Did you know the mystery behind kumari kandam? Ever wondered what those thin strips between India and Sri Lanka were when you looked at the map of India in your geography classes? Well, here’s some insight into it for those who continue to ponder. Currently, under the name of Palk Strait or Adam’s bridge, this piece of land including India, encompassing several miles to the east and west is what is called the Kumari Kandam, literally meaning ‘The Land of Virgins’.
The Mystery Behind the Kumari Kandam
Kumari Kandam: The Lost Lands
This is a topic of debate among many scholars and researchers to the current day. Though no conclusion has been reached as of now, there are many theories and speculations as to whether a place called Kumari Kandam existed and why it is of high importance to the Tamilians.
The majority of us are well acquainted with the story of Atlantis, described by Plato. But, what most Indians are not aware of is a similar story in the Indian subcontinent. Around 15,000 years ago, India is said to have been expanded till Africa in the west, Sri Lanka in the south and Australia in the east, occupying a majority of the Indian Ocean.
What came next is the work of nature, also called Kadatkol, meaning the sea claiming and devouring the land. The land submerged taking the people living on these lands into the sea and scarce remains were left.
Kumari Kandam: The History
Kumari Kandam continues to be of extreme importance to the Tamilians as this part of South India, was said to have been ruled by the Pandyas who were headquartered in Madurai, a city located in the extreme south of Tamilnadu.
The Pandyas are said to have fostered Tamil literature and art like no other, which forms a major part of the literary evidence to the above claims. Three Tamil Sangams are said to have existed, where the Tamil poets and writers used to exhibit their intellect and artwork.
The first two sangams are said to have been patronized and brought up by a massive number of kings and were located to the south of the present-day Madurai. But when the sea deluges occurred the people moved further north to Madurai and started a Third Tamil Sangam here, which is said to have terminated sometime around the 350 AD.
The primary source for these claims is the works of the Third Tamil Sangam, where historical writings based on the Kadatkol were found. The present-day Madurai in itself occupies an area of about 240 sq. km., the Vaigai river separating the North and the South Madurai. But as evidence suggest, the Madurai under the Pandya reign should have been at least thrice as huge as the current Madurai, extending further to the south.
The Kalittogai, another Tamil literary work, also talks about a Pandyan king losing his lands to the sea. This work strongly supports the claim that these lands have existed, under the Pandya reign and were later submerged.
According to Ramayana, when Sita was abducted by Ravana, to Sri Lanka, Rama is said to have built a bridge across the sea from the Southern tip of India to Sri Lanka, to rescue Sita, which is called the Rama’s bridge. The bridge which was a full stretch from India to Sri Lanka is said to have been submerged partially due to certain natural calamities. This mass of land is said to have been comprised of Kumari Kandam.
These epics including many other poems and literary works depict the rich cultural heritage of our country. This evidence clearly showcases that we have one of the oldest civilizations and the reason our heritage is not being celebrated in our country, as much as the Americans and the Europeans do, will always continue to be a mystery.
Another theory to support this claim is the interest Philip Sclater took in the Madagascar Islands. Greatly influenced by Darwin’s theories of evolution, he undertook research in the fossils and animals in the islands of Madagascar and surrounding areas.
In his period of research, he found interesting similarities between the fossils and animals of India and Madagascar. He also observed that there were no such similarities between the fossils in Africa and Madagascar, which is closer to Africa than it is to India.
Based on this theory, the continent of Lemuria was proposed, which is to this day regarded as a mere hypothesis and by some people even obsolete. Many allege that Lemuria is the same as Kumari Kandam, but this theory like many others has its own oppositions.
Further, the National Institute of Oceanography, worked on the shores of Nagapattinam, unveiling a U-shaped structure that dates back to 9,000 BC making it one of the oldest known civilizations. Several other investigations unveiled that the sea level has risen by about 23 meters, over the past 11,000 years.
Also, Durham geologists show evidence of the maps of India that extend below Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin, including present-day Sri Lanka. These maps include features of India like no other map has ever showcased. Though such evidence strongly supports the existence of the late Kumari Kandam, there continue to be several disapprovals in this regard.
All of these, being hypotheses have no strong claims to support them. If one rewinds, there are many such hypothetical arguments in the history of India. These are the values that add to the heritage of a country. They form the basis upon which our culture is built. Getting to know more about the several myths, epics, legends, and the vast history will always continue to amuse us and if not till now, it’s high time we all take pride in the rich legacy that our ancestors have left for us.
A Chennai based Engineering student with a passion for literature, food, travel, and adventure!