About the year 1600 BC Koventhan ruled Pallava Kingdom . ‘Koventhan’ is a tittle associated with Pallava rulers. ‘Ko’ meant ‘nandhi’, eruthu, venthan meant ruler, as such, ‘Koventhan’ was synonymous with ‘nandhirasa’. The coins found at Anaikottai bearing the royal symbol are considered by researchers as belonging to the reign of ‘Koventhan’. This ruler, whether he reigned from Manipuram or Anaikottai has not been confirmed. During the 15th century BC there was a kingdom at Manipuram is confirmed by the old coin found there. (A.J) from Tharakan upto the time of Vithyunmali Anaikkotai had been the seat of the king.
His ruling prevailed in Pallavanadu about 1300 BC. Nantheswaram Sivan Temple of Ratmalana was built by him. Eelanadu was under his rule. In Nantheswaram are a Tamil, Savites only lived here under the Pallavas ruling. Nanthirasa built this temple for the worshipping of saivaites who lived there. In 1454 AC in the period of Kotte King Kumara Alageswaran (Parakramabahu VI) Ragula Thero wrote a book “Salavikini Sandesaya”. He quoted the Nantheeswaram temple in his book as follows – The pooja ceremonies conducted well and people had prayers in Tamil and sang sweet Tamil songs. From the period of Nanthirasa’s reign up to 1454 AC continuously saivaism and Tamil were flourished in Nantheswaram area. It was conformed that a large number of Tamil lived in high level with prosperity in 1454 AC.
There is a period of interval the names of rulers are not available; the reason for this perhaps may be that they did not make a significant impact at that time. Even so that Pallavanadu had a continual rule and rulers cannot be overlooked or the ola leaved manuscripts were damaged and eaten by white ants. Simon Cassiechetty a well known writer of Tamil history has remarked that before 1500 BC that the Tamils have lived in lanka in dignity with strength. Before 1100 BC Pallavarasa’s rule had existed in Pallavam.
The rule at Anaikottai in the peninsula of Jaffnas is referred to by plolemy the well-known Alexandrine astronomer of 2nd century BC as Aakote and Nagadivu as Nagadibo and Nitsanam is called Nikama. Nikamam is a place at Singainagar (Chankanai, Jaffna) where groups of merchants lived.
He ruled the country round about 1000 BC. Chaldia ruled by King Salamon in the same period. When his trade ships travelled towards east countries, they purchased gold, precious gems, elephant tusks, agar wood and pecock feathers from Thiruketheswaram harbour of Ophir (Ceylon). God siva appeard as big light from the earth to sky in the mount of Sivan (Adam’s peak). In his reign all Ceylon was under his rule. As a result names of many places of Eelam related with Pallavas. Pallavarayan Kaddu (Vanni). Nantheswaram (Colombo), Pallava Vankam (Thriyai), Nanthikadal (Pulmoddai). Thandeeswaram (Matra), are some of them. A traditional believe of sailors and captains of ship by singing the song “Ealaelo” in the deep sea the ship will return to shore without fail and it removes the fatique of travel.
Elaelasingan ruled pallavanadu around 921BC. During this period pallavam was in the forefront of sea-trade. At that time in Eelam eighteen verls (Nts;fs;) governed the region. These regions and verls were under the overall governance of Elelasingan.
Around 848 BC the rule of Kalatsingan son of Elelasingan prevailed.
He ruled the Pallava Kingdom from 780 BC to 718 BC.
In pallavam around 718 BC Kalatsingans’ son Thandaimannan ruled. It is said that his rule covered the whole of Lanka. At Devanagar in Mahaturai he built a Sivan Temple. This temple was called Thandeesvaram. The gopuram (spire) of this temple functioned as a direction indicator which is seen in the drawing of the region by Grecian sailors. The Sivalingam’s crown had a most precious sapphire set in it. This account of the sapphire and its flashing brightness in the sun’s rays aided sailors according to Portuguese writers. The temple’s vimanam (translated as the lofting structure) was covered on top by several gold plates. Like the sapphire stone this too helped the directional travel by sailors.
