Singapore, 5 November 2013
The earliest epigraphic mention of the kingdoms of the Tamil country—the peninsular region of the Indian sub-continent below the Deccan plateau—is found in an inscription made by Kharavela, the king of Kalinga during the first half of 2nd century B.C. The inscription is fairly worn out and full of gaps, which makes the contents uncertain. However, it can be ascertained that the inscription claims that Kharavela destroyed the Confederacy of Tamil states in 155 B.C. The Confederacy was called ‘Tramiradesasanghatam’ and is reported to have been 113 years old at the time of its demise. No other source corroborates this victory of Kharavela, nor does the inscription provide any reason why the Tamil Confederacy had become, or was considered to have become, a danger to Kalinga, and therefore had to be defeated and destroyed. This gap in understanding the motive for Kharavela’s invasion could perhaps be because part of the inscriptions are indecipherable and therefore the translations are incomplete. On the other hand, there is no proof to indicate that Kharavela initiated the hostilities—it could well be that the Confederacy was the aggressor, in which case all the doubts regarding the reasons for the war would be void.
The Tamil history of the last centuries of the B.C. era and the early centuries A.D. is well reflected in the literature of the Sangam, which is also the earliest Tamil literature available so far.
Tamil Sangams
The Tamil Sangams were assemblies (originally called ‘kootal’, meaning gathering) of scholars and poets, which flourished under royal patronage in and occurred in antiquity according to traditional accounts. Three such assemblies are supposed to have taken place, the first two lost in the distant past and the third believed to have been held in the city of Madurai in 5th century B.C. The Sangam period is calculated to be roughly between 350 B.C. and 300 A.D., which corresponds approximately to the early Chola period before the interregnum wherein almost no records exist regarding the events that transpired in Tamil country. Since the earliest mention of the Sangam is in 750 A.D., the title ‘Sangam’ and the legends that proliferate around the three assemblies are in all probabilities later additions. The first two Sangams are dismissed by most scholars as fundamentally ahistorical. There is also a more recent hypothesis that the story of the two earlier Sangams may be based on some historical truth of actual assemblies, although no proof exists at the moment either to accept or reject this theory.
While the legends—of the first Sangam having lasted 4440 years through the rule of 89 kings; the second for 3700 years and 59 kings; and the third having lasted 1800 years and spanned the reign of 49 successive kings—can be rejected as pure imagination, the appearance of the tradition in literary and epigraphically inclined sources makes it difficult to dismiss them completely. It is believed that there was a time gap of few years between the end of one Sangam period and the beginning of the next, creating the legend that the three together lasted 9990 years. It has been suggested that the Sangam legends are based on a historical body of scholars and grammarians who formed a critical college of literary experts, at the patronage of a king and his successors, considered to be the Pandyan dynasty.    
Sangam Literature
The term Sangam literature refers to a body of classical Tamil writings considered to be created between 600 B.C. and 300 A.D with this period being referred to as the Sangam period. A total of 8598 poets, some of them gods, are supposed to have been involved in the three Sangams. The available works are a collection of 2279 poems that range in length from mere three-liners to ones that have more than 800 lines, written by 473 different authors including women, with the authorship of 102 poems still remaining anonymous. It is easy to decipher the meaning of the poems since each poem is accompanied by an editorial note that provides the author’s name and the context and occasion at which the poem was composed. The literature is grouped in nine schematic anthologies—Narrinai, Kurundogai, Aingurunuru, Padirruuppattu, Paripadal, Kalottogai, Ahananuru, Purananuru, and Pattuppattu. The great treatise on Tamil grammar, Tolkappiyam, is considered to be of the same vintage. It is obvious that only part of the literature has survived. For example, an inscription dated to around 10th century A.D. mentions a translation of the Mahabharatathat originated in early Pandyan rule, which cannot be traced and is considered to be lost.
The editorial notes accompanying the literature provide the names of most of the patron kings some of which can be corroborated with authentic records. However, since the poems tend to be a mixture of fact and fiction it is impossible to derive any informed or valuable conclusions from them. Therefore, all conclusions drawn from the Sangam literature remain in the sphere of conjecture. Even then, in some cases approximate chronology of between four and five continuous generations of kings of the same line, spanning about 120-150 years, can be calculated. On the other hand, although estimating the dates of the poems is possible, the construction of a continuous genealogy of kings of a particular dynasty, even for as little as five generations, based purely on the Sangam literature is fraught with the danger of it being completely inaccurate. This ambiguity is further enhanced since some of the dynasties at times had two independent lines of rulers at the same time, which could well mean that four generations were strung together almost as contemporaries, as was the case with the Cheras during some parts of the Sangam period. Since the poets wrote and eulogised only outstanding royal figures who patronised them, it is impossible to create a chronologically regular history from their poems.
