left 
out of account. And even among the remaining six works, 
Pattuppattu and Patirruppattu are taken in as affording 
only secondary evidence for purposes of confirmatio^. 
Their facts are not allowed to take the lead in the COB- 


struction of the Tables. The Tables, I am here presenting, 
thus rest solely on the statement of the facts contained in 
the four Puram and Ayaw collections. Their validity is 
neither more nor less than the validity of the. testimony 
of these works. And what value should one attach to this 
earliest stratum of Tamil Literature? I have elsewhere 1 
discussed certain linguistic peculiarities of Purandnuru 
which have not come within the ambit of the Tolkappiya 
Sutras and drawn a reason therefrom to establish the 
anteriority of Pwranawlru to Tolkappiyam, the so-called 
Grammatical authority for the second Sangam Literature. 
Hence it is that 1 make bold to characterize these four 
collections as embodying some of the earliest compositions 
of Tamil genius. Attempts to put them on a par with 
CilappadikaraiH and Manimclcalai, or even with the still 
earlier works Tolkappiyaw. and Kara}, and consider them 
as contemporaneous in the lump are hopelessly mis- 
directed and will lead only to a piteous distortion of 
ancient Tamil chronology. Looking at these poems as a 
whole, they strike us as a strange body of literature 
belonging to a different world, with apparently little or no 
connection with even the mediaeval literature dating from 
the Religious epoch of the seventh century A.D. The 
JJcvflra hymns of Tirugiianasambandha and these early 
poems are separated by a gap appreciably wide enough as 
that which divides the classical Sanskrit from the Big Vedic 
dialect in the North. Their purity of language, their 
simplicity of thought, their freedom from the conceits, 
conventions and mythologic paraphernalia of a later age, 
their unstudied directness and even naiete in the portrayal 
of the life and manners of an early age, and their many 
verbal and grammatical enigmas which have been most 
faithfully preserved and handed down by successive genera- 
tions of scholars with little or no attempt at their eluci- 
dation, all these attest as much to their ancientness as to 
their genuineness. Setting aside the question of their age 

(1) Vide Author's "Relative Ages of Purananaru and Tolkdppiyam' 


for the time being, all that is necessary to establish here is 
that we are dealing with a genuine body of a nation's 
literature and not with an artificial literary concoction. 
Taking the one outstanding fact that this early literature 
contains numerous accounts of the habits, manners, 
customs and observances of the early Tamils which are 
anything but edifying to the amor propre of their present- 
day descendants, this also must render the hypothesis of 
forgery untenable. If a nation had unduly exalted itself by 
a series of works, one could at least catch hold of that 
as a motive for fabrication. But here the picture 
presented by these works about the life and thought of 
ancient Tamilagam is certainly not all rosy. No fabri- 
cator would have left* behind him works such as these, 
works which neither himself nor any one of his nation 
could view at least in some portions with any feeling of 
complacency. Hence the idea of a forgery is unthinkable. 
The most crushing reply to this gratuitous assumption 
however is given by the remarkable consistency which 
runs through the Synchronistic Tables themselves, and to 
these I shall now pass on. 


14. As stated already, these poems come to us in an 
artificial grouping introduced by the 
Difficulties in our redactor consisting of Tinais and 
Turais, with introductory notes 
from his pen added to many of Hiem. In the absence of 
any other contemporary writing by which we can check the 
references in these poems, these notes must remain the 
only source of information about the persons and events 
alluded to in the pieces. Still in utilizing such informa- 
tion, I have taken care not to allow them to overweigh the 
primary testimony of the poems themselves. In cases 
where the latter come into clear conflict with the former, 
the former have been made to give way. But in all other 
matters some weight was allowed to the evidence of these 
editorial notes, especially because the redactor, however, 
removed from the times of the Sangam works in question, 
was still nearer them than we are and may be presumed 
to have been conversant with the testimony of some living 
tradition or of some authoritative works to which he had ac- 
cess and which have since then disappeared. I have been all 
the more inclined to ascribe some value to these expla- 
natory notes of the first Editor, because of their matter- 
of-fact character and freedom from any mythologic 

Turning to the poems themselves, a goodly number 
contain no reference whatever to any* king or chieftain. 
These may be dismissed froim notice for the time being. 
Nor can all the poems which have such reference be useful 
for the Tables. Most of them refer to a past event or a 
person who lived long before the poet himself. Except 


for the information that the person referred to by the 
poet must have lived before the poet himself, these pieces 
offer but little help. Many of the stanzas of Nakklrar and 
Mamfilanar fall under this class. These poets display 
more than ordinary proneness to recount past occurrences 
with many details concerning the rulers and chiefs of an 
earlier time. But unless we can confidently fix the time of any 
of such poets themselves, their narratives, however rich 
in personal allusions, and however elaborate in details, 
will not have any chronological value. I have found 
Mamulanar, the most allusively inclined of the poets, 
except perhaps Paranar, also the most elusive of them. 
With all my efforts, I have to confess that I have not yet 
succeeded in locating him in a particular generation. 
Nakkirar, however, stands on u different footing. He 
happens to sing of a contemporary King and his time is 
thereby determined beyond reasonable doubt. This leads 
me to a discussion of the value of the poems of contem- 
porary singers. As a Table of Synchronism should be 
raised mostly, if not solely, on contemporaneous refer- 
ences, I have had to scrutinize with great care the nature 
and drift of the poems purporting to contain only such 
references. Among these, some contain unmistakable 
evidence of contemporaneity; while others are simply 
reported to be such by the attached editorial note and do 
not directly signify contemporaneity by their language. 
To keep the Tables free from doubtful matter, I have 
uniformly rejected these dubious stanzas for their lack of 
any direct evidence of time. In fact, the greatest caution 
had had to be exercised in the selection of the poems which 
would be considered as possessing evidentiary value for 
chronological purposes. In the practical carrying out of this 
part of the work, the difficulty of distinguishing between 
contemporaneous references and those concerning the past 
times was indeed a formidable one. It would be admitted on 
all hands that in early Tamil the verb of predication signi- 
fied time only in a very limited, indefinite and hazy manner. 


The sense of time seems to have been and is so weak 
that even modern Tamil can scarcely be held to make 
the faintest approach to the many grades of tenses 
and moods that we find for instance in English. Hence 
the determination of the lime of an event the poet sings 
about was in many instances attended with great difficulty. 
Still, by a detailed and careful comparison of the various 
attendant circumstances such difficulties were overcome 
and a tolerably correct conclusion arrived at. 

Another difficulty arose from the confusion of the 
personal names. The application of one and the same 
name or descriptive appellation to different persons, with 
distinct historical achievements of their own, has been the 
source of serious misapprehension and misreading of an- 
cient Tamil History. For instance, each of the names, 
Karikdlan and Pamm\ptin Pandiyan, will be found 
to refer to two distinct personages with a sepa- 
rate historical setting for each. For purposes of 
correct chronology and history they should be differ- 
entiated and kept apart. Herein, the mistaken identi- 
fication by later commentators has misled not a few 
into false paths and until the whole of this imposing struc- 
ture of error is swept away we shall not be able to get at the 
correct point of view of the past events or their connections. 
As I shall deal with this part of the problem in its proper 
place, it need not be dilated upon here. 

The difficulties in respect of the peculiar names of the 
Poets, Kings and others to which I have already alluded 
are however more seeming than real. It is true that such 
names, as Palsalai Mudukudumi Peruvaludi (uet&ir&o 


are descriptive names and not proper. If we 
can realise the position of dependence of the 
early Poets on the goodwill and munificence of 
the kings of that time and the unbounded power 
for good or evil that came to be wielded by the latter, we 


may well understand why their subjects, the poets not 
excepted, considered it a sacrilege to mention the proper 
names of their rulers. They had to resort to other devious 
expedients for naming them; and this they seem to have 
done invariably by connecting the kings with some of 
their achievements or other incidents in their lives and 
coining therefrom descriptive appellations by which they 
could be known to their contemporaries. The. phrase Cerup- 
pali-Erinda-Ilancetcenni (Q^^uun^ QujjB&p <&G*tL 
Q*saratR}i for instance, thus refers to the young Cenni or 
Chola Prince who overthrew the Pali fortress ; Rajasuyam- 
Wtta-Perunarkilli (firirfQuMSmLL- Qu^vpSwaft), to 
the great Narkilli or Chola King who performed the Raja- 
suyam sacrifice. The words, Cenni (Q&w$\] and Kijli 1 
(S&iefi^ occurring in these descriptive phrases, whatever 
be their origin, have come to signify, in the post-Karikal 
usage, the Chola rulers as generic names. This peculiar 
usage notwithstanding, the individual sovereigns have been 
accurately identified. The very uniformity of practice 
pursued by the ancient poets in the use of such descrip- 
tive cognomens renders the identification for all intents 
and purposes satisfactory. So, we shall be well justified in 
treating these descriptive appellations as if they were 

(1) Some writers are fond of deriving the proper names of this ancient 
period from some significant root or other. Though their attempts may 
not add visibly to the riches ol' Tamil philology, they are worth noticing. 
As an instance, I shall give here Dr. Pope's derivation of the name Killi, 
as signifying the Chola sovereign. He writes in his translation of the 400 
Lyrics: Puranantiru as follows: "Kilh was the family name of a renowned 
dynasty of Chola Kings, eight of whom are mentioned in this connection, 
Jts derivation is doubtful, but it may mean a digger and is in fact a 
synonym of Pallava". He add* A a footnote the equation Pal=Kil. Now 
Kil as in Kilai; Kilir, Killakkv Jso means a sprout, tender shoot or leaf. 
The name could equally be dewved from that root. In fact, without more 
authentic details of the origin of the Chola line of kings or of their tribe, 
the derivation of their names cannot be anything else than highly conjectural. 
Ancient history should come to re-inforce the conclusions of Philology and 
where the latter seeks to reach a period far transcending that of the former, 
its conclusions can at best be only hypothetical. I consider ' Cenni ' and 
< Killi' in pre-Karikal usage as denoting two different branches of the 
Ch6Ja family of kings as may be inferred from the facts brought out in 
the Tables. 


proper names attached to particular individuals concerned 
nnd also in using them for the compilation of the Tables. 

15. Most of the persons who appear in the Tables 
come under one or other of the three 

in dasses ' "*** Poets, Kings and Chiefs. 
A fow public functionaries or private 
citizens are also occasionally mentioned in the poems; but 
these will hardly be of any use for our purpose. Among 
the three classes specified, the kings alone are expected 
to show a line of continuous succession and hence must 
form the very back-bone of tine chronological system herein 
sought to be formed. The poets, both great and less, have 
to be referred to the kings about whom they have sung 
as contemporaries and thus assigned to a definite period 
in the Tables. And of the three lines of the Tamil sove- 
reigns, the Chola dynauy alone shows a succession for ten 
generations without a breach. The Chera and the Pandiya 
houses, on the other hand, lack this continuity. Hence the 
Chola line had perforce to be adopted as the standard for 
reference and comparison. As to the chieftains too, who 
play a large part in the transactions of this early period, 
the reader will find that as he moves down the times their 
numbers get thinner and thinner, until at last most of 
their lines vanish from view altogether. This was due 
entirely to the Tamil triumvirs, in spite of their interne- 
cine rivalry and warfare, entering into an overt or covert 
league for the extermination of those old-time kingships. 
In fact, one will be led to conclude from the early accounts 
that the so-called Tamil chieftains were really tribal sove- 
reigns who were either annihilated or brought under 
subjection for the consolidation of the Tamil Monarchies 
which may truly be said to have arisen from their ashes. 
The Rise and Expansion of the Tamil Monarchies must 
always remain an interesting chapter in the ancient 
History of the Tamils and deserves therefore a separate 
study and treatment. 


16. The Tables consist of four horizontal columns, 
the first column being reserved for 

f thC the Pfi 9#y a line of sovereigns, the 
second for the Chola, the third for 
the Cher a and the fourth for the various cffief tains who 
turn up in this literature. These four horizontal columns 
are divided into ten vertical sections, each representing 
the period of a generation. By reading down a vertical 
column you get the names of the various contemporaries 
of a particular generation. By following the hori- 
zontal column from left to right you get the 
names of the successors in subsequent generations. 
In both the vertical and horizontal columns some names 
appear more than once and serve as links to hold the 
generations together. If a poet sings as a contem- 
porary of a particular Pandiya sovereign and also of a 
particular Chola king, the two rulers may naturally be 
considered as having lived at one and the same time, 
though it is quite likely that they may have lived in times 
slightly different but adjacent. Here the poet's name 
serves the purpose of a link-name and helps us to fix the 
representatives of different dynasties considered as 
belonging to one identical generation. Or it may be that 
while the poet sings of a particular sovereign of a parti- 
cular dynasty, his son, another poet, may sing as a contem- 
porary of another sovereign of the same dynasty. Here 
also the known relationship between the poet who was a 
father and the poet, who was a son, supplies us with a link 
for placing the two sovereigns in two contiguous genera- 
tions, although we are left in the dark as to the exact 
relationship" which subsisted between them. Here the 
link-names of the father-poet and the son-poet come under 
the class of what may be called horizontal or linear-link 
names connecting two successive generations; whereas, in 
the first case mentioned, the name of one and the same 
poet which serves to establish contemporaneity among 
different individuals may bo styled a lateral link-name. 


In these Tables, excepting the few cases where the exact 
relationship between the sovereigns is known either by 
direct reference in literature or by tradition, all the other 
sovereigns have been assigned their respective places by 
the help of these lateral and linear link-names. The 
existence of these link-names alone has made the construc- 
tion of the Synchronistic Tables possible; their absence, 
on the other hand, would certainly have rendered the 
present attempt abortive. As an instance of this, I may 
point out my inability to bring that fine synchronism of 
Ko-Peruncholan and the Pandiya King Arivudai Nambi 
into relationship with these Tables for want of a link- 
name. Although so many as five poets, mz., Pisir-Antaiyar, 
Pottiyur, Pullarrur Eyirriyanar, Kannakanar, and 
Karuviir Peruilcatukkattuppudanar, have sung about one 
or the other of the two afore-mentioned sovereigns, they 
have not sung about any others in the Tables or stand 
related to any event in them. I am sure their patrons 
were later rulers, though their time would not be far 
removed from that of the Tables. I had therefore to leave 
the Ko-Peraficholan Arivudai Nambi synchronism alone 
for the present. Possibly future research (may open up a 
way for effecting a junction with this synchronism. The 
ten consecutive generations that have been brought into 
the Tables, prepared as these are by the help of the 
link-names, lateral and linear, are held together by an 
inseverable bond and so do not admit of any shifting 
of their assigned places. In order to make these 
Tables as accurate and reliable as possible, no pain was 
spared to ascertain only strictly contemporary poets, 
chieftains and kings for their inclusion therein. If the 
stanzas of a poet did not establish beyond doubt his 
contemporaneity with a particular king or event, he was 
strictly excluded. By the great care thus exercised 
both in the inclusion and exclusion of the names of persons, 
on the ground of contemporaneity or its absence, 
these Tables have gained in value and certitude. 


As this happens to be the first serious attempt in distri- 
buting the personages of ancient Tamil Literature under 
a chronological scheme, I had to content myself with 
not attempting too much by seeking to swell the 
Tables by a multiplicity of names. My idea was more to 
secure a reliable frame-work of chronology than to include 
all the personages appearing in these works in a compre- 
hensive and exhaustive enumeration. By this restriction of 
the scope also, the Tables, I hope, have gained a certain 
degree of scientific accuracy, as fr as the inherent difficul- 
ties of literary materials would permit. While they allow 
future amplification in details, the ground-plan, I may be 
permitted to add, has herein been laid with due regard for 
the facts of Literature and their inter-relation and hence 
may not admit of any material alteration. Every entry 
in the Tables is vouched for by reference drawn from the 
statements of the poets and that also of only such as have 
direct evidentiary value. With a view to keep the Tables 
clear of any hypothetical matter, I have carefully avoided 
as far as possible interposing inferences and constructions 
of my own in them. However, in the solitary case of the 
first Cher a sovereign, I have deviated from following this 
general rule and have inserted in the Tables the name of 
a king, whose inclusion has been found necessary on 
grounds other than the existence of a link-name, which 
will be detailed later on. This solitary hypothetical 
insertion is marked by putting the name within 
square brackets, to distinguish it from the other entries 
which stand on a more secure basis. 

As these Tables have been compiled by the help of 
such link-names, I think it necessary to discuss briefly the 
significance and use of the latter. Let us imagine a world 
in which all the individuals of a particular generation start 
and end their lives at about the same time. Here 
each generation would stand by itself completely severed 
from the one preceding or succeeding it in a sort of self- 
contained isolation. Whatever be the number of the v 


generations succeeding one another in time, we could not, 
in the absence of the connecting names, tell anything about 
their relative places in the scale of time. But the world 
in which we live is happily not of the imaginary type refer- 
red to above where the lives of the individuals of a parti- 
cular generation are not only of equal duration but coin- 
cide with one another, in Ihcir beginning as well 
as their end, with absolute mathematical preci- 
sion. Individuals are born and die at all times 
of the year and consequently overlapping of the 
generations is the rule rather than the exception. Thus 
the most natural thing for us to expect is that an indivi- 
dual's name will appear in two consecutive generations. 
It is also very likely that if an individual was blessed with 
an exceptional longevity, covering more than the average 
span of life vouchsafed to his contemporaries, his name 
might appear in three, consecutive generations. But such 
instances must be considered very rare and hence should 
demand our most careful scrutiny. This critical sifting is all 
the more necessary in the ancient history of the Tamils 
among whom the grandson bears the identical name of his 
grandfather to this day. By reason of the antiquity of 
this practice in personal nomenclature one has to see 
whether the name appearing in the third generation goes 
to denote a different individual of the same family or the 
original owner of the first and the second generation. 
These considerations would demonstrate, at all events, that 
an individual could not be expected to cover four genera- 
tions. It would be against the course of natural events. 
Possibly some may urge that, if the average duration of a 
generation is only 25 years, there is hardly any intrinsic 
impossibility, much less improbability, in imagining a 
centenarian to pass his life through four consecutive 
generations. Although one could admit the theoretic 
possibility of such a supposition, it should be noted that 
that ideal centenarian could not have any chance of leaving 
his mark by his activity in the domain of thought or life 


in all the four generations in question. A generation, at 
either end, must be sliced away as not allowing him by 
non-age and over-age to take any active part in the affairs 
of the world and thus leave an impress of his personality 
on contemporary life or events. This, then, leaves for our 
consideration only the two central generations as the natural 
period of his activity and thought. Any attempt to 
stretch it beyond those natural limits must inevitably tell 
upon the scientific value of the work we are now engaged 
in. Three generations is the utmost limit to which a 
person could be assigned and that too in very exceptional 
circumstances only. But beyond it neither facts of human 
history nor demands of logic would permit us to go. 
Where such instances turn up, we have to infer the 
existence of two separate individuals, who have been 
indiscriminately mixed up by posterity for want of a 
scientific attitude of mind and the necessary critical 

To enable readers to alight at a glance on the link- 
names, I have underlined the lateral link-names with thick 
and the linear, with dotted lines. In the matter of the 
linear-links, the dotted lines have been further tipped 
with arrow-heads showing the direction in which the link- 
ing should be effected. If the name happens to connect its 
generation both with the preceding and succeeding 
ones, the underline is furnished at both ends with 
arrow-heads for pointing the direction of linking. If a 
lateral link-name serves also as a linear-link, the thick line 
too is provided with arrow marks. These mechanical 
devices, I hope, will enable the reader to get at 
once at the connections among the various facts of the 
Tables in their natural order of co-existence and 

17. We have seen that by the systematising zeal of 

the earliest redactor of the Sangam 

Th6 Tables and the 11111 it 

Ohoia line of kings. wor ks, chronology has been wrenched 

out of its natural joints and thrown 


into great confusion, for the mere whim of an ideal 
rhetorical arrangement of the poems. All that we are 
presented with is a tangle of names of sovereigns, chief- 
tains and poets mixed up pell-mell. The first problem 
was to see where to begin in this uncharted wilderness. 
With absolutely no guidance from literary traditions, 
I could know neither the beginning nor the end of any line 
of sovereigns just to make a start in the construction of the 
Tables. Even supposing that any name would be as good 
as any other for the end in view, still the idea could not 
be overcome thjat success or failure of the undertaking 
depended largely on the particular line of sovereigns 
chosen as the base-line of the survey. In any 
event, the dynasty chosen as the standard should 
satisfy two indispensable conditions: firsi, that it 
should present a continuous succession of rulers 
ami secondly, that it should show a longer pedi- 
gree, on the whole, and remain in our hands an 
effective standard of comparison with which the other lines 
of kings could be correlated. If the dynasty selected as the 
standard should snap anywhere, the attempt at synchro- 
nisation of the other lines would be brought to a stand-still 
or could be carried out only in a very imperfect manner. 
Such contingencies of the problem weighed with me at 
first and led me to prospect for the choice of a secure 
base-line. Of nearly forty sovereigns who appear in this 
literature, more than twenty belong to the Chera line. 
For this reason at least, this dynasty should naturally take 
precedence of the others and serve as the requisite 
norm. But in view of most, if not the whole, of the 
Chera genealogy depending for its authenticity on 
Patirruppattu, a work not of impeccable authority in 
itself on account of its containing patent interpolations and 
which moreover has already been consigned to the humble 
role of mere secondary evidence, I could not bring myself 
to make that dynasty the standard for the construction 
of the Tables. Of the remaining two dynasties, the 
C 8 


Pandiya, though unmistakably the earliest, not possessing 
evident marks of a continuous succession could not be 
taken up. Naturally, by this process of elimination, I 
had to fall back on the Chola line as the most satisfactory 
standard in the circumstances indicated. Two other 
reasons also lent their support for this choice. The name 
of Karikalan, the great Chola sovereign, has pierced 
through the mist of ages and reached us with a halo 
of glory of its own. Far and away he happens to be the most 
conspicuous figure of th<at illustrious line of kings, whose 
military skill and humane administration laid the first 
foundation of a Chola Empire. He was, moreover, the 
first and foremost patron of Tamil learning, in whose court 
flourished a galaxy of poets, who drew their inspiration 
from the vast exploits of their patron for leaving behind 
them literary memorials composed, for the first time, on a 
set plan and on a considerable scale. Karikalan 's towering 
personality thus was one of the material factors which 
confirmed me in the selection of his line as the standard. The 
second reason which was equally decisive was the 
commanding position of the great poet, Paranar, who, 
seems to have attached himself to the Chola line of 
sovereigns and sung about their remotest pedigree and 
their individual achievements in a manner in which no 
other poet has done. Like Karikalan the Great, among the 
rulers of that age, Paranar stands head and shoulders 
above the poets of the classic period. It would be no 
exaggeration to say that alike in the quality of his poetry 
and in the command over language, in the amplitude of 
his imagination and in the width of his sympathies, 
in the grip of contemporary life and. above all, in the 
delicacy of his touch, he surpasses all the classic 
singers, though many of these latter poets themselves, be it 
observed, were artists of no mean order. True, in the false 
estimation of a particular school of latter-day scholarship, 
his name was permitted to be overshadowed by that of a 
rival, Kapilar, who seems to have produced mass for mass 


a larger bulk of poetry. But is bulk of production the 
measure whereby poetical merit should be judged f 
Probably only a quantitative judgment of poetical merit 
has allowed Kapilar to successfully contest with Paranar 
for the premier place amongst the company of the Sangam 
poets. If precedence goes by the priority of mention, the cur- 
rent phrase 'Kapila-Paranar' should certainly be reversed. 
Though Kapilar himself was a poet of high gifts, the 
conviction cannot be resisted that Paranar out-distances 
him in the supreme quality of poetic inspiration and many- 
sided grasp of life. This digression apart, Paranar happens 
to sing of a number of Chora sovereigns also and serves 
as an important link of synchronism between these two 
famous lines of kings. Apart moreover from the many 
allusions to previous sovereigns strewn thick in his stanzas, 
he brings the Pancliya family too within the scope of his 
poetic survey. Utilizing to the full the advantages he 
appears to have enjoyed as the premier court-poet of his 
age, he Ivis recorded pen-pictures of the royalty not only of 
his own time but of the preceding generations with a minute- 
ness and faithfulness, all his own. This was the addi- 
tional ground which fixed me in my resolve to keep the 
Ohola line as the central stem of the Tables, with which 
(he other branches should he brought into relation. 

Starting then with Karikala Chola the Great, I began 
jotting down the names of the contemporary poets of his 
period. Paranar, who happened to sing of Karikalan's 
father Urnvapahter Ilancetcenni and his predecessor 
Vcrpahtadakkai Perunarkilli, could not reasonably be 
brought to Karikalan's time. And yet one cannot but note 
that some of his poems contain allusions to a Karikalan of 
old. This led me to scrutinize with care the references in all 
his stanzas bearing upon Karikalan; and the result of my 
investigation is the emergence of two distinct Karikalans 
with separate historic achievements standing to their credit. 
Till now the false lead of mediaeval commentators has been 
followed with docile meekness by later scholars and two 


distinct personalities have been jumbled up and their 
deeds thrown together and ascribed to one ruler. This con- 
fusion further opened the way for fanciful myths being 
created to explain the significance of the name Karikalan, 
as the 'Sovereign of the burnt-foot' and other equally 
amusing fabrications. Setting aside that aspect of the 
matter for the present, the actual construction of the 
Tables went to show that Karikalan 's generation was 
preceded by five consecutive generations and succeeded 
by four. Thus, on the whole, we get ten generations of 
Chola sovereigns and on the accepted scale of 25 years for a 
generation they cover in all 250 years. With the works at 
our disposal no successful attempt seems possible to extend 
the continuation of these generations on either end. 
Blocked as our way is, in both directions, the ten genera- 
tions, as far as they stand inter-linked, give us a glimpse 
into the Cb,ola history for two centuries and' a half and that 
in itself is no small matter. Furthermore, neither the Pan- 
diya line nor the Chera is found to go higher up or 
lower down the scale the Chola dynasty furnishes us with. 
Accordingly, I came to the conclusion that the designation 
of the different periods should be done in the name of the 
respective Chola sovereigns appearing in each. This will 
facilitate reference to the base-line for any future 
comparison and checking. 

I shall now go on to consider the Synchronistic Tables 
in detail. The best course, I think, would be to begin with the 
earliest generation and then deal with each of the succeed- 
ing ones in order of time. 

18. Before we enter on a study of these Tables, we 

have to disabuse our minds of certain 
A New View-point. . , . ,. 

prepossessions and even prejudices 

sedulously fostered by the works of an uncritical 
school of writers on the question of the origin 
of the three Tamil monarchies. The prevailing opinion 
of the orthodox Pandits is to represent these three 
kingships as having, like Minerva from Jove's 


head, sprung inio 'existence in full panoply of power from 
either of tlio divine luminaries, the Sun and the Moon. 
Political thought, much less political science, could hardly 
have existed then and so the earliest Tamil commentators 
and others believed as a matter of course that the great 
kingdoms, whose glories have been celebrated by many a 
bard, should have been from the very beginning of time as 
extensive and powerful as they came to be in later days. 1 
The promulgators of the doctrine of the divine origin and 
divine right of kings, a doctrine mooted and elaborated 
later on under religious auspices, could not brook 
even in idea the rise of those old-time king- 
ships from humble beginnings. 2 The latter- 
day glories of the Tamil sovereigns were trans- 
ferred undimmed to the hoary part and those early 
rulers too canie somehow to be invested with the accoutre- 
ments of full-blown royalty from a time beyond the 
reach of history and even tradition. The tribal or com- 
munal kings consequently had to sink to the level of petty 
miserable chieftains by the side of the three grand Tamil 
colossi, chieftains whose very existence is said to have 
depended largely on the goodwill and grace of those auto- 
crats who had to bestow on them their own territories for 
some service or other. Instead of dating the origin of 
the Tamil kingships from the effacement of the antecedent 
tribal rule as a patent fact of ancient Tamil history, later 
writers with a strange want of historical insight arid pos- 
sibly also by the inducement and -active connivance of the 
later descendants of the Tamil triumvirs themselves, 
began to relate for the edification of posterity that the 

(1) Vide Pandit R. Raghava Ayyangar's 'Vanjinianagar', p. 11. 

(2) For instance compare the spirit of the following very late panegyric 
composed in honour of Karikfilan the Great 

It means: 'I will not estimate him who occupies the lion-supported 
throne as simply Tirumnvalavan but shall consider and worship him as th 
great god Tirumal himself. Could blind adulation go further? 


chieftains occupied from the very start a position of depen- 
dence on the three great sovereigns owing fealty and allegi- 
ance to them. By this view the sequence of historical events 
actually came to be entirely reversed and a false picture 
of the past created. 1 need hardly say that the current 
speculation of .many in the field regarding the origin and 
nature of the Tamil monarchies is quite erroneous and will 
hardly brook a critical examination. 

Whatever may be the origin of the Cheras and the 
Pandiyas, the testimony of these Tables is positive as 
regards the birth of the Chola power. They take us to 
the very beginning and place in our hands much interest- 
ing information about the establishment at Uraiyur 1 of 
the Chola power, which in subsequent times was destined 
to grow to imperial dimensions little inferior to those of the 
Empire of Asoka, of Samudragupta or of Sri Harsha of 
North India. Tamilagam at the period here disclosed did 
not extend even to Venkadam or the Tirupati Hill, its 
traditional northern boundary as laid down in the prefatory 
stanza attached to Tolkdppiyam. No doubt, it is casually 
mentioned by a few poets, all later singers in the group of 
poets we have taken up for consideration. Even they 
refer to it as 'Pullikadu' (the forest region of Pulli, the 
chieftain of the Kalva tribe). To the south of this lay 
another forest region Arkkadu 2 (the modern Arcot districts, 
North and South, and Ohingleput) which in subsequent 

(1) Dr. Caldwell in deriving this word considers it as signifying the 
'city of habitation' as if other cities and villages were not. The form 
'Uraiyur' came into use at a later time, its earliest form being 'Urattur', 
as is well evidenced by Ptolemy's 'Orthoura'. ' Urattur ' appears in the 
poems of the earliest poets in the abbreviated and softened form 'Urantai', 
just as Kalattur becoming Kajantai, and Kujattur, Kulantai. There was also 
another Urattur in the Pandiya kingdom at that time, but the 
poet carefully distinguishes it from Chola's Urattur as Urattur 
in the Arimanavayihiadu or district (Agam 266). Bestoring the 
name thus to its original form one would find it difficult to indulge in any 
etymological speculation! In an agglutinative language like Tamil! wherein 
attrition of words due to economy of effort is constant and is carried to the 
highest and even sometimes to a whimsical degree, philology is beset with 
peculiar difficulties. 

(2) Vide Appendix IV. Note on Arkkadu and Aruvalar. 


times became the seat of power of the Tondaiyars or 
Tivaiyars, another forest tribe who were replaced by the 
still later Pallavas. General Cunningham's opinion that 
Arcot is a later town and Dr. Caldwell's reference to the 
myth of six Bishis performing tapas there once upon a 
time are belied by the account contained in the early Tamil 
classical literature. This Arcot was then ruled over by 
one Alisi, presumably a chief of the Aruvalar or Naga 
tribe. The fact that the Chola kings assumed the ar or atti 
flower as their royal emblem later on would show that they 
were connect od in some way with Alisi or it might be that 
they assumed it as an emblem of thjeir victory over Alisi 's 
descendants. In any view, we have to conclude that the 
Chola power did not extend to Arkkadu at the beginning. 
The following lines of stanza 100 trf Narrinai by one 
unknown author, who must be evidently one of the earliest 
poets, speaks of Alisi aiid his forest kingdom. 


That Alisi must have been a ruler of some note may 
be inferred from his country Arkkadu taking another name 
too as Alisikadu. 1 That he was an independent ruler is 
clear also from Parana r's lines: 

Qeufr&reurr GtflHeirujn Q/J0/.0* 

(Kuruntokai, Stanza 258) 

(1) Nakkannai, a poetess appearing ii tho second generation snya in 
tanza 87 of Narrinai. 

.>., tho AHsikaclu or forest of Alisi, which is in the possession of the 
victorious Gholas. Whetliei this conquest of Arcot was made in Tittan's 
period or in that of his sou, we have hardly any means of judging from 
these poems. 


Here Alisi is definitely described as the king or chief 
of the Ilaiyar 1 tribe. That ho or his descendant had to 
lose this independence is clear from Nakkannai's verse 
quoted in foot-note (1) of the preceding page. 

At the early time we are now discussing, the Tamil 
country was literally studded with numerous chieftaincies 
or rather kingdoms, each in independent charge of its 
separate clan-chief or communal ruler. According to 
the Tinai classification of later Tamil Grammar, which 
was based on facts of natural observation of the early 
society recorded in Tamil Literature, the country was occu- 
pied by five tribes confined to five different zones according 
to their pursuit or occupation. The fishing tribes, the Para- 
tavars, were confined to ihe coast and the hill tribes, the 
Kuravars, found refuge in the fastnesses of the interior 
hills. Between the hill region and the littoral were hem- 
med in three other tribes, the Ayar or the shepherd or 
cowherd tribes of the forest area, the agricultural tribes 
or Ulavars in the plains adjoining the numerous river 
basins, and the nomads or Eyinars (Vedars) plying their 
natural vocation of hunting and also the disreputable 
pursuit of plunder and pillage. These nomads could not 
from their natural disabilities and the peculiarity of their 
occupation develop even the rudiments of a tribal 
sovereignty. Leaving this particular tribe out of account, 
the remaining four tribes seem to have advanced, in vary- 
ing degrees, towards a settled form of rule. The Parata- 
vars and Kuravars, i.e., the littoral and the hill-tribes, in 
their progress towards political institutions, could not 
advance beyond the tribal chieftaincies. Their geogra- 
phical position and their fluctuating economic condition 
due to limited and even uncertain sources of income 

(1) The name IJaiyar refers to a forest tribe known also as the Malavar. 
It was from this tribe that Karikalau the Great after his conquest of their 
forest kingdom seems to have recruited most of his army. Hence the term 
Malavar or Mallar came to signify a soldier also in subsequent times. 
Tondaiyar, Tiraiyar, Pallavar are other names under which this tribe or its 
mixture is known in later literature. 


were alike unfavourable to any advance in political 
constitution. They had to stop short after reaching 
(he tribal rulership. The remaining two tribes, the pastoral 
and the agricultural, appear to have advanced a stage 
farther and succeeded in establishing communal and even 
territorial kingships under the names, Ko or Vel. The first 
idea of kingship in this part of the world arose amongst 
them and in the struggle for existence which ensued the agri- 
cultural kings or Vels, aided by their more flourishing 
economic condition, their larger numbers, and greater 
organisation, came out eventually as the masters of the 
field. The whole political history of ancient Tamilagam was 
the history of the conquest in the end of all thje other tribes 1 

(1) The following excerpts from Semple's classic work, Influences of 
Geographic Environment, will add their force to the views set forth above. 

Hunter Tithes: "Relying mainly on the chase and fishing, little 
on agriculture, for their sul sistence, their relations to their soil were 
superficial and transitory, their tribal organisation in a high degree unstable. 1 ' 
(P. 515.) 

Fisher Tribes: "Fisher tribes, therefore, get an early impulse for- 
ward in civilization and even where conditions do not permit the upward 
step to agriculture, these tribes have permanent relations with their land, 
form stable social groups qnd often utilize their location as a natural high* 
way to develop systematic trade." (pp. 56-57.) 

Pastoral Tribes: "Among Pastoral nomads, among whom a 
systematic use of their territory begins to appear, and therefore a more 
definite relation between land and people, we find a more distinct notion 
than among wandering hunters of territorial ownership, the right of com- 
mini a 1 use, and tho distinct obligation of common defence. Hence the 
social bond is drawn closer." (p. 57.) 

"Hunter and Fisher Folk relying almost exclusively upon what their 
land produces of itself, need a large area and derive from it only an 
irregular i'ood supply, which in winter diminishes to the verge of famine. 
The transition to the pastoral stage has meant the substitution of an artificial 
for a natural basis of subsistence, and therewith a change which more than 
any other one thing has inaugurated the advance from savagery to civiliza- 
tion. From the standpoint of Economics, the forward stride has consisted 
in the application of capital in the form of* flocks and herds to the task 
of feeding the wandering horde; from the standpoint of alimentation, in the 
guarantee of a more reliable and generally more nutritious food-supply, which 
enables population to grow more steadily and rapidly; from the standpoint 
of geography, in the marked reduction per capita amount of land to yield 
on adequate and stable food supply. Pastoral nomadism can support in a 
given district of average quality from ten to twenty times as many souk 
as can the chase; but. in this respect is surpassed from twenty to thirty-fold 

C 9 


by the agricultural and the establishment of the Tamil sove- 
reignties in the valley-regions adjoining the Periyar, the 
Tamraparni, 1 then known as Porunai, the Vaigai and the 
Kaviri. It would be a positive perversion of history to 
describe these tribal rulers as subordinate to one or other 
of the three Tamil sovereigns of that time. Allusions to 
nine kings and eleven kings and Elumudi (Seven Crowns) 
occur in some poems and these point directly to one con- 
clusion that, before the Tamil triumvirate came into their 
own, they had to contest for power with a large number of 
tribal kings and had to wipe them out of existence or make 
them their feudatories in a sort of easy political alliance. 
The references to such a state in early literature are so 
abundant that 1 think it unnecessary to load this paper 
with specific quotations. The glimpse into the earliest 
political condition of Tamilagam, afforded by Tamil 
Literature, gives us a picture of the existence of many 
independent rulers and that the picture is substantially a 
correct one is vouched for by the facts of political history 
all the world over how extensive empires have been built 
on the ruins of many smaller kingdoms comparatively 
less organised than themselves for purposes of war and 
military aggression. Bearing this in mind let us approach 
the detailed study of the Tables and the facts they embody. 
They throw a flood of light on the political history of that 
far-off period. 

by the more productive agriculture while the subsistence of a nomad requires 
100 to 200 acres of land, for that of a skilful farmer from 1 to 2 acres 
suffice." (p. 61.) 

Agricultural Tribes: "With transition to the sedentary life of agri- 
culture, society makes a further gain over nomadism in the close integration 
of its social units, due to permanent residence in larger and more complex 
groups; in the continuous release of labour from the task of mere food- 
getting for higher activities, resulting especially in the rapid evolution of 
the home and finally in the more elaborate organisation in the use of the 
land, leading to economic differentiation of different localities and to a 
rapid increase in the population supported by a given area, so that the land 
becomes the dominant cohesive force in society." (pp. 61-62.) 

(1) This later name may perhaps be a corruption of ' Tanporunai ', the 
cool Porunai. The name ' Porunai' (meaning that which resembles) may itself 
be taken as a part of the fuller name 'An-Porunai* that which resembles a cow. 



19. Veliyan Tittan, tli,e captor of Uraiyur and the 
founder of thie Chola power, was one 

The Chola line: of the many Vels or kings, who 
Veliyan Tittan. i , -I. v* A 

omipied terntories near the coast in 
the basin of the river Kaviri (the modern Kaveri). Like 
the predecessors of Alunturvel and Nankurvel, he was the 
Vel or king of Virai, a coast town near the Kaveri delta. 
As I could not get contemporary poets for this earliest 
period, 1 had to piece together the references contained in 
the stanzas of some of the earliest poets and bring out a 
fairly connected narrative of the times. Mutukurranar, 
or as some manuscripts have it Mutukuttan&r, sings as 
follows about this ruler of Virai in stanza 58 of 


@/Pg)u Qurreti* 
<?4f/rcu Qmtreaot 

LD/r%\> e&etr&Qcbr" 

We understand from this that Tittan was merely a 
Velman 1 of Virai with no pretensions to the style and 
insignia of a great Chola sovereign at that time. The term 
Velmfm signifies Velmagan, one belonging to the commu- 
nity of Vel and also its king or ruler by pre-eminence. We 
may justly presume that he .must have had under him a 
number of Kilars or Kilavars holding subordinate autho- 
rity and in charge of different villages. 2 Tittan 's capital 

(1) Vide Appendix V: Note 011 the Tamil Suffix JlfOft, 

(2) The Primitive Tamils consisted of a number of village communi- 
ties each under the headship of a Kilan or Kilar, the abbreviated forma of 
the fuller name Kilavan or Kiiavar. These terms refer to the persona who 
had the right of being the headmen or ehiefs of their respective village- 
communities, composed of a single family and its numerous branches. A 
confederacy of such communities was presided over by a Vel or VSlmftn. 


being Virai, near the coast, he had no connection with 
Uraiyur, an inland town. That Virai was on the sea-coast 
can be made out from the lines of Marutan Ilanaganar, a 
later poet in Agananuru, S. 206: 

The poet here describes the salt pans of Virai. Now 
this Veliyan Tittan, probably more ambitious than his 
brother Vels of his time, conceived the plan of extending 
his dominions inland. He seems to have cast his eye on 
Uraiyur, then in possession of a ruler named Sendan, 
probably the son of Alisi whom we have already alluded 
to as the sovereign of Arkkadu. Sendan succeeding his 
father on the throne of Arkkadu must have extended his 
kingdom to Uraiyur. Whatever may be our opinion about 
Sendan getting the Uraiyur principality by inheritance or 
by right of conquest, there can scarcely be any doubt 
about his occupation of that city. Here is a stanza from 
Kuruntogai (stanza 258) by Poet Paranar giving us the 
information : 

Qi i 
Q/ i(r$v 



Here, the Poet, in the hypothetical love-scene 
imagined and described by him introduces the maiden- 
companion of the heroine as forbidding the lover from 
further advance in his overtures to her lady. In request- 
ing the lover not to visit their village or to send any more 
of his garlands as tokens of love, the maid appeals to the 
finer feelings of the ga-llant by the imagery that the fault- 
less beauty of her lady too joins in the supplication for 


the discontinuance of his visits as they give rise to unfavour- 
able comments of the whole neighbourhood and cause no 
little annoyance to the lady besides despoiling her of all 
her beauty. Thus not only the maid but the lady's beauty 
also has been dexterously woven into the lines as craving 
for protection. In the ideal scene thus depicted the poet 
following the conventions of the Tamil bards of that age, 
introduces two similes to illustrate the faultless beauty 
of his heroine. The capital of some ruler or other is 
generally brought in by the poet as the object to whose 
splendours the richness of his heroine's beauty should 
be compared. Here Paranar, not content with one capital, 
refers to two cities, Uraiitai of Soudan, on the banks of the 
Kaveri, and Arakkadu of Alisi, probably to heighten the 
loveliness of his heroine. Poetic idealisation apart, the 
poet's reference to Uraiitai of Sendan gives us a veritable 
bit of history. We further know that neither Sendan nor 
his father Alisi comes under the line of the Chola sovereigns 
of Uraiitai. In all probability, Alisi was the chief of the 
forest tribe, the original stock from which the Tiraiyars 
or Tondaiyars of later times took their rise. They are 
called 'Basamagos' 1 by Ptolemy, who locates them just 
to the north of the territory occupied by the 'Sornagos' 
or Cholas. Sendan, not a Chola king himself, is thus 
described to have been in possession of Uraiyur for some 
time, and Veliyan Tittan, the ruler who actually founded 
the Chola line of sovereigns and launched it on a career 
of conquest and expansion, was then confined to Virai, the 
coast town. Fired with ambition this Tittan seems to 
1 have dislodged Sdndan from Urantai and established 
himself there. Having secured the coveted prize, he 
planned and carried out the fortification of Urantai and 
made it impregnable for ordinary assaults. These 

(1) If any conjecture might be offered the name 'Basarnagos' given 
by Ptolemy may be Pasalai Nagar (uffts* nowf). Both u^feo and *< 
mean the tender shoot or leaf of a plant, probably giving us an insight into 
the origin of the Sanskrit name Pallava of later days. 


facts are dedueible from the following references in the 
stanzas of some of the earliest 1 poets, Paranar and Mutu- 


Paranar in Agcem., S. 122. 

flrirs/H7 dsensrfl 

Mutukurranar in Agam., 8. 137. 

These extracts testify that Veliyan Tittan had later 
on come into the possession of TJrantai. Not content with 
this conquest he or some one connected with him appears 
to have carried war into the heart of Sendan's territory, 
the old capital Arkkadu, and completely annexed the 
Arcot 2 territory to his own. The testimony of the poetess 
Nakkannai, whom I take to be the Nakkannai, daughter 
of Perunkoli Naikan, and who appears in the next gene- 
ration, is decisive on the point. Following closely the 
generation of Veliyan Tittan, she describes Arkkadu 
as belonging to the Cholas. The line 

Narrinai, 8. 87. 

shows that Veliyan Tittan 's victory over Sendan not only 
cost him the loss of Urantai but paved the way for the 
annexation of his whole kingdom including the old capital 
either during Veliyan Tittan 's time or in that of his im- 
mediate successor. Thus we are forced to conclude that 
the Cholas of Urantai had to build up their kingdom on 

(1) The reign of Karikalan the Great is a landmark in the history of 
this early period. Like a luminous band stretching almost in the middle 
it serves to divide the incidents and personages of that far-off epoch into two 
batches, the earlier and the later. The so-called "Sangain" poets who precede 
this Karikalan I herein name as the earlier and the post-Karikalan poets, the 

(2) Sendamangalam in South Arcot District, though a later name, may 
be held as testifying to Sendau's connection with that region in ancient 


the ruins of the Arcot power. It is true that the texts 
of the early poets do not give us a connected and circum- 
stantial narrative of this conquest and they were pre- 
cluded from doing so for the simple reason that they were 
not professional historians and their duty mainly consisted 
in off and on panegyrizing their royal patrons but this 
need not deter us from putting together the apparently dis- 
connected facts and drawing therefrom the only inference 
that could rationalise them. It is only by justly disposing 
these stray facts in their true order of sequence in time 
can we get $t their significance and create a more or 
less understandable picture of the happening^ in a 
closed chapter of ancient Tamil history. Here the 
disconnected facts are that the first king of the Chola line 
wont by the name of Vlrai Volman Veliyan Tittan and that 
his capital was Vlrai, a coast town, that Uraiyur, the 
famous capital of the Cholas was then in possession of one 
Sendan, who had no conceivable connection with the Chola 
family of kings and that Veliyan Tittan seems to have occu- 
pied Urantai and fortified it. All that I have attempted to do 
is to place these three facts in their true inter-relation and 
draw the inference that Sondan was ousted from Urantai 
by the invading forces of Veliyan Tittan, who, thereby, 
founded the first capital of the Cholas and made it an 
impregnable fortress. Paranar's poem in Agananuru, 
from which I have already quoted a few lines, may be 
transcribed in full for the relevancy of their closing 
lines : 



i>/flOuiL/ L/L!^. Ginriruuu 
tr QuirSiu urrujuifi 

In this beautiful stanza, the poet makes the heroine 
recount one by one the anany obstacles that be&et the path 
of her lover's approach to herself. She winds up the 
graphic account of the disconcerting impediments by a 
telling simile that they were as many and as insuperable 
as the obstructions to an advance on Tittan's fortress at 
TJrantai. From this we may reasonably conclude that im- 
mediately after the conquest of Urantai (Uraiyur), Tit- 
tan put its defences in thorough order and made that city 
impregnable. An ambitious sovereign like himself, with 
projects of conquest seething in his mind, could not have 
done anything else. 

20. It is not possible to trace out a Pandiya repre- 

sentative for this period for want of 

The Pandiya ttnenn- literary references. But subsequent 

texts imake it clear that at about this 

time the Pandiyas were confined to their capital, Korkai 

at the mouth of thie Tamraparni river, and had not yet 

even established themselves at Madura, whose earlier 

name appears to have been Kudal. Kudal at about this 

time was probably in possession of one of Akutai's 

ancestors, his father or grandfather. 


21. We have also no means of knowing who the 
Chera sovereign was at this period. 

The Chera line un- B U ( one may fairly infer that the 
Chera kings were still confined to 
the West Coast, their initial seat being Kuttanadu, 
the Kottanara of the Greeks, in the western sea- 
board of North Travancore. They had not yet extended 
their dominion north and east. They had yet to con- 
quer Karuvur 1 which later on gave them the most con- 
venient vantage-ground on the basin of the Periyar 
river for further conquests north and east. But this 
military expedition to Karuvur and its annexation prob- 
ably occurred in the next generation, which I shall discuss 
in detail later on. 

22. Among the chiefs, referred to in the verses of 
some earlier poets, Soudan was the 

The Chieftains. ^^ ^^ w j io could be considered a 

contemporary of Veliyan Titian. He seems to have been 
the last of the .Arcot line of sovereigns, who was forced 
to give way before the superior military skill and organizing 
power of the ruler of Virai, Veliyan Tittan. Though 
Tittan is reported to have occupied Urantai, his dominion 
presumably did not embrace the environs of the Kaveri 
dell a which went by the name of Kalar. This part of the 
country, at the mouth of that fertilising river, should have 
been in the possession of one Matti or his immediate pre- 
decessor, wielding power over the fisher-folk of the coast 
as their tribal sovereign. Matti comes into prominence 
in the second generation and his story may therefore be 
taken up later. 

Veliyan Tittan, the conqueror of Uraiyur, had a son 
named Tittan Veliyan, with whom he seems to have been 

(1) Dr. Vincent A. Smith and Kanakasabhai Filial were at one in 
holding that the Ktiruvur of the ancient Tamil classics is not the modern 
Karur in the Trichiuopoly District but is represented by the ruined village 
Tirukkarur, about 28 miles north-east of Cochin. The testimony of the 
Greek writers and the early Tamil poets goes to support this view. For 
a fuller discussion refer to Appendix VI: Note on Karuvur, the Cher* 

C 10 


not on good terms. This is hinted at by poet Sattantaiyar 
in a stanza celebrating the martial prowess of Tittan 
Veliyan, his contemporary, displayed in a personal contest 
with Mallan of Amur. It runs as follows: 

u&B3r(Lpujp]ii ujffSssr 

Puram., S. 80. 

The poet expresses his wish that Veliyan 's splendid 
victory over Mallan and the exhibition of his personal 
valour in the battle-field deserve to be witnessed by Veli- 
yan 's father, Til tan, the great warrior. In expressing this 
wish the poet manages to interpolate into his verse the 
phrase '*&&*& K&*Tmiflj&iA meaning ' whether he is 
pleased with the feat (and thus brought to relent in his hos- 
tile attitude towards his son) or not'. The commentator 
adds the note in explaining the significance of this phrase 
that Veliyan Tittan and his son were not on amicable terms 
at that time. If a conjecture might be hazarded from the 
peculiar relationship between Veliyan and the poetess 
Nakkarmaiyiir, the daughter of Peruhkoli 1 Naikan, the 
love intrigues of the prince with a daughter of one of his 

(1) Uraiyur was also known as Kojiyur or Perunkoliyur to distinguish 
it from Kurunkoliyur, probably the capital of the Aayi kings, which 
must have been situated near the southern border of the Coimbatore District. 
Ptolemy refers to the latter town as 'Adarima Koreour', i.e. 9 Atiyarma or 
Atiyarman Koliyur. These ancient towns probably took their names from 
Koli, a banyan tree. Compare with this the name Peralavayil which may 
have been another ancient name like Kudal for Madura. These namesr, in 
course of time, have given rise to the fanciful myths of the Cock and th 
Serpent which hare stood and still stand in the way of their correct 


commanders, in charge of Koli or Urantai, may probably 
have been at the bottom, of the great king's displeasure. 
But, however that be, there is little doubt that the Chola 
sovereign who was destined to succeed his father and ex- 
tend and consolidate his conquests, had to start his career 
ill an atmosphere of parental wrath and misunderstanding. 
That Veliyan Tittan had also a daughter Aiyai (ggomj) is 
clear from Parauar's reference: 

Affam., 8. 6. 
but of this princess we know little beside her name. 

As no contemporary singers appear to celebrate Veliyan 
Tittan 's victories, I had to construct this imperfect account 
of that early period from the stray allusions culled from 
a few early poets. The known relationship of Veliyan 
Tittan and Tittan Veliyan, (he succeeding sovereign in 
the Chola line, supplies UH with a strong linear-link to 
connect this period with the next. 


23. The second Chola sovereign of the line was 
Tittan 's son, Veliyan. known also as 
Porvaikko-PerunarkilJi ( Perunar- 

The Chola line: Tit- " . 

tan Veliyan alias For- kilh, the conqueror and king of 
vaikko-Pcrunarkilli. Porvai). Sattantaiyar and Nakkan- 
naiyar, two contemporary singers, 
bestow high praise on him for his famous victory 
over Mallan of Amur, which must have been gained 
in the lifetime of Veliyan 's father Tittan. Whether 
Tittan, before he died, was reconciled to his erring son 
Veliyan or not, the latter appears to have succeeded him 
on the throne of Urantai (Uraiyur). Like Prince Hal, he 
proved himself a worthy successor of his worthy father, 


by his great military talents and organising power. Though 
in his earlier years he seems to have caused some parental 
pangs to his aged father, once on the throne of Uraiyur, 
he straightway forced the neighbouring chiefs to feel the 
weight of his arms. His first aggression was directed 
against Palaiyan, king or Por or Porvai, a province at the 
basin of the Kaveri, near the Coimbatore border of the 
Trichinopoly District. 1 This Por territory was then an 
independent principality as one can make out from the 
following lines: 


Agam., S. 186. 

Later on Palaiyan sinks to the level of a dependent chief 
to do the bidding of his great Chola overlord. Paranar's 
lines : 


Agam., S. 326. 

definitely refer to Palaiyan 's becoming a commander 
under the Chola king. It might be urged whether 
Palaiyan could not be assumed as one of Chola 's com- 
manders from the very beginning. Such a supposition hardly 
explains Veliyan's assumption of the title 'Porvaikko', 
king of 'Porvai' or 'Por'. Surely Veliyan's father 
Tittan was not" known under that name. Nor did Veliyan 
himself assume it at the beginning of his career. One may 
justly infer from the circumstances that after the occu- 

(1) Mahfmmhopadhyaya Pandit V. Swaminatha Aijar identifies this 
town as the modem Tiruppur in the Coiinbatore District. But this takes 
us to the very heart of the Kongu country, which is certainly not warranted 
by the texts. 


pation of Uraiyur by his father, the son was bent on 
further conquests towards the West and while carrying 
them out must have brought the king of Por also under 
subjection. This conquest was merely the opening of a 
more protracted campaign and on a "wider th.eatre, the 
Kongunadu lying to the west of Por. Here is the testimony 
of a poem from Narrinai, the poet's name unfortunately 
missing, tq prove that the Oidlas had to avail themselves 
of Palaiyan's services in their fight with the Kongu tribes 
in the West: 

ir QasrriEi&iru 
up-iufTcfasru Qurrgui 

Narr'mai, S. 10. 

