The following pages of this thesis will convey to us that the Language of Empire and its citizens were Tamils of very ancient origin or in other words TULU is none other than Classical Tamil which even predates the Sangam Age. Besides this can be used as a tool for conducting depth information regarding epoch time periods of various civilizations that got perished in the due course and henceforth can throw new light on unknown period that might have been unnoticed. For this Research I have gone through many books and research articles written by scholars, linguistic scholars, professors and celebrated persons in that specialized area which was available to me by number of Research Organizations and Libraries in and around Chennai in particular and Tamil Nadu upto some extent and India as a whole.
Thuluva Velalars who were the citizen of the ancient Tulu-Nadu and continue to be citizens of India are actually the ancient of all Velalars. This has been attested by Great Tamil Pandits who had done laborious research and compiled the work as “Encyclopedia of Tamil Literature”. The encyclopedia was complied by them only after carefully examining the minute details of Puranams and classical works in Tamil which are extremely old.
It has been noted that a king by the name AAThondaiChakravarthy had brought down the peoples of Tuluva Velalars to the present day Tamil Nadu. AAThondaiChakravarthy established his rule over Northern Tamil Nadu after winning the battle over the Kurumbar. This is the reason that part of North Tamil Nadu was named as Thondai Mandalam, named after the victorious king AAThondaiChakravarthy. It has also been noted that AAThondaiChakravarthy had brought velalars from SriSailam to settle down at Thondaimandalam. Remarkably there is a Velalar group by the name Thondaimandalam Tuluva Velalar. These might be the reasons that the population of Tuluva Velalars are intensely concentrated over Northern Tamil Nadu although they are present all over Tamil Nadu. Besides Tuluva Velalar origin can be traced down to South Karnataka region. Now, it is south Karnataka. But during the glorious sangam age it was part of Tamil country. There is archeological and literature evidence for this. That part of South Kannada country is known as TuluNadu. People belonging to the race Tuluvars resided in TuluNadu. Tuluvars belonging to the Velala caste are known as Tuluva Velalars. Legend does say that Tuluva Velalars were the first to grow crops on the arid land. It was in 1799 A.D. when East Indian Company took over TuluNadu they had erroneously renamed it South Kannada and added this province to Madras Presidency. A.D means Anno Domini but many people think that it After Death.
Even the great emperor King Asoka has written in his records about TuluNadu. So, now the earliest possible evidence about the existence of TuluNadu can be traced back to atleast to 300 B.C.. It is a well known fact that when emperor Asoka ruled India almost the whole of India was under his control except the TamilNadu. It has been noted that as per the evidence got from the writing belonging to Asoka period Cozha Nadu, Pandya Nadu, Sattiyaputra Nadu, Keralaputra Nadu( Chera Nadu ) and Tambapaanee( SriLanka ) were the countries that did not fall under the rule of emperor Asoka. Also the above mentioned countries which were five in number were the countries that constituted TamilNadu during the Sangam Age. Out of these five countries it had been noted by many experts in linguists and history that Sattiyaputra Nadu is none other than the TuluNadu.
Claudius Ptolemaeus , known in English as Ptolemy, was an ancient geographer, astronomer and mathematician of Greek Origin who is known for his celebrated works on the above mentioned subjects throughout the world. It is also noted that he lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria in Ancient Egypt had a very huge library which housed many ancient manuscripts of those days. But unfortunately Alexandria like many of our glorious Tamil cities was lost to the sea few due to some natural calamity. It has been found out that Ptolemy also mentioned about TuluNadu by stating that it is from TuluNadu the Dravidakam ie., Tamilaham started.
Ptolemy’s mention about TuluNadu conveys to us the fact that TuluNadu is atleast 1900 years old and TuluNadu had contacts with other countries even on those days. Tuluvam in Tamil has various meanings. Tulu also means one who is very brave, one who opposes. These are the one that has to do away with the ancient tamil characteristics.
Konperungkaanam, Konkana Nadu, and Konkaana Nadu are the other names of TuluNadu during the Sangam age. Records belonging to late Chola period addresses TuluNadu as Kudamalai. It is only in KudakuNadu the Talai Kaveri lies ie., the source of the Kaveri(South Ganga) river begins only from the mountainous regions of the KudakuNadu perhaps known as Kudamalai. Legend does say that Sage Agasthiar visited this place. Perhaps this place is several thousand years old. River Kaveri end its journey in Chola Nadu.
It has been found out that during the Sangam age the western border of TuluNadu is Arabian Sea, eastern border of TuluNadu is Western Ghats. The length of TuluNadu is more or less 160 miles and the width of this country is 30-55 miles. Poet Maamulanaar says that there were lots of peacocks in the forests of TuluNadu. Peacock is the national bird of India even today.
