Sangam Age in India
History of Pandyas :
- Their capital was Madurai.
- First mentioned by Megasthenes, who says that their kingdom was famous for pearls and was ruled by a woman.
- The Pandya kings profited from trade with the Roman Empire and sent embassies to the Roman emperor Augus.
History of Cholas :
- The kingdom was called Cholamandalam or Coromondal. The chief centre was Uraiyur, a place famous for cotton trade. Capital was Kaveripattanam/Puhar.
- A Chola king named Elara conquered SriLanka & ruled it over for 50 years.
- Karikala was their famous king.
- Main source of wealth was trade in cotton cloth. They also maintained an efficient navy.
History of Cheras :
- Their capital was Vanji (also called Kerala country).
- It owed its importance to trade with the Romans. The Romans set up two regiments there to protect their interests.
- Fought against the Cholas about 150 AD.
- Greatest king was Senguttuvan, the Red Chera.
Other aspects of the 2 kingdoms :
- All the gathered information is based on Sangam literature. Sangam was a college or assembly of Tamil poets held probably under Royal Patronage (esp. Pandyas)
- Sangam age corresponds to the post-Maurya and the pre-Gupta period.
- Three Sangamas were held. The first Sangam was held at Madurai but its work has not survived. Its chairman was Agastya. The second Sangam was held at Kapatpuram.
- Its chairman was Tolkappiyar (author of Tolkappium). The third Sangam was held at Madurai. Its chairman was Nakkirar. It was the third Sangam from which covers the entire corpus of Sangam literature.
- Silappadikaram by llano Adigal (story of a married couple) and Manimekalai by Sattanar are the famous epics of this time.
- Other books are Tolkappium by Tolkappiyar, Jivikachintamani by Tirutakkdewar and Kural (called the ‘fifth veda’ or ‘the Bible of the Tamil Land’) by Tiruvalluvar.
- The chief local god was Murugan, who was also called Subramaniya.
- ‘Pariyars’ – agricultural laborers who used to work in animal skin.
- Civil and military offices held by vellalas (rich peasants).
- The ruling class was called “Arasar”.
- Captains of the army were given the title ENADI in formal functions.