Showing posts with label Kurgan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kurgan. Show all posts

Who is Avvaiyar - Sangam Myth

Who is Avvai or Avvaiyar. If you search for Avvaiyar you will come with more than six Avvaiyars in history right upto the modern times. What we are interested in is the Avvaiyar mentioned in Tamil sangam literature. Chiefly our discussion comes to two persons. There is a Avvaiyar belonging to Chalukya Chola Kulothunga III reign. There is a Sangam Literature Auvaiyar belonging to Athiyaman reign. Is this Auvaiyar of kulothunga times same as Sangam age Auvaiyar. That is the question we are looking into.

Avvai is corruption in tamil of the term avve or avva (both Meaning Mother) in Kannada/Tulu not native to Tamil, indicating origin of legend of Avvaiyar to Karnataka.

Avvai Murugan
Avvai and Muruga (Subramanya) have lot of legendary stories. But we are not able to select a date for these stories. Auvaiyar is shown here as saivite and great devotee of Muruga. Another place Vinayaka (Ganesha) is the god of Avvai and she gets sainthood at the young age by praying to him. Another place Avvai is called a jain. So there is no clear identification here and each sect seems to claim as their own.

Avvai Kural.
The Athichudi is called avvai kural by some. Meaning that Thiruvalluvar and Auvaiyar lived during same period. But today Tamil scholars say that Atticudi was composed by avvaiyar of Kulothunga Period.

Kulothunga III (1178 to 1218AD)
Ottakuttar(Uttarakandam,Takkayagapparani and Muvarula), Pugazendhi (Nalavenba), Avvaiyar(Atticudi,Konraivendam,Vinayagar Agaval, Mudurai and Nalvazhi) , Iraniyar(Kalaviyal), Kalladanar(Kalladam), Aiyanar(Purapporulvenbamalai), Puttamittiranar(Virachoziam), Divakarar(Diwankaram), Pingalar(Pingalandai) , Pavananti(nannul) and Kuttan(Nalayirakkovai, Parani,Tukkayagapparani, sarasvatiyandadi and Arumbaittollayiram) are all contemproaries in Chalukya Chola Kulothunga III court. Ambarkilan Aruvandai is patron of Divarkar. At the end of his chapter Dirarkarar says his patron was also praised by Avvaiyar, the famous court poet of Adhiyaman Elini. From this it is evident that Divarkar, Kalladar , Avvaiyar and Adhiyaman Elini are contemproaries and They all belong to kulothunga period. Since Divarkar praises Chalukyas, his contemproary Avvaiyar belongs to this kulothunga III period.

Who are Velir?
The Traditional accounts of Velir exactly fits Chalukyas, especially Kapilar description of velir. As the new branch of Chalukyas - Chalukya chola came into being, Chalukya and Chola legends mixed and we have lot of confusion. Velirs are from Kuntala that is chalukya country. In kuntala : Kunta means spear same as vel. Thus people of kuntala becomes velir. As we have already seen Velir is Chalukya and Malaya is Hoysala in Sangam Literature in another article.

Let us go to Sangam Age Avvaiyar. To find the date of this Avvaiyaar, we have to find date of Adhiyamaan.

Adhiyaman Date
Adhiyaman sent Auviyar as Ambassador to Thondaiman to prevent war. In Another instance Malayaman kari arch rival of Adigaman meets Avvaiyar and feeds her. This is Sangam Avvaiyar lived during period of Adigaman, Malayaman Kari and Thondaiman. So if we find the dates of these kings, we will find the date of Auvaiyar.

By 1186–87, Kulothunga Chola III had wound up his expedition against the Pandyan kingdom, but he had to immediately deal with the incursion of the Hoysala Veera Ballala II. Kulothunga Chola III immediately set off for 'Kongu to check the growth of Hoysala power in that quarter. He fought successfully against Veera Ballala II in 1187–88, re-established his suzerainty over Adigaman chiefs of Tagadur, defeated a Chera ruler in battle and performed a virabhisheka in Karuvur in 1193. An Inscription by Kulothunga III in Ranganatha temple in Monolithic cave temple of Namakkal Hills gives detailed description of the campaign and also names Adigaman. 

In another inscription in the Kailasanathaswami temple in Kulothunga Chola III mentions thondaiman. Specifies in his twenty-third year the extent of the devaddana lands below the tanks Sirreri and Periyeri at Arumbar, as fixed by Tondaiman Perumalpillai alias Sedirayadevan. Sedirayadevan looks like Sadaiyan who gave patronage to Kamban. Again same period as Avvaiyar.

