Short notes on the Pandyas dynasty

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The age of the Sangam came to a close with the temporary disappearance of the Chera, Chola, Pandeya dynasties. They were the victims of the Kalabhra invasion. Among the three, the worst affected were the Pandyas.

According to a legend they put up the sternest defense against and the stoutest opposition to the Kalabhras and earned their special wrath.

This resulted not only in the withdrawal of the Pandyas from power but also the Kalabhras disestablishing many of the Pandyan religious and charitable institutions. These charities were reclaimed only after the five centuries.

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It is again not surprising that the Pandya were the first to stage a come-back to political power by destroying the Kalabhras in conjuction with the pallavas and the Chalukyas. The Pandyan king who affected this phenomenal return to power was one Kadungyn.

All available evidence points to the fact that the last Pandyan ruler to be in power during the Sangam age was Ugrapperuvaludi whose association with the Tamil academy is attested.

Kadungon came to power a decade or two before the beginning of the seventh century AD. Though we do not know the name of the Pandyan ruler who was defeated by the Kalabhras, it may be presumed that for a period of three centuries the Pandyan power was in decline and sheltered in obscurity.

The antecedent of the redeemer Kadungon is not known to us. All that we know about him is got from the Velvikkud inscription of Parantaka Nedujadayan. From that record we learn that he conquered many petty chieftains and destroyed’the bright cities of unbending foes.’ The recently discovered Dalavaypuram grant confirms some particulars. This Kadungon must be distinguished from his namesake, mentioned in the Iraiyanar Ahapporul commentary as the ruler of the first Sangam days.

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