WHAT AND WHERE WAS THE MYTHICAL KUMARI KANDAM
In my effort to impress upon my readers about the antiquity of the Vedas and the Vedic civilization I have been reading and researching about the same for quite sometimes. Reading an interesting book titled UNDERWORLD by Graham Hancock I came across the mythical land called Kumari Kandam . I will discuss about Graham Hancock’s findings later but it will be a jump start to this article when one would relate Graham’s Hancock’s finding with that of Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s book The ORION where he has postulated with enough evidences that there was an intelligent civilization in the post glacial period some 13000 years ago. We call such civilization, “antediluvian civilization”.
This report was published in TIMES OF INDIA on 25 September 2009.
“ The study of prehistory of SUNDA LAND/LEMURIA/KUMARI KANDAMN is very important. I insist that there was nothing known as ARYAN and DRAVIDIANS in the ancient India. They were just symbols of address for various type of people. ARYANS were NOT a race but a lingual fraternity who owed their ancestry to NAGAS of SUNDA LAND/ KUMARI KANDAM/ LEMURIA. To be very frank, if I can use the term ’Anglicised-’NRI’ to describe the ARYANS of ancient India, as in the modern context , I won’t be drastically wrong. They were ’SANSKRITISED NAGAS’ who returned home after a long sojourn outside Indian sub-continent. Same is true of Dravidians—-they were ‘Non -Sanskritised’ people—–who did not speak Sanskrit.
As time passes many established logics get blown away—particularly about cosmic arena, sociology, geology and astronomy. More recently, it has come to notice that Homo sapiens—–ancestors of present day man first appeared in the Middle East on the banks of River Jordon and NOT the Rift valley of Africa. It is from here the man went to SUNDA LAND or LIMURIA Islands or KANDAM. This land is the SUBMERGED PORTION of ocean between Peninsular coastline of India and modern Indonesia. It is here man first tasted his social growth as a ‘civilized man’ when he established the AGRICULTURAL CIVILISATION which later spread to rest of the world.
This development further debunks ARYAN MIGRATION or ARYAN INVASION THEORY. The agricultural civilization in the coastal region of India or what some call SUNDA LAND/LIMURIA or KANDAM existed in the pre-ice age. This was a KNOWLEDGE RICH society of NAGAS—-followers of Lord Shiva whose temples dot the Subcontinent from Afghanistan-Pakistan in the west and North to North east India in the East and Kerala-Karnataka in the South.
Around the end of last ice age, say some 11000- 8000 BC, the sea level began to rise with the melting of glaciers. By 8000 BC it had risen by 400 feet thus submerging bulk of SUNDA LAND. This forced the people from the region to move up north and west—-along with their VEDIC KNOWLEDGE, which they had generated . When glaciers melted they also formed rivers—–There sprang up rivers like SARASWATI and SINDHU——The migrants from the SUNDALAND settled along the banks of River SARASWATI— for, the need of the water for their agricultural economies was essential——It led to setting up of RIVER CIVILISATIONS. It was the SARASWATI River along which major settlements were established as evidenced by 75% of the settlements being unearthed along its recreated channel, today. It is called INDUS valley Civilization because two early excavations of MOHANJODARO and HARAPPA were found along River Indus and its tributary, River Sutlej. Incidentally, Sutlej and Yamuna were tributaries of River saraswati. This river is worshipped as GODDESS of KNOWLEDGE in Hindu mythology. This is the reason because most of the ancient Indian Civilization—-the resource of Knowledge—was spread along this river. The migrations of Naga people continued towards North and West—-as far as Syria-Iraq—Turkey—Germany—-Hungry—Uzbekistan–Kazakhstan—and many other countries in the Balkans.”
The question that came into my mind is the word LEMURIA. Why is Lemuria so important when dealing with Kumari kandam? Wikipedia gives the definition or some idea about Lemuria. “Lemuria is the name of a hypothetical “lost land” variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The concept’s 19th century origins lie in attempts to account for discontinuities in biogeography however, the concept of Lemuria has been rendered obsolete by modern theories of plate tectonics. Although sunken continents do exist — like Zealandia in the Pacific and the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean Though Lemuria is no longer considered a valid scientific hypothesis, it has been adopted by writers involved in the occult as well as some Tamil writers of India. Accounts of Lemuria differ, but all share a common belief that a continent existed in ancient times and sank beneath the ocean as a result of a geological, often cataclysmic change.” So what is the relationship of Lemuria with that of Kumari kandam? The continent of Lemuria is referred as “Kumari Kandam” in ancient Tamil literature. Tamil is one of the world’s classical languages. Tamil has continuous historical records for more than 2000 years and Tamil language was recognized as a classical language in India (beside the other being Sanscrit). Tamil does not belong to the Indo-European language family.