So Adhiyaman or Adigaman and Thondaiman are of Kulothunga III Period. We already seen that Malaiyaman are Hoysalas. All three kings are present during the period of Kulothunga III. Since the other Avvaiyar lives in Kulothunga III period. Both the Avvaiyars are same.

There is only one Auvaiyar she lived during period of Kulothunga III. The Sangam Age Avvai is a myth.

A Topographical list of the inscriptions of the Madras presidency

Related Posts
Sangam myth
Chola Origin


Origin of Indo - Europeans

The whole theory of Indo-European is based on the premise that if Latin, Greek and Sanskrit were similar, it should be branched out of earlier single Language. So next question comes , what is the original home of Indo – European people who spoke this language. Let us see the likeliest candidates.

First we have to see the characteristics of Indo – Europeans. Are they?

  1. Hunter gatherers, Pastoral Nomads, Agriculturists etc

  2. Vocabulary : Animals, Plants, Agriculture etc

  3. Technical sophistication

  4. Culture Level

  5. Geography


Collin Renfrew says Indo-European homeland as Anatolia and they practiced agriculture around 7000BC. one of their groups moved westward to Europe, crossing the Bosporus and another -group, moving eastward, via the region south of the Caucasus mountains and the Caspian Sea, into Iran from where it must have subsequently entered Afghanistan and India. In an alternative scenario, Renfrew thinks that the Indo-Europeans split up after entering Europe and then the eastern branch went to south-central Asia, via north of the Black and Caspian Seas, whence it moved on to northeastern Iran, Afghanistan and India.

Theory fails on two counts

  1. If Indians and Europeans lived together as farmers ,their vocabulary should have common words or words originating from common words. But there are none.

  2. Secondly Hittite language from which the commonness is perceived is a minority language of Elite and basal language is non-European.


Gamkrelidze and Ivanov say Indo-European homeland between Black Sea and Caspian sea. This theory is based on linguistic paleontology. Since there is mountains , rivers, Lakes in the vacabulary. They also added that the Indo-European has lot of semitic loan words.

This theory fails because.

  1. Many scholars have shown semitic loan words as misplaced theory.

  2. Armenian language spoken in the area has large number of non Indo-European words, meaning there is another native language spoken. Which suggest that Indo-Europeans are not from that area.


Kurgan is steppes north of Black and Caspian Sea. There archaeological remains of Burial barrows (Kurgan in Slavic language) have been found. Maria Gimbutas says Indo- Europeans are essentially horse riding warriors who can thrust the weapons and can easily overrun the area. By 4000BC they reached central Europe.

This theory fails because

  1. On the technology and cultural level kurgan were essentially pastrol nomads.

  2. Mounted warriors were seen in Europe around 1000BC only says Renfrew

  3. Linguistically there is no relation between pastrol Kurgan and Farming Indo – European says Kathrin Krell, Mallory and Schmitt


Johanna Nichols says Sogodiana was their homeland, from there they spread to Aral sea and they split into two.

This theory fails on the basis

  1. There seems to be only language spread with no people movement. It is unlikely to have happened when there was No TV , Radio or Internet.

  2. There is no centre to periphery spread, there is no eastern spread of the language which is baffling.

Indian Subcontinent

According to this theory India is the home of Indo- European languages. This theory was put forward in 18th century but has no takers then. Why now? Because new findings have come which has resurrected the theory. They are

  1. Mehrgarh neolithic are farming in wheat , domesticated animals in contrast to pastrol sheep and goat. So the Mehrgarh are Indigenous.

  2. Journey from Early charcolithic to Indus valley civilization is continuous. After studying the skulls there was a Biological continuity as well right up to the present day from early charcolithic days.

  3. Most Important one is finding the Indus valley and Rig veda people are same Mentioning of the River saraswathi which is cradle of Indus valley Civilization.

  4. Geographical evidence of confirms to Rivers , Mountains , Lakes etc.

  5. Boghaz Kuei inscription(1400BC), refers to Indra, Mitra, Nasatya and Varuna as witnesses to a treaty between the Mitanni king Matiwaza and the Hittite king Suppiluliuma.

  6. T. Burrow came to the conclusion: “The Indo- Europeans appear in Mitanni from 1500 BC as the ruling dynasty, which means that they must have entered the country as conquerors from no where else but from India.


Indo- Europeans are from India. Whether the Greek , Latin and Sanskrit (Vedic) are related we will see in another article.


The Homeland of Indo-European Languages And Culture: Some Thoughts

Author: Prof. B. B. Lal