The Sangam landscape is the name given to a poetic device, characteristic of love poetry in classical Tamil Sangam literature. The core of the device was the categorisation of poems into different tiṇais or modes, depending on the nature, location and type of relationship represented by the poem; each tiṇai was associated with a particular landscape, imagery associated with that landscape—its flowers, wildlife, people and geography—was woven into the poem in such a way as to convey a mood, associated with one aspect of a romantic relationship. Classical Tamil love poetry assigns the human experiences it describes, in particular the subjective topics that those experiences relate to, to specific habitats; every situation in the poems is described using themes in which the time, the place and the floral symbols of each episode are codified. These codifications are used as symbols to imply a socio-economic order and behaviour patterns, which, in turn, are symbolized, by specific flora and fauna.
Details of secondary aspects are just as rigidly codified—the seasons, the hour a god, musical instruments and, above all, the sentimental connotations of each landscape: lovers' meetings, patient waiting, lovers' quarrels and the anxiously awaited return. Under this codification, the inner universe associated with love is divided into seven modes, or thinai, five of which are geographical and associated with specific landscapes, two of which are non-geographical and not associated with any specific landscape. Four of the geographical landscapes are described as being landscapes that occur in the Tamil lands; these are: kuṟiñci —mountainous regions, associated with union, mullai —forests, associated with waiting, marutam —cropland, associated with quarreling, neytal —seashore, associated with pining. The fifth—pālai, or desert, associated with separation—is described in the Tolkappiyam as not being a existing landscape. From these basic associations of landscape and subject, a wide range of specific themes suitable for each landscape were derived.
Thus, for example, the commentary on the Iraiyanar Akapporul states that as a result of the association of the kuṟiñci landscape with union, it was associated with the fear of separation, the hero's or heroine's discussions with their friends, their being teased or taunted by their friends, their replies to their friends, the friends' role as intermediary, the meeting of the lovers and doubt, other similar themes. According to the Tamilneri vilakkam, a 9th-century text on poetry, the love themes described by the five thinais constitute "the Tamil way of life" or "the Tamil way of love." The two non-geographical modes—kaikkilai and peruntiṇai—were seen as dealing with emotions that were non-conforming, therefore were not associated with any specific landscape. Kaikkilai, dealt with unreciprocated or one-sided love, while peruntiṇai, dealt with'improper' love or love against the rules of custom. In Tamil, each of the five geographical thinais are named for a flower, characteristic of that landscape.
In English translation, however, it is customary to use the name of the landscape rather than that of the flower because the flowers lack the cultural association with a specific language in English that they have in Tamil. The mountain is the scene of the lovers' union at midnight, it is the dewy season. The forest is rich with lakes, teak and sandalwood. In this region millet grows and wild bees are a source of honey. Love in this setting is exemplified by Murugan, one of his wives, the daughter of a mountain dweller, he wears the sparkling red kantal flower and rides a peacock, the bird of the mountains. The name of the region, Kurinchi, is the name of the famous Kurinji flower from the lofty hills of Tamil country; the Strobilanthes, a shrub whose brilliant white flowers blossom for only a few days once every ten or twelve years, blanketing the slopes in radiant whiteness under the sun. This event of jubilation and purity symbolizes the frenzy of a sudden love shared, in concert with the unleashed forces of nature: the amorous dance of peacocks, their echoing cries, the splash of waterfalls, the roar of savage beasts.
The lovers forget the dangers of the mountain path. Mullai is the land of the forest; the forest is rich with lakes, teak and sandalwood. In this region millet grows and wild bees are a source of honey. Mullai or Jasmine is the flower of the forests; the theme of the forest and of shepherds at play, the image of confident waiting for the loved one, produced an original offshoot. The plains were the scene of triangular love plots in which the hero's visits to the courtesan oblige the heroine to counter with a mixed show of coquetry and moodiness, tactics whose limits are described in the Thirukkural. Indra, the god of thunderstorm, is the god of Marutham land; the Marutam tree was the characteristic tree of this region. The seashore affords many examples of the compelling charm of Sangam poetry and the extraordinary freshness of its realism. From behind the conventional symbolization of waiting there emerges a picture of the life of the fisherfolk.
Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by small, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities, ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s; the Impressionists faced harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, soleil levant, which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satirical review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari; the development of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous styles in other media that became known as impressionist music and impressionist literature. Radicals in their time, early Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting.
They constructed their pictures from brushed colours that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix and J. M. W. Turner, they painted realistic scenes of modern life, painted outdoors. Still lifes and portraits as well as landscapes were painted in a studio; the Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting outdoors or en plein air. They portrayed overall visual effects instead of details, used short "broken" brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour—not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary—to achieve an effect of intense colour vibration. Impressionism emerged in France at the same time that a number of other painters, including the Italian artists known as the Macchiaioli, Winslow Homer in the United States, were exploring plein-air painting; the Impressionists, developed new techniques specific to the style. Encompassing what its adherents argued was a different way of seeing, it is an art of immediacy and movement, of candid poses and compositions, of the play of light expressed in a bright and varied use of colour.
The public, at first hostile came to believe that the Impressionists had captured a fresh and original vision if the art critics and art establishment disapproved of the new style. By recreating the sensation in the eye that views the subject, rather than delineating the details of the subject, by creating a welter of techniques and forms, Impressionism is a precursor of various painting styles, including Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Cubism. In the middle of the 19th century—a time of change, as Emperor Napoleon III rebuilt Paris and waged war—the Académie des Beaux-Arts dominated French art; the Académie was the preserver of traditional French painting standards of style. Historical subjects, religious themes, portraits were valued; the Académie preferred finished images that looked realistic when examined closely. Paintings in this style were made up of precise brush strokes blended to hide the artist's hand in the work. Colour was restrained and toned down further by the application of a golden varnish.
The Académie had an annual, juried art show, the Salon de Paris, artists whose work was displayed in the show won prizes, garnered commissions, enhanced their prestige. The standards of the juries represented the values of the Académie, represented by the works of such artists as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Alexandre Cabanel. In the early 1860s, four young painters—Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille—met while studying under the academic artist Charles Gleyre, they discovered that they shared an interest in painting landscape and contemporary life rather than historical or mythological scenes. Following a practice that had become popular by mid-century, they ventured into the countryside together to paint in the open air, but not for the purpose of making sketches to be developed into finished works in the studio, as was the usual custom. By painting in sunlight directly from nature, making bold use of the vivid synthetic pigments that had become available since the beginning of the century, they began to develop a lighter and brighter manner of painting that extended further the Realism of Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon school.
A favourite meeting place for the artists was the Café Guerbois on Avenue de Clichy in Paris, where the discussions were led by Édouard Manet, whom the younger artists admired. They were soon joined by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Armand Guillaumin. During the 1860s, the Salon jury rejected about half of the works submitted by Monet and his friends in favour of works by artists faithful to the approved style. In 1863, the Salon jury rejected Manet's The Luncheon on the Grass because it depicted a nude woman with two clothed men at a picnic. While the Salon jury accepted nudes in historical and allegorical paintings, they condemned Manet for placing a realistic nude in a contemporary setting; the jury's worded rejection of Manet's painting appalled his admirers, the unusually large number of rejected works that year perturbed many French artists. After Emperor Napoleon III saw the rejected works of 1863, he decreed that the public be allowed to judge the work themselves, the Salon des Refusés was organized.
While many viewers came only to laugh, the Salon des Refusés drew attention to the existence of a new tendency in art and attracted more visi
The Tholkāppiyam is a work on the grammar of the Tamil language and the earliest extant work of Tamil literature and linguistics. It is written in the form of noorpaa or short formulaic compositions and comprises three books – the Ezhuttadikaram, the Solladikaram and the Poruladikaram; each of these books is further divided into nine chapters each. While the exact date of the work is not known, based on linguistic and other evidence, it has been dated variously between the 5th century BCE and the 2nd century CE; some modern scholars prefer to date it not in parts or layers. There is no firm evidence to assign the authorship of this treatise to any one author. Tholkappiyam deals with orthography, morphology, semantics and the subject matter of literature; the Tholkāppiyam classifies the Tamil language into koduntamil. The former refers to the classical Tamil used exclusively in literary works and the latter refers to the dialectal Tamil, spoken by the people in the various regions of ancient Tamilagam.