Around 16th century the Portuguese invaders plundered these treasures and destroyed the temple. In the year 1998, at Visitharama Vihara, the above- mentioned Sivalingam was found. The height of this Sivalingam is 4 feet and width 2 ½ feet. This sivalingam was the central divinity (karuvarai) of Thandeswaram Temple. The size of the Sivalingam clearly indicated that Thandaimannan had built a temple of grandeur for God Siva. The nandhi of the temple too was found. Today Thandesuvaram Temple is a temple for Thirumal (Vishnu). There Load Siva is seen called Saman. The size of the statue of Nandhi tells the story that a Large temple of Siva had been there at the site. Thandeswaram is now called Thondeswaram. The king who first built the temple was Thandaimannan and hence known as Thandeswaram.
Around 150 AC Ptolemy or Greek had recorded about Thandeeswaram Sivan Temple. Tower of this temple had been directing the sailors like a light house. This quoted in a world map drawn by Greeks. Further it says a big ruby with crescent shape was laid in the top of the Lingam and the roof of the temple were fixed with gold plates. The light reflected by gold plates shown the direction for sailors.
Further Ibin Battuta an Arabian Traveller described about this temple in 1344 AC in his travel notes as follows:-
It is a big city of commerce, A statue named as it town (Thandeeswaram) is in this temple. About thousands of priests, Yogis and more than 500 Devadasis (female dancers) have been working. Devadasis are dancing and singing daily in the right. The income of the city is belongs to this temple. The god statue of this temple made of gold with eyes having ruby stones. This two eyes are shining like illuminating torch.
Around 646 BC Mahatharan son of Thandaimaman belonging to the family of Pallava Naga rulers, ruled the Pallava Empire from Manipuram and his rule was a one of fame. Mahatharan’s uncle Manikkanahan governed from Kaleniya and Mahatharan’s son-in-law Cholatharan ruled at Rameswaram as a sub-rulers.
MANICCANAGAN KALANY THANDEESWARAM STONE TEMPLE
NAGAKING MANIKRAN PALLAVA ARCHITECTURE
Manirasa son of Mahatharan ruled Manipuram round about the year 580 BC. Manirasa Kulam and Manikrama Kulam (Minneriya tank) of Trincomalee were under the governance of Manirasa.
About the year 518 BC Koventhan son of Manirasa ruled Pallava Empire. The Pallava rulers embossed in their flags and coins the figure of Nandhi. The Pallavars were known as nandhirasas; also as Koventhars (Rasa and venthar in Tamil mean rulers). The stone-head and royal frank with the figure of nandi belongs to 5th Century BC as the rulership-embossing brings out known facto clearly. “Beginning 6th Century B.C upto 3rd Century A.C, that there was a strong rulership is clearly in evidence. Around 2nd Century after Christ the whole of Lanka had clearly been ruled by the Nagakings of Manipallavam” (A.J) Felicius history, a well-known work carries the evidence of Nagadivu rulership, being the initial indication by the westerners of this fact. Although around 5th Century B.C there had been three rulerships in Ceylon that pearl fishing was under the rule of Nagadivu is clear.
The rule of Nallanahan was around 454 BC. In accounts by foreigners and connected literary works, there is proof that between pallavam and south-eastern countries from early times there had been sea traffic and trade. Nallanahan is the son of Koventhan. He was the king of Pallavam and Emperor of Ceylon. Stone carving 374 were found in south Ceylon until todate. The period of these stone carvings is before the first century AC. It was used by all casts of citizens. The word “Perumahan” was written in Tamil. But it was not found in anyone of the Pali literatures of Ceylon History (Dr. P. Pushparatnam). According to the constitution of Singai Nadu, a representative of each cast or community in the Royal assembly was called Perumahan.