In our India, we have a good bit of literature in the ancient Tamil texts of our lost continent by the name of “Kumari Kandam”. It is not only mentioned as a first hand eyewitness support in the popular Tamil treatises, Silapathikaram and Manimegalai but it is also mentioned in good graphic detail in the other ancient Tamil texts namely : Tholkappiyam, Purananuru, Kalithokai, Kurunthokai, Kamba Ramayana, Iraiyanar Akapporul, and Thiruvachagam
These texts speak of a Pandya King Nilan Tharu Thiruvil Pandyan 2 who led his people north when the Kumari Kandam continent was submersed by the sea. These Tamil literatures speaks of three noble flourishing periods of Tamil culture. Each of these three phases of high Tamil culture is called Sangam age. The first Sangam age was entered around Then Madurai and the second Sangam age was in the capital city of Kapadapuram. It is only the third and final Sangam age was compiled at Madurai, the present day city in South Tamilnadu. The first two cities namely Then Madurai and Kapadapuram are described to have been in the land of Kumari Kandam south of the present land mass of South India. This information is well collaborated in the other literary references of the land like the Sinhala text – Mahavamsa, Ramayana, Mahabharatha Roman and Greek maps of – Ptolemy Pliny Periplus, and other geological proofs of Al-Biruni observations.
The nature of these extensive literatures, both ancient and medieval, speaking of the lost continents of Kumari Kandam substantiated by geographical, geological, and oceanography proofs ,which strongly suggest that the south Indian Tamil legend of Kumari Kandam may be the real lost continent that the world has been talking about and looking for the past 1000′s of years. “Even though modern scholars date this commentary to the eighth century CE, the tale refers to three Tamil academies which existed for almost ten thousand years,” Veluppillai adds.
It is believed by some Tamil scholars that the first academy existed at southern Maturai and was terminated by sea devouring the city. The Pandya king established a second academy at Kapadapuram. Again, the sea devoured the city. The Pandya king established the third academy in present Maturai (far away from sea coast).
“What is available now as Cankam literature is mentioned as productions of the third academy,” says Velupillai.
“The sea devouring entire sea coast cities in the Indian Ocean area was something that many modern scholars dismissed as unrealistic. It now appears very probable that this tale about devouring of land by the sea, is not just a legend, as some modern scholars surmised,” he says.
“Tamils have by long historical tradition associated themselves with the sea. ‘Cross the seas and make the fortunes’ (Thirai Kadal Odiyum Thiraviam Thedu) is a motto of the ancient Tamils who were driven to make wealth through sea trade,” says professor Sittampalam, Dean of the faculty of advanced studies, University of Jaffna.
“International trade ports are mentioned in the Sangam Literature in Tamil, as well as in Greek and Roman literatures. The Chola Empire had the most powerful Navy during its time. Even as late as in the period of 10th – 15th Century Tamil language was the language of sea trade in the Indian Ocean,” says professor Sittampalam. “Tamils engaged in sea trade spread to other countries, especially in Asia and took along their culture and language. For example, there was found a 2000-years-old pot in Egypt that has Tamil letters on it. The 14th Century inscription was found in Galle, Sri Lanka, has inscriptions is in three languages: Tamil, Chinese and Persian”.
The Cilappatikaram and the Manimekalai, the two earliest epics/narrative poems in Tamil, both refer to a vast landmass that was swallowed by a “cataclysmic landslip” or “on-rush of the sea.” These landslips have submerged vast territory that was called Kumai Nadu or Kumari Kandam, known also as Lemuria to western scholars.
“Even though there is some controversy on the exact date of these works, certain inferences can be made. Large scale destruction by kadatkol seems to have made deep impressions to the Tamil psyche,” says to Dr. Velupillai. The Manimekalai refers in graphic terms to the sea devouring Poompukar or Kavirippoompaddinam, the Chola capital, port and emporium of foreign trade. The New Indian Express of December 2002 published an article that Poompukar site could be the cradle of world civilization, mentioning discovery of archaeological remains of a port city under the sea and hypotheses of well-known scholars. “Reading this with the background of the magnificent description of the prosperity of this cosmopolitan port-city, it is possible now to visualize that a huge tragedy of that magnitude could have taken place,” says Dr. Velupillai.
Tamil scholars note that there have been at least three major floods according to the references they find in Tamil literature and vast part of ancient literature was lost as a result of such events.
“Adiyarkkunallar, the medieval commentator to the Cilappatikaram, gives intriguing details about lands devoured by the sea. He mentions about Ezh Tenku nadu, Ezh Panai nadu, Ezh Kunakarai nadu, etc., listing seven such regions. As Ezh can mean ‘seven’, some later interpreters say that 49 regions (7 by 7) were devoured by the sea,” says Veluppillai. Some Tamil historians argue that the political power of the Tamils diminished due to repeated re-locations and vast damage that was caused to the ancient Tamil homeland by the deluges.
