Yanaikatchai Mantaran Cheral Irumporai
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Yanaikatcei Mandaran Cheral Irumporai was a king of the Chera Kingdom in ancient South India, during the Sangam period. He was a warring ruler, and constantly moved about the frontiers of his dominions. He was hailed Yanaik-kann-cei meaning 'the child on the elephant' literally 'Lord Murugan', his beauty and grand posture resembling those of the Lord.
According to Sangam literature, he was a contemporary of famous Pandya ruler Nedum Chezhian (Nedum Chezhian II). Purananuru states that he participated in the Battle of Talaiyalam-Kanam allied with Chola ruler Killivalavan and five other small rulers including Ezhini, Thithiyan, Irungo Vaenmaan, Porunan and Erumaiyuran against Nedum Chezhian. However, the Pandyas invaded the Chera country, won the battle and the Chera king was taken as a prisoner to Madurai. After his court trial at Madurai he was locked in a fort inside a bamboo forest surrounded by the crocodile lake. Mantaran Cheral later escaped from his cell and returned to his country and "continued to rule his loving people in peace, plenty and harmony for many more uninterrupted years".
The Chola ruler Rajasuyam-vetta-peru-nar-killi was also at war with Mandaran Cheral, and Thervan Malayan chief of Miladu is said to have assisted the Cholas in this battle. Kurunkozhiyur Kizhaar, a poet in the Mandaran Cheral's court, praises the king for having once saved a city called Vilangil from the enemies.
The poet Kurunkozhiyur Kizhaar and Koodaloor Kizhaar who were present at the death of the king state that the death was portended by a falling star (possibly a comet) seven days previous to the occurrence.
"...after a bright falling star -with a leg erupting backward, appeared in the sky, amidst the Aadu (Aries) constellation, from the first leg of a Karthikai starday -past midnight, through to the Anusham starday in the first fortnight of the month of Panguni (Phalguna), neither moving north nor east, staying aput in solitude as an island, with the North star wandering, the Moolam star rising opposite and passing above it, and the Mrigasirisham star staying low over the port of Tondi, on the seventh day Mandaran Cheral Irumborai died suddenly."
"ஆடுஇயல் அழல் குட்டத்து
ஆரிருள் அரை இரவில்
கடைக் குலத்துக் கயம்காயப்,
தலை நாள்மீன் நிலைதிரிய,
நிலை நாள்மீன் அதன்எதிர் ஏர்தரத்,
தொல் நாள்மீன் துறைபடியப்,
பாசிச் செல்லாது, ஊசித் துன்னாது,
கனைஎரி பரப்பக், கால்எதிர்பு பொங்கி,
ஒருமீன் வீழ்ந்தன்றால், விசும்பி னானே;
அதுகண்டு, யாமும் பிறரும் பல்வேறு இரவலர்,
Thus the prediction of an imminent loss for the kingdom by the council of Vanaviyal Kanidar (ancient Tamil astrologers) came to be agonisingly true. The mentioned brightly visualised comet that appeared in the said month of March and April points to the Halley's comet of 141 CE (February–April 1 week) under the Aries across Panguni. This apparition was recorded in Chinese chronicles.
- Kanakasabhai, V (1904), The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago, Asian Educational Services, New Delhi.
- (PN:20,22,32,53 & 229)
- Purananuru, Sangam literature of Ancient Tamils: verses-20,22
- Ravene, G (1897), 'The appearance of Halley's Comet in A.D. 141', in The Observatory 20: pp. 203-205.
- Williams, John (1871), Observations of Comets, from B.C. 611 TO A.D. 1640, Royal Astronomical Society. London:Strangeways and Walden. Extracted from the Chinese Annals: ...and a Chinese celestial Atlas.