Nagadivu was ruled by Mudinaharasan around 389 BC. He was a great Tamil Scholar. His poetic composition had achieved recognition at Pandya Academy (Tamil Sangam
Emperor Parama athan
Paramathan is the son of Mudinaharasan who ruled around 324 BC. He authored much Tamil poetic compositions.
Around 269 BC it is known that Theebarasa ruled Nagadivu.
Around 208 BC he ruled the country. During the reign of Manikkanahan. Sapphire stones of excellence were available for trading at Manipuram. As such traders from many lands traveled here. The epic well-known is ‘Silapadiharam’. Kannakis father Masathuvan Chetty sent the captain (meehaman) of his ship to purchase sapphire stones for her anklets to Manipuram. The naval fort of Manikkanahan was at Nedunthivu. The naval commander there was called Vediyarasan. He was known for hurling crack-missiles at enemy vessels and destroying them. Vediyarasan warred with the captain from Cholanad. During this battle the Naval commander of Thiruvadinilai Veeranarayanan was killed. On hearing the news of the death of ruler stopped the battle and commanded Vediyarasan to bring the captain of Cholaland to his palace. Also he ordered Vediyarasan to sell the Sapphire-stones. Nedunthivu was also known as Eaitpattinam because of the sea-fort there. The ruler Manikkanahan made Vediyarasan the chief of Neyithalnilam with the attendant ceremony (pattankaddi) . Megasthes was the emissary from Greece who came to India during the rulership of Chandragupta during 3rd Century B.C. “In the industry of gold, gold related products and producing pearls of quality Lanka lead India. Pearl fishing, and the west side townships on the sea-coast of North Sri Lanka, attracted western merchants for trade in ornament making produce to and craftsmanship. During this period the rulers connected with these ornament related regions of production. The affluent rulers of these regions had erected temples sustained by the pearl fishing income drew worshippers and pilgrims. This is evident from notes made by the traders from the west. (AJ) for quite a length of time conch shell were cut at chunnakam of Jaffna. This is proved by D.P.E.Pieris from his research from excavations. Muttuthambipillai of Chunnakam cut cart loads of conch shells, applied heat and made chunnam (lime). This confirmed the fact that lime was produced from cut conch shells and processed. Cutting conch shells was an art and these craftsmen were called ‘keeran’; from there cut shells bangles, rings and other ornaments were made and these were worn by the Tamils.
In the period before 2nd Century B.C. Coins stone-inscriptions bore Tamil words which meant that those in authority were Tamils; further the lettering was of a unique nature, The names of Tamils appearing in the above-mentioned inscriptions etc belonged to that era when related to the literary works of that era which carried such names says
Dr. P. Pushparatnam.
The ruler of Pallava Empire Elalan was crowned in 151 BC. In 145 BC he captured Anourpuri when chieftain of Anourpuram refused to pay tribute and again brought the whole of Lanka under his rulership. For a length of 44 years he ruled justify. Elalan was a Saivaite and under his rulership Saivaism and Tamil received royal attention. Karvannathesan of Santhanakamam and other sub-rulers paid dues into the royal treasury of Emperor Elalan. The flag of Nandi flew high all one Sri Lanka. At Anourpuri he erected a temple of Siva. He was the son of Manikkanahan. It is known that Abeya (naga, Duttugemunu) killed him through conspiracy in battle. King Elalans son-in-law Pallavan massed 6000 fighters and proceeded from Pallavam to Anuradhapura and battled there. Tharmakulasingam stated that chapter 73&74 of Mahavamsam says – “Emperor Elalans body was fallen here. A memorial symbol was erected in this place. From that date todate the Kings who, pass paid their respect to the tomb by stopping music and drums and bow their head”. Elalans tomb was erected by King Abayan (Tuddugaman) and the above orders also made by him.
