Showing posts with label Jambai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jambai. Show all posts

Who are Sangam Cheras

There are two cheras . Sangam cheras and Medieveal cheras.

Sangam Cheras
Early cheras were in Tamil Nadu in what is today Karur, Coimbatore,Erode and salem districts in Tamil Nadu. Had their capital in Vanchi, present day Karur. The only source available for us regarding the early Chera Kings is the anthologies of the Sangam literature. There is a lot of dispute on the age of sangam literature. The internal chronology of this literature is still far from settled. The Sangam literature is full of names of the kings and the princes, and of the poets who extolled them. Despite a rich literature that depicts the life and work of these people, these are not connected history to history so far. Their capital is stated to be modern Karur in Tamilnadu and were also called Kongars.

Ganga rule
If we see other rulers at that time. Gangas who also ruled some parts of kongu nadu(Karur, Coimbatore,Erode and salem districts in Tamil Nadu), do not show any signs of presence of Cheras in the neibhourhood. Even though they ruled same parts of Kongu nadu in tamil nadu at the same time as sangam cheras, they did not have any conflict or any relation with cheras that is puzziling and is one of the reasons of dismissing the sangam sources.

Epigraphic sources
  1. Ashoka girinar inscription say keraputo
  2. Periplus of erythraeon sea mention Muziris cited as musiri in sangam literature
  3. Ptolemy refers to Muziris, Nelcynda and tyndis in kingdom of keraputra
  4. Pugalur (Aranattarmalai) inscription. This inscription refers to three generations of Chera rulers Adam Cel Irrumporai, his son Perumkadungo, and his son Ilamkadungo. But this inscription is highly disputed.
  5. Jambai inscription tells about atiyaman found in sangam literature. Also this inscription is highly disputed.
  6. GajaBahu synchronism, which we have discussed in silapathikaram article
The sangam literature has a name for people of kerala - malayan, most literatures at that time mentions keralites as malayan and cheras are mentioned in their respective king names like ori, Ayi, poriyan,Cheral, Kuttuvan, Irumporai, Athan and Kothai.

Aihole inscriptions mention kadamba rulers in kerala

So there is no clarity on the sangam chera rule. By sangam anthologies the date should be around second century AD. The Ganga rulers seems no knowledge of them. Many of the sangam works have loopholes like Gajabahu synchronism. Eventhough the sangam literature talks of chera rulers, the rulers in inscriptions called themselves as ai's , ori's. The foreign sources mention about ports of west coast. We do not know if chera is kerala in ancient times. The only sources girinar inscription of ashoka talks about keraputo, again we do not know it means kerala or chera. so the arguement continues.

king Atiyaman - Tamil Myth

As far as today there is no inscriptions by Sangam kings in Tamil Nadu. Which is a really surprising considering the inclination of sangam kings towards learning. However some would beg to differ. Let us see, how good is this theory.

The inscription is found on a rock inside a cavern, on the hillock of Jambai, a village in South Arcot district, Tamil Nadu. The village is 15 k.m. away from Thirukkoilur town. The epigraph is in Tamil-Brahmi (except for the title in Prakrit) and rads:

Satiyaputo Atiyan Natuman Anci itta Pali

The meaning of the epigraph may be rendered as 'The abode (pali) given by (itta) Atiyan Neduman Anci (name), the Satyaputra (title)'. In this inscription both the northern Brahmi letter sa and the Tamil-Brahmi letter Li have been used.

In his Girnar rock edict II, Ashoka details the arrangements made by him within his empire and also beyond its borders:

Ye Ca anta ata Coda, Pada, Satiyaputo, ceraputo, Tambapanni, Antiyogo nama Yonalaja

'Everywhere in the conquered dominions of king Priyadarsin, the beloved of the gods, and the dominions on the borders as those of the Chola, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputo, the Keralaputra, Tamraparni, the Yavana King named Antiyoka and the other neighboring kings of this Antiyoka, two kinds of medical treatment were established by king Priyadarsin, the beloved of the gods viz. Medical treatment for human beings and medical treatment for cattle'. This is said by experts taking Coda as chola , Pada as pandya, ceraputa as cheras , Tambapanni is srilanka(which is well known as the place of Copper or Tamira).

The Satiyaputras are placed, it may be seen, among the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Keralaputras. While the countries of the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Keralaputras are well known, the identity of the Satyaputra was the subject of controversy among scholars.
Some identified the Satyaputra with the Satavahanas, while others identified them with the Satputas of Maharashtra. Still other scholars located their country in northern Kerala, some also refer to a community mentioned in Tamil literature as Vaimozhi kosar in western seaboard of Karnataka. According to K.G. Sesha Aiyer and K.A. Nilakanta Sastri:- Judging from the way Ashoka mentions them the Cholas, the Pandyas and also the Keralaputras, and the fact that they were outside the domain of Ashoka’s rule, so they should be identified with one or other of the known rulers of the Tamil land.
So satyaputo in Girinar Edict has been equated with Satyaputo in Jambai edicts. And we have atiyaman who is supposed to have existed around 2nd century AD according to Tamil literary sources is linked to Ashoka edicts. How come he can live for 500years, He belongs to a dynasty of Satyaputas. Really!

Let us see the Tamil literature for facts
The last dynasty mentioned is supposed to be the 'Atiyar' mentioned in Tamil literature. But they were considered as chieftains and not as kings. No Atiyar chief is known by the name prior to Atiyaman mentioned in the Classical literature. The only mention of an ancestor of him is that he introduce sugarcane cultivation. On the other hand Atiyaman is very well known to Tamil poets. If indeed there were Atiyar in Ashoka's time, and the lineage continued for another 400-500 years (if we accept the dating of Atiyaman as belonging to 2nd or 3rd century C.E, the Tamil poets would have talked about the Tamil land as being shared by the four dynasties instead of three. So the King mentioned in the Jambai edicts is not Atiyaman and there is no dynasty before him.

This is again the classic case of advancing Tamil Kings antiquity. Just similar sounding names are used to advance the age. A totally new theory has been put to establish Antiquity.