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Ilandiraiyan (fl.c. 190 CE[1]) was a ruler of Kanchipuram and a contemporary of the Early Chola king, Karikala.[2][3] Some consider him the founder of the Pallava dynasty.[4] Ilandiraiyan is referred to in the literature of the Sangam period and is the hero of some of the poems in the Pathupattu. He was a poet himself and four of his songs are extant even today.[3] He is also known as Tondaiman Ilandiraiyan as Kanchipuram is located in the region known as Tondaimandalam.[4]


According to P. T. Srinivasa Iyengar, Ilandiraiyan ascended the throne of Kanchi during the reign of the Chola king Karikal and was probably, a feudatory of the latter. Ilandiraiyan is believed to have been a weak, minor chieftain who had little power and waged no battles.

In poetry[edit]

Uruttiragannanar who wrote the Paṭṭiṉappālai, gives a vivid description of Ilandiraiyan's kingdom and capital city of Kanchi in his poem Perumpāṇāṟṟuppaṭai. He advises "poets seeking rewards" to go to the court of Tondaiman Ilandiraiyan, "the great patron of bards".[5] The Perumpāṇāṟṟuppaṭai contains 500 lines in the akaval metre eulogising Ilandiraiyan as well as providing a mythical origin for the Tondaiman clan.[1]

Ilandiraiyan was also a poet himself with four of his songs still extant. One of them is on the importance of personal character and its benefits on good rule.[3] Ode 185 of the Puṟanāṉūṟu is attributed to Tondaiman Ilandiraiyan.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Zvelebil 1974, p. 23.
  2. ^ Iyengar 1929, p. 397.
  3. ^ a b c Sastri 1961, p. 126.
  4. ^ a b Ramaswamy 2007, p. 80.
  5. ^ Iyengar 1929, p. 388.