Friday, June 27, 2008


The Tamil Sangams form one of the main parts of history for the Tamil people. It is a
tradition that they cherish and have been passing it on from generation to generation. Nobody knows exactly what it means and how it came about. According to some it was a literary academy where the scholars or poets met to discuss and criticize various things including literature in Tamilaham. It is mentioned in a commentary on the Iraiyanar Ahapporul.
It is said to have been composed by the sangam poet Nakkirar. According to tradition it was a literary academy established and supported by the Pandyan Kings. The first sangam or Talai sangam was established at Ten Madurai the capital of the Pandyan kings on the Indian Ocean shores. When a deluge destroyed Ten Madurai the capital was shifted to Kapatapuram and the second sangam called the idai sangam was established there. After sometime when kapatapuram too was destroyed by the sea the capital was shifted to present day Madurai away from the sea on the banks of the Vaigai. Madurai became the latest capital of the Pandyan kings and third sangam or Kadai sangam was established there. There are a number of historical persons and kings associated with these sangams. The Pandiyan king who ruled during the period of establishment of the Third sangam was Mudattirumaran who was lame. His other name was Ariyappadaikadanda Nedunjeliyan. He was contemporary of Karikalan Cholan and Senguttuvan Cheran and Elangai Gajabahu.