Pandiya Kings

The Cholas lost their power after the death of Kulothunga III. The Pandyas assumed a great strength from the middle of the 12 century. The Pandyas expanded in north up to Nellore and Cuddapha districts. Kulothunga III made Vikraman as the ruler to the Pandya kingdom. Vikraman as succeeded by Jatarvarman Kulasekara I.

Jatavarman Kulasekara I (1190 AD to 1210 AD)

He was son of Vikraman. His Meikeerthi is a very good source. He fought and compromised with the Chola king Kulothunga-III. His reign may be regarded as an important land mark in the history of the second Pandyas. He ruled Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari areas. He created the Rajagambira Chaturvedi mangalam, consisting of 1030 Brahmadeyas. So he was known as “Rajagambeera”. He appointed Maravarman SundaraPandya as his crown prince.

Maravarman SundaraPandya -I 1216 AD to 1231 AD

He was the brother of Jadavarman kulasekara. He had titles like Kaliugarama, AdisayaPandyadeva. The King SundaraPandya was an ambitious competent and capable ruler. He fought wars against the cholas and the Kongu kings. Maravarman SundaraPandya captured some portions of Trichy and modern Pudukottai districts. A good part of the Vishnu temple at Tiruttangal was built. After him Jadavarman Kulasekara II ruled for sometime.

Maravarman Sundara Pandya II : 1238 AD to 1253 AD

: He made many grants to temples. He defeated the chola king Rajendra—III.

Jatavarman Sundara Pandya I :- 1251 AD to 1268 AD

He succeeded Maravarman Sundara Pandya II. He had title as Tribhuvana Chakravarthy for conquering Elam, Kongu and the chola kingdom. During his time the Pandya kingdom became the Pandya empire. The cholas completely disappeared from the Tamil scene. The hoysalas retreated to the Mysore highlands. Ceylon was conquered. The Kongudesam became a province of the Pandya kingdom. The chera ruler was defeated. Due to these victories Jalavarman Sundara Pandya I was known as “Emmandalamum Kondarulliya pandiya”.
Religious Endowments: Jatavarman Sundara Pandya-I provided the roof of Nataraja Shrine in Chidambaram with gold tiles. He built a hall and the west tower of Chidambaram temple. He rendered the same golden service to the Ranganatha swami shrine in Srirangam. So he was titled as ‘Ponveintha Perumal”. He also endowed liberally to some Jain pallis. He patronized Saivism, Vaishnavism and Hinduism. He coronate his son Maravarman Kulasekaran I as the crown prince.

Maravarman Kulasekaran I: 1268 AD 1308 AD

During his reign foreign writer Morcopolo visited Tamil country and wrote about it. The social condition of the Tamil country was known from the writings of Muslim historian Wassaf. Maravannan captured kollam from Chera nadu. Due to this he was called as Kollamkonda Paudya”. He invaded Ceylon and brought huge wealth from Subhagiri fortress and the tooth relic of the Buddha to Madurai. His Kingdom expanded till cholanadu and up to Thondaimandalam. He appointed Jatavarman Sundara Pandya as Viceroy of the Kongu country and Maravarman Vikrama Pandya as Viceroy of Chengleput and South Arcot Districts. He built the outer all of Nellaiyapper temple in Tirunelveli.
War of success among the Pandya heir apparent made the Muslim rulers to invade Pandya kingdom. Malik Kafur invaded and carried away as much loote as possible. The whole Pandya country became part of Muslim empire. The second Pandya rule which lasted for 120 years marked a significant land mark in the history of Tamil country. During the period of second Pandya rule the glory of the Pandyas expanded to North only to north India but also to Srilanka.