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  • Sunday, 01 August 2021
Sangam Age

Sangam Age



  • The land south of Krishna river was divided into three kingdom - Chera, Chola and Pandyas.
  • The Pandyas are first mentioned by Megasthenese who speaks of the pandyan country ruled by a women.
  • The three kingdoms with Saliyaputra (not identified so far) is mentioned in Ashokan edicts.


  • The Chola dominion was known as Tondaimandalam or Cholamandalam. Their chief centre of political power was at Uraiyur, a place famous for cotton trade.
  • In the middle of the second century B.C., a Chola king named Elara conquered Sri Lanka and ruled over it for nearly 50 years.
  • A firmer history of Cholas begins in the 2nd century A.D.,with their famous king Karikala, who founded the port city of Puhar (Kaveripattanam) and constructed 160 km.of embankment along the Cauvery river.
  • Karikala literally means a man with a charred leg.
  • Ge fought the Battle of Reuni and defeated 11 kings. He was the greatest of Chola kings.


  •  The history of Cheras was marked by continuous fighting with the Cholas and Pandyas. The capital of Cheras was Vanji or Karur.
  • Nedunjeral Aden is the first known Chera king. Be is said to have fed both the armies of the Kurukhshetra war and so had earned the title Udiyanjeral.
  • Senguttuvan, the red chera or good chera according to the Chera poets was the greatest Chera King.
  • Senguttuvan invaded the north and crossed the Ganga. Hour is remembered for building a temple of Kannagi, the goddess of Chastity. The worship of Kannagi is known as Pattini cult which was established by him.
  • Silapadikaram describes his heroic deeds. Ilango Adigal the author of Silapadikaram was his brother.


  •  Their capital was Madurai.
  • Nedunjhelian was the most important king of the Pandyas. They defeated the Cheras and Cholas in the Battle of Talaiyalagnam.
  •  According to Silapadikaram, in a fit of passion he ordered the execution of Kovalam the husband of Kannagi.
  • Another king was Madaranjeral Inumporai, who sent embassies to Roman emperor Augustus and performed Vedic sacrifices.

 Sangam Literature

  •  The word Sangam is associated with south Indian History where a college or assembly of Tamil Scholars and poets flourished under the royal Patronage of the Pandyan Kings at Madurai. The age corresponds to 300 B.C. to 300 A.D.
  • The first Sangam was held at Madurai but its work has not survived. Its Chairman was Agastya.
  • The second Sangam was held in Kaptapuram. Its Chairman was Tolkapiyar. Only the Tolkapiyam a Tamil grammar by Tolkapiyar survives.
  • The third Sangam was held in Madurai. Its Chairman was Nakkirar. It was the third Sangam from which comes the entire corpus of Sangam literature.
  • The available Sangam literature was compiled in circa A.D. 300-600. But some of its work is dated back to 2nd C.A.D.
  • Poetry was divided into two groups Aham on love and Puram dealing with Kings.
  • The whole literature is divided into two groups narrative and didactic, the former is called Malkannakku or 18 major works and the later Kilkannakku or 18 minor works.
  • Tolkapiyam by Tolkapiyar is a work in Tamil grammar.
  • Thirukural or Kural by Tiruvalluvar is sometimes called the 'fifth Veda' or 'Bible of the Tamil land'. It is compound of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
  • Silapadikaram literally 'The Jeweled Anklet' by Ilango Adigal is an epic, deals with the love stories of Kovalan and Madhavi.
  • Manimekhalai is a sequel to Silapaddikaram written by Sattalai Sattanar, considered the 'Odyssus of Tamil Poetry'.
  • Jivaga Chintamani, a third epic by the Jaina Tiruttakadevar.
  • Agattiyam, a magnum opus and grammar of letters and life is written by Agathiyar.
  • The whole Sangam age is called the Augustan age in Tamil literature.
  • Sangam age corresponds to the post Maurya and Pre-Gupta period.
  • Roman king built a temple of Augustus at Muziris.
  • Murugan was the god par excellence of the Tamils, also known as Subramaniya.
  • Yavan Priya is a Sanskrit term for pepper.
  • Muslin, gems and pearls and spices were the important export items to Rome.

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