The importance of the Sangam anthologies lies in the fact that they provide the code for depicting social life through literature, more than as accurate historical chronologies. The Tamil language used in the writings is mature, powerful and elegant with the inclusion of some words adopted from Sanskrit.
“In their antiquity and in their contemporaneity, there is not much else in any Indian literature equal to these quiet and dramatic Tamil poems. In their values and stances, they represent a mature classical poetry: passion is balanced by courtesy, transparency by ironies and nuances of design, impersonality by vivid detail, austerity of line by richness of implication. These poems are not just the earliest evidence of Tamil genius. The Tamils, in all their 2000 years of literary effort, wrote nothing better.”
A.K. Ramanujan,
As quoted in Kamil Zvelebil, Tamil Literature, p. 108.  
The Process of Dating
Even though imprecise, there are three elements that make the dating of the large corpus of available literature somewhat methodical. First, the inscriptions that have been discovered in Arnattamalai Hill in Pugalur, dated to 1st century A.D., refers to three generations of Chera rulers who are also mentioned in the Sangam poems. They are, Ko-Adan-Cel-Irumporai, referred to as Kadungo and Selva Kadungo in Sangam literature; his son Perum Kadungo; and grandson Ilam Kadungo. The terms Irumporai and Kadungo are considered to be the titles that Chera rulers assumed. This connection dates the Sangam literature to the first two centuries A.D. Second, there is a great deal of similarity in the description of trade between the Tamil states and the Yavanas (common term for foreigners, predominantly Greeks and Romans) that is to be found in the Sangam literature and the works of the classical writers—Strabo, Pliny and Ptolemy the Greek geographer. Strabo is considered to be the anonymous author of the ‘Periplus of the Erythraean Sea’. Third, the dates have been confirmed by archaeology, wherein numerous excavations in South India have yielded gold and silver coins belonging to the Roman emperors of the 1st and 2nd century A.D. Further, a ‘Roman factory’ of the same period has been recently discovered at Arikamedu in Pondicherry, confirming the existence of trade and the approximate dates. 
Section I
The major part of the South Indian Peninsula was divided between the ‘crowned kings’ of the three great dynasties—the Cheras, Cholas, and Pandyas. There were also a number of minor chieftains ruling small holdings, seven of whom have been named as ‘vallals’ or patrons by the poets of the Sangam. Their being patrons indicate that the chieftains exercised considerable power and influence, although most of them would have owed allegiance to one or the other of the three kingdoms. Their independence and ability to act unilaterally were obviously contextual and never taken for granted. The three monarchies are thought to be of immemorial antiquity, although this concept could be a later embellishment. Further, there have been a number of attempts to connect them to the Great War of Mahabharata—obviously to establish the antecedents and prestige of the dynasty and also to provide them with a divine status.
The first monarch mentioned in the Chera dynasty is Udiyanjeral, the accession date given in some sources as around 130 A.D., although some poems mention that the dynasty claims to have fed both the armies that fought at Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata War. Incidentally, this feeding of the legendary armies is an honour claimed also by the Cholas and Pandyas and endorsed by other poems of the Sangam. Udiyanjeral was succeeded by his son Nedunjeral Adan who fought a naval battle off the coast of Malabar and took a large number of Yavanas (obviously Greek/Roman traders) hostage for ransom. It is reported that he treated the hostages badly while they were in captivity, although the reason for such treatment cannot be ascertained. They were subsequently released on the demanded ransom being paid. Two conclusions can be drawn from this episode: one, that the Chera king had an operational navy; and two, that the hostages were traders who were rich enough to pay the ransom that was demanded in order to buy back their freedom. Since such was the case, the reported ill-treatment is all the more surprising. This story also corroborates some of the folklore prevalent to this day in the region that the early Chera kings were not averse to indulging in, or closing their eyes to, acts of piracy mounted from their more obscure ports.