TuluNadu was ruled by Nannan. Nannan belongs to Velir community. Nannan was also known as Konnkaanamkezhan. It means he is the head( Thalaivan ) of the KonnkaanaNadu. Besides there had existed a separate race of people known by the name Vechchekkooven to which Nannan belonged to. Evidence for this can found from Natrinai. Poet Moocekeeranaar says that there were several rivers flowing in the Mountains in TuluNadu. Even today in the highest mountain of Western Ghats there are several rivers flowing through that region. Also in this Kongkana forest Bamboo had grown to a large extent. Bamboo has varied uses right from making mats to houses. So, on those days this was a high yielding and productive one which served many purposes and also it’s uses shows to us that the articles made of Bamboo and houses made of Bamboo had been familiar with these people nearly 2500 years ago and these are still being in use today.
Through the ancient Tamil literature we are getting information only about three Nannars. Let us name these three Nannars as Frist Nannar, Second Nannar and Third Nannar. The First Nannan lived around the period 099 A.D. – 127 A.D. A.D. – Anno Domini means years after Christ’s Birth. Many people think A.D. as After Death. No, it is wrong.
Second Nannan lived around the period 128 A.D. – 155 A.D.
Third Nannan lived around the period 155 A.D. – 185 A.D.
Various Poets belonging to the Sangam age had sung about the praise of TuluNadu and Tulu Nannars. Also the Nannars had supported these poets ie., Tamil poets belonging to the Sangam age to a very great extend.
So, now it is clear that in the TuluNadu, where the language Tulu was spoken is none other than that of the ancient Tamil. The Cheras had its own form of Tamil, the imperial Cholas had its own form of Tamil, the Pallavars had its own form of Tamil, the Pandyas had its own form of Tamil and the Tuluvars had their own form of Tamil. Remember it was only the great emperor king Raja Raja of the imperial Cholas adopted that a unique kind of inscription only must be used to be inscribed in the walls, stones, temples and of course on the temple walls irrespective of the various races belonging to the TamilNadu who are using their own tamil script. Perhaps only after the reign of the Chola king Raja Raja the whole Tamil Nadu adopted a unique kind of Tamil Script. Only from that period onwards the tamil language inscription was more or less the same through out the tamil country.
During the sangam age the Tulu form of Tamil ie., Tulu Tamil had a grammer on its own and recently linguistic researches had also rediscovered the script of Tulu language. Yes, Tulu Tamil had its own script. Script are very ancient. Also scripts and letters are different but dealing on the same aspect. Besides scripts are very difficult to decipher. There are only few scripts that are available in this earth that speaks of ancient civilizations and very few scripts belonging to that particular civilization have been deciphered. Even in these deciphered scripts, changes are being continuously discovered. Large number of scripts are yet to be known in its original context. Among the few scripts that are known to us is Indus Script which was prevalent may be some 8000 years to 10,000 years ago. Amazingly even many scholars, professors, linguistic researchers and persons working on ancient civilizations who have dedicated their life time studying this Indus script have not been able to decipher this Indus Script to a large extent due to the reason this kind of script is very complex and little understanding had been made while studying these scripts. This inspite of the fact that modern tools being used for this purpose alone. Very few books and research articles are available regarding the Decipherment of Indus Script and that too out of they are out of print, some thrown out to garbage by the libraries that had a possession of these. But few libraries, universities and research organizations have tried to protect these articles and have maintained these stocks. Among these few stocks that are available in these places most of them do come to a conclusion that this kind of script must be one of the proto-Dravidian form and traces the lineage to ancient tamil. But what kind of tamil is not known except for very few Indus scripts. Indus Valley civilization was spread far and wide of several hundreds of kilometer. Indus scripts are also found in several hundreds.
Like that Tulu Script which was rediscovered was actually have been handled by several of the races of people who had been in this region after its country citizens had left this place. This suggests that the original Tulu script was handled by very many persons who might have not had knowledge about the original Tulu Script. So, even the rediscovered Tulu Script only suggests that Tulu had its own form of script and the original Tulu Script is far out of reach in terms of decipherment and might possess a challenge difficult when compared to Indus Script. If one day the originality of the Tulu Script is found out this might provide a key to deciphering the Indus script and vice versa due to the reason that both of these scripts will definitely will have most of the things common in them. Most of the Indus script is in the form of the stone tablet. During the time of king Asoka two kinds of scripts prevailed one in the upper part of this Dravida country and the other is the one in our Dravida country. Even before this it is found out that we were using some kind of well developed script in this Dravidian country. But not much is known about this because persons working in this field says that this kind of script is actually inscribed in a stone tablet much like that of the Indus script and these kinds stone tablets are buried underneath the earth. Only if some day these stone tablets are exposed to us we will know the true nature of the script.
MAP OF TULU NADU AS IT EXISTED SOME 2,300 YEARS AGO.
The following list gives few names of cities, towns, villages, mountains, rivers, celebrated personalites, etc., which were present on those days:
Kodukoor is one among the city of TuluNadu.
Kadambin Peruvaayil is another city of TuluNadu. This city might have been present in the entrance of forest that lied near by. Kadambhanoorchchandiliyan one of the poets who lived during this time might have lived in this city.
Kotrrangh kotrranaar is another poet who had lived on the north shores of the river kaveri during the time when Tulu Nadu existed. So, a town that consisted of learned men have existed on the shores that lied on the banks of kaveri.
Eazhilmalai is a mountain which existed in TuluNadu, located in the Southern region of this country. Other names for this Eazhilmalai are Eazhil Neduvarai and Eazhirkunru. This mountain can be seen from 30 miles in the Arabic Sea. The great explorer Vascodagama when he first arrived in India, this is the place he saw from the sea. This place lied towards the east of the sea by 1.3 mile. This name might have been followed as a remembrance for a great Dravidian Empire that consisted of 49 countries out of which 7 countries were mountainous in nature. This empire had sunk into the sea due to some kind of natural calamity that occurred few thousand years ago. It also suggests that these peoples might have been from that Great empire who somehow escaped the natural fury that occurred and got settled in this part of the land. This shows that they are part of the timeless Dravidian heritage and possessed knowledge of what happened to their civilization during natural disasters. In Eazhilmalai it seems that there was a temple situated to war goddesses kotravai. Within this Eazhilmalai there was a mountain named Paazhimalai within which there existed a city name Paazhi. The fact that this Eazhilmalai had mountains and a city with its region suggest that this mountainous regions must be several kms thick.
Poet Maruthan Ezhanaagan says that there was a city named Cellur in TuluNadu and this city lies near the seashore. There are three poets who lived two thousand years ago perhaps resided in this city known by their name Cellurkkeezhaarmaganaar Perumbhoothankotrranaar, Cellurkkosekan Kannanar and Cellurkkotran. Near this city towards the east there was a city named Niyamam. Going by the name that this city possesses this might be a place where a huge temple or a yoga centre or a meditation centre or else a huge place which houses all philosophical entities. This says about the high spiritual thinking that these peoples had on those days. Also, it is said that there was a pillar in Cellur which served as a mark of remembrance for a event. It is already known that the Dravidians are used to raising a pillar in order to commemorate a event or a place. What the event is all about and what is so special about this place is not known even though there are many possibilities for this. Considering that this city is very near to the sea this pillar might represent a place where some event had happened during the past like land lost to sea due some natural calamity or some kind of victory or else a special occasion happened here.
Paaram is another city that existed in TuluNadu. Head of the Armed forces known by the name Menjiyele resided in this city. The name of this city implies that this place might be one among the strong military hold that this country had on those days. Correspondingly the only information we get from this city is that it had house or houses for Head of Military Officials. Perhaps this city might have housed quarters for soldiers of various Armed forces, cavalry, place for the mighty elephants, horses and chariots used in wars, place for storing weapons of various kinds, training ground for various forces, yard for maintenance of goods, machinery, weapons, stocks wanted during wartime etc.,
Paazhi is another city of TuluNadu. The city got its name from the mountain nearby which also had the same name. This city was surrounded by a Fort wall. Also, Nannan accumulated huge wealth at this Fort. From, the top of the mountain Paazhi one can have a view of all countries surrounding it. The location of this city says to us that due to the surrounding mountains and the wall of the Fort that surrounds this city this must have been one of the citadel build in this country for the purpose of protection and self interest. This citadel on those days must have been a construction marvel in civil engineering and architecturally too for the simple reason that kings of such a country don’t use ordinary place for protecting their wealth.
Naravu is the port city of TuluNadu. Traders belonging to Greece and Rome called this city as Navraa. In Tulu language this is known as Naaraave. Yavanars also had trade relationship overhere. This place might have had large number of trees that was used in temples and other purposes besides other kind of trees that served different purposes and also a centre for rearing honey. This suggests that a forest must have been near this city. Archeologically rich remains of a port was discovered in the vicinity of this location. This discovery had yielded remains of many narrow-necked Greek and Roman vessel with handles, glasses, precious stones etc.,. Besides there are references to say that ships arrived here with gold and went back with black gold ie., pepper and various aromatic spices collected from the forests.
Arabian peoples and Yavanars traveled through ships to the port cities of TuluNadu ie., Naravu, Mangolore for doing Business.
Vaagai Perunturai is a city in the southern region of TuluNadu. Another name for this city is Vaagai Parandhalai. A battle had also happened in this place.
Viyaloor is another city of TuluNadu and it lied very near to the seashore.
Apart from the above mentioned cities in the western part of TuluNadu there is a cluster of islands and these cluster of islands are known as Kadal Turuththi. This is none other than the Lakshadweep islands.