In the war with those tribes, Palaiyan with all his 
bravery could not unake any headway. The forest chiefs, 
probably under the direction of Nminan, a king of the 
country adjoining tho northern-half (Elilmalai) of the 
Western Ghats 3 and whose sway then extended far to the 

(1) lly a curious parallelism in the change in denotation of certain 
geographical names of ancienl Tuiiii]ng:iin, the- fililmalai, which once referred to 
the whole of the 1 Western (rhatR to the north of the Ooimbatore gap as 
the 'Pothiyil' referred to the entire range to its south, came later on to 
be applied to 21 prominent peak near Cannanorc, which now goes by the; name 
of Mount D'cly, the name of its southern partner likewise being restricted 
to the present 'Potliiyil' or Agastiyarkudam, to the north of South Travaiicore. 
The shifting was very probably due to tho political vicissitudes which over- 
took the rulers of these two hill-kingdoms, by which they had to lose the 
central portions of the Ghata to the two powerful lines of sovereigns, the 
Cheras and the Choljis on cither flank and had had to be satisfied with the 
hist remnants, the northern and southern parts of the Ghats in Tamilagazn 
from which also they were subsequently dislodged by the three conquering 
Tamil kings. Such a line as ( sjtglQear<<suS>au u(TL$#&&>u}if shows 
conclusively that Pali was a fortified hill belonging to the filil, whicl^Jtf^ 
described as a long range of mountains. EJil had other hills also, suw as, 
Cheruppu, Param, Ayirai, etc. The modern Mount D'cly in inhering 'th^ji 
ancient Tamil name has given rise to quite a crop of fanciful <jrivatirfns, 
from Sapta SaiJam to Rat Mountain. No wonder that Tamil naines . 
thus stand as a riddle even to the nfost accomplished SanskritistsJ The 1 
fijil, from the proximate root elu ( etQg ) to rise, means an elevated table-land 


south and even into the Kohgu country to the east of the 
Ghats, offered him a stout resistance. Palaiyan had to lay 
down his life in the field of battle which is graphically 
described by one of the early poets, Kudavayil Kirattanar 
in Agam., 8. 44: 


&6ST{D6UlT (5,^^ GJfffTUUriTjIBJ SlLtS* U 

uQGgtJUL-LJ uemsatflu uenLpujeitr uiL.Qi-.esf" 

The coalition of the chiefs, Errai, Atti, Kankan, Katti, 
Punrurai, evidently chiefs of the hill and forest tribes 
inhabiting the Kohgu land and the northern borders of the 
Chola country, must have been brought about by Nannan 
who appears to have held a dominant position in the north- 
ern half of the Coimbatore District at that time. The south- 
ern portion was then known as Pullunadu and was ruled over 
by Atiyan and Eyinan. Evidently, these names appear to 
be tribal names and hence may stand for their chiefs. Aayi 
Eyinan, i.e., the king of the Eyina or Villavar tribe, had 
his capital at Vakai and enjoyed his independence till 
Veliyan appeared on the scone and annexed his kingdom: 

"Oo/sarQpfl (Lpir&Gsr Geu&p 


Puram., S. 351. 

These few lines contain a cryptic account of Eyinan f s 
loss of independence. Aayi Eyinan thenceforward had to 
hold a subordinate position to the Chola king and become 
even the commander of his forces, in the battle with Nan- 
nan. At the engagement of Pali, however, fates turned 

plateau and then the mountain rising from *it. The name 'Pothiyil* also 
may have first meant the low country (the land in. the hollow) before it came 
to signify the mountain region in it. I consider this as a more fundamental 
derivation than the one suggested by me in an appendix to the book AgastyA 
in the Tamil Land. 


against him and he fell in the battle with Mignili, Nannan's 
commander. Thus Veliyan's scheme of conquest in the 
west received a check for a time. Of the many references 
to this battle contained in Paranar's pieces, I shall content 
myself with extracting one here: 

ujfr&ar u9<u<3/D7 


Agam\., S. 208. 

In Agant., stanza 142, however, referring probably to 
the same battle the namo Eyinan is found replaced by 
Atiyan or Atikan. It may bo due to an error in reading 
or refer to another battle of Pali with Atiyan. Or more 
probably still both of tli?m may have taken part in that 
battle. In any case, we can reasonably assume that the 
incursions of Narman from the west and of Veliyan from 
the east were hotly contested by the forest chiefs of the 
Korigu country: 


These lines from Agm\., S. 142 show that the southern 
portion of the Coimbatore District, then known as Pullu- 
nadu, was in possossion of Atiyan, probably of the Aayi 
house. It was on account of Naiman's invasion of this 
territory that the battle of Pali was fought by Eyinan, in 
which he is said to have lost his life. Vide also Paranar's 

11 * * * 


/7/r HJT / 


Agam., 8. 396. 


As the stray allusions contained in the stanzas of 
Paranar are the only source of information about this early 
time, the picture of events cannot but be fragmentary. 

Kalar, the territory covered by the Kaveri delta, was 
then in possession of one Matti, the tribal chief of the 
Paratavars or fishermen of the coast. Paranar refers to 
him in the lines: 


Agam., S. 226. 

He too seems to have been conquered and his terri- 
tory annexed by Veliyan or by another Chola leader of 
that community. That Veliyan became the lord of a part 
of the coast territory also can be inferred from Paranar's 
description : 

pnSsarp f&ppm Qeu&Riu 


Agam., S. 153. 

The picture of Veliyan ' fame and military exploits 
will not be complete without the following incident nar- 
rated by the pool in a life-like manner, how Katti, a forest 
chieftain, who came for a fight with Veliyan, lost his 
nerve and took to his heels at the sound of even the peace 
music at Veliyan Vi durbar nt Urnntni. Here is the graphic 
description : 

f rf n 
CoL//rjr firSssrA &L-.U}. 
Quff-jrirJif (Spirty-iLi eurrfiui9<gpiL& 

Agam., S. 220. 

Through this overlaid poetic picture the martial glory 
of Veliyan still shines for us. Nevertheless one would be 
justified in concluding from the attempted attack by Katti, 
a petty forest chief, that Veliyan could not then have ruled 


over an extensive dominion and been a full-blown sove- 
reign like his successors of the post-Karikalan age. 

24. Who the Pandiya king was at that time, we have 
absolutely no means of knowing. As 
lld ** regards the Chora line, I insert 
tentatively within square brackets the 
name of apparently one of the earliest rulers of that family. 
Karuvur-riya-ol-val-ko-Peruneeral Irumporai, the great 
(Jhera king with the shining sword, who conquered and 
occupied Karuvur and was thenceforward known as Irum- 
porai. 1 He was the first sovereign to launch the Ohera line 
on a career of conquest. Before his time that royal house 
must have been confined to the coast country of Kuttana^u 
(roughly North Travancorc to the south of the Periyar 
river) with Kulumur 2 for its capital. Beyond this 
to the north lay Kudanadu at the basin of the 
river Periyar, known probably also as Perumpacjappai, 3 
the modern Cochin State and its sea-board. Quite likely by 
the pressure of population in Kuttanadu, hemmed -in as it 
was then between Kudanadu in the north and th,e 
Aayi country in th/3 south and the east, the com- 
munity under the leadership of their ruler over- 

(1) The name Irumporai literally men us the big mountain and is the 
exact antonym of Kurumporai the small hill. The signification of this word 
was extended first to the country and then to its king by a common linguistic 
usage in Tamil akin to the rhetorical trope, 'synecdoche'. The kings oJL Kut- 
tanadu (the country of lakes and swamps), so long as they were confined to 
their coast territory, could not assume this title. But the victory over the 
old ruler of Karuvur gave them an access into a mountainous region and 
led them to add thereby a significant title to their names. The first Chora 
sovereign who adopted this title should have been this conqueror of Karuvur. 

(2) Whether this name appears in a changed form in 'Kourellour' of 
Ptolemy, one of the inland towns mentioned as situate between the rivers, 
the Periyar and the Baris (Palayi), should bo further looked into. 

(3) Ths Cochin Royal House belongs to the ' Perumpadappu ' Swarupam. 
Padappu hero is evidently a corruption of Padappai which literally 
means the environ or adjoining land of a river or a hill or a 
homestead. The terms firelifiuuL^ueou 9 Queaa^ess!iuuiUU.umu 9 occurring 
in these poems mean the lands at the basin of the river KavSri or Pennai. 
Perumpadappai thus refers to the country round about the banks of the 
river Periyar and the name must have been later on corrupted in popular 
parlance into 'Perumpadappu'. 



flowed into Kudanadu and occupied its capital. Who the 
king was who was thus dispossessed of Karuviir it is not 
possible to make out. Still there are indications to show 
i&at Kudanadu was then in the occupation of a pastoral 
tribe under a chieftain Erumai, evidently a tribal name 
appearing in the line of a later-poet 

Agam., S. 115. 

This name, however, should not be confounded with Erumai- 
uran, the head of a northern tribe living at the 
basin of the river Ayiri, not certainly the Periyar, whatever 
other northern river it may denote. Not commanding the 
Coimbatore Pass, the only way of entrance into the 
southern-half of the Kohgu country, the conqueror 
of Kudanadu could not have moved his forces into 
that region, without first subjugating the northern 
king Nannan whose Pulinadu otherwise known as Konka- 
nam extended far down to the south as far as that strategic 
gateway. This powerful sovereign had already led 
his westerners into the sheltered land of the Coimbatore 
District and occupied at least its northern portion. 
We found him engaged in serious conflict with the forest 
tribes of South Coimbatore. The Cheras had not yet pene- 
trated the Kongu country. They were engaged in consoli- 
dating their conquests near the Periyar basin. Southern 
Coimbatore known as Pullunadu was then occupied by cer- 
tain hill and forest tribes known as the Ayars, the Eyinars, 
etc. Congeries of such primitive tribes as the Kongars 1 on 
the west coast together with the Aruvalars and the Mala- 
vars on the east, who were also of the same extraction, f orm- 

(1) The origin and characteristics of this tribe are involved in much 
obscurity. If language alone could throw any light, this tribe must be 
assumed to have immigrated into Coimbatore from the Mysore plateau and the 
adjoining western sea-board, known then as Konkanam, comprising 
roughly the Malabar and Canara Districts. The terms Kon, Eonku, 
Kondu may probably have originally signified the high table-laud held between 
the Eastern and the Western Ghats, which meet near the Nilgiris somewhat 
close to the western sea. Henco the strip of the western littoral 
adjoining Kon or Konku may have been called Konkanam. The names of 


ed an impenetrable zone of protection both to the Chola and 
the Chera kings of the Tamil land from the incursions of 
the northern powers. 1 The Kurumbars, an allied tribe, also 
came in as a wedge between the Chora kingdom of the we$t 
and the Chola power in the east, and if early Tannil litera- 
ture testifies to anything, their country, the Kongu land, 
should have been the theatre of incessant warfare among 
the three aggressive Tamil potentates. The arrival of the 
Cheras near the basin of the river Periyar brought them 
nearer to this battle-ground. 

I enter ai this generation the name of Karuvur- 
Eriya-Ko-Perunceral-Irumporai, first because the inser- 
tion keeps in line with the historical events as disclosed in 
Palirruppattu, and in a way unifies the double-line of 
Chera sovereigns whose achievements are therein sung 
about and secondly because it accords with the definite 
testimony of Ptolemy himself. By the time of this last 
writer, Karuvfir had become the capital of the Cheras and 
it is impossible, in the light of the account given by Patir- 
mppattu, to credit any of its eight kings with the exploit 
of thu annexation of Karuvfir. In fact, at least the 
iruinporai branch of the Chera family seems to have been 
well established in that capital ever since th,e time of 
Antuvan Cheral. This would justify the inference that the 
father and predecessor of Antuvan Cheral and Udiyan 

the coast tribes and their chiefs Konkar and Konkan may thus have arisen 
from the place-name Konku. Koiigar may then bo taken as referring to 
the whole body of coast and highland tribes who had moved inland and 
to the lowland by ovcr-populiitiou in their original scats or by sheer pressuia 
of incursion from the north. As Konkanam was corrupted into Konganam 
in the mouth of the people, the name Konkar too may have assumed the 
popular form Korigar before it readied the hands of the early poets. In this 
view, the term Kohgar (a tribal name derived from their habitat) must be 
held as bearing on its face the impress of greater popular currency than 
the names Konkan and Konkanam preserved in literature. 

(1) Mr. J}\ J. Richards writes in his Salem Manual, p. 45, as follows: 
"The Southernmost Mauryan inscription is at Biddapur, in the Chitaldrug 
District ofi Mysore, and between the Mauryan Empire and the Dravidian 
Kingdoms a broad belt of forest intervened. It is possible, therefore, that 
in the Mauryan period Salem District was covered with primeval jungle. 
If it were worth claiming, it must have belonged to Chera or Chola." 


Oheral should have been the conqueror of Karuvur and that 
he should be identified with the Chera king, the hero of the . 
missing first decad of Patirruppattu. The conquest of 
Kudanad and the occupation of its capital Karuvur being 
a land-mark in the history of the Cheras, the collector of 
the poems comprising Patirruppattu may be held to have 
assigned the place of honour in that collection to the decad 
celebrating the conqueror of Karuvur. Cogent as these 
reasons are for bringing in the conqueror of Karuvur in 
this generation, still as the insertion stands unsupported 
by a link-name, I have distinctly marked it with square 

All that goes to commemorate the military feats of 
this Chera king, Karuvur-Eriya-Ko-Perunceral-Irum- 
porai, is only a solitary stanza of poet Nariveruttalaiyar 1 

(1) I am myself loath to translate proper names, such as this, of persons, 

who lived some twenty centuries since, especially because we have not yet got 

the key to their correct interpretation. At present, almost all persons in 

Dravidian India take the name of some God or Goddess of the Aryan 

pantheon. Still some writers evince a tendency to translate these practically 

non-significant personal-names in Tamil Literature as if by so doing they 

could get nearer their right interpretation, which if at all 

practicable should proceed on the correct appreciation of the 

conditions of those times which had made such names possible. 

Instead of throwing any additional light on the matter, their 

procedure only makes the whole look bizarre and ridiculous to our 

modem ideas, beliefs and tastes. Taking, for instance, the name 'Smith 1 , 

what conceivable purpose would it serve to trace it to one who followed a 

smith's profession at a far-off time in the past? Mental associations work 

in such diverse and unexpected fashions in the matter of naming an object 

or person that even trained Psychologists can scarcely hope to reach the bottom 

here. Nariveruttalaiyar may literally mean either one who lived in a village 

called Nariveruttalai or one who belonged to a family called Nariveruttalai or 

one who possessed a head which did or could frighten foxes, or one who, if 

later methods of nomenclature were current at that time, had taken his name 

from a deity known as Nariveruttalai. In any case, it is a hopeless attempt to 

translate many "of these old-world names with a view to pierce into the 

mystery of their significance. What havoc has been played with ancient South 

Indian geography by the craze of the early Aryan colonists and their 

followers, in the translation of proper names of mountains, rivers, cities, 

te., is indeed another story. Mr. J. D. Anderson writes thus in pp. 53 and 

54 of his book Peoples of India: "Indigenous names are frequently san- 

skritised much as we turn French cltaussce into "Causeway". Sometimes the 

change is so complete that the original cannot be identified. In some cases the 

alteration is easily recognised. In northern Bengal, for (instance, is the 


(Puram., S. 5) in which the king is exhorted to hold a 
parental rule over his subjects. 

The editorial note appended to the stanza evidently 
imports a miraculous occurrence characteristic of a later 
age and stands to this day a veritable conundrum for 
scholars to solve. 

Palaiyan of For, Eyinan of Vakai, Matti of Kalar, 
Nannan I with his numerous forest 

The t 

chiefs, firrai, Atti, Kankan, 
and Punrurai, all appear in this generation. 

Though link-names are absent to connect this gene- 

ration with the next, Patirruppattu 
Link-names --*'*' 

supplies us with a strong link. 
Nallini, daughter of Tittan Veliyan, was married by 
Udiyan, the Chera king wh,o appears in the next genera- 
tion. The latter accordingly stood in the relation of a son- 
in-law to Veliyan, the second Chola sovereign. 



25. The next Chola -sovereign was Mudittalai-Ko- 
Pernriarkilli, i.e., Perunarkilli, the 
The ohoia line: crowned head. He may have as- 

(i) Mudittaiai-Ko- gumed this name to Distinguish him- . 

(2rKarikaian i. self from the other Kos or Velirs not 
crowned. His relationship with his 
predecessor though nowhere brought out was in all prob- 
ability that of a son. According to the Chera genealogy 
given in the verses appended to the various sections of 
Patirruppattu, we find the eight sovereigns therein cele- 
brated falling into two groups of five and three, the five de- 
riving their descent from Udiyan Cheral and the three from 
Antuvan Cheral Irumporai. In that incomplete work, these 

river Ti-std, a name which belongs to a large group of Tibeto-Bunnan river 
names beginning with Ti or Di, such as Tb-pai, DMru, Di-kho, Di-sang, etc., 
ete. Hindus say the name Ti-sta is either a corruption of Sanskrit 
Tri-srotis, "having three streams" or of Trsna, ''thirst". Etymology and 
legend, in fact, give but doubtful guidance to the ethnologist, etc," 


two collateral lines now stand wholly disconnected. If the 
missing first 'Ten' of Patirruppattu could be restored, 
it would doubtless throw some necessary light and bring 
about the connection we now miss. In the absence of such 
direct testimony, I have been led from the attendant facts 
and circumstances to consider the great conqueror of 
Karuvur as the stem from which both these have 
sprung. Both Antuvaii Choral Irumporai and Udiyan 
Choral lived in one and the same generation and come into 
line with Mudittalai-Ko-Perunarkilli, the Chola king, 
certainly the successor and probably the son of Veliyan 
of the second generation. 

Poet Enicceri Mudamosiynr serves as a lateral link, 
connecting Mudittalai-Ko-Perunarkilll and Antuvan Cheral 
Irumporai, about both of whom as meeting at Karuvur, 
he has loft a record in a Purawanuru stanza. Udiyan 
Choral, the other Chera king, is said to have married 
Princess Nallini, daughter of Veliyan. Circumstances such 
as these warrant the inference that Mudittalai-Ko- 
Porunarkilli succeeded his father in due course, on the 
throne of Uraiyur, and that lie was a brother-in-law to 
Udiyan Cheral. 

This relationship apart, so perfectly do the subse- 
quent generations of the Chera kings fit in with the facts 
concerning the other royal houses of the period, as dis- 
closed in the Tables, that I have not the least doubt that 
Patirruppattu, in spite of its redaction by a later hand, 
still contains facts of authentic history which are worthy 
of our general acceptance. 

Of Mudittalai-Ko-Perunarkilli, we know nothing 
except the meagre fact of his adventure into Karuvur in 
rather peculiar circumstances. Probably the Chola king 
wanted to pay a visit to his brother-in-law's brother or 
cousin, Antuvan Cheral Irumporai, and journeyed to 
Karuvur riding on an elephant and followed by his 
retinue of officers and domestics. While nearing Karuvur, 


the elephant, in one of its periodical ruts, seems to have got 
out of control and entered Karuvur with the helpless king 
on its back. The poet, fiiiicceri Mudamosiyar, who would 
in all likelihood have preceded his sovereign to convey to 
Antuvan Choral the news of the intended visit and who 
was with the Chera king at that time, extemporizes a 
poem on the incident and prays fervently that his royal 
master should not come to grief. 

r Q/rsirgcwa; ujrruSl 




arpJissrp pssrssr eurQenirlr QLQTILJULJ 

L>iPjg)(5ttj/r irtSiutrgi 

i5Br f 
/f G?6i/60 vir(B8Lp Gain Gear." 

Puram., S. 13. 

I have given the stanza here in full, especially in view 
of the vast superstructure of deductions built upon a mis- 
interpretation of it by Pandit R. Baghava Ayyangar. 
The learned Pandit argues from the circumstances in 
which this particular piece is said to have been composed 
that Karuvur should have been close to Uraiyur. He 
imagines that the Chola king went about his kingdom rid- 
ing on his elephant when it rutted and took him to Karu- 
vur against his will. He imagines further that the whole 
of his armed retinue followed him from the boundary of 
his kingdom all the distance to KaruviTr, without rendering 
any assistance to bring the animal under control. The 
poet is further represented to have played the r61e of a 
peace-maker and to have interceded with the Chera king and 
allayed his fears of an invasion of his kingdom by the 


timely interpretation of Chola 's entry into the Karuvur 
kingdom as due to mere misadventure and not a military 
expedition. The piling up of such improbabilities is entirely 
due to the missing of the exact situation in which the 
poet had to compose his verse. Moreover, in the interpre- 
tation of a poem, straining too much at words to evolve 
their literal meaning is the surest way to miss 
the poet's mark. Neither good Poetry nor good 
History could be thus got at. I have gone into this 
digression for showing that the stanza has not the least 
bearing on the location of Karuvur, whether near or far, 
from the Chola frontier. 

A comparison of the names of the first three Chola 
sovereigns whom we have thus far brought into the Tables 
does in itself open a fresh point of view re the origin of 
the Chola kingship. It shows, in as clear a manner as 
possible, the successive stages passed by the Cholas before 
they attained the rank of a crowned sovereign. The first 
ruler, the conqueror of Uraiyur, was merely a Velman of 
Vlrai; his son and successor assumed the title of Ko and 
was known as Porvaikko, the king of the Por country; and 
the third in the line advanced a step further and adopted 
the still higher title, 'Mudittalai Ko', the crowned king. 
This last fact alone will entitle one to infer that the first 
two Chola sovereigns of the Tables did not wear the 
crown, the emblem of full-blown sovereign power. Though 
in actuality they must lifive been holding sway over a 
fairly good extent of territory, probably they were still 
closely wedded to the older ideal of communalistic king- 
ship and its ways. The bearing, in any view, of these early 
facts on the origin of the Chola kings and their significance 
can hardly be underrated. 

Another Chola king by name Karikalan appears in 
this generation to have held his court at Alundur and later 
on at Kudavayil also in the Tanjore District. Whether the 
present town Kumbakonam or Kudavasal in the Nannilam 
taluq represents that ancient capital, it is difficult to say. 


It is more than likely that while Tittan of Virai, conquered 
Urantai, another Velman of Alundur 1 may have established 
himself at Kudavayil and pushed the Chola conquests 
towards the north. The Urantai family must have been 
then known as the 'Killi' and the Alundur branch, the 
'Chenni'. The exact nature of the relationship of these 
two branches cannot be known at present. However, 
from the invariable practice of the early poets referring 
to Cholar (GWjpr), a plural name denoting the Chola 
community or its rulers, we may consider that the Cholas 
at the very beginning lived under a number of communal 
heads and had not yet got the unitary type of kingship 
of a later day. The Urantai or Killi family went on 
expanding the kingdom to the west and the Alundur or 
Chenni branch, confined to the coast, pushed its conquests 
to the north. The annexation of Arcot, in all probability, 
should have been effected by the latter family of rulers. 
At the beginning, the two branches may have maintained 
the most amicable relations or even acted in consort; but, 
when their kingdoms expanded and territorial kingship 
began to replace communal ruler ship, rivalries must have 
sprung up and brought them into conflict. The dispute, 
which according to tradition occurred later on about the 
succession of Karikalan the Great to the Chola .throne, 
and the disputes, which arose again after the death of that 
sovereign as testified to by literature, are wholly explain- 
able in the light of these earlier facts of their family 
history. During the time of Chetcenni Nalankilli, the 
successor of Karikalan II, whom we may call Karikalan 
the Great, on account of his great conquests and consoli- 
dation of the Chola Empire, these two names were actually 
assumed by one and the same ruler probably owing to the 
merging of the two kingdoms brought about in the time 

(1) This name appears in the contracted form as Aluudai (^(zp/Bsa)^) 
and may be a variant of Ajumbil (^/(Zpu>L9a>), referred to in S, 44 of 
Affandnuru. Poets refer to two other cities known as Alumbil, one in the 
Chera and the other in the Pandiya kingdom. The Alumbil of the Chera 
kingdom known also as Alumbur may most probably be the town noted by 
Ptolemy as 'Arembour*. 

C 12 


of Karikalan the Great or his father and enforced further, 
after his death, by the intervention of the mighty Chera 
monarch, Velkelu Kuttuvan. The two names 'Killi' 
and 'Chenni' ever since that time have become 
almost synonymous and have been used indifferently to 
denote the Chola king. This later use, however, should 
not lead us to confound the names in the verses of pre- 
Karikal poets. For instance, Poet Paranar, in comparing 
the beauty of his heroine's tresses to the magnificence of 
three capital cities, refers to 'Chenni', as 'Chirukol Chenni', 
i.e., Chenni who ruled a small kingdom. 



aj/rirj pssresr 

Narrwai, 8. 265. 
Doubtless here the poet refers to a period 
when Karikalan T, or another chief of the same 
family, had only a small extent of territory in 
his possession. This description will hardly be in 
keeping with the superior position of the Cholas of the 
'Killi' branch at that time nor with our later conception 
that the Chola Eimpire began from the very start with an 
extensive dominion to its credit. It would be instructive 
to compare with this, this other verse from Narrinai 
wherein the so-called chieftains are described as 'two great 

(i QuifltLJ 



Nar rinai, S. 180. 

Whatever it be, the first sovereign in the Chenni line who 
widened the frontiers of the Chola monarchy seems to be 
Karikalan I, known also Perum-Pun-Chenni. ' 


Here I have to point out the great confusion that has 
resulted from a mistaken identity brought about between 
the two Karikalans, appearing in this literature, in all 
probability the grandfather and the grandson. Paranar, 
who sings of the two immediate predecessors of Karikalan 
the Great or Karikalan II alludes in many of his stanzas 
to a Karikalan of an earlier time. Paranar himself was 
not a contemporary of Karikalan the Great and has not 
sung a single stanza in his honour. The references inci- 
dentally occurring in some of his poems are all about an 
afore-time Karikalan who was not living in his time and 
whose achievements lie seems to have celebrated from 
mere tradition or hearsay current in his days. This 
interesting discovery naturally loci mo to scrutinize the 
texts further and soc whether tho recorded biographical 
incidents of tlu two personages should be held apart or 
according to later interpretation ascribed to one character. 
As a result of this investigation there emerge two Kari- 
kalans one preceding and the other succeeding Paranar 
and that they could properly be distinguished from each 
other by their distinct acts and achievements. The battles 
fought and victories won by the first Karikalan stand 
altogether apart from those of his later and more illus- 
trious namosake. Not one of tho numerous poets who have 
sung of the latter has a word to say about any of those 
earlier victories of the; first Karikalan. Their common 
silence, not broken by even a solitary reference, justifies the 
inference that tho laurels of those first-won contests should 
go to crown another brow. Poet Kalattalaiyar, whom 
Parana r's contemporary Kapilar himself acknowledges 
as having lived before his own time, and one Venni-Kuyat- 
tiyar have both sung as contemporaries about the victory of 
Karikalan I over Peruiicheralatan 1 (QLi<Tfj&x<Fira>'rpesr) 
or Porun tola tan (QL*($i<3pirenirp*r) in the battle of 
Venni. The memorable incident of the Chera king receiv- 

(1) The names, Perunchoralutan and Per uin tola tau, appearing in the 
manuscripts are unmistakably duo to a misreading of the correct form 
Perunohorratan, the sobriquet of Udiyan Cheral famous for his feasts. 


ing a wound in his back and of his self-immolation for this 
blot on his heroism by the practice prevalent then of 
Sallekhana or what in Tamil is called e>iL-8@pprt (i' e *> 
seating oneself facing the north and thus meeting death 
by starvation) occurs here. Evidently there was a second 
battle of Venni fought by the later Karikalan in the 
description of which this characteristic incident does not 
find a place. In the poem, Poruwrarruppadai, composed 
by poet Mudattamakkanniyar, the second battle of Venni 
is described as follows : 

Here th,e battle was against two kings, a Chera and a 
Pandiya, and both of them were wiped out in that engage- 
ment. If this were identical with the first battle of Venni 
celebrated by Kalattalaiyar and Vennikkuyattiyar, the 
omission of Pandiya 's death by the earlier poets requires 
an explanation. Nor is the peculiar manner of Chera 's 
death, recorded by th,e earlier singers, even so much as 
hinted at by Mudattamakkanniyar, who composes a very 
long poem for the express purpose of describing the vic- 
tories of Karikalan II in detail. In these circumstances, 
we have to conclude that there were two battles of Venni, 
each with its different combatants and different incidents. 
Mere similarity of names should not lead us to confound 
these two battles, especially as it tends to badly dislocate 
chronology. As a flagrant instance of such distortion I 
need here point out only how according to the orthodox 
misidentification we are forced to transport Kalattalaiyar 
and Vennikkuyattiyar, two very old singers and admittedly 
predecessors of poet Kapilar, not only to Kapilar's time 
but much lower down still to the time of Karikalan II. 
Full two generations intervene between these earlier poets 


and the poets who group themselves round Karikalan II 
and hence by no conceivable manipulation can one effect 
such a transposition. On the strength of the contemporary 
testimony of the two poets referred to above, we have to 
posit the existence of an antecedent Karikalan. 1 The 
assumption of an earlier Karikalan is all the more neces- 
sary by three other incidents in the life of Karikalan I 
incidents which have not the least connection with Kari- 
kalan II, if his biography, as recounted in the poems of 
his numerous poetic satellites, is a reliable guide at all 
in the matter. 

Paraiiar refers to two other battles fought by the first 
Karikalan and also connects his name with another char- 
acteristic incident, th.e accidental drowning and death of 
Attan-Atti in the river Kaveri during a festival. Though 
Paranar narrates Atti's sad loss in a natural, matter-of- 
fact way, in more than one stanza of his, incredible myths 
have gathered round it in course of time so much so that 
the poor dancer Atti and his wife Atimanti, who went mad 
by her terrible bereavement, are now presented to us in 
the transfigured light of royal personages. 

Coming to the battles, here is a short account of the 
battle of Vennivayil : 


QurrQj&tsrrp QpT 

Agam., S. 246. 

Whether Vennivayil is the same as Venni or 
Vennil before referred to need not be considered here. 
Here we are given a different set of opponents. Eleven 

(1) In the notes appended to stanzas 65 and 66 of Purandnuru, the 
redactor has evidently confounded the earlier Karikalan with his later name- 
sake by the identity of the name Karikal Valavan borne by both the rulers. 


Velirs and kings are distinctly mentioned. In another 
battle Vakai, nine kings are said to have been routed by 

eurr&nsu upisf&Sft tutrfSQup 

LL6SJ&rrir Quired 
Losir|g)0i) eur 

Agam., S. 125. 

These battles find no mention in the elaborate poems 
of the later singers, who would not have passed them over, 
had such victories been really won by their patron, 
Karikalan the Great. Furthermore, the Chola king being 
forced to fight eleven Velirs and kings in one field, and 
nine kings in another, gives -us a picture of events of an 
anterior time in which the Ch,ola power was just in the 
making- and had not yet developed into full-blown sove- 
reignty as at the time of Karikalan the Great. No doubt, the 
latter too had to fight against Aruvalars and Poduvars; 
but the necessity of warring against Velirs of his own class 
had been long past by his time. In the case of the earlier 
Karikalan, however, it is more than likely that 
some Velirs themselves would have been stirred by jealousy 
when one of their number should try to go ahead by fresh, 
territorial conquests and have sought the earliest oppor- 
tunity to contest with him for power. But this class rivalry 
and jealousy would be active only during the infantile 
period of the new power. After this had grown into 
maturity and established its claims, naturally one should 
expect such class feelings to wane and disappear. Such 
feelings, even, had they existed, would have been replaced, 
in course of time, by others of a different cast, while the 
Velirs themselves would have taken a pride that one of 
their own class had founded a kingdom and readily owned 
allegiance to him. In this view, it would be absolutely 
incongruous to try to graft these occurrences of an anterior 
period on the life of Karikalan the Great, who had on no 


account to face such miscellaneous foes as his ancestor. 
Another fairly decisive ground also must be urged here. If 
these Tables are of any value, they prove beyond a doubt 
that there was no Chora sovereign by name QuQ$fi*ir 
a** par or Qi'tynQpireirapwi either during th,e time of 
Karikalan the Great or of his immediate predecessor or 
immediate successor. By no conceivable process can we 
twist the names of any of the Cheras of that time to give us 
a sovereign with this particular name. From considerations 
such as these I am inclined to hold that the postulation 
of an ear lie?- Karikalan is something more than a mere 
hypothesis nay it must be received as an authentic fact 
in the ancient history of the Cholas. Here is certainly an 
instance how posterity has come to lose sight of an ancient 
historical hero and it is wholly due to the circumstance 
that genuine historical facts embedded in literary texts 
have been somehow either overlooked or misinterpreted. 

That Karikal I belonged to th,e Alundur family of -the 
Cholas we may infer from Paramir's lines in Agam.. 
S. 246 already quoted in p. 93. The sad incident which befell 
Anni Mignili 1 by her father's two eyes having been put 
out by the fierce Kosars, evidently the soldiers in the 
employ of Titiyan, the commander of the Chola king Kari- 
kalan 1, and her wreaking vengeance on them by appeal- 
ing to Titiyan seem to have taken place in Alundflr, the 
head-quarters of the Chenni branch of the royal family: 

"* * * 

s Gs/r^/fi Q&.TesrjpiQporGisr QuirQuj 

Agam., S. 196. 

These lines of Paranar narrate that interesting 

(1) Pandit Narayanaswami Aiyar, Editor of Narrinai> has given a 
confused and incorrect version of this incident in his introduction to that 
work. (Vide p. 86.) 


This family, as distinguished from the Urantai family 
of Cholas, carried out their territorial expansion 
as already stated along the coast and to the 
north towards the Palar basin and beyond. Their 
portion of the kingdom was known as Neytalankanal, 
i.e., the region of the sea-board from the mouth of th,e 
Kaveri northwards. There need scarcely be any doubt 
that when the Cholas, wfyo had been living till then as 
village communities under their Kilars or chiefs, in the 
Tanjore District, began to expand their territories west 
and north, they did so under different leaders. Th#t these 
leaders themselves may have been related to one another 
is probable enough; but this assumption should not lead 
to the mistaken supposition that all th,e Velirs of that 
period were under the sway of one monarch. No doubt 
that unitary type of kingship was founded later on; but 
in the times we are dealing with times in which the 
Chola monarchy was still being hammered into shape we 
have no right to assume th,e central authority being vested 
in one ruler or sovereign. At best, all that we can assume 
is a confederacy of communal rulers or Ko& bound 
together by ties of blood or relationship. The failure to 
reach this point of view has in fact created a linguistic 
problem for the Tamil grammarians, in such lines as, 

ujsr stored \uirssr 

Agam., 8. 96. 

In explaining away the' grammatical irregularity of a 
singular noun 'Tantai' being followed and referred to by 
the plural form 'Cholar' in this passage, Naccinarkkiniyar 
assumes that each one of the Cholas stood in the relation 
of a father to Akutai. The absurdity of a girl being the 
daughter of many or all the individuals of a community 
seems to have strangely escaped that hair-splitting com- 
mentator. The fact is that at that time there were many 
communal heads who went by their common or group name 
and the poet who wanted to identify a particular individual 
of that group adds to his common name a restrictive 


epithet thus: 'the Chola king who has Akutai for his 
daughter'. Even here the use of the plural form 4 Cholar' for 
the king requires a justification and that must be 
found by supposing that royalty then was joint 
and not individual. At all events, he must be assumed as 
the executive head of a ruling assembly and not an abso- 
lute monarch in himself. There are numerous references 
to the Chola people, probably different branches of that 
community, living in different places as Urantai, Vallam, 
Kudantai, Paruvur and Perumturai. That the term 
'Cholar' in the plural signified a community at first can 
be gathered from such verses as the following: 

" * * QeuAGcudr 

Lor/fi tuLb&esr LnG&LppQpr p (S&/r tpfr 
( u>/5sjr 

Agam., S. 336. 

Qufr /Tjswrt 

Agam., 8. 338. 

Also that the chiefs belonging to different branches 
of this community exercised sway over different parts of 
the country can be inferred from such verses as : 

Agam., S. 375. 

s^uj/rSssr^ Q&irtpir L&qfjx 

Agam., S. 356. 

It is most probably on account of such communal 
kingships that the early references to the Chola rulers 
happen to contain the plural name to denote the ruler. 
We have to consider this ruler more as the president or 
executive head of a republican village community than as 
a unitary absolute sovereign of a later day. 


From the foregoing discussion it must be clear that at 
the opening period of the Chola history that community was 
ruled over by a number of communal sovereigns and among 
them a few, more ambitious an$ more powerful than the 
rest, tried to expand their possessions by the conquest of 
the adjoining territories. Of these, Karikalan I evidently 
belonged to the Cenni family of Alundur, and Tittan and 
his descendants to the Killi branch of Virai and later on 
of Urantai. 

In this generation, the very first Pandiyan known to 
literature appears to emerge from the 

~~ , *****'' long-continued isolation of that line of 
Nedtunter-u e l i y a n 

(alias) Nedum- rulers at Korkai, their capital situated 
yan at the mouth of the Porunai, the modern 

Tumraparni in the Tinnevelly; District. We have 
to remember that Kudal, whose site must have 
been somewhere near modern Madura, was then in the 
possession of a ruler called Akutai. The only authority 
for this statement is the reference contained in one of 
Kapilar's stanzas in Purananuru, stanza 347. Unfortu- 
nately the stanza comes to us in a mutilated form by the 
imperfection of manuscripts; but the relevant lines which 
help us to picture the vicissitudes of Kudal come to us 
without a flaw and leave no room for doubt: 

Lfl/r/ffSJsir LcpuQuir 

Knowing the convention widely and almost invariably 
followed by the early Tamil poets in comparing the beauty 
of their heroines to the splendour of one or other of 
the capitals of the rulers of the land, we shall not 
err in holding that Kudal was held by Akutai at that time 
and was the capital of his state. If it had then been in 
the possession of the Pandiyans, as later on it came to be, 
surely the poet would not have sung in this strain. Though 
two or three Akutais are alluded to in this literature, it is 
not at all difficult to identify this particular ruler of Kudal. 


The references by Paranar in the following verses may 
justly be taken as concerning this earlier occupant of 
the Kudal (Madura) throne: 

QL.//T- (75/5/7 

8T QuanTy-i." 

Agam., S. 76. 

Kuruntogai, S. 298. 

The description of his hall of audience and the account of 
his lavishing costly gifts as elephants on the songstresses 
and actresses visiting his court will hardly be in keep- 
ing with Akulai playing any role inferior to that of an 
independent ruler. It was also very likely that this ruler 
of Kudal must have come intp conflict with another ruler 
Ewi I, 2 whose dominions lay somewhere along the coast 
between the Kaviri and the Vaigai. In this war of 
aggression Evvi I seems to have lost his life. Poetess 
Vellerukkilaiyftr composes more than one piece on this 
encounter and bewails Evvi's death in Puram., stanzas 233 
and 234. Whether Evvi's dominion was annexed by Akutai 
to his Kudal territory as a consequence we are not informed 
of. But this victory of his against a minor chieftain on the 
north could hardly save Akutai from the incursions of a 
more formidable foe from the south. The details of the in- 
vasion by the Pandiya king of Korkai are not given; but 
the incident itself, I am sure, is definitely alluded to by poet 

(1) The reading here is certainly corrupt. The words s&flprS esr and 
firb&>& should be amended as s&reifi&r iul <l ^/irrespectively to restore 
the correctness of the original. 

(2) This name too looks like a tribal one. It evidently refers to 
the chief of the forest tribe Evviyar (<7QJo9aj/f) literally arrow-shooters or 
bowmen. Ptolemy assigns a portion of the east coast in this region to 
"Batoi" or Vedar, a name which probably refers to this community. 


Peralavayar in Agam., 8. 296. This poet was a contemporary 
of Ollaiyur-tanta-Putappandiyan of the next generation and 
his reference to the invasion of Kudal by the Pandiya king 
of Korkai may be taken as an allusion to a past event of 
memorable importance. We may even consider it as hav- 
ing taken place in the lifetime of the poet himself. Th# 
stanza is a very important one for my purpose and so I 
transcribe it here in extenso : 

vBestair gjj^/E/js'/r/D xi^Su 
njpivpr psoafiiyp &-&JB 

U)Qf>tpS6Nff LO/Tjy GlLJfT Q&T ,1 (3 

ir a/<3a>ttJ ajeuQstrrr 


rtpsBsyr L&&LpQv>'i<ss)L< 
Qsirfbs&su Qurrfifjivsyr 


Agam., S. 296. 

The situation created by the poet contemplates the 
snub given to the lover by the maiden-companion of the 
heroine of the piece. When the lover seeks the aid of the 
maiden for arranging an interview with the heroine, the 
maid is made to refuse him that favour by the reason of 
his amours with another beauty. She roundly takes him 
to task for his unfaithfulness and impresses the unhappy 
lover with the many details of what he considered a 
secret love-adventure of his own. To illustrate how the 
affair was not after all a secret but the talk and common 
property of the whole village the maid borrows a telling 
simile from a recent occurrence the invasion and occupa- 
tion of Kudal by the Pandiya king of Korkai. She com- 
pares the attendant circumstances of the public comment, 


the lover 's so-called secret amours had caused, to the 
open talk and publicity consequent on the occupation of 
Kudal by th,e king of Korkai. There is no doubt that the 
poet herein took advantage of a recent historical occurrence 
well known to the whole country and used it to illustrate 
or embellish a widely-known fact. Here I have to diverge 
a little and call attention to a point of interpretation of 
the word $^m occurring in this stanza. I take the phrase 
* L.* tfw as meaning 'who had advanced or come to 
Kudal and occupied it'. 1 It also means 'overstaying 
beyond a definite period of time 5 as in : 


A gam., S. 42. 

Ainkurunuru, 8. 467. 
This latter meaning is hardly applicable here. If the 
phrase were so interpreted, it would leave unexplained 
why the Pandiya king of Korkai should come 

(1) The words Q/B and f formed from the root &r originally 
meant increase in height, length, size, quantity, distance, duration, etc. The 
early poets invariably used these words and their derivatives to signify any 
one of these ideas. The word (& 9 when used to express 'time-excess* 
such as overstaying, was interpreted us PIEI&&) in the sense of prtppft^ 
or delay. But unfortunately //&&&, in later Tamil, got the meaning 
of mere staying or )($jipe\) and so the word f L_ <a> too came to be infected 
with the new meaning 'staying or being in a place'. Evidently this has no 
connection with the original root-meaning, nor is there a single instance 
iii the old poets of the use of the word in this novel significance. Not only 
this, here are two lines from a stanza in Puranan&ru, which confirm the 
correctness of the interpretation. I have here adopted: 

PwrananUru, 8. 328. 

The poet here describes a hare nibbling the leaves of the Munnai creeper 
which had shot its tendrils towards the Tali plant, reached it and entwined 
itself round its stem. The phrase ptetfl Qf. potfunL', for purposes of 
interpretation, is exactly on a par with the expression i_L.6Hf^L(u 
and can hardly bear the modem interpretation that the stem of the T&li 
plant should be taken as the hnbitat of the Munnai creeper from its very 
birth. This instance must serve to teach how careful we should be not to 
import any later meaning into the texts of these early poets lest we should 
miss their true significance. 


all the way from his capital and stay beyond 
a period in Kudal, and why that commonplace 
incident should lead to so much public talk and com- 
ment as the poet requires us to imagine. If Kudal were, 
at that time, the capital of the Pandiyans, it is unimaginable 
how a Pandiya king's overstaying in it should have become 
the talk of the whole neighbourhood. To obviate such diffi- 
culties we should simply put the most natural and appro- 
priate construction on this particular word of a very early 
poet. Taking also the other attendant circumstances into 
consideration one may even surmise whether the name 
Nedum-Celiyan, which stands to this day unexplained, is 
not after all the first significant title assumed by this parti- 
cular Pandiyan of Korkai for the grand achievement of his 
life conquering Kudal and extending the bounds of his 
kingdom to th.e basin of the river Vaigai. The poet does not 
give us the proper name of Ihis Pandiya king. The 
descriptive phrase, Qsifinsn QU*Q)*& Q<wG6&> O/*/* 
Gf''#Q*ifliu*sr, gives us the poet's characterisation of this 
hero, perhaps definite enough for contemporary identifi- 
cation. 1 He may, however, be taken as Nedunceliyan I, 
the conqueror of Kudal. The Pandiyans, who had till then 
been confined to the environs of Korkai at the mouth of 
the Tamraparni, were by this stroke of fortune in aggres- 
sive warfare brought to Kudal at the basin of th,e Vaigai 
and made to play their illustrious part in a larger theatre. 

The occupation of Kuda] by Neduntercceliyan 
alias Nedunceliyan I must naturally evoke the jealousy 
of the other neighbouring kings and stir up their opposition. 
At- the beginning of his career in the new capital the 
southern victor was not allowed to have an easy peaceful 
time of it. He had to establish his claims by a further 
fight with two kings, whom it is not possible to make out 
from the incidental and altogether scrappy nature of the 
account of this battle of Kudal. Paranar, an early poet, 

(1) Later traditions refer to one Verrivel Celiyan and to identify him 
with this early victor of Kudal must for the present stand undecided. 


refers to it as a past event. Here are his lines : 

tt.ii Qc5/7 syr afl/uswjrsy/^ pi .1 Ln3<gpiti 

Agam., S. 116. 

These are the only glimpses we get of the great con- 
queror of Kudal, who, if not the actual founder of the 
Pmidiya dynasty, should at least be considered as having 
In id the first foundation for the sovereignty of that line 
of kings on an extended scale. 

27. Turning to the Cheras of this period we find 
The ohera line: Antuvan Choral Irumporai is sung by 
r :]? i cc( -, r i Mudamosiyar and Udiyan 

(ii) Udiyan cherai Choral, celebrated by Mudinagarayar of 

(alias) Psrmnchor- * 

rutiyan chcraiatan. Muranciyiir and referred to by Ilanki- 

ranar in stanza 113 of Narrinai 


0U T 6YT 

Udiyan was a great warrior and had the reputation 
of having extended the boundaries of his kingdom by fresh 
and immense conquests. Mamulanar, a later poet, in 
Agam., S. 65, describes, in a pregnant epithet, the annexa- 
tion policy of this conquering monarch: 

n>>i(S)&sssr tsaarzprSuj ^^ILJ^ Q&irp 

GlJTGti- " 

From the lines of another later poet, Kottampalattu- 
tunciya-Cherariiaii, the Chera king who died at Kot- 
tampalam, we get the information that he resided in 
Kulumur, a town not yet identified. Probably Udiyan- 
perur or Diamper of the Christian Synod is another town 
founded by the same monarch. 



(5/ ;/rv\ n 

Agam., 8. 168 

The poet here describes the sumptuous kitchen of 
Udiyan 's palace at Kulumur. 1 This king seems to have 
displayed such lavish hospitality in treats to his visitors 
and soldiers that he was dubbed by his admiring people 
Perufichomi-Udiyan-Cheralatan, the Udiyan Chcralatan 
famous for his feasts. It is probably this fact that was 
caught hold of by a later panegyrist for the elaboration 
of a grand legend that Udiyan actually fed both the contend- 
ing armies in th.c field of Kurukshetra throughout the 
entire period of the Mahabharata War. Apart from the 
physical and historical impossibilities involved, surely chro- 
nology is hereby thrown to the winds. If the great war of 
the north took place, say somewhere about 1,000 B.C., by 
what conceivable legerdemain can one transport Udiyan 
coming near the opening centuries of the Christian Era 
to that far-off early period? The hiatus is too big to be 
bridged unless one assumes that there were two Udiyans 
separated by a thousand years at the lowest and that these 
came to be somehow confounded by an undiscerning 

It is perhaps to avoid at once this prepos- 
terous conclusion and the obvious corollary that the 
solitary stanza standing in the name of poet Muninciyur 
Mudinagarayar is a clear forgery, one writer suggests 
that the allusion to the Mahabharata War is not to the 
actual war but to a scenic representation of it by a stroll- 
ing theatrical troupe. The verses, however, do not seem 
pliant enough to bear even that charitable interpretation. 
They purport to record the actual fight as a contemporary 
event and if the stanza containing this reference should 

(1) This place hns been wrongly identified with Kulumam in the Coimba- 
tore District. 


stand as a genuine piece, we have no other alternative than 
to conclude that both the king and his panegyrist rubbed 
shoulders with, the great heroes of the Mahabharata War. 
However much the antiquity of Dravidian civilization may 
suiTer, hanging for its support, in the view of some, on this 
solitary stanza of a late court-poet, to assert and ex- 
pect us to believe that this piece is genuine is indeed 
too big an order on our credulity. Like 'Single Speech 
Hamilton' of the English Parliament of former days, 
Mudiiiagarayar stands as a single-stanza poet among the 
worthies of the 'Tamil Sangam' period. Keaders may 
remember that he appeared in the company of divinities 
which graced tho First Saugazn with their presence. Going 
as he did with Agastya, Siva, Subramanya, Kubera, he 
was considered as not belonging to the human kind but 
as Adisewa himself, the mythical serpent, by the late Prof. 
Seshagiri Sastri. Are v,e to follow him in this practically 
useless identification or rescue Mudiiiagarayar his name 
by the way sounds somewhat incongruous for that early 
time to the ranks of flesh and blood humanity? In any 
case we shall have to leave this ancient personage to sail 
or sink with the Saugam vessel, elaborately rigged and 
floated down the times by that famous artist, the com- 
mentator of Iraiyanar AgapporuL It is more than likely 
that when the poems were gathered into their 
present shape, under the patronage of prabably a later 
Chera sovereign, some such editorial addition, as the piece 
under discussion, was considered necessary to enhance the 
dignity and antiquity of the Chera line as against the rival 
houses of Uraiyfir and Madura. However it be, Udiyan 
Choral's historical character need scarcely be doubted. He 
goes into the Tables not on the strength of this interpolated 
verse but on the reference by Ilahklranar, corroborated also 
by the account in Patirruppattu. 

28. There appears also in this generation Aayi Andiran, 

The chiefB lhe great * uler of a large kingdom extend- 

ing over the mountainous tracts from 
C 14 


the Goimbatore gap in the Western Ghats down to Cape 
Comorin in the south. The whole of central and south 
Travancore thus belonged to him and his capital seems to 
have been situated somewhere near the southern border 
of the Ooimbatore District. Ptolemy, in enumerating the 
important inland cities between Pseudostomos, i.e., the 
mouth of the river Peviyar and the river Baris (Palayi) 
mentions a town then known as 'Adarima Koreour'. I 
take this as 'Adiyanian Koliyur' or 'Koliyur', the seat of 
Adiyan or Adiyaman, a contracted form of Adiyarmagau. 
We have already found one Adiyan in southern Coimbatore 
coming into conflict with Nanuan, the northern king. I 
think that Adiyan belonged to the Aayi tribe or a branch 
of it and held his court at Koliyur, not yet identified. 1 Aayi 
Andiran was a powerful sovereign of the Ayar or shepherd 
tribe and his dominion ran north and south right through 
the middle of the southern corner of the Peninsula and 
divided the Tamil kingdoms of the Chdlas and the 
Pandiyas in the east from the territory of the Cheras in' 
the west. He patronised the Tamil poets most liberally 
and three poets, Mudamosiyar of Enicceri, Uraiyur (in 
Puram., S. 374), Kuttuvan KTranar (in Puram., S. 240) 
and Odaikilar of Turaiyur (in Puram., S. 136) have sung 
his praises as contemporaries. Another poet Karikkanna- 
nar also refers to him in Narrinai, S. 237. Of these, 
Mudamosiyar, who has sung about the Chola king Muditta- 
lai-Ko-Perunarkilli and the Chera sovereign Antuvan 
Cheral, serves as the lateral link to establish the contem- 
poraneity of Aayi Andiran with the rulers mentioned above. 
It must be noted that Andiron was an independent sove- 
reign himself like any one of the three Tamil kings of that 
period and that the later literary tradition which assigned 
him a place only amongst the chiefs was due entirely to a 
misreading of the facts of early Tamil History as the 
sequel will show. 

(1) Kuruftkoliyiir, a town mentioned in the 'Saiigam 1 works may probably 
be this city. It may have been so called to distinguish it from PeruAkolyur, 
another name for Uraiynr, the capital of the Chdlas. 


Before passing on lo the fourth generation I have 
to observe that the detailed information about the three 
generations we have already dealt with have been gathered 
mostly from the references by later poets. In this I have 
generally refrained from bringing in the references by such 
poets as como after Karikul the Great. This, I trust, 
has saved the Tables from the inclusion of any dubious 
material. 1 have largely drawn on one of the Pre-Karikal 
poets, Parana r, and utilized his information for the con- 
struction of the earliest genealogies in each line. Though 
this must have contributed to some extent to the accuracy 
of the data handled, I am aware that absolute certainty 
which can proceed only from contemporary references can 
hardly be claimed for the first three generations. Still 
as far as the Cholu line is concerned, I have not the least 
apprehension that future researches would in any manner 
unsettle the order of succession herein indicated. But that 
however is not the case with the first names that appear 
in the Pfmdiya and the (-hera dynasties of sovereigns. 
They might be shifted, if at all, a generation or two earlier. 
The Pandiya king of Korkai, whom I have taken as Nedun- 
celiyan I, is placed in the third generation on the 
strength of the reference by poet Peralavayar, who 
belongs to the fourth. It is quite likely that Peralavayar 
may have been a contemporary of Nedunceliyan I and 
his immediate successor. Still if the poet's reference to 
the conqueror of Kudal were taken as bearing upon a past 
event, there is no reason why that sovereign should be made 
the inimediate predecessor of the second Pandiya king in the 
line. The conquest of Kudal might be supposed to have 
been effected a few generations earlier. Both Kapilar 
and Paranar, who allude to Akutai, the previous occupant 
of Kudal, being later poets do not help us in definitely 
fixing Akutai 's or Korkai Pandiyan's time; nor does 
Vellernkkilaiyar who sings of Evvi I, Akutai 's opponent, 
in any way serve our purpose, for that poetess 
stands isolated, with absolutely no connection with 


any of the other personages in the Tables. In 
these circumstances I had to bring in other consi- 
derations to settle the place of the first Pandiya king. From 
the Tables one will see that the third, the fifth and the 
seventh Pandiyans go under the same name, Nedunceliyan. 
There would be some appropriateness then I thought of 
the first place going to a Nedunceliyan, the individual 
whose achievement alone has given rise to that distinctive 
Pandiya name. Nedunceliyan II, the third, in the 
Pandiya line, otherwise known as Pasumpun-Pandiyan 
fought with Evvi II, while Korkai Pancliyan's opponent 
Akutai seems to have killed Evvi I, probably the grand- 
father of the previous Evvi. Facts such as these, though 
not of much decisiveness in themselves, have weighed 
with me in giving the conqueror of Kudal his present place 
in the Tables. This arrangement further brings him 
closer to poet PPraluvftyar, and no useful purpose would 
be served by shifting the incident referred to by that poet 
to a remoter antiquity than is justifiable by attendant 
circumstances. The place of the second Pfmcliya king, Putap- 
pandiyan, the conqueror of Ollaiyur, being definitely fixed, 
the shifting of the conqueror of Kudal to a higher antiquity 
only tends to create a gap between himself and the second 
Pandiyan in the line, a gap which certainly cannot be filled 
in by any of the Pandiyans known to us from literature. 
Thus, instead of leaving the first Pandiyan, the conqueror 
of Kudal, disconnected with the Tables, I have taken the 
only legitimate course open to mo of placing hfrm as the 
immediate predecessor of Piitappandiyan. Furthermore, 
there occur events in the next generation which add to 
the reasonableness of this arrangement. Still for purposes 
of scientific certainty, which I confess has not been attained 
in this instance, I may leave the question open for future 
research to decide, though the chances of any variation, I 
should think, appear to be very little. 

