The Sangam Age

  • The Sangam was a college or assembly of Tamil poets held under royal patronage. These assemblies were attended by powerful dynasties under the patronage of Pandyan kings.
  • According to traditions, there were three Sangams which
    lasted for 9,900 years.
  • The Cholas were based in the area of Tanjore.
  • They occupied the delta of the Kaveri river and the adjoining regions.
  • Earlier their capital was at Uraiyur (in Tiruchirapalli), which was famous for cotton trade, but later on it was shifted to Puhar (Kaveripattanam). Puhar was the main seaport.
  • The name of Karikala Chola is prominent. He defeated a confederacy of about a dozen of rulers headed by the Chera and Pandaya kings in the great Battle of Venni, near Tanjore. Karikala maintained a powerful navy and conquered Sri Lanka. Karikala literally means “the man with the charred leg”.
  • Ultimately, the Cholas suffered a defeated at the hands of the Pallavas.
  • The Pandyas controlled the present districts of Madurai, Tirunelveli, and parts of south Kerala.
  • Madurai, situated on the bank of the river Vagai, was their capital.
  • Korkai (Tirunelveli district) was their main port.
  • The Pandya ki ngdom was fi rst ment ioned by Megasthenes and Hiuen Tsang (AD 640) .
  • The Cheras were also known as Keralaputras. They were situated to the west and north of the Pandya kingdom.
  • The Romans set up two regiments at Muziris in the Chera country to protect their interests. They also built a temple of Augustus at Muziris.
  • Senguttuvan, also known as the “Red Chera”, was greatest of the Chera kings. He defeated the Chola and Pandya kings. He crossed Ganga and reached north.
  • The Chera capital was at Vanji and their main seaport was Muziris.

  Dynasty                Emblem                                                                                                                                 

  Chola                     Tiger
  Pandya                  Fish
  Chera                     Bow

  • Tolkappiyam: It is the earliest surviving Tamil literature work written by Tolkappiyar. It is a Tamil grammar text.
  • The most important work of Tamil literature is Tirikkural by Tiruvalluvara. It is also called the “Bible of the Tamil land”.
  • The Jewelled Anklet: It is the greatest and earliest epic by Illango Vadigal. It is the story of Kovalan of Puhar, who falls in love with Madhavi, a dancer.
  • Manimekalai: This epic by Sattanar of Madurai has Buddhist influence.