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Madhurai Meenakshi Temple EARLY HISTORY OF TAMILNADU

The early History of the present Tamil Nadu [part of the undivided South] saw the rise and fall of many empires. The most popular among them were the Cholas, Cheras, Pandiyas, Pallavas; Vjaya Nagara Empire, Madurai and Thanjavur Nayaks [1300-1650], Maratha, Nizams, Nawabs and the Delhi Sultanates [brief period].

PALLAVAS Dynasty between 300 – 900 CE initially existed under Satavahana Rulers . After Satavahana, Pallavas gradually and strongly came into prominence under Simhavishnu [575-600]. Narasimhavarman I [Mamalla] 630-668 and Parameswara Varman I [670-695] were the most popular rulers, who were responsible for the creation of the Monument Sites of Mamallapuram and military success respectively. The other rulers have contributed their might too.
CHOLA Originated from Cauvery River Valley with Uraiyur as Capital. Ruled landscapes from Vaigai to Thondaimandalam at one stage. Vijayalaya Defeated the Sinhalese and annexed the areas of Pandaya Kingdom too. Rajarajan I [985-1014] and Rajendra Cholan [1014 -44] were the most popular and successful kings of the empire. They were called as Mummudi Cholas [rulers of Chola, Chera and Pandia areas]. The Big Temple or the Brihadeswarar Temple [celebrated its millennium year of Existence in 2010] was the creation of Rajaraja Cholan; Temples in Gangai Konda Cholapuram was the achievement of Rajendra Cholan, who was also called as Gangai Kondan. These temples are called the Great Living Chola Temples.
CHERAN Were also called as Kerlaputra. The Area included western part of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Irumporai , Neduncheralathan [who fought against the YAVANAs ] and his son Senguttuvan are some of the popular names of this Dynasty.
PANDIANS Korkai was the capital of the Early Pandyan kingdom, was reported to be around 600 BCE. Later on Nedunchezhian moved the Capital to Madurai, also called as Koodal. This dynasty revived under Kadungon Pandian during 7 CE and ruled till 16th Century. It is also believed they were originally Tamil Jain, later turned to Saivism [Worshipping Lord Siva]. Kulasekara Pandiya his son Malayadwaja [father of Goddess Meenakshi] are believed be the first line of Pandya Kings. The ‘Five Pandyas’ is reported to have ruled between 12th and 14h Century. The Invasion of General Malik Kafur in 1311, losing the control of other territories weakened the Pandians. The territories switched hands. The Pandya Kings were called either as Jatavarman or Maravarman.
VIJAYANAGAR & NAYAKS Hindu Vijayanagara Empire founded by the brothers Bukka and Harihara of Vijayanagara [Karnataka]. Bukka and his son Kampana defeated the short lived Mogul Madurai Rule in 1371 and extended their Empire to almost whole of the South. They appointed Governors called NAYAKS. After the Vijayanagara empire got defeated by the Deccan Sultans, the NAYAKS declared their independence and started ruling the kingdom. Raghunatha Nayak [1600-45] was the best of the Thanjavur Nayaks. Raghava [1631-1676] was the last of the Thanjavur Nayaks. Thirumalai Nayak [1623-59] was the best of the Madurai Nayaks. He is remembered popularly for his contribution to Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple.
MARATHA Noted ruler of this dynasty was Shivaji Bhonsle. Apart from this he had also conquered important forts like Jinji and Vellore by 1678. Jinji served as the Maratha Capital for Nine years during the war with the Mughals. Ekoji was the half brother of Shivaji who established his own rule in Thanjavur. After Ekoji, his sons Shaji, Serfoji and Thukkoji ruled Thanjavur. The greatest of them was Serfoji II [1798-1832]. He developed Thanjavur as the seat of Learning and he was a great patron of Art - Literature and he built the popular and great Saraswathi Mahal Library inside his palace.
FRENCH PRESENCE The French East India Company was founded in 1664 and by 1666 the French had the permission from Aurangazeb to trade in India and set up their Trading Post on the Coromandel Coast at Pondichery. The French occupied Karaikal in 1739, Joseph Francois Dupleix became the Governor of Pondichery. During the Europe Conflict , Both British and French Navies fought along the coast. They captured Fort St.George and Robert Clive was one of the prisoners. Later Madras was returned to the British. Both played political war with each other by supporting the Nawab of Carnatic and Nizam of Hyderabad respectively. By 1763 Treaty of Paris, Mohammed Ali of Carnatic supported by the British was accepted by the French.

