A nation in South India, the Pandiyas. Their country comprised the greater part of the Madura and Tinnevelly, with its capital first at Kolkai and later at Madhurā.

Ceylon was inconstant communication with this country, both peaceful and otherwise. Marauding bands of Pandūs often came to Ceylon and, having deposed the rightful sovereign, ruled over the country. Chief among these invasions were the following: (a) for fourteen years, when Vattagāmani lay in hiding; (b) for twenty seven years, after the death of Mahānāma and until Dhātusena established his authority; (c) in the time of Sena I.; (d) after the death of Mahinda V. They also came with Māgha and Candabhānu, and, later, with āryacakkavattin, who succeeded in carrying the Tooth Relic away to the Pāndyan court; this was later rescued by Parakkamabāhu III. Sometimes the Singhalese kings would make reprisals by invading the Pāndyan territory   e.g., in the reign of Sena II., and, perhaps also, under Nissanka Malla. Parakkamabāhu I. sent an army under his general Lankāpura to help the Pāndyan king Parākrama Pāndya against the Cola king, Kulasekhara. This, according to the Mahāvamsa account, brought great joy to the Singhalese.

Mention is made in the chronicles of several marriages between members of the Pāndyan and the Singhalese royal families. Vijaya himself took his consort from the Pāndyan king at Madhurā, and later, Mittā, sister of Vijayabāhu I., married a Pāndyan prince who became the grandfather of Parakkamabāhu 1. This led to the establishment of a "Pāndyan party" in Ceylon which was not always loyal to the reigning monarch   e.g., in the case of Vikkamabāhu III. Parakkama Pandu, who deposed Līlāvati, evidently belonged to this party and probably also Vijaya III. The Pāndyan kings claimed descent from the Lunar race.

Codrington, op. cit., 15. For other references, see under the names mentioned. Reference should also be made to the Index at the end of the Cūlavamsa, s.v. Pandū.

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