Ancient Tamil Nadu: The History of Tamil Nadu / The History of Tamil Language
The early History of Ancient Tamil Nadu
The India's total lands are in between the Himalayas and Cape Comorin which is also called "Bharatham" The old history tells us as that the land to the south of the Country is the most ancient in the world. In the southern state there are many people who speaks different languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tulu as their mother tongue. The people who live in the south of Tirupathi speaks Tamil languages mostly.. Bavanandhi Munivar, the author of Nannool describes Tamil Nadu as follows. Venkata hills on the north, Cape Comorin on South and the land between these two is Tamil Nadu. During the British rule, most of the parts of south India were called 'Madras Presidency'. After independence, the state which had Tamil as its language was separated. Arignar Anna, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu named the state as Tamil Nadu in the Year 1967. The Tamil we speak can be appreciated as "Senthamizh, Paeynthamizh and Muthamizh". The National poet Subramania Bharathiayar sang "Senthamizh naadenum poothinilae-inba thean vandhu paayuthu kathinelae-yengal thanthaiyar naadenum poothinilae-oru sakthi pirakuthu moochinilae." The ancient Tamil Nadu was ruled by the three great kings were known as Chera, Chola and Pandya who were called Mooventhars during the ancient time period. The southern part of south India was ruled by the king Pandyas who he had fish as his flag, west by the king Cheras who he had tiger as his flag and north east by the king Cholas who he had Vill Ambu as his flag.
The Prehistoric period of Ancient Tamil Nadu
The prehistoric period of the ancient Tamil Nadu has the land massin the Indian Ocean on the south of Cape Comorin was called as 'Kumari Kandam'. The famous river Fahruli ran on this land mass which was eight to ten times bigger in size and length than the South India. There also had wide ranges of mountains. It was said that the land had sufficient rain on time, dense forest of land, civilized living people and effective,efficient kingdom. That kingdom would have been called as the ancient Pandyan Kingdom.
Three Sangams of Ancient Tamil Nadu
The capital of Pandyas was Thenmadurai. Tamizhvalartha Thalaisangam assembled there. The Pandyas ruled over the land with Kapadapuram as its Capital. This place was left over after the Tsunami in which Tenmadurai was taken away by the sea. In Kapadapuram the poets gathered and had the Second Sangam. That city also became a prey to Tsunami later. Then the Pandyas ruled with Madurai as their Capital. The last Sangam was held in Madurai Muthoor. It was known as kudal as the Pandya kings patronized the poets and held research on Tamil. It was believed that the First, Second and Third Sangam helped in the development of literature and Tamil Flourished under the leadership of Pandyan Kings. These Sangam would have been for a long time.
The Continent Lemuria of Ancient Tamil Nadu
The conditions were favorable for the growth of living organisms only at Cape Comorin which was submerged after the Tsunami. Because of this evolution of man would have taken place then. The language spoken by those people was the basic of Tamil Language. The researchers believed that those were the ancient Tamilians. People who lived on the southern part of the land mass are considered as the ancestors of the people of Cape Comorin. There was a big land mass connecting Africa and Australia, which was called Lemuria after the name of the monkey Lemur. It was believed that human beings evolved from the Lemurs. The language of the people was ancient Tamil. The land where their descendants lived was called Tamil Nadu.
The Historical Period of Ancient Tamil Nadu
The historic period of Tamil Nadu began from the Sangam age. Sangam age is the period during which the poets of the third Sangam joined together and did research on Tamil. This period lasted for 400 years from B.T. 200 to A.T 200. Some considered that it was between B.T. 300 to A.T. 300(BT – AT was calculated based on the birth year of Thiruvalluvar i.e. 31 B.C. According to the decision taken by the Tamil scholars that time can be calculated considering that Thiruvalluvar was born 31 years before Christ. This was accepted and announced by the Government of Tamil Nadu.)The Sangam literatures, what we got now are Ettuthogai and Pathupattu. The poem in these literatures was written by Kapilar, Paraner, Avvayyar, Nakkeerar and hundreds of poets. With the help of these we can understand the civilization, customs, culture and political of Tamilians.
