The Kurumbars’ role in South India’s Paleolithic culture: Epigraphical records on Chennai’s ancient history – Tamil Nadu

A study of the region by Colonel Colin Mackenzie says Tondaimandalam was 1st inhabited by Kurumbas, a fierce tribe

The move of the state government to create a Greater Chennai Corporation, bringing into its fold several areas of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, has virtually revived the ancient province of Tondaimandalam that is believed to have existed in the last Sangam period. The Chennai region was a part of Tondaimandalam.

With the first references to the region going back to tribal Kurumbars and the reign of King Karikala Chola in the 1st century AD, Tondaimandalam had been under the rule of the Kurumbars, Cholas, Kalabhars, Pallavas, Pandyas and the Vijayanagara dynasties for over 2,000 years. The region during the said period came under two divisions — Aruvanadu and Aruvavadatalainadu. […]

The Mackenzie Manuscript, a study of the region by Colonel Colin Mackenzie, the first surveyor general of India, says Tondaimandalam was first inhabited by Kurumbas, a fierce tribe — early references to whom are found in the Ashokan edicts — until their defeat by Ilan Tiraiyan.

The tribe divided the region into 24 districts and built several forts. Historian Prof K V Raman says, “Places like Mylapore, Triplicane, Egmore, Pallavaram, Velacheri, Thiruvanmiyur and Nungambakkam among many others formed a vital part of the ancient Tondaimandalam.” […]

The region has been rightly called ‘the classic ground of early Paleolithic culture in south India as the first Paleolithic relic was discovered at Pallavaram, leading to the discovery of many more Paleoliths in other places. Megalithic sites and tools, dating back to the Iron Age were also discovered here,” says Raman.

Epigraphs of the region also reveal the existence of a sound administrative system — both central and local — including active functioning of village assemblies (sabhas) in Manali, Adambakkam and Tiruvottriyur. The system was functional during the Pallava rule in the 9th century AD.

Later under the rule of Chola and Vijayanagar kings, the function of village assemblies was extended to many other places of the region. The region had an equally significant contribution towards the fields of literature and learning. Thiruvalluvar, the author of Thirukkural, is associated with Mylapore while Sekkizhar, author of ‘Periya Puranam’ is said to have hailed from Kunrattur. […]

Source: “What’s Chennai’s true age? Over 2,000 years, say records” Times of India, 24 June 2016
Address: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Whats-Chennais-true-age-Over-2000-years-say-records/articleshow/52894565.cms
Date Visited: 14 April 2021

Learn more about India’s megalithic sites

Photo © Times of India >>

[…] The attractive pillars made in cement, stone or wood depict details in remembrance of the deceased person’s hobby, dreams, lifestyle and the reason of his death.

This megalithic culture has been mainly followed by Muria, Maria and Gond tribes of Bastar believed to be 3000 years old and it started during agriculture stage of evolution of human with stone. Its remains were found in other states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Assam and even Kashmir. […]

Source: “Ignored & unknown, memory pillars of Bastar tribes symbolize tribal ways” by Rashmi Drolia, Times of India, 12 April 2016
URL: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/raipur/Ignored-unknown-memory-pillars-of-Bastar-tribes-symbolize-tribal-ways/articleshow/51789576.cms
Date Visited: 14 April 2021

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