In the Chera line, however, the first sovereign the 
conqueror of Karuvur is no better than a hypothetical 


insertion. The poet Nariveruttalaiyar who celebrates him 
does not tune his lyre to sing of any other sovereign in 
the Tables. He too stands isolated, and hence his king 
and himself might brook a shifting. I have, however, 
already explained the reasons which have led me to assign 
him his present place in the Tables. Here too I cannot 
but leave the question open and shall be the last to claim 
any absolute accuracy for the disposition T have made. 
It is only on account of the extreme pau?ity of literary evi- 
dence that I have be^n thus compelled to leave this matter 
in some uncertainty. Still in constructing a system of 
Tables which must stand criticism and be absolutely 
reliable I cannot hide from myself, still less from 
my readers, the fact that complete certitude has 
not been attained as regards the position of the first Chera 
sovereign in the line. It is quite possible that further 
research, may throw some light into a region where we 
have now to grope our way with uncertain steps. To 
mark, however, this want of scientific certainty, I have 
adopted the expedient of enclosing this king's name in the 
Tables in square brackets and expect my readers to take it 
with the reservation herein indicated. As for the seven 
generations that follow the very fact that they have been 
arranged on testimony wholly contemporary should invest 
them with as much exactitude mid certainty as are possible 
in the valuation and use of literary materials. From 
the great care bestowed on their arrangement I feel con- 
vinced that the Tables are reliable and will stand the test 
of any fair criticism. In our progress through them we 
can plant our steps securely on solid ground and feel that 
we are not in a dark and uncertain region. 

2JX The linear links connecting the third generation 

with the fourth are supplied by two 
The link-names. 

poets, Kalattalaiyar and Mudamosiyar 

of Enicceri. Kalattalaiyar, as a contemporary, sings of 
the next Chola sovereign in the line, Velpah-taakkai- 


Perwviral-Killi, Killi, the great hero with many javelins 
in his hands. Mudamosiyar seems connected with Mosi- 
klranar, a poet who sings of Aayi in the generation after 
the next. The latter poet was in all probability the son 
of Mudamosiyar with his father's name prefixed to his. 
Some are inclined to construe Mosiklranar as Kiranar of 
Mosi, a town. 1 I am not at all disposed to take that view of 
the matter. Then, as now, the practice in the Tamil land 
seems to have been to prefix the father's name to the son's. 
Thus Mosi KiraiiHr should be taken as Kiranar, the son of 
Mosi. Until other evidences of a more compelling nature 
lurn up, this I think is the only feasible method of interpret- 
ation. Both Mudamosiyar and Mosi KTranar appear a 
generation apart and this fact naturally suggests the rela- 
tionship stated abovo. Even if our readers are still disposed 
to consider this suggested link unsatisfactory, the s'ecure link 
of Kahlttalaiyar should commend itself as unimpeachable. 
The poet Pc'ralavayar, who refers to the conquest of 
Kiidal, appears as a contemporary poet of Putappandiyan, 
the second in the Pandiya line of kings. This fact too pro- 
vides an additional means of connection. As regards the 
Chora genealogy the account of relationship given by the 
redactor of Patirruppattn has been followed and I see no 

(1) The editor of Agananuru converts Mosiklranar into Mosikkaraiyanar 
aud assigns the poet to a town Mosikkarai. The editor of JV<wrtnai, while 
admitting Mosiklran as Kiran of Mosi, a town, furnishes another bit of 
information that the poet is in other places called Padumamlr Mosikiran a 
circumstance which hardly bears out the view of construing Mosi, as 
a town name. In his notes on another poet Mosi Kaimattanar the 
latter editor mentions Mosippatti in Tiruppuvanam Taluq and Mosukudi in 
Par?makudi Taluq as helping the identification of the poet's village. 
Tt is clear that, in their efforts to clear up tho mystery of a personal 
name, these editors have only added to the uncertainty on hand the 
uncertainties attendant on the identification of a place* Pinattur Narayana- 
swanii Aiyar, the editor of Narrinai, forgetting for the nonce that Muda- 
inosiyar had a definite village and district assigned to him, for that poet is 
reported to have belonged to Enicceri, in the District Uraiyur tries to transport 
him to any one of the highl'y doubtful modern villages Mosippatti or Mosuk- 
kudi. Such identification of places offhand on the strength of mere simi- 
larity in sound,, which is generally in vogue, cannot be too strongly 
deprecated. The ancient geography of Tamilagam should form a separate 
study by itself to yield any positive results. 


reason to deviate from it. The details as can be gathered 
from that work tally beautifully with the facts otherwise 
brought on the Tables. This will be made clear as we 
proceed further. 



30. The relationship between Mudittalai-Ko-Peru- 
narkilli and VCl-pah-tadakkai-Peru- 

The Choia line: viral-Killi is nowhere even hinted at; 

Peruvirai- Kiiit still it may be presumed that the latter 

was the son of the former. Vel- 
pah-tadakkai-Peruviral-Killi, who may .be supposed to 
have succeeded his father on the Uraiyur throne had to 
meet with an early death. Himself and one Ohera king 
Neduilcheralatau, presumably iinaiyavaramban 1 Nedun- 
cheralatai] of later day nomenclature, met in a field of 
battle and in the fierce conflict that ensued both of them 

(1) It would be interesting to t.iace the history of this name 'Imaiya- 
varainban', which does not find a place in any of the four primary works 
we are handling, nor even in the body of the secondary work Palirruppatlu. 
In the portion of the latter work devoted to this king, known as the ''Second 
Ten" he is invariably referred to as ' ' Neduucheralatan ' or ' Cheralatan '. 
However, in the first verse, the poet in eulogizing the king's victory over the 
'Kadamba' tribes introduces a simile that the food encountered by him were 
considered the front-rank heroes among the rulers of countries extending from 
the Himalayas to Gape Comorin. This is a mere poetic hyperbole to heighten 
the heroism of Neduncheralatau and depict him as having won his victory 
even against such terrible odds. The verse runs: 

ii osew/fl 

ir gJGUGBTjBuJ (j>Ulfi<S8>& 

The Patigam or colophon later on added to this piece, however, stretches 
the poetic figure to supply biographical matter and attaches the epithet 
Imaiyavaramban to Neduncheralatan. This seems to have been taken up still 
later by the author of Chitappadikaram and expanded with numerous details 
of imaginary victories over the Aryan kings in North India a description which 
no historian conversant with the conditions of India at that time would 
even entertain as a serious hypothesis. 


had to lay down their lives. We do not know with whom re- 
mained the fortunes of the day in this bloody duel. The un- 
happy close of the conflict ending in the death of both the 
combatants was a sufficiently pathetic incident which could 
not but evoke the mournful numbers of two contemporary 
poets, Kalattalaiyar and Paranar. Both bemoan this sad 
event in poems of singular beauty and pathos which 
directly touch our heart-strings. To have a taste of the 
power and beauty of the Tamil elegiac muse the reader 
should only attune his mind to the sombre necessities of 
that fateful moment and himself spend a few minutes over 
stanzas 62 and 63 in the collection. The 
unknown collector of Purandnuru informs us by an 
appended note that the scene of this memorable battle 
was Per, a place somewhere near the upper reaches of the 
Kaviri and on the borders of the Trichinopoly District. 
If so, we have to assume that the Cheras had already begun 
to advance into the Koiigu country and carry out their 
policy of conquest. 1 The Chdlas too seem to have had 
the same objective in view. Naturally enough, two such 
powers swooping down on a common pvey could not but 
come to grips sooner or later and that happened in the 
battle of Per, which ended so disastrously to both. 

31. The second Pandiyan, who comes in the Tables is 
Putttppandiyaii. He is also known as 

The Pandiya line: < iyur-taii ta-Putappaiidiyan, i.e., 

Putappaadiyan. * . , -, , 

Putappaudiyan who conquered and 

annexed Ollaiyur to his kingdom. Poet Peralavayar, who 
alludes to th,e annexation of Kuijlal by the preceding 
Pandiya king, appears to have been a contemporary of 
Pfitappandiyan, for his poem, composed on the occasion 
of that monarch's queen ascending the funeral pyre of 

(1) The first Ghera king who entered the Koiigu country must be 
Udiyan Ohcral, the king who is described as /s/r sear east sp/Stu 
fi.^iu@ Qffiffedj the Ohera king who expanded the Ghera dominions. 
Peruficheralatan, who fell in the battle of Vcnni fought with Karikal I, was, 
as suggested previously, Udiyan Cheral himself, who should thus be supposed to 
have come into the Koiigu country, to render that engagement possible. 


her husband, enables us to definitely fix his time. Two facts 
are worthy of notice in respect of this king, first his 
position as the ruler of Kudal was not that of a sovereign 
of a very extensive dominion round about that capital, 
and secondly that he occupied a rank much inferior to that 
of Titiyan, the Aayi king of Pothiyil and his own contempo- 
rary. Putappandiyan was himself a poet and the testimony 
for the afore-menlioned facts can very easily be drawn 
from one of his verses. Only the reader is expected to 
free his mind of any prepossessions due to the later tradi- 
tions about the extent and importance of the Madura Power 
and rightly appraise the direct testimony proceeding from 
the mouth of one of the earliest Pandiya kings. In stanza 
71 of Purandnuru the royal poet conveys his determination 
to overcame his enemy kings and expresses the strength 
of his resolution in an oath as was quite usual with the 
old-time warriors : 

p pnSssr (Sewtp 

urr^^ QLGGOTU 
tfj/r /rtn 

QumtJiurj tu from IT 



Purom., S. 71. 


In this stanza what interests us more than the many 
evils which the furious monarch calls down on himself in 
the event of his not fighting his enemies to the finish and 
overcoming them is the manner in which he refers to a 
number of rulers, all perhaps not above the rank of a 
chieftain, as his friends and compeers. It is clear that nt 
least some of these companions of Putappandiyan wera 
then independent chiefs ruling over different states near 
the basin of the river Vaigai. If these had been merely 
his tributary chiefs, his reference to them would have been 
pitched in a different key. The existence of a number of 
small independent states scattered about Kudal does in 
no way justify the assumption of an extensive Kudal king- 
dom covering the entire Vaigai basin at that early time. 
Though the Pandiya king Neduntdr-Celiyan of Korkai 
might be supposed to have become the master of a fairly 
extensive state in the vicinity of Kudal, he should not be 
considered as having conquered the whole country on 
either bank of the river Vaigai. He conquered the Kudal 
principality and left it for a branch of his family as a 
nucleus for further expansion. His successor had still to 
meet the implacable enmity of the other kings and 
face them in battle to keep possession of the new acquisi- 
tion. Putappandiyan had to make common cause with a 
number of neighbouring chieftains, till he felt himself 
secure from the attacks of such enemy kings. Such facts as 
these should give us an idea of the modest dimensions of 
the Kudal kingdom annexed to Korkai. In another poem 
of his (Agam. y S. 25) appear the following significant 

pi sens u 

SITU), ps 

In these lines the royal poet expresses his great 
respect towards Titiyan, the Aayi king of Pothiyil and 


conveys also in a way his estimate of the latter 's 
status as the ruler of an extensive mountain- 
dominion. A lady -love bewailing the separation of 
a lover is generally made by the Tamil poets and 
it seems almost a convention with most of them to 
describe the lover as having gone beyond the farthest 
corner of the Tamil land known to her. Titiyan's domi- 
nions being taken here as the utmost stretch beyond which 
the heroine could not transport her lover, even in her 
imagination, it is but reasonable to conclude that the 
Pothiyil dominions then served as the ultima thule for 
marking the distant wanderings of the absent lover. The 
extensiveness of the Pothiyil kingdom need not, however, 
be based upon this literary argument alone, which may 
not be convincing to the general reader, not familiar with, 
the conventions of the Tamil poets. The significant 
descriptive phrase 'Pothiyilcelvan' (Qunfifip Q*A*n&), 
the prosperous lord of Pothiyil I confess the trans- 
lation does not convey half the expressive strength of the 
original proceeding from a royal poet of Putappandiyan's 
standing and pedigree is the strongest and the most 
unexceptionable evidence to establish the higher status 
and consequently the larger donninion of the Aayi 
king Titiyan of that period. I am all the more inclined 
to emphasise this aspect, because distance of time and 
intervening historical accidents have now prevented 
posterity from appreciating the greatness and independence 
of the Aayi kings of those early days. In the works of 
later commentators and scholars the Aayi kings have not 
only been described as the rulers of a petty hill-state but 
have been degraded to the position of mere chiefs and 
dependents on any one of the Tamil triumvirates. At any 
rate, this specific reference of Ollaiyur-canta-Putap- 
pandiyan is not at all consistent with such a view. It 
establishes in the clearest manner the independence of the 
Aayi kings of the south and a greater testimony than this, 
proceeding as it does from the mouth of a rival sovereign, 
few will be inclined to demand. Still to clinch this infer- 


ence I draw the reader's attention to the following words 
of a contemporary poet Mudaimosiyar of Enicceri in Pwram., 
S. 128, 

<L//T jytu L&snLppsuy) QuirfiuS 


If the Aayi king had been merely a petty chieftain de- 
pendent on any one of the Tamil kings of thiat time, surely 
the poet would not have sung in this strain. These lines 1 
then should suffice to place the independence of the Aayi 
kings beyond any reasonable doubt. 

32. The Chera line had three sovereigns for this 

period. Of these Celva-Kadunko was 

m *. , ~ M n t so famous for his war-like qualities 

(1) Celva-Kadun- ^ 

ko-Aii Atan (alias) as for the gentler virtues which made 

owkkarpaiii-tunci- h j m a gmit patron of the poets. He 
ya-celva - Kadunko, , _ _ ,. . .. . , 

(alias) Mantaran- was noted for unstinted munificence and 

Poraiyan-Kadunko. reported to have made a present of the 

dimc\ie^atMi k0 Ne * owu Okandur, not yet identified, to some 

(3) Paiyanai- unknown person. Paranar, who sings 

Oel-Kelu-Kuttuvan ' 

latan. Nedufichcralatan, the so-called Imaiyavaramban, 
and his brother Palyanai-Cel-Kelu-Kuttuvan, 1 Kuttuvan, 
'the possessor of battalions of elephants' were great 
warriors. The former had extended the Chera dominions 
to the confines of the Ayiri mountain, north of the southern 

(1) The meaning of the phrase uj r$esrffiQ#<*) in the apparently 
significant title of the Oliera king cannot be clearly made out. The later 
meanings of cloud, thunder and sky given in the Tamil Lexicon and the 
Sangam Dictionary are obviously inapplicable here. However from the follow- 
ing lines of stanza 323 of Agan&ntiru. 


pear &> ear s&un 

we may infer that Qff& means a drove or row of elephants. Bef erring 
to a moving column of the animals it may be connected with the verbal root 
Q*a'j to go. It is also highly probable that the words Q^s>/ and Q^a/ii 
which at present mean wealth generally must be traced to this possession of 
elephants as furnishing a concrete standard of wealth in ancient times. 


border of Tulunacto and seems to have fought some battles 
with the Aryan kings beyond that limit. The redactor of 
Patirruppattu gives a graphic account of how Nedufi- 
chgralatan punished some Yavanas or Greeks by 
pinioning their arms behind their backs and pouring ghee 
over their heads as a mark of disgrace. What those 
Yavanas were guilty of to deserve this humiliation we are 
not informed of. The account, however, is too circum- 
stantial to be dismissed as a concoction. Assuming it as 
a historical fact it strengthens the hypothesis of a Greek 
colony 1 in the West Coast at that time. The Prriplus of 
the Erythrcean Sea .mentions a place called Byzantium to 
the north of Tyndis, Naura, and the White Islands in the 
West Coast of the Peninsula. It may have been the Greek 
colony, some of whose citizens were thus openly disgraced 
according to Patirruppattu. Probably -owing to the 
chastisement administered by Neduiicheralatan, the colony 
must have declined and by the time of Ptolemy disappeared 
altogether, for the latter has absolutely nothing to say 
regarding it. This conqueror, as we have already pointed 
out, had to meet with his equal in the Chola monarch Vel- 
pah-tadakkai-Peruvirarkilli and also his end in the field 
of battle. His brother Palyfumi-Cel-Kelu-Kuttuvan, 
first appears to have conquered Umparkadu (literally the 
Elephant Forest) and gained a permanent footing in the 
Kongu country. Although we have no means of definitely 
identifying this territory, we may take it as the borderland 
of the Coimbatore District adjoining the present Anaimalai 
Hills. Probably by this conquest of the Elephant 
tracts he may have secured the honorific addition 
to the general name 'Kuttuvan' to distinguish him 
from the other Kuttuva rulers of that time. I 

(1) Prof. Dubrcuil wants to make out that tin* Temple of Augustus 
was a temple dedicated to Agastya! What a dislocation of South Indian 
Chronology ! Compare in this connection the following finding of A. C. 
Haddon: "Pahlava or Parthians of Persia, and Yavaiia or Asiatic Greeks 
settled in Western India about this time (middle of second century, B.C.) 
Wanderings of Peoples, p. 28. 


have my own doubts whether this qualifying adjunct 
'Palyanai-cel-kelu' did not supply the cue for the coinage 
of a later myth that that sovereign brought the waters of 
the eastern and western seas in one day to his capital 
by means of his elephants posted in a continuous line from 
the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. Poetic exaggera- 
tion notwithstanding, th.ere need scarcely be any doubt 
that by the conquest of the 'Elephant country' or forest, 
this king was in a position to bring into the field more of 
these ponderous pachyderms than any of his rival kings. 
Poet Palai Kautamanar, who eulogizes this king in Patir- 
ruppattu, gives him credit for having subjugated the whole 
of Koiigunadu. From poet Ammuvanar's verse 
(Narrinai, 8. 395) we learn that Mandai, a town in the 
West Coast, was then in the possession of the Chera kings. 
Whether Mandagara of the Periplus in the Pirate Coast 
in South Konkan could bo identified with this town should 
be looked into. 

33. Aayi Titiyan I, the king of Pothiyil, should be 

. ^i ** i considered as the successor of Aayi 

The Chieftains. * 

Andiran of th,e previous generation. 
Strictly speaking his true place is not among the chiefs 
but amongst the other sovereigns of that period. Since, 
however, his dynasty comes to a close a generation hence, he 
has riot been given a more prominent place in the Tables. 
In A gam., S. 322, poet Paranar refers to this ruler and his 
Pothiyil kingdom. A number of chiefs, such as Anci of 
the Kudirai Hill, Pari of the Parambu Hill, Ori of the 
Kolli Mount, and Kari of Mullur appear in this generation. 
All these forest chiefs should be located near the northern 
borders of the.Koiigu country which included in its extent 
the southern corner of Mysore and a part of the Salem Dis- 
trict. Of these, Pari and Ori seem to have been defeated 
and killed in this generation. And by the next, sundry 
oth,er forest powers go o v ut of existence. It was by the 
vigour, military skill, the land-grabbing tendency and ambi- 
tion of the Chera sovereigns, that the northern boundary 


of their dominions was pushed still further north, to the 

basin of the Palar river. 

Poets Paranar and Kapllar form the linear links con- 

Link-naues. nectiiig this generation with the next. 



34. After the death of Vel-pah-tadakkai-Peruviral- 

killi, the throne of Uraiyur had to pass 
The Chola line: ' ' ' . . m , . . 

trruva-pah-ter- iian- through a crisis. That sanguinary 

cedcennl. engagement t For in which Vel-pah- 

tadakkai-Peruviral-killi lost his life must have con- 
siderably shaken the military power and prestige of 
th,e Killi family. There should have been none in 
that line to succeed the ill-fated sovereign immediately 
and bear the burdens of an expanding monarchy. Uruva- 
pah-ter-Ilancddcenni, al ias Ney talaiikanal Ilancedcenni, 
alias Cheruppali-Yerinta-Ilancedcenni, being a scion of the 
northern branch, was then in charge of -.the coast country 
of the CHolas. 1 have already suggested that he 
should be considered as the son of Karikal I alias 
Peruimpfmcemii. He was a great warrior and had 
already won his spurs in the battle of Ceruppali. He 
had an army behind him to back up his claims. He seems 
to have ascended the Chola th.rone a t Uraiyur and by that 
act paved the way in times to come for much bitterness of 
feeling and animosity and sometimes even open conflict 
between the Killi and the Cenni branches of that family. 
Though Ilancedcenni, by his superior might and general- 
ship, kept down the forces of disorder, in his lifetime, these 
appear to have flamed out into open violence at the time of 
liis death and effectively stayed the chances of his son 
Karikalan II quietly succeeding him on thie Urai} 
throne. This will be noticed later on. 

This sovereign appears in literature und 
different names and considerations of order, s 
and consistency demand that they should be taken 


ring to one and the same individual and no more. During 
the time of Karikalan I, the great Cenni, his son should 
naurally be expected to be Known as Ilancedcenni, the 
young Cenni, who as heir-apparent was ruling a distant 
province. I have interpreted Ihe word 'G^^' in the same 
Cedcenni in the light of the political circumstances 
obtaining at the time; but the term may mean also * noble.' 1 
He was also called Ncytalaiikanal Ilancedcenni, because 
he was in charge of that maritime district, noted by Pto- 
lemy as 'Paralia of the Soretai 7 . His conquest of a 
northern hill fort and his victory over a forest chieftain 
presumably gained for him the additional title Cerup- 
paali-Yerinta-llaficedccmii. He should have been a season- 
ed warrior and pretty well-advanced in years when lie 
succeeded the ill-starred Killi of Uraiyur. For an account 
of this sovereign's character and acts readers are refer- 
red to the poems of the contemporary poets noted in the 

35. In this generation appears one of the greatest 

The Pandiya line: warriors of the Pandiya line. It is no 

Pasumpun-Pandiyan doubt by a strange irony of circum- 

ruvii-PanSya^ tarU stance that his name, like that of his 

(alias) Pannadu- still greater predecessor and founder of 

(BUM) a vadtaabaiam- ^ ie Kuflal lino, should happen to be 

baninra-Pandiyan. buried so deep in th,e stray references 

of the texls as to escape the notice of the casual reader. By 

a still stranger irony the 'common herd' of the later Pandi- 

ya kings have thrown into the shade the earlier heroes 

the real builders of the Pandiya greatness and have 

secured from posterity a larger share of its attention. We 

have to console ourselves with the reflection that time 

has swallowed up and swallows still many greater names 

than these. The Pandiyan of Korkai, Neciuiiceliyan I, 

(1) Poet Kapilar uses C?#, a variant of this word, in the line 
es^iurr^Bsr^QffLL^^iKiQsirQ&j'' (Pimm., S. 201), in the sense 'noble*. The 
ideas, high, noble, etc., must have evolved subsequently from the initial physical 
conception of distance. 


and Pasumpun Pandiyan or Nedunceliyan II have, 
to all intents and purposes, become mere shadowy 
figures and have almost lost their place amongst the his- 
torical Pandiyans of this famous line. Still patient research 
in the archives of ancient literary remains has enabled us 
to exhume and resuscitate these heroes of antiquity from 
their undeserved oblivion and bring them once more before 
the foot-lights of the Pandiya history. The name of this 
great conqueror, Pasumpun Pandiyan, is as usual merely 
a descriptive one. It imports 'Pandiyan, the be-jewelled'. 
Although, this was a common enough epithet in the mouths 
of all the Tamil poets of that time, I find that in the usage 
of the earliest of that early band of poets thie name 
seems to have been invariably used to denote this parti- 
cular Paudiyan of that line and none other. Invariable usage 
has converted this general name into a proper one and 
I believe we have no right at this distance of time to try 
to translate that name and make it generic. This parti- 
cular Pandiyan has been ignored by posterity not only by 
what appeared to them a generic title but by a medley 
of oilier names under which ho appears in literature. By 
his victory over the Aayi king and the Koiigu people and 
the consequent annexation of their territories to his domi- 
nion, he was known as Pannadu-tanta-Pandiyan (//^^ 
pfcp urresnu^uj<ssr} or the Pandiyan who conquered and 
annexed many nti/lus (Agam., 8. 253). This name was later 
on converted into what they considered a more dignified 
form Nilam-tarn-Tirnvil-Pfindiyaii, a name, which, with all 
its different phraseology, conveys the same meaning as 
the previous one (Agaw., S. 338 and Pit ram., S. 76). Since by 
these victories of his the Pandiya dominion till then con- 
fined to the coast of tho Eastern Sea was extended to the 
very rim of the Arabian Sea in the West, he came to be 
justly known as Vadimbu-alamba-Ninra-Pandiyan or the 
Pandiyan who so extended his kingdom as to be literally 
washed by the two seas. To celebrate this stroke of rare 
good fortune he is said to have celebrated a sea-festival 
C 16 , 


on a grand scale (vide Puram., S. 9). Naturally enough 
these different names scattered throughout later literature 
presented a puzzle to still later generations who were thus 
prevented from ascribing the various names to one his- 
torical character. The tangle thus created is however 
straightened by a careful collation and comparison of the 
texts of the most ancient poets. From t^em all one his- 
torical figure stands out clearly and rivets our atten- 
tion. In all probability Pasumpun Pandiyan may have 
been the grandson of the conqueror of Kudal and the son 
of Ollaiyur-taiitti-Puta-Pandiyan, his predecessor. 1 

Immediately after his succession to the throne, he 
turned his attention to the north of Kudal and found Evvi 
II blocking his expansion in that direction. Evidently 
Akutai's victory over Evvi I, presumably th,e grandfather 
of Evvi II, did not lead to any annexation of Evvi's 
territory to the Kudal kingdom. The lines of Paranar: 

euirtueurr Qerr&jeS GOJGUSST 

Gti &rriLJpp 
/r/f)u>693r euiriB gH/Dprgir ir/r /zbasssar 

Agam., S. 266. 

convey that Evvi II was defeated by Pasumpun Pandiyan 
and probably also brought under subjection. Then the 
king turned his attention to the great western kingdom, 

(1) I assume this relationship by the following topographical facts. 
Immediately after his conquest of the Aayi or Pothiyil dominion Pasum- 
pun Pandiyan appears to have renamed one ancient city of that kingdom, 
now situated in the Tovalai Taluq of the Travaneorc State and just near 
the foot of the Ghats as Alagiapandiyanur or Alagiapundiyapuram. In ancient 
documents I understand that the name of this town appears as jfQujggyr 
Qgearp jftpQujiJiTea*t$.iLjLjffu). Atiyan was the Aayi king at that time, 
who had been conquered by this Pandiyan, and T find the recitation of the 
name in the documents true and appropriate enough. The names Pasumpun 
Pandiyan and Alagiapandiyan almost mean the same thing. What strikes 
me as peculiarly significant is the existence of another town with a rock-cut 
temple, just three or four miles to the south, Putappandi by name, the head- 
quarters of the taluq. Probably after the conquest Pasumpun Pandiyau 
founded this town in memory of his father Pnta-Pfindiyan. These facts 
predispose me to assume Ollaiyur-tanta-Puta-Pandiyan as the father of .the 
great conqueror of Pothiyil. 


the Aayi territory of Potlriyil. He ma'de no delay in in- 
vading and permanently occupying it. Paraiiar describes 
graphically how th.e victorious flags borne on the backs 
of the elephant-troops of the Pandiya king waved over the 
Pothiyil hills. Here are the lines: 

Gatrretrp) ajjUujiru LjaJiEjQ&(ip 



Agam., S. 162. 

No doubt the description appears incidentally in the 
stanza; but I have little doubt that it refers to the down- 
fall of the Aayi house in tln south Atiyan thereafter 
became a tribrtaiy chief of the Kfidal king and had to take 
command of his forces Against ^ ie Koiigu people. Since 
before this memorable victory the Aayi kingdom extended 
up to the southern borders of Coimbatore, it effectively 
blocked the way of the king of Kudal in gaining access to 
the Koiigu land. But Pasumpfui Pfuidiyan's success 
against the Pothiyil king opened a ready means of 
approach to the coveted region and no sooner was Pothiyil 
occupied than we find carrying the war into the heart 
of the Kongu country. Stanza 393 in Kuruntogai by poet 
Paranar has reference to this war: 

Though Aayi Atiyan fell in this battle, the Kongu war 
must have been prosecuted with considerable vigour and 
brought in some fresh addition of territory to th,e Ku^al 
kingdom. The verses of Nakkirar, a later poet though, 
may be taken as decisive on that point. He says : 



Agam., S. 253. 

By a vigorous policy of expansion Pasumpun Pandiyan 
brought the limited kingdom of Kudal for we know how 
modest its extent was at the time of Ollaiyur-tanta-Puta- 
Pandiyan to embrace the whole of th,e central and south 
Travaiicore. Naturally enough this expansion of the 
Pandiya kingdom from the eastern sea to the western 
should Donate to he looked upon as the finest feat of arms 
by the later Pandiyns and its protagonist was since given 
by them the honoured surname ' Nilam-taru-tiruvil Nedi- 
you', i.e., the king Nodunccliyau who conquered and 
annexed many territories to the Pandiya kingdom. 

36. Three Chora sovereigns appear in this genera- 
tion. Of those, Kuttuvan Irumporai, 

The cam line: ruling at Karuvur, extended the Chera 
(1) Kuttuvan Irum- ,.-,,,, , , __ 

porai, (alias) Perum- kingdom by the coiujuest ol north Koiigu. 

(S 1 wK Whilci Pasl]m P fll -i Pandiyan swept away 
Yerinta-Pcmncherai- Atiyan of the south, this Chera king 

STSnkaykkanm lod his arm > r uorth and Conquered Taka- 
Narmudi-Oherai. duj-, the seat of another branch of the 

Stiya K TelS" s me Aa - vi famil >; Two P oct ^ Mosi 
Kuttuvan. Kiranfir and Arisil Kilar, have sung 

about this victory cf Takadur. The 
other IAVO Chora kings, tlie sons of Nedimcheralatau, must 
hnvo boon ruling over the coastal region extending north 
from KuUamulu. KalaiikSykkaiuii Narmudi-Cheral had 
to ro-conquor Pfiliiifidn from Namian II and thus gave 
that northern power its final quietus. Vel-Kelu-Kuttuvan 
had also to complete the work of his father in fighting the 
Kndamba tribes, wh.o had been giving much trouble by their 
piracies. Poet Parana r has composed the * 'Fifth Ten'' 
in Patlrruppattu to celebrate the victories of this hero. 
There is absolutely nothing in Paranar's account of this 
king which could justify th.e identification of this character 
with Cenkuttuvan Chera, the hero of Cilappadikaram, 


a work of later days. To the achievements of this king 
narrated by the poet, the editor of Patirnippattu adds a 
few more in his poetic summary called 'Patigam'. This 
siege of Idnmbil and the conquest of Viyalur 
and Kodukur my be allowed as actual occurrences in 
the life-time of a war-like king. 1 Bui along with this enu- 
meration is introduced the historically impossible feat of 
the king's incursions into North India, all for fetching 
a piece of stone from the Himalayas for the effigy of the 
' 'Chaste Wife" deified. This entry is flagrantly apo- 
cryphal;" and the problem presented for solution is not to 
find out the grain of historical truth it may contain but 
to determine its relation (o the Ciluppadikarain, story. 
Did this supply the suggestion for the later account in 
CiltipiwdikiltttM or was it inserted in Patirruppatlu, 
after the competition of that epic to add some authenti- 
city to its narration? The question cannot be confidently 
answered either was just now. In any case, the sooner 
we give up the practice of appealing to the highly imagi- 
native poems, CilappadikfiraM and Maylntekalai for 
facts of ancient Tamil history, the better it is for sound 

37. Among the chiefs, Kvvi II and Aayi Atiyan have 
already been mentioned in connection 

The Chieftains. ... * _ >- i- rm 11 

with I asumpun ramuyan. They call 
for no further remarks here. Klini, who belonged to the 
Atiyar family, n branch of the Aayi kings of the south, 

(1) Tin 1 'Paligani' in Ptilitrupjtnlln is responsible for HUMP details. 

(2) Tt docs not find a place in Vf-l-Ki-Jn-KiittuvauVi biography. Nor 
do tho genealogies of tins historical character and of the epic character, 
C/efikut tuvan, Mjjji-ci 1 in ll.e lows!. According to the Patirruitpattu version 
Vel-Kelu-Kuttuvan \uis tjie son of M'dimcheralntan and Manakkilli, a Chola 
princess. Acliyurkkunallar, tho commentator of CilfipiwdikAram, says he 
was tho son of Nc'dufu-lifralatnn and Xarconai, tin- daughter of 


Thus the two Kuttuvans had two different mothers, unless 
we take 'Manakilli 9 and 'Nareoiiai' as referring to one queen. Further, 
their identification will scarcely fit in with the facts of contemporary Chola 
history. If Ccnkuttuvau, i.e., Vel-Keluttuvan by the hypothesis, 


to have been killed by th,e Chera king Perunchera) 
inonporai and his kingdom annexed. Nannan II, pro- 
bably a grandson of Nannan I, was defeated and sent into 
exile by Kalankaykkanni Narmudi-Cheral. Thus was 
Pulinadu, the coastal region which, extended north up to 
Tulunadu, finally annexed to the Chera dominion. Perunalli, 
the king of Kandiram, a place probably situated about the 
Sattimangalam Pass leading from the Mysore plateau into 
Coimbatore appears to liave been praised for liberal 
gifts by, among other poets, one Kakkai Patiniyar Nac- 
cellaiyar. The poetess's name received the singular 
addition Kukkaipfitini from the accident of her men- 
tioning in a verso the crow's cry as a prognostication of 
a guest's arrival! Another important circumstance which 
I cannot but notice with reference to this poetess is that 
one of hjcr beautiful similes appears to have been bor- 
rowed by a lator and greater genius and sot in his justly 
celebrated work. 1 refer to the famous author of Kural. 
The original of the fine couplet, 

is doubtless contained in the last line of the following 
stanza : 

(y>6Yr/fl LD^tEjSear (LpfiQiurr&r 


/Lo Qu/fl pa//i' 

. Puram., S. 278. 

were the son of Narcdnai, the sister of K'arikalan the Great, 
he should conic in the generation which immediately succeeds that of Karikalan 
the- Groat and his father Nedunphoraliitan should appear as Karikalan 's con- 
temporary. But both the Chera kings stand two generations higher up in 
the Tables. This fact alone is sufficient to establish the unteuability of identi- 
fying Ce&kuttuvaa with Vel-Kelu-Ku^uvan. 


The natural setting of the thought and phrasing in 
th,e piece of the ancient authoress and their ethical setting 
in the Kural must settle the ouestion of priority. I cannot 
believe that this coincidence is accidental and is an 
instance of 'great wits jumping together'. Tiruvalluvar 
seems to have taken the gem from the ancient poem and 
given it a finer setting. 

Another chief also, Perumpekan, the king of 
'Vaiyavi', identified with the modern Palncy Hills in the 
Madura District, must hero be mentioned. He comes into 
prominence in connection witli a domestic affair, which 
would not have reached us but for the zealous mediation 
of a number of poets. Perumpekan had a wjfe named 
Kannaki and after living happily with her for some time 
he seems to h.ave deserted her for some other lover or 
courtesan, who had caught him in her meshes. This mis- 
conduct on Perumpekan 's part brought about an estrange- 
ment between himself and his wife Kaimaki and thereafter 
li,e was not even on visiting terms with her. The open 
amours of a ruler like Pdkan and his harsh treatment of 
his spouse must have given rise to much unseemly public 
talk. A number of poets, among we find the lead- 
ing poets Paranar and Kapilar, moved by sympathy for 
the injured wife as well as by their affection and regard 
for the reputation of their patron Pekan, came forward 
and exhorted the ruler to receive back Kannaki into his 
favour. Whether the erring king was in any way brought 
to h,is senses by this honourable intercession of the poets 
is not known. 1 Unlike the later Kannaki, who is evidently 
a character created to answer a floating tradition, Kan- 

(1) This incident, from a chapter of ancient Tamil history, may in a 
manner have supplied the initial motif for the Cilappadilcdram story of 
later days. Apart from the similarity of the names of th* 1 hero and heroine 
Kovalan being taken as a variant of Ko-vallfin, the strong king, the 
episode of separation between the husband and wife brought about by a 
courtesan is too striking to be omitted. Poets get their materials from diverse 
sources and fashion them in many different forms. Take for instance, the 
Tirumavunni incident alluded to in Nar., S. 216, who can say that it has not 
supplied Ilango-Adigal with another striking episode for his story f 


naki, the disconsolate wife of Pekan, was undoubtedly a 
real historical character who had to suffer the slights and 
humiliations heaped on her by an imperious and faithless 
husband and whose sufferings would in time have given 
birth to that tradition itself. We 'are, however, more 
concerned with Pekan 's time than with his domestic feli- 
cities. he belonged to this generation need hardly 
he doubted nor is there any scope for shifting Perunalli's 
time in the tables. Viceikko and Irunko Vel, Princes 
of Vicci and Iruriko, to whom Kapilar is reported to have 
taken Pari's daughters, may belong to this genera- 
tion. So densely, however, has later tradition gathered 
round th.e name of Pari, that it is almost impossible to 
separate fact from fiction in that pathetic story of Pari's 
downfall and numerous other incidents that followed it. 
The whole must be separately studied and interpreted. 

The personages of this generation are held together 

by the names of Parana r, Perunkunrur 

Kilar, Arisil Kilfir, Kapilar, Vanpara- 

appearing as the lateral links almost throughout, and 
as a means of linear connection with the next generation, 
we have Perunkunrur Kilar and Kakkaipfitiniyar Nac- 
cellaiySr. With; these we have the known relationship 
of Uruva-pah-ter-Tlancodcenni with his son and succes- 
sor Karikalan the Great. 



38. In coming to the time of .Karikala Chola the 
Great, we come to a turning point in the 
ne: history of that dynasty. Tradition, 
which is a blind dame at best if we have 
not the eyes to guide her foot-steps in the proper direc- 
tion, has woven round this great figure many legends. It 
has been responsible for many whimsical stories for ex- 
plaining away his strange name. But so far as the second 


Karikalan is concerned no mystery need attach to his name. 
He bore it probably because it was his grandfather's 
name. How entirely baseless is the legend of the 'burnt 
leg' in respect of our gfeat hero needs no further eluci- 
dation. If these fantastic stories should gain in signi- 
ficance and relevancy, they have to bo bodily taken and 
grafted on the first Karikalan the 'I'usumpuii-Cciiiii' of 
Paranar's lines. Since we are aware thai a good many 
ancient legends 1 are etymological at bottom having arisen 
to explain away some name or other, their explanation 
of facts and events cannot for that mailer be convincing. 
Instead of explaining those facts and events, the legends 
themselves owe to them their origin and explanation; 
they are in short wholly ex post fficto and should never 
be mistaken ft>r real explanations. In the present instance, 
the name Karikalan, the origin of which is still wrapped up 
in mystery, must have e:. cited the curiosity of later minds 
and driven them on to coin new and fanciful explanations. 
Setting aside the etymological constructions of Karikalan 's 
name, tradition is strong in maintaining that Karikalan's 
succession to the throne after his father's death did not 
take place nncontested. Ho had to face many ene- 
mies and get rid of many obstacles from his path. In 
this we are assured that he had the strong support of 
Irumpidarttalaiyar, his maternal uncle, who held a high 
office under the Pandiya king of that time, it was quite 
possible that the Pfmdiya king, Pclsllai-I\ludukudumi- 
Peruvaludi, lent his powerful support to Karikalan by 
allowing the intercession of his official Irumpidarttalaiyar 

(1) As a striking and amusing instance of such etymological fabrications, 
I shall extract the following: 

"The Nyaya-Kosa mentions two legends to account for the name 
Akgapada as applied, according to it, to Gautama. It is said that Gautama 
was so deeply absorbed in philosophical contemplation that one day during 
his walks, he fell into a wHl, out of which he was rescued with great diffi- 
culty. God therefore mercifully provided him with a second pair of eyes in 
his feet, to protect the sage- from further mishaps. This is a ridiculous 
story manufactured merely to explain the word "Ak^apada" as composed 
of 'Ak^a' (e\e) and 'Puda' (feet) 9 '. Dr. Satischaudra Vidyabhusaaa's. 
History of Indian Logic, p. 48. 



and the interest of such a powerful sovereign must un- 
doubtedly have turned the scales largely in favour of the 
distressed Chola king. 

Considering the absence of any amicable relation 
between the Killi and the Genni branches, the whole 
trouble about Karikalan's succession to the throne may very 
well be ascribed to the intrigues of the members of the 
Killi branch. By their successful machinations Karikalan 
must have been incarcerated for a period; but it was of 
little avail. He escaped from his prison in time and with 
the help of his friends fought his way to the throne and got 
it. Both Porunararruppadai and Pattinappalai, composi- 
tions by two contemporary poets, included later in the 
Pattuppattu collection (the Ten Idylls), give us this picture 
of events. Excepting the stray pieces of the poets 
appearing in Purananurn, these are by far the most 
authoritative sources of information about the period of 
Karikalan the Great. Inclusive of the authors of the two 
poems mentioned above, half-a-dozen poets have sung 
about the great king and his exploits. He was one of the 
most successful of the empire-builders of his time. Not only 
did he extend his conquests far and wide but also worked 
hard to give his subjects the blessings of peace and plenty. 
He seems to have cleared up many forest regions in the 
north and encouraged colonisation on a scale not even 
attempted by any of his predecessors. Excavation of tanks 
and execution of other works of irrigation were also 
attended to. He renewed the fortifications of Uraiyur 
and beautified that city with many architectural build- 
ings. Development of internal trade and foreign com- 
merce too did not escape his attention. In short, with the 
supreme courage, daring and skill of a military genius, 
he seems to have combined the gentle virtues of 
liberality, love of justice, and a deep attachment 
to the interests of his people. Till his time the 
Tamil kings were not so much courted by the 
poets as th,e so-called minor chiefs were. Many a 


poet makes uncomplimentary comparisons' between the 
unbounded liberality of the chiefs and the self-centred 
existence and pomp of the Tamil kings who would not 
deign to patronise the minstrels. But with Karikalan the 
Great, a new era dawned for letters. His unstinted 
patronage drew round him a brilliant group of poets of 
the first order and brought about the first efflorescence of 
Tamil literature. Longer compositions on set themes 
take their rise in his reign and to these earliest rills un- 
doubtedly must be ascribod the glory of having fed at the 
source the broad stream of Hie present-day Tamil literature. 
He encouraged the performance of Yilgas by the few 
Brahmans whom he could invite for the purpose and 
opened the way for planting the first seeds of the Aryan 
religion in the Tamil country. These are the few facts 
ono may gather from the early poems, regarding this great 
sovereign of the Chdla line and if the opinion of later 
generations furnishes any gauge for measuring th,e great- 
ness of a person, the mere fact that posterity could not 
conceive of Ihe andeut line of the Cholas without Karikalan 
the ("Jreat as its central figure must be taken as sufficient 
evidence of the greatness and glory of this ancient hero. 
After a long and brilliant reign hie breathed his last in 
Kurappalli. Thenceforward he was known as Kurap- 

39. Poet Karikkannanar of Kfivirippumpattinam 

has composed a stanza on the occasion 

The Pandiya line: of Karikalan II and Velliyambalattu- 

JS^^JSSi tunciya-Peruvaludi, sitting together 

(alias) paiyaga- in a friendly tete-a-tete and gently 

SSvaiu^? d ^aS advisod them to continue in their ami- 

Veiiiyambaiattu- cable alliance and be a source of 

tnnciya-Peruvaludi. strength to each other- j am inc li ned 

to identify this Velliyambalattu-tun- 
riya-Peruvaludi with Palyagasalai Mudukudumi Peru- 
valudi, on the ground that there could be only 
one Pandiya king to come between Nedunceliyan TL 


and Nedunceliyan III in the Tables. The general 
practice of coining a new name for a king from the place 
where he died should be noted and we should not be led 
away by such new names to create new personalities to 
answer them. For instance, Celvakkaduiiko-Aliyatan 
gets a new name after his death, Cikkar-palli-tunciya- 
Celvakkaduhko. Karikalan II, alias Perumtirumavalavan, 
comes to be known after his death at Kurappalli as 
Kurappalli-tnficiya-Perum-Tiru-Mayalavan. In the same 
way, Palsalai Mudukuclumi Peruvaludi who happened to 
die at Velliyambnlam was thereafter known as Velliyam- 
balattu-tunciya-Pernvaludi. I am strengthened in this 
identification by another material consideration furnished 
by Maduraikkanci, a piece composed in honour of 
Talai y alaiikana ttu-C'eru- Ven r a -Pandiy an of the next 
generation. There the poet evidently refers to the father 
and grandfather of his patron in the lines: 6WTL-- 

Poet Nettimaiyar's lines in Pur am., S. 9, will show 
that Nilamtaru-tiruvil-Pandiyan who celebrated the sea- 
festival on the shores of the western sea after the conquest 
of the Aayi country was a predecessor of Palsalai Muduku- 
dnmi Peruvaludi. In wishing long life to his patron he prays 
ihat the king's days should be as many as the sands in the 
Pahruli river, a river which owed its existence to the 
zeal, keen foresight and wisdom of his predecessor. 
Thus certain facts of Tamil literature and the order of 
events in the Synchronistic Tables alike justify the identi- 
fication of th,e two variously-named kings, viz., Palsalai 
Mudukudumi Peruvaludi and Velliyambalattu-tuficiya 
Peruvaludi. The three poets, Karikilar, Nettimaiyar and 
Nedumpalliyattanar, who sing of Pals'alai Mudukudumi 


Peruvaludi stand disconnected with the Tables and hence 
offer us little help in the matter. At any rate, their com- 
bined testimony does in no way stand against the identifi- 
cation I have herein adopted. Irumpidarttalaiyar, the 
uncle of Karikalan, whose real name is lost to posterity but 
is replaced by one coined from the descriptive phrase 'Irum- 
pidarttalai' (^Mfi^n ppfo) occurring in his stanza which 
has come down to us, refers to the same Pandiyan by 
another descriptive appellation Karunkai-ol-val-perum- 
peyar-Valudi, i.e., the Valudi with the hard hand bearing 
a shining sword: 

Puram., S. 3. 

This PFindiyan iff said to have been a terrible warrior, 
a chip of the old hero, the great Pasumpun Pandiyan, 
the conqueror of the Aayi country. In the words of the 
poets he carried devastation into the enemy's countries 
in all his wars. 

40. Yet some poems composed in his honour contain 

references to his hiaving performed 

Yagas with the aid of the Brahman 

priests. Poems of a like tenor appear also in respect of 

his Chola contemporary Karikalan the Great. I extract 

here a few verses which sound a clear religious note and 

convey to us the impression that those old-time warriors 

were zealous upholders of the Vedic Yagas : 


)jii /9</f 

Puram., S. 6. 

effujrr& SpuiSesr Qeuerr^S 


Puram., S. 15. 



Puram., S. 224. 
Whether these verses are genuine and give a correct 
picture of the religious leaning of those ancient Tamil 
kings is just possible to doubt. Take poet Karikilar. 
What does Kari denote in this name? If it were a place- 
name as I suspect it is not the phrase Karikilar would 
go on all fours with ancient usage; for, I am sure, in the 
usage of the early poets, one solitary instance of Kilar 
being attached to a personal name cannot be quoted. It 
always goes with, a place-name. If Karikilar were a 
genuine name, we should assume the existence of a town 
or village under the name Kari 1 and I do not know how 
far we would be justified in such an assumption. It is not 
unlikely that Karikilar may be a later creation, in whose 
mouth a preposterous direction is put which no living poet 

(1) In Ids biographical notes about Karikilar Pandit Mahamahopadyaya 
V. Swaminatha Aiyar says that there was a village by this name 'Kari' in 
Tondaimandalam and it is now known as Bamagiri. It is not clear from 
what source the ancient name for Ramagiri was ascertained. Even granting 
the existence of a village with this peculiar name in Tondaimandalam, it would 
hardly servo to identify this particular poet, a contemporary of one of the 
oldest PSndiya kings of the time of Karikalan the Great. Tondai- 
mandalam then was a forest region entirely outside the sway of the Tamil 
kings. Tt is inconceivable how a poet could have hailed from that quarter 
so early as this. The attempted identification is clearly based upon much 
later facts and is historically of little value. Not stopping here the learned 
Pandit introduces facts of still much later period as for instance Karinayanar 
of Periyapuranatn and Kariyar of Tiruvilaiyddal-puranam. These, however, 
only go to confirm my view about the personal character of the- name 'Kari 1 . 
But. why should we come down to later history when the Sangam Literature 
itself furnishes many examples, e.g., Kari of MuQoor, Malaiyaman Tiru- 
mudi-Kari, poet Kari-Kannan, etc. 


to a living sovereign would ever have the hardihood to 
address. Take also the couple of references as regards 
the Yajna post and its detailed description. Could these 
not have been inserted at the time of the Hindu religious re- 
action to give the impression that Aryan Hinduism had 
come into the Tamil country even before the Aryan hete- 
rodox systems and had secured the support and patronage 
of two of the most prominent of the ancient kings? In 
the circumstances of the case, the interpolators could not 
have pitched on more illustrious kings than Palsalai 
Mudukudumi for the Pandiya line and Karikalan the Great 
for the Chola. The change of Palsalai 1 into Palyagasalai 
adds to the general suspicion. We must further take into 
account the thorough manner in which the Buddhist and 
Jaina vestiges were destroyed or converted to other uses, 
during the period of the Hindu reaction. Jain tradition is 
strong that most of thc-ir manuscripts were committed to 
the flames and their Chaityas converted into Hindu 
temples. Dr. Vincent Smith writes in a foot-note in 
p. 473 of lus Early History of India: "It seems toler- 
ably certain that some of them were converted at a later 
date to Brahxnanical use. This is clearly the case with, 
the Buddhist apsidal Chaitya hall at Chazarla in Guntur 
District, converted into a Saiva temple of late Pallava 
style." He then refers to the late Mr. T. A. Gopinatha 
Eao's 'Bouddha Vestiges in Kancliipura' and writes: 
"In twelve hours the author discovered iive images of 
Buddha, two being inside the Kamakshi temple, which 
probably occupies the site of a Buddhist Tara Temple, 
etc." Then in p. 495, about Mahendra Varma's conver- 
sion to the Saiva faith, he says: "The king, after his 1 con- 
version, destroyed the large Jain monastery aft Patali- 

(1) Salai, in the usage of the early times, was also the namv of a monastic 
cave-bed to which the Buddhists and other monks retired for rest and medi- 
tation. In North India I find mentioned a mountain with such a cave-bed 
known as Indra Sfila Giri. One might consider Palsalai in Mudukudumi 's name 
as denoting a sovereign who created numerous cave-beds for the monks and 
nuns of the heterodox sects. But we should beware not to spin out history 
from a name. 


puttiram in South Arcot, replacing it by a Saiva fane/' 
These are only a few instances to show the mentality of 
the orthodox reactionists in effacing the marks and 
monuments of the older faiths. Would it be unreasonable 
then to suppose that the old literature too should have 
been considerably tampered with by the zeal and bigotry 
ol* the orthodox party? To add to the general suspicion 
regarding the 'Yagas' none of the longer compositions such 
as Porunardrruppadai, Paitinappdlai, and Maduvraikkand 
has a word to say about such rites. If those kings 
had really celebrated the Yagas, the contemporary poets 
would certainly have described them in these 
longer compositions. Their silence regarding this 
Vedic rite a new introduction in the Tamil land is 
inexplicable. Moreover, the conditions of that period do 
not seem to favour any such religious activity. Weighty 
as these considerations are, I cannot see my way to lightly 
brush aside these poems as interpolations. That can be 
done only after subjecting their materials to a more 
searching critical examination from the standpoint of 
religion than has been undertaken yet. Still, i have called 
attention to these doubts to emphasize the high prob- 
ability of some poems having been composed and added 
to the genuine ones at the time of the redaction of these 
collections carried out at about the dawn of the religious 
epoch. Even as they stand these references only prove 
that the first introduction of this Aryan religious rite 
cannot be pushed earlier than this period. 

41. The two Chera contemporaries of Karikalan the 

Great were Cheraman Kudakko Ilan- 
Th* Chera line: T * -r n . ^ " - 

(l) Oheraman X- ^eral Irumporai, the son ot Perun- 

dakko Uancherai <*hfral Irumporai of the previous 
irum-* generation and Atfukotpattu Chora- 

porai, (alias) Ku- latan, the younger brother of Kalankay- 
dakko-Cheral Irani- . . . 1 _ 

porai. kanin Narmudi Cherul. Kudakko Ilan- 

cli?ral Arumporai, i.e., the young Chera 
king called Irumporai, was the king of 


Kuflanaciu, and he was celebrated by poet Perunkunrur- 
Kilar the same poet who sang of Karikalan's father too. 
This poet's life seems to have overlapped those two gene- 
rations and furnishes us with a strong linear iink. We 
learn from Patirritppaltu that this Chera king held his 
court in his capital Naravu, the 4 Naoura' of the Periplus 
and the 'Nitria' of Pliny, situatod to the north of Tyndis 
or Tondi. Yule h,as correctly identified this place as Manga- 
iore on the banks of the river Neiravati. As in the case of 
the name 'Damirica', which instead of being derived direct 
from the Tamil word Tamilagam is sought to be derived 
from the Sanskrit form ' Dramidaka ', here also Nitria'ff 
original, they say, shiould be Netrlivati. in explaining 
Tamil names of that far-off period, the attempt to derive 
them from a supposed Sanskrit original is really putting 
the cart before the horse. The name Notravati itself should 
be taken as a later form and its origin traced to the ancient 
Tamil name Naravu. The earlier testimony of the Peri- 
plus itself, which gives the form 'Naoura', leaves us no 
other alternative, it is clear, then, that by this time the 
Chera dominions had come to embrace the South Canara 
District in the West Coast. 