“One can imagine the strength and magnitude of the Tidal wave required to devour a mountainous area that had existed in the ancient coastal belt of the Tamil world,” says professor Shanmugathas.
He also refers to records in Mahavansa, the Buddhist chronicle of Sri Lanka. References in Tamil records speak about devouring of landmass by the sea (kadatkol). “The earliest connected account about kadatkol occurs in the commentary on Iraiyanar akapporul,” says Dr. A. Velupillai, department of religious studies, Arizona State University.
Tamil poets were lamenting about “kadatkol” (devouring of the land by the sea) so often that scholars found it difficult to explain these references of devouring the land mass with towns and villages by the sea. According to the Kumari Kandam tradition, over a period of about just 11,000 years, the Pandyas, a historical dynasty of Tamil kings, formed three Tamil Sangams, in order to foster among their subjects the love of knowledge, literature and poetry. These Sangams were the fountain head of Tamil culture and their principal concern was the perfection of the Tamil language and literature. The first two Sangams were not located in what is now South India but in antediluvian Tamil land to the south which in ancient times bore the name of Kumari Kandam, literally the Land of the Virgin or Virgin Continent.
The first Sangam was head-quartered in a city named Then-madurai (Southern Madurai). It was patronised by a succession of eighty-nine kings and survived for an unbroken period of 4,400 years during which time it approved an immense collection of poems and literature. At the end of that golden age, the First Sangam was destroyed when a deluge arose and Then-madurai itself was swallowed by the sea along with large parts of the land area of Kumari Kandam.
However, the survivors, saving some of the books, were able to relocate further north. They established a Second Sangam in a city called Kavatapuram which lasted 3,700 years. The same fate befell this city as well, when it too was swallowed by the sea and lost forever all its works with the sole exception of the Tolkappiyam, a work on Tamil grammar. Following the inundation of Kavatapuram, the survivors once again relocated northward in a city identified with modern Madurai in Tamilnadu, then known as Vada-madurai (Northern Madurai). The Third Sangam lasted for a period of 1850 years and most scholars agree that that Sangam terminated around 350 AD.
Literary evidence of the lost continent of Kumari Kandam comes principally from the literature of the Third Tamil Sangam and the historical writings based on them. Many of them refer to the lost Tamil lands and to the deluges which ancient peoples believed had swallowed those lands. The Silappathikaram, a well known Tamil literary work, for instance mentions, ” the river Prahuli and the mountain Kumari surroundered by many hills being submerged by the raging sea”.
The following is based on an article on Sage Agathiyar –SAGE AGASTHYA – FOREMOST OF THE SIDDHAS by Dr. Mandayam Kumar of the Siddha Medical Research Institute, Bangalore:
“‘Agathiyar Muni is considered to be the embodiment of one of the nine celestial intellectuals who came to this earth for enlightening human beings.’ Siddhars are those who have attained perfection in yogic practices to ultimately reach the stage of immortality. Through higher-level yogic practices they attain a state of ultra luminosity that results in invisibility; thus they remain impervious to ordinary vision.’ Such siddhars work incessantly for the propagation of knowledge and the evolution of souls.’
Dr Mandayam Kumar says, it was possible to find out details about sage Agathiyar during the course of literary research on the Siddha medical sciences in a Tamil manuscript written on palm leaves about 3,000 years ago. The text is titled ‘Prapancha Kaandam’ and runs into several volumes mentions the Dr.
It is attributed to Lord Muruga. It was narrated by sage Agathiyar while recorded by sage Pulasthiya. The original Tamil manuscript is in the care of Pandit S. Jayanari of Vellore says the Dr. The Dr provides information extracted from this work. The Prapancha Kaandam commences with explanations about the origin of the earth and the entire solar system. The earth is believed to be a fragment of the sun blown into space as a big ball of fire billions of years ago. This big fire globe, after spinning round and round at a very high speed for innumerable length of time, began to cool on its surface.
During the course of its voyage from the sun through different gaseous spheres of highly energetic particles the earth being attracted and repelled by different planets of the solar system, acquired the energetic potencies of all the planets.
Later it gained a constant movement rotating on its own axis having its path around the sun. It is stated that the earth took its origin 200 billion years ago.’
The Dr states that the world was not habitable having only land and water for half this period of time.
‘Gradually vegetation began to appear as the earliest form of life on earth. Subsequently aquatic living creatures followed by insects, reptiles, birds and animals came upon; with the last being humans. Each species had its own genetic origin and human beings are considered the sixth in the order of original creation. It is stated that planet earth is the only place for the survival and existence of life in the entire solar system. As life began to exist time began to be counted.
The entire period was divided into yugas. The present Kali Yuga is stated to have started from 3100 BC and may correspond to 14th March 3100 BC.’