Nedunjeral Adan fought a number of wars and is supposed to have defeated seven crowned kings, thereby earning the title of ‘Adhiraja’. His capital was Marandai and he has been referred to as ‘Imayavaramban’ which actually means ‘he whose boundary is the Himalayas’. The poems describing Nedunjeral claim that he conquered the whole of India and that he carved the Chera emblem of the bow on the face of the Himalayas. Both these claims are obvious exaggerations made under poetic licence and in the absence of even a small shred of corroborative evidence must be discounted as incorrect. True to his reported preoccupation with wars, Nedunjeral died in a battle with the Cholas where the Chola king also lost his life. Both the queens are supposed to have committed sati, in accordance with the practice of the time. During Nedunjeral’s rule his brother, with the title ‘Kuttuvan of the many elephants’, conquered the Kongu principality, which extended the Chera rule across the peninsula from sea to sea for a brief period. Kuttuvan did not subsequently become the king, although the traditional succession policies of the Cheras gave him the right to do so. This may have been because he predeceased his elder brother.
Nedunjeral Adan had two sons. The elder son, Perumjeral Irumporai was also called the ‘Chera with the Kalangay festoons’ on account of the extraordinary crown that he wore. His crown consisted of a gold frame strung with pearl strings and Palmyra fibre festooned with Kalangay which was a small blackberry of native origin. Dates are vague at this stage, but Perumjeral could have ascended the throne sometime between 150 and 170 A.D. He led a successful expedition against Nannan, the king or chieftain of the Tulu country to the north of Malabar. His more celebrated conquest is the defeat of the Chieftain Neduman Anji of Tagadur, Dharmapuri in Salem district, which was the seat of power of the Adigaiman chieftains. Perumjeral is also attributed the title of ‘Adhiraja’ and is said to have worn a garland of seven crowns. The second son, Senguttavan, ‘the righteous Kuttuvan’, is believed to have come to the throne around 180 A.D. and the events during his reign are described in detail by Paranar, the most famous and a long-lived poet of the Sangam. Senguttavan’s period of reign in the last quarter of 2nd century A.D. is further corroborated by Buddhist chronicles that affirm him as a contemporary of the Ceylonese king Gajabahu who ruled around the same period. Some poems celebrate Senguttavan’s victory over the chieftain of Mohur and more importantly, provide some scanty details of the king’s exertions on the sea. The conclusion that can be drawn is that the king continued to maintain a navy of some ability in the earlier traditions of the Cheras and that he must have fought and overcome some enemies approaching from the sea.
The poems further elaborate the life and achievements of Senguttavan—he captured the fortress of Kodukur in Kongu country; he suppressed the rebellion of Nannan at Viyalur; and famously intervened in a succession struggle in the Chola kingdom, supporting and securing the throne for one prince and killing the opposing nine princes. On the socio-religious front, Senguttavan took the lead in establishing and organising the Pattini cult, which is essentially the worship off Kannagi as the ideal wife. He is said to have defeated the Aryan chieftains of the north to obtain an appropriate stone for making the idol of Pattini—the epitome of the divine and chaste wife—and brought it to Chera country after having bathed in the waters of the Ganges. This is one of the first references to the River Ganges being considered of a divine nature, giving it a position more in keeping with the sacred status bestowed on it at a later stage during the development of Hindu religious practices. The Pattini cult is based on the story of Kannagi and Kovalan, a legend based in antiquity. Although Senguttavan took the lead in propagating the cult, both the Chola and Pandya kings assisted in the endeavour. While the Sangam poems provide these details, they have to be understood with the caveat that a majority of these poems have suffered from embellishments added at a later age. Therefore, some of the events described may be flights of fantasy or added on to increase the stature of the king in question.
Starting with Udiyanjeral, five Chera monarchs of three generations are mentioned in the Padirrupattu, one of the primary anthologies of Sangam poems. There is also mention of another 58 years of collateral lines, which confuses the chronological history of the Chera kingdom. It is almost certain that the Cheras followed a sort of clan rule system over what was essentially a large family-holding where all members of the family had a share, and therefore a vested interest, in maintaining a coherent rule. Kautilya mentions this kind of rulership as ‘Kula Sangha’ in his book, the Arthashastra. The clan-rule system also accounts for the large number of Chera names that crop up in the Sangam literature—which at best spanned only a maximum of five generations—as kings or royal personages, at times simultaneously.