As regards the next sovereign, Atu-Kotpattu-Chera- 
latan, it might be urged that ho, being a brother of Kalan- 
kaykkapani Narmudi Choral of the previous generation, 
should be placed with the latter in that generation and 
not where he now stands. Two considerations, however, have 
weighed with me in the present disposition. First, his 
regnal years which come to 38 according to Patirrup- 
patlu exceed those of his predecessor by 13 years and 
cover more than the normal period of a generation, viz., 25 
years; and secondly, the previous generation has already 
two Chera kings of one and the same family wielding sway 
and nothing would be gained by overcrowding that gene- 
ration with too many rulers. Further, Vel Kelu Kuftu- 
van's reign according tu PaiirruiJ^ulLu extended over 55 
years, that ib, it practically covered a little over two gene- 
rations. Even if we allow that as un exceptional case, the 
G 18 


reigns of both Kalankaykkanni and Atukotpattu Cheral 
would in succession slightly exceed that figure and come 
to only 63 years. Moreover, th arrangement of the 
poems in Patirruppattu does not seem to be arbitrary. 
It follows a chronological order in respect of the two lines 
of the Cher a kings therein treated, Udiyan Cheral 's 
descendants claiming the s'econd, third, fourth, fifth and 
sixth 'Tens' in order and Antuvan Cheral 's successors, i.e., 
the Karuvur or eastern branch, being given the seventh 
eighth and ninth ' Tens' of that work. By this als'o, Atu 
Kotpattu Cheral has to come at the lower end of the 
western branch of the Cheras. In these circumstances I 
preferred fixing Atukotpattu Cheral 's reign to the gene- 
ration of Karikalan the Great. 

The name of this Chera king furnishes another inter- 
esting instance of a curious * Etymological Myth'. This 
particular sovereign derives his name evidently from his 
practice of celebrating his 1 victories in the battle-field by 
a war dance with drawn uplifted swords in which he also 
took part with the common soldier. This is clear from 
the following references in Patirruppattu: 

Patirru., S. 52. 

(Lpff&tk gp6B)6ULU ' 0U/1 (GKILJil j$ 

ufflssr QurreowQiBiTiy. 

bQ U(TFj 

Patirru, S. 56. 

Patirru, S. 57. 
The first extract describes an incident in the life of 
this Cheru king and refers to a fine situation it brought 
about. The Chera queen, being desirous of welcoming 


back her lord from the battle-field with all joyous ostenta- 
tion, was holding in her hand the crimson Kuvalai flower 
to pelt him with, as a mark of her love and regard. To her 
great consternation however she found her royal spouse 
approaching her engaged in the unsightly dance and had to 
desist from carrying out her tender plan. With these literary 
memorials before us there can hardly be any two opinions 
on the significance of his name 'Atukotpattu Cheralatan*. 
And yet we find later-day myth-makers missing the key 
of explanation, and coining a story to suit the phrase 
Atukol (^(SG^n er ) which uufortiunately means 'capture 
of sheep' also. Forthwith the story of capturing a flock 
of sheep in the forest of Dandakaranya was brought into 
shape in all its details and even the destination and dis- 
tribution of th,e herd were therein specified with absolute 
precision ! 

O X'l L l&jEg$ LI IJiTH UL IfT II vi'QdS 

Patigam to Patirru., VI. 
To make the gift of sheep acceptable to the Brahmin- 
donees, a village each and also cows were added. How 
incongruous that a great king like the then Chera sove- 
reign should go all the way to Dandakaranya to wage war 
for a flock of sheep and how still more incongruous that 
this 1 petty incident should have been considered dignified 
enough for perpetuation in the cognomen of the king! With 
all its ludicrousness this story is even now passed on as 
serious history by certain school of scholars, who h#ve no 
excuse for being so uncritical in examining later literary 
data. Although foreign to the purpose on hand I have 
dealt with this incident as a typical case, to show how 
valuable historical truths in ancient Tamil history should 
sometimes be dug out of the worthless debris heaped on 
them by the myth-makers of later generations. Turning 
to the subject proper we find the poetess Kakkaipatiniyar 
Naccellaiyar, who appeared in the previous generation, 
composing one of the 'Tens' in the "Ten Tens" in honour 


of this particular Chera king. This fact gives us an addi- 
tional linear link. 

42. One Irungovel is said to have been conquered by 
Karikalan the Great, according to the 
The chiefs. account in Pattinappdlai. This appella- 

tion does not seem to be a proper name. It may be taken 
as a generic title for all the chiefs of 'Irungo'. 
If so, a chief of that line in all probability may 
be considered as the person to whom Kapilar is 
reported to have taken Pari's daughters for arrang- 
ing their marriage, supposing that event to be 
historical. Two other officers, whoso titles indicate that 
they were commanders hi th,e employ of the great Chola 
king, Enadi Tirukkilli, and Enadi Tirukkuttuvan, appear to 
have flourished in this generation. Karikalan the Great 
seems to have instituted titles of honour to be bestowed 
on his officers and, from this, one could well read the far- 
sighted policy pursued by that monarch for the first time 
to win and hold the affection and attachment of his' officers. 
Like Napoleon this great, warrior of the Tamil country, 
who had definitely embarked on a policy of conquest of 
the surrounding territories, seems to have surrounded 
himself with a select company of gifted warriors like him- 
self and by their aid carried out all his 1 plans of conquest 
to a victorious close. It was during his reign that those 
troublesome northerners, the Aruvalars, who could not 
meekly submit to the Chola yoke but rose now and then 
in open rebellion, were finally subjugated and made peace- 
ful citizens of the state. By a steady policy of colonising 
the land with settlers drawn from his old subject popula- 
tion even more than by the might of his arms did he carry 
out. the great object of reclaiming the forest kingdom 
of Arcot to the ranks 1 of civilized life. The Pallava rulers 
who appeared in this theatre later on had only to build on 
the foundations securely laid by this great Chola ruler and 
to complete the work begun by him at least three centuries 


It will be seen that the names of poets, Karikkannanar 
of Kavirippattiuam and Madalan Madn- 


raikkumaranfir of Ericcilur serve as 
lateral links, and Madalan Maduraikkumaranar again and 
Damodaranar, a physician of Uraiyur, supply the linear 
links with the succeeding generation. 



43. When Karikalan the Great died, the empire he 
The Choia line: built up was not allowed to quietly 

cedcenni Na- pass j nto t j ie hands of his son and 
lam-killi (alias) Ha- 

vantikaippaiii- successor. The old Cenni-Killi rivalry 

tunciya.Nalam-killi. which the greaf king hi mse lf had to 

face and overcome before he came to 
the throne appears to have again cropped up. It was only 
driven underground for a time by the genius' of 
Karikalan the Great whose military power and statesman- 
ship wore? of too high an order to bo set at naught by 
his rivals. But no sooner was the strong arm of that 
monarch removed than the forces of disorder skilfully 
engineered by the claimants of the Killi line made them- 
selves felt in an open 'war of succession'. Nednm-killi, 
the leader of the Killi family, contested the throne with 
Karikalan 's son Codcenni Nalam-kilji who was evidently 
staying at Kavirippattinam at that time. Nedum-killi was 
besieged at Uraiyur by Nalam-killi, and Kovur Kilar, an 
eminent poet, seems to have intervened to bring about a 
friendly understanding between the contending princes'. 
His stanza composed for the occasion admits us to the 
inwardness of events in that critical period of Chola 
history. Kovur Kilar appeals as follows to the sense of 
family prestige and the tie of family affection which the 
combatants might still possess: 


r pi 

ii \Seup 



Pwr am., #. 45. 

That the fighting princes were not brothers is plain 
enough from the poet's words. If th,ey were, he would have 
strongly driven home his arguments by condemning a 
fratricidal war. All that the poet could urge was that 
both the princes belonged to the Chola family and wore 
the atti garland as a token of that descent. Further, the 
poet had such a keen sense of justice and fair play that 
he distinctly avoided being, a partisan of any one prince 
in the struggle. He knew each had as good a title as the 
other for the throne. Nedum-killi, probably a descendant 
of Vol-pahrtadakkai-Peruvirarkilli, was a scion of the 
royal house founded by Titian, the captor of Uraiyur. He 
had a right by direct descent from the founder of the 
Uraiyur throne. On the other hand, Cedcenni Nalam- 
kijli was the son of Karikalan II and grands'on of Uruva- 
pah-ter-Ilancedcenni, both these previous rulers having 
been in actual possession of the throne of Uraiyur and 
done much for the expansion and development of the Chola 
kingdom. Thus Nalam-killi had a right by virtue of 
descent from the two immediate dc facto rulers of Uraiyur. 
When the individual rights of the warring princes were 
so nicely balanced, Hie poet could not take up the cause 
of either party and sacrifice his own sense of justice. As 
a matter of fact, the poet appears to have adopted a 
middle course and condemned neither for putting forward 
a claim to the throne. So far as that was concerned, he 
put them on the same level but deprecated their fight as 
affecting family prestige and honour and as giving a fillip 
to the other kings to gloat over their dissensions. Thus 


then Kovur Kilar 's stanza throws a flood of light on the 
Cenni-killi rivalry I have alluded to in a previous 
section of this work. Whether the poet's appeals 
had any effect in pouring oil over the troubled waters 
of that domestic warfare we do not know; nor is any 
glimpse afforded us about the conditions which brought 
Cedcenni Nalam-killi to the throne. That he was the im- 
mediate successor of Karikalan the Great admits of little 
doubt. Four poets attached themselves to him, viz., 
Madalan Maduraikkumaranar of Ericcilur, Mudukannan 
Cattail ar of Uraiyur, Alattur Kilar and Kovur Kilar and 
have left memorials in their verses of his courage and 
heroism. The signal victory of conquering the " Seven 
Forts" (orQtpifldrt stands to the credit of this king. It 
would be incorrect to suppose that the Seven Forts were 
wrested from the Pandiya king of that time. The prob- 
abilities are that the forts should have been in possession 
of the forest chiefs, whose territories still lay between 
the Chola and the Paudiya kingdoms and should have 
been captured from them,. Even at a still later stage in 
the Pandiya history we hear of Ukkira Peruvaludi storm- 
ing the great fort called 'Kfmappercyir. Such skir- 
mishes indulged in by the Tamil rulers now and then show 
that within Tainilagam itself, as in its northern borders, 
there were still a number of Naga chieftains stubbornly 
resisting the Tamil kings and maintaining their ancient 
independence under the shelter of their skilfully -con- 
structed forts and earthworks. 

Nedum-killi who died al Kariyuru and Killi-VaJavan 
who breathed his last at Kurappalli were two other Chola 
princes of this time, about whom Kovur Kilar has* left 
some verses. These princes must have been prevailed 
upon to acquiesce in Nalam-killi 's mounting the throne. 
I am inclined to hold that this politic ruler after estab- 
lishing himself on the throne must have assumed the name 
Nalam-killi, the good Killi, along with his original name 
Cedcenni to prevent the recurrence of such family 


squabbles in the future. 1 Since this memorable reign the 
ancient distinctions of Cenni and Killi have been obli- 
terated and the hatchet of that obscure family feud buried 
for ever. If the Cilappadikaram epic could be credited 
with containing some shreds of true tradition in the 
highly imaginative fabric of its story, Vel Kelu Kuttuvan 
might be taken to have intervened in bringing about an 
amicable settlement in this war of Chola succession. To 
render such an intervention possible, we have to assume 
that Vel Kelu Kuttuvan [(alias) Chenkuttuvan according 
to Cilappadikaram] lived a little lower down the gene- 
rations as arranged in the Tables. Both he and his father 
Neduncheralatan, who are given very long reigns by 
Patirruppattu, i.e., 55+58=113 years, should be made to 
cover at the least four generations in order that Vel 
Kelu Kuttuvan might be in a position to help his brother- 
in-law Nalam-killi. How far that could be allowed is a 
point wherein even scholarly opinions must legitimately 

44. Another great warrior appears in the Pandiya 
line in this generation. He takes a 
The Pandiya line: surname by the famous victory won 
by him at Talaiyalankanam. He was 

Nedunceiiyan, quite a youth when he succeeded his 

(alias) Nedun~ 

ceiiyan in. father Mudukudumi and this circum- 

stance seems to have tempted the other 
sovereigns and chieftains to measure swords with him 
and share his kingdom. Though young in years Ne^un- 
celiyan III happened to be more than a match, for the 
enemy-confederacy and on the plains of Talaiyalan- 
kanam, probably somewhere near Ni^amangalam in the 

(1) Compare Hie following verses: 

sijF) ise^isiQeir&fi'' 

Puram., S. 27. 


Purani., S. 225. 


Taiijore District, routed their combined armies and won a 
brilliant victory. Four poets, Kalladanar, Kudapula- 
viyanar, Edaikkimriir Kilar and Marikudi Kilar, have cele- 
brated the character and achievements of this hero, of 
whom Mahkudi Kilar, otherwise known as Maiikudi 
Marudan, has also composed Maduraikkdnei, one of 
the "Ten Idylls" in his honour. Like Karikalan the Great, 
whose example he seems to have emulated, Neduiiceliyan 
III became a great patron of the poets. In one of his 
poems for apparently he had also courted thje Muses' he 
vows that an> failure on his part to overcome his enemies 
should make him lose the high honour of being sung by 
Mankudi Marudau and other poets of his court: 

Puram., S. 72. 

Those give some idea of the literary tastes of this king 
and his poetic proteges. The name of hiis capital Kudal, 
undergoes a transformation and puts on probably from this 
time or perhaps from Mudukudumi's period, the Sanskrit 
garb 'Mathurfi'. At thai period Mathura in North 
India was' an important strongliold of the Jains and the 
first importation of the name into the south may have 
been under the Jaina auspices. Fiul literary texts do not 
contain any direct c\ idence on this point. As suggested 
already, the history of religion should be taken up sepa- 
rately and studied in its entirely before we can hope for 
any reliable results in that direction. 

None of the poets of this Pandiya king, however, 
happens to sing of any other sovereign in this 1 generation/ 
Their isolation would have been really perplexing in locat- 
ing the victor of Talaiyalaiikanam, if we had not other 
resources at our command. The testimony of Maduraik- 
kaiici is positive in fixing the anteriority of Nilam-taru- 
tiruvil-Pan^liyan and Mudukutfumi Peruvaludi to Ne^ufi- 


celiyan III. Another circumstance also has been 
found helpful in deciding the matter. It will be seen that 
the next Pandiya king llavantikaippalli-tunciya-Nan- 
maran is sung by two poets, Karikkannanar of Kavirip- 
pattinam and Marudan Ilanaganar. Since one Karik- 
kannanar of Kavirippattmam appears in th.e previous 
generation as a contemporary of Velliyambalattu-tuiieiya- 
Peruvaludi, it is but natural to place llavantikaippalli- 
tunciya-Nanmaran in closest proximity to the Velli- 
yambalattu-tunciya-Peruvaludi's generation. But I have 
purposely refrained from that arrangement for this weighty 
reason: that ilavantikaippalji-tunciya-Nanmaran being sting- 
by Marudan llanagan, a son of Mankudi Marudan, the 
poet should necessarily follow the generation of the victor 
of Talaiyalaiikanam to whose court was attached the 
father-poet Mankudi Marudan. As a necessary result of 
this disposition the Karikkannaii, who appears in the third 
generation from that of his namesake probably a grand- 
father of his is designated in the Tables as Karikkannan 
II. Thus Mankudi Marudan by his known relationship 
with Marudan llanagan and also by his poem Maduraik- 
kdfici has helped us in fixing the place of the victor of 
Talaiy&lankanam in the Tables with tolerable certainty. 

45. The double line of the Chera kings, who are cele- 

brated in ralirruppatlu having come 

The Ohera line: to a close by the previous generation, 

Oheraman Kut- 
tuvan Kodai. the Chora t* who appear in this and 

succeeding generations should stand 
only on the evidence of the four primary works I have 
already referred to. Clieraman Kuttuvan Kodai finds his 
place in this generation by the verse of poet Madalan 
"Maduraikkumaranar in Puram., S. 54. He does not 
call for any special remarks. 

46. Among the chiefs, Nakkirar's verse (Agam., S. 36) 

m.4 * 8 ives us Titi yan II, Elini III, Irungovel 

Oaieis. __ __ 

II and Erumaiyuran, as the opponents of 


Nedunceliyan III at the Talaiyalankanam battle. Of 
these, Titiyan II may be taken as the successor of Atiyan 
of the Pothiyil kingdom and he probably took advantage 
of the confederacy to see whether he could get out of the 
Pandiya yoke. But the independence his 1 predecessor had 
lost could not be won back from so formidable a foe as 
Nedunceliyan III. Talaiyalankanam battle appears to 
have set its final seal on the fate of the once powerful Aayi 
kingdom. Poet Kalladanar's references bring into view 
a number of chieftains. Ambar Kilan Aruvandai (Puram., S. 
385), Poraharrukilan, (Puraw., S. 391), and Pnlli, the chief 
of the Kalvar Iribes in tho Vonkata Hill (Af/am., S. 83), 
may be assigned to this generation. Mankudi Kilar in 
Puraw., S. 396, sings of one Elini Atan of Vattaru and he 
too may belong to this period. One Pittan of Kudirai- 
malai sung by two po^ts, Damodaranar, the physician 
of Uraiyur (Puraw., 8. 170) and Vadama Vannakkan 
Damodaranar (Puraw., S. 172), should find a place here. 
It will be seen hereafter that this Piftan was succeeded in 
the next two generations by Pittan Korran probably his 
son and thereafter by Pittan IT probably his grandson. To 
distinguish Pittan of this generation, the grandfather, 
from Pillan, the grandson, I have designated them as 
Pitman T and Piltan II respectively. 

This generation is internally held together by three 
lateral link-names, viz., Kalladanar, 
Mankudi Kilar and Kovur Kilar; the 
linear-links connecting ii with the next generation being 
also three. The known parental relationship of Mankudi 
Kilar alia* Mankudi Marndan with Marudan Ilanagan 
is one of them. And the remaining two are Alattur Kilar 
and Kdvilr Kilar, whose lives overlap into the next gene- 
ration. Among the chiefs, Pittan being succeeded by 
Pittan Korran and Elini Atan by Atan Elini may also 
supply subsidiary linear-links, if their relationship is 
properly understood and assumed. 




47. How Killi Valavan, the next Ch5la king, was 
related to his predecessor is nowhere 

* tated or oven hinted ' Yet we ma y infer 
tunciya-Kim- from his name for names supply im- 

Vaiavan. portant information of relationship in 

respect of Tamil kings that he was tho son of Nalam-killi 
and grandson of Karikalan the Great, who also was known 
as Pernm-tiru-Mavalavan or Valavan simply without any 
of those adjuncts. In his patronage of poets, Killi Vajavan 
appears to have surpassed all the other kings of 
his lino or even of tho other linos. So many as ten 
poets, of whom Idaikkfidar 1 was one, gathered round 
him and addod to the brilliance of his court. True to his 
descent he proved himself a worthy successor of the great 
Karikalan and carried the war to the gates of Chera's* 
capital city. He is reported to have laid siege to Karuvur 
and reduced the Chora power to insignificance. The con- 
temporary Chera king, ' Chora of the Elephant Look', who 
had already Buffered defeat and imprisonment by the 
Pfindiya victor of Talaiyalankanam, should have been dis- 
possessed of his throne for some time by this great Chola 
rival. An incident throwing a flood of light into the autocra- 
tic ways of these early kings may be mentioned here. This 
great warrior and patron of letters was on the point of 
executing the unoffending children of Malaiyaman, prob- 
ably a descendant of Malaiyaman Tirumudi Kari of the 
fourth generation, when Kovur Kilar, one of the leading 
poets of his court, intervened and by a pathetic appeal 
prevented the great king from blotting his escutcheon by 
such an act. The timely intervention of the poet does 
honour to this day to his great heart as well as to the 
noble profession he belonged to. Further biographical 
details of this king are omitted as they are not pertinent 
to our purpose. 

(1) Vide Appendix VII: Note on Poet Idaikkadar. 


48. The PSndiya line for this period shows' the 

existence of two kings, viz., Nanmaran, 

The Pandiya line: who died at Ilavantikaippalli and 

CD navantikaip- Maran Valudi, who died at Kudakaram. 


Nanmaran. Their relationship with their prede- 

(2) Kudakarattu- cessor the victor of Talaiyalankanam, 
tunciya Maran 

Valudi. cannot be known. Both of them appear to 

have enjoyed the rule and may have 
succeeded to the throne at short intervals. Of these, 
Nanmaran was sung by as many as five poets, Marndan 
Tlanagan, the son of Mfmkndi Kilar of the previous gene- 
ration, celebrating him as well as 1 the other Pfmdiyan who 
died at Kfidakfiram. This is why both these rulers have 
been assigned to one and the same generation. Karikkan- 
nfir TI of Kuvirippattinam. another poet of this generation, 
should be kept distinct from his namesake of the period of 
Karikalan the Great. Due might suggest that these two indi- 
viduals should bo merged into one and shifted to the centre 
of the previous generation so as to allow him to slightly 
overlap the preceding and succeeding generations. But 
such a shifting would leave the poet unconnected with the 
other personages of that generation. Hence T have chosen 
to leave each of these names 1 to the generation to which it 
rightly belongs and thus avoid the confusion which might 
otherwise arise. 

49. The Chera of 'the Elephant look 5 who succeeded 

to the Cher a throne after a series of 
The cmera line: reverses appears to have been sung in 
hi h strai ns by four contemporary 

porai, (alias) Man- poets, Kuruiikoliyur Kilar, Kudalur 
porai. Wa Kilar, Poruntil IlankTranar and Vada- 

ma Vannakka Peruncattanar. Their 
descriptions of their hero must, however, be taken with 
some reserve; for during his time both the Chola 
and Pandiya thrones were occupied by great warriors 
against whom he could not have made any headway. The 
Chera line had already begun to show signs of exhaustion 


and its symptoms and causes need not be gone into at 

50, Among the chiefs of this generation, Cirukudi 

^Kilan, by name Pannan, claims special 
The Chiefg. Mention. The great king K^ Valavan 
himself has composed a stanza in his honour (Puram., 
S. 173). Some four other poets have also glorified him 
in their verses. Pittan Korraii of Kudiraimalai, probably 
a son of Pittan of the previous generation, also comes' in 
hero. Atari Elini, probably a son of Elini Atan of the 
preceding general ion, should bo brought in here according 
to Aiyiir Mndnvanar's verso in Agam.. S. 216. Taman 
Tanrikkon or Tonrikkon was another chief of this 
period. T have given those chieftains 1 as no bettor than 
mere literary names for the present. They will become 
historical only when the geographical position of their 
torritorios becomes definitely fixed. 

This gonoratiori contains tho largest number of link- 

namos, both lateral and linear. The 
Link-names. i 1*11 

Interest connection is supplied by 

(1) Vadama Vannakkan Poruiicnttanar, (2) Marudan 
Tlanfiganar, (3) Mudavaniir of Aiyiir, (4) Mulam 
Kilar of Avur, (5) Nappasalaiyar of Marokkam, and 
(6) Kovur Kila,r; and tho linear-links with the next gene- 
ration by (1) Mulam Kilar of Avfir, (2) Marudan Ilana- 
ganar, (3) Nakklrar, and (4) Tayan Kannanar of 



51. The noxt Chola king was the great Narkilli, who 

celebrated the Rajasuya sacrifice. He 

The ohoia line: seems to bear the namo of his grand- 

Eajasuyam Vetta 

Perunarkiiii. father Nalaim-kilh and may be taken 

as having succeeded to the prosperous* 
empire his father Killi Valavan had consolidated by his 


war and policy. The Chola power must have risen nearly 
to its zenith for this king to have performed the great 
Rajasuya sacrifice, which is generally performed only by 
great conquerors or empire-builders. Avvaiyar, the 
famous poetess, celebrates this sacrifice in a stanza 
(Pur&m., fc>. 367) which has a definite chronological value. 
She blesses therein the kings who attended that function 
and the editor adds the valuable note thflt Ukkira 
Peruvaludi, the conqueror of Kanappereyil, and Oheraman 
Mari Vanko, or Mari Venko or Ma Vanko were the royal 
guests on thai occasion: 

L/eynrtui dS/rswr/L-dS 

The above are the closing lines of her benediction. 
The synchronism conveyed by this poem is strengthened 
by the references of the other pools too. As there is little 
to add about this royal celebrant of the Yaga, 1 shall pass 1 
on to the I^ndiya line. 

o Two Pfmcliya kings appear again in this gene- 

ration. Their relationship with the 

The Pandiya line: Pfu.ldiyans of the previous generaHio'n 

(i) Musiri Mur- [ s nowh.cru slated. So many as five 

n *(2) Ukkira-Peru- poela sing of them ; but absolutely little 

vaiudi, the con- o j; all y genealogical value could be 

queror of Kanap- . 

pereyii. gathered Irom any ol their verses. The 

Pandiya king who tops the column 
appears to have laid seige to Musiri of the Oheras and 
won the praises of two poets, viz., Tayan Kannanar of 
Erukkadu and Nakklrar. Both these poets belong to the 
previous generation loo. This circumstance would require 
this king being taken to the preceding generation. But 


certain other * reasons have guided me to the present 
arrangement. First, the suggested disposition would 
bring about an unnecessary overcrowding of personages 
in one generation. Secondly, the name 'Celiyan', how- 
ever generic it might look, may still be supposed to have 
a specific relation with 'Nedunceliyan' which seems to 
alternate in the Pandiya line till this point in the Tables. 
And thirdly, the poets Nakklrar and Tayan Kannanar, 
though appearing in the eighth generation, should be 
assumed to have lived as well into the ninth. As a matter 
of fact Nakklrar 'H name stands coupled with that of 
another king Clieramuii Ko Kodai Marpan who distinctly 
belongs to the ninth, generation only. Taking all these 
into account 1 deemed it not only expedient but proper 
to keep the * besieger of Musiri' to the ninth, generation. 
1 have not found anything to enable me to identify him 
with any other Pandiyan in the line. 1 considered it safer, 
therefore, to give his name a separate entry till further 
light is thrown oil him by future research. 

Ukkira Peruvaludi, 1 an accomplished poet himself (vide 
his poem, stanza 26 in Agcmaniiru), receives the poetic tri- 
bute of Mulam-kilar of Aiyur (in Puram., S. 21) and Katu- 
van Ik Mallanar (in Narrinai, S. 150). His relentless war 
against Veiikai Murpuii, the chieftain of Kanappereyil, and 
his reduction of tli,at fortress have received the high 
praises of the poets. If this king had any hand in the 
organisation of a Sangam or in patronising uny of the 
collections of the Sanganj works, the contemporary poets 
would have been the first to sing his praises for such an 
honour conferred on letters. Their testimony, on the other 
hand, is sadly 'lacking and hence the Saugam hypothesis 
sh ; ould stand unsupported by contemporary evidence. 

(1) Of the kings who appear in the Hynehronistie Tables, this is the 
onlj ruler whoso name appears in the Sanskrit garb. Very likely it may 
be a translation, done at the time of the redaction of the poems, of the 
Tamil appellative Kay Cilia Vajudi (;7ujr &,w&) which happens to 
figure also in the Sangam legend. 


53. It has been already remarked that the Chera 

king Ma-Venko or MSri-Vanko was 
oue o f the royal guests on the occasion 
Mari-vanko. of the Bajasuya sacrifice of Perunaj- 

!* The name of this khl S is 8tiU 
involved in hopeless obscurity. It only 

shows the imperfections of the manuscripts 1 which have 
transmitted it in all its variant forms. Another Chera king 
by name Ko-K6dai-Marpan is referred to by Nakklrar in 
Agam., S. 346, and by Poigaiyar in Puram., Ss. 48 and 49. 
These two names may refer to the same king; but there is 
nothing to confirm such an identification. I have, there- 
fore, allowed the names to stand separately for the time 
being. It is curious to note that Nakklrar in stanza 
(Agam., S. 346) has taken the trouble to record the glee of 
Ko-K6dai-Marpan over a victory of Palaiyan Maran against 
one Killi-Valavan but has not given us an idea of anything 
else regarding that king. 

54. Quite a large number of chieftains fill this gene- 
The chieftains. ration. V<~nkai-Marpan of Kanappere- 

yil, the opponent of Ukkira-Peruvaludi, and Adiyaman 
Neduman Arid, the great chieftain and patron of Avvai- 
yar, belong to this period. 1 From Anci, Avvaiyar is said to 

(1) 1 have to raise mi import ant point of interpretation as regards a 
particular reference to Paranar decidedly not a contemporary of Avvaiyar 
in one of Avvaiyar's stanzas composed to celebrate Ariel's conquest of 
liovalur. In Puram., S. 99, the following lines occur: 

ar unif-soreer t&pQ&ircsr 
i&( (o&rrsuQjfliT jpjfl&es 
m ,&ifl Giu&fStu 

The commentator of Puran&nKru in explaining the passage says that AT- 
vaiyar actually refers to Anci as having been sung by poet Paranar on the Kdva- 
lur victory. This is no doubt entirely wrong. The commentator has mistaken 

C 20 


have undertaken a sort of political mission to another ruler 
whom the editorial note identifies as Tondaiman. The occa- 
sion of a visit to Tondaiman 's armoury was taken advant- 
age of by Avvaiyar to compose a stanza in praise of the 
war -like qualities of her own chief Anci. We should note 
that the name Tondaiman 2 does not appear for a ruler in 
any of the basic works, though the tribal name Tondaiyar 
occurs. It may have come into use a little later. Perufi- 

an interrogative sentence for an assertive one and has accordingly missed 
to bring out the negative force of Avvaiyar 's question. Following the lead 
of later grammarians, he takes mear in the phrase LD/bQsrreo** an expletive 
and Qsireo as expressing doubt. In early usage, LD&T imported certainty 
and Qsrreo served merely as a question-mark. Whether Q*,Ta> actually implied 
doubt or a positive state of the questioner's mind could be settled only from 
the particular context in which the question occurs. Here the poetess clearly 
wants to convey a negation by her interrogatory. Her statement stands 
thus: "Even now, did Paranar (one of the greatest poets of by-gone days) 
certainly sing of your great victory?" The implication is: 'No, he did not sing 
for he is not now living; but. lesser poets like ourselves have sung about you as 
best as we can, though we can hardly do justice to the greatness of your 
achievement'. Only such an interpretation as this will rationalise the state- 
ment in this stanza. If not, we shall have to hold Avvaiyar and Anci of 
the ninth generation contemporaries of Paranar who lived somewhere between 
the fourth and the fifth generation. One full century separates them accord- 
ing to these Tables and it would be absurd to try to throw these personages 
together on the strength of a misinterpretation of a literary text. For a 
fuller discussion of the use and exact meaning of the particles wesf and Q&IT&) 
vide Appendix Vlll: The Grammarians on the Significance of the Particles 
u>esr and 

(2) As I have elsewhere pointed out about certain tribal names, the 
name Tomlaimiin too appears in a contracted form. The fuller name is 
Tondaiyarmagan, i.e. t one who belongs to the tribe of the Tondaiyar. It was 
extended to denote the ruler also. The derivation of tribal names from 
those of individuals is a favourite method with some writers and all that 
I cau say is that it is utterly against the facts of the history of early 
communities. It took long for individuals to emerge as independent entities 
from the early tribal or family organisations in which they had existed at 
the beginning. That truth is enforced by the history of all ancient 
societies. In utter i'orgetlulnesa of this important truth some writers try 
to trace the name 'Tondaiman' to one Adondai Cakravarti, as if the 
Toi^Laiyar tribes did not exist before the birth of that individual whose histori- 
city remains still to be established 1 Tondaimau was earlier known also as Tirai- 
yan (vide Nakkirar in Agam., S. 340, and Kattur Kijar's son Ka^pantr in 
Again-, 8. 85). Whether this Tondaiman could be identified with 'another 
Tondaiman Ilantiraiyan appearing in the next generation should for the 
present be left unsettled. 


cittiranar (Puram., S. 208) and probably also Nfigaiyfir, 
daughter of Aficil Antai (Agam., 8. 352) sing of Adiyamfin 
Anci. Kandan, who was generally known as Nancil Vallu- 
van, the chieftain of NaScilnadu, receives the mention of 
four poets, Marudan Ilanaganar, Avvaiyar, Orucirai Periya- 
nar and Kanda-Pillai or Kadappillai of Karuvur. This 
poet on ay be the son of Kanda-Pillai Cattanar, a poet of 
the previous generation. Kumanan of Mudira Malai, 
and Ilan-Kumanan, Veliman and Ila-Veliman and Periyan 
of Poraiyaru, Ilan-Kandirakko and Ila-Viccikko crowd 
into this generation. Most of them were sung by Perun- 
cittiranar and Peruntalai Cattanar. The latter poet was 
the sou of Avur Mulam Kilar of the previous generation 
and forms an important linear-link. As I have remarked 
already, these chieftains must remain, for the present, 
more as literary characters than historical. 

The lateral links for this generation are furnished by 

Avvaiyar, Aiyur Mulam Kilar, Uloccanar 
Link-names. ~ 

and Peruncittiranar and the linear 

connection with the next generation is brought about by 
Avvaiyar, Poigaiyar, and Peruntalai Cattanar. We shall 
now pass on to the tenth and last generation in the Tables. 


55. The Chola king of this 1 generation is found 

to be Ko-Cenkannan, "the red-eyed 

The choia line: Chola ", according to the translators' of 

Ko-Oenkannan. . . " _ T , .. , . ... 

his name. He stands connected with 
the previous generation by poet Poigaiyar. This poet, 
tradition assures us, composed a poetical work called 
Kalavali Narpatu, celebrating the victories of this war- 
like hero and at the same time procuring from him the 
release of the Chera king, Cheraman Kanaikkal-Irumporai. 
The prefatory note appended to stanza 74 of Purcmanuru 
by its old commentator does not, however, tally with this 
tradition. Th,e note gives us the additional information 


that the battle between Ko-Cenkannan and the Chera king 
Kanaikkal-Irumporai took place in Tiruppor, probably 
For before referred to, that the Chera king was taken 
prisoner and incarcerated at the fortress of Kudavayil-kot- 
tam and that he chose to die there rather than face the mi- 
sery and humiliation of an imprisoned life. Between a vague 
tradition and a literary text I would prefer the latter for 
authenticity in details. The weakness of traditions, as a 
class, lies in their details. How these vary, from time to 
time and from mouth; to mouth, it is not necessary to 
relate. So, I think we may safely follow the version of the 
story as transmitted to us by the commentator of Pura- 
ndnuru and hold that Kanaikkal Irumporai had to meet 
with his 1 sad end in his captive condition. Whether Kala- 
vali Narpatu did actually lead to the liberation of the 
Chera king or not, the synchronism implied in the tradi- 
tion and openly stated in the note may well be accepted as 
historical truth. 

Kalingattupparani, a later work, in its' poetic account 
of the ancient Chola kings, stops with this king, Ko- 
Cenkannan and we too have to stop with him for the 
present. It will be within the knowledge of our readers 1 
that this last Chola appears in the works of a later period 
and plays the part of a great Saiva devotee and a grand 
builder of fanes to Siva. Many myths gather round his 
name for which readers may be referred to Periya- 

56. I have to leave the Pandiya line blank for this 

generation. It is not on account of 
The Pandiya line. wanf Qf ^^ j n ^ dynagty but for 

want of guidance from link-names. Poets like Cittalai 
Cattanar and Pereyil Muruvalar sing of certain Pandiya 
kings ; but I cannot make use of them for the simple reason 
that none of these shows any relationship with any one 
in the Tables. There is further the Ko-Pei*uncholan 
Arivudai-Namlji Synchronism which too stands apart and 
defies rational inclusion in these Tables, Realising to the 


full how the value of the Tables would be affected by the 
introduction of doubtful names I have refrained from 
filling up the blank of the Pandiya line in this generation. 
Future research, let us hope, will open the way to solve 
the present difficulty. For this, if for no other reason, the 
existence of the difficulty should be definitely acknowledged 
and not glossed over. 

57. Though the fates have not been kind to the 

Chera king Kanaikkal-Irumporai, his 

The ohera line: character, spirit, and high sens'e of 

Kanaikkal-Irum- , , ,-.-., .1 

^ honour stand ennobled by a single poem 

of his included in the Purarianuru 
collection. Rather than leading an abject inglorious life 
in captivity, ho seems to have embraced death by starvation 
the earliest instance of non-violent non-co-operation 
we find recorded in Tamil literature. Poet Poigaiyar 
alludes to him in Narrinai, stanza 18. Judging from the 
surrounding circumstances the great Chera family of 
kings appears to have gone under an eclipse in this gene- 
ration and the thread of their story too seems to break 
just here. And in another two centuries this ancient family 
became thoroughly dismembered. 1 

58. Only two chieftains deserve mention, vis., Elini 

IV or Adiyaman Pokuttelini, the son 
The chiefs. of Ad i yaman Neduman Aiici of the 

previous generation and another, by name Muvan. Poet 
Peruntalai Cattanar in Puram., S. 209, administers a 
gentle rebuke to this latter chieftain for having put off 
giving the presents due lo him. Muvan by a strange 
fatality had also to undergo a singular though painful 
experience. Kanaikkal-Irumporai, the Chera king, seems 
to have fought and humbled him and even went to the 
extent of extracting his teeth, carrying them to his capital 
Tondi and displaying them on his gates as a trophy of 
his victory. This barbarous act must undoubtedly have 
been done under some strong provocatiqn of which noth- 

(1) Vide Sir Walter Elliot's Coins of Southern India, p. 61. 


ing, however, is stated in the poem. Poet Mamulanftr in 
Agam., S. 211, alludes to a much earlier chief Matti of 
Kalar of the second generation in the Tables performing 
the same operation upon an enemy of his, Elini I. 
Perhaps the conditions of that early time were so primitive 
as to permit some to indulge in such personal violence and 
favour others to 'belaud it as a mark of heroism in the 
assailant ! 

One Tondaiman Ilantiraiyan appears here as* the ruler 
of Venkadam. He was sung by Poigaiyar and also is the 
hero of a long poem Perumpanarruppadai by poet Kadi- 
yalur Eudran Kannan II. This poet may be a descendant of 
Eudran-Kannan I of the period of Karikalan the Great. 
As already stated the question arises whether this Ilan- 
tiraiyan was the same individual as the one whom, Avvaiyar 
met in a political mission from Anci. The probabilities are 
against such an identification. 

59. The continuation of the Tables beyond the tenth 
generation becomes impossible for the 
Retrospect and present by the absence of link-names to 
guide us. In the Pandiya line nine 
kings have come into the TaJbles. Three Pandiya rulers 1 , 
Cittiraimadattu-tunciya-Nanmaran, Arivudai-Nambi, and 
Ariyappadai - Kadanta - Nedunceliyan stand out. In 
the Chola line, thirteen kings have been brought 
into the Tables leaving only two rulers Nalluruttiran 
and Ko-Peruncholan for future inclusion, if possible. 
And in the Chera line sixteen Ch,era kings find 
a place in the Tables while only four, Kottampalattu- 
tuneiya-Ch,eraman, Atan-Avini, Cheraman Palai-Padi- 
ya-Perunkadunko, and Cheraman Vatican are left 
out. Thus, on the whole, the Tables have synchronised 
about thirty-eight sovereigns of the three dynasties put 
together as against nine rulers in all yet remaining for 
synchronisation. Evidently these were all later kings. 
There need hardly be any doubt that some at least of them 
might transcend ttye period covered by the Tables and go in- 


to any higher antiquity. The very nature and "Conditions of 
the earliest rulers in each dynasty do not at all permit 
any such arrangement. As for interposing any of them 
into the body of the Tables themselves, that too stands 
ruled out. The chronological frame-work is so inter- 
connected and close-knit that there is hardly any room for 
filling in. These difficulties then only make it too clear 
where to look for in locating the remaining kings relatively 
to these Tables, 




60. Let us take stock of what has been primarily 

accomplished in the foregoing Tables. 

A goodly number of the personages and 

events of ancient Tamil history that have till now been 
hanging together as a close-packed cluster in the distant 
perspective of time have been hereby separated and dis- 
tributed in a chronological frame-work importing their 
natural order of co-existence and succession and extend- 
ing over a period of about two centuries and a half. Dr. 
Vincent Smith wrote: "A sound fraime-work of dynastic 
annals must be provided before the story of Indian religion, 
literature and art can be told aright. ' ' In the application 
of that dictum to South India, these Tables form the first 
serious attempt to present such a * sound frame- work of 
dynastic annals'. It is not too sweeping to say that 
previous efforts in this field have one and all lacked this ini- 
tial and absolutely necessary chronological scheme. Till now 
one would find it extremely difficult to assert with con- 
fidence whether a particular king or poet was or was not 
the contemporary, predecessor or successor of another 
king or poet. But the Tables here presented should 
enable him now to give a tolerably definite and correct 
answer on the point, at least for the earliest period in Tamil 

61. The Ten Generations of kings, chieftains and 
Belativo Chrono- P oets brought into the Tables stand so 

logy of the Gene- interconnected that, in the first place, 
rations tutor so. . * 

their relative chronology at least is 


hereby absolutely fixed. To whatever period of time in the 
world-history these generations may be shifted, they have to 
be shifted as a whole and not in parts. Thus these Tables, 
even if they serve no other purpose, have at least irrever- 
sibly fixed the relationship of ^pteriority and posteriority 
among tlie various individuals and generations appearing 
in them. By no effort, for instance, can one take Nakklrar 
and Avvaiyar to the generations of Paranar and Kapilar; 
nor can this latter couple be made to share the company 
of fcJattantaiyar and Nakkaimaiyar. Even supposing that 
the Synchronistic Tables did not help us in the least in 
fixing the absolute period of time to which their system 
as a whole should be assigned, their guidance in respect 
of the relative chronology of some characters and 
events in Tamil history has a value all their 
own which -can hardly be underrated, especially 
in view oi the chaos in which all their facts stand 
plunged to this day. No doubt, the main purpose 
of this essay is to go into the far more important 
problem of settling the absolute chronology of these Ten 
Generations and seek a satisfactory solution as far as the 
available positive evidences would allow. Be the result 
of that attempt what it may, the compelling character of 
the testimony of the Tables in the more modest field of 
relative chronology cannot in the least be doubted. 

62. In passing on to the question of locating these 
generations in some definite period in 

nofogyTSe'Sene: ^ ^ WC V * at nC6 int the P re ~ 
rations. cincts of a most contested field. I do 

not want to pass in review the attempts 
that have been made till now to settle th.e chronology of 
the "Sangam" works and hence of these generation 
it would take me a good deal off the constructive 
quiry I have proposed for this paper. I may, how 
mention that most of the previous writers ha 
the Cenkuttuvan-Gajabahu Synchronism as 
stone of their chronological structure. Their 
C 21 


can hardly lay claim to any higher validity than what 
could reasonably be attached to the statements of two 
such works as Cilappadikdram and Mahdvamso. How 
historical facts may be twisted and torn out of their set- 
ting under artistic and religious motives alid impulses 
which inspire and dominate the two aforementioned works 

need not be dwelt upon just now. Western scholars have 

hence shown a justifiable hesitation in accepting the 

uncorroborated testimony of these works, which are more- 
over admittedly very late productions for the period we 
are in quest of. The chronology of ancient Tamil litera- 
ture should be raised on more solid foundations than such 
a double layer of quicksand as Cilappadikdram and 
Mahdvamso. Is there then a more promising line of 
approach to the whole question 1 ? 

63. Luckily for us the early Greek and Roman 
writers who have left a record of their 

The Testimony of observations of South India enable us 
the early Greek and 
Eoman writers. to tackle this problem with some hope 

of success. Leaving aside the writers of 
the Pre-Christian centuries I shall confine my attention to 
the following three authors who appeared -close to one 
another at the early centuries after Christ: 

The author of the Periplus . . 70 A.D. 

Pliny .. 77or78A.D. 

Ptolemy .. 140A.D. 

If Taimil chronology is raised on the testimony of 
such writers as these, the haziness and uncertainty which 
envelop it at present should vanish. Western scholars, 
who are disposed to look askance at the statements of 
Cilappadikdram and Malulvamso, could, on no account, 
be tempted to question the veracity of the witnesses who 
have been here cited for examination. The evidence of 
such writers, if any, should carry conviction and compel 
a verdict for its sound historicity. It is true that many 
scholars have before this handled the works of these early 
authors and drawn therefrom much valuable information 


regarding the commercial, social, and political condition^ 
of ancient Tamilagam. But none of them, as far as I can 
remember, has utilized his information for a definite fixa- 
tion of Tamil chronology; and this, I think, was more or 
less due to an omission on their part to bring the relevant 
facts contained in early Tamil literature and those in the 
works of the European writers into a proximity for com- 
parison and to make therefrom the necessary deductions. 
To me a careful reading of these Greek and Roman 
authors has disclosed an unmistakable clue for the fixation 
of Tamil chronology on a definite and satisfactory basis'. 
And it is the conquest of the Aayi country by Pasumpun- 
Pandiyan or Neduficeliyan IT of the Tables. The author 
of the Periplus is definite in his reference to Travancore, 
south of Neleynda, as the Pandiya country, with its capital 
'Modoura' situated far inland from the coast. This was 
about 70 A.I). Ptolem;. , who gives his account about 70 
years later, i.e., about 140 A.D., refers to the same part 
of the country as the 'Aioi country'. Both these facts 
open a new line of approach to settle the vexed question 
of Tamil chronology. 

The reference in the Periplus is plainly inapplicable 
to the period preceding Pasumpan-Pandiyan's* time. 
Neither Ollaiyur-tanta-Putappandiyan, nor his predeces- 
sor, the Pandiyan of Korkai, known as Neduficeliyan I, 
had conquered the kingdom of the Aayi family of rulers. 
Ollaiyur-tanta-Putappandiyan 's reference to Aayi Titiyan 
of Pothiyil as "Pothiyil Selvan", the prosperous 
lord of Pothiyil, shows, as has already been point- 
ed out, that the kings of Pothiyil were inde- 
pendent rulers at that period. Much less is there 
any possibility of ascribing the victory against the Aayi 
king to his predecessor, the Pandiya king of Korkai, who 
could accomplish only the conquest of Kudal and establish 
the Pandiya power there with a very limited dominion in 
the vicinity of that city. Thus then we may safely con- 
chide that, by the time of the Periplus, i.e., 70 A.D., Pasum- 


pun-Pandiyan had effected the conquest of the Aayi 
country. It is natural, therefore, to expect that the Aayi 
country, having gone under the power of the PSndiyans, 
should be known as the Pandiya country ever after that 
conquest or if that period is uncertain, ever after 70 A.D. 
But what do we find in Ptolemy, who comes about 140 
A.D.f He calls middle and south Travancore the Aayi 
country. If this were taken as applying to the time of 
the independent line of the Aayi rulers, as Aayi Andiran, 
Aayi Titiyan and Aayi Atiyan, who appear in the third, 
the fourth and the fifth generation respectively in the 
Tables, the reference in the Periplus should foe taken as 
applying to a period three generations still earlier than 
these. The testimony of ancient Tamil literature does 
not, however, favour su-ch a supposition. Still, the signi- 
ficance of Ptolemy's reference could be brought out in full 
only if we kept it nearer the period of the Aayi's of early 
Tamil literature as much as possible. The more and more 
we move down the centuries, the less and less are the 
chances of Ptolemy's reference becoming applicable to this 
fact of ancient Tamil history. The connection of Ihe name 
of the Aayi kings with the country ruled over by them 
should naturally be expected to disappear as we descend 
from the classical period to modern times. 

The reign of Pasumpun-Pandiyan gives us then the 
upper limit beyond which the reference in the Periplus 
cannot be taken. Even supposing that the author of the 
Periplus pens his account immediately after Pasumpun- 
Pandiyan 's victory, i.^., fixing Periplus to the fifth gene- 
ration, we shall then have to place Ptolemy's account 
somewhere about the eighth generation, Kulamurrattu- 
tunciya-Killi-Valavan period. Though we are perfectly 
free to bring down the reference of the Periplus to still 
later generations, we are precluded from that course by 
the necessity of keeping Ptolemy's account to some period 
quite adjacent to Pasumpun-Pandiyan 's victory. Even 
after this conquest of the Aayi country, its original rulor 


or his descendant could very well have been in possession 
of that territory as a vassal of the Pandiya king. And, 
as a -matter of fact, we find one Titiyan, most probably of 
Pothiyil (the Aayi country), .-joining a confederacy of 
cert ain rulers against Talaiyalankanattu-Ceru-Venra 
Pandiyan and fighting with him for regaining his 
independence. Thus, it is but reasonable to suppose that, 
in the generation immediately succeeding that of the 
Talaiyalankanam victor, the Aayi country would still have 
retained its original name and that Ptolemy did nothing 
else than recording the name that must have persisted in 
the mouth of the people, though in actual fact the country 
had passed under the Pandiya rule by that time. The 
value of this couple of references from the Greek writers 
arises from their joint application to a fact brought out 
in the Synchronistic Tables. Each reference, by itself, is 
incapable of giving ns tiie necessary guidance. But when 
taken together and applied to the Tables, they acquire a 
distinct chronological value. Both, the references should 
be kept very close to the period of Pasumpun-Pandiyan's 
victory, in order that they might lose the edge of their 
soeming contradiction. Consequently, locating the account 
of the PcripluA in the earliest generation in the Tables to 
which one can reasonably carry it, i.e., the fifth generation 
or Uruva-pah-ter-Ilancedcenni period and marking it as 
covering 50 A.D. to 75 A.I)., 1 have assigned the antece- 
dent and subsequent generations 1 to dates calculated from 
the above and embodied the results in a tabular statement 
given in the next page. 


































I- I 


















5 *B 







> 15 

OS .*- 


fe -2 

a ^ 


























The distribution of the Ten Generations for the most 
part to the first two centuries of the Christian era is 
necessary not only because the two references from the 
western writers fit in with the facts of that specific period 
but are also incapable of being brought into relation with 
those of any other century preceding or succeeding it. 
After the victory of the Talaiyalankanam battle, where- 
in Titiyan, in all probability Aayi Titiyan 11 of Pothiyil, 
had fought by the side of the confederates to regain his 
independence, the Pothiyil kingdoim appears to have been 
broken up into petty chieftaincies and bestowed on the 
vassals of the Pandiya overlord. Nedunceliyan III must 
have realised the danger of allowing an extensive kingdom 
like Poth,iyil to be in charge of a single vassal, however 
devoted he might be for the lime being to his sovereign. 
The vassal might at any time throw up his allegiance and 
defy the paramount power. So, Nedunceliyan III, a far- 
sighted statesman that he was, must have parcelled out 
the Pothiyil kingdom amongst a number of chieftains and 
effectively prevented any future rebellion. Vattaru and 
Nancilnadu were portions of this kingdom bestowed on 
Elini Atan and one Valluvan Kandan and these chiefs 
appear in the generations immediately following the Talai- 
yalankanam battle. The dismemberment of the Aayi 
kingdom thus carried out would certainly render Ptolemy's 
reference inapplicable to any century much subsequent to 
that memorable fight. 

64. Some may be inclined to view Ptolemy's reference 
to the Aayi country as merely casual and 

The Aayi Kings hold that that simple fact can scarcely 

and their kingdom. _ _ 

be made to support the vast super- 

structure of Tamil chronology. So completely have the 
Aayi kings vanished out of later Tamil history and, so 
insignificant a part do they play even in the earlier, that 
such doubts are quite possible arid even natural. But a 
careful reading of the early Tamil works and a just appre- 
ciation of the political conditions they disclose will establish 


beyond any reasonable doubt that the Aayis were an 
illustrious and powerful line of rulers of that period and 
that Ptolemy's reference to them was anything but acci- 
dental. In approaching this early period we have to give 
up all our later-day notions regarding the grandeur of the 
three Tamil monarchies, which, 'by subsequent historical 
vicissitudes, happened to till the stage of politics in South 
India to the exclusion of the other powers. We have to 
revise thoroughly our political conceptions imbibed from 
modern Tamil literature and adjust our vision to other 
luminaries in the political firmament of ancient Tamila- 
gam. Then, we shall find, instead of three, five 
major powers exercising sway over the southern- 
hall of Peninsular India in those days. My authority 
for this statement is contained in two of Asoka's 
Edicts iiock Edicts, Nos. II and XIII which enumerate 
the border states of the south, lying beyond Siddhapur, 
in the Chitaldrug District of Mysore, the southernmost 
limit of the Mauryan empire at tiiai time. J The Shahbaz- 
garhi version of Edict X1I1 definitely mentions one Hida 
Jiaja. It is significant to note that all the powers' except 
Hicia Kaja have been given communal names, without the 
mention of the name of any individual king of those com- 
munities. The name * ciatiyaputra \ evidently a later 
Sanskritised formation from 'Satti MakkaP or 'Satti 

(1) Asoka's .Rock Edict II (Tlie Shahbazgarhi version): 

"Everywhere iii the Empire oi' king Priyadarsin, beloved of the Gods, 
as well as among those nations and princes such as the Ghodas, the Paindiyas 
the Satiyaputra, the Koralapulra, Tambapauni, the Youa king, etc." 

Epigraphia Indica, Vol. II, p. 466. 

Rock Edict XIII (The Shahbazgarhi version): 

t( ."and he called Alikasudra further iii the South where the 

Chodas and Paiudas dwell as far as Tambapanni likewise where the Hida 
King dwells. "vEpigiaphia ludica, Vol. II, p. 471. 

