Myths and Legends

Kumari Kandam – The Lost Continent

Kumari Kandam- The Lost Continent

Kumari Kandam is the legendary sunken continent, according to many of the ancient extant Tamil literatures and some of the Sanskrit literatures. Almost 100 years back tamil nationalists came to identify and associate Kumari Kandam with Lemuria, a hypothetical “lost continent” posited in the 19th century to account for discontinuities in biogeography.

Located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans but now sunken, this sunked continent is believed to be the connections between Africa to South India, through Madagascar.

Many of the earliest extant Tamil literary works and their commentaries, mentions a Tamil continent called Kumari Kandam, which was ruled by Pandiyan Kings for 10,000 years, before getting submerged in the Indian Ocean, south of present-day Kanyakumari district at the southern tip of India.

References of Kumari Kandam from some of the Tamil literary sources

According to Silappadhikaram, one of the Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature written in 2nd century CE, states that the cruel sea took the Pandiyan’s land, part of which was present between the rivers Pahruli and the mountainous banks of the Kumari. These rivers are said to have flowed in a now-submerged land.

Adiyarkkunallar, a 12th-century CE commentator on the epic, explains this reference by saying that there was once a land to the south of the present-day Kanyakumari, which stretched for 700 kāvatam from the Pahruli river in the north to the Kumari river in the south. The modern equivalent of the measurement kāvatam, which is also known as kātam in Tamil, is a distance of 6.25 miles (10.06 km).

Kanakkathikaram, a 15th century Tamil Mathematical literary work which is in the form of poems, defines the length of 1 kāvatam(1 kātam) as 24,000 muzham (33,000 feet, 6¼ miles) and it also defines the time taken to cover it which is the distance that can be covered by normal walk in 7½ Nāzhigai or 1 Sāmam (equivalent to 3 hours). So, the distance of 700 kāvatam is equivalent to 4,375 miles (7,041 km) in modern day measurements.

This land was divided into 49 territories, which he names as Seven coconut territories (elutenga natu), Seven Madurai territories (elumaturai natu), Seven old sandy territories (elumunpalai natu), Seven new sandy territories (elupinpalai natu), Seven mountain territories (elukunra natu), Seven eastern coastal territories (elukunakarai natu) and Seven dwarf-palm territories (elukurumpanai natu). All these lands, he says, together with the many-mountained land that began with KumariKollam, with forests and habitations, were submerged by the sea. Two of these  territories were supposedly parts of present-day Kollam and Kanyakumari districts.

The 7th century CE commentary written by Nakkīranār for the Tamil literary work Iraiyanar Akapporul, gives the list of Pandiyan kings who ruled the Kumari Kandam. It also gives information about the three Tamil Sangams (assemblies of Tamil scholars and poets who do research on Tamil language and also creates literary works) which spans about 10,000 years.

According to th Kumari Kandam tradition, over a period of about just 11,000 years, the Pandyans, 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 (Mutaṟcaṅkam) is described as having been held at the Pandiyan King’s capital city, Madurai (Kadal Konda Then Madurai – which means Southern Madurai which was submerged in the sea. The old Madurai was called as Southern Madurai to differentiate it with the capital city of Madurai of third Sangam), which lasted a total of 4440 years, and had 549 members, which supposedly included some gods of the Hindu pantheon such as Siva, Kubera and Murugan. A total of 4449 poets are described as having composed songs for this Sangam. There were 89 Pandiyan kings starting from Kaysina valudi to Kadungon were decedents and rulers of that period.

If credence is given to this commentary, then the beginning of first Sangam should be placed somewhere in 9000 B.C.

Most of the lands of Kumari Kandam were submerged in the sea during first devouring of the land by the sea. Then, the Pandiyan King and the remaining people migrated to the remaining land of Kumari Kandam and the king moved his capital to Kapatapuram. At the same time, the present location of Tamil Nadu was ruled by Chera, Chola, and 46 other small kingdoms.