Tholkappiyam categorises alphabet into vowels by analysing the syllables. It moves into higher modes of language analysis; the Tholkāppiyam formulated thirty phonemes and three dependent sounds for Tamil. Tolkāppiyam derived from the combination of two words: Tonmai and kāppiyam; the derivation of Tolkāppiyam from the root words is as per the rules defined in Nannūl verse 136. The dating of the Tolkappiyam has been debated much, it is still imprecise and uncertain and has seen wide disagreements amongst scholars in the field; the work has been dated variously between the 5th century BCE and the 3rd century CE. The antediluvian datings stemmed from a descriptive commentary in an 8th-century work called Iraiyanar AgapporuL, about the existence of three Tamil Academies; the disagreements now center around divergent dates from the 3rd century BCE or with one estimate being as late as the 10th century CE. Some scholars prefer to date it not as a single entity but in parts or layers which are estimated as written between the 3rd century BCE and the 5th century CE.
Iravatham Mahadevan, an Indian epigraphist, argues that epigraphy sets an upper limit of around the 7th century CE on the date of the Tolkappiyam, on the basis that the Tolkappiyam is familiar with the use of the puḷḷi – a diacritical mark to distinguish pure consonants from consonants with an inherent vowel – which does not occur in inscriptions before that time. Vaiyapuri Pillai, the author of the Tamil lexicon, dated Tolkappiyam to not earlier than the 5th or 6th century CE. Kamil V. Zvelebil, a Czech Indologist specialised in the Dravidian languages, dates the core of Tolkappiyam to pre-Christian era. Robert Caldwell, a 19th-century Presbyterian missionary turned linguist, who prepared the first comparative grammar of the Dravidian languages, maintains that all extant Tamil literature can only be dated to what he calls the Jaina cycle which he dates to the 8th to 13th centuries CE. However, Caldwell did not have the benefit of reviewing a large section of ancient Tamil literature that were uncovered and published by C. V. Thamotharampillai and U. V. Swaminatha Iyer.
Takanobu Takahashi, a Japanese Indologist, argues that the Tolkappiyam has several layers with the oldest dating to 1st or 2nd century CE, the newest and the final redaction dating to the 5th or 6th century CE. T. R. Sesha Iyengar, a scholar of Dravidian literature and history, estimates the date when the Tolkappiyam has been composed to lie "before the Christian era". Dr. Gift Siromoney, an expert on ancient languages and epigraphy, estimates the date of Tolkappiyam to be around the period of Asoka, based on an analysis of the Tamil Brahmi inscriptions found at Anaimalai in Tamil Nadu. V. S. Rajam, a linguist specialised in Old Tamil, in her book A Reference Grammar of Classical Tamil Poetry: 150 B. C.–pre-Fifth/Sixth Century A. D. dates it to "pre-fifth century AD". Herman Tieken, a Dutch scholar, who endeavours to trace the influence of the Sanskrit Kavya tradition on the entire Sangam corpus, argues that the Tolkappiyam dates from the 9th century CE at the earliest, he arrives at this conclusion by treating the Tolkappiyam and the anthologies of Sangam literature as part of a 9th-century Pandyan project to raise the prestige of Tamil as a classical language equal to Sanskrit, assigning new dates to the traditionally accepted dates for a vast section of divergent literature.
