Historic Legacy

 

The History of the region to the South of Madurai has unique features that make it quite different from the rest of peninsular India.  Being the part that makes the very southern tip, it never was part of any of the big empires of India from the Mauryas to the Mughals.  From the burial urns of Adichanallur to the spectacular legacies of the Then Pandiya kindgdoms and in terms of sculptures and temples the region has a distinct nostalgia .  The Chera kings have ruled over the region and much later the Tranvancore Raja wielded considerable influence by both direct suzerainty or through alliances.  This close influence from Kerala is yet another defining feature of this region.  Jain sites of Kalugumalai lead us to another chapter in the pages of the history of South of Madurai region.  The influence of Nayaka dominions and the Poligar system have had profound influence on course of economic and political history of the region.  The colonial presence of the English and the missionaries who worked in many remote parts of the region have brought the next layer to this mosaic.  The Araichi magazine published by the late N Vanamamalai is a pioneering effort at documenting and studying the history of the region.  The Alwars and Vaishnavite literature and the temples in and around Siruvaikundam have their own story to tell. The Saiva Siddhanta thought and the legend of Murugan the boy God are interwoven with the Surabadman story and is said to preserve the memory from the distant past of the wars and deliberations of totemic groups and tribes. Thus the classical and folk art forms blend and enrich one another.  We will in this section bring together articles and anecdotes, pictures and photographs that will give the viewer and the reader an insight into the history of Tirunelvely and its neighbourhood including parts proximal to Madurai.  For a region so small the mosaic is indeed colourful and rich, very much like the mat from Pathamadai.  We start with an article on Raja Desingu as the Ballad of Desingu or the Desingu Raja Kathai became very popular in the Southern Districts. The hero and the ballad both have become legendary.  And Tej Singh was after all a hero from Punjab who was immortalized in all Tamil Hearts! We also carry an interesting article on the origins of Christianity on the Thirunelveli coast written by Lt.Col. (Retd). A J Vijayakumar

 




Kazhulugumalai's Archeological Treasures - Vettuvan Koil


Kazhulugumalai's Archeological Treasures - Jain boulder site


Inside the Nelliappar Temple


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