Another Chera king who is mentioned in the Sangam poems is Kudakko Ilanjeral Irumporai who is supposed to have acceded to the throne in 190 A.D. However, this date cannot be true and is also not corroborated with any other evidence. It is likely that he came to throne at a later date, especially considering the degree of certainty regarding the dates of accession of Senguttavan. Kudakko is mentioned as the cousin of the victor of Tagadur, Perumjeral Irumporai. This can only mean one of two things—either Kudakko was fairly old when he came to the throne or that the dates mentioned are unreliable. He is also portrayed as a valiant king who fought a successful battle against ‘the two big kings’, presumably the contemporary Chola and Pandya kings. He defeated the Chola king who ruled at Potti, captured five fortresses and brought a large booty to the ancient city of Vanji. Vanji has been described in different sources and can be reliably sited as Karuvar or Karur on the River Vani. There are inscriptions near Karur that testify to the booty being brought and Ptolemy mentions the inland city of Korura as the Chera capital. Further, recent excavations have unearthed pieces of Greek amphorae at Karur (Vanji) confirming its status as the capital. The last Chera king mentioned is ‘Sey of the elephant eye’, also called Mandarnjeral Irumporai, who came to the throne in or around 210 A.D. He was reportedly captured by The Pandyan king Nedunjeliyan, but was released on the intervention of some mutual friends. It is not possible to ascertain whether he continued to rule as a vassal king to the Pandyans, and if so for how long. The story of the Sangam Cheras end here.
The first king that is celebrated in the Chola line is Ilanjetcenni, ‘of many beautiful chariots’, who is said to have been a brave, noble and able king. He is obviously not the founder of the dynasty as he is reported to have been the descendent of an unnamed king who it is believed compelled the wind do his bidding. This reference is obviously an allusion to the early Chola maritime expeditions, which have been recorded in bits and pieces without any continuity. Ilanjetcenni’s son, Karikala, is much acclaimed in poems and a number of events during his reign have been described in detail. His name initially was connected to his having a charred leg, probably the result of a childhood accident. However, later interpretations, after he had become a successful monarch, mentions the name as a compound Sanskrit word meaning ‘death to Kali’ or ‘death to enemies’.
There is a long poem, Pattinappalai, which describes Karikala being dethroned and imprisoned, without mentioning the name of the person who usurped the throne; his daring escape from captivity; and his re-establishment of himself as a capable ruler. The poem reports Kaveri Pattinam as his capital. It states that numerous kings submitted to him after he re-established his kingdom and also that he ended the line of the Pandya kings. The last part is difficult to believe and there is no other source that even faintly refers to such an event. Early in his career, Karikala was the victor in the Battle of Veni, a place about 15 miles east of Tanjore, where 11 kings are reported to have lost their battle drums. These ‘kings’ could be Vels or chieftains of differing status and not really kings in the strictest interpretation of the term, since there were only three ‘crowned kings’ in the Tamil country. Karikala subsequently defeated the combined armies of the Pandya and Chera kings and this was a turning point in his career. Another victory that is celebrated is at the Battle of Vahaiparandalai, ‘the field of Vahai trees’ where Karikala defeated nine minor kings. The series of battles and victories over a number of minor kings as well as the other major dynasties point to Karikala being an ambitious and aggressive ruler. The measure of greatness of a ruler was normally the extent of his conquests that automatically increased the richness of the nation through captured treasure and increased revenue and produce from seized lands. By this measure the series of battle victories taken in combination established Karikala as a great ruler.
Karikala established a sort of hegemony over the Pandya and Chera kingdoms and ruled his own kingdom in a strict manner. He did not permit the migration of people from his kingdom to other places. This is indicative of the understanding even in these ancient times that a populous nation remained strong and vibrant. Pattinappalai also describes the capital Kaveri Pattinam in detail and gives particular information about the king’s activities undertaken to better the conditions of his kingdom—resettlement of forested lands, building flood banks on the River Kaveri, and the building of irrigation canals and tanks. It also mentions that the king followed the Vedic religion, which probably means that he followed the Brahminic rites that had gradually percolated south from the northern ‘Aryan’ people. As has been the case with all powerful kings, legends have been built around Karikala at a later stage. However, in the case of Karikala, some of the events are mentioned also in the writing of one of the famous and reliable scholars of the time, Naccinarkkiniyar, and therefore could be taken as based on some actual event and at least partially true. For example, he states that Karikala married a Velir girl from Nagur, which was a place famed for heroic warriors. The legends built around him are mentioned in Silappadikaram as well as in inscriptions dating to the 11th and 12th century A.D. A particular legend is about his having conquered all of India up to the Himalayas, again an obvious exaggeration.