EMPEROR ELALAN’S TOMB ELLALANCHENAI,ANOURPURI CHANDRAN RUTNAM 1981
(ELALA SOHONA OR THE STUPA OF THE “SO-CALLED” DAKKHINA VIHARA)
(SEE MAHAVAMSA, XXXIII : 89)
Uthiran ruled from 101BC until 40 BC. In the stone inscriptions of first century B.C. the name Naganagar (Chulipuram) is seen. Also coins inscribed by the ruler Uththiran with his name were found. These coins belonged to the first century BC and were those that belonged to the period when Naganagar was ruled by the Tamil king is the findings of research persons. Uthiran is the son of Elelan.
Perunahan assumed rulership about 40 BC. He is the son of Uthiran and ruled Pallava Empire. He was responsible for building a big water reservoir (Kulam) which extended from Naganagar (Chulipuram), Tholpuram, Moolai, Ponnalai, Nelliyan – a whole range of villages having boundaries. Appropriate; Tamil poets called him Kularasa and Vavirasa (Kulam and vavi in Tamil mean lakes). At Uduthurai coin belonging to 1st Century BC was found. This coins must be inscribed by the King Perunahan.
Ilanahan the son of Perunahan ruled Pallava Empire from 14 years BC for forty four years. The Tamil coins found during 1st Century BC had the inscription ‘Thasapeedan’. He may have been one of the ten sub-rulers of Kathirkamam. Naha saththan, Maha ay, Maha uthi might be the merchant groupings.
Emperor Nallanahan (Nalliyatkodan)
Ilanahan’s son Nallanahan being a warrior of strength ruled well supported and sustained Tamil poets and scholars, was a great ruler. From Pandinad Tamil Sangam poets came, sang their compositions before Nallanahan and were rewarded well. When poet scholar Natthathanar came from the mainland of India, he reached Pallavam crossing two townships, one was called Eaitpattinam, This was the defense fort between south of India and Pallavam and Nedunthivu Fort. Next was Velur. There in the large pond was filled with blooming lotuses. That was Velanai. Nalliyatkodan’s capital city was Amur, which is Amaiyur; now called Chulipuram. In the fields of Chulipuram, even now tortoises are seen moving around. Because the golden tortoise was trapped at Chulipuram it is called Ponnamaiyur. The rulership of Nallanahan was between 30 years AC upto 80 years AC. The work ‘Sirupanatruppadai carried the composition of Nallanahan with these details “Thiral Verunthiyit pooththa kerni viral vel ventri velur”
In 50 AC the ship belonging to the emperor of Rome Gladius was caught in the strong sea wind and was pushed ashore on the western shore of Naganadu called Kuthiraimalai. Those in the ship that hit the shore were sent by the King of Jaffna with the passenger went the Aratchi Amhassedor to Rome. Thus Cassichetty describes; thus it means Kuthiraimalai near Puttalam was under the rule of Pallavam.
* Kodan meant Nahan
Emperor Villi Athan
Villi Athan the son of Nalliyatkodan in the year 80AC ascended the throne of Pallava Empire. As he was an incomparable bow and arrow marksman he was called Villi. His given name was Athan with his land force and sea-force and capability he was a ruler of fame; Eelam’s great king. Pallavam was in the forefront in food production, cloth making, Pearl, Coral and elephant tusks, in all of these much trading activity took place. Villi Athan’s courage force-strength and arrow shooting expertise gave the impetus to war with many countries and overcome them. He overran the Kalappirar and Chalukkiyar by taking his forces to South India. Where he conquered and ruled over it as the Emperor of Thandai Nadu (Thandai Mandalam).
The Pallava flag was raised over Thandai Mandalam; the flag flow over the Thandai fort and the royal frank of Pallavam was put into use. The Nandi coins of Pallavam was the coinage of this land. He defeated the Chera, Chola, Pandya kings and established Pallava Empire in south India. Pallava rule’s traditions were preserved here. The Pallava Fort architectural arrangement was faithfully followed in structuring Kanjipuram city. The nandi symbol was made use of by the rulers. The Pallava civilization was spread around India by the Pallava rulers. The victories of the Pallava rulers in India that made Pallavam famous. The Pallava rulers from Pallavam set up their Kingdom at Kanjipuram in Pallava tradition. This is described in the epic Manimekalai thus.
