Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Lost Continent


Kumari Kandam (குமரிக்கண்டம் Kumarikkaṇṭam) is the name of a legendary sunken landmass said to have been located to the south of present-day Kanyakumari District at the southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean. The legend assigns the continent and its final submergence an antiquity ranging in tens of thousands of years.

The Continent of Kumari Kandam – Lumuria:

The continent of Lemuria is referred as "Kumari Kandam" in ancient Tamil literature. Tamil is one of the world's classical languages. Tamil has continuous historical records for more than 2000 years and Tamil language was recognized as a classical language in India (beside the other being Sanscrit). Tamil does not belong to the Indo-European language family.

"One can imagine the strength and magnitude of the Tidal wave required to devour a mountainous area that had existed in the ancient coastal belt of the Tamil world”

He also refers to records in Mahavansa, the buddhist chronicle of Sri Lanka. References in Tamil records speak about devouring of landmass by the sea (kadatkol). "The earliest connected account about kadatkol occurs in the commentary on Iraiyanar akapporul

Tamil poets were lamenting about "kadatkol" (devouring of the land by the sea) so often that scholars found it difficult to explain these references of devouring the land mass with towns and villages by the sea.

"Even though modern scholars date this commentary to the eighth century CE, the tale refers to three Tamil academies which existed for almost ten thousand years”

It is believed by some Tamil scholars that the first academy existed at southern Maturai and was terminated by sea devouring the city. The Pandya king established a second academy at Kapadapuram. Again, the sea devoured the city. The Pandya king established the third academy in present Maturai (far away from sea coast).

"What is available now as Cankam literature is mentioned as productions of the third academy,"

"The sea devouring entire sea coast cities in the Indian Ocean area was something that many modern scholars dismissed as unrealistic. It now appears very probable that this tale about devouring of land by the sea, is not just a legend, as some modern scholars surmised.”

"Tamils have by long historical tradition associated themselves with the sea.’Cross the seas and make the fortunes' (Thirai Kadal Odiyum Thiraviam Thedu) is a motto of the ancient Tamils who were driven to make wealth through sea trade," says professor Sittampalam, Dean of the faculty of advanced studies, University of Jaffna.

"International trade ports are mentioned in the Sangam Literature in Tamil, as well as in Greek and Roman literatures. The Chola Empire had the most powerful Navy during its time. Even as late as in the period of 10th - 15th Century Tamil language was the language of sea trade in the Indian Ocean," says professor Sittampalam. "Tamils engaged in sea trade spread to other countries, especially in Asia and took along their culture and language. For example, there was found a 2000-years-old pot in Egypt that has Tamil letters on it. The 14th Century inscription was found in Galle, Sri Lanka, has inscriptions is in three languages: Tamil, Chinese and Persian".

The Cilappatikaram and the Manimekalai, the two earliest epics/narrative poems in Tamil, both refer to a vast landmass that was swallowed by a "cataclysmic landslip" or "on-rush of the sea." These landslips have submerged vast territory that was called Kumai Nadu or Kumari Kandam, known also as Lemuria to western scholars.

"Even though there is some controversy on the exact date of these works, certain inferences can be made. Large scale destruction by kadatkol seems to have made deep impressions to the Tamil psyche," The Manimekalai refers in graphic terms to the sea devouring Poompukar or Kavirippoompaddinam, the Chola capital, port and emporium of foreign trade. The New Indian Express of December 2002 published an article that Poompukar site could be the cradle of world civilization, mentioning discovery of archaeological remains of a port city under the sea and hypotheses of well-known scholars. "Reading this with the background of the magnificent description of the prosperity of this cosmopolitan port-city, it is possible now to visualize that a huge tragedy of that magnitude could have taken place.”

Tamil scholars note that there have been at least three major floods according to the references they find in Tamil literature and vast part of ancient literature was lost as a result of such events.

