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Subjects /Indian History / Ancient History / Sangam Age Part I

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10 Jan 2021

There were three sangams (a gathering of scholars) held at Madurai between 1st century AD to 3rd century AD.

It is believed that 1st sangam was attended by Gods and legendary sages but no literary work of this Sangam is available.

2nd Sangam was held at Kapadapuram, Madurai. The literary work Tolkappiyam is believed to be came out during this sangam.

Third Sangam was attended by a large number of poets who produced voluminous literature but only a few had survived.

Three dynasties named Chera, Chola and Pandya ruled during the sangam age. So we will study these three dynasties to understand the Sangam age.

Chera Dynasty

Cheras ruled over parts of modern Kerala and they established their capital at Vanji.

Their emblem was- Bow & Arrow.

Cheran Senguttuvan was the famous ruler during 2nd century AD. He introduced Pattini cult or worship of Kannagi as the ideal wife in Tamil Nadu,

After Cheran his younger brother Elango Edigal ruled the Chera kingdom. He made expedition to Himalayas.

Tondi and Musiri were the main seaports in the Chera kingdom.

The Pugalur inscription mentions about three generations of Chera dynasty. Trade with Romans is also mentioned.

Chola Dynasty

Cholas ruled over the area from tiruchi district in Tamil Nadu to southern Andhra Pradesh. And their capital was at Uraiyur then Puhar.

Chola’s emblem was- Tiger.

Their famous king was Karikala .

Pattinipalai portrays his early life and military conquests.

Karikala defeated confederacy of Cheras, Pandyas and eleven minor chieftains in the Battle of Veni.

He defeated nine enemies in an another battle of Vahaipparandalai.

Trade and Commerce flourished during the reign of Karikala.

He built Kallanai across river Kaveri and also constructed many irrigation tanks.

Cholas (9th century AD)

            Founder – Vijyala

            Capital – Tanjavur

They also followed the ‘Dravida’ architecture.

1st ruler – Raja Raja I

  •      He built the biggest temple of the time in South India.
  •      Brihadesvara temple in Tanjavur
  •      This temple was belonged to ‘Lord Shiva’

After Raja Raja I, next king was:

Rajendra I

  •      He had the strongest ‘Naval’ power in entire Ancient India.
  •      First time Chola’s invaded South-East Asia, kingdom of Sri Vijaya Kingdom (country was – Indonesia, Combodia)
  •      Reason for the invasion was economic. Sri Vijaya rulers were interfering in Indian trade.

Koluttunga I

After Rajendra I, Koluttunga I became the ruler of the Cholas

He was first ruler who sent trading mission to China.

Pandya Dynasty

Pandya was a kingdom or dynasty ruled over present day southern Tamil Nadu in South India and their Capital was at Madurai.

The Sangam were organized by the Pandya Kings which were the gatherings of scholars, poets from all over the world.

Their emblem was- Carp.

The pandya kingdom declined due to the invasion of Kalabhars.