The Second Sangam (Irandaam Caṅkam, Iṭaicaṅkam) was convened in Kapatapuram, the then capital city of Pandiyan King. This Sangam lasted for 3700 years and had 59 members, with 3700 poets participating. There were 59 Pandiyan kings starting from Vendercceliyan to Mudattirumaran were decedents and rulers of that period. This city was also submerged in sea.

Ramayana and Arthasastra of Kautalya corroborates the existence of a city named kavatapuram. There is a reference to a south Indian place called kavata by sugriva in a verse which runs something like ‘having reached Kavata suitable for Pandiya‘. The place kavata is also mentioned by Kautalya (also known as Acharya Chanakya) in Arthasastra.

Having lost the complete Kumari Kandam, the Pandiyan King conquered the part of lands belonging to the Chola and Chera kings (Silapathikaram, Maturaikkandam, verses 17-22) and made Korkai, a seaport on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, as his capital and in later times moved his capital to the current city of Madurai.

The Third Sangam (Moondraam Caṅkam, Kaṭaicaṅkam) was purportedly located in the current city of Madurai, the then capital city of Pandiyan King, and lasted for 1850 years. There were 49 Pandiyan kings starting from Mudattirumaran (who came away from Kabadapuram to present Madurai) to Ukkirapperu valudi were decedents and rulers of that period.

The academy had 49 members, and 449 poets are described as having participated in the Sangam.

References of Kumari Kandam in Puranas and Ancient Tamil Literature

  • In Tamil literary works Aintiram, Silappadhikaram, Manimekhalai and SaivamPaayanam and in Sanskrit literary work Bhagavatha Purana, there are information about Tamil sage Mayan, who wrote one of the Tamil Sangam literary works Aintiram, and was part of Tamil Sangams and lived in Kumari Kandam.This sage also wrote other Tamil literature Pranava Vedham (which is called by Vyasa as the predecessor of four Vedas in Bhagavatha Purana), MayaMatham (Book about Architecture, Sculptures and Vasthu) and SuriyaNool (Book about Astronomy and Astrology), one Tamil grammatical work, etc. According to Aintiram, Kumari Kandam was a land which has huge area and the PalThuli river (PalThuli – Divided grammatical form of Pahruli according to Tamil grammar which means many drops), one of the Kumari Kandam rivers, originated from PeruMalai(means big mountain – represents MeruMalai – Meru Mountain). It also tells that there were 49 lands in Kumari Kandam.Tamil literary work SaivamPaayanam gives information about Kumari Kandam and its territories. It also mentions the existence of PeruMalai (MeruMalai – Meru Mountain) in Kumari Kandam.
  • The Tamil literary work Manimekhalai, mentions about multiple Tsunamis in the ancient city of Poompuhar and was swallowed up by the sea. This event is supported by archeological finds of submerged ruins off the coast of modern Poompuhar.
  • The Tamil poetic literature Tamil vidu thoothu describes the Topography of Kumari Kandam. It is also said that the Pahruli river was excavated to irrigate the mountain valley by the Pandiyan King Nediyon.
    The third Sangam literary work Purananooru talks about Kumari Kandam and the river Pahruli which was there in Kumari Kandam.
  • The Tamil Grammar work Nannool talks about the sunken country Kumari Kandam.
  • The Tamil literature SiruKakkaip Paadiniyaar talks about the Kumari Kandam.
  • There are references for Kumari Kandam present in Kantapuranam, which mentions it as one of the nine continents of old times, or one of the nine divisions of India and the only region not to be inhabited by barbarians.
  • According to the Matsya Purana, Manu was the king of Dravidadesa (South Indian country) in Kumari Kandam.
  • There are references for Kumari Kandam present in Garuda Puranam. Also, There are scattered references in Sangam literature, such as Kalittokai 104, to how the sea took the land of the Pandiyan Kings, after which they conquered new lands to replace those they had lost.

