celebrated by two great poets, Mangudi Marudan and Nakkirar, each
contributing a poem on the monarch to the Pattuppattll.
    From the Maduraikkanji of Mangudi Marudan and elsewhere we learn
something about three of Nedunjeliyan’s predecessors on the Pandyan throne.
The first is an almost mythical figure called Nediyon. The next is Palsalai
Mudukudumi. The third ruler mentioned in the Maduraikkanji was another
Nedunjeliyan. The tragedy of Kovalan’s death at Madurai occurred in his
reign, which according to the Silappadigaram caused the king to die of a
broken heart.
    Nedunjeliyan of Talaiyalanganam came to the throne as a youth and soon
after his accession he proved himself more than equal to a hostile
combination of his two neighbouring monarchs and five minor chieftains.
When his enemies invaded the kingdom, Nedunjeliyan inflicted a crushing
defeat on them at Talaiyalanganam, about eight miles north-west of
Tiruvallur in the Tanjore district. By this victory Nedunjeliyan not only made
himself secure on his ancestral throne, but gained a primacy over the entire
state system of the Tamil country.
    The Maduraikkanji contains a full-length description of Madurai and the
Pandyan country under Nedunjeliyan’s rule. Its author also refers to the battle
of Alanganam, calls his patron lord of Korkai and the warlord of the southern
paradavar, hinting that the people of the pearl-fishing coast formed an
important section of his army.
    A thorough change in the political map of south India and the definite
close of an epoch seem to be clearly implied in the Sirupallllrruppadi by
Nattattanar, one of the Pattuppattll. The poem has Nalliyakkodan for its hero
and he may be taken to stand right at the end of the Sangam age. He ruled a
territory which included all places in the South Arcot district. We may assign
to him a date about AD 275 and in his day the poet says that charity had dried
up in the capitals of three Tamil kingdoms. There may well be some
exaggeration here; but clearly Vanji, Uraiyur and Madurai must have passed
the meridian of their prosperity and entered on a period of decline.
They ruled over the present day northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra