Kumari Kandam is the legendary sunken continent, mentioned in several works of Tamil literature and described in the Sanskrit literature.
This land is shrouded in deep mystery and so is the history of the Tamil people and their almost forgotten culture.
Tamil continent Kumari Kandam – believed to be the connection between Africa to South India – was located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and has long been identified and closely associated with a hypothetical “lost land” of Lemuria.
Before submerging Kumari Kandam lay to the south of India approximately south of present-day town Kanniyakumari, in the state of Tamil Nadu.
It was ruled by Pandiyan Kings of an ancient Tamil dynasty for 10,000 years and was divided into 49 territories. ‘Silappadhikaram’, one of the Five Great Epics of Tamil literature written in 2nd century CE, confirms this catastrophic event and another ancient Tamil source gives the list of Pandiyan Kings who ruled the Kumari Kandam.
Tamil literatures also say that over a period of about just 11,000 years, the Pandyans, a historical dynasty of Tamil kings, formed three Tamil Sangams, in order to foster among their subjects the love of knowledge, literature and poetry, which became the most important basis of Tamil culture, protecting and perfecting the Tamil language and literature.
The first two Sangams were located in antediluvian Tamil land to the south which in ancient times bore the name of Kumari Kandam, literally the ‘Land of the Virgin’ or ‘Virgin Continent’, (in Tamil, ‘Kumari’ means ‘pure/virgin’).
The First Sangam (probably about 9000 B.C) is described as having been held at the Pandiyan King’s capital city, to the south of Madurai and the Pandyan king, Agastya, was the president of this sangam, until the city was lost in the sea.
There were 89 Pandiyan kings (decedents and rulers of that period) and this sangam lasted 4440 years, and had 549 members, which supposedly included some gods of the Hindu pantheon such as Siva, Kubera, the lord of riches and treasures, frequently mentioned in the epic ‘Ramayana’ and Murugan, the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the devas and the son of Shiva.
Due to this cataclysm, the king and all people who survived moved to the remaining land of Kumari Kandam and the king moved his capital to Kapatapuram. At the same time, the present location of Tamil Nadu was ruled by Chera, Chola, and 46 other small kingdoms.
The Second Sangam lasted for 3700 years and had 59 members, with 3700 poets participating. It was ruled by 59 Pandiyan kings. This city was sunken, too.
Now, when Kumari Kandam was no more, the Pandiyan King seized the part of lands belonging to the kingdoms of Chola and Chera and established a seaport on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula – Korkai. The city became the capital, which was later moved to the present-day city of Madurai.
The Third Sangam was supposedly located in the current city of Madurai, the then capital city of Pandiyan King, and lasted for 1850 years. There were 49 Pandiyan kings during this period. The academy had 49 members, and 449 poets.
According to an Indian historian, K. K. Pillay (1905 – 1981). ‘it is important to observe that the Lemurian continent must have existed, if at all, long long ago. According to geologists, the dismemberment of the Lemurian or Gondvana continent into several units must have taken place towards the close of the Mesozoic era.’
“The equator regions have always been most prone to natural catastrophes like earthquakes and volcano eruptions… according to Professor Karsten M. Storetvedt, University of Bergen, Norway.
‘…These tectonic processes played important role in the disappearance of the ancient continent known as Lemuria to western scholars. Sri Lanka together with India, Indonesia and Malaysia were a part of this continent. Many islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans are remnants of this continent that in ancient time covered the whole area of today’s ocean.
‘…descriptions of cataclysms in early literature when land suddenly went underwater are logical. But they should be proven to be scientific facts. This can be done with the help of sea-floor analysis that is possible to carry out. Modern theories find supportive evidences both in ancient literature and language history…’
Written by – A. Sutherland AncientPages.com Staff Writer
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