Hermen Tieken's work has, been criticised on fundamental and other grounds by G. E. Ferro-Luzzi, George Hart and Anne Monius. A C Burnell, a 19th-century Indologist who contributed seminally to the study of Dravidian languages was of the view that the Tolkappiyam could not be dated to "much than the eighth century." Tholkapiyam was written by a disciple of Vedic sage Agastya. Since Agathiam, the grammar compiled by Agastya, went missing after a great deluge, Tholkappiyar was asked to compile Tamil grammar. Starting in the 11th or 12th century CE, several commentaries came to light. Of these, the one by Ilampuranar dated to the 11th or 12th century CE is considered one of the best and most comprehensive; this was followed by a commentary dateable to 1275 CE by Senavaraiyar which, dealt only with the Sollathikaram. A commentary by P
In English literature, an elegy is a poem of serious reflection a lament for the dead. The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy notes: For all of its pervasiveness, the ‘elegy’ remains remarkably ill-defined: sometimes used as a catch-all to denominate texts of a somber or pessimistic tone, sometimes as a marker for textual monumentalizing, sometimes as a sign of a lament for the dead; the Greek term elegeia referred to any verse written in elegiac couplets and covering a wide range of subject matter. The term included epitaphs and mournful songs, commemorative verses; the Latin elegy of ancient Roman literature was most erotic or mythological in nature. Because of its structural potential for rhetorical effects, the elegiac couplet was used by both Greek and Roman poets for witty and satiric subject matter. Other than epitaphs, examples of ancient elegy as a poem of mourning include Catullus' Carmen 101, on his dead brother, elegies by Propertius on his dead mistress Cynthia and a matriarch of the prominent Cornelian family.
Ovid wrote elegies bemoaning his exile. In English literature, the more modern and restricted meaning, of a lament for a departed beloved or tragic event, has been current only since the sixteenth century; this looser concept is evident in the Old English Exeter Book which contains "serious meditative" and well-known poems such as "The Wanderer", "The Seafarer", "The Wife's Lament". In these elegies, the narrators use the lyrical "I" to describe their own personal and mournful experiences, they tell the story of the individual rather than the collective lore of his or her people as epic poetry seeks to tell. For Samuel Taylor Coleridge and others, the term had come to mean "serious meditative poem": Elegy is a form of poetry natural to the reflective mind, it may treat of any subject. As he will feel regret for the past or desire for the future, so sorrow and love became the principal themes of the elegy. Elegy presents every thing as lost and gone or absent and future. A famous example of elegy is Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.
In French the most famous elegy is Le Lac by Alphonse de Lamartine."Elegy" may denote a type of musical work of a sad or somber nature. A well-known example is Op. 10, by Jules Massenet. This was written for piano, as a student work. Dirge Elegiac Funeral march Keening Kommós Lament Marsiya Noha Obituary poetry Pastoral elegy history Poetry Rithā' Soaz Threnody Ağıt Casey, Brian. "Genres and Styles," in Funeral Music Genres: With a Stylistic/Topical Lexicon and Transcriptions for a Variety of Instrumental Ensembles. University Press, Inc. Cavitch, Max. American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-4893-X. Ramazani, Jahan. Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-70340-1. Sacks, Peter M.. The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-3471-6. Media related to Elegies at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of elegy at Wiktionary Elegy Explained at Literary Devices
The Chola dynasty was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in history. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE left by Ashoka, of the Maurya Empire; as one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century CE. The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River, but they ruled a larger area at the height of their power from the half of the 9th century till the beginning of the 13th century; the whole country south of the Tungabhadra was united and held as one state for a period of three centuries and more between 907-1215 AD. Under Rajaraja Chola I and his successors Rajendra Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola, Virarajendra Chola and Kulothunga Chola I the dynasty became a military and cultural power in South Asia and South-East Asia; the power of the new empire was proclaimed to the eastern world by the expedition to the Ganges which Rajendra Chola I undertook and by the naval raids on cities of the maritime empire of Srivijaya, as well as by the repeated embassies to China.
