Pandya Dynasty

The Pandya empire with capital in Madurai was home to temples including Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, and Nellaiappar Temple in Tirunelveli. Traditionally, the legendary Sangams (congregation of Tamil poets who created the great Sangam literature) were held in Madurai under their patronage, and some of the Pandya Kings were poets themselves. The early Pandya Dynasty of the Sangam Literature faded into obscurity upon the invasion of the Kalabhras.

The Later Pandyas (1216–1345) entered their golden age under Maravarman Sundara Pandyan and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan (c. 1251). The Pandyas lost their capital city Madurai to Madurai Sultanate in 1335

The following is a partial list of Pandya emperors who ruled during the Sangam age:

Pandyan Empire, 8th century CE
  • Koon Pandyan
  • Nedunjeliyan I (Aariyap Padai Kadantha Nedunj Cheliyan)
  • Pudappandyan
  • Palyagasaalai Mudukudumi Peruvaludhi
  • Nedunjeliyan II
  • Nan Maran
  • Nedunj Cheliyan III (Talaiyaalanganathu Seruvendra Nedunj Cheliyan)
  • Maran Valudi
  • Kadalan valuthi
  • Musiri Mutriya Cheliyan
  • Ukkirap Peruvaludi
Pandyan Empire, 13th century

The 13th century is the greatest period in the history of the Pandya Empire. This period saw the rise of seven prime Lord Emperors (Ellarkku Nayanar – Lord of All) of Pandya, who ruled the kingdom alongside Pandya princes. Their power reached its zenith under Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan in the middle of the 13th century. The foundation for such a great empire was laid by Maravarman Sundara Pandyan early in the 13th century.[71][72]

  • Parakrama Pandyan II (king of Polonnaruwa) (1212–1215 CE)
  • Maravarman Sundara Pandyan(1216–1238 CE)
  • Sundaravarman Kulasekaran II (1238–1240 CE)
  • Maravarman Sundara Pandyan II (1238–1251 CE)
  • Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan (1251–1268 CE)
  • Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I (1268–1310 CE)
  • Sundara Pandyan IV (1309–1327 CE)
  • Vira Pandyan IV (1309–1345 CE)

Pearl fishing during the Pandyan rule

Pearl fishing was an industry that flourished during the Sangam age. The Pandya port city of Korkai was the center of pearl trade. Written records from Greek and Egyptian voyagers give details about the pearl fisheries off the Pandya coast. The pearls from the Pandyan Kingdom were also in demand in the kingdoms of north India. Several Vedic mantras refer to the wide use of the pearls. The royal chariots were decked with pearls, as were the horses that dragged them. The use of pearls was so high that the supply of pearls from the Ganges could not meet the demand.

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