Tolkappium which was pride to Tamil literature originated before the third Sangam. Tamil literature would have developed a few thousand years ago. It was a pride to Tamil, that thirukkural, which was hailed by all the religious originated during the Sangam age. The national poet Bharathiyar says."
The Peoples and Civilization of Ancient Tamil Nadu
The people who lived in the south which was surrounded by water on three sides were sea traders before the Sangam age as per the proverb, "Thiraikadal oodiyum thiraviyam theeddu". The language Tamil is abundant with words like Navai, Kalam, Kappal, Thoni, Odam, Padagu, Theppam and Kattumaram which are used to denote the mode of travel at sea. This shows their interest in sea trade. There were many ports like Puhar, Korkai, Thondi, Kaveripoompattinam, Musiri and Vanchi. They had trade contacts with Egypt, Yavanam, Rome, China and other eastern countries. They followed the Barter System.
Mohenjo-daro and Harappa excavated in the Northern hemisphere were examples of town civilization. They examined thousands of things. It was proved that it had connection with the Southern Tamilians for more than four-five thousand years ago. This showed that in those days Tamilians were not only in the south but also in the north. During the Sangam, the poets divided the lands into five physical divisions. The mountains region was called , the forest region was referred as Mullai, the coastal area was Neidal and the sandy regions which suffered drought were called Palai. The occupation of the people depended on the region where they lived. In those days, the most important duty of the kings on those days was protecting their subjects. Apart from the kings there were chieftains and patrons who ruled smaller regions. Conditions were favorable for the poets, singer, dancers, middle man, money lenders, traders and agriculturalist to lead a comfortable life. Agriculture was honored as it provided food for all. Next to agriculture weaving was given importance.
The three Tamil kingdoms of Ancient Tamil Nadu
The Pandyas kingdom in the ancient Tamil nadu
The Pandiyan king Mudathirumaran and Thalaiyalanganathu Cheruvendra Neduncheziyan, who defeated the combined forces of seven kings, lived in the Pandya kingdom. The one who played an important role in Silapathigaram by saying, "Yano Arrasan; Yanae Kalvan" (I am not a king, I am the culprit) and established truth was also a renowned Pandya king.
The Cheras kingdom in the ancient Tamil nadu
The famous Chera kings Imayavaramban Neduncheralathan and Sillambu Pugazh Cheran Senguttuvsn reached the Himalayas and hoisted the Chera flag.
The Cholas kingdom in the ancient Tamil nadu
The famous Chola kings were Karikal Peruvallathan and Killivalavan. Karikal Peruvallathan who ruled over two thousand years ago conquered Eelam. He made the captives build the bank of river Cauvery. Kallanai which exists even today was built by him. This famous king was called as Karikalan. The famous kings of the medieval period were Rajaraja Chola and Rajendra Chola. They built the famous "Thanjai Periya kovil" during their period of rule which is thousand years old. The seven chieftains were called as Kadaiyelu Vallalgal. The famous among them were Pari, Ori, Kari, Nalli, Elini, Pegan and Aay. According to Thirukkural mentioned above there was a society without any discrimination. There was discrimination according to their occupations. There was sect system but they were not discriminated according to their birth. Untouchability was not in practice. In due course, cast discrimination and Untouchability came into force.
The women had the privilege of choosing their life partners. Parents agreed to that. The rituals, raising of holy fire and chanting of mantras were not in vogue. Women were not treated as per the Vedas. As building of temples was not in practice, the Sangam people worshipped the stones erected in memory of the dead soldiers who were known as Hero Stones or Nadukkal and their ancestors. They celebrated harvest festival, Pongal festival and the festival of spring season. In the capital they celebrated Indhiravizha. They did not know about the festival of the Puranas.
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This article was very nice. It helps the Tamil people to know the history of ancient kingdoms. This will be very helpful for the M.A history students and also for preparing the TNPSC and UPSC exams. Thanks for the author.