ON THE BIRTH OF AGATHIYAR
The Dr. reveals for the first time the parental heritage of the sage.
Sage Agathiyar was said to have been born about 4573 years prior to the commencement of Kali Yuga at a place in Gujarat, in the early hours of Tuesday, 14th of February 7673 BC. Belonging to the early Aryan race, his father Bhargava was well learned while his mother Indumathi was from Punjab. They were both devotees of the Pasupatha order of the sage Rishabha Muni. Agathiyar then had his early education in Gujarat. As his thirst for knowledge in particular on philosophy, yoga, medicine, and astronomy was immense he traveled all over Kashmir, Tibet, China, Nepal and Kailas in Manchuria. Mount Kailas was deemed to be in Manchuria those days.
He became a disciple of sage Nandi and Dhanvantri. He then traveled towards the south to Cambodia and Malaya. In Cambodia he established the very first of his many educational institutions for the propagation of philosophy and science.
After establishing a similar institution and hospital in Malaya he crossed the sea to the continent of Kumari Kandam. During Agathiyar’s time Kumari Kandam occupied a vast area extending from the present day Sri Lanka to the Antarctic. This continent was ruled by Ravana, a great devotee of Lord Siva. King Ravana gave away a portion of his kingdom to Agathiyar to establish more institutions. The foremost of these institutions in this region was known as Arunodaya Giri or Meozone. Here Agathiyar practiced yoga and taught it to his large following of disciples. He then went back north to Malayawhere he was betrothed to the king’s daughter. He then ruled the kingdom of Vijayapuri.
He returned to Kumari Kandam where he met Lord Murugan in the form of sage Kandan or Supramaniar at Trikona Malai, present day Trincomali. At the hill station called Kadari Kama or Kadhirgama, Lord Murugan imparted spiritual knowledge to Agathiyar. In his meditation he could see into the future; see impending calamities. As a result he moved to the North Pole considering it to be a save place. This period of his move to the Arctic was said to coincide with the end of the Dwapara Yuga placed at about 6580 BC. Just as he had seen of an impending calamity and had decided to move north, a tremendous explosion in the planet Mars sents a piece of debris towards earth. This impact caused a great deluge on the earth. Significant portions of Kumari Kandam submerged into the Indian Ocean. Continental drift resulted in the present day arrangement of this region.
On returning to Mancuria after the great flood Kailas was no more but instead the Himalayan mountain range had emerged in North India. Amidst all this geographical changes says the Dr, sage Agathiyar went seeking for a place that would not be affected by future calamities. He located a mountain range in South India. This is the present day Courtalam. This spot is said to be the safest place and free from any future catastrophes. Here Agathiyar met Lord Siva and Uma in the form of Dhashina Murthi and Shenbaga Devi. This spot where the meeting took place between Dhashina Murthi, Shenbaga Devi, Lord Murugan and Agathiyar was Mahadeva Giri. This meeting also signified the commencement of Kali Yuga.
Other sages then stated coming to Mahadeva Giri. Lord Dhashina Murthi revived the knowledge of the Vedas and instructed these sages to propagate this knowledge at the appropriate manner and time for the benefit of humanity. This imparting of this knowledge was said to have taken place on the 21st day of the Tamil month of Kartigai, during the eleventh year, Eswara Samvatsara, of Kali Yuga. Agathiyar gave much importance to this day. All his dating was reckoned from this day. The sages recorded their knowledge on palm leaves after extensive discussions held in Alagan Kulam and presented them to Dhashina Murthi for his perusal. This included the 64 kinds of learning, 18 Puranas, 96 Tatvas, and 48 branches of scientific knowledge. The entire literature in Tamil came to be called Sidha Veda. It was then translated into the four existing languages of that period vis Sanskrit, Greek, Hebrew and Chinese. Sage Agathiyar on the instruction of Lord Murugan originated the Tamil language. Sage Bhogar from China, Thaeraiyar from Malaya, Yugimuni from Kerala, Pulipani from Kantha Malai, Pulathiyan and Kapiyan too served Agathiyar. A conference of sidhas called Sidhar Sabai was held during the 53rd year, Sidharti Samvatsara, of Kali Yuga at Courtalam.
An institution known as Sidhar Gnana Koodam was inaugurated by Lord Murugan and was headed by Agathiyar. Pulathiyan and Kapiyan headed the literary section while Pulipani in research. Thaeraiyar who was into surgery headed a medical research centre established at Thorana Malai. Yugimuni who was into herbal medicines headed an Ayurvedic hospital at Paradesi Kundai. Sage Bhogar who was in charge of all scientific researches established an alchemy research centre at Thiruparankundram. Pambatti Sidhar was heading a team researching venom at Marudamalai.
