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Thread: The great significance of Kodungallur of Kerala - Part 2

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    The great significance of Kodungallur of Kerala - Part 2

    (6) The confederacy of the Kerala (Chera), Chola, and Paandiya (Pandiya)

    In South India there has been a confederacy of the Tamil kingdoms (Tamira Countries) of Chera, Chola, and Paandiya (Muth Thamil Nadu), to jointly prevent the kings of the north and central India from invading their countries. This confederacy that existed for 113 years from B.C.283 was broken by king Karavela of Kalinga in the year B.C.170, which was a potential threat to his own kingdom.

    The Tamil kingdoms namely the Chera, Chola, and Paandiya, jointly ensured the unity of the entire 'Tamil Nadu' of that period even at times of their individual invasions of the northern Ariyan kings. The Ariyan kings too recognised the unity and the strength of the Tamil kings and referred to them as the kings of the 'Tamil Nadu' in the south, who carved their royal emblems the Bow, Tiger and Fish individually on the mountain range of the Himalayas, at different times.

    The Kerala kings too in their North Indian expeditions considered it as a great pride having carved their emblem the Bow on the Himalayas, and also having seen the "Thamilakam (Chera, Chola & Paandiya=Tamil Nadu) of that period bound by sea all round, stressing on their unity.

    This confederacy of the three southern Tamil kingdoms the Kerala (Chera), Chola and Paandiya, prevented the Maurya Emperor Asoka too from conquereing their countries in Southern India. This could have been the reason even though his domains extended as far as Mysore, he has referred in his Second Rock Edict that the Kerala (Chera), Chola, and Paandiya countries as being beyond his domains. However King Asoka was successful in penetrating the three Tamil countries as far as Taamiraparni river in south Paandiya Nadu, with his Buddhist Dhamma religious mission.

    In the above edict the Keralas are mentioned as the Keralaputras, that is the Putras of Kerala, meaning the sons of the soil of Kerala. From the above it is very clear that the Keralas were known to the people of North India also during the period of the Maurya Emperor Asoka, who ruled the Magadha kingdom from B.C.273 - 236.

    The Fourteenth Edict of Emperor Asokan has only mentioned of the Cholas and Paandiyas, but it is already clear that they knew of the kingdom of Kerala in the South India as seen from the Second Edict.

    The above are confirmed by the following References:

    "............vada Aariyar padai kadanththu
    then Thamil Naadu orungu kaana........"


    Silappathikaaram - by Ilango Adihal, Mathurai Kaandam, Katturai kaathai
    U.V.Swaminatha Iyer edition


    “…….then Thamil Nadu aalum venthar seruveatu puhantru elunthu min thavalum Imaya Netriyil vilangu vil, puli, kayal poriththa naal empolum mudi mannar eengu illlai polum

    Silappathikaaram - by Ilango Adihal, Mathurai Kaandam, Katturai kaathai
    U.V.Swaminatha Iyer edition


    "…..Imayam vitporith imil kadal velith thamilakam vilanga…."

    Pathirtrupaththu - 2nd Patthu - by Kumatoor Kannanaar, U.V.Saminatha Iyer edition.

    "....Every where within Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi's domain, and among the people beyond the borders, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputras, the Keralaputras, as far as Taamraparni, and where the Greek king Antiochos rules,....."

    "......Now it is conquest by Dhamma that Beloved-of-the-Gods considers to be the best conquest. And it has been won here, on the borders, even six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Taamraparni. Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dhamma......"


    Edicts of Asoka - an English rendering by Ven Dhammika, published by Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka - 1994 (Net Edition)

    (L.11) ".......and (he) thoroughly breaks up the confederacy of the T[r]amira (Dramira) countries of one hundred and thirteen years, which has been a source of danger to (his) Country (Janapada)....."

    Hathigumpha Inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga (B.C.170)
    Epigraphia Indica - Vol. XX, 86-89.

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