Mangalore is another city of TuluNadu. Ptolemy also mentions this Mangalore in his work as Maganoor. This city is based on the name of a powerful goddesses named Mangalaa Devi otherwise known as Aadi Devi the foremost of all goddesses and there is another name too known by the TARA. Mythology addresses Goddesses TARA as the all-in-all goddesses of the universe who is responsible right from the movement of atoms to galaxies, control of living and non-living beings etc., Most celebrated goddesses in Buddhism, Jainism and in most countries from Ireland to Indonesia with Tibet and China in particular. Used to present herself in various colors for various actions. Diamonds are the favorite offerings for mother TARA. In Polynesia she is a sea goddesses, Latin as goddesses of Earth-Booma Devi, Druids as their mother, Finland as mother of Wisdom, for native Indians in the North America and South America as mother goddesses. Like our Lord Shiva she is also represented with a third eye besides in Mongolia as goddesses of seven eyes with eyes present on her palms and soles of her feet. Phorminx which is a ancient U shaped instrument had seven ends in it can also be one of the possessions of TARA. An ancient Egypt God always wore a solar disc that absorbs seven rays. Besides it is known that VIBGYOR is seven-rays and seven-colored and this can be seen through prism. The meditation centres in our body is also seven. All of these can be symbolically related to TARA. Standing statue of Goddesses TARA was found during an excavation in an island in Indian Ocean. The uniqueness of this statue is that Mudras of Devadasi form of Dance is present in her Hand. Goddesses TARA was also found during an excavation in GAYA an ancient abode for Lord Vishnu. Here TARA is said to have played the role of Saraswati, the Goddesses for Learning or else to show that she had been a Goddesses from river Saraswati civilization.
Akananooru, Purananooru, Natrinai, Kurundthokai Nanooru, Pathirtruippathu, Silapathikaaram are some of the tamil books which gives us some information about TuluNadu. The life the citizens of TuluNadu led during the sangam age and thereafter was no different from that of the Tamils, for the reason that they are Tamil people.
Nannan was the family name of the kings who ruled TuluNadu. They are also known as Nannan Veenmaan. Nannan family ladies are known as Nannan Veenmaazh. Only the ancient Sangam Tamil grammer and literature gives information about TuluNadu, its citizens and about Nannan. None of the other languages give so much information about TuluNadu.
As stated earlier the TuluNadu, was ruled by the princely Velir community. Encyclopedia of Tamil Literature does state that Velir’s are the most ancient citizens of Tamil Nadu. Velir community has been responsible for the growth of Tamil as noted by ancient text Puranaanooru and MaduraiKanchi. There is also arguments among the scholars that Velir’s have been present in Tamil Nadu even before the Siddhar Agastiyar was present. Velir are directly related to Kizhaar. Kizhaar is an ancient word and just another name for Velalar. Velir is actually plural whose singular is Vel. From this, one can come to a conclusion that Velir refers to a group of people and Vel actually refers to only one person. During the Sangam age and thereafter many of the kings had Vel either as suffix or prefix to their names, to name one or two as example are Vel Paari, Vel Bhoogan. One of the work regarding the Decipherment of Indus Script done by the University of Helsinki says that the word Vel appears as a sign which shows as a man standing between two parallel lines in the Indus script and says that it may denote a King or a chief or a hero or any great person or else a celebrated person. It is well known that Vel is associated with the God Muruga as the word is present in various ways to represent the deity Murugan as Velu-Pillai, Kumara-Vel, Kantha-Vel etc., as pointed out by the research article. Murugan’s ancient name is Muruku as pointed out by few Tamil Scholars and is also known by the name Cev-Vel. The Great Saivaite Saint Kirubananda Variyar Swamigal while singing in praise of Lord Muruga used to address him as Cev-Vel. One of the forms of Lord Murugan’s presence at the time of marriage is Kama-Vel, the name can be found out in Kurunchippattu. In the research article regarding the decipherment there is an argument that the word Vel may be from the Proto-Dravidian Ve meaning too hot, to burn, to be hot, to glow. Interestingly this can be compared with Cev-Vel. The word Cev denoting the color red and the Proto-Dravidian Ve more or less denoting the action of the color red i.e., too hot, to burn, to glow. All this may correspond to Murugan as a Brightest Star in the sky or else the Brightest God on Universe. So, Vel may actually denote a person who is very Bright in outstanding qualities. On those days for Kings who occupied the throne had to be skilled in all 64 ancient arts, certainly not that easy to achieve, implies only a person with extraordinary qualities can achieve it. Hence-forth the kings who had successfully got trained and mastered the skills of 64 ancient arts are regarded as the brightest and so their names ending or beginning with Vel. The fact that Vel had its presence in the indus script indicates the presence of Vel(singular) and Velir(plural) right from the time of Indus-Harappan Civilization. Later on the sign of a man present between the parallel lines as depicted in one of Indus script was brilliantly compared to Vel that could possibly also be a Velalan. This Velalan of Indus Harappan civilisation might be the present day Velalar of Tamil Nadu.