After having established these institutions Agathiyar again started on an extensive mission of propagating the wealth of knowledge gained by these sidhars in Tibet, Manchuria, Egypt, Palestine, Rome, America, Africa, Malaya and Arab world. After satisfactorily completing their mission of propagating the said teachings the sages went into ‘Samadhi’ merging themselves into the cosmos. Kandan went into Samadhi in Thorana Malai, Bhogar in Palani, Thaeraiyar, Pulipanai and Yugimuni in Kantha Malai, and Agathiyar himself choosed to come back to Courtalam. He chosed a spot called Dhashina Meru in the Pothigai Hills. This spot is also the abode of Lord Siva as Dhashina Murthi.”
The reason for this article to be mentioned here is very simple. Here is a Siddha Purush ( An enlightened soul),who has brought about a pertinent reason for kumari kandam to vanish under the sea and gave a reason for such a calamity, for a landmass as huge as kumari kandam to be devoured by the sea. This would need a tremendous unnatural force and a massive rise in the sea level. The type and intensity of such a devastating force would be unfathomable to us today for we have not seen anything like this earlier and hopefully would not see in the future. Thinking about such a force, the television visuals of the tsunami that hit Japan on 31st march 2011 came flooding. Youtube.com has visuals of this tsunami and each one of them is nastier than the earlier. This force of nature was severe and it has brought about human suffering which is unimaginable. There were immeasurable Loss of lives and property and the economy of the nation took a severe beating. So imagine what would have been the force of the destruction that obliterated Kumari kandam from the face of the earth? If that be the case and there was a civilization living, when the great forces of nature culminated into an unprecedented devastation and the entire land, a big land something like a continent, went underwater, then we could expect to find some evidences of human settlement in the adjoining sea. National Institute of oceanography of India did research in this very direction and did find many evidences about the topography, as described in the Tamil sangams, and human settlements. I will come to the evidences and the nature of the research later in this article but now I must let my readers understand as to why and how Lemuria got into the Tamil literature.
The narratives about Lemuria found their way into colonial India about the time when folklore began to permeate historic knowledge as though they were fact. The writings of Wishar Cerve and the maps of Scott Elliot were brought into Tamil writings by K. Appadurai, in his book Kumari Kandam Allathu Kadal Konda Thennadu (Kumari Continent or the Submerged Southern Land, 1941). The term Lemuria found its way into certain Tamil textbooks and was given the Tamil name Kumari kandam, or continent of Kumari. Names from Tamil classics were given to the mountain ranges, rivers, places and areas. For example, the puranic geography of an axial mountain called Meru as the centre of Jambudvipa (Sanskrit) or Navalan Theevu (Tamil) was accepted, and, later on, these names were attributed to certain parts of Lemuria, giving it acceptability among Tamil readers. In the 1920s, with Tamil revivalism and the efforts to counter the “Aryan” and associated Sanskrit dominance, the concept of Lemuria was wedded to the notion of the lost land referred to in Tamil literature.
There are a few references in Tamil Sangam classics to a landmass that was swallowed up by the sea. Historians consider the first three centuries A.D. as the Sangam period. The reference to the tradition about three Tamil Sangams (assemblies or academies) is noted in Iraiyanar Kalviyalurai, attributed to Nakeerar. According to this commentary, the Pandya kings patronised Tamil poets in their capital, where the Sangam was located. According to tradition, the Mudal Sangam (first assembly), was located in Thenmadurai. When the sea swallowed Thenmadurai, the capital was shifted to Kapatapuram and the second or Idai Sangam was established. The Idai Sangam functioned until a deluge destroyed Kapatapuram. After the deluge, the Pandyas shifted their capital to the present-day Madurai where the last or Kadai Sangam was established.
Some of the important references from Tamil Sangam classics are as follows: 1) in Purananuru 9, verses 10-11 are interpreted as a reference to a Pandya king who ruled a part of the lost land where the river Pahruli flowed. 2) in Silapathigaram (Kadu Kaan Kaathai) (11:17-22) is a reference to a Pandya king who won over kingdoms in Imayam (the Himalayas) and Gangai (the Ganga) to compensate for his land lost to the deluge. Tamil scholars such as Devaneya Paavaanar consider the deluge under reference to be the one that destroyed Thenmadurai. 3) According to Adiyarku Nallar, poem 104:1-4 from Mullai Kalithogai indicates that the Pandya king resettled the survivors of the deluge in certain Chera and Chola territories. It is portrayed by certain Tamil writers that the series of deluges destroyed the Tamil civilisation and the survivors spread out and civilised other parts of the world.
The Tamil tradition about a lost land was committed to writing after the 10th century by commentators like Nakeerar in his commentary on Iraiyanar Akapporulurai. Nachinarkiniyar and Adiyarku Nallar followed him. Those who wrote the commentaries exaggerated the extent of land that was submerged by the deluges referred to in Silapathigaram and Kalithogai. According to the commentators, there were 49 countries ( nadu) in the lost land of Kumari and the distance between the river Kumari and the river Pahruli that flowed in the lost land was 700 katham, which according to one calculation is about 770 km.
