The Lost Tamil Kingdom Of Kumari Kandam
The name 'Kumari Kandam' first appeared in the 15th century when Tamil scholar Kachiappa Sivachariyar described the cosmological model of the universe in the Tamil version of Skanda Purana.
The translation of what Kachiappa Sivachariyar wrote in the Andakosappadalam section of Skanda Purana :
“There are many worlds, each having several continents, which in turn, have several kingdoms. Paratan, the ruler of one such kingdom, had eight sons and one daughter. He further divided his kingdom into nine parts, and the part ruled by his daughter Kumari came to be known as Kumari Kandam after her.”
Later, numerous Tamil scholars further detailed Kumari Kandam, which they believed to have existed in the south of the Indian subcontinent. The most prominent of them was Devaneya Pavanar (1902-1981), who authored several research volumes elaborating on this Pandya kingdom. Devaneya Pavanar drew inspiration from Pandya legends and described how this landmass had been ruled by the Pandya kings for over 10,000 years before it was taken by the ocean. Back then, Kumari Kandam was more of a Tamil nationalist sentiment and was used widely in anti-brahmin and anti-Sanscrit movements. Scholars including Pavanar advocated that Tamil was the true Indian language and that Dravidians were the real natives of the country. The scholars explained that when sea level started to rise, the people of Kumari Kandam started migrating to the present-day Indian sub-continent and other parts of the world, thus acting as the foundations of human civilization in those areas.
The idea of this sunken landmass was not limited just to Indian legends and literature. Philip Lutley Sclater, a 19th-century English zoologist, proposed a submerged land bridge or landmass connecting Madagascar and South India in one of his papers. He came to that conclusion when he found the fossils of Lemurs in India; a species of mammals that were indigenous in the Madagascar islands. He believed that the migration of Lemurs would not have been possible if the landmasses were not linked. Sclater also explained that this landmass or bridge must have gotten submerged under the ocean towards the end of the last ice age, and he named this lost landmass 'Lemuria'. Later, a lot of European and American scholars supported this hypothesis and used it to explain some key geological, cultural, and ethnic similarities between Madagascar, South India, and Australia.
Although the Lemurian theory was later antiquated by the plate tectonics theory, supporters of Kumari Kandam still uphold Letley's hypothesis as one of the reasons to consider the Pandian legend authentic.
The geological possibility of Kumari Kandam may be something obsolete to our present scientific theories. But humans have had a history of coming across occurrences and findings which have questioned the scientific principles and theories of the time. Don't forget, we are the descendants of people who thought that the earth was flat. As science advances, we will see new theories and things we now find illogical and unscientific could make sense in the future. What do you think? Feel free to comment down your thoughts.