Who was Sendan ?

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The next ruler of this dynasty was Sendan or Jayantavarman. Sendan is but a corruption of Jayantan. This king ruled for about a quarter of a century. He was also called Seliyean Sendan and also bore the little Vanavan. Vanavan was normally a Chera title but tit Pandyan bore it perhaps because he had conquered some Chera. Probably it was t Seliyan Sendan who ruled Madurai when the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen-Tsang visited Ka in 640.

This Chinese pilgrim states in his memoires that the Pandyan king had just t died when he was about to leave Kanchi. Seliyan could well have been that king if he was ruling there from 625 to 640 as some historians believe.

But according to one calculation no Pandyan king had just then died. In this context it is difficult to know what the China meant when he spoke about a Pandyan king dying.

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But we know that in the Pandyan polity more that one member of the royal family used to rule over different parts of the kingdom simultaneously and any one of these princes might have died then. The Chine; pilgrims further says that there was a severe famine in the Pandyan country when he was in Kanchi.

The information which this pilgrims gives in his accounts must be deemed to be hearsay and not the result of personal observation; there is nothing to prove that he actually visited the Pandyan country.

This does not necessarily mean that his statement in this regard was wrong. We know from Periyanpuranam that there was a severe famine in the north-eastern parts of the Pandyan country in the middle of the seventh century and that the Saiva Nayanmars Appar and Sambandar did much to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Sendan excavated a rock-cut temple at Malaiyadikkurichi in the Tirunelveli distrtict.

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