(middle of the second century BE). His importance lies in his conquest of Sri
Lanka. But Karikala (190 AD) was the most prominent among them.
Karikala’s father was llanjetcenni. Karikala means ‘The man with the charred
leg.’ Early in life he was deposed and imprisoned. The way in which he
escaped and re-established himself on the throne is well portrayed by the
author of Pattinappalai, a long poem on the Chola capital Kaveripattinam in
the Pattuppattu. One of his early achievements was the victory at Venni, 15
miles to the east of Tanjore. The battle is referred to in many poems by
different authors. Venni, thus, marked a turning point in the career of
Karikala; his victory meant the breakup of the widespread confederacy that
had been formed against him. Another important battle he fought was at
Vahaipparandali, where nine minor enemy chieftains had to submit.
Karikala’s wars, thus, resulted in his establishing a sort or hegemony among
the kings of the Tamil country and in some extension of the territory under
his direct rule.
    The description of Kaveripattmam and its foreshore, which takes up so
much of the Pattinappalai, gives a vivid idea of the state of industry and
commerce at this time. Karikala also prompted the reclamation and
settlement of forest land, and added to the prosperity of kingdom by
multiplying its irrigation tanks. As a follower of the Vedic religion, he
performed sacrifices. In later times Karikala became the centre of many
legends found in the Silappadigaram. They attribute to him the construction,
with the aid of his feudatories, of the flood banks of the Kaveri.
    Two other Chola rulers are worth mention, llan-jetcenni of Neydalanganal
captured two fortresses from the Cheras. Senganan, the Chola monarch
famed in legend for his devotion to Siva, figures as the victor in the battle of
Por, against the Chera Kanaikkal lrumporai. This monarch, who built 70 fine
temples of Siva, lived in the fourth or fifth century AD.
The Cheras ruled over parts of modern Kerala. Their capital was Vanji or
Karur. It is only for the Chera line of rulers that we can construct something
like a continuous genealogy and this shows the existence of two lines of
rulers. In all other instances we only have unrelated names which render a