Having seen that Vel and Velir are related and had their presence in this part of the earth right from the times of Indus-Harappan Civilisation, notes from the “Encyclopedia of Tamil Literature” states that Velir is none other than Velalars. Now, it is established that the Velirs who resided in the TuluNadu many centuries ago is none other than Tuluva Velalars and the king who ruled them is known by the name Vel also belonging to the same Velalar community.
Now, a sequential relationship can be established as Vel -- Velir -- Velalar.
The fact that Tuluva Velalars are the most ancient of all Velalars and they belonged to the Velir community has to be taken care of in order to probe into the deeper history of Tuluva Velalars. Interestingly a research paper was presented in 1905 regarding the history of Velir in the conference that was held in the Madurai Tamil Sangam during its fourth year. This research paper is a combined effort of V.Kanakasabai Pillai(Author of the rare book “The Tamils 1800-years ago) and M. RagavaAiyangar(1878-1960). After this paper got published many of them working on the same field have expressed their views and regards to them. Later on the scholars views were taken into only after going through it. Among the scholars who had given genuine information regarding the history of Velir is Ceylon V.J. Thambi Pillai M.R.A.S, who had appended needed information and translated this work to a finished one. It is this V.J. Thambi Pillai M.R.A.S who had helped to get the recognition of Royal Asiatic Society by publishing the work in the “Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Ceylon-Branch, No.61 1908”. After this the University of Madras had approved this work and to the surprise it was included as a “Intermediate subject” in the year 1914 for the sake of students learning Tamil. Now nearly hundred years after this research paper was presented, this work was helpful in knowing the real history of Tuluva Velalars, because this paper clearly states that Velir is none other Tuluva Velalars.
Earlier it was stated that Thondaimandalam Tuluva Velalar were brought in from Sri Sailam. Sri Sailam is actually famous for it is one of the 12 JyothiLingas present in our country. It is also a well known fact that the Temple is build according to the Dravidian Temple architecture. Few of our Nayanmars, three of them in particular, the Saivaite saints Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukkarasar and Sundarar have sung in praise of the Lord Mallikarjunar – the name of the deity at Sri Sailam. The Lord Siva over here in Sri Sailam has been addressed as Paruppatham and the goddesses Parvathi as Paruppathi in Thevaram. Skandha Puranam also has a chapter regarding Sri Sailam. Another great saint Adi Sankarar had also visited this shrine and it also said that Sivanandha Lahiri was composed by him only at this Temple. So, many centuries ago Dravidians have infact lived here in Sri Sailam. So, Velirs must have had their presence in Sri Sailam at least from 500 B.C. It is very difficult to trace the history
of this temple since the antiquity of this temple is buried. From the above said facts the temple might be older than 500 B.C. because the temple had been in its place before the time of Adi Sankara. Also at Sri Sailam there is a shrine dedicated to Goddesses Durga. Goddesses Durga is known here by the name BramaRambigai. Legend says that Goddesses Durga has taken the form of Bee to destroy the evil forces on behalf of the request from Devars. The Satavahanas have also made a reference of Sri Sailam. This should be around 2nd century A.D. because the Satavahanas had ruled over Krishna river Basin around 2nd century A.D.
River Krishna is present at the foothills of the Sri Sailam. Strangely River Krishna is known as PatalaGanga in Sri Sailam. The word Patala may be attributed to the river for the reason the river Krishna runs low in many areas through it journey. But river Ganga has nothing to do with it. Some scholars have established that Velir had lived in the vast areas that surround Ganga during some time in the ancient period. Literature evidence is got from the book named Tamil Naavalar Sarithai in which a poet asked a Pandian King Is it wise for a king like you to sing a song in Praise of Mudaliar?. King Pandian replied in the form of a poem by saying that Yes he can sing a song in Praise of Mudaliar and also said that the Pandian and Mudaliar who are from the Ganga are related to one another. Mudaliar is the popular name for Velalar in and around Chennai, North Arcot, South Arcot, Chengleput. Tamil Naavalar Sarithai also gives an interesting information about a book which had been lost titled “Aram Vazhartha Mudaliar Kaaviyam”. Interestingly in the middle Ganges Valley archeological evidence of domesticated rice have been found out and the radio carbon technique established the site to be anywhere between 7000 B.C – 4000 B.C. This is actually a Neolithic site at Koldihwa present on the Belan river(may be corrupt form of Velan river) near Allahabad, the city nearer to the place where Ganga and Yamuna meet. This period also confirms that it well before the Austro-Asiatic speakers arrived at this place and hence only Dravidian language must have been spoken here. So one of Velalar’s ancient place is infact Ganga. The word PatalaGanga also confirms that Velalars had lived in Sri Sailam well before 2500 years ago. Ancient literature also says that this word Patala used to represent the whole of America continent during some remote past.
