Madurai Under the Pandias Rule

Madurai, called 'Pathi Yelzu Ariyap Pannbu Mempatta Madurai' was invaded by several people like the Kalappirars, Muslims, Vijaya Nagara Kings, Naickers, Marathis, the British etc. the reason being of its richness and fertility. We can find a historical background behind the names of every road and street of Madurai.

The ancient Tamil land has the special distinction of having been ruled by the kings of three Dynasties called Chera, Chola and Pandia. Among these the Pandias were having Madurai as the capital city of their kingdom. The Pandia dynasty is eulogised as the most ancient people who "appeared before the stone and sand appeared". In the history of Madurai the Pandias find the first place. They are considered as the great people who have ruled from time immemorial. The poet Ilangovadigal of the Second century A.D. has mentioned in the poems about Madurai as "Moothur" (old city). The Pandiyas belong to the Moon Dynasty. The Neem garland as the garland of identity and the Kayal Fish as their Royal Flag were used by them as their emblems and insignias. These are found mentioned in the various ancient literary works, stone inscriptions and in the writings on copper plates.

They have ruled Madurai for several centuries continuously. The Pandia Kings who founded the Tamil Sangam for flourishing Tamil language can be seen in four stages in their rule.

1) . The Pandias before the Kadai Sangam (Last Sangam)
2) . The Pandias during the Kadai Sangam
3) . The Pandias during the Intermediate period
4) . The Pandias of the later periods.

Among these, we can see in the following sections about the first two categories.