The Giruar and Mausehra versions are in a mutilated condition; the 
Kalsi version has 'Hidalaja' ('!' being used for 'r'). The name 'Yona' 
of Edict II is evidently a mislcction for < Hida > of Edict XIII. Between 
Tambapanni and the TSamil States, it is impossible to interpolate a 'Yona 
King'. There is no doubt that the Hida Raja herein referred to was one 
of the remote ancestors of the Aayi kings of Tamil literature. 


MakkaF, stands for a mixed tribe (a northern people mix- 
ing with the forest tribes on the northern confines 
of the Koiigu country) which was occupying Korigu 
and Konkanam, adjoining the Klilmalai range, north 
of the Coimbatoro gap. The Ghat to the south of this 
Pass was known as the Pothiyil mountain and it was in 
the possession of 'Hida' Raja, the king of the shepherds or 
neatherds, the ancestor of the Aayi kings who figure in the 
Tables. Besides these two -mountain or forest kings 
the three Tamil agricultural communities find mention 
in the Mauryan inscriptions. Any detailed treatment of 
the political constitution of those communities is foreign 
to this paper and cannot bo undertaken at pres'ent. 
What Is significant for us to note in Asoka's inscriptions 
is the specific mention of Hicla Rfija. The name 'Hida', 
which to this day stands unidentified, is a northern 
aspirated variant of the Tamil name 'Ida', 'Idaya', 
'Idayar', a synonym of Aayar, which appears in the singu- 
lar form as 'Aayi'. Thus we see the antiquity of the 
Aayi kings, who are mentioned in the early Tamil litera- 
ture, mounts up to 250 B.C., and possibly still earlier. And 
their importance too is vouched for by the honour of a 
separate mention in Asoka's enumeration of the South 
Indian rulers. In the face of this valuable record of 
ancient history, the attempt to belittle the significance of 
Ptolemy's reference to the Aayi country is altogether 
misdirected and also ill-informed. The story of the Aayi 
kings belongs to one of the earliest chapters in Tamil 
history, which remains yet to be written. The 
glories of their rule, and even the fact of their 
having ever existed, have been buried deep under 
the ruins of ancient monarchies which fell to pieces 
before the destructive wars of the Tamil triumvirs. Be- 
search has to patiently dig beneath the later accumula- 
tions for the scattered facts which might enable it to 
piece together in a manner the history of this lost line of 
rulers. In these circumstances, any failure to attach due 
weight to Ptolemy's reference would only prove our 
C 22 


inability to appreciate the political conditions of ancient 
Tamilagam, all on account of the prepossessions engendered 
in us by later literature, or rather by a peculiar interpreta- 
tion of that literature by uncritical and historically- 
obtuse commentators. 

65. -As already stated, three Aayi kings meet us in 

the early Tamil poems, viz., Aayi 
^ . * Andiran, Aayi Titiyan and Aayi Atiyan, 

The Conquest of ' J J 

the Aayi country. who. were independent sovereigns of 

Pothiyil. Another Aayi also, Eyinan, 
appears in the second generation ; but he was a -commander 
of the Choja forces and, may probaJbly have been a member 
of a branch of that ancient family. It was in the 
time of the third ruler Aayi Atiyan 3 that the Pothiyil 
dominion was invaded by Pasumpun-Pandiyan and annexed 2 
to his Kudal kingdom,. Ever after this, the Aayis seem to 
have sunk to the level of PFmdiya feudatories and are 
little heard of. No doubt, the family must have persisted 
to much later times as wo meet with one Karunandadakkan, 
probably an Aayi of the 9th century mentioned in the 
Travancore Archaeological Scries. But the line never 
seems to have regained the independent position it had lost 
by the Pandiya incursion. 

66. Though the fixation of time I have attempted in 

this paper proceeds on the identification 
certain Considera- of an historical fact, still it may be 

logy! te thlS Chron " urged that there is some arbitrari- 
ness in making the date of the Periplus, 

i.e. 9 70 A.D., fall within the generation of Pasumpun- 

A) That Atiyan and Atiyamaii belonged to the shepherd or cowherd 
family of kings is verified by the following entry in p. 141 of Duff's Chro- 
nology of India: "Vishnu Yardhaua was aided in his conquests by Ganga- 
raja of the Ganga family who, by conquering and putting to flight Adiyama 
or Idiyama, a feudatory of the Chola, acquired the Gangavadi province." 
Here "Adiyama" and " Idiyama " evidently stand for Atiyamaii or Atiyar- 
magan and Idayainan or Idayarmagan respectively. This usage of the 
12th century throws additional Jight on the earlier use of the name 'Hida Raja' 
in the Bock Edict XIII of A a oka. 

(2) Vide Appendix IX: Note on the Elephant-marked Coins of 
for the numismatic evidence bearing on this question. 


Pandiyan. Although, the reference in the Periplu$ cannot 
be taken to generations earlier than Pasumpun-Pan$i- 
yan's, there is no reason why it could not be moved still 
lower down. True, it could be moved much lower down 
for many generations or even centuries; but such a pro- 
cedure would necessitate taking Ptolemy's reference still 
further down and rendering it utterly inapplicable to the 
political conditions obtaining then. To be intelligible at 
all, Ptolemy's reference should be held to apply to a 
condition of affairs immediately following Pasumpun- 
Pandiyan's victory. This at least will not brook any 
indefinite shifting as the reference contained in the Peri- 
pltts. Realising that the memory of the Aayi family of 
rulers and their country would have persisted for two or 
three generations even after the Pandiyan 's conquest of 
the Pothiyil country, I have located Ptolemy in the 8th 
generation in the Tables. Although absolute precision 
has not been obtained in the fixation of time, proceeding as 
it does on such considerations, the error, if arfy there be, 
would scarcely be more than a generation or two at the 
highest. Allowing for that margin of error, we can safely 
as'sert that thie lower end of the Tables will hardly admit 
of being shifted below 250 A.D. That must be the utmost 
lower limit beyond which, the Ten Generations cannot be 
taken. By this arrangement a full century would inter- 
vene between Talaiyalaiikanattu Pandiyan 's time and 
Ptolemy and a century and three-fourths between Pasum- 
pun-Pandiyan and Ptolemy. Surely, it is almost impossible 
that a people would cherish the memory of the Aayi kings 
for more than a century from the final smashing of that 
power in the Talaiyalankanam battle and the sundering 
of its dominions into many petty chieftaincies. Even 
under this readjusted arrangement, where the utmost 
allowance has been made for any possible error, the ten 
generations would stand distributed between 1 A.D. and 250 
A.D. This, however, only establishes the value of the 
standard herein adopted for the determination of time 


and its, resistance to any very great variation. Though it 
has not given us the absolute period, it has placed within 
our reach the very nearest approximation to it. 

67. It behoves us then to explore the writings of 

these early foreign authors a little more 
dence tonat ry ***" closely and ascertain whether they 

contain facts which will fortify the 
conclusion above set forth. 

As the Synchronistic Tables comprise exactly the 
period wh.-en the three Tamil monarchies 
entered on a, war-path for the extension 
of their dominions, the political picture presented by the 
Greek writers will doubtless be invaluable as affording 
important independent evidence on the matter. The Peri- 
plus gives Naura and Tyndis as the first ports of Damirica. 
Schoff identities Nauru with Cannanore, probably because 
Dr. Vincent Smith iixed Chandragiri River as the northern- 
most limit f of Damirica. We have already referred to Yule's 
identification of this place (vidv p. 137) as Man galore, a 
coast town in the South Caiiara District, north of the river 
Charidragiri. According to this latter identification, and 
assuming that the city Naravu (^n&i) mentioned in Patir- 
ruppattu (85) "@_,r n>p<$&r m**Ki*G$(p>****" refers to the 
same, one can easily see that the Ohera dominions had 
extended up to that place by the time of the Periplus. From 
the Tables we see that the northern extension of the Ch.era 
country along the coast began with Neduncberalfttan's time, 
i.e., about 25 A.D. Within two generations from this period 
the Cheras had even penetrated the Tulu country to the 
north. Thus the reference of the Periplus would not be 
applicable to .any generations anterior to these. Turn- 
ing to Ptolemy we find him interposing the country of the 
'Batois' between the Pandiyan territory and the Chdla 
kingdom. These 'Batois' were the forest tribes, who still 
resisted the Tamil kings. The Eleyil (or Seven Forts) 
overthrown by the Chola king Nalaiikilli and the Kanap- 
pereyil subdued by Ukkirapperuvaludi refer to the fort- 


resses in the occupation of the Naga tribes of that time. 
Within two or three generations from Nalankilli's period 
these forest chiefs should have been politically swept out 
of existence. Accordingly, the reference by Ptolemy will 
not hold good for generations later than Ukkiraperu- 
valudi's. Take again Ptolemy 's description of the Choi a 
country. He refers to the 'Paralia of the Soretai' as a 
political division. 'Paralia' was the coast country of the 
Cholas then known as 'NeytalankanaP (Q^^JW/B/ST <*>). 
After one or two generations from Nalankilli's period this 
political district, as a separate province, must have dis- 
appeared from the Chdla domains and must have 
been wholly incorporated in them. Ptolemy makes 
distinct mention of the territory of the 'Arouarnori' 
(Arvarnoi), i.e., the Aruvalar tribes of the Arcot region. 
Though Karikalan the Great effected the final conquest and 
colonisation of this region, the Tamil race and the forest 
tribes could hardly be soon fused. They farmed .two 
distinct strata of the then existing society and Ptolemy's 
description exactly hits off that social condition. In the 
space of a few generations from that period, the distinc- 
tions would have disappeared and society would have 
presented a more homogeneous aspect. This also shows 
that Ptolemy's account would become quite inapplicable 
if wo took it down to later generations. From this hasty 
retrospect of the political and social conditions we find 
thai the references of these Greek writers give us' an 
upper arid a lower limit beyond which we cannot take the 
facts testified to by these early poems. Moreover, the 
Synchronistic Tables refer to th.e conquest of Karuvur and 
of Kudal (Madura), and these should have been carried out 
even before the time of the Periplus and Pliny, *>., 70 to 77 
A.D. Ptolemy's inclusion of 'Magour' and 'Kannara' 
among the inland cities of the 'Paralia of the Soretai' 
sho\vs that before 140 A.D., these cities had been annexed 
to the Chola territory. These cities which have probably 
since disappeared or have changed their names may be 


identified with Mogur of Palaiyan and Kaluanalam, 
conquered by Karikalan I 1 in the second and third 
generations as the Tables would show. 

Let us consider another striking episode narrated in 
Patirruppattu. Neduncheralatan is reported to have 
imprisoned a number of Yavanas and subjected them to 
peculiar indignities. Certainly that Chera king did not 
sail all the way to Greece to achieve this victory. The 
reference of the Periplus to Byzanteion a colony of "the 
Byzantine Greeks said to have been in existence then on 
the West Coast makes the account of the Tamil poet 
intelligible to us. After this signal defeat the colony 
appears to have dwindled down and gone out of existence. 
This has led many of the commentators of the Periplus to 
deny the existence of the Greek colony and question even 
the accuracy of the testimony of the Periplus on this point ! 

All these isolated political facts contained in the early 
European writers when brought into relation with those 
of the Tables raise chronological presumptions of a 
positive and definite value for our purpose. 

68. Turning to a comparison of the geographical 

facts of these writers and of the early 
(b) Geographical. 

Tamil documents we find that they 

exhibit a striking parallelism of great significance. In 
the almost general fury with which the older Tamil names 
of countries, cities, rivers, and mountains in the south have 
been ruthlessly replaced by names of Sanskrit origin, in 
later periods of Tamil history, the writings of these Greek 
authors seem to come from a different world and, what is 
more important and valuable for our purpose, tally 
exactly with the earlier works of Tamil literature in their 

(1) The following lines of Poet Kudavayil Kirattanar refer to the 
conquest of K*i}unialam by Karikalan I: 


Agam., 8. 44. 

Karikalan 1, otherwise known as Perumpun Ceuni, should certainly then 
precede Ptolemy. 


geographical nomenclature. 1 On this point at least the 
Sangam works, on which the Tables are based, stand more 
closely related to the works of the European writers of 
the first and second centuries A.D., than to the Tamil 
works of the religious epoch. For instance, toy the lapse 
of centuries these later works, though belonging to one 
and the same country as the early poems, are distinctly 
thrown into a separate stratum of literature altogether; 
but, on the other hand, the Greek writings we have here 
taken up for consideration and the basic works of the 
Tables, separated as they are by the locale and nationality 
of their authors, yet exhibit a similitude in their topo- 
nomy which strongly favours the presumption of their 
identical age. Sanskritists, who seem to be on familiar 
ground when identifying North Indian names, have felt 
themselves wholly at sea in the identification of the geo- 
graphical names of ancient Tamilagam. Early Tamil 
literature, which alone contains the key of interpretation 
of ancient South Indian names, being a sealed book to 
them, they have been sometimes led into fantastic and even 
ludicrous errors of identification. The name 'Aioi' is 
derived from *Ahi' the serpent, and 'Nelcynda' of the Peri- 
plus, according to Fabricius, is Nllakanla! Homophony 
thus simplifies most of their identification of names in the 
Tamil country. Taking the name 'Ariaca' of the Peri plus 
Mr. W. H. Schoff writes: "This word in the text is very 

(1) How a systematic attempt at wholesale 1 renaming was made, not 
by the people, of course, but by the litlcralcurir, could be seen from instances 
like the following which tell their oun la It-. 'Arkkadu' becomes '9ada- 
ranyam'; ' Pennaiyaru ' turns into 'Pinakini'; 'Palaru' is replaced by 
'Chiriiu'; 'Uraiyur' takes on the pompous title 'Urngapuram'; '121ilmalai' 
had to pass through the stages of two mistranslations, 'Sapta Sailam' and 
the 'Bat Mountain' springing from Mount D'Ely; ' Paramkunru ' near Madura 
was ousted by 'Skanda Girl', which in the Muhammadan times had to struggle 
with 'Sikander Malai'. Such curiosities deserve a separate handling but 
what is worthy of remark in this connection is that, in course of time, the 
original Tamil names, which had to hide their diminished heads before their 
more dignified competitors, had also to allow these latter to leap over them 
in point of time. The ingrained tendency of some Sanskritists to trace 
Tamil names to Sanskrit originals has introduced the greatest confusion in 
the chronology of Early Tamil History. 


uncertain. Lassen thinks that the name is properly the 
Sanskrit Latiea (pronounced Larica) and included the 
land on both sides of the gulf of Cambay". Other deriva- 
tions too have been suggested as Bastrika and Aparantika. 
If these writers had carefully noted the use of the same 
name by Ptolemy in th^ forms 'Ariake Sadinon' and 
'Ariake of the Pirates', 1 they could easily have made out 
that it referred to the country later on known as the 
Maharashtra, then ruled over by the Satakarni kings of 
the Andhra dynasty. Ariaca stood for Arya-agam, the 
country of the Aryans, as Damirica denoted Tamil-agam, 
th,e country of the Tamils. These were the names of the 
two divisions of Peninsular India at that time. To the 
Tamils of that early period 'Aryan' 2 was the name of the 
people who inhabited the northern part of the Peninsula 
immediately adjoining their own country. The phrase 
1 4jflw* o/ewriffi' occurring in such works as Potirruppattu 
should be interpreted as the victory of certain Tamil 
kings won against the Aryan rulers of the early Andhra 
dynasty in the south and not the Aryans at the Gangetic 
basin as the author of Cilappadikaram represented 
it later on. Dr. Burnell identified Cottanara of the Peri- 
plus as Kolattunadu and Drs. Buchanan and Caldwell as 
Kadatta Nadu. Mr. K. P. P. Menon goes still further and 
creates one Kodunadu. But ancient Tamil literature gives 
the exact equivalent of this name as Kuttanadu 2 which 

(1) Those pirates were none otlier than the Kadamba tribes appearing 
hi Tamil literature as the Kadambu against which the early Chera kings had 
to wage war to put down their depredations. We understand that 
during Pliny's time there was piracy in the west coast; but by the time of 
Ptolemy it had been more- or less suppressed. The credit of this achievement 
goes to the successors of the Ohera King Neduiicheralatan. His son and 
immediate successor, "Kadal-pirakkottiya-Vel-Kelu Kutfuvan, i.e., the Chora king 
who defeated and drove back the sen-faring Kadambu tribes, began this war- 
faro between 50 and 75 A.I)., and by the time of Ptolemy, the Chera power 
must have securely pushed its way into the South Canara District and so 
established itself there as to render any piratical pursuit impossible under its 
settled rule. 

(2) Vide Appendix X: Note on the Aryas and 'Vadapulam'. 

(3) Kuttanadu was the earliest seat, of the Government of the Chera 
sovereigns, giving rise to the name 'Ku^uvan' for that line of kings. From 


still persists in popular usage in Central Travancore. 
Having identified the Pyrrhon of the Periplus as the 
"Red Bluffs " of Varkalai, it is surprising that Mr. W. H. 
Schoff should take the first place in Paralia, Balita, also 
as Varkalai. Balita is 'Veliyam', the older and non- 
nasalized form of Vilinfiam with the locative suffix 
attu 1 added to it. 'Veliyattu' occurring in the early Tamil 
poems has been changed into * Balita'. Compare the line 

** fi)//763T 6)1 T LAI I6N QeV'tJlflll t< <$ SOI 631 Gib 

Agam., S. 359. 

This Veliyam becomes Viliniiam later on and Pto- 
lemy's 'Elangkon' is the same name with the initial weak 
medial letter <v' dropped. Mr. Schoff identifies 'Sopatma' 
as Sii-patana (fair town) and opines that it. must be 
Madras; while a student of Tamil would see in it So- 
pattinam, a fortified town also known as Eyil-pattinam, 
the sea-port of Nalliyakkodan. The 'Malanga' of Ptolemy 
is certainly the Mavilankai of Tamil literature, at the 
mouth of the Palar river, the scat of the Mamallapuram 
rock-cut temples of later days. Some scholars have shifted 
this site to the mouth of the river North Pennar and Cun- 
ningham moves it stil! further north to the mouth of the 
Godavari! These mis-identifications, I am aware, do not at 
all reflect on the scholarship of the writers cited. But how 
can even these great scholars accomplish the impossible? 
The ancient Tamil names must remain a riddle to Sanskri- 
tists as is too well and too clearly established by their 
experiments in reading them for purposes' of identification. 

this original seat they seem to liavc moved north along the coast and 
east into Cochin and the Kongu country in a career of conquest. 

(1) This is what Dr. Burnell writes in a like instance. ' ' Hiouen-Thsang 
(iii., pp. 105-110) calls the small kingdom that he visited ' 'An-ta-lo ' 
(Andhra) and the capital 'Ping-K'i-lo'. It appears to me that this is in- 
tended for Vengi; the 'lo' being merely the locative suffix' lo' of the 
Telugu nouns, naturally mistaken by the worthy Chinese pilgrim monk for 
a part of the word. So the Portuguese called Calayam-Chaliatta, using 
the inflected form of the name. South Indian Palaeography, foot-note in 
p. 16. 



Even more than the parallelisms in the mention of 

place-names in the works we are just now comparing, the 

parallelisms in omission possess a decisive chronological 

value. The writings of the early Greeks and the 'Sangam' 

poems do not make mention of any such towns as Calicut, 

Cochin, Quilon, Trivandrum, Tinnevelly, Rameswaram, 

Tanjore, Chidambaram, and Conjeevaram, for the simple 

reason that they were all non-existent then. On the other 

hand, the great towns mentioned by both have now vanished 

out of existence : Tondi, Karuvur, Korkai, Kavirippattinam, 

and Sopai tiiiam for instance. These two sets of facts prove 

that the writings we are now comparing belong to an 

identical age. If they do not establish an absolute syn-. 

chronisra, thxjy must at least be taken as coming very close 


Another significant fact also deserves mention here. 
Just as early Tamil Literature throws considerable light 
on somo of the Greek writings of that period, these writ- 
ings also serve to illuminate certain dark places in Tamil 
Literature. I have already referred to the early form of 
the name TTraiyiir as TTraltur of Ptolemy, which gives us 
the original of TTranlai, appearing frequently in th,e early 
poems. I shall -full another foil of valuable information 
from Ptolemy and wind up my remarks under this 
head. Aimong the early Tamil poets the name of one 
Macattanar or Macaltiyar of Okkur occurs. The manu- 
scripts contained two readings of the place-name as Okkur 
and Ekkur. The editor, as lie had no other guidance in 
the matter, had to choose Okkuv ( ^^^ f ' { ) as the correct 
reading and inserted it in his text, relegating 'Ekkur' to 
the unimportance of a foot-note. But we now understand 
that Ekkur is the correct form, for 'Eikour' is 
found included among the inland cities of the 
'Paralia of the Soretai' given by Ptolemy. Thus 
these two sets of writings are mutually helpful in 
illuminating certain dark corners in the history of ancient 
Tamilagam. It need not be imagined that in spite of this 


helpfulness the writings might go into different centuries 
possibly adjacent to one another. If any slight anteriority 
could be claimed for any one set of these documents, it 
should be in favour of the Tamil works which form the basis 
of the Synchronistic Tables. These bring to light, in the 
clearest manner possible, the conquest of Uraiyur, of 
Karuvur and of KudaL the thiree capit'al towns of the 
Tamil sovereigns, in three different generations. The 
writings of the author of the Feriplus, and those of Pliny 
and Ptolemy givo us a picture of the Tamil kingdoms as 1 
already possessing ihose capital cities and hence they 
conclusively establish thai some at least of these poems 
go back to a period somewhat anterior to 70 A.D. In the 
face of evidence as incontrovertible as this, what value 
can we attach to the findings of those scholars who try to 
bring down the date of these poems to the 4thi or the 5th 
or even the 7th or the LSth century A.D.? 

69. Another line of confirmatory evidence may be 

(c) commercial. drawn from the brisk trade that was 

going on between Tamilagam and 

Rome iii the first two centuries of the Christian era. This 
commerce began on a considerable scale only after 45 AJX, 
the date when Hippalus made the important discovery 
that without facing the tediousness of a coasting voyage 
the Malabar coast could be reached in a short time by a 
direct sea-route with the help of the South-West Monsoon 
Wind. This foreign trade continued till the Alexandrian 
massacre perpetrated by Caracalla about 215 AD. The hey- 
day of the Indian-Roman trade thus falls within the first 
two centuries of the Christian era. Both early European 
writers and early Tamil Literature testify to this unpre- 
cedented commercial intercourse. The pages of PJiny 
are filled with denunciations of the luxury and wasteful 
extravagance of the Romans of his day. "Luxury", he 
wrote, "arose at last to such a pitch that a chaplet was 
held in no esteem at all if it did not consist entirely of 
leaves sewn together with the needle. More recently 


again they have been imported from India, or from 
nations' beyond the countries of India. But it is looked 
as the most refined of all, to present chaplets made of 
nard leaves, or else of silk of many colours steeped in un- 
guents. Such is the pitch to which the luxuriousness 1 of 
our women has at last arrived" (Pliny XXL 8). Tacitus 
in his Avmals reproduces a letter from the emperor, Tibe- 
rius, to the Roman Senate protesting against th,e mad ex- 
travagance. It runs: "If a reform is in truth intended, 
where must it begin? And how am I to restore the simpli- 
city of ancient times ? How shall we reform the taste 

for dress? How are we to deal with the peculiar articles 
of feminine vanity, and in particular with that rage for 
jewels and precious trinkets, which drains the Empire of 
its 4 wealth, and sends in exchange for the baubles, the 
money of the commonwealth to foreign nations, arid even 
to the enemies of Rome?" (Annals iii, 53). In his edition 
of the Periplus of the. Erythraean Sea, Mr. W. H. Schoff 
writes thus of the pepper trade alone: "The trade in pep- 
per in the time of the Roman Empire brought the merchants 
unheard-of profits just as it did later the Genoese and 
Venetians. It was one of th,e most important articles of 
commerce between India and Rome, supplying perhaps 
three-quarters of the total bulk of the average west-bound 
cargo". This picture of the west tallies exactly with that 
remarkable commercial activity in Tamilagam depicted 
for us in the early poems. 

* * 

Vgj &rlQtuir(8 

Agam., 8. 149. 

pit 8urp fipp& 
B(&J& IT u uffuiSp 

Agam., 3. 152. 


Agam. y 8. 227. 

These extracts from the primary poems unfold the com- 
mercial activity of ancient Tamilagam only incidentally. 

The excerpts from Pattuppattu contain however a 
more detailed account. Pattiuappalai, one of the poems 
in that collection composed in honour of Karikalan the 
Great, contains a graphic picture and a few lines from it, 
just to give an idea, may be extracted here : 

Q Uf rf8p& ............ " (11. 119-135) 

* * * 

i (11. 173-175) 

ifttS/Tufiu LjrreBu_)iw 


O Q U fT GOT fjp m 


iB asreBflu utu 

u> QurfJiuaj QnsjRiLi effmif- 

J Kaampfa tDjuOor" (11. 185-193) 
Maduralkkanci, another poem in that collection which 
celebrates the victor of the Talaiyalankanam battle, contains 
the following on the trade activities of that period: 

LMT i$-iL) p 

sfL- 6*\iu/rQ&irf[)jD6U (11. 75-88) 
* * * 


Gp L/FflQtu.r 

Spuu" (H. 321-324) 

75flLJ UfTUJU 

QuiLJ/1 j$6$jb 

." (11. 536-543) 

Certainly these are contemporary descriptions of the 
commercial life of the Tamils of th^at period. A compa- 


rison of these two sets of writings places the conclusion 
of their identical age beyond any doubt. If the western 
trade came to a sudden close by the Alexandrian massacre 
of 215 A.D., only to be revived a little at the end of the 
fifth, century during the time of Zeno, the commercial acti- 
vity described in the Sangam works should necessarily 
be ascribed to a period preceding the beginning of the 
third century A.D. By this line of evidence too the chro- 
nological determination here attempted is confirmed in a 
most satisfactory manner. 

70. This foreign trade of the South led to an inflow 
(d) Numismatic. ol> Roman coinage into Tamilagam. 

Large fields of aureus and denarius 
were discovered in such places as Pollaeci, Vellalur, Karu- 
vur, Kalayamuttur, Kannamlr, Madura and other places. 
These Eoman coins are the existing symbols of the 
amount of pepper, pearls, beryl, and other articles export- 
ed by the Tamil countries dining the first two centuries 
of the Christian era. We are told that so great was the 
depletion of the Roman treasury 1 that, in course of time, 
the later Roman emperors not possessing the military 
genius of their predecessors for conquest and plunder and 
the later Roman people not being addicted to any indus- 
trial pursuit to replenish their riches, it brought- about a 
depreciation of currency. However adversely it. may have 
affected Rome, the Tamil land was literally basking then 
in the sunshine of commercial prosperity. This large find 
of Roman imperial coins could not have come into the 
Tamil country after the third century A.D. If one were 
still to assume that this money flowed into the land after 
the third or the fourth century, I have to urge that apart 
from the stoppage of the western trade due to the Alex- 

(1) On this subject Mr. W. H. Sehoff writes as follows in p. 219 of Ms 
Periplus: The drain of specie from Rome to the East has already been re- 
ferred to under section 49 and is bitterly condemned by Pliny. "The 
subject," he says, (VI. 26), "is one well worthy of notice, seeing that in no 
year docs India drain us of less than 550,000,000 sesterces giving back 
her own wares which are sold among us at fully 100 times their first cost." 


andrian massacre and to the decadence of the Roman 
power, the later political and social conditions of Tamila- 
gam also render that hypothesis altogether unthinkable. 
Passing over the Sangam works, the only witnesses for the 
sea-borne trade of that period, we are struck by the 
universal and absolute silence of the mediaeval and later 
Tamil literature about this foreign commercial activity. 
This, in itself, is an eloquent testimony that the 
time for the influx of the Roman coins is earlier than 
the third century A.D. The reference to the coins of 
Emperor Claudius in the following notes by Prof. E. J. 
Rapson appearing in p. 162 of his Ancient IinHa, only 
confirms this view. He writes: "Evidence of trade with 
Rome is afforded by the numerous Roman coins which 
have been discovered in various districts of Southern 
India. Among them has been found the gold piece which 
was struck by the Emperor Claudius (41-54 A.D.) to 
commemorate the conquest of Britain. Further evidence 
of the trade between Southern India and the West is 
supplied by words. Our pepper comes to us from the Tamil 
pippaU through the Greek peperi." Mr. W. H. Schoff sum- 
marizes his study of South Indian Coinage thus: 
"The coins of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero are 
numerous. There are very few of Vespasian and Titus 
anywhere in India. Those of Domitian, Nerva, Trajan 
and Hadrian are frequent; then there comes another break 
lasting until the time of Commodus." To facilitate a 
comparison of the time of the Roman and Tamil rulers of 
the period I append a tabular statement in the next page. 




lo o 





: : 





. , . 

. . 

. . . 


. , 

1 : ; 

I!* 1 








Agustus Caesar 

IH 3 !-< 

i! 1 

So C 






Antoninus Pius 

Marcus Aureli 
Lucius Verus 
Marcus Aurelius 

Septimius Severn 

(Alexandrian ^ 
from which 
trade began 



Rpg R 





1 33 







vO 50 I'* 

00 OS OS 


00 rH 

rH rH 


r< w 




1 T w2 1 

1 1 1 

1 1 1 


1 I 

1 1 





p P '5 * P 






R P 



-ii 4 % u m < 







*t* 1 O 'H 

^ or OS 




iH O> 




rH CC ^-' ^ 

1^00 OS 



rH rt 





3 ' 

3- : 




0} ' 



To "So 


CH jj 



-M fl 







2 * 








Karikalan t 

Oedcenni Na 


I s 




R R 








a rt 










1 1 






R R 















rt S 










C 24 


The preceding Table shows that, even before the Alex- 
andrian massacre loomed on the horizon, the Roman trade 
had begun to flag in the Indian waters from about the middle 
of the second century A.D. The period of Karikalan the 
Great also shows a visible depression and one may trace 
it not only to the troubles at Rome but also to the inces- 
sant military preoccupations of that great conqueror. Still, 
we shall not be justified in concluding that the commer- 
cial activities of his period came completely to a stand- 
still. Numismatic evidence too, as far as it goes, brings 
Tamilagam into intimate relation with Rome during the 
first two centuries of the Christian era and strengthens 
the chronological fixation otherwise arrived at. 

In fine, we find all the lines of evidence, Poli- 
tical, Geographical, Commercial and Numismatic, con- 
verging to establish the correctness of the allqcation 
of the Ten Generations between 50 B.C. and 200 A.D., 
with of course a narrow margin for any possible 
error on either side. The nature and drift of these 
confirmatory evidences, together with the impossibility of 
an alternative re-adjuslment of the references of the Peri- 
plus, Pliny and Ptolemy in their application to the Tables, 
will certainly not favour any material variation in the chro- 
nological distribution of the generations herein made. No 
doubt, the arrangement falls short of the ideal of absolute 
certitude ; but in matters of ancient history would any one 
demand it? It can be cherished only as a limit for our 
patient and laborious approximation. 

71. I am aware that the result thus far attained in 
fixing the chronology of the early 
Tamil sovereigns' and poets will 
please neither the party which laun- 
ches into a very high antiquity and fabulises everything 
connected with the start of Tamil literary history nor that 
other group of scholars who are ever engaged in bring- 
ing down the age of the so-called Sangam works to quite 
modern times. These, too, create fables of their own to 


modernise, if possible, this ancient stratum of Tamil lite- 
rature. From the very beginning of this inquiry the 
ideal has been steadily kept in view to carefully avoid fall- 
ing into the attitude of either of these schools of investi- 
gation. The Tables will show how the instreaming evi- 
dence has been meekly followed instead of my attempting 
to tutor it for establishing a pre-oonceived theory of my 

Before those who try to take these early 'Sangam* 
works far too high into the pre-Christian centuries, I have 
to place such considerations as the following. It can 
hardly be denied that though this body of literature bears 
a faint impress of the contact of Aryan Hinduism, it is not 
without marks of heterodox systems of religious thought. 
Jainism and Buddhism might bo supposed to have come 
into Tamilagam at about the middle of the third century 
B.C. Accordingly, this particular body of literature can- 
not be taken beyond 250 B.C. The Synchronistic Tables, 
it will bo noted, starts with 50 B.C. Now in order to meet 
the demands of these scholars, if we try to shift the ten 
generations to the two centuries and a half preceding the 
Christian era, keeping, of course, the references of the 
Periplns and of Ptolemy to their present respective points 
of time, would it be possible to bring these references to 
any intelligible relation with the facts of Tamil History? 
Ptolemy's reference to the Aayi country would stand 
separated from the Piindiyaii annexation of that territory 
by nearly three centuries. The proposed shifting would 
thus arouse more historical difficulties than it would solve. 

Against those who try to bring down the date of the 
'Sangam' works nearer the fifth century A.D., or there- 
abouts, stand the many presumptions that arise from the 
linguistic and literary development of Tamil as well as 
the considerations due to the primitive social, religious 
and political conditions the early works testify to. The 
comparative absence of Sanskrit in their vocabulary, their 
peculiar grammatical forms, their distinctive style of versifi- 


cation and subject-matter, their enigmatic names and ex- 
pressions and the change in the meaning of many of their 
words, their freedom from literary conventions, reli- 
gious motive and mythic overgrowth, mark these works 
out as belonging to a much anterior stratum in the growth 
of Tamil Language and Literature. The absence of a 
developed caste system, the practice of cattle-lifting and the 
burial of the dead under stone-mounds and in urns and 
a system of primitive religion without the worship of most 
of the gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon, all 
tell their own tale of an antiquity that could not be 
effectively brought into connection with the complicated 
social and religious conditions of later times. The politi- 
cal system reflected in this literature was entirely untouched 
by the Pallava rule whose characteristic influences began to 
permeate Tamilagam from the fifth or the sixth century 
onwards for a considerable time. Dr. S. Krishnaswami 
Aiyangar, in some of his writings, has called special at- 
tention to the pre-Pallava character of this literature and 
has stoutly and very justly opposed the fantastic 
attempts of some at postdating these early Tamil works. 

Turning to the history of literary development in the 
Tamil land, we find important intervening landmarks be- 
tween the early period and the modern. Let us start with 
the beginning of the seventh century, the age of Tirugna- 
nasambanda, one of the definitely settled periods' in Tamil 
History. In moving back to antiquity we have to find 
a place for such a work as CilappadikaroMt and possibly 
also for Manimekalai. 1 Then we should move still higher 

(1) In a correct view Manimf'lsalai should be considered a much later 
work than Cilappadikaraiii. It is little else than a pale imitation of the latter. 
It arose us a complementary work to Cilapitadikaram exactly as in later times 
the V tiara R<WMya f nam of Vanidtinan cnnie 1o supplement Kamban's great epic. 
The connection of the subject and stories is indeed too strong in those instances 
to permit popular fancy and even learned but uncritical opinion to keep the 
original works and their sickly, lifeless, 'rule of thumb' imitations apart, 
with duo appreciation of the stretch of time which should intervene and 
separate them. In the case of ManimekaM, the cffacement of the time-gap 
was rendered wonderfully easy by a gross misidentification of two authors. 
The author of Manimdkalai was one Kulavanikan Cat tan, Cattan, the grain- 


up for the Ethical Period which should spread over at least 
one or two centuries, locating Kural and Tolkappiyam at 
about this time. We have also to find room for the develop- 
ment of such Naturalistic works as Ainkurunuru, Kdlittogai 
and such portions of the Pattuppdttn as are not covered by 
the Synchronistic Tables. Do not all these stages of literary 
growth require at the least four centuries the period 
which now separates the age of the Synchronistic Tables' 
from that of Tirugnfmasambanda? If anything, the period 
is only too short for the variety and complexity of the 
literary phenomena which one has perforce to locate in it. 

Such considerations as the above which favour a high 
antiquity but still do not permit us to go very far in that 
cl5rection cannot affect in the least the testimony of the 
positive historic evidences by which the chronology of the 
early Tamils has been settled in tins paper. They are, 
however, urged here solely to bespeak a frame of mind in 
some scholars for a dispassionate weighing and valuation 
of the evidence offered and settling a much-contested ques- 
tion of great importance to Tamil Hislory. 

72. The fixation of chronology, T have herein tried 

Previous Attempts. to arrive at, is after all not quite 

new. As generally happens with most truths, this truth 

too has been adumbrated in a number of works of pre- 

uiorchaiit. And aimmg tlio 8angam group of pools, a poet under the name 
Cittalai (Til fan, C&tfan of 'the village Cittalai, appears to have lived and com- 
posed some poems which arc included in certain of the 'Ettuttokai' collec- 
tions. These two poets were two distinct individuals belonging to two differ- 
ent ages separated in all probability by about five centuries or so. 
And yet we find the editor of Manimekalai, at one stroke of his 
pen, trying to annihilate the distance of time by giving in the title-page of 
that work, the author's name as 'Kiilavanikan Cittalai C&ttan*. I have 
not yet been able to alight on this particular individual in any of the early 
works, commentators' stories apart. They give us Cittalai Cattan and Kiila- 
vanikan Cattan, but nowhere in them do we come across the mixed individual 
1 Kulavanikan Cittalai Cattan'. I call the special attention of the reader 
to this flagrant misidcntification simply because it has badly dislocated the 
chronology of ancient Tamil literature and has apparently misled scholars 
like Dr. S. Krishnaswamy Aiyangar to fight a pitched but, I think, a losing 
battle for Manimclcalai being at least taken to the Sangam age, if not included 
in the Sangam collections. 


vious scholars. Dr. Vincent Smith, writes in p. 457 of his 
Early History "The Early Tamil poetical literature, dat- 
ing according to competent expert opinion, from the first 
three centuries of the Christian Era, gives a vivid picture 
of the state of society of that period." Evidently the 
historian in penning this line had in his mind the pioneer 
work of the late Mr. Kanakasabhai Pillai and the writ- 
ings of Dr. 8. Krishnaswami Aiyangar. Whatever one 
may urge regarding the valuation by these scholars of 
early Tamil Literature in detail, there is little doubt that 
the conclusions of the first writer in respect of the age of 
the Sangam works are approximately and broadly correct 
and fairly enough accordant with the facts of early 
Tamil History. 1 am glad that my conclusion 
generally coincides with his, though I have opened 
and trodden a new path altogether. The present 
essay would, T hope, rescue Tamil Chronology from 
the vagueness and uncertainties which have clustered 
round it by the inveterate practice of certain 
scholars of using such poems as Cilappadikaram, Mani- 
wdkalai and Mahavamso as mines of unquestionable his- 
torical information. Hereafter at least, I trust, one can 
talk of Tamil Chronology as historically determined with- 
out the fear of being heckled on the fantastic imaginative 
constructions of poets like Ilango Adigal and Kulavanikan 
Cattan and on the interested fabrications of a monkish 
chronicler like the author of the Malwramso. 



73. We have now to glance back and ascertain to 

what extent the Synchronistic Tables 
have contributed to our knowledge of 
ancient Tamil history. Till now one could not talk of the 
history of the Tamils without laying oneself open to 
challenge and hostile criticism. The facts of ancient 
Tamil history, enshrined in the early poems and set in a 
highly artificial grouping, wore not quarried systematic- 
ally, nor sifted and arranged chronologically so as to enable 
readers to get a clear, consecutive and intelligible account 
of a past riot so much forgotten as muddled. 

74. But now the various facts of language and litera- 

ture, of social life arid thought, of 
noiog^ elatlVe Cllr0 " political vicissitudes and wars of ambi- 
tion, have been thrown into such a 
framework of Relative Chronology (hat we are in a posi- 
tion to know something about the succession of the Ten 
Generations comprised in the Tables. At least for two 
centuries and a half these Tables furnish a time-chart, 
which will enable us to interrelate the events in their true 
order of historical succession. Poets like Kalattalaiyar 
and Mudamosiyar, Paranar and Kapilar, Nakklrar and 
Marudan Ilanagan will stand hereafter in different gene- 
rations and not thrown together and considered as contem- 
poraries. Likewise, kings like Tittan and Veliyan, Uruva- 
pah-ter-Ilancecicenni and Karikalan the Great, Rajasuyam 
Vetta Perunarkilli and Ko Cehkannan should hence- 
forward occupy distinct niches in ancient Chdla history 
and there will hardly be any justification for consigning 
them all to a nondescript class of almost shadowy kings of 
a shadowy past. 


.75. In addition to throwing light on the relative time 
of the generations herein treated, the 

Ollr0 " Tables have enabled us to make a 
significant comparison between some of 
their facts and those recorded in the works of certain 
early Greek and Eoman writers and deduce therefrom the 
absolute chronology of the Generations. Both the main 
evidence of the Tables and the accessory evidences which 
gather round it establish, in the clearest manner, that the 
distribution of the Ten Generations should lie between 
50 B.C. and 200 A.D., as their highly probable extreme 
limits on either side. This arrangement is solely the result of 
the valuation of the intrinsic evidences available in the early 
works. It happens also that the extreme errors of the two 
types of investigators hereinbefore indicated have been 
avoided and one can hereafter hope to assert with some 
confidence that the dating of the early Tamil poems has 
arrived at almost a satisfactory, if not, a final stage. 

76. The Tables furnish the most authentic informa- 
tion about the founding of the three 
<iii) The Estab- capitals, Uraiyur, Karuvur and Kudal. 

lishment of the r ' ~ J ' 

Tamil Kingships in Th.e conquest and occupation of these 

their respective ... ,. .,, . ., . , ,, n . 

capitals. cities lie within the period of the first 

three generations, i.e., between 50 B.C. 
and 25 A.D. Are we to conclude from this that the Tamils 
did not play a prominent part in the history of culture and 
civilization before that time? By no means can we per- 
form that jump. The life of a nation is not coterminous 
with its politics, much less with that type of it called the 
monarchical. In all probability, the earliest form of Tamil 
rule, of which we are afforded some glimpses 1 here and 
there in this literature, was a sort of communal republic 
wherein each adult male member of the community had a 
voice in the direction of public affairs. Although we discover 
the Pandiya and the Chera rulers as full-fledged kings, the 
origin of the Chola line of sovereigns throws considerable 
light on the primitive communal republics. The people 


seem to have existed as village communities under the 
direction of Kilars or the village elders. The eldest 
member of the family had the direction of affairs in his 
hands', assisted of course by tho village assembly peri- 
odically convoked. The term 'Kilamai' means right of 
possession. This abstract concept is undoubtedly a later 
growth and should have denoted at first the right of the 
village elders or Kilavar. In course of time, the village 
communities grew in number and size and then they held 
together as a union or confederacy of a number of such 
communities presided over by a Vel, Ko or king. This 
Vel or Ko had a number of Kilars under him each repre- 
senting a village. Though the Kilars and Vols were the 
executive heads and presidents of their respective village 
assemblies and confederacies, their powers were probably 
very limited in peace time by the authority of the general 
assemblies of the 1 villages. This type of political organisa- 
tion was wholly the result of the peaceful and settled condi- 
tion of an agricultural community, organised for peaceful 
pursuits. It is to these early types of communal republics 
that, the Asoka's odict refers. No name of an individual king 
is therein mentioned in the south, as in the case of the 
western sovereigns. They are called the Cholas, the Palayas, 
the Keralaputras and the Satiyaputras, all communal names 
beyond doubt. It would be highly unhis'torical to read the 
type of princely autocracies evolved later on in the Tamil 
land into the early conditions of the third century B.C. 
All that is intended to be conveyed here is that the Tamil 
autocracies depicted in these works were certainly pre- 
ceded by another type of political organisation which was 
peculiarly republican and Dravidian in its character. By 
the time of the generations comprised in the 
Tables the old organisation had well-nigh lost its 
original vigour and a process of dissolution had 
set in. For territorial expansion the peaceful agri- 
cultural communities seem to have placed themselves 
under leaders of military genius, who later on turned 


into autocrats, pure and simple, and robbed the communities 
of their original rights and powers. In short, independ- 
ence was the heavy price the communities had to pay, for 
the doubtful advantage of new territorial acquisitions. 
This is the picture we get from the earliest references 
bearing on the Chola rule. 

Turning to the periods succeeding the Ten Generations 
of the Tables, we find in each line about half-a-dozen, 
more or less, of sovereigns still remaining to be assigned 
their proper place in history. All these obviously belong 
to later generations. Their combined reigns, con- 
sistently with the calculation of the time of the 
generations we have herein followed, may extend 
perhaps to century or a century and a 
half at the highest. Thai takes us to 350 A.D., exactly the 
period when the Pallava power got itself lodged in Kanci- 
puram. All the Tamil kings suddenly go under an eclipse 
and the poets of the period had to sing of other themes 
than th,eir patrons' glories, presumably for want of the 
old type of patrons. The kings, no doubt, must have been 
there holding court; but one can justly infer from the 
lack of literary record that they should have been shorn 
of much of the power and prestige enjoyed by their early 
ancestors. Although much is not known about the 
Kalabhra interregnum, 1 the dark period of Tamil history, 
it is highly probable th,at it marked the first incursion of 
a border race from the north into the Tamil states. The 
hypothesis th,at this movement was only a fore-runner of 
the general Pallava invasion which later on swept through 
the land can scarcely be considered an extra- 
vagant one. . Whatever be the subsequent history 
of the Tamil country, the Tables have to close 
with Ko-Cenkannan. And between him and Tiru- 
gnanasambanda, four centuries intervene, centuries 
whose gloom is lighted up neither by the early poems nor by 

(1) Vide Appendix XI for the Numismatic evidence bearing on this 



later epigraphs. The late Prof. P. Snndaram Pillai in his 
Aye of Tirugnana-sawbanda expressed the hope that this 
period could be approached with profit from the other 
side the Ko-Cenkannan period. 1 The approach does 
not, however, seem anywise promising; still future research, 
let us hope, will let in some gleams into this dark and 
irretrievably blank period. 

77. The Tables throw into clear relief the fact that 
the Tamil monarchies, with no very 
(iv) The Ruin of considerable territories at the begiu- 
i"K **** to prey upon their neigh- 
bouring chieftaincies and in course of 
time developed themselves into extensive kingdoms. In 
the space of five generations from the third, most of the 
tribal chieftaincies scattered throughout tlio southern half of 
the Peninsula wrc cither annexed or made tributary states. 
As we move down the times \vo find the independent chief- 
tains -being replaced by others who owned fealty and mili- 
tary service to the paramount powers, and also by the com- 
manders of royal armies and other officers in the regular 
employ of those rulers. Titles like Enadi and Kavidi were 
first brought into vogue from the time of Karikalan the 
Great onwards and were conferred on officers distin- 
guished for their service either civil or military. In lieu 
of a regular salary these officers h,eld feudal estates in 

(1) Prof. Snndaram Pillai embodied Ms considered opinions on this 
point in the following paragraphs: 

"We have already pointed out that Sanibandha frequently refers to 
the famous Choja prince Ko Chenganuan, the hero of the classical war-song 
Kalarali. On one occasion, he speaks of n temple of Vaigal, a village near 
Kumbaconam, as having been constructed by Ko Chcngannan in former 
days. Clearly then Sambandhu must have lived a considerable time after 
this temple-building red-eyed Choja. But when did this rod-eyed Ghola live? 
The question opens a field of inquiry as wide as the whole range of classics 
in Tamil a sphere obviously more beset with historical difficulties than that 
of the sacred Saiva literature with which we have been hitherto concerned. 

The further we proceed into antiquity, the darker naturally become! 
the view around; and it is well, for more than one reason, to leave this part 
of our subject to be taken, up on a future occasion, for an independent and 
separate handling which the range and importance of those ancient classic! 
would otherwise also demand." 


their possession and became petty rulers under their 
respective sovereigns. We meet with such chiefs as 
Arkkattu Kilar, Karuvur Kilar, Ollaiyur Kilar, after the 
conquest of Arkkadu, Kartivur, and Ollaiyur by the Tamil 
kings. Th,e invariable policy of these kings' was thus to 
create new types of chiefs and to bestow on them a part 
of their fresh conquests for occasional military service. 

78. The Tables further disclose that to the kings who 

preceded Karikalau the Great, the 
of ( Aiatio" 8 Aryan rite of performing Yagas 

was utterly unknown. Karikalan and 
his contemporary Palsalai Mudukudumi Peruvaludi 
were the first sovereigns who had recourse to this new 
method of glorifying their conquests and securing the 
favour of the Gods. Ever since that time Aryan Hinduism 
and its priesthood began to enjoy some sort of royal 
favour and patronage, which grew with the growth of time 
and came to be rooted in the land. Still it would not be 
true to say that Aryanism had got a strong hold on the 
people at the time we just now treat of. That event should 
stand over till we reach the Religious epoch which synchro- 
nises with the Pallava occupation of Kfuicipuram and the 
overlording of the ^Pamil kingdoms by that power from 
the fifth or the sixth century onwards. 

79. The Tables establish in the most convincing 

manner that the so-called * third SanganT 

(vi) The legendary was a figment of imagination of the 
nature of the . 

Sangam story. commentator ot Iraiywiar Agapporul. 

Many scholars till now have shown a 
partiality for holding that at least this 1 third Sangam 
should have some historical basis, however mythical the 
preceding two Sangams may be. 1 But the truth, as is 
conveyed by the Tables, is that this much-vaunted third 
Sangam too is an imaginary creation and should share 
the fate of its predecessors. That Tiruvalluvamalai, con- 

(1) Vide Appendix XII: Prof. W. P. Clifford on the Authority of 


taining the complimentary stanzas about Rural by the 
forty-nine poets of the third Academy, is a barefaced 
forgery is an easy deduction from the facts brought out 
and arranged in the Tables. Poets who lived in different 
generations have been thrown together and made 
to sit in one assembly. Nariveruttalaiyfir, Todittalai 
Viluttandhmr, Kapilar, Paranar, Mosi Kiranar, Kallfi- 
danar, Karikkaimanar of Kiivirippattinam, Nakkirar, 
Damodaranar, the Physician, Arisil Kilar, Maiiku^i 
Marudanar and Kovur Kilar appear in different 
generations in the Tables and all these have been 
jnmbled together and made contemporaries. To render 
it still worse, much later poets than these, as Mamulanar 
and Ciltalai Cattanar, have also been brought in to form 
the third Academy ! And what is even more startling than 
this is the inclusion of Perundevanar, the author of the first 
Tamil Bliiiratam, and poet who sang 1 the invocatory stanzas 
for most of the Sangam collections of poems, so as to 
allow him to play his part in this somewhat incon- 
gruous Academy! Discrepancies between the Tiruvalluva- 
mdlai account 1 and the version of the Agapporul com- 
mentator apart, the story of the third Sangam is in itself, 
as has been pointed out already, a clear fabrication in 
many of i(s details. It is true that the author or authors of 
the Sangam legend did not wholly spin out an imaginary 
tale with imaginary characters created for the occasion. 
They seem to have utilized the names of certain historic 
personages of a past time and constructed a pure legend 
from which the time-element was wholly expunged and 
characters belonging to different ages brought in as 
members of one literary body. The grain of historical 
truth contained in the account of the Academy lies in the 
historicity of the individual poets brought into it and not 
in the fact of the Sangam itself as such. These accounts 
then are little better than historical romances, which 
should never be confounded with histories proper. One 

(1) Vide Appendix XIII: Note on TiruvalluvamAlai. 


side of educated opinion till now has been viewing this 
Sangam story with some sort of suspicion but it could not 
successfully assail the many a priori arguments, too dearly 
loved and too confidently urged by the many upholders of 
the Academy in this controversy. Hereafter at least a 
priori arguments will be found to be of little avail against 
the positive facts disclosed by the Tables which disprove 
in the most convincing manner the historicity of the third 

80. The Tables further establish that the redaction 

of the Sangam works attributed to the 
(vtt) Lateness of patronage of different kings was all a 
s.^ **" latcr manipulation with the names of 
Ihe earlier sovereigns for heightening 
the antiquity and authority of the various collections. Leav- 
ing out of account Puraw, whose redactor and patron 
are not known, Agtinattftnt stands to the credit of 
TJkkirapperuvaludi, Narrinai to Pannaclu-tanta-Pandiyan 
and Kiiruntogai to Purikko. Of these, the first two appear 
in the Tables separated from each other by about four 
generations. Purikko must be a later sovereign than 
these. Separated as these kings were by many genera- 
tions, how could one and the same classification based on 
the number of lines in a verse, for instance, be considered 
as having been effected by a number of patrons living 
centuries apart? Internal evidence of the collections 
themselves militates against any such supposition. This 
will be evidenced from the valuation of the different works 
of the Sangam literature in the light of the facts embodied 
in the Tables. And to this I shall now pass on. 

81. The Tables .make it abundantly clear that the 

various works called in the lump 'the 

(viii) Light Third Sangam Literature' belong to 

SterSure. n Sangam four or five centuries at the lowest and 

have been the result of the unwonted 

literary activity which marked off that period from the 


succeeding. They were composed by different poets, and 
on various occasions and with various motives. To judge 
correctly each of these works it is absolutely necessary to 
restore each to its correct historical milieu. Throwing 
them together into one promiscuous heap without any 
regard for the time of their composition and arranging 
them merely on grounds of prosody or rhetoric are 
certainly not the correct method to facilitate any historical 
handling of thorn. T have to acknowledge with sorrow 
that the popular veneration in which such collections are 
held to this day 1ms only delayed the chronological 
arrangement of their contents arid the preparation of a 
scientific history on their well-ascertained basis. 

82. Taking the 'Eight Collections', the Tables show 
that two of Uiom are assignable to a 

(a) -Ettutokar or lator P criod > vi ~> Kaliltogai and Part- 
the Bight Collections, ptidal. Of the four basic works, Aga- 
nan-urn is said to 'have been collected 
under the patronage of the Pfmdiya king Ukkirapperu- 
valudi of the ninth generation. If this were so, how could 
this collection contain the poems of numerous poets of 
later times, viz., Mamulanfir, KottampjUattu-tunciya- 
Oheraman, Pandiyan Arivudai Nambi, Perunkadunko, the 
singer of 'Palai', Ilankaduiikd, the singer of * Mam tarn', 
and Cittalai Cattanar f Turning to Narri/aai, collected during 
the time of Pannadn-tanta-Pamliyan of the fifth genera- 
tion, we find the same interpolation of later poems into 
that work also. The same is the case with Ainkurunuru 
ascribed to the Cheran of 'the elephant look' of the eighth 
generation. These instances arc sufficient to prove that the 
collections, as a matter of fact, were not done during the 
reigns to which they now stand ascribed, but were the 
result of a much later enterprise. The question of fixing 
definitely the time of the redaction does not, however, arise 
in this connection. The positive testimony of the Tables 
is against supposing these kings as being the patrons of 
these collections, which according to the uncorroborated 


testimony of tradition now stand in their names. Patir rwp- 
pattu seems to fall in line with the Tables, though some 
of its poets do not appear to have any organic relation 
with the personages of the latter. 

