Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Pandyan kingdom was an ancient state at the tip of South India, founded around the 6th century BCE. It was part of the Dravidian cultural area, which also comprised other kingdoms such as that of the Pallava, the Chera, the Chola, the Chalukya and the Vijayanagara.
The Pandyas excelled in both trade and learning. They controlled the important pearl fisheries along the south Indian coast, between Sri Lanka and the mainland, which produced the finest pearls known in the ancient world.
They had trading contacts with the Ptolemys , and with Rome, via Egypt, by the first century CE, and China by the 3rd century at the latest. They were powerful in their own right, though they were subjugated at various periods by the other two Tamil kingdoms, the Pallavas and Cholas.
The Pandyas had important maritime trade via Dhanushkodi, the sea shore of Ramapanathapuram (the southern border of India and the coast of Indian Ocean), and the city of Poompuhar was noted for trade with China, Maldives, Malaysia, and so on.
- Carswell, John. 1991. "The Port of Mantai, Sri Lanka." RAI, pp. 197-203.
- Hill, John E. 2004. The Peoples of the West from the Weilue 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE. Draft annotated English translation. 
- Ray, Himanshu Prabha, ed. 1996. Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean. Proceedings of the International Seminar Techno-Archaeological Perspectives of Seafaring in the Indian Ocean 4th cent. B.C. – 15th cent. A.D. New Delhi, February 28 – March 4, 1994. New Delhi, and Jean-François SALLES, Lyon. First published 1996. Reprinted 1998. Manohar Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi.
- Reddy, P. Krishna Mohan. 2001. "Maritime Trade of Early South India: New Archaeological Evidences from Motupalli, Andhra Pradesh." East and West Vol. 51 – Nos. 1-2 (June 2001), pp. 143-156.
- Shaffer, Lynda Norene. 1996. Maritime Southeast Asia to 1500. Armonk, New York, M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
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