The crucial question is whether the land referred to as Kumari was as large as a continent? The advocates of Kumari kandam interpreted the term nadu to mean country. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala many small towns and villages have in their names the term nadu, which basically referred to a settlement, as opposed to kadu, or forest. In the above Tamil references there is no mention of the term kandam, referring to land the size of a continent.
According to Pingala Nikandu, a lexicon of ancient words, k andam means country. In the words of the historian N. Subrahmanian (1996), “It is possible that a small area of land (to the extent of a present-day district) was lost by sea erosion and Pahruli and Kumari were parts of that territory and that the king shifted this capital to some other place. But in all probability that event occurred only in the 5th or 4th century B.C. Such erosions on a limited scale were not unknown to the southern and eastern seaboards of Tamil Nadu. If the fiction is removed from the fact, the entire romantic superstructure called the theory of the Kumari kandam will stand exposed, as non-history” ( The Tamils – Their History, Culture and Civilisation; pages 26, 27). If the oral traditions and the subsequent writings exaggerated the size of the submerged land called Kumari, what was the background to the lost land referred to in Sangam literature?
Geology emerged as a scientific discipline in the late 19th century when both scientific and popular imagination was dominated by Biblical accounts of creation and deluges. Dramatic geological events were attributed to catastrophes like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Eventually, the understanding of phenomena such as plate tectonics, continental drift and sea floor spreading dismissed the catastrophe theories. The speculation about land bridges and lost continents faded into obscurity elsewhere in the world but not quite so in Tamil Nadu.
Since the early part of the last century major strides have been made in the geological and geophysical understanding of the earth. For instance, in 1912 Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, explained the concept of continental drift; in 1924, the British geologist Arthur Holmes explained that the convection current in the mantle could cause continents to drift; in 1962, the American Geologist Harry Hess pointed out that continental drift could be explained by sea-floor spreading; in 1966, the concept of sea-floor spreading was established by independent oceanographic data involving microfossils, sediments of the sea floor, measure of heat flow from the earth’s interior and palaeo-magnetic and seismic studies. Since the first oceanic sounding in 1840, the study of oceans, including their chemistry, biology, geology and physics, has advanced in the last century. Improved coring devices have enlarged our knowledge of the oceans, and deep ocean floors have been mapped by echo-soundings and ultra-sonic signals. In the 1940s, seismic methods were also used to study the ocean floor.
Evidence of former glaciations on a wide scale became overwhelmingly conclusive in the last century. During the past two million years, there have been five major glacial advances and five glacial retreats as the globe began to warm. The last of such periods is the present period known as Holocene. The last Ice Age caused the fragmented distribution of Homo sapiens, and the enormous environmental changes that took place with global warming had a profound influence on the prehistory of humankind.
Extensive studies were done to understand global warming during the interglacial periods; sediments were subjected to meticulous analyses to establish the age and palaeo-geographical conditions in many parts of the world. For instance, about 18,000 years ago, during the time of the last Ice Age, ice sheets in the poles spread much wider and the sea level was more than 100 meters lower than it is today, exposing a large area of land along the continental shelf. Then Siberia was connected to Alaska and along this land bridge, the peopling of the Americas and migration of animals happened over a long period. At this time, the landmass of present-day Papua New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania were joined together as were the British Isles with Europe. After the last Ice Age the level of the Indian Ocean, like the rest of the oceans, fell. Sri Lanka was connected to the Indian peninsula by a landmass, which now lies under the Gulf of Mannar. In the following 8,000 years, global warming continued and large masses of ice and glaciers melted, raising sea levels in stages and inundating low-lying lands. The portion of the continental shelf of the south Indian peninsula and the land that connected it to Sri Lanka also went under water as the sea level rose.
Records of sea-level fluctuations and related climatic changes are preserved in the layered sediments of the seabed. These can be studied through data such as faunal contents and nature of sediments. Rajiv Nigam and N.H. Hashimi of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, have done extensive work on sea-level rise by analysing sediments for microfossils such as pollen and foraminifera to determine palaeo-climate and by dating corals from the continental shelf in the west coast of peninsular India. The team studied marine sediments to generate proxy climate records through which changes in palaeo sea levels could be deciphered.
Nigam and P.J. Henriques, also of the NIO, have developed a regional model for palaeo depth determination on the basis of percentage of foraminifera in surface sediments of the Arabian Sea. The significant results of the study on palaeo sea levels are that the sea level was lower by 100 m about 14,500 years ago and by 60 m about 10,000 years ago and that during the last 10,000 years there had been three major episodes of sea-level fluctuation. These sea-level changes had affected human settlements and peopling of the coastal areas and had left their signatures on archaeological events.
Once the status of the periodic sea-level rise was established, it was easy to decipher the configuration of the coastline, giving allowance wherever applicable to tectonic activities and deposition of silt at the confluence of rivers. The Naval Hydrographic Office, Dehra Dun, has produced hydrographic charts (INT 717071-1986 to the scale 1:10,000,000 and INT 7007706-1973 of scale 1:3,500,000) pertaining to Cape Comorin-Gulf of Mannar, where it surveyed the depth of the sea floor with echo-sounders, which measure the sea floor contours with great accuracy.
It is possible to demarcate the land lost to the sea in the south of India from postglacial inundation maps that indicate the significant changes in the coastline. Inundation maps on the basis of bathymetric contours and the sea-level curve for the central west coast to work out the configuration of the coastline south of India since the last Ice Age. This study shows that about 14,500 years ago the sea level was lower by approximately 100 m than the present sea level. The land between the present coast and the bathymetric contour of 100 m roughly was the land that was exposed during that time.
In other words, hypothetically, if a 100 m column of sea water were to be removed, the land that went under water would be exposed. At that time the present Gulf of Mannar was a landmass of 36,000 sq. km connecting Sri Lanka with peninsular India and the coast was wider by about 80 km to the east, south and west of present-day Cape Comorin exposing a triangular mass of 6,500 sq. km adjoining the Cape. The coastline was 25-35 km wider than the present near Cuddalore and about 25 km wider near Colombo.
The increased rate of global warming between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago saw the sea level rise almost 50 m, inundating low-lying lands and covering a major part of the exposed continental shelf. About 10,000 years ago, the sea level was about 50 m lower than the present sea level. At that time, the land extended about 25 km south of the Cape and the coast was about 40 km broader than the present coastline along the east and the west, which exposed about 1,000 sq km of land near Cape Comorin. Rameswaram and Mannar were joined by land and the land that extended in the present-day Gulf of Mannar was a 2,500-sq km stretch marked by sedimentary formations and coral reefs.
planet rotation and especially the difference in rotation speed between poles and equator force earth mantel to strain and to break more easily where the strain is strongest, that is at the equator regions. These tectonic processes played important role in the disappearance of the ancient continent known as Lemuria to western scholars. Sri Lanka together with India, Indonesia and Malaysia were a part of this continent. Many islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans are remnants of this continent that in ancient time covered the whole area of today’s ocean. Storetvedt, who seems to reject the theory of continental drift and plate tectonics, says that descriptions of cataclysms in early literature when land suddenly went underwater are logical. But they should be proven to be scientific facts. This can be done with the help of sea-floor analysis that is possible to carry out. Modern theories find supportive evidences both in ancient literature and language history.
What we know of the antiquity of Tamil civilization seems to be top of an iceberg. More exciting and interesting prehistory of Tamils may emerge from the jolt applied by the tsunami. Scientific details relating to these catastrophic events, particularly the correlation of the available socio-anthropological knowledge from the Tamil literature with geological research is yet to be found or ascertained. There is ample scope for Tamil scholars, socio-anthropologists and geologists to do further research on these topics.
History of kumari kandam (Lemuria) theory.
1860 Philip Lutley Sclater Puzzled by the presence of fossil lemurs in both Madagascar and India, but not in Africa nor the Middle East, Sclater proposed that Madagascar and India had once been part of a larger continent, which he named “Lemuria” for its lemurs.The acceptance of Darwinism led scientists to seek to trace the diffusion of species from their points of evolutionary origin
Melchior Neumayr in his book Erdgeschichte in 1887. Many hypothetical submerged land bridges and continents were proposed during the 19th century, in order to account for the present distribution of species.
Ernst Haeckel, a German Darwinian taxonomist, proposed Lemuria as an explanation for the absence of “missing link” fossil records. According to another source, Haeckel put forward this thesis prior to Sclater (but without using the name ‘Lemuria’). Locating the origins of the human species on this lost continent, he claimed the fossil record could not be found because it had sunk beneath the sea.
In 1999, drilling by the JOIDES Resolution research vessel in the Indian Ocean discovered evidence that a continent about a third of the size of Australia sank about 20 million years ago. Samples showed pollen and fragments of wood in a 90 million-year-old sediment. This might lead one to expect similarity of dinosaur fossil evidence and will help to understand the breakup of the Indian and Australian land masses.It does not support the concept of Lemuria as a land bridge for mammals.
