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Tamil History

Pre-historic period(kaalam)

  • c. 150,000-100,000 BCE – Evidence for presence of Hominins with Acheulean technology in north Tamil Nadu.
  • c. 30,000 BCE-Paleolithic industries in north TamilNadu.
  • c. 8000-3000 BCE-Pre-pottery microlithic industries
  • c. 3000-1000 BCE-Neolithic and fine microlithic industries

Pre-Sangam Kaalam

  • c. 1000-300 BCE-Megalithic age.
  • c. 600 BCE-Tamil-Brahmi prevalent as the Tamil script.
  • c. 300 BCE- Greek ethnographer Megasthenes visits Pandyan capitol Madurai.,
  • c. 250 BCE-Asoka’s inscription recording the four kingdoms (Chera, Cholas, Pandya and Satyaputra) of the ancient Tamil country
  • c. 200 BCE-Elara, a Tamil prince and contemporary of Dutte Gamini, rules Lanka

Sangam age

  • c. 200 BCE-200 CE-Sangam age during which books of Sangam Literature are created.
  • c. 150 BCE-Kharavela of Kalinga records his conquest of a federation of Tamil kings in his Hathigumpha inscription .
  • c. 13- Greek historian Nicolaus of Damascus met an ambassador sent by Pandyan King to Caesar Augustus, Strabo XV.1-73.
  • c. 1-100 – The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea gives a detailed description of early Chera and Pandya kingdom and mentions Tamil country as ‘Damirica’
  • c. 77 and 140 Greco-Roman writers Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy mention Madurai ruled by Pandyan.
  • c. 130- Chera king Udayanjeral rules in the Chera country
  • c. 175-195-Gajabahu I of Lanka a contemporary of Chera Senguttuvan and Karikala Chola (the Gajabahu synchronism)
  • c. 190- Chera Kadukko Ilanjeral Irumporai rules in the Chera country
  • c. 200-Writing becomes widespread and vattezuttu evolved from the Tamil Brahmi becomes a mature script for writing Tamil.
  • c. 210- Pandya Neduncheliyan rules in Madurai and defeats his enemies at the battle of Talaiyalanganam

Post-Sangam period

  • c. 300-590-Kalabhras invade the Tamil country and displace the traditional rulers
  • c. 300-500-Post-Sangam period, Tamil epics such as Silappatikaram written

Pallava and Pandya

  • c. 560-580-Pallava Simhavishnu overthrows the Kalabhras in Tondaimandalam
  • c. 560-590-Pandya Kadungon rules from Madurai and displaces the Kalabhras from the south
  • c. 590-630-Pallava Mahendravarman I rules in Kanchipuram
  • c. 610-Saiva saint Thirunavukkarasar (Appar) converts Mahendravarman from Jainism
  • c. 628-Chalukya Pulakesi II invades the Pallava kingdom and lays siege on Kanchipuram
  • c. 630-668 Pallava Narasimhavarman I (Mamalla) rules in Tondaimandalam
  • c. 642-Pallava Narasimhavarman I launches a counter invasion into the Chalukya country and sacks Vatapi. Pulakesi is killed in battle
  • c. 670-700 CE-Pandya Arikesari Parankusa Maravarman rules in Madurai
  • c. 700-728-Pallava Rajasimha builds the Kailasanatha temple in Kanchipuram and many of the shore temples in Mamallapuram
  • c. 710-730-Pandya king Kochadaiyan Ranadhiran expands the Pandya kingdom into the Kongu country
  • c. 731-Succession crisis in the Pallava kingdom. Council of ministers select Nandivarman II (Pallavamalla) (731-796) as the Pallava king
  • c. 731-765-Pandya Maravarman Rajasimha aligns with the Chalukya Vikramaditya II and attacks the Pallava king Nandivarmam
  • c. 735-Chaluka Vikramaditya II invades the Pallava country and occupies the capital Kanchipuram
  • c. 760-Pallava Nandivarman II invades and defeats the Ganga kingdom at the battle of Villande
  • c. 768-815-Pandya Parantaka Nedunchadaiyan (Varaguna Pandyan) rules in Madurai.
  • c. 767-Pandya forces defeat the Pallavas on the south banks of the Kaveri
  • c. 800-830-Varagunan I becomes Pandya king and extends his empire up to Tiruchirapalli by defeating the Pallava king Dandivarman
  • c. 830-862-Pandya Sirmara Srivallabha rules in Madurai
  • c. 840-Srimara invades Lanka and captures the northern provinces of the Lanka king Sena I
  • c. 848 -Rise of Vijayalaya Chola in Tanjavur after defeating the Muttaraiyar Muthuraja rulers of kaveri delta
  • c. 846-869-Pallava Nadivarman III leads an invasion against the Pandya kingdom and defeats the Pandyas at the battle of Tellaru. Pallava kingdom extends up to the river Vaigai
  • c. 859-Pandya Srivallaba defeats the Pallavas at a battle at Kumbakonam
  • c. 862-Sinhala forces under Sena II invade the Pandya country and sack Madurai. Srimara is killed in battle

