Question on Khilji Sultanate invasion of Pandyas

Nov 2012
3,851
#1
What happened to the Pandyan brothers Sundara and Vira after Khilji defeat and them accepting terms of defeat?Why did the kingdom simply vanish when they accepted Khilji suzeranity?

What if Sundara listened to Vira and remained inside Madurai holding a defense position would this have merely delayed the inevitable or would Pandyans have won?

Why did Pandyans not consider taking refuge in Northern SriLanka with tamil kingdoms in Jaffna with whom they had excellent trade and cultural relations. Surely Khilji did not have the means to cross the seas and the Pandyas were a naval power of repute with a decent fleet? I believe Pandyas had defeated the Jaffna kingdom there and had installed the Aryacakravarti which claimed descent from one of their commanders and was their vassal. Once their defeat was clear why did they not move downwards?

Further why did Khilji not take the rump in Kerala and allowed Venadu kingdom there to survive? Was he intimidated by it because the terrain in Kerala is certainly not hard to take especially for someone who has traversed the Deccan. Were the Pandyas in communication with Jaffna or Venadu for refuge or alliance? Are their any court documents which talk about what Venadu kingdom felt with its whole neighbourhood falling like nine pins? How did survive in such isolation?
 
Jun 2014
4,516
India
#3
When Khiljis invaded Pandyas, the Pandya house was divided one and there was civil war going on between two brothers- Vira and Sundara Pandya.

Malik Kafur made rapid marches and with amazing speed attacked Pandya territory. At Birdhul, Vira Pandya tried to resist but was defeated.Kafur then attacked Chidambarama and after killing people and burning temples, he took away lot of booty. Then he reached Srirangam and made again a surprise attack with usual jehadi acts of temple breaking and such. Pandyas instead of facing him straight , dispersed their army and though this made his task bit difficult, he had to face less strength plus South Indian armies with elephants had less mobility.

After this, Kafur attacked capital Madurai where Sundara Pandya was there, Sundara Pandya had to flee. Chargrined at finding nothing, Kafur devastated city and burnt temple of Sokkanatha.

Kafur now started his retreat as he knew that hit and run tactics were difficult to face with his army so far from base. As he was returning from there, Vikram Pandya, uncle of Sundara Pandya attacked Kafur with great ferocity, Kafur was worsted in fight but then somehow managed to remain coherent with his army and ensured that he returned safely with all his vast treasures.

Due to weakness of Pandyas (except that encounter with Vikram Pandya), Kafur had an easy time in battles but terrain troubled him a lot and so subduing Kerala was out of question. That he could raid all parts of TN itself was sufficient. Kerala has always been poor country for horse based armies.

Pandyas after Khiljis.


After hurricane in form of Kafur was gone,another trouble appeared. Ravivarman Kulashekhara the ruler of Kerala united all clans and fiefdoms of Kerala and attacked Pandyas crushing them thoroughly. He captured Kanchi and proclaimed himself as ruler of that part.

Pandyas took help of Vir Ballala the Hoysala ruler and somehow managed to drive Ravivarman out from Pandya territory.

By this time,Pandyas had completely become divided, uncles and brothers all ruled different portions. The major rulers were Vira, Sundara, Vikram, Prakaram and Kulashekhara all of them being Pandyas.

In 1312, again a danger presented itself before Pandyas. Kakatiya ruler Prataprudradeva sent an army under his nayak. All five rulers joined their forces and faced Kakatiyas but once Prataprudradeva joined his army, Pandyas were crushed heavily and northern areas were captured by Kakatiyas, Pratap placed his governor in Kanchi.

After this, Khusru Khan led a massive invasion of Kakatiya territory and led some raids towards Pandyas also.

Finally, Muhammad bin Tughlaq annexed Madurai by 1323. This did not mean end of Pandyas at all.

We have inscription of Vira Pandya till 1341 AD and that of Sundara Pandya till 1320 AD. Their sons and such all ruled various portions even when sultanate of Madurai was ruling much of Tamil areas. Last Pandya inscriptions are all from Tinnevelly area along with Ramnad. It was Vijayanagara under Devaraya which finally annexed entire TN.
 

Jinit

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,274
India
#4
Further why did Khilji not take the rump in Kerala and allowed Venadu kingdom there to survive? Was he intimidated by it because the terrain in Kerala is certainly not hard to take especially for someone who has traversed the Deccan. Were the Pandyas in communication with Jaffna or Venadu for refuge or alliance? Are their any court documents which talk about what Venadu kingdom felt with its whole neighbourhood falling like nine pins? How did survive in such isolation?
Probably because Kerala is located on other side of Western ghats plus backwaters... Khilji expedition seems to be oriented more towards looting and pillaging instead of annexing and establishing any permanent rule in the regions. Carnatic plains of Tamilnadu were certainly much more attractive target then Kerala for that purpose.

In short terms Khilji expedition didn't have any serious repercussions for the Pandyas except for probably adding more confusion and chaos to already ongoing civil war in the Tamil country. Ravivarman Kulashekhara was able to conquer large tracts of Tamilnadu only because he was the only king in the region unaffected by Khilji raids and Pandya country was already in too much chaos. Civil war as such greatly affected the region. However civil war in Tamil country also ensured that it didn't suffer the same fate that other northern kingdoms suffered at the same time at the hand of the Turks. Had it been under the rule of one monarch, subjugation of him would have brought entire region or large part of the Tamil country under the control of Muslims making Madurai sultanate much more stronger and probably even curtailing any future possibility of powerful Hindu empire like Vijayanagara with Karnataka being sandwiched between two strong Muslim sultanates. Thanks to the civil war it didn't become possible.
 
Nov 2012
3,851
#5
one small question. Having taking Hoysala territory in Karnataka could they not have easily traversed the western ghats in kerala through the coastal route from up in South West Karnataka similar to how Tipu entered Malabar?

You talk about wealth. Kerala since ages was having naval trade with Oman, Yemen etc. plus Zamorins were amongst the richest due to this continuing tradition upto the modern age. Plus the infinite riches and iconoclasm ambitions that could have been met through Guruvayur and Padmanabhaswamy temple which were among the richest shrines. I would think Kerala would be ripe for a Khilji attack.

Plus please tell me about the Jaffna Kingdom question I asked in my first post as well. That is an interesting facet about which I would wanna know more on.

Thanks a lot.
 
Nov 2012
3,851
#6
one small question. Having taking Hoysala territory in Karnataka could they not have easily traversed the western ghats in kerala through the coastal route from up in South West Karnataka similar to how Tipu entered Malabar?

You talk about wealth. Kerala since ages was having naval trade with Oman, Yemen etc. plus Zamorins were amongst the richest due to this continuing tradition upto the modern age. Plus the infinite riches and iconoclasm ambitions that could have been met through Guruvayur and Padmanabhaswamy temple which were among the richest shrines. I would think Kerala would be ripe for a Khilji attack.

Plus please tell me about the Jaffna Kingdom question I asked in my first post as well. That is an interesting facet about which I would wanna know more on.

Thanks a lot.
guys please tell me why were Keralite kingdoms like Venadu which ruled that area during Sultanate invasions of Tamil Nadu not attacked by Sultanate?
 

Similar History Discussions