Madame Blavatsky’s Lemuria,Lemuria entered the lexicon of the Occult through the works of Madame Blavatsky, who claimed in the 1880s to have been shown an ancient, pre-Atlantean Book of Dzyan by the Mahatmas. Within Blavatsky’s complex cosmology, which includes seven “Root Races”, Lemuria was occupied by the “Third Root Race”, which was about seven foot tall, sexually hermaphroditic, egg-laying, mentally undeveloped and spiritually more pure than the following “Root Races”. Before the coming of the Lemurians, the second “Root Race” is said to have dwelled in Hyperborea.After the subsequent creation of mammals, Mme. Blavatsky revealed to her readers, some Lemurians turned to bestiality. The gods, aghast at the behavior of these “mindless” men, sank Lemuria into the ocean and created a “Fourth Root Race”—endowed with intellect—on Atlantis.Lemuria and Mount Shasta
In 1894, Frederick Spencer Oliver published A Dweller on Two Planets, which claimed that survivors from a sunken continent called Lemuria were living in or on Mount Shasta in northern California. The Lemurians lived in a complex of tunnels beneath the mountain and occasionally were seen walking the surface dressed in white robes.This belief has been repeated by such individuals as the cultist Guy Warren Ballard in the 1930s who formed the I AM Foundation. It is also repeated by followers of the Ascended Masters and the Great White Brotherhood. This list includes such organizations as Bridge to Freedom, The Summit Lighthouse, Church Universal and Triumphant, The Temple of The Presence, and The Hearts Center. According to L. Sprague de Camp, Mme. Blavatsky was influenced by other writers on the theme of Lost Continents, notably Ignatius L. Donnelly, a cult leader named Thomas Lake Harris and the French writer Louis Jacolliot.
Dravidologist Devaneya Pavanar, who held that all languages on earth were merely corrupted Tamil dialects proposed Kumari Kandam is a sunken kingdom also known as Lemuria . According to these modernist interpretations of motifs in classical Tamil literature — the epics Cilappatikaram and Manimekalai that describe the submerged city of Puhar — the Dravidians originally came from land south of the present day coast of South India that became submerged by successive floods. There are various claims from Tamil authors that there was a large land mass connecting Australia and the present day Tamil Nadu coast.Adiyarkkunelar, described the distance between the Prahuli and Kumari rivers as 700 kavathams. This distance has been interpreted as about 7,000 modern miles (11,000 km).
Having said about the scope of the research based on the ancient scripts and literature the question automatically comes as to what precisely the Tamil literature says about kumari kandam.
Three literary sources are said to say something about the kumari kandam ,
kumarikOdum kodunkadal koLLa…” The mighty sea at the end of kumari(kanyakumari) submergedHere the author ilango adigal speaks about sea around kumari submerging the puhar(keveri pattinam) port.Silappadikaram’also describes Kadal Vadimpalampa Nindra Pandyan said to have thrown his spear towards the sea. The sea retaliated by swallowing a large area including Pahruli river and Panmalai Adukkam.
Records the same incident of the puhar being engulfed by sea. Both silapathikaram and manimekalai both not being eyewitness accounts and known for gross exageration of facts clearly talk sea engulfing the city of puhar.
Sangam literary work, `Kalithogai’ (Mullaikkali, verse number 4) calls it `Kadal vowal.’ The poem says that when tidal waves swept away his land, the Pandya monarch did not despair, but forged ahead into the territories of Cheras and Chozhas and brought the invaded country under his sway, thus making good the loss of territory due to the sea-swell. This is somewhat reminiscent of the siddha purush sage Agathiyar which I have already mentioned earlier in this article.
Sri Lanka together with India, Indonesia and Malaysia were a part of this continent. Many islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans are remnants of this continent that in ancient time covered the whole area of today’s ocean
The lost continent of Kumari Kandam
It turns out that everything does not actually come from India, it comes from Kumari Kandam. And by everything, I do mean everything.
“Homo Dravida” first evolved in Kumari Kandam; it is the cradle of civilization; the birthplace of all languages in general and of the Tamil language in particular. This is where the first and second great ages (Sangams?) of the Tamils happened, not in India, but in the true Dravidian homeland, further south.
R. Mathivanan, then Chief Editor of the Tamil Etymological Dictionary Project of the Government of Tamilnadu, in 1991 … [produced] the following timeline …:
ca. 200,000 to 50,000 BC: evolution of “the Tamilian or Homo Dravida”,
ca. 200,000 to 100,000 BC: beginnings of the Tamil language
50,000 BC: Kumari Kandam civilisation
20,000 BC: A lost Tamil culture of the Easter Island which had an advanced civilisation
16,000 BC: Lemuria submerged
6087 BC: Second Tamil Sangam established by a Pandya king
3031 BC: A Chera prince in his wanderings in the Solomon Island saw wild sugarcane and started cultivation in Tamilnadu.
1780 BC: The Third Tamil Sangam established by a Pandya king
7th century BC: Tolkappiyam (the earliest extant Tamil grammar)… [agathiyar 12000 (185)