Three Important Tamil Kingdoms during the Sangam Age were the Chera, Chola, and Pandyan kingdoms.
- The Chera kings of the Sangam Age were known by many titles such as Vanavar, Villavar and Malaiyar.
- Their capital was at Vanji, and Thondi was their chief port.
- Cheran Senguttuvan was the most popular king of the Sangam Cheras. Many Sangam works tell about his military expeditions. It is said in one of the texts that he reached the Himalayas and hoisted the Chera flag.
- The territories of the Sangam Cheras mostly comprise the present state of Kerala.
- The Chola Kingdom is called Chonadu, Kaveri Nadu and Punal Nadu in Sangam literature.
- These names reflect the richness of the water resources of the Chola Kingdom. The River Kaveri was considered sacred as it added to the fertility of the Chola land.
- Uraiyur was the capital of the Sangam Cholas. Their second capital was Kaveripoompattinam or Puhar. It was also the main port of the Sangam Cholas.
- Karikalan was the most popular king of the Sangam Cholas. The Sangam works give information about his kingship. He was a great warrior who defeated the Cheras and Pandya kings at Venni. He also encouraged the growth of agriculture and commerce. He built a dam across the River Kaveri which helped in the irrigation of crops.
- It has been recorded in Sangam literature that merchants from abroad visited the capital city Puhar.
The Pandyan Kingdom
- The extent of the Pandyan Kingdom comprises the present-day territories of Madurai, Tirunelveli and Ramanathapuram. The Pandyan kings were known as Maran, Valudhi and Chezhiyan.
- Madurai was their capital city, and the city of Korkat was the chief port.
- The Pandyan kings gave patronage to the Tamil Sangam.
- Mudhukudumi Peruvazhthi was a Pandyan king who performed many sacrifices to celebrate his victories.
- Another famous Pandyan ruler, Thalaiyalanganathu Nedunchezhiyan, defeated the combined forces of the Chera, Chola and other local chieftains. The kingdoms of the Pandyans, Cheras and Cholas began to disintegrate by the beginning of the 3 rd century AD.
- Apart from these three famous kingdoms, many local chiefs also ruled in different parts of Tamil Nadu. They were known as Velirs.
- The local chiefs provided patronage to the Tamil poets. Thus, the Sangam poets praised them for their generosity.
- They also extended their help to resolve disputes among the kings. These chiefs also played an important part in the development of the political, social and cultural development of the period.
Also, Read The Sangam Age