83. As regards the Ten Idylls, the Tables offer the 

most interesting fund of information. 

(b) 'PattuppattiTor Long and sustained compositions on 

the Ten Idylls. get t h emeg fj rgl come i nto vogue in the 

reign of Karikalan the Great. The 
poems included in this -collection certainly belong to 
different generations' and are a slow growth of centuries. 
Most of them have sprung from thSree roots, viz., Poru- 
nar&rruppadai, Pattinappdlai and Muttaippdttu. These 
earliest pieces formed the models on which the later seven 
do seem to have been composed. Of the latter, three come 
within the period of th,e Tables and the remaining four, 
falling outside. I shall for greater clearness append in the 
next page a -chart of, descent of the various poems in this 
collection based on the facts of the Tables as well as on the 
internal testimony of language and thought of the poems 




I. Poruna) 

'drruppadm by pod MiulattamakkaiiTiiyar 
re Karikalan thu CJrtai. 


11. Patina Malai b} poet llnittirau Kannanar 
ic Karikalan the Great. 


111. MuHaippattu by poet Nappudanar 

(probably of the same period). 

"o 1. 




IV. Maduraildaiici by 
poc't Mfuikmli Marndaii 

* 00 

re Talaiyalai'ikanattu- 
Ceru- Vonra -Paii diyan. 





V. Nedunalvadai by poet Nak- 


kirar re, Talaiyalaftkanaitu- 

II t 





VI. Pcruvipanarrupiwlai by pool ITrutiirau 
Kannanar II. JY> Tnjif].iini:iii 






VII. drupanar ruppadai by poet Nallur 
"Nattattanar re Nalliyakkodau. 












VIII. Malaipalukaddm by poet Peruiikousikanar 

re Nannau, son of Namian. 






f IX. KurinoippSfpL 

X. Tirumurugdrruppadai. 
(ascribed to Is'akklrar.) (ascribed to Kapilar.) 



I shall now proceed to explain the scheme given in a 
graphic manner in the preceding page. MaduraikMnci of 
Mankudi Marudan is modelled upon Pattinappdlai and 
belongs to the seventh generation ; Nedunalvadai is an off- 
shoot of the root Mullaippdttu and belongs to the eighth; 
and Perumpdndrruppadai 1 is the direct descendant of 
Powmardrruppadai and comes in the tenth and last genera- 
tion included in the Tables. Thus we see that the three 
fundamental works of Karikalan's time served as models 
for later poets, who composed three other works within the 
period of the Tables. The form and make-up of Porunarar- 
ruppadai and Perumpdndrruppadai led to further imitations 
like Cirupdndrruppadai and Malaipatukaddm. So eight 
poems on the whole seem to have come into existence in 
process of time and they are all genuine pieces sung by 
different poets in honour of different patrons. But, in all 
probability, at the time of the redaction two more poems 
were composed and added to bring up the total to ten it may 
be, or to serve such motives as the religious, the literary, etc. 
I have the strongest suspicion about the genuineness of the 
two remaining Idylls, Kurincippdttu and Tirumurugdrrup- 
padai. These seem to be decidedly later compositions 
done at the time of the redaction and assigned to certain 
earlier poets, whose very names would have been held as 
carrying weight with the people. In short, I consider these 
two pieces as little short of forgeries committed and father- 
ed upon two of the foremost Sangam celebrities. Kapilar 
and Nakkirar must have been dead long before these poems 
were composed and circulated in their names. Or if these be 
taken as the productions of Kapilar and Nakkirar, we have 
no other way than to conclude that these authors must 
undoubtedly be different individuals going under the same 
names as the earlier poets. In view of the inveterate 
tendency of certain later writers to produce and foist 

(1) This work may have been known merely as Panarruppafai, before 
the composition of another Panarruppadai after its pattern. The collector 
of the poems must have, at the time of the redaction, added the adjectives 
peru and Ciw to the titles of the two pieces to distinguish them. 


their works on some well-known ancient personages, I am 
inclined to hold this 'Kapilar' and this 'Nakkirar' more 
as pen-names than real. I have arrived at this conclusion 
mainly on linguistic grounds though historical considera- 
tions too are not wanting. Taking Kurwrippattu it has 
this significant line: 

Here the word 'jy^co 1 is evidently used in the 
modern sense of the privities. But the challenge may be 
confidently entered whether any one could point out a 
single instance in the ancient poets where the word has 
this {Specialised meaning. Wherever the ancient poets use 
that word they denote by it the entire hip below the waist. 
Accordingly this specialised later meaning stamps Kutincip- 
paitu as a very late product separated by some centuries 
from the period of the earlier stratum of the 'Sangam* 
poems. Turning to Tirumurugarruppadai, that also 
contains a tell-tale line : 

Here '^srorc.&o' is used in the later sense, 'a cock'; 
whereas the Sangam poets invariably use this word as 
denoting an unidentified almost mythical bird with a human- 
like head frequenting burial grounds and other waste 
places. No doubt, in this instance the commentator exer- 
cises his ingenuity to save the antiquity of the composi- 
tion by reading the word with the sandhi as 'mandalai'. 
That this is however wasted ingenuity can be easily under- 
stood from the poet's many references to the cock-ensign 
of God Muruga's flag in other parts of the same poem 
(vide lines 38, 210-11, 219). Again, both Kurincippattu 
(line 228) and Timmurygarruppadai (line 115) use the 
word 'jj^LLS^e/in a sense quite unknown to the early poets, 
who invariably denote by it, the noise issuing from 
two bodies sounding either alternately or simultane- 
ously. This specific meaning expressive of the origin of 


the word faded away in the course of a few centuries and 
by the time of the two works we are now discussing the word 
had been generalised to mean all manner of sounds with- 
out distinction. Taking the early poets, not one of them, 
as far as I can see, has used ' gi/riL/^ 1 in the sense of 
merely 'epSppe*, thus depriving it of its radical signifi- 
cance. The history of this little word is enough to determine 
once for all the late age to which these two poems should 
be ascribed. Then again, the very name 'Tirumurugar- 
ruppadai' and the peculiar change in the linguistic usage 
it exhibits argue also for the very late growth of that 
poem. 1 A comparative study of the significance of words 
used in these poems also leads me to confirm the conclusion 
above set forth. A more detailed presentation of the argu- 
ments is however not called for in this place. 

84. There is absolutely no way of bringing the 

Tables into connection with any of the 

Didactt^woi* 1 !! 11 * 6611 P ems comprised in the eighteen works of 

the Didactic group. However, tradition is 

strong on the point that Kural marks the fall of the curtain 

on the Sangam stage. Since all the kings, who appear in 

the basic works, have not been brought into the Tables, we 

may take it that Kural would fitly come in after the lapse of 

nearly one or two centuries from the close of the period we 

, have here treated of. For Tolkappiyam also, it is difficult to 

find a place in these Tables. Though much weight cannot be 

attached to negative testimony arising from the absence 

of reference, yet in the case of two such works' of first-rate 

importance as Kural and Tolkappiyam and of two such 

authors of a high order of genius as Tiruvalluvar and 

Tolkappiyar, it is unthinkable that had they existed in 

these ten generations they would have been left alone in 

inglorious 1 isolation. The kings themselves would have 

courted their favour and sought to patronise them by every 

means in their power. So in the special case of two such 

(1) For a detailed discussion, vide Appendix XIV: Note on the name 
' Tirumurugarrnppadai '. 


authors, the negative testimony has a significance which 
can scarcely be overlooked. 1 The twin epics Cilappadi- 
Jtarcm, and Mawdmelcalai are of course much, later works 
and need not be discussed here. 

85. If the four works on which the Tables are 

based are the earliest products 

(ix) A peep into of the Tamil Mus'o and are assignable 

tion^Tamii Litera- to the first two centuries of the Christian 

tnre and Learning. erft> it would bo interesting to raise the 

question whether this literature had any fore-runner 
in a body of works in tho pre-Christian centuries 
or sprang into existence all at once, without any 
previous preparation. The works, that have been here 
utilised, show a wealth of grammatical apparatus and 
literary technique, which stamp them as the finished pro- 
ducts' of a long-continued literary culture. One has to 
assume that these presuppose an antecedent condition of 
literary activity in the Tamil land. Such an activity must 
also have been preceded by a linguistic stage in which 
writing should have been introduced for other purposes 
than literary. The balance of opinion among scholars is 
in favour of the view that it was the Dravidian merchants 
who first brought writing into India. Dr. Rhys Davids, 
in his work 'BnddMst India', pp. 116-117, formulates 
the following propositions as a working hypothesis as 
regards this important question: 

"1. Sea-going merchants availing themselves of 
the monsoons were in the habit, at the beginning of the 
seventh (and perhaps at the end of the eighth century B.C.), 
of trading from ports on the south-west coast of India 
(Sovira at first, afterwards Supparaka and Bharnkaccha) 
to Babylon, then a great mercantile emporium. 

"2. These merchants were mostly Dravidians, not 
Aryans. Such Indian names of the goods imported as 
were adopted in the west (Solomon's Ivory, Apes, and 

(1) Vide Appendix XV: The Age of Tolkappiyam. 


Peacocks for instance, and the word "rice") were adap- 
tations not of Sanskrit or Pali but of Tamil words. 

"3. These merchants there became acquainted with 
an alphabetic writing derived from that first invented and 
used by the whole white pre-Semitic race now called 

"4. That alphabet had previously been carried by 
wandering Semitic tribes from Babylon to the West, both 
north-west and south-west. Some of the particular letters 
learnt by the Indian merchants are closely allied to letters 
found on inscriptions recorded by those Semitic tribes, 
and also on Babylonian weights, both of a date somewhat 
earlier than the time when the Indians made their trading 

"5. After the merchants brought this script to 
India, it gradually became enlarged and adapted to suit 
the special requirements of the Indian learned and collo- 
quial dialects. Nearly a thousand years afterwards the 
thus adapted alphabet became known as the Brahmi Lipi, 
the sublime writing. What name it bore in the interval 
for instance, in Asoka 's time is not known. From it, all 
the alphabets now used in India, Burma, Siam and Ceylon 
have been gradually evolved." 

In the face of facts justifying propositions 1 like these, 
thje attempt to derive the literary culture of the 
early Tamils, from the North, is a hopeless one. 
The tendency of western scholars is to ascribe the 
rise of this culture in Tamilagam to the efforts 
of the first missionaries of Jainism and Buddhism 
to the South. This whole hypothesis is built on 
an impossible supposition. It, in short, demands' the 
taking place of a sort of miracle. Granting, for argument's 
sake, that the Tamils were an unlettered race with a 
language not at all cultivated and developed into an 
efficient instrument of thought, is it possible, one might 
ask, that such a race and such a language could, all at 


once, by the arrival of a few foreign scholars, be taken 
out of the old rut and placed on the high-road of pro- 
gress? The utmost period that could intervene between 
the arrival of these missionaries, assuming it as a his- 
torical fact for the present, and the period of these Tables 
is barely two centuries. Is it possible then that in that 
short space of time there had occurred the miracle of 
transforming an uncultivated language into a powerful 
and at the same time a beautiful medium of literary 
expression and of reclaiming a nation in a semi-barbarous 
condition to the ranks of civilization and culture? Such 
a supposition is too preposterous to be seriously put 
forward. The only other hypothesis consonant with the 
facts of early Tamil culture is to consider that it was an 
indigenous product with distinctive, perhaps even peculiar, 
features of its own. The comparatively greater antiquity 
of the Aryan civilisation of the North should not pre- 
dispose us to deny a fairly high, antiquity to the culture 
of the Dravidian race in the South. I make this modest 
demand on the strength of the literary evidence alone. If, 
however, we transcend literary and linguistic evidences to 
higher periods undeniably testified to by the archaeological 
finds as of Mohcnjo Daro and Harappa, Dravidian culture, 
we are given to understand, shoots up to a still more 
hoary antiquity than even the Vedic. if, then, a long period 
of literary cultivation of Tamil existed in pre-Christian 
centuries, how is it that we have not received any evidence 
of it? The perishable nature? of Use writing materials 
alone in a hot climate as in the South must be held answer- 
able for this paucity of early literary testimony. The 
early Tamils did not certainly take to inscribing on stones 
or clay tablets, as the Babylonians did. That, above all, 
should be held as the main reason why literary memorials 1 

(1) Aproiw the alphabets current in South India, Dr. Burnell inserts a 
very significant lout-note in p 130 of his Smith Indian Palaeography. He 
writes: "Comparing the Tolugu-Cauarese alphabets with the Tamil it ia, 
then, impossible to suppose that the last is the work of Sanskrit grammarians ' 
for had they been the authors of it, it would have been far more perfect and 



of ancient Tamil culture have not survived to the present 
day. As for the positive evidence bearing on the existence 
of palm-leaf writing in the Tamil country during the period 
of the Synchronistic Tables, 1 shall here transcribe a few 
verses from Agamnuru, by an early poet, Marudan Ilana- 
gan, who lived in the eighth generation. The poet therein 
refers to the practice of exchanging letter-scrolls 
between different members of the mercantile community 
and borrows from it a striking simile to illustrate a rather 
frightful sight. The lines are: 



And their translation: 'The stone-cumbered path wherein 
the red-eared eagle would drop fearfully the entrails of the 
fierce warriors, who had died in severe battle, drawing them 
out (in long trails) just as the merchants, after examining 
and breaking open the seal, would extract their palm-leaf 
(missives) from within the (earthen) pot with sides pro- 
tected by coir-nettings'. This certainly must remove the 
last vestige of doubt about the prevalence of writing in the 

would have shown signs of adaptation which arc 1 wanting in it. Add to this 
that the Tamil let t era- ] 1 and r aro totally distinct from the Telugu-Cauaresc 
corresponding letters and n superfluous and the amount of proof that the Vatte- 
luttu is of independent origin and not derived from the Bouth Asokau character 
appears to bo conclusive". Considering the very late introduction into South 
India ol the present Tamil Alphabet] the mongrel Tamil -Grrautha char- 
acter one can confidently assert that the Tamil literature coming about the 
first centuries of the Christian era must have been preserved only in the 
VailiMuttu script, iu the light of Dr. Rhya David's views, it is highly prob- 
able that Vatteluttu, with all its imperfections and characteristic features, 
may be nearer to the period of the introduction of the alphabet into South, 
India than even the South Asokan Alphabet which bears marks of complete 
development in its orthographic system. The late Mr. T. A. Gopinatha -Rao, 
however, made a futile attempt (vide Travancore Awltacological Series, Vol. 
I, p. U83) to controvert Dr. Burnell and derive the Vafteluttu script from 
the Brahnii. His pcrionnance, to say the least, is jejune and unconvincing 
and makes one feel why the writer should have strayed from Iconography 
into Palaeography to so little purpose. 


Tamil country at that early time. Western Sanskrists now 
trace the word lipi (letter) to the Achaemenidean dipi 
(edict) 1 and oppose the ascription of the origin of the 
alphabet to Indian sources on the ground, of the absence of 
any system of picture-writing in India. Though Sanskrit, 
in spite of the antiquity of its literature cannot furnish this 
evidence, Tamil takes us to a much anterior stage by the 
possession of a native word ehitlu (sT<igp&) from efatu 
which means to paint as well as io write according to the 
context. Whether a system of picture-writing was ever 
actually followed by the ancestors of the Tamils or not, 
there can be little doubt that this word itself is a relic of a 
long-forgotten fact, the filiation of writing with picture 
and with no other art. This word then takes us to a period 
immeasurably anterior to any the existing literature can 
possibly reach. Leaving that apart, these early poems, 
with all the marks of their primitivencss, still disclose 
an advanced condition of life and thought, which 
justifies the conclusion that, even some centuries 
antecedently the Tamils had emerged from the swaddling 
clothes of man's first attempt at a settled social polity and 
culture. But this, however, is a region into which exist- 
ing literature is unable to throw its rays so as to give us a 
complete picture. We have to piece together that earlier 
story from the stray archaeological finds that now and then 
are brought to our notice. 

86. An equally interesting question also may be 
raised regarding the type of civilization to which the 

Dravidian belongs. It is, no doubt, 

(x) Light thrown a vast question and cannot be entered 

d oi^ation P lity u P n here ^ any detail. If any 

fact is brought home to our minds by 
these early poems it is this : that the so-called Aryanisation 
is a much later phenomenon and was entirely absent from 
the early generations of the Tables. Even before the 
arrival of the Aryan colonies in the South, society must 

(1) Vide Introduction to Dr. A. B. Keith's Aitareya Aranyaka p 23 

C 27 ' 


have attained politically to the stage of village organisa- 
tions and popular assemblies and economically it must have 
been composed of a good number of interdependent profes- 
sional classes following different handicrafts. We seem to 
catch glimpses of these village communities at the moment 
of organising themselves into larger political groups. By a 
natural development, centralisation of power for military 
projects, rendered necessary by inter-communal strife, 
must have led to the establishment of monarchies, which 
in its turn should have reacted powerfully on social 
advancement and progress as one could easily see from 
the outstanding achievements of Karikalan, the Great. 
Apart from agriculture and trade, which should have fed 
the economic life of that society, the cultivation of letters 
and fine arts both by men and women at that early period 
shows how free and congenial were the social and political 
conditions then, for it to come to pass. Unhappily Dravidian 
civilisation as evidenced in these early poems is found 
mixed up with an exotic culture and even with a barbaric 
strain due, of course, to the contact of the Tamils 
with the primitive races. The cattle-raids by the members 
of the Malava community and the wearing of leaves by the 
damsels of the Kurava or hill-tribes, for instance, 
do not fit in with the advanced culture of the Tamil 
races as inferable in a manner from this literature. A 
mere skimming through these ancient records without a 
power to discriminate between the different strands of a 
heterogeneous texture they exhibit, will give us only a bizar- 
re picture. These must be properly distinguished for a cor- 
rect understanding of the various strata of that society. 
Still, however useful this literature may be to give us the 
disjecta membra of a lost culture, we would commit the 
greatest mistake if we took it for a detailed and exhaustive 
record of the customs and institutions of that early time. It 
is just an index and nothing more. As an instance, I shall 
cite here a stanza from a very old poet, Vanparanar, a con- 
temporary of Paranar and Kapilar according to the Tables, 


which gives us just an inkling and nothing more of the very 
advanced and highly-elaborated condition of the art and 
science of music amongst the ancient Tamils : 




Puraw., S. 149. 

Translation: 'Long live Nalli! Oh! Nalli, since you, 
realising tho duties of a patron, have been bestowing the 
most liberal gifts on the musicians, who are of us (and who 
frequent tliy court), they have taken to sing on the Kaivali 
(another name for the musical instrument Yal), the maru- 
tam tune in the darkening eve and the Cevvali tune in the 
morning and have thus forgotten the very system of their 
ancient art*. The poet implies that by singing the even- 
ing tune in the morning and the morning tune in the even- 
ing the ar lists only prove that they have lost touch with 
the nice technicalities of their art and openly ascribes this 
scandalous state of matters to Nalli 's unbounded munifi- 
cence. The chieftain's liberality, it would seem, proved a 
bane to the artists for they had not to depend upon any 
scientific knowledge and skill in their art for finding a 
means of livelihood but could afford to do without them 
being well-assured of a comfortable living by the generosity 
of their patron Nalli. Making all allowances for the rhe- 
toric employed by the poet, we can yet get at one historical 
fact through the almost indirect and unconscious testimony 
his words contain. And it is the very advanced condition 
of a system of Dravidian musical science and art whose 
features we have no means of reading in all their details. 
Its elaborate classification of Pans and Tirams and the 
minute adjustments of these to suit varying environmental 
conditions and time have all become a thing of the past. 
If a people at so early a time could take the art of music 


to so high a pitch of development, is it not a little hard to 
assert that the Tamil races of the South were in darkness 
and that the torch of civilisation had to be brought to them 
from the North? True, the evidence furnished by the early 
poems on such points is scrappy and fragmentary; for 
it was not the purpose of their authors to leave behind 
them a detailed descriptive account of ancient Tamil culture 
and civilization. Yet strangely enough some try to 
equate the life of the ancient Tamil community with this 
ancient stratum of literature, which is moreover of 
a type not professedly historical. By a strange fallacy 
of reasoning they are disposed to view this early litera- 
ture as possessing signs of the Aryanising efforts in every 
walk of life in the South. They rely on the occurrence of a 
few Sanskrit or Prakrit words here and there iu the langu- 
age of this literature and, on that foundation, go to build 
such astounding propositions as that the whole literature is 
pervaded by the spirit of Aryan culture! and that the entire 
Dravidian life is also cast in that foreign mould. This, how- 
ever, is a totally overdrawn picture, nay it is a false one 
in many of its essential features. 

In the first place, the occurrence of foreign words in 
a language does not and cannot imply the occurrence of 
large communities of foreigners in the land in which that 
language is spoken. Migration of words from language 
to language takes place on a larger scale and at a quicker 
pace than Uie migration of a community from one country 
to another. Unless and until the latter takes place, a 
community can hardly leave its impress of culture on 
another less advanced than th.emselves. Loan words 
between languages cannot, from their very nature, serve as 
decisive arguments for establishing cultural transmission 
in either direction. There are many instances of superior 
races borrowing a large number of words from the langu- 
ages of races less advanced than themselves. Will it lie 
in the mouth of these Jess advanced backward tribes to 
proclaim to the world that the mere fact of some of their 


own words getting into currency in the languages of the 
more advanced people is a ground for inferring that the 
more advanced had borrowed their culture too from the 
less advanced? I give here this extreme example to 
prove that words in themselves are not decisive grounds 
to prove cultural drift. That must be established on 
independent historic grounds. 

Secondly, considering the antiquity of the Dravidian 
languages and the very imperfect condition of the investi- 
gation of ifhcir philology at present, dogmatism in respect 
of certain roots as being exclusively Sanskrit or Dravidian 
is altogether premature and unsafe. If classical Sanskrit 
possesses a more copious vocabulary and is richer in 
roots than the Vedic dialect, 1 it is pertinent to inquire 
from wha-i source could the later classical tongue have got 
the? large mass of new words. Surely, not from the inner 
consciousness of the Aryan incomers themselves. They 
should have borrowed freely from the living languages of 
the Dravidians and the aboriginal people amongst whom 
they had come to live. A priori reasoning 1 favours the 
view that later Sanskrit must have taken into its system 
a large number of roots and words belonging to the primi- 
tive Druvidimi languages. So, the mere fact that a word 
or root is found in Sanskrit would not be a sufficient ground 
to conclude that it is Aryan and not Dravidian. A com- 
parative study alone of all the languages belonging to these 
groups will throw some light on the matter. And this, 
obviously, falls within the field of the specialists', where 
general scholars have little or no right to intrude. And 
yet, here, we find the amazing spectacle of Philology being 

(!) About the loan of Pravidiaii words to the Vedic dialect itself, 
I shall quote here a few remarks from Prof. Buniti Kumar Chattcrji's work, 
The Origin and Development of the "Bengali Langutif/v. He writes: "The 
language of the Rig-Veda is as yet purely Aryan or hido-European in its 
forms, structure, and spirit, but its phonetics is already affected by Dravi- 
dian; and it lias already begun to borrow words from Dravidian (and from 
K61) : not only names of objects previously unknown to the Aryans, but 
also a few wofds of ideas". Then the writer appends a fairly long list of 
Dravidian loan-words, which T need not reproduce here and for which the 
reader may be referred to p. 42 ef the introduction to that interesting werk. 


made the common battle-ground for all and sundry to 
enter and \vage their wars according to their individual 
predilections and arrive at definite conclusions on points 
where even specialists would hesitate to dogmatise. But 
the limitations of even genuine Philology against which 
Taine inveighs vigorously should make such scholars 
pause in their profitless pastime. 

"Philology," wrote Taine, "is a subterranean passage, 
dark, narrow and bottomless, along which people crawl 
instead of walk ; so distant from the air and the light that 
they forget the air and the light, and end by finding satis- 
factory and natural the smoky rays of the dismal lamp tha/t 
they trail behind them. After staying there for a few 
years, they declare that the sky is a dream of the feeble- 

Thirdly, the extreme fewness of the Aryan colonists 
in Tamilagam at that time does not favour any such ante- 
dating of the Aryanising work. The words of Poet Avur 
Mulamkilar : 

11 QeuGiriru uiriruuirGsr eurretrffif &L8j&p, eu&str M 

Agam., S. 24. 

give us a true picture of the pursuits of the early Aryan 
colonists. We have to infer that there were only two 
classes of Brahmans then : first, those who performed the 
Yagas, and secondly, those who eked out their 
livelihood by such professions as cutting conch-shells 
for bangles and the like. If the Aryans then had 
come in very large colonies, settled in the land 
and pursued different remunerative occupations, the 
poet would not have chosen this manner of description. 
Even at much later times the rulers' had to offer special 
inducements to such settlers by means of land-gifts and 
other donations to attract larger and larger numbers of 


them to the South. 1 But in the course of a few centuries 
conditions seem to change and a strong and steady current 
of colonisation afterwards set in. It must have received 
additional impetus from the invariable policy of the Pallava 
rulers of still later 'times, of founding temples and priestly 
colonies in the Tamil country and bestowing on them 
extensive tracts of land as Devaduyam and Brahmaddyam 
for their maintenance. This bit of later history which 
belongs to the Religious epoch just about the Devaram 
period should not, however, bo read back into the life and 
conditions of the early Tamil society the Tables deal with, 

87. I should not omit to observe in conclusion that 

while the Tables furnish a time-axis 1 of 

reference for the facts of ancient Tamil 

history, the geographical portion of that study, which is 
as indispensable as the first, still remains to be worked out 
in detail. All that wo do know about a very large number 
of events recorded in early Tamil literature amounts 
only to a very general knowledge of their location. Both 
distance of time and the later fashion of coining new geogra- 

(1) "In some of the popular accounts of the Brahmans which have been 
reduced to writing, it is stated that, during the time of Mayura Varma of 
the Kadamba dynasty, some Andhra Brahma ns were brought into South 
Oanara. As a sufficient number of "Rr ah mans were not available for the 
purpose of the yagams (sacrifices), thctfe Andhra Brahmans selected a 
number of families from the non -Brahman castes, made them Brahmans and 
chose exogamous sept names for them." Thurston's Castes and Tribes of 
Southern India, Introduction, pp. 45-46. And this, be it noted, was the condi- 
tion of affairs about the middle of the eighth century A.D. Mr. B. Lewis 
Rice writes in pp. 204-205 of his Mysore and Coorg from the Inscriptions: 
"According to Sk. 186, there were no Brahmans in the South in the time 
of Mukkanni Kadumba, the third century. Having sought diligently for 
them throughout the region and finding none, he went without delay to the 
North, and from the Ahichchatra agrahara (said to be in Bareilly 
District) procured a number of Brahman families. * * *. On the other 
hand, there must have been some Brahmans before, for the Sat&vahana grant 
of the first or second century on the Malavalli pillar (8k. 263) was made 
as a Brahman endowment. But they may have left the country, as those 
above-mentioned from the North are said to have attempted to do. In the 
East, tradition attributes the introduction of Brahmans to Mukunti Pallava 
who is also of the third century." If this was so in the border country, 
the strength of the Brahman element in Tamilagam could not then be 
considerable at all. 


phical names in Sanskrit for the Tamil names of early 
literature render this attempt specially difficult. But 
difficult as it is, a separate and systematic effort in that 
direction may lead 1o fruitful results and go a .long way 
in bringing the facts and events of ancient Tamil history 
into some sort of concrete connection with one another. 
Though, these Tables assign a specific chronology to such 
facts' and even-is, still a certain vagueness should cling to 
them until a more specific and detailed study of their geo- 
graphical location is entered upon and effected. 1 History, 
in the absence of correct geography, is rendered half unreal 
and hence a thorough and extended examination of the 
geography of ancient Tamilagam from the data available 
from all authentic sources is doubtless a necessary 
complement to this study. 

(1) The interrelation of historical and geographical studies is 
tellingly brought out in the following observations: ''This is the 
significance of Herder's saying that "history is geography set 
in motion." What is to-day a fact of geography becomes to- 
morrow a factor of history. The two sciences cannot be held apart without 
doing violenec to both, without dismembering what is a natural, vital whole. 
All historical problems ought to be studied geographically and all geographic 
problems, must be studied historically." E. C. Sample's Influences of Oeo- 
grapttic Environment, p. 11. 



As a striking instance of the omission of literary valuation, 
I have only to mention here the attempt of certain scholars, whose 
general historical equipment is beyond doubt, to antedate Tiru- 
vdcagam of Manikkavacagar to the Devara hymns of Appar and 
Tirugiianasambandar. Leave apart the epigraphic confirmation, 
which assigns M-lnikkaviicagar to the 9th century, the valuation 
of Tiruvdcagam on literary grounds alone should have predisposed 
these scholars to the acceptance of a late date. 

1 shall here summarise the more important of such 
grounds: (1) The omission of Manikkavacagar from the 
lisl of the sixty-three devotees of Siva enumerated in 
the Tiruttondattokai of Sundaramurti, followed closely 
therein by Narnbiandar Nambi in his Tiruttonddr Tiruvandati 
and by Sekkijar in his Periyapurdnam, is fatal to any attempt at 
antedating Manikkavacagar. The interpretation of " QuirujtuuL. 
sz/_Da)7 f L/fipQ/-/' " a referring to Manikkavacagar has, at all 
events, nothing to recommend it except its originality. No- 
where else in Tamil literature do we find such a name or 
descriptive epithet for Manikkavacagar. On the other hand, we 
have literary authority to support that 'Q^i^^e^' 
denotes the famous author of Kural. An equally original and 
futile attempt is the interpretation of 'eu,i*js&' in Appar 's 

as a reference to Manikkavacagar. There is absolutely no autho- 
rity for holding Manikkavacagar as the incarnation of Nandi. 
Here the word 'j/r^.ioir' means a 'chamberlain' and no more. 
(2) In the Tirumurai collections, Tiruvdcagam appears only as 
the eighth in the series, the preceding seven being composed of 
the hymns of the three Devaram hymnists, Gnanasambandar, 
Appar and Sundaramurti. (3) In the invocatory stanzas in all 
Tamil religious works and Puranas, composed in praise of the Na- 
yanmars and Acharyas, the authors observe invariably an order 
which is roughly chronological. Here is a stanza about the work 
of the various religious teachers in the Tamil country, wherein the 
arrangement of names follows strict chronology. 
C 28 


The praises in honour of the four 'Samaya Kuravars* (Religi- 
ous devotees or saints) precede those about the four Santanacharyas 
(Religious teachers or gurus who come in apostolic succession) and 
among the four Samaya Kuravars, of whom Maflikkavacagar is 
one, Markka vaca gar gets only a last mention. And in reciting 
these religious hymns in the temples all over the South, the invari- 
able practice of reciting Tiruvdcagam after Devdram should 
naturally add its confirmatory evidence to the above testimony. 1 
(4) A convention has risen among the Saivites evidently it must 
have arisen before the composition of Tiruvdcagam that only the 
hymns of GMnasambandar, Appar and Sundaramurti should be 
known as Tirunerittarail. This appellation for a body of religious 
works does not connote Tiruvdcagam to this day. If Tiruvdcagam 
had been in existence when this name was coined and got into 
currency, there is absolutely no reason, so far as I know, why it 
should not have been included in that class. (5) From the point 
of view of style, Tiruvdcagam has to its credit more brand-new 
Sanskrit words than D&varam. The occurrence of such words as 

^tfj/r, cR/TLj/refl, Jj^fcOJ.rsir, Q-]5&frflj$ t &ii (VjuufriLtLo, e *C., is enough 
to make us pause before we claim a great antiquity for this work. 
As for the literary echoisms that occur in Tiruvdcagam, the jingle 
<C L//r>.0/ LD/DQ/r>afr<i xrr&j Qptr&rjSafl" and that of "uip&n'iLipQp 
esri SsarfBtBssrjilQrju LitrpGu)" of Sundaramtirti may be considered 
indecisive; but there can be little doubt that Manikkavacagar's 
(u/ru>/r.7<i(<9j/E7 (s^uf.aj0cQ^mi tuir giL&^ijQ&rr iL* is a more generalised 
and therefore a later form in imitation of Appar *s line: '^/r/jQ/r/fi 
@/ gjip_iL/a)(5fiV)/r/i /5/x&WHj<55(?sF/rLfl'. (6) In respect of ideas, 
Tiruvdcagam shows considerable development. Both in mythos 
and philosophical doctrine it marks a highly complicated 
stage. While the Dvvdra hymns aire purely religious, 

(1) That religious conventions when grown up persist without change and 
even resist all attempts at modification ia borne testimony to by the following 
observations: "The members of the worshipping group think it strange, when 
the regular order of service is not adhered to. They expect the singing of 
hymns, the prayer, the anthem by the choir, the announcements, the sermon 
and whatsoever else they may be, to follow the habitual order and adhere 
to customary usages ".Frederick Goodrich. Henke's A Study in the 
Psychology of Ritualism, p. 87. 


Tiruvdcagam contains the finished tenets of the Saiva Siddhanta 
Philosophy. For instance, Manikkavacagar's search of 
a spiritual guru, his query to Siva and Siva 's answer about Sivagftd- 
nabodam and his philosophical dispute with the Buddhists will 
bear this out. The verse (jp^C' 7 ) ^/SS^-f, ULJKSUT Lbjbpfieuir' 
occurring in Tiruvdcayam (Tiruppalliclucci) conveys the sense of 
the absolute God '^rfk/ &&,&' transcending the Trimurtis 
themselves. This conception of godhood was the result of acute 
philosophising which the Devaram singers did not follow, much 
less preach. They, on the other hand, depict Siva as the God 
of destruction, who baffled the other two of the triad in their 
attempt to measure him. (7) Such references as the following 
occurring in Tiruvaniyam must argue for a late date: 

Lb'i tnfl i 
U/TCBLDLD G> f &rr/hjpie9<& 
Lrvrujr etn p 

The first fixes the post-agamic 1 origin of the work (and the 
Agamas, it is well-known, a* % e of very late growth in the religious 
history of the South), and the second establishes that Sankara's 
system must have preceded Tiruvacagam. (8) There are certain 
other references in Tiruvdcagam, which must be taken as pointing 
to previous Nayanmars and certain specific episodes in their lives 
such ast 



mr (o&rrfiufilfh xs?G, 

(1) Regarding the agamic or tantric phase of the religious life in India, 
the observations of H. Kern in his Manual of Indian Buddhism, p. 133, 
will bear reproduction. 

"The decline of Buddhism in India from the eighth century down- 
wards nearly coincides with the growing influence of Tantrism and sorcery, 
which stand to each other in the relation of theory to practice. The develop- 
ment of Tantrism is a feature that Buddhism and Hinduism in their later 
phases have in common. The object of Hindu Tautrism is the acquisition 
of wealth, mundane enjoyments, rewards for moral actions, deliverance by 
worshipping Durga, the Sakti or Siva-Prajna in the terminology of the 
Mahayana through the means of spells, muttered prayers, samadhi, offerings, 
etc. ' ' With special reference to the age of the Brahmanical Tantras Harananda 
Sastri, M.A., writes: "The true Brahmauical Tantra books do not appear to be 
very old. Perhaps they do not go back farther than the 6th century, A.D." 
The Origin and Cult of Tara in the Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of 
India, No. 20, p. 8. 


can only refer to Siva's miraculous appearance to bestow nwkti 
on his devotee Sundara. Do not some at least of the references 
in the verses, 

/rfl G 6^) 537-^(75 

Jr fiisstffeusmr 

bear upon the tortures inflicted on Saint Appar by the Jains? 
Do not the lines, 

<$ Q&fJ l JS>$VL)Ln " 

cryptically refer to the Ciruttontiar story? (9) The refer- 
ences in Tiruvdcagam 1o many A<Jiyars (devotees) and to 
many miracles performed in many different places show that 
the work belongs to a late period in the religious history of the 
South. (10) There is absolutely no ground for the view that the 
miracle of 'the fox and the Horse' was performed for Manikka- 
vacagar. There is no allusion in Tiruvdcagam itself to uphold 
any such view. Its references are all to previous miracles and not 
to any contemporary ones, but later on they have been twisted 
by such Puranic writers as the authors of Vddavurpurdnam and 
TiruvtiaiydolalpurdnaHi for adding embellishments to the saint's 
biography. The usefulness, by the way, of these two 
Puraiias for purposes of sober history is yet to be established. 
(11) Manikkavacagar's philosophical disputation with the 
Buddhists at Chidambaram is only a later and improved 
edition of Gnanasambandar's religious controversy with the Jains 
at Madura. Considering the late period in which Chidambaram 
itself must have come into existence as compared with Madura, 
the disputation >vith the Buddhists should also be held as having 
occurred much later. (12) And finally, the literary finish of 
Tiruvdcagam,, by itself, its highly-polished and pellucid diction, 
its numerous felicities of thought and expression, its 
marvellously-developed prosodic forms and rhetorical turns 
and above all the sense of artistry which runs throughout 
is more than sufficient to establish its later origin than the 
Devara hymns, which as a body, in spite of its higher sacred 


character, occupies, from the standpoint of pure literary excellence, 
only another level in Tamil Devotional Literature. However, 
this admiration of Tiruvdcagam should not lead one to claim 
for it a precedence in time also, as if that alone could ratify and 
invest its numerous beauties with an additional authority for 
their being readily accepted. 

The cumulative force of these grounds, external, drawn from 
Tamil religious literature and practice, and internal, drawn from 
Maijikkavaca^ar's own handiwork is enough to convince any fair- 
minded inquirer that the efforts made to ascribe a high anti- 
quity to Tiruvacagam have yet to surmount serious difficulties 
in that direction. 



I subjoin here for comparison half-a-dozen Sutras from the 
two works, Tolkdppiyam and AgapporuL: 


) 127. 

2. *6ira?ujso 133. 


O 130. 




inpoyr Qpssru 



18. (9jf$Qui*SIL.I Lj 


vp Qpssru. 

& 114. 

(o<siijpii9p> (5 a r ssi rS gpi/g? 
11 Qjirai(5e$ 

i 174. 54. 

59. * 

Q sinks 




6. aj&tftu*) 187. 43. 



Is it not a little puzzling that Agapp&rul, which lays claim to 
a divine origin, should thus slavishly copy the terminology of 
Tolkappiyrm, a work without any odour of inspirational sanctity 
about it? For it is admitted generally, and by orthodox pandits 
specially, that Tolkappiyar being a much earlier author could 
not have borrowed his language from Agapporul. And the possi- 
bility of both following a third and common anterior work is 
entirely out of the question, for none such has ever been alleged 
to e:ist. Even creating for the nonce mich a hypothetical com- 
mon original, still it will not save Agapporul from the charge of 
open plagiarism which after all suits ill with its high pretensions 
to divine descent. 



The late C. W. Damodaram Filial, the first Editor of KaUt- 
togai, ascribed the whole work to one author, Nallantuvanar, and 
I find no eogent reason to dissent from his decision. The work 
itself bears the impress of one artist's execution throughout its 
five divisions. The syntactical forms employed and the rhythms 
and rhetorical devices adopted possess a certain family-likeness , 
and point to a common parentage. The numerous references to 
Madura, to the river Yaigai, and to the Pan<Jiya king, occurring 
in all parts of the work, lead me to assume that the author should 
have belonged, if not to the Madura city, at least to the Madura 
country on the basin of the Vaigai. I append hereunder some 
extracts from Kalittogai in support of this view. 


p)QRp\LJ(G (TFfBtnrn 

Kali., Palai, 30. 


* * 


Kali., Palai, 35. 

Kali., Kurinri, 57. 

* # * 

n Caj&i&Sr Guiffjuucw 

(LpSssrojirsm Guirev 
* * 

|iflrcfr!i>ni_< ^L* 

KaH., Marutam, 92. 





Kali., Marutam, 98. 


i, 104. 

7. u Qufr(ffj& pir prrn 

GuiretiJi Qd5/7^<F/7/f 07. ;> 

ffatt., .VeytoJ, 141. 


KaK., Neytal, 143. 
While the internal testimony of the work bears out the theory 
of unitary authorship of the poems, later-day scholarship has been 
busy ferreting out a fugitive stanza like the following: 

and raising on it the untenable hypothesis of a multiplicity of 
authors for this modest work of 149 stanzas in KaK metre. This 
floating stanza of an unknown author is evidently a late mnemonic 
verse of facts which require to be proved by tradition instead of 
the tradition itself being helped any way by the verse. Applying 
the facts of the Synchronistic Tables one can easily find out that 
the five authors mentioned in the verse belonged to different gene- 
rations. They could never have been contemporaries. Such being 
the case, we have to infer that Kalittogai too, like Pattuppatfu, 
is an accretion of a few centuries. The nature of the work does 
not however permit any such inference. It is surprising that 
some scholars who follow uncritically the lead of a misleading 
stanza should have failed to appreciate the artistic unity which 
runs through the whole of this beautiful work. The attempt to 
break up this compact artistic structure the creation of one 
C 29 


master mind and try to distribute its contents to the credit of 
various authors 1 almost savours of a touch of Philistinism. 

The editor of the new edition of Kalittogai, Pandit E. V. 
Anantarama Aiyar, has sprung another surprise on us. He sug- 
gests an emendation of the good old name ageoeon&Qj&r as 
iseuQjtv&euesr. Neither beauty of sound nor facility of pronuncia- 
tion is improved by the proposed reading. Moreover, the Pandit 
seems to have missed the delicate phonetic principles which guided 
the ancient authors in the matter of proper names. Wherever 
the prefix G&> ' or * /$' its shortened form occurred in ancient 
names, ' $ ' always preceded names beginning with a hard con- 
sonant, as ii^ /y&ssar&BTtfj/r/f, /ydsffir.gj'r, tfL/L/^&Mj/r/f, Guuireopp 
^9/r, nr&Q&&r&iriLurir9 etc., and ^ was invariably used when the 
names began with a vowel or a soft or medial consonant, as in 


Qa/crrerfluj/r/f, /yAGa/LLt-^/r, etc. The combination 
reveals its late origin ; had it come down from the early age it 
would have reached us not in the form,^(5<gc/r&wr but as ' G&G&T 
Ssaar* or m &><&$& irfessr as in Geo/siQ&reft' This invariable early 
usage shows that /^stf/^si/gj/f , as it stands, i^ a correct form 
and needs no emendation. 

(1) A close study of the five sections of this work discloses throughout 
numerous repetitions both in thought and diction, sometimes even bordering 
on mannerism, which cannot but be ascribed to one and one writer only. 
These I hope to present in a separate booklet. 



The popular derivation of the name Arkkatfu, to which Dr. 
Caldwell has given the honour of a mention in his work as ^7 ijjj 
i'rom ^ ,a>* ( a<Jaraijyam in Sanskrit) is too puerile for serious 

refutation A more plausible attempt is to connect the name with 
^T, Ar tfee dttrtree, a variety of ebony (Bauhinia T&mentosa). 
Considering the fact that the Chola kings wore garlands of the Atti 
flower, .as their family emblem, this derivation has at least the 
semblance of support from an historical fact. But in my opinion 
this hardly goes to the root of the matter. The names of numer- 
ous tillages adjoining Arcot on the river Palar such as Arkkonam, 
Arni, Arppakkam require some other explanation. This portion 
of the country, according to Ptolemy, was inhabited by the Aru- 
valar tribe in the second century A.D. Early Tamil literature 
calls its two divisions Aruva and Aruvavadatalai, i.e., AravS, 
North and South. The modern districts of South Arcot, North 
Arcot and Ghingleput may be taken as marking their extent. The 
people of this tract was evidently the Naga race 1 who seem to 
have occupied the whole of the northern border extending 
westwards to the verge of the Arabian Sea. Tamila- 
gam was then separated from Dakshinapada or Dekkhan 
proper of the Aryan colonists by a broad belt of forest land 
inhabited, in addition to the aboriginal hill tribes and nomads as 
the Kuravars and the Yetfars, by the Naga tribes, known as the Aru- 
vajars or Kurumbars. These last were a thorn on the side of the 
rulers of the border states of the Tamil land and gave them a 'sea of 
troubles' by their depredations and frequent forays. The most dis- 
tinguishing peculiarity of the Naga tribe was that they lived in forti- 
fied places called Aran (jy^is^r) in Tamil. References to such 
fortresses are numerous in the poems we are dealing with. Both 
Ar and Kurwmbu mean fortification in Tamil, probably their earlier 
signification. (Cf. The meanings of jty/rswr, ^-anjr 

(1) That the name Aruvajar was connected with the Naga race will 
be evident from the following reference: "Among others Majjhantiko was 
despatched to Kashmira and Gandhara. A Naga king of that country, named 
Aravalo endowed with supernatural powers by causing a furious deluge to 
descend was submerging all the ripened crops in Kashmira and Gandhara." 
J. Ferguson's Tree and Serpent Worship, p. 47. 


all of which are traceable to the root Ar). The name 'Aruvajar, 
thus literally denotes the people living in fortified places. Later 
on the words _sy/7F>a/i?of and ra^ii/.'/f 1 came to signify also 
people of mischievous or evil propensities; but evidently 
these later developments in meaning are ascribable Vo 
well-known laws of association by which changes in the 
significance of words are effected in course of time. 
The Telugu and Kanarese-speaking people even to this day make 
contemptuous references to Aravamu, the Tamil with which they 
came into contact in the borderland and to Arav&ru, the Tamil- 
speaking people. Though the Aruvajars spoke a kind of Tamil, 
it would be a serious blunder both, ethnologically and culturally 
to confound them with the Tamil races living farther South. The 
Tamils too held these semi-barbarous borderers in great contempt. 
The following stanza conveys that popular judgment : 

" /d&/r 

JrStf/T QuiLJ 


Though in Ptolemy's time this portion of the country had 
come under the Chola rule, he marks the ethnic difference by a 
separate mention of the Arvarnoi tribes in his account of South 
India. But as often happens when one race meets another, a 
fusion seems to have taken place in later times, and the ancient 
Naga tribes were also received into the Dravidian society. This 
Naga race should not, however, be confounded with the aborigi- 
nal hill and forest tribes such as the Kupavar, the Ve<Jar, etc., who 
still stand lowest in the scale of civilization. 

(1) The new Tamil Lexicon gives the following meanings: 



The term Velman should be properly understood. The 
ending LD - sir 'should not be confounded with the Sanskrit suffix 
'man 9 which found its way into Tamil in later times, as for 
instance, mat occurring in yf/nrssr, ijjsj&'t>Tssri xsf>J)Lm<o!fr e t c . 
Dolman 1 is one of the earliest formations in the Tamil language, 
'/wst like Cheraman, Adikaman, Tonflaiman, etc., with the suffix 
man (ujisir) which is only a shortened form of the full term 
'n<ag* n ' (LT>&GV). The feminine form Ve]mal is likewise a con- 
traction of VelmagaJ. In Tamil this word Magan or Maga) has 
two distinct meanings. It means a son or a daughter and also 
an individual or person in general belonging to a particular Kucii 
(family), or a community formed of a number of such 
families. This distinction the first Aryan incomers could not 
understand and thus were led to make 1 a mess of the early literary 
and linguistic usage by confounding the two significations. The 
term ' Kerajaputra ', for instance, remains to this day a puzzle 
for the Sanskritists to solve. They translated the name literally 
as "the son of Kera]a", which does not make any sense whatever. 
If they had interpreted the term as the literal translation of a 
Tamil idiomatic expression Kerajar or Cheralar-magan, meaning of 
course a person belonging to the family or community of Cheralar 
and then the king or ruler of that community, they would have 
exactly hit the peculiar connotation. I may instance also the 
ridiculous attempt to import Persian magis into Tamilagam by 
,some European Sanskrit savants in interpreting the simple phrase 
'Brahmani Magoi' occurring in Ptolemy's Map of India. There 
the geographer locates one of the earliest Aryan settlements in the 

(1) The editor of Pattuppdffu in his introduction to that work ezpli 
Volman as Ca/crfl/f ^^a ear, the chief of Vejir. If the term V51 itselj 
denote a chief or king, I do not see why man should be made to 
same meaning over again. Probably he must have taken this sufl 
traction, of the Sanskrit word w^rresr. However, the fact 
appearing with Vel takes a feminine form u;rer> as in 
such attempts to connect this form with a Sanskrit original altoge 


South at the foot of Mount Malakuta 1 in the southern part of the 
Kanarese country near the source of the Kaviri. He follows the 
Tamil nomenclature and marks the territory as occupied by 
Brahmana Makka) or MftkkaJ (t9irm^0siffL^^s&r or Lo/rijsefr) 
or the Brahmin community. Thus we find the want of acquaintance 
with Tamil idiomatic usage has been at the bottom of the whole 

(1) This name furnishes another instance of the liberties taken with the 
original Tamil names in the process of Sanskritisation. The Tamil name 
Kutamalai given to the hills of Coorg was literally inverted to give us the 
of the Sanskrit authors. 



I have the authority of Dr. Vincent A. Smith and Mr. Kanaka- 
sabhai Pillai to 'identify Tirukkarur near Kotamaftgalam as the 
ancient Chera Capital. The controversy started by Pandit B. 
Baghava Aiyangar, in favour of Kanlr, in the Trichinopoly 
District, is lio doubt an elaborate special pleading which is ingeni- 
ous but not convincing. The fundamental proposition with which 
the Pandit starts to prove his thesis, that the three Tamil sovereigns 
>/ere in possession of their several kingdoms in South India since 
creation, is a piece of dogmatism which few will be prepared to 
accepi. Not only does he not take into account the facts dis- 
closed in the early poems but seems to beg the whole question 
by representing the various independent chieftains warring 
against the Tamil kings as rebels pure and simple. lie represents 
the Tamil kings to have been born as it were for ready-made 
kingdoms to inherit and rule over. Facts of history belie this 
primary assumption of his. Kingdoms like organisms are born, 
grow and decay in time and none, with any scientific spirit in 
him, will hazard the statement that the Tamil kingdoms alone were 
an exception to the general rule. And, as a matter of fact, what 
do we find in some of the works we are just now handling f Con- 
fining our attention to Patirruppattu alone, the conquest of 
Pulina<Ju, of NaUikanam or Kotfagu, of Umbarkatfu or the Elephant 
country, probably round about the Anaimalai in South Coimba- 
tore, of Kotigu country, of Kolli, of Takacjur in Salem, of Mala- 
yaman-na^u on the banks of the river South Pe^nar in the South 
Arcot District, follows one after another in the space of four 
successive generations. The conquest of the Koftgu country was 
first begun in the time of Pal-Yanai-Cel-Kelu Kuftuvan appearing 
in the fourth generation and takes two generations more for its 
actual completion. The earlier Cheras appear to have devoted 
their time to the conquest of the coast strip lying to the west of 
the Western Ghats and possessing in its south-eastern corner the 
important key-station, the Coimbatore gap, which alone would 
give them an entry into the Koi'igu country. Facts of history 
studied thus along with those of geography must make it clear 
that the Cheras could by no means have gained a footing in the 


Kongu country in the period of the earlier genera- 
tions of the Synchronistic Tables. Koftgu, however, is 
easy of approach from the east and south and actually 
we found the Chola Power in Kofigu and, in the next genera- 
tion, a southern power also entering the field. The Ko&gu 
land was then free from the Cheras rendering it thus an easy 
prey to be actually overrun by the forces of Aayi AmJiran of the 
fourth generation. Historical facts such as these embodied in 
early literature absolutely negative the idea of the Chera capital 
being Karur in the Trichinopoly District a town of much later 
growth. Even facts gathered from the mediaeval history con- 
tained in Pwiyapuranam clearly establish that Coimbatore or 
Southern Kongu was a thick forest infested by marauding tribes 
with but a few shrines and a sparse population here and there 
scattered about. It should have been much more so in still 
earlier times. Had Karur in Coimbatore been the Chera capital, 
surely its adjacent parts would not have been allowed to remain 
in the primeval state of a forest-covered area, unless, of course, 
we assume that some sudden cataclysm had swept the Cheras out 
of existence and allowed those fair regions to be overgrown with 
thick jungle in the interval. Who would ever subscribe to that 
view? Taking all these facts into account we are forced to con- 
clude that Coimbatore District at that time was a forest area 
lying far away from the capital of the Tamil kings and occupied 
by forest tribes, who had to maintain a constant fight with their 
more civilized neighbours. 

Then again Vanci or Karuvur, the ancient Chera capital, 
should satisfy two primary conditions to render any identification 
of its site, acceptable, viz., that it should stand on the banks of a 
big navigable river by name Porunai or An Pomnai and that that 
river should have Musij-i, (the modern Cranganore), at its mouth. 
The following references culled from the ancient poets all point 
only to one conclusion which goes to strengthen Mr. Kanakasabhai 
Pillai's identification. Only we shall have to carefully guard 
ourselves against being mystified by the numerous names under 
which the river Periyar appears in the ancient texts. It appears 
as Porunai, An-Porunai, Tan-Porunai, CuJJiyaru, or 

8. 381. 


2. ( &(ff)LLT fiAu&rds/TcC *(5g^r (tpaa jpi snpp 
0ttj/f<sanTJs g;D6Mg)iL/ 
Gun 5 an ^ LOSSST i lerdl&i. 

Agam., 8. 93. 

., S. 11. 

v. 4iirdPuj& 

Q; ; y ^ 

^- L9rS. 

Agam., 8. 149. 

5. JiA 

iiifii'n /^R_rn L/3asjr(J/ y/r<^\ 

Puram., 8. 192. 

Patirru., 8. 28. 


b Gu/rirj!) 

Patirru., S. 43. 

8. L/o3T63TLfi68 GuSlLUlji j8$fil* ^/T/Ef 

Patirru., S. 88. 

The untenability of the identification of this major river of 
the West Coast with one of the tributaries of the Kaviri, all for the 
purpose of shifting the location of the ancient Chera capital to 
Karuvur in the Trichinopoly District, is only too patent to need 
any detailed criticism. 

Here I may add that the North-western and the South- 
eastern boundaries of the ancient Aayi kingdom were marked by 
the modern Periyar and the Tampraparni respectively. Both 
these rivers appear then to have gone under the names, Porunai 
or Tan-Porunai or Culliyaru. The modern name, Tampraparni, 
may be traced to ancient Taii-Porunai and the river Solen of the 
Greek Geographer to Culliyaru of those days. The term Porunai 
itself, as has been already pointed out in foot-note (1) of page 
66, is a part of the fuller name An-Ponunai, literally the river that 

C 30 


resembles a milch-cow by its perennial supply of milk-like water. 
This poetic name, I am sure, must have been prevalent from the 
earliest times when the pastoral tribes over whom the Aayi kings 
ruled lived in the regions lying between those rivers of the East 
and the West Coast. 


