SSC GK History Notes: Sangam Age

By Parnab Mallick|Updated : February 25th, 2021

Sangam Age - The Dawn of History in the Deep South

The Megalithic Background

Megalith graves were encircled by big pieces of stones. They also contained pottery and iron objects buried with the corpse. They are found in the upland regions of Peninsula with concentration in Eastern Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

Sangam Age - The Dawn of History in the Deep South

The Megalithic Background

Megalith graves were encircled by big pieces of stones. They also contained pottery and iron objects buried with the corpse. They are found in the upland regions of Peninsula with concentration in Eastern Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

State formation and rise of civilization

The megalithic people started to reclaim the fertile deltaic lands. The route to the south is called as Dakshinapatha which became economically important.

Megasthenes knew about Pandyas while Ashokan inscriptions mention about Cholas, Pandyas, Keralaputras and Satyaputras

Flourishing trade with Roman empire led to the formation of these three states i.e., Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas

Sangam Period

Sangam period is the period in the history of ancient Tamil Nadu spanning from c. 3rd century BC to c. 3rd century AD. It is named after the famous Sangam academies of poets and scholars centred in the city of Madurai.

Three early kingdoms

Kingdom

Capital

Port

Emblem

Famous Ruler

Cheras

Vanji – Modern Kerala

Muzuri and Tondi

Bow

Senguttuvan

Cholas

Uraiyur and Puhar

Kaveripatinam/Puhar. They had an efficient Navy

Tiger

Karikalan

Pandyas

Madurai

Korkai for Pearl Fishing

Fish

Nedunzheriyan

Cheras

  • They had Palmyra flowers as their Garland
  • Pugalur inscriptions mention of three generations of Cheras
  • Senguttuvan introduced Pattni cult or Worship of Kannagi as ideal wife

Cholas

  • Karikalan built Kallanai (Check dam) against River Kaveri

Pandyas

  • Maduraikkanji written by Mangudi Maruthanar describes the socio-economic conditions of the Pandyas
  • Invasion by Kalbharas led to their decline

These kingdoms had a profitable trade with the Roman empire. They produced Pepper, Ivory, Pearls, Precious stones, Muslin, Silk, Cotton etc. which led to prosperity in their region.

Rise of social classes

  • Enadi – captains of the army
  • Vellalas – Rich peasants
  • Arasar – ruling class
  • Kadaisiyar – the lowest class
  • Pariyars – agricultural labourers

Four castes mentioned in Tolkappiyam

  • Arasar – Ruling class
  • Anthanar – Brahmanas
  • Vanigar – People involved in Trade and Commerce
  • Vellalar – Labourers

Five-fold division of land

Land

Type of land

Chief deity

Chief occupation

Kurunji

Hilly tracts

Murugan

Hunting and honey collection

Mullai

Pastoral

Mayon

Cattle rearing and dealing with dairy products

Marudham

Agricultural

Indira

Agricultural

Neidhal

Coastal

Varunan

Fishing and salt manufacturing

Palai

Desert

Korravai

Robbery

Sangam administration

  • Avai – the imperial court
  • Kodimaram – tutelary tree of every ruler
  • Panchmahasabha
    1. Amaichar – ministers
    2. Senatipathiar – Army chief
    3. Otrar – Spy
    4. Thoodar – Envoy
    5. Purohitar – Priest
  • Kingdom’s division
  • Mandalam/Nadu – Province
  • Ur – town
  • Perur – Big village
  • Sitrur – Small village

Sangams

Sangam

Place

Chairman

Surviving texts

1st

Then-Madurai

Agasthiyar

Nil

2nd

Kapadapuram

Agasthiyar and Tolkappiyar

Tolkappiyam

3rd

Madurai

Founder - Mudathirumaran

Nakkirar 

Ettutogai, Pattu Pattu (10 idylls)

Tamil language and Sangam literature

  • Narrative – Ettutogai and Pattupattu which are called Melkankakku – 18 Major works. They are divided into Agam (love) and Puram (Valour)
  • Didactive – Pathinenkilkanakku – 18 minor works. They deal with Ethics and Morals.
  • Thirukkural ­– Written by Thiruvalluvar is a treatise covering various aspects of life.
  • Tolkappiyam by Tolkappiyar is the earliest of Tamil literature. It is a work on Tamil Grammar but also provides information on Political and Social conditions of Sangam period

Epics

  • Silapadhikaram by Elango Adigal
  • Manimegalai by Sitthalai Sathanar
  • Valayapathi
  • Kundalagesi
  • Sivaga Sinthamani

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Parnab MallickParnab MallickMember since Aug 2020
Parnab Mallick is an educator and mentor with an expertise in SSC and Railway exams. He tries to make students’ life easy by guiding them the right path and knowledge to cater to their dream govt. job. He lives with the notion ‘We all have equal opportunity to be unequal’
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Shashi Ranjan
Mam beside mentioning the entire story....give some questions based on the exam and tell which points are important in terms of examinations......@Neha Uppal
And one more thing......u are so cute.....
...Read More
Rajeev Kumar

Rajeev KumarJun 14, 2019

PDF upload karo
Souzouryoku Lucy
Thanks mam. ..good going.
Nagendran

NagendranJul 30, 2019

PDF attached please
Priyanka Rathi
इस काल का कोई ईस्वी नही है क्या मेम
...Read More
Roobini

RoobiniDec 16, 2019

Super but guys you gave all the names in tamil directly and gave meaning for that ,really helpful
Parasuraman C
Thanks much ma'am 👍👍
Shravan Kumar Ch
Very Nice Questions.
Subhendu Das
mam please post some questions related to sangam age, so that we can have ideas with this topic.
Neha Srivastava
Pls hindi me bhi dijiye

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