June 22

Maravarman Sundara Pandya I and the revival of Pandyas

The early Pandyas who ruled during the Sangam period were one of the four main kingdoms of the ancient Tamil country. The word Pandya in Tamil means bull. However, in Sangam literature, Pandya means old country. The early Pandyas ruled parts of southern India from the 4th century BCE. Later the early Pandya dynasty faded into oblivion after the invasion of the Kalbharas. The dynasty revived under Kadungon in the early 6th century CE, pushed the Kalbharas out of the Tamil country and ruled from Madurai. The last Pandyan king of this first Pandyan dynasty was Maravarman Rajasimha II who ruled from 900-920 CE. During his reign, Madurai was captured by the Chola king Parantaka Chola I. Rajasimha fled to Ceylon after this defeat.

Maravarman Sundar Pandya I ascended the throne in 1216 CE after the death of his elder brother Jatavarman Kulashekhara Pandya and invaded the Chola kingdom. He laid the foundation for the revival of the Pandyas. During the time of Jatavarman Kulashekhara Pandya, Kulothunga Chola III and the victorious Cholas burned the Pandyan coronation hall in Madurai. This was the beginning of enmity between the Cholas and the Pandyas.

Maravarman Sundara Pandya, Pandyas, Sonadugondan, Chola kingdom, Chola Empire, Chola dynasty, Thanjavur, Uraiyur, Tamil, Sangam period, Kalbharas, Kadungon, Madurai, Maravarman Rajasimha II, Parantaka Chola I, Ceylon, Jatavarman Kulashekhara Pandya, Kulothunga Chola III, Hoysala, Veera Ballala II, Rajaraja Chola III, Vira Narsimha, Jatavaraman Kulashekharan II, Maravarman Sundara Pandya II


The Cholas formally submitted to the Pandyas in 1217 CE

Maravarman Sundara Pandya I invaded Kulothunga Chola III to take revenge for his brother's humiliation. By that time Kulothunga Chola III was nearing the end of his reign due to his old age. Maravarman Sundara Pandya I drove Kulothunga Chola III and his son Rajaraja Chola III into exile. To commemorate his victory over the Cholas he performed a Virabhisheka in Tanjore.

Kulothunga Chola III sought the help of his son-in-law, the Hoysala monarch Veera Ballala II. Maravarman Sundara Pandya agreed to restore the Chola power under the pressure of Veera Ballala II but only after the Cholas agreed to accept his suzerainty. The Cholas formally submitted to the Pandyas in 1217 CE. Rajaraja Chola III was an incompetent ruler under whom the decline of the Cholas hastened. Maravarman Sundara Pandya aligned himself with the Kadava chieftain Kopperunjinga I against the Cholas and the Hoysalas. However, later Maravarman Sundara Pandya was defeated by Vira Narsimha on the banks of Kaveri in 1231 CE.

Maravarman Sundara Pandya I took the titles of Kaliyugaraman and Adisayapandiyadevan. His coins bear the title of Sonadugondan meaning the conqueror of the Chola country. He died in 1238 CE after which the rule was shared by two of his sons- Jatavaraman Kulashekharan II and Maravarman Sundara Pandya II.

Ocean Media
© 2024 Ocean Media. All Rights Reserved.