Poet Idaikkadar, like some other poets as Para^ar, Kapilar 
and Awaiyar, has the rare distinction of being made to live 
again in much later times and play his part for the admiration 
of a posterity which would not allow him to make his exit from 
the stage of life. He appears also to have lived when Rural 
was placed before the Sangam for its approval and to have sung 
a couplet in praise of that work. By the Tables one 
can see that this poet belongs to the eighth generation 
and Kapilar comes between the fourth and the fifth. 
Thus clearly enough full two generations separate them. Still 
we find the author of Tinwolavdywf&iyar TimvilaiydM*purdnam 
asserting positively 

20: 1. 

Probably some who are determined to stand by all literary 
texts of by-gone days may be inclined to create another Kapilar 
to establish this Puranic writer's veracity. But the difficulties 
which have gathered round the great name of Kapilar can 
scarcely be tided over by a single such creation. We shall have 
to requisition at least two more Kapilars to personate the author 
of Kurincipdttu in the Ten Idylls leaving out of account the 
Kurinci portions of Aiyinkupunuru and Kalittogai for the pre- 
sent and of Sivapcrumdn Tiruvandddi and the other poems 
appearing in the eleventh Tirumwrai. Will it be right to give 
'a local habitation and a name' to such fictitious authors of the 
works of later days and take them for historic personalities? 
Are we to consider for instance Kapilar too as an immortal like 
Agastya or at least as having lived, more than the ordinary 
mortal span of years, for some centuries? Or are we to open an 
arithmetical series like Kapilar I, Kapilar II, Kapilar III, etc., 
to keep each name apart to its appropriate historical environ- 


that alone will lead us to truth. All that I urge here is the 
necessity of applying to the so-called 'third Sangam' works of 
Tamil literature such scientific methods of study and interpreta- 
tion as are now adopted by the Orientalists of the West 
in the interpretation of the Vedic texts. As in the case of 
Sanskrit, in Tamil also, a great gap of time divides the later 
grammarians and commentators from the ancient poets and hence 
arises the need of scrutinizing thoroughly and with critical insight 
the deliverances of these later writers. 

Taking first Tolkappiyar's treatment of "man* ( Lr4 ,-ir) 
find him giving three meanings for this particle: (1) 
(condition of being past or past time), (2) ^idsdj (becoming), 
and (3) epifiiff<sn& (importing an ellipsis to be supplied accord- 
ing to circumstances). One would like to know how these multi- 
coloured meanings differing from one another in all the cate- 
gories of time, past, present and future, arose from that simple 
monosyllabic word 'man\ Not only are they various, they are 
oven mutually exclusive. The science of Semantics, which 
occupies itself with a study of the changes in the significance of 
words, feels certain of its results only when the various meanings 
associated with a word in its historical development are connected 
with one another by appropriate bridges erected by logical or 
psychological laws or by perceivable or conceivable historical 
accidents. Tolkappiyar's three meanings stand without any such 
connection and cannot therefore be held as issuing from one 
primary root-meaning of the particle. On the other hand, they 
seem to be based upon extraneous characteristics arising from the 
different contexts in the sentences in which such a particle 

Moreover, in their application to some of the texts of the 
ancient poets, these meanings, in spite of their convenient vague- 
ness and generality, are found to fail. Before illustrating this 
fatal want of correspondence between Tolkappiyar's meanings 
and the early texts, it is necessary to clarify one's ideas about 
' gts*tL ' as conceived by Tolkappiy&r. Ilampuraijar illustrates 
it by * usssr dS7Looir ' and Daivaccilaiyar by ' jy^LoGWuj 
nflfi swTfiflttj/r GsnQeu '. From such illustrations one must 
conclude that wherever tfisir appears affixed to a r^S 

(1) If SL$QJ were taken to mean u$($ f muchness, it would anit 
some texts; but none of the commentators has given that interpretation. 


(time-less verb, i.e., a noun used aa a predicate) it supplies ^ti 
orjk&ti or^dpjy the <ids*Q* and completes the formal 
predication. One can further infer that in cases where 'man 9 
is affixed to a verb signifying time (Q^,fl/9a> fi&r) the signi- 
ficance of 'man' should be looked for under either o^g^ or 
6pLf9u9&>6:. If, however, any were to contend that ^MSLD could 
arise even from a man-affixed time-signifying verb, it would really 
amount to making ^jjitfii lose its specific force and lead 
further to the absurdity of every predicate with a 'man' being 
twisted to give the meaning of ^IXSLD. It would be, in short, 
obliterating the distinctions which Tolkappiyar himself evidently 
wanted to draw between the various meanings he has assigned. 
Thus according to the orthodox interpretation, the meaning of 
j$i.s/n should not be applied to such texts as the following: 

1. ftofl/f (DtpRpdssr LA6SrGff5T. 

Agam., S. 87. 

2. gj/fgjan6i/ u>9r(0g) eueuesriMir &Girjs($p. 

Puram., S. 230. 

On the other hand, it will be quite appropriate for such 
texts as: 

1. iLnressrff Geuafleinr LbGaofagp. 

Agam., S. 341. 

2. u&Sso i&niufR QtiOarf),^ lo/D/fi^ai. 

Agam., S. 333. 

3. /9U>/7U>69T GUirffl GflT ffl 

* * uAuSpit Q/svQar. 

Agam., S. 241. 

The other two meanings being more or less explicit do not 
require any exposition here. Let me now introduce the reader 
to the following texts, which cannot be fairly made to take up 
any of the three meanings specified by Tolkappiyar : 

1. JL?Z.6ar L/5637637-/7 

Agam., S. 125. 

2. * * * to 

i Qsrruuu 

i /. 

Puram,, 8. 53. 

3. JyesrGear Gn&srewjb nesreuir tfj/rdB ^ 

* ub^nQesr. 

Agam., 8. 203. 


4. * * 

Agam., S. 255. 

5. * * 

trrftujir DLou9 

Agam., S. 330. 

., S. 387. 

In all these cases, the mew-affixed verbs being in the future 
and referring decisively only to future events the meaning of 
iflftj clearly inapplicable. Nor can we say that these 
time-signifying verbs can express cg^jc/n consistently with 
the specific meaning of ^jicB/o before laid down. And in none 
of these cases can gpyPuSlfiu)^ be brought in as there is no ellipsis 
to be supplied in any of them. Thus one and all the texts quoted 
above 'refuse being coaxed to take up any of the three meanings 
of Tolkappiyar, simply because these have diverged a good deal 
from the idea the ancient poets wanted to convey by the use of 
this particular particle. 

A comparative study of the verbs with the man-affix opens 
however a new and fruitful way of interpretation. In the texts 
of the ancient poets 'man' served to express 'certainty'. It added 
emphasis to a predication. It appears with both time-signifying 
and time-less verbs in all tenses and persons and modifies the 
predicates to which it ia attached as an adverbial adjunct meaning 
certainly, surely, positively, emphatically. 1 That 'man* is a 
particle expressing certainty can also be clearly established from 
its connection with the verbal root man, to exist or persist to 
exist. Existence being the most authentic standard to measure 
certainty 'man' naturally seems to have come to express the new 
idea. Even in the verbal form it has begun to show signs of this 
change of meaning. 

Take the following line of. Kapilar from a 
stanza : 

(1) I am glad to find that I have been forestalled in this view by Dr. 
Pope. He expounds 'man' as a particle of emphasis. Vide 'man' in the 
index to his Edition of Kwaj. 



Here the relative participle Lncw^ii imports not existence 
but certainty. Kapilar should be here understood as saying "I 
am certainly an antanan" and not "I am an existing antagan" 
which makes little sense. Following the verbal 'man' expressing 
' certainty', the adverbial particle 'man' also conveys an identical 
significance of emphasis. I may also state in this connection that 
'man* does not differ at all in meaning from 'manra' (UJSW/D) 
to which Tolkappiyar assigns this force of emphasis or certainty. 
He calls it G^/D/DLD. Though Tolkappiyar tries to draw a dis- 
tinction .between 'man' and 'Manra', in the usage of the early 
poets they differ only in quantity and not in meaning. Both 
import certainty 

Examples of ' 

2. Q&esrGqyesr usttrpeux (jjsar j)/fljp 





Examples of 'man*. 

1. SjSGiLJfresr 


t L&GffQesresr 



5. e/3>Cta QojesrQp* GniriQ 


Puram., S. 261. 

Agam., S. 48. 

Puram., S. 336. 


Puram., S. 26. 

Agam., S. 367. 

Puram., S. 75. 

Agam., S. 8. 

Agam., S. 387. 

Agam., S. 376. 


Agam., S. 248. 


In these verses the particles 'mwra,' and 'man' are both 
adverbial adjuncts (DL-^Q*/TW) denoting certainty and add 
emphasis and nothing else to the sense of the verbs to which 
they are attached. The one being a dissyllable and the other a 
monosyllable does not at all affect their significance. Take again 
the following lines: 



S. 298. 

Here t the particles 'man* and 'nuwra' are used with verbs 
in connection with one and the same person and to import the 
same meaning in exactly identical circumstances. In the face 
of this stanza how can any one say that these words differ in 
meaning? In fact, such differences have not been found in these 
particles; they have been only read into them. 

If the reader now tries to apply the meaning suggested here 
to all the early texts where 'man' and 'manra* appear affixed to 
the predicates, he will find how appropriately it suits the contexts 
and how fully it brings out their meaning. Let me hope that 
this explication will save future expounders of these ancient 
poems from the trouble of stretching their texts on the procrus- 
tean bed of this particular Sutra of Tolkappiyar or of being 
forced, to take refuge in the later canon that 'man' is a meaning- 
less particle. However much the poems of later Tamil literature 
are filled with such particles, mere dead shells without the living 
organism of a meaning inside, the texts of the old poets do not 
allow me to ascribe meaninglessness so lightly to their words. If 
we have not understood their meanings, we have to patiently try 
our best till light dawns on us and not to hasten to bury them in 
the grave of expletives conveniently dug and kept ready by the 

<Kol> (QA) 

Turning to the particle 'kol' we find that Tolkappiyar 's 
explanation of the term as 'doubt* IB but an attempt at an 
approximate signification and does not help us to correctly inter- 
pret many of the ancient texts. No doubt, it seems to hold good 
in some instances; but the number of cases to which it does not 
apply is so large that a re-examination of its correctness and 
applicability to the early texts is imperatively called for. 


So far from supporting Tolkappiyar's meaning a compara- 
tive study of the froJ-affixed verbs supports the conclusion that 
in the language of the early poets 'kol' invariably discharged 
the grammatical function of a question in a sentence. It is a 
mere question-mark, a syntactical form which has dropped out 
of later Tamil. 

Before offering my proofs for this, I shall, for clearness' sake. 
arrange the various types of questions occurring in early litera- 
ture under certain Avell-defined classes based on the psychological 
characteristic or background from which all of them proceed. 
This is all the more necessary since Tolkappiyar himself has 
assigned a psychological meaning to 'kol' as 'doubt'. It rests 
with the reader then to apply Tolkappiyar's Sutra to the various 
classified instances and see whether it applies to all or any of 
them or breaks down in the process. The sentences with the kol~ 
affixed verbs may be distributed under four distinct classes of 
questions, which proceed from and correspond to the four mental 
states of the questioner. They are: 

I. Questions craving for information where the ques- 
tioner's state of mind is not one of doubt but a blank, a tabula 
rasa. Here the speaker merely seeks for information about 
matters of which he or she knows nothing or holds no opinion, 

1. GrosiQ&iiip'Tszi QsTsvGSrtrr eSfoQfiTffBsyr ? 

Kurincikkali, 8. 24. 

2. 6r(p(B)r Leaser/ QdS/r 

Puram., 8. 342. 

3. ILJ[TIEI(8)& Q&ILJ&J1 /EyQd5/T^)? 

Na T ., 8. 51. 

4. jytS&f Qu>/r(icff<(zpjb nwabrQmlrn ^swwQa/rflO ? 

Nar., 8. 110. 

II. Questions whereby the questioner seeks to resolve 
certain doubts in his or her mind regarding opinions, beliefs, 
judgments, conduct, etc., e.g.,, 


Ainkuru., 8. 90. 

2. c.6wr0d5/r etmjpQsrreti tu/r jpQdS/rA LDJbQpatr. 

Nat., 8. 122. 


3. jy/SU)u Gu/aQsir eujSueo/a 

utLi <myo*&. 

^ -Ago*., S. 52. 

4. 4n-Jpl6U!EJ Off/7 A<J^>T ff^flfOB QdS/ri>Q0flfflr. 

Agam., S. 198. 

III. Questions whereby the questioner desires to secure 
confirmation of his own views already arrived at in his mind. 
Here the questioner, so far from expressing a doubt, must be con- 
sidered to have come to a conclusion in his own mind, affirmative 
or negative as the case may be, ^ and only tries to enforce it by 
means of a question. Such questions are expected to elicit either 
affirmative or negative answers according to circumstances. 

(a) Questions conveying the affirmative cpnclusions of 
the questioner and seeking confirmation by affirmative answers, 


Puram., S. 343. 

2. * * (3/5JUJ-T QsnGjD 

* # * * 

Nar., S. 305. 


Agam., S. 63. 

4. ^/j\)fb j5ara/iiO<S'7 eJf^sSsti^^j ? 

Mcurutakkali, S. 25. 

5. a/Tsrrfi0&8Tc& &f8iLnu9 ofi&aQqy 
(SurruSssrjpi Qjsrev1>isi)iT * * 

JVar., S. 205. 

6. Lo/r<si7/r <iir(Sp L&IGUIT irir(S<$ 
* * * * 

., S. 273. 


(6) Questions conveying the negative conclusions of the 
questioner and seeking confirmation by negative answers. 

The positive psychological states mentioned in class III 
(a) and <*) and the blank state of class I, preclude doubt of any 
sort on the part of the speaker, e.g., 


Purem., 8. 243. 

2. UGKffL^fS lUfrfiiQurrp uL-nQp&ff u>p>Q* a GsM 
# # # * 

KurMcikkdK, 8. 3. 


* * 

Agam., 8. 225. 
4. Ofiw/r gatutiveu LLI^GVS^SJ 

^or., 8. 225. 

5. * * 

S. 206. 

IV. Merely formal or rhetorical questions whereby the 
questioner, in moments of heightened feelings such as surprise, 
grief, fear, etc., allows his language to find vent in the form of 
a question and thus' gives the most effective expression to the then 
dominant psychic mood. These are questions only in form but 
really come very near to interjections or exclamations, e.g., 

Puram., 8. 234. 
2. ^b&rr Q/a>/0 lurre&rtBsiT&n Qs/r^)(?<3tf/r 

Qis<gp&p> effipfcp L/fiirna) GiutjQ&r ? 

Pttf ow., 8. 235. 



Puram., S. 351. 

4. fcrawg)/^} QsvqyGQsr 
* * % * 

i Puram., S. 347. 

5. CT537W u><5BrQs/r<ffO (Sprrffl ? 

JVof ., S. 94. 

Applying Tolkappiyar's dictum re> fcrf for the interpreta- 
tion of the various foregoing fc0Z-affixed verbs, it seems to serve 
only in a limited number of instances falling under class II. The 
idea of doubt cannot be imported into the texts in the other 
classes without detriment to their plain and natural meanings. Reali- 
sing this difficulty Pavanandi supplemented Tolkappiyar's meaning 
by grafting an expletive function too on koL I need scarcely 
point out that this wonderful meaning of 'meaninglessness' coined 
by the later grammarian to cut the gordion knot presented by 
the ancient texts is only a confession of impotence on Pavaiiandi's 
part to reach the idea of the early poets in the use of 'Kol 9 . 
Still allowing that grammarian the benefit of his new device, it 
will help him only in some cases under classes I, IV and III (a), 
where other interrogative words 1 in the sentence will convey the 
intended meaning, with kol itself expunged as a meaning- 
less particle. In sentences where only kol appears with- 
out other interrogative words, they will be turned into 
assertive predications by thus depriving kol of its inter: 
rogative function. These manipulations however hardly count 
when we come to the tough cases coming under class 
III (6). Tn fact, these supply the instantia crucis to test 
the validity of the theory of the Tamil grammarians and of the 
rival hypothesis herein suggested. Taking ihe examples. 2, 3 and 4 
in this class, in all of them the speaker clearly conveys a negative 
proposition and this can never be effected by construing kol 
either in the light of Tolkappiyar's dictum of doubt or with 

(1) The phenomena of double interrogation, as double demonstratives 
and double vocatives, etc., have not been treated at all in Tamil grammar. 
I refrain from entering into this question in detail here, for even without 
propounding this new theory, the interrogative character of the word kol 
can be fulfy established. 

APPENtttX VIII. 24* 

Pavai^andi's meaning of 'meaninglessness'. Unless we invest kol 
with an interrogative function, the affirmative character of the pre- 
dication must remain and thus convey the very opposite of the 
meaning intended by the speaker. It will be noted that in these 
cases the speaker enforces the following negative conclusions as : 

and how can this magical transformation of affirmative predicates 

be accomplished without assigning an interrogative function 
to kolf When we know that even an assertive sentence 
may become an interrogatory by the peculiar intonation of the 
speaker a device beyond the scope of the written language 
cases where the interrogative sentences should import the very 
opposite of their predication need cause little difficulty. 

In short, if the grammarians had laid down a rule stating 
the interrogative function of kol it would have covered all 
the instances occurring in early literature. Overlooking this 
fundamental grammatical function, they appear to have gone a 
little into Psychology and have created an imaginary meaning 
for the term kol. The tabulation of the different types of 
questions hereabove presented to the reader is enough to show 
how many and diverse are the psychological attitudes of the 
speaker which drive him to couch his language in an interro- 
gation. The interpreter of the literary texts is of course bound 
to read aright the particular psychological state of the ques- 
tioner's mind for a correct elucidation of the texts. But a gram- 
marian need not entangle himself in such psychological analyses 
and puzzles and thus miss his plain duty of defining the function 
and form of a word in the sentence in which it occurs. This 
perfunctory excursion into Psychology has in fact made the 
labours of the commentators of the literary works more difficult 
and arduous. In illustration, I shall transcribe here a few verses 
from * cflt/f (ajypajfi ' in CUoppadikdram (19:51-59) and the 
relevant portions of Adiyarkkunallar's commentary thereon: 

The commentary runs thus: 

Q*/rA> jjgojii (In the face of Tolkappiyar's dictum 

the commentator could not do anything else. As a grammarian 


he does not probe into the exact significance of kol; but such 
an omission does not prevent him from correctly expounding the 
lines, guided by the true instincts of a literary man). The com- 

mentary continues: "u/f^s a/ffomro) anm Q&irQfvSssrp peujpt 

It is unnecessary to inquire here why Adiyarkkunallar him- 
self should not have felt the clear contradiction between his almost 
mechanical reproduction of Tolkappiyar's meaning 'Otf/rA-ggajLo* 
and the ascription of a negative proposition to the heroine by 
himself in the closing lines of his commentary. The commenta- 
tor of Purwndnuru too follows the same method in expounding 
AvvaiySr's line: 

{jfyesrgu ti uffm&f uirty-Qsresr u>/DQ/ra>. 

and while giving the meaning in an affirmative proposition he in- 
consequentially adds ' Q/7v) jgajLo ' in his appended note. So 
heavy lies the hand of the master on these commentators! As a 
matter of fact the commentator of Purananuru, in his interpre- 
tation, follows Pavanandi and takes kol as an expletive. 

In the light of this detailed study, the knot presented by 
the line of the poetess quoted above need not be cut at all by the 
sharp sword of the grammarian but can be untied quite naturally 
and so fittingly as to harmonize with the historical necessities 
brought to light in the Synchronistic Tables. I shall wind up 
my remarks by inviting attention to the distinction that should 
be kept in mind about the two meanings that have been assigned 
here. The meaning of man falls under what Dr. Jesperson calls the 
notional category while that of kol is merely syntactical. The 
former may be traced regularly to its origin in the verbal root 
man whereas kol, at present, cannot be so traced. Its relation 
with the verbal root kol is not at all clear and so the origin 
of this question-mark remains a subject for further investigation. 



Rev. E. Loventhal in his work, Tlw Coins of Tinnevelly, after 
referring to the existence of two distinct Pantfya dynasties, one 
of Korkai and the other of Madura, observes: "Both the chief 
lines had the elephant and the battle-axe as their royal marks, 
probably because they were closely related to each other." Early 
Tamil literature furnishes the most direct testimony on the rela- 
tion of the two lines of the Pai.i<Jiya kings shrewdly arrived at 
by the reverend gentleman from the valuation of numismatic 
evidence before him. It confirms his conclusion that the two- 
lines belonged to one family having their original seat at Korkai. 
In course of time the coin gets an additional fish-mark and Mr. 
Loventhul suggests that the elephant and fish-marks symbolize 
the Buddhistic and the Vaishnavite character of the religious 
persuasion of the then Panc^liya kings. Whatever may be the 
significance of the fish, 1 am inclined to hold that the battle-axe 
\\as the original emblem of the Korkai rulers and that the elephant- 
mark should have been added later on after the conquest of the 
Aayi country by Pasumpiln-Pai^tUyan. It is not at all improb- 
able that the Aayi rulers themselves may have had the elephant- 
mark as their royal emblem. The Travancore royal house, which 
now rules over the greater part of the ancient Aayi country, has 
still the elephant-mark in its crests, with a conch (a symbol of 
Visnu) placed between and underneath the uplifted trunks of 
the animals. As to the Aayi kings, it is quite appropriate that 
they should have assumed this particular elephant-emblem, 
themselves being the rulers of an extensive mountain region; and 
the probability of the truth of such an assumption is all the greater 
if we bring in also the literary evidence bearing on this question. 
Many are the references in the earliest Tamil poems to the strik- 
ingly lavish gifts of elephants bestowed on the poets by the Aayi 
kings in a manner quite characteristic of their line. Umparka^u, 
the elephant forest, belonged to them at first and came to be 
annexed to the Chera dominions later on. Two verses may be 
quoted here about the elephant-gifts of the Aayi kings: 




Qu(rjjQeurr Qen&raflf) 

-r Putawi., S. 129. 

3&rr(Lp&fEJ sireuir 


&. 130. 

These facts fairly make it more than probable that the ele- 
phant-mark in the Madura coin symbolises Pasumpun-Panfliyan 's 
conquest of the Aayi kingdom. I think such a turning political 
event as this is more likely to be commemorated in contemporary 
coinage than the religious persuasion of a king or kings which in 
fact came to assume importance only after the lapse of four or 
five centuries from that early date. 



The tendency of the human mind to ascribe its own thoughts 
and feelings to its surrounding objects is a common enough 
phenomenon and in the matter of reading the ancient history of 
a country a like tendency impels most of us to project into it 
our own modes of thought and life and thereby to invert the 
events from their true historical setting. As an instance of the 
creation of such false historical perspectives, Dr. A. Berriedale 
Keith in his work on Buddhist Philosophy draws pointed attention 
to how the advanced idealistic conceptions of the later Mahayana 
system were read back into the earlier Buddhism of the days of 
its founder. In Tamil literature too this unconscious inversion 
has been going on for a long time. Conceptions borrowed from 
such late works as Cilappadikaram and Manim.ekalai are generally 
read back into the poems of the earliest poets with the result that 
a false picture of the early tines is created and believed in. Take 
for instance the following lines of Paranar: 

irsopp ptr&Su 
pfS 1 ! eutGuenir 
(Jew/i fi&>T/j 

Agam., S. 396. 

This being one of the earliest references to the Aryans in 
the group of works we are considering, it must have formed the 
starting point from which Ilafiko Acligal passed on to the Aryan 
kings of North India and the Himalayas. As an episode in an 
epic poem it may be allowed; but as an incident in sober history 
it does not deserve serious notice. Parariar's lines should be inter- 
preted strictly as referring to Nefluncheralatan's victories over 
certain Andhra kings of his time who ruled over territories lying 
just to the north of his kingdom, '/^./anir' also should be taken 
as referring to the northern-half of the Western Ghats, known then 
as fililmalai. We should not import into these lines meanings 
historically improbable for that ^period. Let us take another 

couplet: s 

Agcm., 8. 336. 

The name 'Aryas* here also refers not to the Aryans of 
North India, but the Aryans nearer home who lived in 'Ariaca' or 
Arya-agam lying beyond the northern border of Tamilagam. It 
was then known as 'a/^LfiD/i' also as in the following lines: 

QeutjnQufr fiiu 

Puram., S. 52. 

Again in interpreting the name *G>ii__,ff)&rp>i}S unless there 
is a clear reference to the Himalayas, the name must be strictly 
construed as referring to the northern-half of the Western Ghats, 
beyond the Coimbatore gap. Let us take these verses : 

Puram., S. 380. 

Puram., S. 67. 

The reference to sandal-wootl in the first verse and the poetic 
description of the intervening Chola country in the second render 

the identification of "a/L-pjeir^/o' and 'SV/^LD&O' as Blilmalai 
quite certain and indisputable. 

Thus in the interpretation of this earliest stratum of Tamil 
literature \ve should bo on our guard not to import ideas bor- 
rowed from later literature which would not fit into it. 



A comparative study of the Pandiya coins of the early 
centuries of the Christian era has led Rev. E. Loventhal 1o lay 
down that the coins of the later centuries show considerable 
debasement. Suggesting that this must have been due to some 
internal trouble or war, he writes: "F should think the whole 
series of these coins belonged to the 4th, 5th and 6th century 
A.D., thai is the time when Buddhism and Brahmanism were 
fighting together." T am, however, inclined to hold that this 
debasement of coinage should be ascribed more to the political 
disturbances then prevailing than to any religious cause. The 
fact is incontestable that from a hundred or a hundred and 
fifty years from the close of the period of the Synchronistic 
Tables, i.e., from 300 or 350 A.D., to the beginning of the seventh 
century there stretches a period of three centuries, whose dark- 
ness there is hardly any means of dispelling by our appeal to 
Tamil literature. The thread of continuous literary develop- 
ment too seems to have snapped with the abrupt, close of the 
dynastic annals arranged and discussed in these Tables. This 
breach of continuity in the political and literary life of the 
Tamil people must be attributed to the disturbances to which 
the once isolated Tamil kingdoms were subjected by the incur- 
sions of the growing Pallava power of the North. The loss of 
independence or at least the necessity of constantly maintaining 
a fight with a northern rival must naturally have led to the 
debasement of the coins in the centuries noted, to which Mr. 
Loventhal bears valuable testimony. 



Venerable as the Sangam tradition is in the Tamil land, first 
put into shape by the commentator on Kalaviyal and then sedu- 
lously propagated by later commentators, we have to examine 
it closely and satisfy ourselves first about its authenticity and 
secondly about its evidentiary value for purposes of history. 

Prof. W. P. Clifford in his paper on the Ethics of Belief 
emphasizes the necessity of basing belief on a thorough examina- 
tion of its grounds. And this he claims, be it noted, even for 
traditions more fundamental and hoary than the tradition we 
have in respect of the Tamil Sangam. In page 199 of his Lectures 
and Essays, Vol. II, he writes: 

"What shall we say of that authority more venerable and 
august than any individual witness, the time-honoured tradition 
of the human race? An atmosphere of beliefs and conceptions 
has been formed by the labours and struggles of our forefathers 
which enables us to breathe amid the various and complex cir- 
cumstances of our life. Tt is around and about us and within 
us; we cannot, think except in the forms and processes of thought 
which it supplies. Ts i1 possible to doubt and to test it? and if 
possible, is it right? 

"We shall find reason to answer that it is not only possible 
and right but our bormden duty ; that the main purpose of tradi- 
tion itself is to supply us with the means of asking questions, 
of testing and inquiring into things; that if we misuse it and 
take it as a collection of cut and dried statements to be accepted 
without further inquiry, we are not only injuring ourselves here, 
but by refusing to do our part towards the building up of the 
fabric which shall be inherited by our children, we are tending 
to cut off ourselves and our race from the human line." 

Tf according to the exhortations of this thinker even the tradi- 
tions that have become the very breath of our nostrils should be 
subjected to scrutiny, the necessity of the Sangam tradition, which 
after all is a mere concoction of a literary coterie, being carefully 
and critically examined goes without saying. 


NOTE ON Tiruvalluvamdlai. 

To Rural, the great ethico-political treatise of TiruvaJluvar, 
is generally appended in its praise a small work of fifty-three 
stanzas in venpa metre from the pen of an unknown author. Sup- 
pressing his own name, the real composer of this poetic pendant has 
chosen to pass it off as the joint-product of the various members of 
the third Tamil Academy of Madura. Probably fired with an un- 
bounded admiration for Kural, the writer may have thought that 
without this bunch of certificates from the whole Saiigain con- 
clave the excellencies of that great work could not be well and 
truly appreciated by posterity or it may be that, consigning the 
Sangam celebrities to their proper niches, he wanted to place 
TiruvaHuvar on a higher pedestal of his own. Whatever be the 
motive of the plan and however genuine it may have appeared 
to an uncritical public, it cannot any longer pass muster in the 
roll-call of the genuine works of Tamil Literature. The Synchro- 
nistic Tables, it is evident, bear hard upon this spurious work. In 
the light of their facts and their arrangement one cannot resist the 
conclusion that the account contained in Tiruval^uvamdLai is 
wholly faked and historically of no value. Even as a 
pure literary production, it is so surcharged with the most fulsome 
flattery with hardly any ray of critical insight to redeem its 
verses that one would be justified in severing its connection with the 
great classic of Tiruvajjuvar. The merits of that masterpiece are 
admittedly such as not to require this unequal prop. 

It is a task of mere supererogation to analyse the contents of 
this work at any length and lay bare the impossibilities and im- 
probabilities it bristles with. A few significant points bearing on 
its authenticity may, however, be noted here. The first three 
stanzas stand ascribed to the unembodied Spirit (jy^f/flj, to 
Sarasvati and to Iraiyanar the supreme Lord or God. None in 
these days will be disposed to seek for authors in such a divine 
assemblage as this. The human authorship of these pieces, however, 
peeps out of the last line of the stanza assigned to the Spirit, viz., 
"eresrpQpirir QtfiF/rA." Further, the use, in this stanza, of the 
word Wewr/f ' in the sense of beauty fe very late phenomenon 
in Tamil Semantics appears wholly incongruous to the Sangam 


age and makes the mysterious spirit quite up-to-date to suit the 
present-day conditions of the Tamil language. Assuming at any 
rate that these three stanzas may have been interpolated into a 
genuine poem on religious motives at a later stage and that their 
presence should not affect the validity of the rest of the 
work, one has still to wonder by what mysterious agency could the 
verses of authors separated from one another by centuries be 
brought into one work. It is clear that the unknown author has 
manipulated with the names of the poets belonging to almost ail the 
generations in the Tables and has made them indite verses in praise 
of one and the same work and in one and the same metric style. 
What is still more remarkable, he has brought into this company 
a very large number of much later poets such as i3haratam~pa4iya 
Perundevanar, Kavisagara-Pcrundevanar, Cirumedaviyar, Kula- 
patinayanar, etc. The medley thus created could be justiliod only 
on such assumptions as these : that the Academy was a continuing 
living institution throughout some centuries, that Kura4 was sub- 
mitted to that body during Nariveruttalaiyur's time, i.e. 9 about the 
second generation, and that all those poets who later on composed 
stanzas in its praise did so not as .Nariveruttalaiyar's contemporaries 
but as mere slavish imitators of an ancient model traditionally 
handed down to them. If such were the case, this modest work 
of 53 stanzas should be considered like Homer or the Makabkd- 
raia, a miniature epic of growth! 

Ny only excuse for going into this length of criticism is the 
amazing seriousness with which such spurious compositions are 
treated in our current histories of literature. 


NOTE ON THE NAME * TirumurugarTuppatfai '. 

The very name 'Tirumurugamippatfai' proclaims its late 
origin involving as it does a new turn in the use of the phrase 
^jbcpiuuofit & n d quite a departure from the linguistic 
practice of the early poets. To these latter the phrase stood for a 
species of literary composition wherein the poet points out a 
way to be pursued by certain individuals addressed by him, for 
gaining their particular objects. Thus Q, m^ffir jbjoii''i '<5a>L_, 
uirgss)pjp!iJL'<ss>L- (both major and minor), and &n_p f &sn\ JDJPIIJLI&DU- 
(otherwise known as Malaipaflukalam) all signified compositions 
wherein the Porunar, Panar and Kiittar are each directed to pursue 
certain paths to attain certain ends of theirs. Inter- 
preted according to r uis time-honoured literary usage 
'Tirumurugarnippacjai' should denote a composition by 
which the poet directs Tirumurugan lo follow a certain path to 
compass some of his ends. Hut that evidently is not the idea 
of this late poet, as the work itself shows. Here he is seen to direct 
the devotee to reach jMuriigau in his various shrines, worship him 
and thereby get salvation. This undoubledJy involves a departure 
from the established literary usage a departure which none of the 
old poets would have perpetrated. To strengthen my contention I 
shall refer the reader to the use of this identical phrase by an old 
poetess, Veri-pa(tiya-Kamakkaru.iiyar, in the line: 

Agam., S. 22. 

Here the phrase means, as it should, that God Murugan had 
been brought to the heroine's home for worship. The transitive 
verb u @ipp and the verbal noun derived from it M#nL_ appear- 
ing in the compounds ^pjpuuQfsffi an( l |J/D jp uu&ni~ were 
always used then with their grammatical objects. The names of 
all the old Arruppaclai poems fall in line with this early usage. 
But in Tirmnumgdrruppa{.tai 9 this usage has been wholly departed 
from and a new extension effected. Probably this may be a sign of 
growth of thought and facility in the use of the linguistic instru- 
ment but that means the lapse of an appreciable time for it to come 
to pass. 

C 33 


THE AGE OP Tolkdppiyam. 

In the cloistered world of Tamil learning, the age of Tolkdp- 
piyam stands to this day an insoluble problem. Not that the prob- 
lem itself is really insoluble, but it has been made to appear so by 
powerful influences, racial, religious, literary, and even sentimental, , 
which have gathered round this particular work and thrown up 
such entrenchments as cannot be carried by mere literary men. 
Tradition and dogmatic opinion have been responsible for the 
widely-entertained belief that Tolkdppiyam alone of the existing 
works in Tamil belongs to an anterior stratum, the so-called 
'Second Sangam Literature', and that it is far too much older than 
Purandnuru, Agandnuru, etc., which are relegated to a special class, 
the 'Third Sangam Classics'. This rooted conviction has betm further 
stiffened by the writings of some of the learned commentators of 
Tolkdppiyam, who, despising the use of centuries for measuring 
the age of this unique work, have launched into aeons and ulis instead 
an uli of course taking in that vast stretch of time which inter- 
venes between the creation of a cosmos and its destruction. 
Even such practically inconceivable periods of time as are dealt with 
by the Geologists dwindle into insignificance before the actual 
time-measure adopted by these authors in settling a problem in 
Tamil literary history ! Such a thoroughly unscientific attitude and 
procedure are possible only in a field of study self-centred and 
stagnant and absolutely cut off from the vitalizing currents of 
modern thought and modern methods. 

Taking Tolkdppiyam out of this privileged position and sub- 
jecting it as any other work to a critical examination from every 
point of view open to a linguist, a literary man or a historian, one 
will find that its transcendent antiquity is a pure myth and that 
its relative age- in Tamil literary history can easily be settled. 
The assigning of this work absolutely to a particular century may 
not be feasible at present, for its composition quite probably falls 
within the dark period of Tamil history just preceding the advent 
of the Religious epoch ; but to fix its age relatively to some of the 
third Sangam works, such as Purandnuru, etc., is, it seems to me, 
not at all difficult. The linguistic evidence I have thus far gathered 
in my study of Tolkappiyar's treatment of 'tfriccor warrants 


the conclusion that the composition of this grammar comes 
much later and is separated from the Purandnuru period by a 
fairly wide gap of time. Reserving the results of that study 
for a separate treatment I shall here confine myself to a discus- 
sion of only those points on which the Synchronistic Tables throw 
an altogether new and much-needed light. 

I shall summarize them under five heads: 

(1) The first mention of , Veftkatam in this literature occurs 
in the poems of Kalla<Jamlr, a poet of the seventh generation. It 
was in the sixth generation that Aruvana,<Ju was conquered and 
brought under complete subjection by Karikalan II. Both the 
father and the grandfather of this sovereign are said to have 
fought some battles in the North ; but those victories did not take 
them as far north as Venkatam nor did they lead to any per- 
manent occupation of territory in that region. It was only 
during the time of the great warrior-king Karikfilan II that the 
Chola kingdom had its northern frontier pushed to the foot of 
Venkatam. If this fact of early Ch51a history is admitted and 
existing literature does not permit one to ante-date the conquest 
of North Aruvfmaclu in pre-Karikalan days it gives us 
an important point cf' appui for the settlement of Tolkappiyar's 
age. In the commendatory stanza composed by Panamparanar, 
Tolkappiyar's co-student according to tradition, and prefixed to 
Tolkdppiyam it is definitely stated that Veftkatam was the northern- 
most boundary of Tamijagam at the time of the composition of 
that work. Hence one may legitimately infer that Tolkappiyar 
could not have written his grammar before the Chola power had 
extended its conquests to the foot of that northern hill. Surely 
when the country round about Veiikatam was a region of thickly- 
grown forests infested with marauding tribes under their chief- 
tain Pulli none would be warranted in assuming that that region 
had come under the civilized rule of the Cholas. It was only after 
Ihe complete subjugation of the Aruvanadu of the Naga tribes 
and of the North Aruvfi inhabited by some forest-tribes and the 
planting of Tamil colonies in those semi-civilized and barbarous 
regions that Veftkatam must be considered to have become the 
northernmost boundary of the Chola dominion and hence of 
Tamijagam. This bit of political history testified to by the Tables 
about the gradual expansion of the Chola power is entirely sub- 
versive of the current view re the composition of Tolkdppiyam in 
the pre-Purananuru period. In the light of the early condi- 
tions it is simply unthinkable. 


(2) If these Tables establish any historical fact beyond a 
doubt it is this: that the rulers of the three royal dynasties of the 
Tamils were engaged in an unceasing arid protracted warfare 
with many a tribal ruler for the expansion of the very limited 
territories with which they seem to have started. Before the 
establishment of their capitals at TTraiyur, Karuvur and Kfujal they 
could not be considered as having attained the status of 'Great 
Kings', a status which their descendants came to occupy in later 
times as could well be gathered from the narrations in later litera- 
ture. Supposing that Tolkappiyam had preceded the establishment 
of the three Tamil monarchies in their respective capitals, would 
such Sutras as> the following appear in it ? 

(a) G>Liirivsa><$ QGUU&U lu/rQffear 

Agattinai-Iyal., S. 60. 


Marapu-Iyal., S. 626. 
(c) /533TL/J5/ (Lpeutr 

Seyywl-Iydl., S. 391. 

Such descriptions as ' wQuQnpirtiHnuir ' (Lpu>. ...... Q&rm 

and '/grorL/a;^ g^ew/f 1 , applicable to the time of the 
fully-developed Tamil kingships would scarcely suit the early period 
when these were only in the making and just feeling their way 
towards territorial expansion, dominant power and political 
influence. How could the early communal Ve]s and Ko's be styled 
/orQ/,'(5*,/r&nW, the kings with big standing armies? 
How could they be invested with the crown and sceptre, the 
insignia of full-fledged royalty of later days? How could 
Ve]iyn Tittan and his son Tittan VeHyan, the first two Chola 
sovereigns in the Tables, who ruled their people without wearing 
a crown, be brought under the description of Tolkappiyar? How 
could the general phrase 'three kings' refer particularly to the 
Tamil kings at a time when there were seven kings, eleven kings, 
and host of them besides, in a proper counting? Again, the political 
division to which the third extract refers is not at all applicable to 
the period of the Synchronistic Tables. The commentator rightly 
expounds that it comprised the four major political provinces of 
the Tamijagam of Tolkappiyar 's days, viz., Pandiyaman<Jalam, 


Malaimanflalam, Cholamaritfalam and TornJainiarNjalam. Now a 
reference to Tondaiman Ilantiraiyan occurs only in the time of 
Avvaiyar of the ninth generation and from this one cannot im- 
mediately jump to the conclusion that there was a political province 
under the name Tondaimanflalam in those days, for this name itself 
was brought into vogue at a much laler date. Even after the conquest 
and colonisation of the AruvanStfu, North and South, the territory 
must have existed only as part and parcel of the Chola kingdom. 
After a century or two from the time of Karikfilan II this north- 
ern dependency seems to have become a separate principnlity (the 
Kalabhra interregnum testifies to this effect), which in still later 
times became the nidus for the Pallava power to grow in. In time, 
this new power gfrew to such dimensions that it easily sub- 
verted the paramount Chola rule and overran the other Tamil 
States too. But all these belong to much later history. What 
we have to note in this connection is that the four-fold political 
division to which Tolkappiyar alludes in his Sutra is the picture 
of a later Tamilagam which we have no right to project into the 
times of the dynastic kings Appearing in the Synchronistic Tables. 
Tolkappiyar 's reference must be strictly construed as mirroring 
the conditions of <\ much later period in the political history of 
the Tamils. 

(3) We have seen from the Tables that the few Aryans 
who first came into the Tamil country were of the religious 
order and had been invited by Karikafcm II and Mudukufhimi 
Peruyahuli for the performance of Yiigas. There was a small 
sprinkling of secular Brahmans also who pursued some handi- 
craft work or other. This handful of immigrants from the North 
could hardly have exerted any influence on the politics of those 
days. By the fewness of their numbers, by the inconspicuousness 
of their professions, by the absence of the fighting Ksatrya ele- 
ment in their ranks, and, above all, by the war-like propensities 
of 1he Tamil kings themselves, the early Aryan settlers could 
riot certainly have borne any part or lot in the political life of 
Tamilagam then ; much less could they have cast a glance towards 
the occupation of a throne. And yet we find in Tolkappiyar, 
a Sutra like this: 

Marapu-Iyal, S. 637. 

Howsoever applicable this dictum may be to North India 
or to South India in much later times, it has no relevancy to the 
political conditions of the ancient Tamil States during the first 


two centuries of the Christian era and presumably much less to 
any century preceding them. If Tolkdppiyam is a work com- 
posed for the Tamils, their language, and their country, this parti- 
cular Sutra should then be construed as the product of a much 
later literary activity when the Aryan element gained in strength, 
influence and importance in the Tamil land. 

(4) Let us take another Sutra: 


AgcMwai'Iyal, S. 5. 

Applied to the four fundamental works of these Tables and 
even in the case of the secondary works much of this description 
must lack in pertinency. The occurrence of the names , nff <& 
a/id jjfiii>jir0ir in a few stanzas in a body of poems numbering 
above 1,600 can in no way bo construed as importing a classifica- 
tion of the land amongst the different deities specified by Tolkap- 
piyar a novel scheme, be it noted, that was sought to be grafted 
on the life and literature of the early Tamils by a later syste- 
matlsm just about the dawn of the Religious epoch. To one 
conversant with the method of linguistic development and literary 
forms the very scholasticism which breathes through this classifica- 
tion of the land and a tabulation of its products, and its 
people with their modes of life, manners, etc., should proclaim 
itself as an aftergrowth, such a scheme being incompatible with the 
creative period of a nation 's literature dealt with in the Synchro- 
nistic Tables. Still, those who cherish the antiquity of Tolkdp- 
piyam as an article of faith may seek to press into 
service the mere mention of the names of some deities in early 
literature as affording a clear testimony to the state of popular 
belief in such deities at that time and also to the literary usage 
of investing such deities with the presiding functions in their res- 
pective locale. Allowing the fullest scope even for this latitudi- 
narian interpretation, how can they grapple with the difficulty 
raised by Tolkappiyar's specific mention of Varuna* Not even a 
single poet has alluded, anywhere, or on any occasion, to this 
particular deity either by name or by implication. This leaves 
us in little doubt that Tolkappiyar's reference must be shifted 
to much later times for coming into some accordance with pre- 
valent literature. It will not certainly be relevant to raise in 
this connection any question about Varuna's antiquity in the 


Aryan pantheon. Admitting that that antiquity reaches the Big 
Vedic Period, or even a still earlier age, what is here urged is 
the lateness of its introduction into the pantheon of the Tamils. 
If Tolkappiyam had preceded the basic works of the Tables and 
served as their authority, there is not the least reason why one 
and all the poets who allude to such deities as ^rt>La7<_6i/6yr, 
(Lf($<S6*r, GfSspQpiueuti, tfcrrwfi/f^/p *i_aj6yr, etc., should have 
given the go-by to this particular deity in their stanzas. 
If Varuna had been as familiar to the early Tamils as to 
Tolkappiyar, surely a few poets at least would have alluded 
to him in some stanza or other. This allusion to Varuna there- 
fore definitely throws the composition of Tolkappiyam to a 
much later age when the major portion, if not the whole, of the 
Aryan pantheon was systematically introduced into the Tamil 
country, taking of course into its bosom a number of pre-Aryan 
deities. As for the method adopted for the effective assimilation 
in religion, the following lines of Paripatfal, a late work, 
furnish the most instructive and interesting information: 

GLDILI QeujpiGsujpi QuujQir/r 

Paripa4cA 9 4: 66-70. 
Here the poet exhibits an extraordinary Catholicism capa- 
cious enough to absorb every form of worship, then obtaining in 
the Tamil land, into the cult of Visnu. 'Mayon* occupying the 
place of honour in Tolkappiyar 's Sutra quoted above, it is but 
reasonable to hoJd that that grammatical work is much nearer to 
the period of ParipdfjM than to the earlier works, Pufa- 
ndnuru, Agandnupu, etc. 

(5) We have seen that the Synchronistic Tables com- 
prise events which fall within the first two centuries of the 
Christian era and will not fit in if shifted to any subsequent 
period. That fact being established, the following Sutra of 
Tolkappiyam supplies us with the most valuable testimony of 
a definite chronological significance. It runs: 

Kalaviyal., S. 135. 

The word c <aa>j7 ' in this Sutra has a history of its own and 
enables us to determine the upper limit of Tolkappiyar 's age 


with some degree of certainty. '&ss>ir' * s certainly not a Tamil 
word by its origin; nor is it native even in Sanskrit before the 
Astronomers of the North borrowed it from the Greeks. The opinion 
of Western Orientalists like Colebrooke, Weber, Whitney, Thibaut, 
Jacobi and Keith is unanimous about at least the later Indian 
Astronomy having been decisively influenced by the Greek Science. 
G. R. Kaye in his valuable contribution on Hindu Astronomy, 
published in the Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India 
No. 18, has clearly demonstrated that the Vedic and the post- 
Vedic periods down to the first century of the Christian era mark 
the existence of the Indian Astronomy, as an entirely indigenous 
system free from- foreign influence of any kind. Coming, 
however, to the third stratum of that Science which synchronises 
with the period of the Gupta dynasty from 320 A.D. to 650 A.D., 
he pronounces it as being largely permeated by Greek method 
and thought. Aryabhata born towards the close of the fifth 
century and Varahamihira of the sixth century were the earliest 
Astronomers who absorbed the new influence of the West and 
borrowed also a good number of Greek technical terms of 
which *Hora ? is one. If Sanskrit language itself cannot claim 
possession of this particular word before the Gupta period 
or the fifth century approximately, how can Tolkappiyar who 
borrowed the word from Sanskrit and few, I think, will contend 
that he borrowed it direct from the Greek source for his gram- 
matical work aspire to any higher antiquity? 

A treatment of the linguistic evidences from Tolkdppiyam 
itself may be reserved for another occasion, as it will swell this 
Appendix beyond its acceptable limit. 

Reasons like the foregoing drawn from historical facts and 
probabilities may not appeal to those who are used to take a static 
view of history wherefrom the lime-element is wholly extruded. 
Whether from a desire to glorify the past or from an incapacity 
to shake off erroneous ideas in estimating that past or from an 
unwillingness to get out of traditional grooves of thought, they 
generally transport en masse the latest developments in any walk 
of life and thought to any anterior period in history, without the 
least notion of the monstrous inversion they thereby make. 
Among such there may still be many hardy Jasons to go in 
search of the golden fleece of Tolkappiyar 's Date in pre- 
Christian centuries or even millennia and who can hope to dis- 
suade them from that heroic venture! 

Turning, however, to the side of serious inquiry, we find that 
the Synchronistic Tables open a fair and fruitful way of solving 


the problem of Tolkappiyar's Date. They restore the ancient clas- 
sical poems of Tamil to their rightful place of priority as against 
Tolkdppiyam by establishing that a good many of them are almost 
contemporary with the birth of the Tamil monarchies. No sooner 
have the facts of early Tamil history, hitherto chaotically 
jumbled up and rendered irrational and even mute, been arranged 
in a time-scheme in their natural order ofi sequence than they have 
acquired a new intelligibility and significance and give us a most 
valuable and much-needed guidance in interpreting the facts of 
the political and social life of the Tamils no less than those of 
their language and literature. If the basic* works of the Tables do 
not enable us to fix Tolkappiyar 's date absolutely in a particular 
century, at least they leave us in little doubt about the relative age 
of his work as compared with themselves. This in itself is a great 
point scored in favour of 1 a correct reading of the history of Tamil 
language and literature. Hitherto the traditional practice unques- 
tioningly followed of ante-dating Tolkdppiyam and post-dating the 
third Sangam classics has only thrown inquiry wholly off its right 
track. Instead of the earlie^ Sangam works supplying the norm 
for the valuation of Tolkdppiyam, this comparatively late gram- 
mar was erected into an absolute standard by which those ancient 
poems were invariably measured and judged. The viciousness of 
this practice is solely duo to the inverted and false chronology on 
which it is based. And it is to the entire reversal of this faulty 
method that the Synchronistic Tables supply a most valuable help. 

C 34 


[Figures in heavy types refer to the number of the verse 

quoted from the particular San gam Collection 

under which they appear.] 

Aayi, 79, 106, 110, 122, 164, 168, 169, 

170, 249. 
Aayi An<Jiran, 105, 106, 118, 164, 

170, 232. 

Aayi Atiyan, 123, 125, 164, 170. 
Aayi country or kingdom, 81, 123, 

132, 133, 147, 163, 164, 165, 167, 

169, 170, 187, 233, 249, 250. 
Aayi Eyinan, 78. 
Aayi Family, 123, 124, 163, 171, 

Kings, 113, 114, 115, 116, 121, 122, 

125, 163, 166, 167, Tribe, 106, 168, 

169, 170, 171, 234, 249. 
Aayi Titiyan, 118, 163, 164, 167, 170. 
Aayi Tiliyan II, 167. 
Academy, 20, 22, 23, 24, 28, 197, 198, 


Acharyas, 217. 
Achaemenidean dipi, 209. 
Adarima Koreour, 74, 106. 
Adikaman, 229. 
Adisesa, 105. 
Adiyaman Necjuman And, 153, 155, 


Adiyaman Ko|iyur, 106. 
Adiyaman Pokuttelini, 157. 
Adiyan, 106. 

Adiyarkkunallar, 125, 247, 248. 
Adiyars, 220. 
A<jon<Jai-Cakravarti, 154. 
Adukotpattu Cheralatan, 136, 137, 

138, 139. 
Agamas, 219. 

Agan&n&ru or 'A gam., 12, 15, 28, 29, 
32, 33," 35, 36, 38,41,68, 71, 89, 

110, 116, 152, 198, 199, 208, 258, 


79, 80, 82, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 
100, 101, 103, 104, 114, 118, 121, 
122, 123, 124, 146, 150, 153, 154, 
155, 158, 174, 180, 181, 214, 233, . 

239, 240, 241, 244, 245, 251, 252, 

6-75; 8-241; 22-257; 24-214; 
25-114; 26-152; 36-146; 42- 
101; 44-78, 89, 174; 48-241; 
52-244; 63-244; 65-103; 76-99; 
85-154; 87-239; 93-233; 96-96; 
115-82; 116-103; 122-70, 125-94, 
239; 137-70; 142-79; 149-180, 
233; 152-180; 153-80; 162-123; 
168-104; 186-76; 196-95; 198-244; 
203-239 ; 206-68 ; 208-79 ; 211-158 ; 
216-150 ; 220-80 ; 225-245 ; 226-80 ; 
227-181 ; 241-239 ; 246-93, 95 ; 248- 
241; 253-121, 124; 255-240; 266- 
62, 122; 296-100; 322-118; 323- 
116; 326-76; 330-240; 333-239; 
336-97, 252; 338-97, 121; 340- 
154; 341-239; 346-153; 352-155; 
356-97; 367-241; 375-97; 376- 
241 ; 387-240, 241 ; 396-79, 251. 

Agapporul, or Iraiyandr Agapporuf 
19, 20, 24, 105, 196, 197, 222, 223. 
7-222; 17-222; 18-222; 43- 
223; 54-222; 59-222. 

Agastiyarkucjam, 77. 

Agastya, 105,117,235. 

Agastya in the Tamil Land, 9, 78. 

Agattinai-Iyal, 260, 262; 5-262; 60- 

Agatliyam, 23. 

Agattiyanar, 24. 

Augustus Caesar, 185. 

Age of Tirugnanasambandha, 195. 

Agricultural Tribes, 66. 

Augustus, 117. 

Ainkurunuru, 15, 28, 29, 30, 33, 36, 
37, 41, 44, 101, 189, 199, 208, 235, 
243 ; 90-243 ; 467-101. 

Aioi, 175, Country, 163. 

Aitareya Aranyaka, 209. 

Aiyur, 150, 152. 

Aiyflr Mutfavanar, 150. 



Aiyflr Mulamkilar, 155. 

Akkadians, 206. 

Aksapada, 129. 