River Krishna actually starts its journey from its source in Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar, besides it has many tributaries like Koyna(known for its reservoir), Dudhganga, Wainganga, Panchganga, Bhima, Tungabadra and Musi. Of these Mahabaleshwar, Waiganga Koyna and Bhima are from Maharashtra. Tungabadra is from Karnataka and Musi is from Andra Pradesh. Interestingly two major sources Mahabaleshwar and Tungabadra are from Western Ghats which formed the border and was part of TuluNadu nearly 2500 years ago. The fact that Tuluva Velalars have been present in Sri Sailam situated on the plains of river Krishna insists that Tuluva Velalars might have occupied the places that was habitable in and around the river Krishna.
So, these should include places that have been tributaries of river Krishna and henceforth the Tuluva Velalars should have lived in the plains in and around the tributaries of river Krishna implies that they have been in places of Andra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Interestingly the names of the tributaries Wainganga, Panchganga and Dudhganga also seems to confirm that Tuluva Velalars have lived in these tributaries during some period in the past. But the question when they had lived in these places is very interesting. Now, it is certain that it is well before 2500 years ago. Also the tributaries Waiganga must have been named based on the place named Wai in Maharashtra, Panchganga must have been named after the five countries that formed the Dravidian countries well before 2500 years. The fact that Tuluva Velalars had lived in the region of Andra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra during some period in history calls in for existence for a larger kingdom that existed during the same period.
Surprisingly one of the stone tablets resembling the Indus script itself was discovered in Mayiladuthurai considered to be the greatest discovery of the trace of Indus script. This is yet another evidence to show that Indus script is Dravidian. Like that one day some discovery might happen that might expose the kind of script prevalent in the pre-Asoka time in the Dravidian country which might also be a crucial link in studying about the scripts and this script can also provide information about the originality of the Tulu script. Besides if this script is discovered in an area that covered vast area that covered several hundred kilometer it will reveal a new kingdom itself and one might also know how far and wide this Tulu kingdom stretched.
Few of the Tuluva Velalars claim that they are from the lineage of ChandraGupta descendents which is also stated in Abithanakoasam-Tuluvamisam belonging to the heritage of Andras. History does trace the existence of such a kingdom which existed for several hundred years and that the Kingdom was ruled by the descendents of ChandraGupta and their ancient country is Gangatheeram which is none other than Ganga, the ancient abode of Tuluva Velalars. This kingdom is said to have existed several centuries before the birth of the Christ but was reduced gradually losing its power that continued for several decades perhaps after 150 A.D. and also it is noted that the last of all the King who had ruled this part of land was found to be Puloaman by third century A.D. It is clear that this kingdom had foreign contacts too. The Greek Astronomers had addressed this empire by the name of Anderea. Another celebrated personality who was a Roman citizen known by the name Caius Plinius Secundus (23-79) better in English as Pliny who had authored many books and known throughout this earth for his work Naturalis Historia – in English it is Natural History.
Great Educationalist Pliny had himself described about this Empire in his works. Pliny says that the citizens of this empire were all very Brave fighters in all fields and this empire had several cities under its control. Besides they had thousands of Elephants, lakhs of soldiers and the defence that this country possessed was the mightiest.
Pliny remark about this country confirms that this kingdom had infact existed before 2000 years ago and it existed several centuries before the birth of Christ because to built such a great kingdom is certainly not possible within a day or night. Our own Purana – Baakavadha Vishnu, Matsya Purana also gives information about this kingdom.
As noted before that this kingdom was almost brought to an end by 3rd century A.D. it seems that the Satavahanas had started to rule the extreme end of this kingdom by around the same 3rd centuary A.D. One of the reason cited for the collapse of this powerful Kingdom was the Velir who had been ruling the kingdom for several centuries had developed a crack in the relationship among themselves. Originally it is said that there are 18 clan of Velirs present since aeons ago. By the time this kingdom started to collapse seven of the clan of Velirs got separated from the original group of eighteen clan of Velirs and started to rule right from Dakshina region which is none other than south Karnataka. Few of them to be noted among the seven group of Velirs are Chalukar, Vijayanagara Yaadhava Narabhathi, Vikramaarkkanvam sathu Maalawa king etc.,.
Interesting to note that TuluNadu has been part of this Dakshina region and TuluNadu was well occupied since 1000 B.C.(Encylopedia 1992) indicating that the Velir have been present in south Karnataka region well before 3000 years ago. Even during the period of Vijayanagaram Kingdom which existed from 14th century A.D to 17th century A.D there existed a person by the name Sempooraramaadhungkan who belonged to Mudaliar community and held the post of Minister in the Vijayanagaram Kingdom may be during 16th centuary A.D. The Vijayanagaram Kingdom of the Rayas might be named after the Velir Vijayanagara Yaadhava Narabhathi. The fact that the seven clan of Velirs have started to move to South Karnataka conveys to us that one or few clans of the Velirs who had already settled in the Dakshina region had extended a helping hand to the other Velirs during the time of crisis.