Religion : Though, the Majority of the population in Tamil Nadu is recorded as Hindus - Christians and Muslims along with other minor communities live in peaceful co-existence in this State. Christians and Muslims were a part of the population migrated from other parts of the world to India. Even Samanars [ Tamil Jains], Buddhist and Kalabhras were present in the earlier period . The Samanars [Tamil Jains] have contributed to the legacy and literature of the State, believed to have been a part of the region from 250 BC . Along with innumerable and popular Temples ; Mosques, Churches, Jain Temples, Gurudwaras form a part of the co-existing religious establishments to show case the unity in diversity.

Literature and Contributors:Sangam period and Post Sangam period saw the creation of literatures like Silapathigaram, Manimeglai, Seevaga Sinthamani, Valaiyaabathi and Kundalakesi popularly called as Five Important Literatures. Tholkapiyam , Agananuru, Purananuru, Athichudi and many more other Collections. Elangovadigal, Veerama Munivar, Tolgappiyar , Nakkirar, Avvaiyar were some of the popular names from the earlier list of scholars. Kambar and his creation of Tamil Ramayanam is popular on Kamban Kazhagam stages even today. Tamil Saint and Poet Tiruvalluvar was born on the 1st day of the month of Thai [Jan-Fab] at Mylapore [the present Chennai urban locality]. He is called as Ayyan by the Scholars of the land. He is known and praised world- wide for the 1330 couplets called Tirukkural. Tirukkural crisply speaks about the lifeline of wealth, virtue, and love emphasizing righteous living in public life and administration. It is regarded as Tamil Vedam even today and has been translated in many popular languages of the world. The Tamil Nadu Government follows Tiruvalluvar calendar in Honour of His birth. The current Tiruvalluvar Year is 2046.

Indian Independence war [1858 -1947]:The rule of British East India company was controlled by the British Government by it Regulating Act 1773. The Madras Presidency was created by the British comprising of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and parts of Kerala, Karnataka and Union Territory of Lakshadweep. British troupes fought many wars against the Emperors / Kings and annexed territories . This was stoutly opposed and aggressively encountered by Palayakkara Chieftain Veerapandia Katta Bomman. Poet of the 20th Century Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiar- whose poems kindled the thirst for Free India among the people; Aurobindo who took refuge in Puduchery, a French Union, contributed his might towards this struggle. He was a Contemporary of Bharathiar; Kappal Ottiya Thamizhan [one who sailed a ship] V.O.Chidambaram Pillai, Srinivasa Sasthry, Subramania Siva, Vanchinathan, Thillaiyadi Valliyammai, C.Rajagopalachary, K.Kamarajar are some notable freedom fighters of Tamil Nadu. Satyagrahas, Public March, Wars and Revolts finally brought the struggle to an end with Independence to our land on 15th August 1947 .

After Independence, since there wasn’t any critical issues or protest, partition of Tamil Nadu was very smooth. O.P.Ramasamay Reddiyar was the first Chief Minister. Madras Presidency was declared as Madras State on 26th January 1950. The State was re-organized to the present boundaries in the year 1956. In 1969 MADRAS STATE was renamed as TAMIL NADU. The Congress dominated the scene for a long period. The later part of 1960’s saw the emergence of Dravidian Parties to rule the State. Since then the Dravidian Parties have been ruling the State un-interrupted

Modern Tamil Nadu: From the Development angle of the State, huge and glorious developments has been the order of the day. The Literacy rate has turned the State into an intellectual zone. This has created more opportunities for the development in many fields. Earlier the emphasis was given for agriculture, as a result many Reservoirs and Dams were constructed for Irrigation purpose. This also provided water to the people of the region. Then came the Industries, with the First Industrial Estate Set up in Guindy, Chennai during the period of K.Kamarajar. Now we have lakhs of Industrial units , manufacturing from pin to setting up of power plants in all parts of Tamil Nadu. Some of them suit the regional resources many others as developmental projects of the state , that makes the State a self-sufficient. Chennai is called as Detroit of India for the presence of many Automobile manufacturing plants. Then came the Electronic and the computer world - There has never been a decline in the resources and the State is one of the most important destination for the International Establishments to participate in the developmental activities in this sector. Service Industries in various field have made this an important destinations for the global performers. Again the Education has played an important role in producing the best faculty of Medical Experts, Scientists and Entrepreneurs to take the State of Tamil Nadu to scale new heights.

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