Chola period

  • c. 903 -Adithya Chola defeats the Pallava king Aparajita
  • c. 949 -Battle of Takkolam. Rashtrakuta Krishna III defeats the Chola army [18]
  • c. 985 -Accession of Rajaraja Chola I
  • c. 1010 -Rajaraja completes the Brihadisvara Temple
  • c. 1012 -Accession of Rajendra Chola I
  • c. 1023 -Rajendra’s Expedition to the Ganges
  • c. 1025 -Chola navies defeat the king of Srivijaya
  • c. 1041 -Rajendra invades Lanka
  • c. 1054 -Rajadhiraja Chola dies in the battle of Koppam against Western Chalukyas
  • c. 1070 -Accession of Kulothunga Chola I
  • c. 1118 -Vikrama Chola
  • c. 1133 -Kulothunga Chola II
  • c. 1146 -Rajaraja Chola II
  • c. 1163 -Rajadhiraja Chola II
  • c. 1178 -Kulothunga Chola III
  • c. 1216 -Rajaraja Chola III
  • c. 1246 -Rajendra Chola III

Chola to Pandya transition

  • c. 1190-1260 – Bana Dynasty rule Magadaimandalam with family title of ‘ponparappinan’ and headquarters at Aragalur
  • c. 1216 – 1238 – Kadava Dynasty and Maravarman Sundara Pandyan ruled regions of South India

Pandiya revival and Muslim rule

  • 1251 -Accession of Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I
  • 1279 -End of the Chola dynasty with the death of Rajendra Chola III
  • 1268-1310 – Kulasekara Pandiyan rules in Madurai
  • 1308 -Malik Kafur a general of Allaudin Khilji invades Devagiri en route to Tamil Nadu
  • 1310 -Sundara Pandian, son of Kulasekara Pandiyan, kills his father and becomes king. In the ensuing civil war he is defeated by his brother Vira Pandiyan.
  • 1311 -Malik Kafur, invades Pandiya country and attacks Madurai.
  • 1327-1370 Madurai under the rule of Madurai Sultanate.

Vijayanagar and Nayak period

  • 1370 – Bukka, the Vijayanagara ruler and his son Kumara Kamapna capture the entire Tamil country
  • 1518 -Portuguese land on the Coromandel Coast in Pulicat.
  • 1532-1580 -Sevappa Nayak rules as the first independent Nayak ruler in Tanjavur
  • 1600-1645 -Ragunatha Nayak, the greatest of the Tanjavur Nayaks
  • 1609 -the Dutch establish a settlement in Pulicat
  • 1623-1659 -Tirumalai Nayak rules in Madurai
  • 1639 British East India Company purchases Chennapatinam and establishes Fort St. George
  • c. 1652 -Tanjavur and Gingee fall to the Bijapur Sultan
  • 1656 -Mysore army invades Salem against the Madurai Nayak Tirumalai
  • 1676 -Maratha army from Bijapur marches into Tanjavur, Ekoji declares himself king.
  • 1692 Nawab of Arcot established by Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Khan, a viceroy of the Moghul Emperor
  • 1746 La Bourdonnais of the French East India company attacks and takes Fort St. George

East India Company

  • 1749 British regain Fort St. George through the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle arising out of the War of the Austrian Succession
  • 1751 Robert Clive attacks Arcot and captures it.
  • 1756 The British and the French sign the first Carnatic treaty. Mahommed Ali Walajah was recognized as Nawab of the Carnatic
  • 1759 French under Thomas Arthur, Comte de Lally, attack Madras
  • 1760 Battle of Vandavasi between the British and the French. Birth of Veerapandya Kattabomman
  • 1767 Hyder Ali, Sultan of Mysore attacks Madras against British, but defeated by the British at the Battle of Chengam
  • 1773 -British Government passes the Regulating Act. The administration of Madras comes under British Government review
  • 1777-1832 – Serfoji II rules in Tanjavur
  • 1799 -Serfoji cedes the Tanjavur kingdom to the British. Kattabomman executed by British
  • 1803 -Bentinck appointed governor of Madras
  • 1800-1805 Poligar Wars
  • 1806 -Vellore Mutiny East India Company’s Indian soldiers in Vellore mutiny against governor Bentinck in Vellore fort. 114 British officers killed and 19 mutineers executed.

British rule

  • 1892 – British government passes the Indian Councils Act
  • 1909 – ‘Minto-Morley Reforms’. Madras Legislative Council formed
  • 1921 – First regional elections held in Madras. Justice party forms        government.
  • 1927 – Madras Congress passes a resolution for ‘Full Independence’
  • 1928 – Simon Commission visits Madras. Mass protests result in several deaths
  • 1937 – Congress party under C. Rajagopalachari wins provincial elections and forms government in Madras
  • 1938 – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy organises a separatist agitation demanding Dravida Nadu consisting of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala
  • 1941 – Indian Muslim League holds its congress in Madras. Muhammad Ali Jinnah delivers keynote speech
  • 1944 – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy and C. N. Annadurai organise Dravidar Kazhagam

Post independence period

  • 1947 -Madras Presidency, comprising Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka established
  • 1953 -Madras state comes into being along linguistic lines
  • 1965 -Widespread agitations in response to the Federal Government’s directive of Hindi being the National Language
  • 1969 -Madras state is renamed as Tamil Nadu (Country of the Tamils).


Abstract ?

Started (Born) @ c. 150,000-100,000 BC,

End (Dead/murder) @ May 2010 AC


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