Tamilnadu in Ancient Literature

In 1967, when Anna ascended to the Chief Minister’s chair, he named this state ‘Tamilnadu’. ‘Nadu’ translates to country. Many started criticising this decision saying ‘how can a state be termed as a country?’ Such criticisms are prevalent even today. But when one sees the state’s background and history, they would definitely feel that the name is justified. History backs up the fact that Tamilnadu was a kingdom by itself. The expanse of this kingdom is also documented in ancient literature. Here are a few examples to support this claim. An excerpt from Paripaadal Thirattu, which is at least 2000 years old, goes as follows – ‘Thandamizh Veli Tamizhnaattu Agamelaam’. Silappadhikaaram, one of the 5 great epics of Tamil literature, says – ‘Imizhkadal Veliyai Tamizhnaadaakkiya..’. Another excerpt from the same text – ‘Thenramizh Nannaattu Sezhuvir’. Silappadhikaram is dated to have happened before 1800 years. So that should give us a fair idea of Tamilnadu’s vastness.