Akutai, 72, 96, 97, 98, 99, 107, 108, 


AJagiyapandiyan, 122. 
Alagiyapancjiyapuram, 122. 
Alattur Kilar, 143, 147. 
Alexandrian Massacre, 179, 183, 184, 

185, 186. 
Alikasudra, 168. 
Alisi, 39, 63, 64, 68, 69. 
Alisikatfu, 63. 
Alumbil, 89. 
Alumbur, 89. 
Alundai, 89. 
Ahmdur, 88, 89, 95, 98. 
AlunturveJ, 67. 
Ambar Kilan Aruvandai, 147. 
Ammuvanar, 30, 32, 118. 
Amur, 74, 75. 
Anaimalai, 117, 231. 
Anantarama Aiyar, Pandit E. V., 226. 
Anci, 118, 153, 154, 158. 
Ancil Antai, 155. 
Ancient India, 182, 184. 
Ancient Tamijagam, 163, 168. 
Ancient Tamil History, 164. 
Anderson, J. D., 84. 
Andhra, 177, Brahmins, 215, Dynasty, 

176, Kings, 251. 
Antfiran, 106. 
Aniladumunril, 39. 
Anilacjumunrilar, 39. 
Annals, 180." 
Anni Mignili, 95. 
An-Porunai, 6b, 232, 233. 
An-ta-lo, 177. 
Antoninus Pius, 185. 
Antuvan Cheral, 83, 85, 86, 87, 103, 

106, 138. 
Aparantika, 176. 
Appar, 217, 218, 220. 
Arabian Sea, 118, 121,227. 
Aran, 227. 
Aravalo, 227. 
Aravamu, 228. 
Archaeological Department of 

Mysore, 6. 
Arcot, 14, 62, 70, 71, 73, 89, 136, 140, 

173, 227, 231. 
Ariaca, 175, 176, 252. 
Ariake Sadinon, 176. 
Arimanavayilnadu, 62. 
Arisil Kilar, 124, 128, 197. 
Aristotle, 23. 

Arivuijai Nambi, 53, 156, 158. 
Ariyappadai-KacJanta - Nedunceliyan, 


Arkkadu, 62, 63, 68, 69, 70, 175, 196, 

Arkkattu Kilar, 196. 

Arkkonam, 227. 

Arni, 227. 

Arouvarnoi, 173, 228. 

Arppakkam, 227. 

Arruppadai, 257. 

Aruvajar, 62, 63, 82, 94, 140, 173, 
227, 228. 

Aruvanadu, 227, 259, 261. 

Aruvavadatalai, 227. 

Arya-agam, 176, 252. 

Aryabhata, 264. 

Aryan, 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 22, 23, 
89, 135, 176, 187, 196, 205, 209, 213, 
214, 229, 251, 252, 259, 261, 262, 
263; Civilisation, 207, 212; Colo- 
nists, 214, 227 ; Community, 4, 25 ; 
Kings, 111, 117, 176, 251 ; Litera- 
ture; 11, Religion, 131. 

Aryanisation, 4, 10, 13, 39, 1%, 209. 

Asoka, 14,62, Ib8, 169, 170, 193, 206, 

Asoka's Edicts, 14, 168, 169. 

Atan, 39. 

Atan Avini, 15<S. 

Atan EUni, 147, 150. 

Atikan, 79. 

Atimanti, 93. 

Atiyaman, 170. 

Atiyan, 78, 79, 122, 123, 124, 147, 170. 

Atiyar Family, 125. 

Atiyarma, 74. 

Atiyarmagan, 170. 

Atiyarman Koliyur, 74. 

Attan Atti, 93. 

Atti,63, 78, 85, 93, 142, 175,227, 

Aiukoj, 139. 

Atukotpattu Cheralatan, 132, 13b, 
137, 138, 139. 

Augustus, 117. 

Avalokitesvara, 25. 

Avur, 150. 

Avur Mulam Kilar, 155, 214. 

Avvaiyar, 151, 153, 154, 155, 158, 
161, 235, 236, 237, 261. 

Ayar, 64, 82, 106, 169. 

Ayiri, 77, 82, Mountain, 116. 


Babylon, 205, 206, 207. 
Balita, 177. 
Bareilly District, 215. 
Baris, 81, 106. 
Basarnagos, 69. 
Batois, 99, 172. 


Bay of Bengal, 118. 

Bharataw, 197. 

Bharatam Patfiya Perundcvanar, 28, 

32, 33, 255. 
Bharata Venba, 33. 
Bharukacca, 205. 
Bhattiprolu Caskets, 14. 
Bodhisattvas, 25. 

Bouddha Vestiges of Kancipura, 135. 
Bose, B. Sc., Mr. P. N., 7. 
Brahmadayam, 215. 
Brahmagiri Hill, 6. 
Brahmana Makkal or Makka], 230. 
Brahminical Tantras, 219. 
Brahmanic Religion, 9. 
Brahmani Magoi, 229. 
Brahmamsm, 237, 253. 
Brahmans, 214, 215. 
Brahmi Epigraphs, 208. 
Brahmi Lipi, J06. 
Bruno, 23. 
Buchanan, J)r., 176. 
Huddha, 135. 
Buddhism, 10, 181,200, 219, 237, 251, 


Buddhists, 9, 220. 
tfuddhist India, 205. 
Ruddhist Philosophy, 251. 
Buddhist Tara Temple, 135. 
Buhlcr, Dr., 27. 
Burke, 7. 
Burma, 23, 200. 

Uurncll, Dr., 23, 17(>, 177, 207, 208. 
Byzantium, 117, 174._ 
Byzantine Greeks, 174. 


Gilayam-Chaliatta, 177. 

Caldwell, Dr., 2, 62, 63, 176, 227. 

Calicut, 178. 

Caligula, 184, 185. 

Cambay, 176. 

Canara, 82, 137. 

Cannanorc, 77, 172. 

Cape Comorin, 106, 111. 

Caracalla, 179, 185. 

Castes and Tribes of Southern 

India, 215. 
Cattan, 188, 189. 
Cetfcenni, 120, 143. 
Ccdcenni Nalamkilli, 89, 141, 142, 

143, 166, 185. 
CcHyan, 152. 

Celva-Katfuhko, 116, 132. 
Cempulappeymrar, 39. 
Cenkuttuvan, 124, 125, 126, 144. 
Ccnkuttuvan-Gaj abahu Synchronism, 


Cenni, 50, 89, 90, 95, 98, 119, 120, 

130, 141, 143, 144. 
Ceruppali, 119. 
Ceruppali-erinta - I|ance4ccnni, 50, 

119, 120. 
Cevvali, 211. 
Ceylon, 23, 206. 
Chaityas, 135. 
Chandragiri Kiver, 172. 
Chazarla, 135. 
Chera, 28, 36, 37, 39, 51, 52, 57, 60, 

02, 73, 77, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 

90, 91, 92, 95, 103, 105, 106, 107, 

108, 110, 111, 112, 116, 118, 124, 
126, 136, 137, 138, 140, 146, 148, 
149, 151, 153, 155, 156, 158, 159, 
172, 174, 170, 192, 231, 232; 
Capital, 73, 231, 232, 233; Domi- 
nions, 112, 116, 126, 137, 172, 249; 
King, 28, 37, 54, 59, 73, 81, 83, 

84, 85, 86, 87, 90, 91, 95, 105, 100, 

109, 111, 112, 110, 118, 124, 120, 
137, 138, 139, 140, 146, 148, 153, 

J55, 150, 157, 158, 174, 170. 

Chera King Pcrnnchcral, 126. 

"Chera of the Elephant look", 148, 
149, 199. 

Chcralar, 229. 

Cheralar-magan, 229. 

Chcralatan, 111. 

Chcraman, 229. 

Chcraman-Kanaikkfil Irumporai, 155. 

Cheraman-Ko-Kodai - Marpan, 152, 

Cberaman Kurjakko llancheral 
Irumporai, 130. 

Cheraman Kutltivaii Kodai, 146. 

Cheraman Mari Vanko, 151, 153. 

Cheraman Palai i*a<}iya Pcrum- 

Chcraman Vaiican, 1 58. 

Cheruppu, 77. 

Chidambaram, 178, 220. 

Chiefs, 51, 52, 57, 73, 82, 85, 105, 
118, 125, 140, 146, 150, 153, 157. 

Chinese Pilgrim, 177. 

Chingleput, 62, 227. 

Chirini, 175. 

Chitaldrug, 6, 83, 168. 

Cholas, 39, 50, 51, 52, 58, 60, 62, 63, 
67, 69, 70, 71, 77, 78, 80, 83, 88, 89, 
90,94, 95, 96, 106, 112, 117, 119, 
125, 131, 133, 135, 140, 142, 143, 
144, 148, 149, 151, 168, 170, 173, 
185, 192, 193, 194, 195, 202, 228, 
252, 259, 261 ; History, 60, 98, 125, 
141, 191, 259; Kings, 50, 52, 58, 
59, 60, 63, 67, 69, 71, 75, 76, 78, 83, 

85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 94, 95, 97, 106, 



107, 109, 111, 119, 128, 130, 131, 

140, 141, 148, 150, 155, 156, 158, 

166, 192, 227, 260; Kingdom, 142, 

143, 172, 259, 261. 
Ch6lamai?<Jalam, 261. 
Chronology of India, 170. 
Cttappadik&ram, 41, 42, 45, 111, 

124, 125, 127, 144, 162, 176, 188, 

190, 205, 247, 251. 
Cirukufli Kilan, 150. 
Cirumedaviyar, 256. 
Cirupan&rruppafai, 15, 201, 202. 
Ciruttoijtfar, 220. 
Clttalas, 189. 

Gttalai Cattan, 156, 189, 197, 199. 
Cittiramatjattu - tunciya - Nanmaran, 


Claudius, 182, 184, 185. 
Clifford, Prof. W. F., 196, 254. 
Cochin, 73, 81, 177, 178. 
Coimbatore, 74, 76, 77, 79, 82, 104, 

106, 117, 123, 126, 169, 231, 232 


Coins of Southern India, 27, 157. 
Coins of Tinncvclly, The, 237, 249. 
Colebrookc, 264. 
Commodus, 184, 185. 
Conjeevaram, 178. 
Coorg, 230. 
Cottanara, I7b. 
Cranganore, 6, 232. 
CtiUiyaru, 232, 233. 
Cunningham, General, 63, 117. 


Daivaccilaiyar, 238. 
Dakshinapada, 227. 
' Damirica, 137, 172, 176. 
Damodaram Pillai, C. W., 34, 224. 
Damodaranar, 141, 147, 197. 
Dantfakaranya, 139. 
Davids, Dr. T. W. Rhys, 27, 205, 


Dekkhan, 227. 
Denarius, 183. 
Devadayam, 215. 
Devanandi Pujyapada, 26. 
Dtvaram, 10, 45, 215, 217, 218, 219, 


Devaram Hymnists, 217, 219. 
Diamper, 103. 
Di-Kho, 85. 
Di-Sang, 85. 
Domitian, 182, 184, 185. 
Dramidaka, 137. 

Dravi l dian,'2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 17, 84, 
Civilization, 2, 5, 6, 105, 207, 210; 

History, 4, 6; Language, 3, 213; 

Race, 6, 207, 228. 
Dubreuil, Prof., 117. 
Duff, 170. 
Durga, 219. 
Dwarasamudra, 21. 

Early History of India, 6, 14, 135, 

Early Literature of the Tamils, 14, 

16, 263. 

Eastern Ghats, 82. 
Eo'aikkunrur KHar, 145. 
Editor of Patirruppattu, 124. 
Eight Collections, 15, 27, 28, 41, 199. 
Eighteen Didactic Works, 16, 204. 
Ekkur, 178. 
Elangkon, 177. 
Elephant Country, 118, 231. 
Elephant-marked Coins of Madura, 

170, 249. 
Elil, 77, 172. 

Elilmalai, 77, 169, 175, 251, 252. 
EHni, 39. 
EHni I, 158. 
Elini II, 125. 
EHni III, 146. 
EHni IV, 157. 
EHni Atan, 147, 150, 167. 
Elliot, Sir Walter, 27, 157. 
Elumutfi, 66. 
Enadi, 195. 

Enadi Tirukkuttuvan, 140. 
Enicceri, 106, 109, 110, 116. 
Enicceri Mutfamosiyar, 86, 87, 103. 
Epigraphica Indica t 168. 
Epochs of Civilisation, 7. 
Ericcilur, 141, 143. 
Eroici Furori, 23 
Errai, 78, 85. 
Erukkatfu, 150, 157. 
Erumai 82. 
Erumaiyuran, 82, 146. 
Ethnologists, 4. 

Ettuttokai, 15, 27, 41, 189, 199. 
Evvi, 39, 122. 
Evvi I, 99, 107, 108, 122. 
Evvi II, 108, 122, 125. 
Evviyar, 99. 
Eyil Pattinam, 177. 
Eyinan, 78, 79, 85, 170. 
Eyinars, 64, 78, 82. 

Fabricius, 175. 

Ferguson, J. f 227. 

Frederick Goodrich Henke, 218. 

Galba, 185. 

Gandhara, 227. 

Ganga Family, 170, 

Gangavadi, 170. 

Gautama, 129. 

Girnar, 168. 

Godavari, 177. 

Gopinatha Rao, Mr. T. A., 135, 208. 

Greece, 174. 

Greeks, 117, 178, 184, 192, 264; 
Authors, 73, 163, 165, 172, 173, 
174; Writings, 162, 175,178; 

Gupta Period, 264. 

Guntur, 135. 


Haddon, A. C, 117. 

Hadrian, 182, 184, 185. 

Harappa, 3, 207. 

Herder, 215, 216. 

Hi<}a, 168, 169. 

Hicja King, 168, 169, 170. 

Himalayas, 111, 125, 126, 251, 252. 

Hinduism, 25, 219. 

Hindu Reaction, 39, 135. 

Hiouen-Thsang, 177. 

Hippalus, 179. 

Hirananda Sastri, M.A., Mr., 219. 

History of Indian Logic t 129. 

History of the Tamils, 51. 

Hobson-Jobson, 23. 

Hocart, A. M., 24. 

'Hora', 264. 


Iconography, 208. 

!<}a, 169. 

I<Jaikka<Jar, 148, 235, 236. 

I<Jayar, 169. 

Itfayarmagan, 170. 

Icjumbil, 125. 

Ilaiyar, 64. 

Ijampuranar, 238. 

IJanagan, 35, 149. 

Uance<Jcenni, 119, 120. 

ijaiicheral Irumporai, 136. 

Hango-Aflgal, 127, 190, 251. 

Uanka<Juhkd, 199. 

Haii-kandirakkd, 155. 

Uahkiranar, 103, 105. 

Ilahkumanan, 155. 

Ilantiraiyan, 158. 

IlavantikaippaJli, 149. 





IJaveJiman, 155. 
Ijaviccikko, 155. 
Imayavaramban, 111, 116, 117. 
Imayavaramban Netfuncheralalan, 


India, 2, 3,4, 5, 6, 23, 84, 111, 135, 
145, 160, 162, 168, 169, 175, 176, 
180, 183, 184, 186, 205, 206, 207, 
209, 219, 228, 229, 231, 251, 252 r 
261, 264. 

Indian Astronomy, 264. 
Indra-Sala-Giri, 135. 
Influences of Geographical Environ- 
ment, 65, 216. 
Iraiyanar, 255. 

Jraiyandr Agapporul, See Agapporn\. 
Irumpitarttalaiyjir, 38, 129, 133. 
Irumporai, 81, 83, 126, 136. 
Iruriko, 128, 140. 
Irunkdvel, 128, 140. 
Trunkovel II, 14(>. 


Jacob i, 264. 

Jains, 9, 26, 27, 135, 145, 220. 

Jainendra, 26. 

Jainism, 27, 187, 206. 

Java, 23. 

Jesperson, Dr., 248. 

Julicn Vinson, Prof., 40. 

Ka<Jal-Pirakkottiya Vcl-Kcki-Kultu- 

van, 124, 176. 

Kadamba Tribes, 111, 124, 176, 215. 
KadappiJ|ai, 155. 
Katjattanatfu, 170. 
Kaivaji, 211. 
KakkaipiUtiniyar NaccelJaiyar, 39, 

126, 128, 139. 

Kajabhra Interregnum, 194, 237, 261. 
Kajahkaykkanni Narmu<}icheral, 126, 


Kajantai, 62. 
Kalai-tin-yanaiyar, 39. 
Kalar, 73, 80, 85, 158. 
Kalattalaiyar, 39, 91, 92, 109, 110, 

112, 191. 
Kalattur, 62. 

Kalavali Narpatu, 155, 156, 195. 
Kalaviyal, 20, 254; 135-263. 
Kalingattufiparani, 156. 
Kalittokai, or Kali., 15, 23, 28, 30, 34, 

35, 37, 41, 42, 44, 189, 199, 205, 




Kurunci,30, 35; 3-245; 24-243 57- 
224 ; Marutam, 35 ; 25-244 92-224 ; 
98-225; Mullai, 35; 104-225; 
Neylal, 35; 141-225; 143-225; 
Palai, 34, 35; 30-224: 35-224. 

Kallatfanar, 145, 147, 197, 259. 

Kalsi, 168. 

Kajumalam, 174. 

Kajvar, 62, 147. 

Kamban, 188. 

Kanaikkal Irumporai, 156, 157. 

Kanakasabhai Pillai, 73, 190, 231, 

Kanappereyil, 143, 151, 152, 153, 172. 

Kanarese, 26, 228; Country, 230; 
Literature, 27. 

Kancipuram, 10, 194, 196. 

Kanclan, 155. 

Kanda Piljai, 155. 

Kanda Pillai Cattanar, 155. 

KancJIram, 126. 

Kankan, 39, 78, 85. 

Kannakanar, 53. 

Kaniiaki, 127, 128. 

Kai.manar, 154, 183. 

Kannattanar, 110. 

Kapa<Japuram, 23, 24. 

Kapilar, 32, 33, 35, 59, 91, 92, 98, 107 
119, 120. 127, 128, 140, 161, 191, 
197, 202, 203, 210, 235, 240, 241. 

Kappiyarru Kappiyanar, 36. 

Kari,39, 118, 134. 

Karikalan, 49, 50, 58, 59, 60, 70, 81, 
88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 126, 129, 
130, 332, 133, 134, 137, 141, 148, 
181, 196. 

Karikalan I, 85, 90, 91, 93, 95, 98, 
112, 120, 174., 

Karikalan the Great (or Karikalan 
II) 58, 59, 70, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 
95, 107, 119, 126, 128, 130, 131, 
132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 138, 140, 
141, 142, 143, 145, 148, 149, 158, 
166, 173, 185, 186, 191, 195, 196, 
200, 201, 202, 210, 259, 261. 

Karikkannanar I, 106, 131, 141. 

Karikkannanar II, 146, 149. 

Karinayanar, 134. 

Kiiriyar, 143. 

Karmara, 173. 

Karunandacjakkan, 170. 

Karuhkai-oj-vdl-Perumpeyar Valudi, 

Karuvur, 73, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 
88, 108, 124, 138, 148, 155, 173, 
178, 179, 183, 192, 196, 231, 232, 
233, 260. 

Irumporai, 81, 83. 

Karuvur-KiJar, 196. 

Karuvur - Peruncatukkattuppu Janar, 


Kashmira, 227. 
Katti, 39, 78, 80, 85. 
Kattur Kilar, 154. 
Kuttuvan IJamaJlaniir, 152. 
Kavidi, 195. 
Kaviri, 66, 67, 69, 73, 76, 80, 81, 93, 

96,99, 112,230,233. 
KavirippaUinam, 6, 131, 141, 146, 

149, 178, 197. 

Kavisagara Perundevanar, 22, 255. 
Kaycina Vahicli, 152. 
Kayc, G. R., 264. 
Keith, Dr. A. Berriedale, 209, 251, 


Kerala, 229. 

Kcralaputra, 168, 193, 229. 
Kern, H., 25, 219. 
Kilamai, 193. 

Kilars, 22, 67, 96, 134, 193. 
Kilavar, 67, 193. ^ 

Killi, 39, 50, 89, 90, 98, W119, 120, 

130, 141, 143, 144. fm 
Killi Valavan, 143, 148, I$o7l53. 
Kingship, 24. 
Kiranar, 110. 
K5, 65, 85, 88, 96, 193. 
K6-Cehkannan, 155, 156, 166, 185, 

191, 194, 195. 
Ko4ukur, 125. 
Kocjunacju, 176. 
'Ko/', 154, 213, 236, 242, 243, 246, 

247, 248. 

Kolattunacju, 176. 
K51i, 74, 75. 
Kojiyur, 74, 106. 
Kolli Mount, 118,231. 
'Kon', 82. 
Kongar, 82, 83. 
Kongu, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 112, 

117, 118, 121, 123, 124, 169,231,232. 
Konkanam, 82, 83, 169. 
Kd-Peruncholan, 53, 156, 158. 
Korkai, 6, 72, 98, 99, 101, 102, 107, 

108,114,120, 163,178,249. 
Kosars, 95. 
Kolamangalam, 231. 
Kottampalam, 103. 
Kottampalattu - tunciya - Cheraman, 

103, 158, 199. 
Kottanara, 73. 
Korellour, 81. 
Kovalan, 127. 
Kovalur, 153. 
Krishnaswami Aiyangar, Dr. S., 188, 

189, 190. 
Kshemendra, 2. 



Kubera, 105. 
Kudagu, 231. 
Ku<Jakaram, 149. 
Ku<jakarattu-tuficiya-Maran Valudi, 


Ku<Jakko-Cheral-Irumporai, 136. 
Ku<Jakk6-Ne<Jumcheralatan, 1 16. 
Ku(Jal, 6, 23, 25, 72, 74, 98, 99, 100, 

101, 102, 103, 107, 108, 110, 112, 

113, 114, 120, 122, 123, 124, 145, 

163, 170, 173, 179, 192, 260. 
Kutfalur Kilar, 28, 149. 
Ku<}ana<Ju, 81, 82, 84, 137. 
Ku<Janlai, 97. 
Ku<Japulaviyanar, 145. 
Kiwjavayil, 88, 89. 
Kutfavayil Kiratlarar, 78, 174. 
Ktujavayil Kottam, 156. 
Ku<Jirai Malai, 118, 147, 150. 
Kulantai, 62. 
Kulapatinayanar, 256. 
Kujattur, 62. 
Kalumam, 104. 
Kuiumur, 81, 103, 104. 
KuJamurratu/unciya-KijJi Valavati, 

148, 164, 1S5F 
Kuiavanikan Qttalai Caltan, 188, 

189, 190. 
Kumanan, 155. 
Kumbakonam, 88, 195. 
Kun<;lukan-Paliyatan, 39. 
Kural, 10, 16, 42, 45, 126, 127, 189, 

197, 204, 217, 240, 2S5, 256. 
Kurappajli, 131, 132, 143. 
KurappaJJi - tuficiya - Peramtiruma- 

vajavan, 131, 132. 
Kuravars, 64, 210, 227, 228. 
Kurukshetra, 104. 
Kurumbar, 83, 227, 228. 
Kurumporai, 81. 
Kuruhkoliyur, 74, 106. 
Kuruhkojiyur Kilar, 149. 
Kuruncippatlu, 30, 201, 202, 203, 

Kuruntokai, 12, 15, 28, 29, 32,35, 37, 

38, 39, 41, 138, 258-63; 258-68; 

298-99; 393-123. 
Kutamalai, 230. 
Kuttana<Ju,73,81, 124, 176. 
KuUuvan, 117, 176. 
Kuttuvan Irumporai, 124. 
Kuttuvan Kiranar, 106. 

Larica, (Lalica), 176. 

Lassen, 176. 

Lewis Rice, Mr. B., 215. 


Literary Criticism in the Renais- 
sance, 23. 

Lovenlhal Rev. E., 237, 249, 253. 
Lucius Venus, 185. 


Macaltiyar, (Macatlanar), 178. 
Ma<}alan Ma<Juraikkumaranar, 141, 

143, 146. 
Madcya, 23. 
Madura, 0, 14, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 34, 

72, 74, 98, 99, 105, 113, 127, 145, 

170, 173, 175, 183, 220, 224, 237, 

249, 250, 255. 
Maduraikktifici, 15, 132, 136, 145, M6 

Magour, 173. 

Mahabharatam, 16, 30, 33, 256. 
Mahabhiirata War, 104, 105. 
Maharashtra, 176. 
Mahavamso, 162, 190. 
Mahayana, 219, 251. 
Mahendra Varma, 135. 
Maine, Sir H. S., 12. 
Majjhantiko, 227. 
Malabar, 82, 179. 
Malaimancjalam, 261. 
MaLiipadukatam, 15, 203, 202, 256. 
Malaiyaman, 148. 
Malaiyaman Tirumutji Kari, 134, 


Malakiita, 230. 
Malanga, 177. 

Malava community, 64, 82, 210. 
Malavalh l^llar, 215. 
Malaiyaman Natfu, 231. 
Mallan, 74, 75. 
Mamallapunim, 10, 15, 177. 
Mamulanar, 34, 48, 103, 158, 197, 199. 
'Maw', 67, 154, 229, 237, 238, 239, 

MaijakkilJi, 125. 
Mandagara, 118. 
Miindai, 118. 
Mangalorc, 137, 172. 
Manikkavacagar, 16, 217, 218, 219, 

220, 221. 
Manimekalai, 42, 45, 125, 188, 189, 

190, 205, 251. 
Manjusri, 25. 
Mahkucji Kilar, alias Maiikucji 

Alarucjan, 145, 146, 147, 149, 197, 


'Manra', 241, 242. 
Mansehra, 168. 

Mantaran Cheral Irumporai, 149. 
Mantaran Poraiyan Kacjuriko, 116. 
Manual of Indian Buddhism, 25, 219. 


Maran Valudi, 28, 149. 

Marapu lyal, 626-260 ; 637-261. 

Marcus Aurelius, 185. 

Mari Venko alias Ma Venko, 151, 


MarSkkam, 150. 
Marudan IJanaganar, 35, 67, 68, 146, 

147, 149,150, 155, 191,208. 
Marutam, 30, 32, 34, 35, 36, 199, 211. 
Maski, 14. 

Matti, 73, 80, 85, 158. 
Mauryan Empire, 83, 168. 
Mavilahkai, 177. 
Max Miiller, Prof., 7. 
Mayura Varma, 215. 
Memoirs of the Archaeological 

Survey of India, No. 18-204 ; No. 


Menon, Mr. K. P. ., 176. 
Migniii, 79. 

Modern Review, (1913), 7. 
Modoura, 163. 
Mdgur, 174. 
Mohenjo Daro, 3, 207. 
Monolithic Temples, 10. 
Morlcy, Lord, 7. 
Mdsi, 110. 

Mo si Kaniiattanar, 110. 
Mosikiranar, 110, 124, 197. 
Mosippatti, 110. 
Mosuku<Ji, 110. 
Mount D'ely, 77, 175. 
MutfamSsiyfir, 106, 109, 110, 116, 191. 
MtKJattamakkanniyar, 92, 201. 
Miujavanar of Aiyur, 150. 
Mmjinagarayar, 103, 104, 105. 
Mudira Malai, 155. 
Mu<JiUalai-k6-Perunarkilli, 85, 86, 

106, 111, 166. 

Mudukannan Cattanar, 143. 
Mudukudumi alias Mudukucjumi 

Peruvaladi, 135, 144, 145, 261. 
Mukkanni Kadumba, 215. 
Mukunti Pallava, 215. 
Mulam Kijar, 150, 152. 
Mullai, 30, 32, 34, 36. 
MullaipWtu, 15, 200, 201, 202. 
MalJur, 118, 134. 
Muraficiyur; 103, 104. 
Murugan, 203, 257. 
Musiri, 6, 19, 151, 152,232. 
Musiri Murriya Celiyan, 151. 
Mutukurranar, also known as Mutu- 

kuttaiiar, 67, 70. 
Muvan, 157. 

Mysore, 14, S2, 83, 118, 126, 168. 
Mysore and Coorg from the \ 
Inscriptions, 215. | 

Naccejlaiyar, 226. 

Naccinarkkiniyar, 96. 

Naga Chieftains, 143, 227. 

Naga Tribes, 63, 173, 227, 228, 259. 

Nakkannai or Nakkannaiyar, 63, 

64, 70, 74, 75, 161, 226. 
Nakkirar or Nakkiranar, 19, 23, 

29, 48, 123, 146, 150, 151, 152, 153, 
154, 161, 191, 197, 201, 202, 203, 

226, 236. 
Nalatfiyar, 16. 
Nalam KiJli, 141, 142, 143, 144, 14.8, 

150, 172, 173, 226. 
Nalkur Vejviyar, 22. 
Nallantuvanar, 28, 34, 35, 224, 226. 
NaJU, 39, 211. 
Nallini, 85, 86. 
Naljikanam, 231. 
Nalliraiyanar, 226. 
Nalliyakkocjan, 177, 201. 
Nallur Nattattanar, 201. 
Nalluruttiran, 35, 158, 226. 
Nalvelliyar, 226. 
Nalvettanar, 226. 
Nalvijakkanar, 226. 
Nambian(Jar Nambi, 217. 
Nancilnacju, 155, 167. 
Nancil Valluvan, 155. 
Nandipottarasan, 33. 
Nankurve], 47. 
Namnaran, 149. 

Nannari, 77, 78, 79, 82, 106, 201. 
Nannan I, 85, 126. 
Nannan II, 124, 126. 
Nannaganar, 226. 
'Naoura', 137. 
Napoleon, 140. 
Nappalattanar, 226. 
Nappasalaiyar, 150, 226. 
Nappudanar, 201. 
Naravu, 137, 172. 
Narayanaswami Aiyar, Pandit, 95. 
Narconai, 125, 126, 226. 
Nariveruttalaiyar, 39, 84, 109, 197 


NarkiJli, 50, 150. 
Narrinai t 12, 15, 28, 29, 32, 33, 35, 37, 

38, 41, 90, 95, 110, 198, 199, 10-77; 

18-157; 51-243; 58-67; 87-70 94- 

246; 100-63; 110-243; 113-103; 

122-243; 150-152; 180-90; 205- 

244; 225-245; 237-106; 265-90; 

305-244, 395-118. 
Naura, 117, 172. 
Nayanmars, 217, 219. 
Nedumkilli, 141, 142, 143. 
Ne<Jumpalliyattanar, 132. 



Nefanalvafai, 15,201,202. 
Ne<JunceHyan, 102, 10'<, 124, 152. 
Netfunceliyan I, 93, 102, 107, 120, 


Nednficeliyan II, 108, 121, 131, 163. 
Ne<Jufice!iyan III, 132, 145, 146, 147, 

Neduncheralatan, 111, 116, 117, 124, 

125, 126, 144, 172, 174, 176, 251. 
Netfunterceiiyan, 98, 102, 114. 
Nelcynda, 163, 175. 
Nero, 184, 185. 
Nerva, 184, 185. 
Netravati, 137. 
Nettimaiyar, 132. 
'Neytal', 30, 32, 33, 35, 36. 
Neytalahkanal, 96, 173. 
Neytalankanal IJancecJccnni, 119, 120. 
Nidamangalatn, 144. 
Nilakantan, 19, 175. 
Nilam-taru-tiruvil Pancjiyan, 120, 

121, 124, 132, 145. 

Nilgiris, 82. 
Nitria, 137. 
Noura, 137. 
Nyaya-K9sa, 129. 

Odaikihir, 106. 

Okandur, 116. 

Okkfir, 178. 

Ollaiyur, 108, 112. 

Ollaiyur KHar, 190. I 

OlJaiyur-tanta-Putappan<Jiyan, 112, 

115, 122, 124, 163. 
On Ihe Ancient Coins and Measures 

of Ceylon, 27. ' 

Orampokiyar, 30, 32. 
Ori, 39, 118. 

Oriental and Linguistic Studies, 4. 
Orif/in and Cult of Tdra, 219. 
Origin and Development of the 

Bengali Language, 213. 
Orthoura, 62. 
Orucirai Periyanar, 155. 
Otalanlai or Otalantaiyar, 30, 32, 34. 

Patfappai, 81. 

Pacjappu, 81. 

Pajumarrur, 110. 

Pahlava, 117. 

Pahruji River, 132. 

Paisachi, 3. 

'Palai', 30, 32, 34, 36, 77, 199. 

Palai Kautamanar, 118. 

Palai Patjiya Perunkacjunko, 34, 35, 

Pajaiyan, 76, 77, 78, 85, 174. 

Pa]aiyan Maran, 153. 

Palar, 96, 119, 175, 177,227, 

Palayi, 81, 106. 

Pali, 78, 79, 206. 

Pallava, 10, 50, 63, 64, 69, 188, 196; 
Art, 15, 135; Invasion, 194 ; King, 
10, 33, 215; Power, 25, 194, 261. 

Palney Hills, 127. 

Palsalai, 135. 

Palsalai Mu<Juku<}umi or Palsalai, 
Mu<Juku<Jumi Peruvajudi or Palya- 
gasalai Mii<Juku<}umi Peruvajudi, 
49, 129, 131, 132, 133, 135, 196. 

Palyagasalai, 135. 

Palyanai-ccl-kchi-KuUuvan, 116, 117, 
118, 231. 

I \inainparanar, 259. 

Paixliya, 21, 28, 39, 51, 52, 58,59, 60, 
62, 72, 92, 98, 100, 102, 103, 106, 
107, 108, 110, 112, 120, 121, 122, 
124, 133, 135, 144, 147, 148, 149, 
151, 152, 156, 157, 163, 164, 165, 
167, 168, 170, 171, 187, 192,249; 
Coins, 253 ; Country, 89, 124, 143, 

163, 104, 172, 260; King, 25, 53, 
81,99, 101, 102, 107, 108, 113, 114, 

120, 123, 129, 131, 134, 143, 145, 
146, 151, 156, 163, 165, 199, 249. 

'Pandu Kuli/ 14. 
PannacJu-tanta-PantJiyan, 28, 120, 

121, 198, 199. 
l',imian, 150. 
'Pans', 211. 

'Paralia of the Sorctai,' 120, 173, 

Param, 77. 

Paraniakucji, 110. 

Paraml.u Hill, 118. 

Param-kunru, 175. 

Paranar, 33", 43, 58, 59, 63, 68, 69, 70, 
71,' 75, 79, 80, 90, 91, 93, 95, 99, 
102, 107, 112, 116, 118, 119, 122, 
123, 124, 127, 128, 129, 153, 154, 

Paratavars, 64, 80. 

Pari, 39, 40, 118, 128, 140. 

Paripafal, 15, 23, 28, 37, 41, 42, 44, 

Parthians, 117. 

Pasalai Nagar, 69. 

Pasumpui? Cenni, 129. 

Pasumpus Pancjiyan, 49, 108, 120, 
121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 133, 163, 

164, 165, 166, 170, 171, 249, 250. 
Patalipnttiram, 136. 



Patirruppattu, 15, 28, 36, 41, 43, 44, | 
57, 83, 84, 85, 86, 105, 110, 111, 
117, 118, 124, 125, 137, 138, 139, 
172, 174, 176, 200, 231, 233; 52- 
138; 56-138; 57-138; 28-233; 43- 
233 ; 88-233. 

Paftinappalai, 15, 130, 136, 140, 181, 
200, 201, 202. 

Pattuppaffu, 15, 27, 38, 41, 42, 44, 
130, 181, 189, 200, 207, 225, 229. 

Pavagandi, 246, 247, 248. 

Pekan, 127, 128. 

Pegnai or Pennar, 81, 175, 177, 231. 

Peoples of India, 84. 

PerSlavayar, 100, 107, 108, 110, 112. 

Pgralavayil, 23, 74. 

Preyil Muruvalar, 156. 

Penplus of the Erythraean Sea t 39, 
116, 118, 137, 162, 163, 164, 165, 
166, 170, 174, 175, 176, 177, 179, 
180, 183, 186, 187. 

Penyapur&nam, 134, 156, 217, 232. 

Periyar, 66, 73, 81, 82, 83, 106, 155, 
232, 233. 

Persia, 117,229. 

Perumcheral Irumporai, 124, 126, 

Perumcheralatan, 91, 95, 113. 

Perumchorratan alias Perumchor- 
rutiyan Cheralatan, 91, 103, 104. 

Pcrumkalittokai, 23. 

Perumkoli Naikan, 70, 74. 

PerumkoHyur, 74, 106. 

Perumkunrur Kijar, 128, 137. 

Perumpacjappai, 81. 

Perumparipadal, 23. 

Perumpayarruppailai, 15, 158, 201, 

Perumpekau, 127. 

Perumpini Cenni, 90, 119, 174. 

Perum-tiru-Mavalavan, 132, 148. 

Perunturai, 97. 

PerunaUi, 126. 

Perunciltiranar, 155. 

Perundevaniir, 16, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 

Peruhkotisikanar, 201. 

PerunarkiHi, 75, 85, 153. 

Perunlalai Cattaniir, 155, 157. 

Pcrumtdlatan, 91,.95. 

Pcyaniir, 30, 32, 34. 

Pinakini, 175. 

Ping-k'i-lo, 177. 

Pirate Coast, 118. 

Pisir-Antaiyar, 53. 

Pittan, 147, 150. 

Pittan I, 147. 

PHtan II, 147. 

Pittan Korran, 147, 150. 

Pliny, 39, 137, 162, 173, 176, 179, 180, 
183, 186. 

Poduvars, 94. 

Poigaiyar, 153, 155, 157, 158. 

Pope, Dr., 50, 240. 

Por, 76, 77, 85, 88, 112, 119, 156. 

Poraiyarrukilan, 147, 

Poraiyaru, 155. 

Portuguese, 177. 

Porunai, 66, 98, 232, 233. 

Porunarfirruppajai, 15, 92, 130, 136, 
200, 201, 202. 

Porunar, 257. 

Poruntil IJanklranar, 149. 

Porvai, 75, 76. 

PorvaikkS, 76, 78. 

Porvaikko PerunarkiJJi, 75, 166, 185. 

Pothiyil, 77, 78, 113, 114, 115, 118, 
122, 123, 147, 163, 165, 167, 169, 
170, 171. 

Pothiyil Celvan, 115, 163. 

Pottiyar, 53. 

Prakrit, 12, 212. 

Priyadarsin, 168. 

Pseudostosmos, 106. 

Ptolemy, 39, 62, 69, 74, 81, 83, 89, 
99, 106,117, 120, 162, 163, 164, 165, 
166, 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, 
174, 176, 177, 178, 179, 186, 187, 
227, 228, 229. 

Pulatturai Murriya Ku<}alur Kilar, 

Puliijacju, 82, 126, 174, 231. 

Pullarrur Eyirriyanar, 53. 

Pulli, 62, 147, 259. 

Pullika<Ju, 62. 

PulJunatfu, 78, 79, 82. 

Punrurai, 78, 85. 

Purandnuru or Puram., 12, 15, 28, 29, 
3~0, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 38, 41, 43, 44, 
45, 50, 74, 78, 85, 86, 87, 93, 98, 99, 
101, 105, 106, 112, 113, 116, 120, 
121, 122, 126, 132, 133, 134, 142, 
144, 145, 146, 147, 150, 151, 152, 
153, 155, 156, 157, 198, 211, 230, 
232, 237, 240, 241, 243, 244, 245, 
246, 248, 250, 252, 258, 259, 263 ; 
3-133 ; 5-85 ; 6-133 ; 9-122, 132 ; 11- 
233; 13-87; 15-134; 26-241; 27- 
144; 45-142; 48-153; 49-153 ; 52- 
252; 54-146; 62-1 12; 63-1 12; 65- 
93 ; 66-93 ; 67-252 ; 71-1 13 ; 72-145 
74-155; 75-241; 76-121; 80-74; 
99-153; 128-116; 129-250; 130- 
250; 136-106; 149-211 ; 170-147; 
172-147; 173-150; 201-120; 206- 
245; 208-155; 209-157; 224-134; 
225-144; 233-99; 234-99, 245; 
235-245; 240-106; 243-245; 261- 



241; 273-244; 278-126; 328-101; 

336-241; 343-244; 347-98, 246; 

351-78,246; 367-151; 374-106; 

380-252; 381-232; 385-147; 391- 

147; 396-147. 
Furikko, 28, 198. 
Putappantfi, 122. 
Futappaijdiyan, 108, 110, 112, 113, 

114, 115, 122. 
Pyrrhon, 117. 


Quilon, 178, 

Raghava Aiyangar, Pandit R., 61, 

87, 230, 231. 

Rajasiiya Sacrifice, 50, 150, 151, 153. 
Rajasuyam-Vetta-PerunarkiJJi, 50, 

150, 166, 185, 191. 
Ramagiri, 134. 
Ramayana, 23. 
Ramcsvaram, 175, 178. 
Rapson, Prof. E. J. f 184. 
Relative Ages of Purananfiu and 

Tolkappiyam, 45. 
Rice, E. P., 27. 
Richards, F. J., 83. 
Rig Veda, 45, 213. 
Rig Vedic Dialect, 45 ; Period 263. 
Rock Edicts, 168, 170. 
Roman Coinage, 183, 184 ; Writers, 

162, 163, 192; Trade, 179, 186. 
Rome, 129, 180, 186. 
Rudran Kannan II, 158. 
Rudra Sanma Kannar, 22. 

Sadaraijyam, 175, 227. 

Saiva Literature, 195. 

Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy, 219. 

Sakti, 219, 

Sakyamuni, 25. 

Salai, 135. 

Salem, 83, 118, 231, 233. 

Salem Manual, 83. 

Sallekhana, 92. 

Samayakuravars, 218. 

vSamudragupta, 62. 

Sangam, 17, 18, 19, 20,21, 22, 23, 24, 
25, 26, 27, 41, 45, 70, 105, 116, 152, 
189, 197,203, 204, 235, 255, 258; 
Collections, 13, 42, 189, 197, 202; 
Literature, 1, 6, 15, 16, 17, 25, 27, 
33, 37, 38, 40, 45, 47, 56, 106, 161, 
175, 178, 183, 184, 186, 187, 190, 
198, 258 ; Story or Tradition, 18, 

26,196,197,198; 254. Third, 21, 

196, 197, 198, 238, 258. 
Sa^kara, 219. 
Sanskrit, 3, 12, 13, 21, 26, 33, 39, 85, 

137, 145, 152, 174, 175, 176, 187, 

206, 209, 212, 213, 216, 227, 230, 

238, 264. 
Sanskritists, 2, 3, 175, 177, 207, 209, 

Sapta Sailam, 77, 175. 

Satakarni, 176. 

Satavahana, 215. 

Satischandra Vidyabhushana, Dr., 


Satiyaputra, 168, 193. 
Sattantaiyar, 74, 75, 161. 
Satti MakkaJ or Makkal, 168, 169. 
Sattimangalam Pass, 176. 
Schoff, W. H., 172, 175, 177, 180, 

183, 184. 

Sekkijar, 217. 

Semetic Tribes, 206. 

Semplc, E. C, 65, 216. 

Sendan, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73. 

Sendamangalam, 70. 

Septimius Sevcrus, 185. 

Seshagiri Sastri, 105. 

Seyyul-Iyal, 391-260. 

Shahl>a7garhi, 168. 

Si am, 206. 

Siddhapur, 6, 83, 168. 

Sikandar Malai, 175. 

Simhavishmi, 10. 

Siva, 105, 156,217, 219,220. 

Sivaflnanabddhaw, 219. 

Siva Prajna, 219. 

Sivaperuman l^iruvandadi, 235. 

Skanda Giri, 175. 

Smith, Dr. Vincent A., 6, 14, 73, 

135, 160, 172, 190, 231. 
Solomon's Ivory, 205. 
Sopatma, 177. 
Sopattinam, 177, 178. 
Sornagas, 69. 

South Indian Coinage, 184. 
South Indian Inscriptions, 14. 
South Indian Palaeography, 177, 207. 
Sovira, 205. 
Spingairn, 23. 
Sri Harsha, 62. 
A Study in the Psychology of 

Ritualism, 218. 
Subrahmanya, 205. 
Sundara or Sundaramurtti, 217, 218, 


Sundaram Pillai, Prof. P., 195. 
Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, Prof., 213. 
Su-Patana, 177. 
Supparaka, 205. 



Swaminatha Aiyar, Pandit Maha- 
mahopadhyaya, 14, 134. 

Swarupam, 81. 

Synchronistic Tables, 38, 44, 45, 46, 
47, 48, S3, 60, 132, 135, 152, 156, 
157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 163, 164, 
165, 171. 172, 173, 174, 175, 179, 
186, 187, 189, 191, 192, 193, 194, 
196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 204, 205, 
208, 209, 210, 215, 216, 225, 232, 
235, 248, 253, 255, 259, 260, 261, 
262, 263, 

Tacitus, 180. 
Taine, 214. 
Taka<Jur, 124, 131. 
Taka<Jur-erinta-Peruncheral Irum- 

TaUiyaiamkariam, 144, 145, 146, 147, 
148, 149, 165, 167, 171, 182. 

Talaiyalainkanattu - Certi - Venra 
Nedumceliyan, 23, 25, 49, 132, 144, 
165, 171, 201. 

Tainan Tanrikkon, 150. 

Tambapanni, 168. 

Tamil, 1,2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 
14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 30, 40, 42, 45, 
83, 84, 94, 96, 105, 100, 110, 112, 
121, 130, 131, 132, 134, 135 136, 
137 139, 152, 162, 163, 167, 168, 
169! 170 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 
177 178, 179, 182, 184, 188 189, 
190 191, 195, 205, 206, 207, 208, 
209,' 210, 212, 215, 216, 217, 221 
227 228 229, 230, 237, 238, 242, 
243, 246] 249, 253, 254, 255, 258, 

259, 261, 262, 263 ; Chronology, 45 
162 163, 167, 190; Country (Tamil- 
agam), 9, 10, 13, 18 22, 24, 25, 27 
39, 46, 51, 60, 62, 65, 66, 77 83, 
106, 110, 115, 131, 135, 136, 37, 
140, 143, 163, 168, 170, 172, 175, 
176 178 179, 180, 181, 183, 184, 

186 187 IBS', 192, 193, 194, 1%, 
205, 208, 209, 214, 215, 216 217, 
227; 229, 231, 252, 254, 256, 259, 

260, 261, 262, 263 ; History, 26, 44, 
49 61, 71, 89, 106, 125, 127, 139, 
158, 161,164; 167, 174, 175,186, 

187 J88, 190, 191, 194, 215, 216, 
237, 258; Kings, 6, 10, 36 ,61 66, 
106, 116, 130, 131, 134, 143, 148, 
172, 176, 179, 185, 186, 194, 196, 
201 231, 232, 260; Lexicon, 116, 
227; Literature, 7, 8, 11,12,13 15, 
20, 40, 45, 54, 64, 66, 131, 132, 157, 
162, 163, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 

174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 184, 
187, 188, 189, 190, 205, 215, 217, 
221, 227, 236, 238, 242, 249, 251, 
252, 253, 255 ; Poets, 30, 35, 98, 
106, 115, 121, 174, 178; Triumvirs, 
51,61,66, 115, 169. 
Tampraparni, 66, 72, 98, 102, 233. 
Tanjore, 88, 96, 145, 178. 
Tanrikkon, 150. 
Tantrism, 219. 

Tayan Kannanar, 150, 151, 152. 
Ten Idylls, 15, 27, 30, 38, 41, 130, 

145, 200, 235. 
Ten Tens, 36. 
Thibaut, 264. 
Thurston, 215. 
Tiberius, 184. 
Tinai, 35, 36, 47, 64. 
Tinnevelly, 14, 98, 178. 
'Tirams', 211. 
Tiraiyan, 164. 
Tiraiyars, 63, 64, 69, 154. 
Tirugnanasambanda, or Jfianasam- 
banda, 10, 45, 188, 189, 194. 217, 
218, 220. 

Tirukkarur, 73, 230, 231. 
Tirumavalavan, 61. 
Tirumavunni, 127. 
Tirumnrai, 217, 235. 
Tirumuruyarruppadai, 15, 201, 202, 

203, 204, 2~5~7. 
Tiruppati, 62. 
Tiruppor, 156. 
Tiruppur, 76. 
Tiruppuvanam, 110. 
Tiruttonfar Tiruvandddi, 217. 
Tiruttondattokai, 217. 
Tiruvacagam, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221. 
TiruvilaivCufalpuranaw, 23, 134, 220, 


Tiruvalluvamalai, 22, 196, 197, 255. 
Tiruvalhivar, 127, 204, 255. 
Titiyan,*95, 113, 114, 115, 165, 167. 
Titiyan II, 146, 147. 
Tittan, 63, 67, 69, 72, 73, 74, 76, 88, 

89, 142, 166, 191. 
Tittan Veliyan, 73, 74, 75, 85, 166, 

185, 260. 

Titus, 182, 184, 185. 
Totfittalai Viluttan dinar, 197. 
Tolkappiyam, 10, 19, 23, 45, 62, 189, 
204, 205, 222, 223, 258, 259, 260, 
263, 264. 

Tolkappiyar, 19, 45, 204, 223, 237, 
238, 240, 241, 242, 243, 246, 247, 
248, 253, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 
263, 264, 265. 
Toncjaiman, 154, 229. 
Tondaimandalam, 134, 261. 



Toij<iaiman IJantiraiyan, 154, 158, 

201, 261. 

Togdaiyar, 61, 63, 64, 154. 
Tontfi, 137, 157, 178. 
Tonrikkon, 150. 
Travancore, 73, 122, 124, 163, 177, 

Travancore Archaeological Series, 

170, 208. 

Tret and Serpent Worship, 227. 
Tribes of Southern India, 215. 
Trichinopoly, 73, 76, 112, 231, 232, 


Trimurtis, 219. 
Trivandrum, 178. 
Tulu country, 117, 126, 172. 
Turaiyur, 106. 
Tyndis, 117, 13/ f 172. 


Udiyan, 85, 103, 104. 

Udiyan Cheral alias Udiyan Chera- 
latan, 83, 85, 86, 91, 103, 104, 105, 
112, 138. 

Udiyanperur, 103. 

Ukkirappcruvaludi, 143, 15\ 152, 
153, 172, 173, 198, 199. 

Uloccanar, 155. 

Umparkatfu, 117, 231, 235, 249. 

Onpotipasunkucjaiyar, 38. 

Urugapuram, 175. 

Uraiyur or Urantai, 6, 62, 67, 08, 
69, 70, 71, 72", 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 80, 
86, 87, 88, 89, 96, 97, 98, 105, 106, 
110, 111, 119, 120, 130, 141, 142, 
143, 147, 175, 178, 179, 192, 260. 

Urattur, 62, 178. 
Uruva-pah-ter-Jlancedcenni, 59, 119, 

"12S, 128, 142, 165, 166, 185, 191. 
Uttara Ramayanam, 188. 

Vacjama Vannakkan Damodaranar, 

Vatfama Vaiinakkan Pcruiicattanar, 

149, 150. 

Va<Japulam, 176, 251. 
Vadavurpuranam, 220. 
Va^imb&lamba-ninra-PancJiyan, 1 20, 

121, 130. 

Vaigai, 66, 99, 102, 114,224. 
Vaigal, 195. 
Vaiyavi, 127. 
Vajranandi, 26. 
Vakai, 78, 85, 94. 
Vajavan, 148. 
Vajjuvan Kancjan, 167. 

Vanci, 232. 
Vanidasan, 188. 
Vanigars, 22. 
Vanjimanayar, 61. 
Vanparanar, 128, 210. 
Varahamihira, 264. 
Varkalai, 177. 
Varuna, 202, 263. 
Vattaru, 147, 167. 
Vattefettu, 208. 
Vcdars, 64, 99, 227, 228. 
Vcdic Dialect, 213; Period, 264; 
Rile, 136. 

Vl, 65, 67, 68, 193, 229, 260. 

Vejiman, 155. 

Vejirs, 21, 85, 94, 96, 229. 

Vejiyan, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 85, 86, 

117, 191. 
VcHyan Tittan, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 

74, 75, 166, 185, 260. 
Vel Keiu Kuttuvan, 90, 124, 125, 126, 

137, 144. 

Vcllerukkilaiyar, 99, 107. 
VrJUyamhalaUu-tunciya - Permnludi, 

131, 132, 140. 
Velmagan, 67. 
Velmagal, 229. 
Velmal, 229. 

Vejman, 67, 88, 89, 155, 229. 
Vejpah - tac^akkai - PerunarkiHi or 

Peruvirarkilji, 59, 109, "lioj 111, 

117, 119,142, 166, 185. 
Venkai Marpan, 152, 153. 
Venkatam, 158,259. 
Venni, 91, 92, 93, 112. 
Vcniii-Kuyattiyar, 91, 92. 
Venni vayil, 93. 

Veri-Padiya-Kamakkanni} ar, 257. 
Vcrrivel Ccliyan, 102. 
Vespasian, 182, 184, 185. 
Vicci, 128. 
I Viccikko, 128. 

Village Communities, 4, 12, 210. 
Villavar Tribe, 78. 
Virai, 67, 08, 69, 71, 73, 88, 89, 98. 
Virai Vejman Vejiyan Tittan, 71. 
Visnu, 249, 263. 
Vi$nuvardhana, 170. 
Viyalur, 125. 


Wanderings of People,\\7. 

Weber, 264. 

Western Ghats, 77, 82, 106, 231, 251, 


White Islands, 117. 
Whitney, Prof., 4, 264. ' 

&80 INDEX. 

Ydna, 168. 
, Yule, 23, 137, 172. 
Yagas, 131, 133, 135, 196, 214, 215. 
Yal, 211. 
Yanaikkaij-Mantaran-Cheral - Irum- 

porai, 28, 149. Zeno, 183. 

Yava'nas, 117, 174. 


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Anderson, J. D. Peoples of India. 

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Bhandarkar, Dr. R. G. Early History of the Deccan. 

Breeks, J. W. Primitive Tribes and Monuments of the Nilgim. 

Buhler, Prof. G. Memorandum to Sir C. Bayley on the Origin 

of the Indian Alphabet and Numerals. 
Boirnell, Dr. A. C. South Indmn Palaeography. 
Caldwell, Dr. Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian 

Chatterji, Prof. Suniti Kumar The Origin and Development of 

the Bengali Language. 
Clifford, Prof. W. F.~ Collected Works. 
Cox, A. F. and II. H. Stuart Manual of North Arcot. 
Cunningham, Alexander Ancient Geography of India. 
Cust, Dr. The Origin of the Indian Alphabet. 
Das, Nobin Chandra Ancient Geography of Asia. 
Davids, Dr. Rhys Buddhist India. 

On the Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon. 

Dubreuil, Prof. J. The Pallavas. 

Pallava Antiquity, Vols. I and II. 

Duff Chronology of India. 

Dutt, Manmathnath Translation of Manu Samhita. 
Elliot, Sir W. Coins of Southern India. 
Fergusson, J. Tree and Serpent Worship. 
Geiger, Dr. Wilhelm Mahavamso. 
Goldstiicker Panini. 

Gopinatha Rao, T. A. History of Sri Taishnavas. 
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C 36 


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