The Chola fleet represented the zenith of ancient Indian sea power. During the period 1010–1153, the Chola territories stretched from the islands of the Maldives in the south to as far north as the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh. Rajaraja Chola conquered peninsular South India, annexed parts of, now Sri Lanka and occupied the islands of the Maldives. Rajendra Chola sent a victorious expedition to North India that touched the river Ganges and defeated the Pala ruler of Pataliputra, Mahipala, he successfully invaded cities of Srivijaya of Malaysia and Indonesia. The Chola dynasty went into decline at the beginning of the 13th century with the rise of the Pandyan dynasty, which caused their downfall; the Cholas left a lasting legacy. Their patronage of Tamil literature and their zeal in the building of temples has resulted in some great works of Tamil literature and architecture; the Chola kings were avid builders and envisioned the temples in their kingdoms not only as places of worship but as centres of economic activity.
They established a disciplined bureaucracy. The Chola school of art spread to Southeast Asia and influenced the architecture and art of Southeast Asia; the Cholas are known as the Choda. There is little information available in regarding their origin, its antiquity is evident in inscriptions. Medieval Cholas claimed a long and ancient lineage. Mentions in the early Sangam literature indicate that the earliest kings of the dynasty antedated 100 CE. Cholas were mentioned in Ashokan Edicts of 3rd Century BCE as one of the neighboring countries existing in the South. A held view is that Chola is, like Chera and Pandya, the name of the ruling family or clan of immemorial antiquity; the annotator Parimelazhagar said: "The charity of people with ancient lineage are forever generous in spite of their reduced means". Other names in common use for the Cholas are Killi and Sembiyan. Killi comes from the Tamil kil meaning dig or cleave and conveys the idea of a digger or a worker of the land; this word forms an integral part of early Chola names like Nedunkilli, Nalankilli and so on, but drops out of use in times.
Valavan is most connected with "valam" – fertility and means owner or ruler of a fertile country. Sembiyan is taken to mean a descendant of Shibi – a legendary hero whose self-sacrifice in saving a dove from the pursuit of a falcon figures among the early Chola legends and forms the subject matter of the Sibi Jataka among the Jataka stories of Buddhism. In Tamil lexicon Chola means Soazhi or Saei denoting a newly formed kingdom, in the lines of Pandya or the old country. There is little written evidence available of the Cholas prior to the 7th century. Historic records exist thereafter, including inscriptions on temples. During the past 150 years, historians have gleaned significant knowledge on the subject from a variety of sources such as ancient Tamil Sangam literature, oral traditions, religious texts and copperplate inscriptions; the main source for the available information of the early Cholas is the early Tamil literature of the Sangam Period. There are brief notices on the Chola country and its towns and commerce furnished by the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, in the later work of the geographer Ptolemy.
Mahavamsa, a Buddhist text written down during the 5th century CE, recounts a number of conflicts between the inhabitants of Ceylon and Cholas in the 1st century BCE. Cholas are mentioned in the Pillars of Ashoka inscriptions, where they are mentioned among the kingdoms which, though not subject to Ashoka, were on friendly terms with him; the history of the Cholas falls into four periods: the Early Cholas of the Sangam literature, the interregnum between the fall of the Sangam Cholas and the rise of the Imperial medieval Cholas under Vijayalaya, the dynasty of Vijayalaya, the Later Chola dynasty of Kulothunga Chola I from the third quarter of the 11th century. The earliest Chola kings for whom there is tangible evidence are mentioned in the Sangam literature. Scholars agree that this literature belongs to the second or first few centuries of the common era; the internal chronology of this literature is still far from settled, at present a connected account of the history of the period cannot be derived.
It records the names of the kings and the princ
Kerala, locally known as Keralam, is a state on the southwestern, Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following passage of the States Reorganisation Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2, Kerala is the twenty-second largest Indian state by area, it is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, the Lakshadweep Sea and Arabian Sea to the west. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 Census, Kerala is the thirteenth-largest Indian state by population, it is divided into 14 districts with the capital being Thiruvananthapuram. Malayalam is the most spoken language and is the official language of the state; the Chera Dynasty was the first prominent kingdom based in Kerala. The Ay kingdom in the deep south and the Ezhimala kingdom in the north formed the other kingdoms in the early years of the Common Era; the region had been a prominent spice exporter since 3000 BCE. The region's prominence in trade was noted in the works of Pliny as well as the Periplus around 100 CE.