Tondaiman Ilandiraiyan. Tondaiman Ilandiraiyan, who ruled Kanchipuram, was a contemporary of Karikala and is praised in another poem by the same author who wrote Pattinapalaiabout Karikala. Tondaiman’s status and relation to Karikala is uncertain—whether he was a subordinate chief or a vassal king; whether he belonged to the same dynasty or not; and whether or not he forged alliances with other dynasties to remain in power. The fact that he was considered worthy of independent mention in the Sangam poems indicate a high degree of power and influence. In all probabilities he belonged to the Pallava dynasty, which was yet to be considered a Tamil power. (See Part 18 for details of the origins of the Pallava dynasty) There are claims that he was related to the god Vishnu, no doubt propagated to enhance his exalted status, and also that he was the descendent of Tiraiyar, meaning ‘given by the waves’, indicating the spread of his kingdom to the sea shores. Tondaiman himself was a poet of renown and four of his poems survive today, one of them giving a detailed account of the character traits a monarch must possess in order to ensure that he was a good ruler. Even with all this information, albeit in a disjointed fashion, available regarding Tondaiman, he remains an enigma in the long list of rulers who patronised the Sangam.  
Two Chola kings successfully fought the Cheras. Ilanjetcenni of Neydalanganal fought the Cheras and captured two fortresses at Seruppuli and Pamalur. Senganan, famed for his worship of Shiva—he is supposed to have built 70 temples in Shiva’s honour—is reported as the victor in the Battle of Por against the Cheras. Another account gives the battle as having been fought at Kalumalan near Karuvur, the Chera capital. In either case, the battle culminated in the defeat of the Chera Kanaikkal Irumporai who was imprisoned. He was later released on the intervention of the poet Poygaiyar who was a friend to both Senganan and Kanaikkal. The Sangam age was known for the influence that the poets could bring to bear on the kings and chieftains and provides an interesting view of the social status of the more prominent literary personalities of the day. Even though a plethora of information is available, the chronology of the period is indistinct and there is a school of thought that Senganan lived at a much later time, may be around 4th or 5th century A.D. This is a distinct possibility since the Chera king who was defeated at Por or Karavur does not rate a mention in the Sangam literature.
The Chola Civil War
Almost through the entire Sangam period, the Chola kingdom and dynasty were involved in protracted civil wars of lesser or greater intensity. In fact civil wars seem to have been the bane of the Cholas, essentially keeping them from becoming a power to be reckoned with and invariably having to pay the price of being subservient to the other two kingdoms—Cheras and Pandyas. The Chola wars are written about by Kovur Kilar and other poets of the Sangam age.
One poem describes the war between Nalangilli and Nedungilli. Nedungilli blockaded himself up in the fort at Avur, which was in turn besieged by Mavalattan the younger brother of Nalangilli. Although it was the Nalangilli faction that was besieging the township, it was Nedungilli who is supposed to have caused untold misery to visit the beleaguered city. This opinion could probably be a reflection of the deprivation of the general population of food and water that may have been confiscated for the use of the soldiers in the fort.
Another poem describes a siege of Uraiyur by Nalangilli, once again with Nedungilli inside. This poem also exhorts both the princes to end the civil war stating that whoever loses would still be a Chola prince! A third poem by the poet Ilandattan says that he was send to Uraiyur by Nalangilli to persuade Nedungilli to surrender. There are a number of other stories regarding the civil war and the main personalities involved. 
The Pandyans are acclaimed mainly by two great poets, Mangudi Merudan and Mangudi Kilar. The poem, Maduraikkanji by Mangudi Merudan provides a believable chronology of the Pandyan dynasty while providing a full length description of the capital Madurai and the Pandyan kingdom under Nedunjeliyan. The poem mentions three predecessors to King Nedunjeliyan, who has been provided with a title that meant ‘he who won the battle at Talaiyalanganam’. The first king mentioned is Nediyon, the ‘tall one’, who is almost mythical and is thought to have created the Pahruli River. He is also mentioned in the Velvikudi and Sinnamannur plates and is thought to have established the Pandyan worship of the sea. The second king was Palsalai Mudukuduni who is a more lifelike figure. Palsalai means ‘of many sacrificial halls’ indicating that he would have conducted a large number of religious functions during his reign. There are a number of poems about him and some of them indicate that he treated conquered lands very harshly. While harsh treatment of conquered lands was fairly common during this period, the more important factor is that it establishes Mudukuduni as a warrior king of considerable prowess. The third predecessor is another Nedunjeliyan, distinguished by the title ‘he who won a victory against the Aryan (meaning north Indian) army’. The title could only mean one thing—that there was an invasion of the northern people into the Peninsula during his reign which he successfully thwarted. There is another poem that declares that this Nedunjeliyan gave a higher status to persons with learning and knowledge as opposed to status gained purely by birth and caste. Although some details regarding the three kings are available, the timeframe is again uncertain. The duration of time separating the reigns of the three is indistinct and there is a strong possibility that there were other kings who ruled in between these kings. Once again, there is a pervasive sense of ambiguity in the recording and understanding of history.