The Pallava Kingdom centred at Kanjipuram and its Athan Thandai Chakravarthi (Thandai Emperor) later became narrowed to Athandai Chakravarthi. The first Pallava sovereign of India was Athandai Chakravarthi. The Thandai Mandalam of India was Thamilnadu; by other region of India it was called Dravidam (Thiruidam). The Chera, Chola and Pandinad did not achieve the title of Thamilnadu. Pallavanadu, Thandainadu, Pallavadesam, Thandaimandalam, Thiravidam, Thamilnadu all meant Pallava Nadu. Owing to the senthamil peoples rule of unbent scepter Thamilnadu achieved its name and fame. At Kanji and Chennai regions unflawed Tamil (Senthamil) was being spoken along with its flourishing and Tamil music being sung a rising in to natural stature was all due to the Pallava rulers.
Coming to Andra certain places have the names Eelamurugu (Krishna), Eelappoththam (Karimnagar) Lanka, Eelavaru (Kundur) Eelapanji Bahu (Nellur) Lankapuram and Lankeswaram are some of the names coming with Pallava rule. North west region of Kerala is known as Eelam and in Karnataka there is Eelathur (South Kannadam) Eelakalli (Hasan) are names of places and in Thamilnadu, Northwest of Thindukkal is Ilangikuraichchi is the name of a place also in Thamilnadu there is Eelavur (Sengalpattu) Eelagiri (Vada Atkadu) again Eelagiri (Salem) Eelamalai (Koyambattur) Eelakkurichi (Trichi) Eelathur (Thanjai) Eelakkulam (Tirunelveli) Eelathur (Neelagiri) are some names from Pallava rule.
Thandai mandalam, Pallavanadu, Pallavaram, Alagapuri (Kuberan, Imayamalai), Thiruchirapalli, Karanur, Vaithiyanatha echcharam (Ravanan), Thirulanga (Andra) Maamallapuram are all named by Eela Kings and Pallavas. The names in Pallavam and Lanka are in use in Andra, Malaiyala, Karnataka and Thamilnadu. Those who have gone from Pallavam and Settled in South of India have named these after their own place – names is stated Kathir Thanignasalam in his work on research of place names.
When Pallavas established their rule at Kanjipuram Kanji Empire, they and those who came with them named these places. Kuberan, Ravanan, Thirisiran, Karan, Thudanan, Thadakai and Subahu had named places when their rule that extended from the Himalayah region to South of India. The Pallava Empire extended from the whole of South India to most of North India. This period was from 2nd Century and further. Up to the 13th Century AC Pallava rule prevailed in India in certain places. In this period Pallava Kings named these places. The Pallavas origin with Pallavam is seen in copper plates and etchings of Pallava lineage says Professor S. Krishnaraja. The Pallava period of rulership India, Yava, Borneo, Parley, Poonan, Senla, Cambodia, Samba, Burma, Malaya, Singapure, Sumatra and Siam was the golden era of Tamil and Saivaism.
Pallavarasa’s rule extended from 100AC to 145AC. His daughter princes Nagadevi wedded the Chola ruler Ilangkillee. Their son was called Cholanahan. Coins found in these times have Sivalingam and peacock embossed on them. The son of Pallavarasa was named Valaivanan.
Valaivanan ruled from 145AC up to 185AC. A ruler of grace and fame wedded Princes Vasamailai. They had a daughter of immense beauty called Peelivalai. When the Chola ruler, a relative visited Pallavam taken up by the beauty of Peetevalai wedded her. Their son Ilanthiraiyan became the ruler of Chola Nadu after Killivalavan, Erroneously he was by some referred to as the first Pallava ruler. Chozha’s son is the Chozha. He’s rulership was in the Chozha tradition. He was not a Pallavan but a Chozhan.
