Tamil Literature in Pandiya Empire
Sangam Pandya kings patronized and developed Tamil language. They organized three Tamil sangams at Madurai namely Mudhal sangam, Idai sangam and Kadai sangam. Sangam was an assembly of Tamil poets and scholars. Agathiyam, Tholkappiyam, Silappathikaram, Ettuthogai, Pathupattu and many valuable Tamil literary works were released in these Tamil sangam meetings. Nakkeerar was the chief Tamil poet of the Pandya court. The city of Madurai was known as Tamil koodal.
According to the information’s given by a foreign writer Hiuen Tsang and Velvikudi plates, the Pandya kings worked for the development of literature, art and architecture. Particularly they contributed more for the development of Saivite literature. Thirugnanasambandar influenced his contemporary Pandya king Maravarman Arikesari. Saint Manikavasagar composed the divine hymn Thiruvasagam. He also wrote Thiruchirrambalakovai. The saiva nayanmars were more respected. Saivism flourished with their patronage.
The Pandya kings patronized Aiwars
and vaishnavite literature, Periyazhvar and his daughter Andal contributed
greatly for the progress of Vaishnavism. Andal composed the famous Thiruppavai.
Nammalvar composed Thiruppallandu. These two vaishavite literary works of the Pandya period are given very high position in the Indian religion and literature. The Pandya literatures like Thiruppavai and Thiruppallandu have enriched the Indian religion and literature.
The Pandya king Adhiveerarama Pandya
of Thenkasi wrote Naidadham. Sri Kaviraya wrote four books namely Thirukkalathinatharula,
Thiruvannamalaiyar vannam, Seyur Murugan ula, Rathinagiriula. King Varathungarama
Pandya wrote three books namely pathitrupathu, Kalithurai andhathi and
Venba andhathi. Mayilai nathar wrote commentary on Nannool. Adiyarkkunallur
wrote commentary on Silappathiharam. Senavrayar wrote commentary on Tholkappiyam,
Parimelazhagar wrote commentaries on Thiurkkural.