In the 15th century, the spice trade attracted Portuguese traders to Kerala, paved the way for European colonisation of India. At the time of Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, there were two major princely states in Kerala-Travancore State and the Kingdom of Cochin, they united to form the state of Thiru-Kochi in 1949. The Malabar region, in the northern part of Kerala had been a part of the Madras province of British India, which became a part of the Madras State post-independence. After the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the modern-day state of Kerala was formed by merging the Malabar district of Madras State, the state of Thiru-Kochi, the taluk of Kasaragod in South Canara, a part of Madras State; the economy of Kerala is the 12th-largest state economy in India with ₹7.73 lakh crore in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹163,000. Kerala has the lowest positive population growth rate in India, 3.44%. The state has witnessed significant emigration to Arab states of the Persian Gulf during the Gulf Boom of the 1970s and early 1980s, its economy depends on remittances from a large Malayali expatriate community.
Hinduism is practised by more than half of the population, followed by Christianity. The culture is a synthesis of Aryan, Dravidian and European cultures, developed over millennia, under influences from other parts of India and abroad; the production of pepper and natural rubber contributes to the total national output. In the agricultural sector, tea, coffee and spices are important; the state's coastline extends for 595 kilometres, around 1.1 million people in the state are dependent on the fishery industry which contributes 3% to the state's income. The state has the highest media exposure in India with newspapers publishing in nine languages English and Malayalam. Kerala is one of the prominent tourist destinations of India, with backwaters, hill stations, Ayurvedic tourism and tropical greenery as its major attractions; the name Kerala has an uncertain etymology. One popular theory derives Kerala from alam; the word Kerala is first recorded as Keralaputra in a 3rd-century BCE rock inscription left by the Maurya emperor Ashoka, one of his edicts pertaining to welfare.
The inscription refers to the local ruler as Keralaputra. This contradicts the theory that Kera is from "coconut tree". At that time, one of three states in the region was called Cheralam in Classical Tamil: Chera and Kera are variants of the same word; the word Cheral refers to the oldest known dynasty of Kerala kings and is derived from the Proto-Tamil-Malayalam word for "lake". The earliest Sanskrit text to mention Kerala is the Aitareya Aranyaka of the Rigveda. Kerala is mentioned in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the two Hindu epics; the Skanda Purana mentions the ecclesiastical office of the Thachudaya Kaimal, referred to as Manikkam Keralar, synonymous with the deity of the Koodalmanikyam temple. Keralam may stem from the Classical Tamil chera alam; the Greco-Roman trade map. According to Tamil classic Purananuru, Chera king Senkuttuvan conquered the lands between Kanyakumari and the Himalayas. Lacking worthy enemies, he besieged the sea by throwing his spear into it. According to the 17th century Malayalam work Keralolpathi, the lands of Kerala were recovered from the sea by the axe-wielding warrior sage Parasurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu.
Parasurama threw his axe across the sea, the water receded as far as it reached. According to legend, this new area of land extended from Gokarna to Kanyakumari; the land which rose from sea was filled with unsuitable for habitation. Out of respect and all snakes were appo
The Pandya dynasty was an ancient Tamil dynasty of South India, one of the three Tamil dynasties, the other two being the Chola and the Chera. The kings of the three dynasties were referred to as the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam; the Early Pandyas ruled parts of Southern India from at least 4th century BCE. Pandya rule ended in the first half of the 16th century CE, they ruled their country Pandya Nadu from Korkai, a seaport on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, in times moved to Madurai. Pandyas had diplomatic relations as far as Rome; the country of the Pandyas was described as Pandyas by Megasthenes, Pandi Mandala in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea and described as Pandya Mediterranea and Modura Regia Pandionis by Ptolemy. The Pandya empire was home to temples including Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Nellaiappar Temple in Tirunelveli. Jainism and Vaishnavism flourished during the reign of the early Pandya kings, but after the revival of the Pandya power by Kadungon, the Shaivite Nayanars and the Vaishnavite Alvars rose to prominence and the non-Hindu sects declined.
