Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C

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Home > The Tamil Heritage - History & Geography > Chronology of Tamil History

the Tamils are an ancient people

Chronology of Tamil History 1

Pre-historic period
Pre-Sangam period
Sangam age
Post-Sangam period
Pallava and Pandya
Chola period
Chola to Pandya transition
Pandya revival and Muslim rule
Vijayanagar and Nayak period
East India Company
British Rule
Post independence period

Pre-historic period

  • c. 30,000 BCE-Paleolithic industries in north Tamil Nadu
  • c. 8000-3000 BCE-Pre-pottery microlithic industries
  • c. 3000-1000 BCE-Neolithic and fine microlithic industries

Pre-Sangam period

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. 130- Chera king Udayanjeral rules in the Chera country
  • c. 175-195-Gajabahu I of Lanka a contemporary of Chera Senguttuvan and Karikala Chola
  • 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 Cilappatikaram 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. 700-730-Pandya Ranadhira (Koccadayan) 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. 765-815-Pandya Parantaka Nedunjadaiyan (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. 850 -Rise of Vijayalaya Chola in Tanjavur
  • c. 846-869-Pallava Nadivarman III leads an invasion against the Pandya kingdom and defeats the Pandyas at the battle of Tellaru. Pallava kingdom extnds 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 coutry and sack Madurai. Srimara is killed in battle

Chola period

Chola to Pandya transition

Pandya revival and Muslim rule

  • 1251 -Accession of Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan
  • 1279 -End of the Chola dynasty with the death of Rajendra Chola III
  • 1268-1310 - Maravarman Kulasekhara Pandya rules in Madurai
  • 1308 -Malik Kafur a general of Allaudin Khilji invades Devagiri en route to Tamil Nadu
  • 1310 -Sundara Pandya, son of Kulasekara Pandya kills his father and becomes king. In the ensuing civil war he is defeated by his brother Vira Pandya.
  • 1311 -Malik Kafur, invades Pandya 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
  • 1522 -Portuguese land on the Coromandal coast
  • 1535 -Achyuta Raya of Vijayanagara appoints Sevappa Nayak, who established the Nayak dynasty at Tanjavur
  • 1535-1590 -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 Jingi fall to the Bijapur Sultan
  • 1656 -Mysore army invades Salem against the Madurai Nayak Tirumala
  • 1675 -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 takes it with only 500 men
  • 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, 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
  • 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 Legistlative 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 results in several deaths
  • 1937 -Congress party under C. Rajagopalachari wins provincial elections and forms government in Madras
  • 1938 -E.V. Ramasamy Naicker organises a separatist agitation demanding Dravidanadu 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 -E.V. Ramasamy Naicker and C. N. Annadurai organises Dravidar Kazhagam

Post independence period

  • 1947 -Madras Presidency, comprising of 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 (Land of the Tamils)


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