The Mauryas Facts(321 BC-185 BC)
The Sangam age (first to third century A.D.):
'Sangam' is the Tamil form of Sanskrit word "Sangha" meaning a group of persons or an association. The Tamil Sangam was an Academy of poets and bards, who flourished in three different periods and in different places under the patronage of the Tamil kings. According to tradition, the first Sangam was founded by Sage Agastya and its seat was at Thenmadurai (South Madurai).
The Sangam literature speaks highly of threr South Indian kingdoms- Chola, Pandya and Chera.
The three ancient kingdoms of the Cholas, the Pandas and the Chera combined with were known as Tamilakha, or the Tamil realm.
| The Three Sangam Kingdoms
|| Famous sport |
|Cholas ||Uraiyur, later Puhar ||Tiger ||Puhar(Kaveripattam) |
|Cheras ||Vanji or Karur ||Bow ||Muzris, Tondi, Bandar |
|Pandyas ||Madurai ||Carp (Fish) ||Korkai, Saliyur |
The Cholas: the homeland of the Cholas was the Kaveri delta and the adjoining region of modern Tanjore and Trichinopoly. They were the first to acquire ascendancy in the far south with kaveripattanam, or Puhar as their capital. Its ugly capital was Uraiyur
Towards the beginning of the fourth century A.D. the power of the Chola's big gain to decline mainly because of the rise of Pallavas on one hand and the continuous war waged by the Pandyas and the Cheras on the other.
The Pandyas: The ancient kingdom of the Pandas, with its capital at Madurai, compromised the modern districts of Madura, Ramnad, Tirunelveli and southern parts of Travancore. The Pandyas were first mentioned by Megarthanese. According to the Magashense, the kingdom was once ruled by a woman. According to Asoka edicts, the Pandyas were independent people living beyond the South than border of the Maurya Empire. The greatest Pandya king was Nedunchezhian who defeated the Chera and Cholas.
The Cheras : The earliest reference to the Chera (Keralaputra) kingdom cards in the Ashokan inscriptions. It compromised the mordern districts of Malabr, Cochin and Northern Travancore. Its Capital was Vanji. The greatest Chera king was Senguttuvan, the red or good Chera. He is credited with having invaded the north and crossed the river Ganga.
The people worshipped Murugan, Tirumal, Balram and Indra in the temple known as nagar, koil, kottam, purai or devalayam. The worship of Vedic deities were also not uncommon. The worship of kannagi was common. The Vedic practice of Yagna, sraddha and pinda were practised by the Sangam people. Varanasystem took roots even in the south. The influence of Buddhism, Jainism and Ajivikas was paramount.