Strabo states that an Indian king called Pandion sent Augustus Caesar "presents and gifts of honour". Traditionally, the legendary Sangams were held in Madurai under their patronage, 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 dynasty revived under Kadungon in the early 6th century, pushed the Kalabhras out of the Tamil country and ruled from Madurai, they again went into decline with the rise of the Cholas in the 9th century and were in constant conflict with them. The Pandyas allied themselves with the Sinhalese and the Cheras in harassing the Chola empire until they found an opportunity for reviving their fortunes during the late 13th century; the Later Pandyas entered their golden age under Maravarman Sundara Pandyan and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan, who expanded the empire into Telugu country, conquered Kalinga and invaded and conquered Sri Lanka. They had extensive trade links with the Southeast Asian maritime empires of Srivijaya and their successors.
The Pandyas excelled in both literature. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the South Indian coast between Sri Lanka and India which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world. During their history, the Pandyas were in conflict with the Pallavas, Cholas and the Muslim invaders from the Delhi Sultanate; the Islamic invasion led to the end of Pandya supremacy in South India and in 1323, the Jaffna Kingdom of Sri Lanka declared its independence from the crumbling Pandya Empire. The Pandyas lost their capital city Madurai to Madurai Sultanate in 1335. However, they shifted their capital to Tenkasi and continued to rule the Tirulnelveli, Ramanad, Sivagangai regions. Meanwhile, Madurai sultanate was replaced by Nayaka governors of Vijayanagara in 1378. In 1529 Nayaka governors declared established Madurai Nayak dynasty; the word Pandya is thought to be derived from the Tamil word "Pandu" meaning "old". Robert Caldwell derives the word Pandya from Pāṇḍu, the father of the Pandavas from Mahabharata, whose descendants Pandyas claim.
Another theory suggests that in Sangam Tamil lexicon the word Pandya means old country in contrast with Chola meaning new country, Chera meaning hill country and Pallava meaning branch in Sanskrit. The Chera and Pandya are the traditional Dravidian siblings and together with the Pallavas are the major Kings that ruled ancient Tamilakam. Historians have used several sources to identify the origins of the early Pandya dynasty with the pre-Christian Era and to piece together the names of the Pandya kings; the Pandyas were one of the longest ruling dynasty of Indian history. Historian Gustav Solomon Oppert derives the Pandi word from the Tamil word "Pallandi " meaning "king of Pallas"; the name "Pandi' is a contraction of Pallandi, a composite of two Tamil words "palla" and "andi". In Sangam Period, the word "andi" means " king" or "ruler ". According to Tamil legends, the three brothers Cheran and Pandyan ruled in common at Korkai. While Pandya remained at home, his two brothers Cheran and Cholan after a separation founded their own kingdoms in north and west.
According to the Epic Mahabharatha the legendary Malayadhwaja Pandya, who sided with the Pandavas and took part in the Kurukshetra War of the Mahabharata, is described as follows in Karna Parva:"Although knowing that the shafts of the high souled son of Drona employed in shooting were inexhaustible, yet Pandya, that bull among men, cut them all into pieces". Malayadhwaja Pandya and his queen Kanchanamala had one daughter Thataathagai alias Meenakshi who succeeded her father and reigned the kingdom successfully; the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple was built after her. The city of Madurai was built around this temple. Local folklore attributes Alli Raani as one of the Sangam age queens of the Pandya kingdom, she is attributed as a amazonian queen whose servants were males and administrative officials and army were women. She is thought of ruling the whole western and northern coast of Sri Lanka from her capital Kudiramalai, where remains of what is thought of as her fort are found, she is sometimes seen as an incarnation of the Pandya associated deities and Kannagi.
Pandya kings find mention in a number of poems in the Sangam Literature. Among them Nedunjeliyan II,'the victor of Talaiyalanganam', Mudukudimi Peruvaludi'of several sacrifices' deserve special mention. Beside several short poems found in the Akananuru and the Purananuru collections, there are two major works – Mathuraikkanci and the Netunalvatai (in the collection of Pattupattu