References of Kumari Kandam (Lemuria) in Chinese & Greek Literature

In some of the ancient Chinese chronicles, there are references to Pahruli river, Peru river and Meru Mountain (with 49 peaks) from where the Kumari River, Peru river and Pahruli river were originated (according to Tamil literature). It is said that Chinese laborers were employed by the Pandiyan King and when they went down the mines they appeared like a huge army of small ants. Therefore, they were called pon thondi erumbukal (Gold mining ants). This is also confirmed by ancient Chinese chronicles.

Megasthenes (ca. 350 – 290 BCE), a Greek ethnographer and explorer in the Hellenistic period, authored the work Indika, the account of his travels in India. In this work, he says that Taprobane (old name of Sri Lanka) was separated from the mainland (Indian Peninsula) by a river, which means that during the period of Megasthenes, Sri Lanka could have been connected to Indian Peninsula by a small landmass in between them and was divided by Thamirabarani River (Porunai River).

The current Thamirabarani River in Tamil Nadu flows into the sea suggests that the Thamirabarani River would have reached Sri Lanka through a now-submerged landmass existed between Indian Peninsula and Sri Lanka during the period of Megasthenes.

Archaeological Data supporting existence of Kumari Kandam

  • archeological findings at Poompuhar
    archeological findings at Poompuhar

    The marine archeological findings at Poompuhar (Tamil Nadu) by marine archeological research conducted by the National Institute of Marine Archeology (Goa) reveals that much of the town of Poompugar (Tamil Nadu) was washed away by progressive erosion and a Tsunami around 300 BC.

  • Ancient Pottery dating back to the 4th century BC have been discovered off shore by marine archeologists east of this town. The timeline of this Tsunami also coincides with the timeline (after the period of Megasthenes visit to India) of the submergence of landmass which was claimed to be existed between Indian Peninsula and Sri Lanka according to Megasthenes accounts.
  • The geological survey reveals that most of the places in the land under the sea, where Kumari Kandam is claimed to be existed, has the maximum depth of the sea of 200 meters. In some of the places, the maximum depth of the sea is 2000 meters. Since, these areas has low sea depth, there are more possibilities to exists a now-submerged land in which people lived.
  • Languages spoken by Australian tribes, African tribes, Andaman and Nicobar tribes and Lakshadweep tribes are identical to Tamil language. So, there are high possibilities that there might be a connecting land which exists in between India, Australia and Madagascar.
  • Types of plants, trees and animals present in Africa and Madagascar are identical with that of in India. So, there might be a connecting land which exists in between India and Madagascar.

Expedition to Poompuhar – Remains of Kumari Kandam

25 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • Bhupinder Gupta
    My views — in Kandha Guru Kavasam ,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wm2vVdFeeE&spfrel oad=10
    one word comes ‘ kanni ma “‘ there would be some concern or link with ( kumari kandam ) . at those times some things would had been took placed wrong . why the things were/are happening wrong and wrongs from the very very ancient times . humans were/are being spoiled killed .

    Were rama and ravana were enemy ? , if i am not wrong rama shakti and murgan and veerbhadra are same avatars . there would had been great conspirancies to kill the peoples .which were from the westren and south westron parts of himayalas .

    Culprits and cruel peoples , who had done cruelities on brahma and saraswati , and ganga and sita , ahiyilia , draupdi and on many goddesses and gods ,and on good peoples ,

    crores and crores of peoples are being killed ,destryoed in such a way no one can find out , and given different shapes and made to bad brains and minds , genetical deshaped and disorded to lusty and bad brains and bad minds . are made from single soul to multy humans souls to suffer and painful creatures to never become humans and buried alive under earth and even killed into stomaches and made to toilets and throughn into hells like toilets

    Krishna ,rama ,shiva and others mahans good were/are good peoples ,never do sins ,and indras and others were bad always doing sins and bad acts .why others peoples could not become good humans and peoples

    (my views , which i found some what truth )my views may or may not be acceptable truth.