Now, let us see how vast the kingdom ruled by the 18 clan of Velir was on those days before the separation that took place among the original 18 clan of Velirs. It has been noted that the northern part of this kingdom stretched upto the present state Himachal Pradesh, the western part of the Kingdom stretched upto the present day West Bengal and even beyond that including Malwa Plateau(India Physical), the eastern part of the kingdom stretched upto the Bay of Bengal and the southern part of the kingdom stretched upto the present day Andra Pradesh. Andra Pradesh actually consists of three territories which are traditionally known as Telangana, Rayalaseema and Andra. Telangana forms the northern part of Andra Pradesh,, Rayalaseema forms the southern part of Andra Pradesh, Andra forms the eastern part of the Andra Pradesh. It is this Andra that has been referred to as Anderea by the Greeks nearly two thousand years ago. May be this is the Empire that is stated by the ancient Greeks in their book named Indica which gives information about India from about 5000 B.C in which it is stated that the kingdom was ruled by many kings and the kingdom itself was very large.
Literature establishes that this Empire was ruled by the Kings(Chakravarthys) who belonged to Makatha Nadu. Tamil Literature also says that these Makatha Nadu Chakravarthys who are actually the Tamils of the North entered the region lying inbetween Thondaimandalam and Cholamandalam and named the country as Makatha Nadu. The fact that this kingdom stretched up to the present state Himachal Pradesh indicates to us that the Dravidian peoples had lived in the extreme north of India since few thousand years ago.
One of the Kingdom that existed in this vast Empire is the one in and around Malwa Plateau which was ruled by the king Vikramaarkkanvam. This Malwa kingdom is also described in the great epic Silapathikaram by the name Maazhuvam and the king who all ruled this kingdom is known by the common name Maazhuvaveenthar. Traditionally it is known fact that Ujjayini(Ujjain) has been the capitol of the Malwa kingdom and the Tamil literature also attests the same. The Tamil literature addresses the celebrated city Ujjayini as Ungchonai. Tamil literature on describing this metropolitan city says that this city was beautiful with its carved sculptures, large houses, posh localities, cold city, a huge area dedicated for the purpose of meditation known by the name Maakaazhavanam with the presence of the Goddesses Kali temple, a river flowing through the city with both its shore surrounded by reservoirs over a distance, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva known by the name Makaa-kaazha, the people living in this city mostly worship Lord Murugan and above all the whole city kept under the cover of security force. Apart from the Silapathikaram another noted Tamil text by the name Yasoadha Kaavyam also praises this city. Several ancient texts also explains about this city.
UJJAYINI as a Centre for Science:
Ujjayini presence during ancient India is attested by another ancient astronomical treatise which notes that it is this Ujjayini that fixes the position of the prime meridian or in other words it is the first meridian of longitude i.e. to say in layman’s language it is the Greenwich Meridian on those days perhaps thousands of years ago. Greeks had referred Ujjayini as ( if one can read Greek ), the Ojein. Ujjayini on those days was a principal seat of learning various arts and sciences in particular the science of Astronomy. King and an astronomer of India Sawai Jai Singh(1688-1743) belonging to the Royal family of Rajputs, who served as a Deputy Governor(1705-1706) and as a Governor(1712-1737) of the Malwa province after receiving the princely education realized the importance of this city Ujjayini and built an observatory in Ujjayini consisting of seven yantras(instruments) of which an instrument that was placed in the plane of the meridian was constructed in the year 1719 as recorded in a plaque at that place. But after Sawai Jai Singh the operation of this observatory came to a halt. Then several astronomers and travelers of Europe who toured this place had made notes of this observatory.
Among the travelers who visited this observatory is G.R. Kaye visit during 1915-1916. G.R. Kaye writing upon the notes of this observatory says that most of the instruments is in the state of ruins. Astronomers who convened at the All India Conference of Hindu Astronomers in the year 1905 at Bombay passed a resolution seeking the restoration of observatory which was given a positive signal thereafter. But during the restoration some changes were made to the observatory besides Western system of Astronomy was also introduced into it. So, this is not actually the original piece that Sawai Jai Singh had constructed. Now this observatory is used to measure the solar time of the place and the declination of the sun. Papers are also published from here on a weekly basis and the noted publication from this observatory is “Astronomical Ephemeris of Geocentric Places” on a yearly basis. Several noted ancient Indian Astronomers like Varahamihra(587 A.D), Brahmagupta (598 A.D), Bhaskara ( 629 A.D) etc., had worked at this Ujjayini observatory and noted various astronomical observations which was later written in the form of Astronomical treatises.
This is just one example of how a city was in this empire.
