Dravida Kingdom

Dravida is mentioned as one of the kingdoms in the southern part of present-day mainland India during the time of the Mahabharata.

Dravida in the MahabharataEdit

Dravida is listed among the ancient Indian (Bharata Varsha) kingdoms:

"In the south, are the Dravidas, the Keralas, the Mushikas, and the Vanavashikas; the Karanatakas, the Mahishakas, the Vikalpas, and also the Mushakas; the Jhillikas, the Kuntalas. (6,9)"

The origin of DravidaEdit

The Mahabharata links the origin of Dravidas with sage Vasistha. Viswamitra, a king in the Chandravanshi Amavasu clan, attacked the cow of Vasistha. Then many armies emerged for the protection of that cow and they attacked the armies of Viswamitra.

Other kingdoms that were mentioned along with the Dravidas in this incident were Sakas, Yavanas, Savaras, Kanchis, Paundras and Kiratas, Nishada, Yavanas and Sinhalas, and the barbarous kingdoms of Khasas, Chivukas, Pulindas, Chinas Hunas with Keralas, Mleecchas etc.

Sahadeva's conquestsEdit

Pandava Sahadeva reached the Dravida country during his southern military campaign.

Sahadeva brought under his subjection and exacted tributes from the Paundrayas, the Dravidas along with the Udrakeralas and the Andhras and the Talavanas. He also vanquished the Karanatakas, Pashandas, the town of Sanjayanti, the Kalinga, the Ustrakarnikas, the city of Atavi and the city of Yavanas. (2,30)

Yudhishthira's RajasuyaEdit

Dravidas are mentioned along with other kings who attended Pandava king Yudhishthira's Rajasuya sacrifice.

The kings of the Dravidas and the Singhalas were present in the sacrifice (2,33). On another occasion, the Cheras, Cholas and Dravidas (3,51).

Pandavas visited Dravida land during their pilgrimageEdit

Pandavas reached the sea in the Dravida land, and visited the holy spot passing under Agastya’s name, which was exceedingly sacred and exceptionally pure. And the valiant king visited the feminine sacred spots. They visited one by one those holy places on the coast of the sea and many other sacred spots and came to the holiest of all known by the name of Suparaka. (3,118)

Arjuna's conquestsEdit

Arjuna in his military campaign after the Kurukshetra War, visited Dravida country

Arjuna proceeded towards the southern ocean. In those regions battle took place between him and the Dravidas and Andhras and the fierce Mahishakas and the hillmen of Kolwa. (14,83)

Dravidas in Kurukshetra WarEdit

On the side of PandavasEdit

  • Arjuna converted the people of the Dravida land to be a portion of his own army (5,22)
  • The Kuntalas, the Andhras, and the Talacharas, and the Shuchupas, and the Venupas were described as allies of Pandavas (5,140)
  • The Pandyas, the Cholas, the Keralas and the Andhras supported Dhristadyumna, Sikhandi and Satyaki. (8,12)
  • The Andhaka, and the Nishada foot-soldiers, urged on by Satyaki, once more rushed towards Karna in that battle (8,49)

On the side of KauravasEdit

  • The Kamvojas, the Sakas, the Khasas, the Salwas, the Mlechchhas, the Pulindas, the Dravidas, the Andhras, and the Kanchis were described as allied to the Kauravas (5-161,162)
  • The Kaikeyas, the Malavas, the Madrakas the Dravidas of fierce prowess, the Yaudheyas, the Lalittyas, the chander, the Usinaras, the Tundikeras, the Savitriputras who supported Karna were slain by Arjuna (8,5)

Dravida Kingdom in the Pallava EraEdit

Dravida was conquered twice during the Pallava dynasty, first by Dhruvaniti around 400 CE, and again by Kongani-varma III in the late 6th and early 7th Century.[1][2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Foulkes, Thomas. “The Pallavas.” The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 17, no. 2, 1885, pp. 183–220. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25197020. Accessed 27 May 2020.
  2. ^ Charles Philip Brown, 1863, Carnatic Chronology: The Hindu and Mahomedan methods of reckoning time explained: with essays on the systems; symbols used for numerals, a new titular method of memory, etc., London, Bernard Quaritch, pg.41