    Many ramayanas are there , like valmiki ,vashist ,kamb, ramanujan ,ramayanaa are few of many other versons of ramayana ,
    what is the meaning of ramayana found ,– ramayana = ram +ayan ( ayan meaning came ) ,

    according to some stories ahyilyia was cursed by gotham rishi , Ahalya was converted to stone ,As for Ahalya, Gautama granted her the boon that she would be brought back to human form by the touch of the feet of Lord Rama .
    so rama avatar would had been made (incarnated) ,thus how many ramas would had been created ,

    would gotham rishi would be knowing about rama avatar ?

    like ramayana so many ahilya versons are there ,( like in a verson , ganga tells to gautam , it is mid night not the bath time go to home and see some thing would have been wrong ) .

    how many Ahilyas storeies would had been made and how many gautams would had been made and how many ahilyas lifes would had been spoiled ,how many indras would had been made and how many girls/boys souls would had been made to sit in hen or cock and make sound (cock crow) .thus how many would had been made culprits ,sinners ,bad brains ,bad habituals of bad acts and bad karma .
    and those cuilprits , sinners are/would had been made to quarrel and killed in the wars of ramanyana .?

    mahabharta , would had took placed for the revenges and the cruelties happened on ladies ( like savarupnakha ,sita ) . to show the cruelities ,gamblings were played and sarees were made to removed

    like ramayana vishvamitra story would have many versons

    mahabharata would had been happened for revenges of ramayana and ramayana would had been happened for ahiylia and what would be reason behind ahiliyia insult was conspirancies or any ones evil idea .

    really how many would had been real culptits and how many would had been created and how many would had been victims of vengences and eneyminities and how many peoples souls would had been killed

    killed peoples would had been given births to different parents , differnt mothers ,different fathers , and thus differnt marrages would had taken places in past birth some ones mothers would had been wife of some another person .and some wrong and illigal methods and would had been used like rapes for the birth and for enemities and revenges .
    thus quarrels would had been on increasing ,and peoples and souls became culprits and victims .
    according to one of the satguru video in the past arround 18 millions years 1.8 crores years ago and one of the papa ji ( h.l. punja ) video , arround 80 millilons years ,8 crores years ago some incarnations had took placed and some wrong things and wrong marrages and wrong interchanged childrens were given births by the other not by their husbands .
    like this millions and millions peoples are accused .

    ( peoples which had to make lifes good and better , used the criminals ,and wrong ideas and methods for spoiling and destroying the lifes )

    More than 99 % of peoples, gods ,souls had been inocents ,had not been victims . if polatictics , conspirancies , crimanilites ,some wrong traditions and some wrong rules of few from the ancient times would had not been made.

    why the wrong and mishappenings happened and happenings from the very ancient times , why peoples went wrong for wrong marrages wrong acts
    Why the gods , devatas , peoples and humans became wrong of bad wisdoms and wrong acts and bad karmas , instead of becoming good humans and peoples

    for examples of very few , link given below–copy & paste
    1/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2doBdnY8H8E

    2/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OByGdKO4814
    replydelete

    Like
    Bhupinder Gupta
    Bhupinder Gupta
    Dec 01, 2014 at 09:34 pm
    நல்லவங்களா , உங்கள் குர்ட்மம் , உங்கள் வாழ்க்கை ,சஹோதரகள், சஹோதிரிகள் , அம்மா , அப்பா ,பெற்றோர்கள், கொழொன்டைகள் , பாசம் , அன்பு ஓடை நல்லவங்கள , நல்லமன்ஷங்கள் வாழ்கை .வளற்கை
    replydelete

    Like

  • “has the maximum depth of the sea of 200 meters.” That is grossly inaccurate. Looking at a map of the area the depth of the sea is rarely less than 2000 meters and frequently over 5000. And nothing about the topography of the area even hints at a sunken land mass.

    These are very interesting myths, but they have no basis in reality, certainly not when taken literally.

    • Not only that, but the languages of the aborigines in Australia have been demonstrated to be completely independent from any other language group. They moved over to Australia some 60,000 years ago it is estimated, and were in isolation until the Brits came and started sticking flags in things. No way is their language connected with anything Tamil.

    • Yes you are right many claims but nothing substantial to back it up. Kumari Kandam existed but not the way they make it out to be a solid land mass from Africa to Australia.