Road Network of This Empire:
This empire had a huge network of roads too. Recent archeological excavations have revealed three important routes during the period of early Buddha ie., during the time this kingdom started to decline. Well laid road linked Ganga-Yamuna plain between Rajagriha and Mathura with Andrea and Maharashtra. First was from East to West – from Rajagriha in Magadha to Takshalia in Gandhara. There was joint road at Sankisa by a route coming from Sravasti, the capital of kosala via Saketa. From Rajagriha this road first reached Nalanda and then reached Mathura passing through Pataliputra, Varanasi, Prayag, Kanauj, Sankisa, soron and veranja. From Mathura it went Indraprastha and Sakala before it reached Takshasila. Apart from crossing the Ganga in Pataliputra, Varanasi and Prayag, it had to cross a number of other rivers where ferry boat were used for crossing the river. The second was from Rajagriha to Sravasti, covering places such as Setavya, Kapilavastu, Kusinara, Pawa Bhoganagara, Jambugrama, Hastigrama, Bhandagrama, Vaisali, Nadika, Kotigrama, Pataliputra, Nalanda and Rajagriha. Note that in the places cited many places ended with the letter grama ie., gramum is a tamil word for denoting villages. As of now only villages have to light. When the cities and their network are found out this will give fascinating information about its cosmopolitan nature and also the cities might have become villages in the due course. From Nalanda a road went to Gaya two of great educational centres present on those days which was joined by a road coming from Tamraliptha for Varanasi. Third route from Sravasti in the north to Pratisthana in the south through Mahishmati, Ujjayini, Gonardha, Vidisa, Banasavhaya, Kausambi, Saketa and Sravasti. Kausambi was linked with Bharukachchha and Surparka on the coast by this road.
Gaya-Benares road joined Benares-Rajgir road. Patna-Rajgir road was supposed to pass through Hilsa, Nalanda and Silao before it reached Rajgir at Hisua or Haswa. One road was from Ganga plain to Amaravathi and Paithan on Godavari. The major centres of the Ganga-Yamuna plain, from which the routes to out towards central India and the Deccan are Rajagriha-Pataliputra, Varanasi, Prayag, Kausambi, Kanpur, Etawah-Sikohabad area and finally the Agra-Mathura, Bhabua to Chakia via Hata. A road that branches to Robertsganj through the Karamnasa and Chandraprabha valleys, Ahraura and Bhuili, Bhuili to Varanasi, Varanasi to Mizapur, Ahraura to Andrea and Maharashtra across the Son and through the Sarguja and Chattisgarh Plains from Ahraura and Chunar to the Son, from Mirzapur, Allahabad and Kausambi to Rewa, from Kausambi to Bharbut via Chitrakut or Kalingar, Bharhut-Amarpatan-Banahogarh-Shahdol-Silahar-Chattishgarh, from Bharhut to Jabalpur, Hoshangabad to Betul and Nagpur Area, from Ujjain to the Narmada and the Tapti, Mandu-Dhar-Bagh-Barwani-Burhanpur, Ujjain-Maheswar-Burhanpur.
Apart from Gangetic plain its purlieu also consists of a network of roads and it was connected to the Gangetic plain. One such place was Mahanandha which lies to the north-northeast part of Ganga, this Mahanandha plain curves around the Raj mahal hills and then goes down all way to sea through the Bengal Delta. It seems that there was a port present at the mouth of old Brahmaputra at Wari Bateswar which was a trading facility for the peoples from South East Asia, Romans, Greeks and other countries on those days . Numerous waterways of the Ganga provided easy links with the rest of today Bengal, Bhagirathi delta up to the Sagar island in particular. One of the overland route that went towards this direction was from Barind tract which was from a major route named Badshahi Sarak(15th cent. A.D name) – road that was in existence even before 3rd cent. B.C..
The whole region of the Barind tract in the north present in modern Maldaha and west Dinajpar to the Rupnarayan delta, costal Midnapur in the south were connected to a major arterial route in West Bengal which lied at the southern end of Ganga or Bhagirathi system in Chandraketugarh and was connected with other sites that lied further south. Inland towns and cities in this part of the land were linked through different routes with this arterial route and its feeder routes. The Rajmahal zone was very important because it was here that the route from Barind and the route from the middle Ganges valley through ancient Anga or the modern Bhagalpur-Sahebganj area both entered the Bahgirathi plain. The western bank of the Bhagirathi in the district of Murshidabad saw this line meeting in two directions. One came up to Katwa, also on the Bhagirathi turned a little to the interior, crossed the Ajay-Kunur confluence at Mangalkot and moved towards the modern town of Burdwan. Another line from Murshidabad went towards Birbum, passing through places like Panchthupi in Murshidabad and eventually came down to Mangalkot. From here there was only one route upto Bardwan. On the way one has to cross the Damodar river and can find a path to Garh Mandaran area near Arambagh and then the road goes to Chandrakona towards the west or southwest, from Chandrakona the route goes to Tamlak through Ghatal.
Another route from Chandrakona one can go to the Midnapur town area with a view to joining the road to kalinga via the midnapur coast. One can enter the Bankura from the Burdwan and then reach the south through Dihar, Pokharna is across the Damodar in the Panagarh section of Burdwan and must have had some links with the route.