According to calculations from the poem and corroborating contemporary rulers, it can be ascertained that the second Nedunjeliyan ruled around 210 A.D. After the Battle of Talaiyalanganam, he gained primacy over the entire Tamil country. He conquered and annexed Milalai and Mutturu from the Velir chieftains and is also reported as having won the Battle of Alanganam, although details of this battle is lost in antiquity.
The Battle of Talaiyalanganam
Nedunjeliyan came to the throne very young, and the neighbouring Chera and Chola kings joined with five other minor chieftains and attacked the Pandyan kingdom. The invading armies reached the heart of the kingdom but were subsequently defeated by Nedunjeliyan at Talaiyalanganam, about eight miles north-west of Tiruvalur in Tanjore district. The combined Chola and Chera armies were then driven out to Chola country. During this battle the Chera king ‘Sey of the elephant eye’ was taken prisoner by the Pandyan king. This established the ascendancy of the Pandyan dynasty.
There were a number of minor chieftains, called Vels, who ruled several parts of the Tamil country during the Sangam period either as independent rulers or in a subservient mode to one or the other of the three crowned kings. The Vels claimed to have issued from the sacrificial fires of the northern sage Agastya and also laid claim to a connexion to Vishnu. The names of Anduvan, considered to be a well-read scholar and his son Selvakkadungo Vali Adan, who performed many Vedic rituals, is mentioned as having ruled their chieftaindom as contemporaries of the House of Udiyanjeral. The other famous Vels were Ay and Pari. Ay was the patron of the Brahmin poet Uraiyur and therefore a great deal of details are available about him personally and regarding his rule. He ruled an area around the Podiya hills, which is the southernmost section of the Western Ghats. This is corroborated by the account of Ptolemy who states that the ‘Aioi’ ruled in the south and that his country included the Cape Comorin and Mount Bettigo. It is therefore possible that the term Ay could have been the hereditary dynastic title of all chieftains of that lineage. The Ay country was fertile and teeming with elephants. The Ay rule was peaceful with only one mention of a battle in which the Kongars were defeated.
Pari was the patron of the Poet Kapilar and ruled a principality of over 300 villages around the hillock Kodungunram in the Pandya country. He was known for his liberal rule and valour in battle. For some unfathomable reason, the three crowned kings attacked Pari simultaneously; although Pari put up a heroic resistance, ably aided by the intelligence that Kapilar provided, he was killed by treachery and his lands annexed to the Pandyan kingdom. There are conflicting beliefs regarding Kapilar’s actions after Pari’s death—one that the poet took care of Pari’s daughters after their father’s death, arranging marriages for them in an appropriate manner; the other, that Pari went over to the Chera court for patronage and remained there for the rest of his life. It is also possible that he took Pari’s daughters with him to the Chera court.
The Tale of a Chieftain—Neduman Anji
Neduman Anji was the Lord of Tagadur and one of the seven patrons and a supporter of the poetess Auvaiyar. This patronage ensured that his deeds and history is well-documented, by the standards of the day. Auvaiyar states that he, the poet, was send on a diplomatic mission by Anji to Tondaiman of Kanchipuram. Neduman Anji ruled his kingdom with great ability and also defeated seven princes, capturing Kovalur in the process. During his reign the Cheras invaded his country, and although the Cholas and Pandyas assisted him, Neduman was defeated and accepted Chera suzerainty. Thereafter he led an expedition for the Cheras against Pali, the capital of the Nannans where he was killed in battle.


© [Sanu Kainikara] [2013]
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About Sanu Kainikara

Sainik School Kazhakuttam (Kerala), National Defence Academy 39/A, 108 Pilot's Course IAF, fighter pilot, QFI, FCL, psc, HACC, Voluntary Retirement as Wing Commander. Canberra-based Defence Analyst specialising in air power and national security. PhD in International Politics from University of Adelaide Executive Masters in Public Adminsitration (ANZSOG) Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales, Distinguished Fellow Institute For Regional Security (IFRS) Distinguished Fellow Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS)

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