Pandya Dynasty

The Pandya Dynasty was one of the most potent ancient Tamil Dynasties ever flourished in India. It is believed that initially the Pandyas were one of the small Dravidian races which occupied some parts at the southern extremities ofIndia. The edicts of Ashoka, the great Maurya Emperor, mentions about the presence of the Pandyas in the third century BC. Also, their conflicts with the Kongu Rattas are recorded in the Kongu Ratta inscriptions of the early fifth century BC.
Though, not much can be certainly determined about the early history of the Pandyas but they along with other Dravidian communities are expected to have entered the southern extremities close to 700 BC. Also, the available historical evidences suggest that in first century AD, the early Pandyas Empire was composed of most parts of the present day’s Madura and Tinnevelly districts in South India. They initially had their capital at Kolkoi but later shifted it to Madurapuri (Madurai).
The ancient Indian epics such as the Ramayana and the Kautily’s Arthashastra mention about the prosperous city of Madhurapuri in their text. Also, the Megasthenes (302 BC), the Pliny (77 AD) and the Ptolemy (140 AD) wrote of “Madura, the kingdom of the Pandian`. Macro Polo, who mentioned it as the richest existing empire, and Ibn Batuta are known to have visited the city of Madhurapuri in 1293 AD and 1333 AD respectively.
Two other great Tamil Dynasties, the Cheras and the Cholas, are expected to have been allies to the Pandyas for a long period of time, allowing them to continue a free movement and trade along the coasts of Sri Lanka. But in 940 AD, Rajaraja Chola of the Chola Dynasty reduced their dominance in the region and suppressed them to tributary dependence. The condition of the Pandyas remained the same for about two centuries. After the decline of Cholas, Madura Sultan, Nayakas of Madura, Nawabs of Arcot and the Rayas of Vijaynagara dominated over the once powerful Pandya Empire. During this phase, the Pandyas were restricted to the unimportant areas of the Tinnevelly district. Later in sixteenth century the legacy of this once flourished dynasty came to an end.
Invasion of the Kalabhras faded the early Pandyas Dynasty into obscurity but the dynasty revived in the early sixth century under the leadership of Kadugon and pushed the Kalabhras out of the Tamil country and re-established their potent rule with Madurai as the capital. However, the Pandyas declined again in the ninth century, synchronous to the rise in the power of Chola rulers. But, in thirteenth century, the dynasty was again able to revive itself by forming an alliance with the Sinhalese and the Cheras in harassing the Chola Empire.
Between 1216 and 1345 AD, under the leadership of Maravman Sundara Pandyan and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan, the later Pandyas were able to expand their empire to the whole of Telugu country, Kalinga (today’sOrissa) and Sri Lanka. During this period, the Pandyas were also successful in establishing healthy trade relations with the Southeast Asian maritime kingdoms of Srivijaya and their successors.
The Pandyas were in constant conflicts with the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Hoyasalas. Later, they also came into a conflict with the Muslim invaders of the Delhi Sultanate and finally their dynasty came to an end with the establishment of the Madurai Sultanate in sixteenth century.

List of rulers of the Pandya Dynasty

  • Koon Pandiyan
  • Nedunj Cheliyan I (Aariyap Padai Kadantha Nedunj Cheliyan)
  • Pudappandiyan
  • Mudukudumi Paruvaludhi
  • Nedunj Cheliyan II
  • Nan Maran
  • Nedunj Cheliyan III (Talaiyaalanganathu Seruvendra Nedunj Cheliyan)
  • Maran Valudi
  • Kadalan valuthi
  • Musiri Mutriya Cheliyan
  • Kadalul Maintha Ukkirap Peruvaludi
  • Kadungon (560 AD to 590 AD)
  • Maravarman Avani Culamani (590 AD to 620 AD)
  • Cezhiyan Cendan (620 AD to 640 AD)
  • Arikesari Maravarman Nindraseer Nedumaaran (670 AD to 710 AD)
  • Kochadaiyan Ranadhiran (710 AD to 735 AD)
  • Arikesari Parankusa Maravarman Rajasimha I (735 AD to 765 AD)
  • Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan (765 AD to 790 AD)
  • Rasasingan II (790 AD to 800 AD)
  • Varagunan I (800 AD to 830 AD)
  • Sirmara Srivallabha (830 AD to 862 AD)
  • Varagunavarman II (862 AD to 880 AD)
  • Parantaka Viranarayana (880 AD to 900 AD)
  • Maravarman Rajasimha II (900 AD to 920 AD)
  • Sundara Pandya I
  • Vira Pandya I
  • Vira Pandya II
  • Amarabhujanga Tivrakopa
  • Jatavarman Sundara Chola Pandya
  • Maravarman Vikrama Chola Pandya
  • Maravarman Parakrama Chola Pandya
  • Jatavarman Chola Pandya
  • Srivallabha Manakulachala (1101 AD to 1124 AD)
  • Maaravaramban Seervallaban (1132 AD to1161 AD)
  • Parakrama Pandiyan (1161 AD to1162 AD)
  • Kulasekara Pandyan III
  • Vira Pandyan III
  • Jatavarman Srivallaban (1175 AD to 1180 AD)
  • Jatavarman Kulasekaran I (1190  AD to 1216 AD)
  • Maravarman Sundara Pandyan (1216 AD to 1238 AD)
  • Sundaravaramban Kulasekaran II (1238 AD to 1240 AD)
  • Maravarman Sundara Pandyan II (1238 AD to 1251 AD)
  • Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan (1251 AD to1268 AD)
  • Maaravaramban Kulasekara Pandyan I (1268 AD to1308 AD)
  • Sundara Pandyan IV (1309 AD to 1327 AD)
  • Vira Pandyan IV (1309AD to 1345 AD)


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