"Adiyarkkunallar, the medieval commentator to the Cilappatikaram, gives intriguing details about lands devoured by the sea. He mentions about Ezh Tenku nadu, Ezh Panai nadu, Ezh Kunakarai nadu, etc., listing seven such regions. As Ezh can mean 'seven', some later interpreters say that 49 regions (7 by 7) were devoured by the sea.” Some Tamil historians argue that the political power of the Tamils diminished due to repeated re-locations and vast damage that was caused to the ancient Tamil homeland by the deluges.

What we know of the antiquity of Tamil civilization seems to be top of an iceberg. More exciting and interesting prehistory of Tamils may emerge from the jolt applied by the tsunami. Scientific details relating to these catastrophic events, particularly the correlation of the available socio-anthropological knowledge from the Tamil literature with geological research is yet to be found or ascertained. There is ample scope for Tamil scholars, socio-anthropologists and geologists to do further research on these topics.

However, I’ll bet you’ve never heard of the Tamil analogue, the lost continent of ! KumariKandam Proponents say Kumarikandam is Lemuria, different names for the same continent that once covered most of the Indian ocean:

Sri Lanka together with India, Indonesia and Malaysia were a part of this continent. Many islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans are remnants of this continent that in ancient time covered the whole area of today’s ocean

It turns out that everything does not actually come from India, it comes from Kumari Kandam. And by everything, I do mean everything.

“Homo Dravida” first evolved in Kumari Kandam; it is the cradle of civilization; the birthplace of all languages in general and of the Tamil language in particular. This is where the first and second great ages (Sangams?) of the Tamils happened, not in India, but in the true Dravidian homeland, further south.

R. Mathivanan, then Chief Editor of the Tamil Etymological Dictionary Project of the Government of Tamilnadu, in 1991 … the following timeline …:

ca. 200,000 to 50,000 BC: evolution of “the Tamilian or Homo Dravida”,
ca. 200,000 to 100,000 BC: beginnings of the Tamil language
50,000 BC: Kumari Kandam civilisation
20,000 BC: A lost Tamil culture of the Easter Island which had an advanced civilisation
16,000 BC: Lemuria submerged
6087 BC: Second Tamil Sangam established by a Pandya king
3031 BC: A Chera prince in his wanderings in the Solomon Island saw wild sugarcane and started cultivation in Tamilnadu.
1780 BC: The Third Tamil Sangam established by a Pandya king
7th century BC: Tolkappiyam (the earliest extant Tamil grammer)…

The continent was destroyed by three large floods which wiped out most of the golden civilization with it:

It is believed by some Tamil scholars that the first academy existed at southern Maturai and was terminated by sea devouring the city. The Pandya king established a second academy at Kapadapuram. Again, the sea devoured the city. The Pandya king established the third academy in present Maturai (far away from sea coast).

What was left was later wiped out by the Aryan invasion that corrupted the remnants of the once great Tamil civilizations:

“After imbibing the mania of the Aryan culture of destroying the enemy and their habitats, the Dravidians developed a new avenging and destructive war approach. This induced them to ruin the forts and cities of their own brethren out of enmity”.


BBC’s Report about the Lost Continent:

Scientists have discovered the remains of a "lost continent" beneath the waves of the Indian Ocean. Drilling by the Joides Resolution research vessel, which traverses the seas extracting samples from beneath the sea floor, suggests that the continent, about a third the size of present day Australia, sank from sight only 20 million years ago.

It lies beneath the southern Indian Ocean. Called the Kerguelen Plateau, it is one of the most remote places on Earth. The Joides Resolution, the world's largest research vessel, bored a series of holes through the undersea plateau, which is about two kilometres below the ocean surface. It brought to the surface many types of rocks associated with explosive volcanism, as well as sedimentary rocks similar to those found in India and Australia.

"We found abundant evidence that much of the Kerguelen Plateau formed above sea level," said Dr Mike Coffin of the University of Texas "Wood fragments, a seed, spores and pollen recovered in 90 million year-old sediment from the central Kerguelen Plateau indicates that it was above sea level.”Scientists believe that it rose out of the ocean about 110 million years ago, following a series of huge volcanic eruptions.