Pallava dynasty, 4th to 9th century were popular rulers in southern India. The first group of Pallavas was mentioned in Prakrit, which tell of King Vishnugopa, who was defeated and then liberated by Samudra Gupta, the emperor of Magadha, about the middle of the 4th century ce. A later Pallava king, Simhavarman, is mentioned in the Sanskrit Lokavibhaga. The Pallavas were the emperors of the Dravidian country and rapidly adopted Tamil ways. Their rule was marked by commercial enterprise and a limited amount of colonization in Southeast Asia.
The Pallavas supported Buddhism, Jainism, and vedic faith and were patrons of music, painting, and literature. Their greatest monuments are architectural, in particular the Shore Temple, the various other temples carved from granite monoliths.
Mahendravarman was a great patron of art and architecture and is known for introducing a new style to Dravidian architecture. He also wrote plays, including Mattavilasa-prahasana (“The Delight of the Drunkards”), a farce in Sanskrit, which documents decline of Buddhism. Narasimhavarman built one of the masterpieces of Indian architecture - Mahabalipuram. Apart from presiding over a great art civilization in South India, he also influenced developemnts in Sri Lanka. The Pallava dominions passed to the Chola kings about 880.
The father-son duo established the Tamil empire in South East Asia. They built 100+ great temples (including the Tanjore Siva temple) and proceeded to extend their influence beyond India and controlled the Indian ocean’s trade routes.
Raj Raja Chola was born in Thirukoilur ( head quarters of Nadu Naadu) as Arulmozhivarman, the third child of Parantaka Sundara Chola (Aditya Karikala was the elder son and Kundhavai the elder sister) and Vanavan Maha Devi of the Velir Malayaman dynasty. Aditya karikala was declared as the crown prince. During the lifetime of his father Sundara Chola, Arulmozhivarman had carved a name for himself through his exploits in the battles against the Sinhala and Pandyan armies. Sundara Chola’s eldest son and heir apparent Aditya II was assassinated under unclear circumstances. Arulmozhivarman ascended the throne after the death of Madhuranthaga (Uttama Chola). The mother of Rajendra I, the only known son of Rajaraja, was Vaanathi (otherwise called as Thiripuvana Madeviyar), Princess of Kodumbaalur. Rajaraja must have had at least three daughters. One of the daughter was named after Rajaraja Cholan's sister -Kundavai who was married to the Chalukya Prince Vimaladithan.
Rajaraja was succeeded by Rajendra Chola I.
Well, it is breath taking to see the Tanjore temple which is also called the Brihadisvara Temple. It is also breath taking to know the fact that these temples were built in the age when the rest of the world was still sleeping in the field of architecture, engineering or even human culture. Three great 11th- and 12th-century Temples: the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The temples testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting. The moment you enter the temple, the first thought which comes to your mind is how on earth did these people construct a building of this might in the time of 1000 AD.
The Chola Empire prospered during the 1100’s AD but from the 1200’s AD onwards it lost its power. It was ultimately replaced by the Pandyan and the Hoysala dynasties of South India.
Pandian dynasty ruled parts of South India until the 15th century CE. They initially ruled their country Pandya Nadu from Korkai, a seaport on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, and in later times moved to Madurai. Pandyan was well known since ancient times, with contacts, even diplomatic, reaching the Roman Empire.
The Pandyan empire was home to temples including Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, and Nellaiappar Temple built on the bank of the river Thamirabarani in Tirunelveli. From being Jains in their early ages, they became Shaivaits after some centuries of rule.
The Pandyas of Southern India are believed to have been founded at least five to six centuries before the Christian Era with a very strong possibility of a more ancient date of establishment.
The early Pandyan 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.
The Later Pandyas (1216–1345) entered their golden age under Maravman Sundara Pandyan and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan (c. 1251), who expanded the empire into Telugu country, conquered Kalinga (Orissa) and invaded and conquered Sri Lanka. They also had extensive trade links with the Southeast Asian maritime empires of Srivijaya and their successors. During their history, the Pandyas were repeatedly in conflict with the Pallavas, Cholas, Hoysalas and finally the Muslim invaders from the Delhi Sultanate. The Pandyan Kingdom finally became extinct after the establishment of the Madurai Sultanate in the 16th century.
The Pandyas excelled in both trade and literature before the Christian Era. 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. Traditionally, the legendary Sangams were held in Madurai under their patronage, and some of the Pandya Kings were poets themselves.
The word Pandya is derived from the Tamil word "Pandi" meaning bull.
Son of Kulasekharan Pandya, the second king of Madurai, the legendary Malayadwaja Pandya who sided with the Pandavas and took part in the Kurukshetra War of the Mahabharata
Malayadwaja Pandya and his queen Kanchanamala had one daughter Thathagai 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.
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, Chola and Pandya are the traditional Tamil siblings and together with the Pallavas are the major Kings that ruled ancient Tamilakkam.
According to the Mahavamsa – a historical poem written in the Pali language, of the kings of Sri Lanka – King Vijaya (543 – 505 BCE) married a Pandyan Princess. Along with Vijaya, all the men in his crew got married to Madurai girls and arrived Srilanka with a great celebration.
The revival of the Pandyan dynasty was to coincide with the gradual but steady decline of the Chola empire. The last two or three Chola kings who followed Kulothunga III were either very weak or incompetent.