Historical Sources from Pandiya Empire

History of the second Pandya Empire can be written with the help of the relevant source materials. Plenty of sources are available in this regard. Velvikkudi plates, Seevaramangalam plates. Thalavaipuramplates and chinnamanur plates peak about the war victories and administration of the Pandya rulers. Inscriptions, Coins, monuments and the writings of foreign travelers speak about the pandiya rulers and their achievements.

Inscriptions

Inscription excavated from Chidambaram tells about the personal courage of the Pandya kings in the battle fields and details about the places captured by the Pandya rulers. Inscriptions of Pudukottai throw much light on the judicial and revenue administration of the second Pandyas, Pudukkottai inscriptions also tell about Kulasekara Pandya’s policies towards land survey and taxation. Thiruvandipuram inscriptions explain about the warfare of Maravarman Sundara Pandya. Srirangam inscriptions tell about the victories of Pandya kings. Thirunelvei inscriptions give the names and the titles of the Pandya kings.

Inscriptions of the Cholas, Telugucholas, Kadavaraya, Sambuvarayar and Kakathiyas speak about the glory of the Pandya rule. More in formations are given about Mara Sundara Pandya I, in the inscriptions of Gudiyanmalai Rangamali, Thenkasi and Tiruvateswaram. Particularly Tirunelveli inscriptions speak about Maravarman Kulasekaran I victory over cheras and cholas. They also speak about the wealth that Maravarman had taken from cheras and cholas and used for the construction of the prakara of Thirunelveli Temple.

The informations of Maravarman can he obtained from the inscriptions of Achirupakkam. Chidambaram, Tirukkovilur.

Numismatics

The second Pandya Kings issued coins with names and titles of the rulers. Coins bearing the name as Sonadukondan belong to the period of Maravarman Sundara Pandya I. Sir Walter Elliot writes about the Chola coins. Through these numismatic sources we come to know about the economic condition of the Pandya period. Few gold coins tell about the rulers of Pandya Kingdom. These coins have a fish or a pair of fishes, the symbol of Pandya kingdom on one side. Names of the Pandya kings are engraved on the other side of the coins. Many coins hear the name Sundra Pandya. These coins talk about the conquests and defeats of the Pandyas.
Monuments: The cave temples found in Tirumalaipuram, Tiruparankundram, Anaimalai, Kundrakudi and Kalugumalai are the best monuments of the Pandyas period. The Meenakshi temple in Madurai and the Aranganathar temple in Srirangam are also the wonderful monuments, which show the architectural and the sculptural talent of the Pandyas.

Foreign Sources

Foreign writers like Wassaf and Morcopolo write interesting information about the rule of Pandya kings. The political and economic conditions of Pandyas are described by these writers.