Kaalingarasa ruled Pallavam from 185AC up to 226AC. This son of Valaivanan had excellent relations with Chozhanadu as his brother-in-law was the Chozha King Killeevalavan. There was co-operation between them. Pearl harbours and pearl fising of Ceylon were under the control of Pallava Emperors. Sambokovalam was the main fort of trade. A sailor Vusi – Vaihu – Su – On who visited Ceylon in the 3rd century AC recorded in chapter 699 of Taiping Ulan (Chinese Record) as pearls which was collected by Ceylonese were purchased by Kings of India and temples of India. Pearl habours and pearl fishing were under the continent of the North Kingdom of Ceylon.
Veeranahan ruled Pallavam from the year 266AC until 306AC.
Nanthirasa son of Veenahan ruled the Pallava Empire from 268 BC to 306 BC
Emperor Paramesuvara Pallavan
Nandirasa Paramesuvara Pallavan ruled from Manipuram from the year 306AC up to the year 348AC. There were three Kingdoms in Ceylon in 4th Century AC, which was recorded in chapter 789 of Taiping Ulan.
Mathandaiyan ruled Pallavam from the year 348AC up to 390AC. He was the son of Paramesuwara Pallavan and wore the warrior’s valour anklets around his ankles. He was given the name Mathandaiyan because of this; thandai meaning male-anklet. The Pallavas usually wore the valour-anklets. Meaning a great Pallava, the poets gave him the name of Valour Mathandaiyan wishing him great victories at war.
Vettinahan the son of Mathandaiyan ruled Pallava Empire from the year 390AC until 441AC. He ruled from Manipuram. In confirming Pallava rule Cosmas the Greek writer has chronicled that from 5th Century AC there was at Nagadivu a separate kingdom.
The son of Vettinahan was crowned Pallava king in the year 442AC. He ruled until 485AC.
Rajasingan ascended the throne of Pallava Empire in the year 486AC. This ruler ruled from Manipuram and was the ruler of most prosperous nine big ports of Ceylon. Trade was enormous, the articles of trade prodigious, the port of Kovalaturai busy. The trade with many countries of the world was growing owing to the product of Pallavam. The economy was strong and merchants from all parts of the world came to the port for purchase of goods and their ships were anchored at the ports. The Greek chronicler of the 6th Century AC, Cosmos Indiko Plusurus describes Lanka as being ruled by two kings, in the north, the Jaffna Kingdom being strong and it ports well-defended and in world trading at the forefront, confirming the rulership of the Tamils. Further, this chronicler goes on to describe, Manipuram, Urkavaturai, Kovalam (Sambu Kovalam) and also refers to Anaikottai. In small boats called ‘Vallams’ he describes that goods were taken to the interior of the land from the port. From Sambu Kovalam up to Manipuram and Paralai small boats (Vallams) carried goods which portrayed a busy sea-traffic that existed for a long period of time. In the 6th Century AC, the Pallava Kingdom changed its centering capital from Manipuram to Singanagar(Sanganai).
The stone inscriptions found all over the islard between the beginning of 6th Century BC to the end of 6th Century AC and the sasanans carried Tamil Brahmi lettering and Adhi Dravid Tamil lettering. The kings of that time had used Tamil letters indicating that Tamils inhabited these regions in large numbers, and the language of the rulership was Tamil. Tamil rulers headed these regions. Before Christ in the 1st Century more than 80 stone inscriptions the name ‘Naga’ referred to and confirms that Tamil Nagas ruled and they have made these stone inscriptions. In 550 AC, Greek merchant named Sobacca makes reference to a Lankan Kingdom in the northern most part ruled over by a separate ruler.
Rajasinghan’s son Rasapallavan reigned from the year 527 AC until 572 AC. During the 6th and 7th century after Christ, Eelak kasu (Eelam coin) was in use and this ruler may have put this coinage into use.