  • Why don’t the present archaeological people do a research again and find out the myths. It will be really interesting

    • they have and they have confirmed that its a myth. Kumari kandam is nothing but another name for the hypothetican continent of Lemuria. the existance of lemuria is now discredited as modern theory of plate tectonics explain the biogeographic discontinuities which lemuria was supposed to account for … by the myth still lives on mostly due to Tamil sub-nationalism .. the aryan invasion is another such favourite myth of tamil nationalists which has also been refuted scientifically

      • Its not a myth, it’s the truth. Kumari Kandam still exists under the sea, We do have literature dating back to 10000 BC, Tamil is the ancient language In India, Dravidians are the natives, Harrapa and Mohenjadaro civilizations are Dravidian civilizations which has been confirmed. Phalus worship was first done by Dravidians, then came the Aryans who worshiped in everything they feared, mainly animals.. These have scientific proof and even the literature had backed it. Somehow people in North India didn’t want to believe it, south India never in the history was under any ruler from the North.. The main myth is Rama coming to south India to Srilanka to salvage Sita, never happened and there is no scientific proof backing this info, neither in south India nor in Srilanka… The politics is that the funds for archeological studies should come from North India which they don’t want to do rather spend on this and reveal the truth.

        • Spot on, especially on the finance part for archaeological expedition. Indian government fears that large scale expeditions will reveal the truth and will cause the raise of Tamil nationalism and purposefully keeps it under wraps and keeps low profile. Just check the amount of money and research done about history of North India and the amount of money and time spent for South indian history! Even more evident is the history taught in central school syllabus which barely mentions about Kings of south and full focus is on Kings of North. Even the recent expedition off mamallapuram shore temple, about 1 km from coast shows clear structures which date back around 1500 years according to the NIO, a central agency itself. Remember mamallapuram is a more recent history in the overall history of Tamil language and culture.

  • Wah what a story. Nice for catoon movies. This is all false stories by Tamil nationalists to spread Tamil Supremacy. Sri rama lived in Tretatuga 13 Lakh years ago and there was sea between Bharath and Lanka on which Ramar built Sethu with thr help of Vanaras which exists even today and can clearly see from sattelite pictures. Rama killed Demon Ravana to bring back his beloved wife Seetha Mata which is the truth!

  • If this happened around 300 BC, then how would one explain Ramayana’s events? Cause according to that story, there was a gulf between India and Sri Lanka, then, unlike this pic above which covers India’s mainland, till Madagascar(west) and Australia(in the east). Plus, what about the theory of India’s geographical location shifting from South-east Africa to the land, where its now in? Never heard about any mentions of an extended land mass this big. And what about the cultural change? Never found any Tamil natives in masses in the jungles of Australia, nor found any historical evidence of their ancestors, migrating, either.

  • While I found the article interesting there are no real citations to prove your points and to make claims that Australian tribes and African tribes speak Tamil is just wrong and makes you look foolish. Stick to what is true and don’t make false claims. Also try to be a lot more scholarly this article sounds like it was written by a grade 6 student regarding intellectual rigor.

  • The wise ones and diviners in South Africa are called Sangomas …the same as Sangoms who are the sages in ancient India. The healers are called Ngangas in South Africa while the ancient healers in South India are called Nagas. Mystical words of power in South Africa are also similar or same as in South India as well.

  • Then how did lord Ram build a path to Sri Lanka when he went to save Sita. By this, the path was already there?

  • The Main reason I believe this theory without any evidence is because Africans and Tamizhs are the only race on earth to have the same skin colour
    BLACK
    any excuse for this please!!!

  • Madurai? Madura still exist today Island North of east java. the eastern part of east java sea oil and gas block is called north east madura (NEM) is part of the sunken sundaland where the capital of lost continent atlantis was located.

Kumari Kandam - The Lost Continent

Follow us on Social Media

Join our list

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing. Please check your Email to confirm Subscription

Something went wrong.

Join our list

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing. Please check your Email to confirm Subscription

Something went wrong.