Tyndis (Ancient Greek: Τύνδις[1]) was an ancient Indian seaport/harbor-town mentioned in the Graeco-Roman writings. According to the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Tyndis was located north of port Muziris (Muchiri) in the country of the Keprobotos (present-day Kerala).[2] The Cheras of the early historical period (c. second century BCE - c. third century CE[3]) are known to have had their original centre at Karur in interior Tamil Nadu and harbours at Muchiri (Muziris) and Thondi (Tyndis) on the Indian Ocean coast (Kerala).[3] Tyndis was a satellite feeding port to Muziris, according to the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.[4]

Tondis on Peutinger Table (north of Templ Augusti and Lacus Muziris)

There are references to a port with the name Tondi, on the Kerala coast, in the early Tamil texts. It was under the control of the Chera rulers (probably via/under a collateral branch).[5][6] No archaeological evidence has been found for Tyndis.[5]

Different variations of the nameEdit

 
Names, routes and locations of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century CE)
  • Periplus of the Erythraean Sea - Tyndis[2]
  • Pliny the Elder (Natural History) - Tyndis[2]
  • Peutinger Table - Tondis[2]
  • Claudius Ptolemy (Geography) - Tyndis[2]

SourcesEdit

Graeco-Roman descriptionsEdit

  • Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (c. 1st century[2]), 54-56, mentions Tyndis as "a well known village on the coast".
    • "Naura and Tyndis, the first ports of trade of Limyrike"
    • "Tyndis, a well known village on the coast, is in the kingdom of Keprobotos..."
    • Tyndis is situated 500 stades (92 km) north to Muziris by river and sea.[2]
  • Pliny the Elder (1st century) - "the Caelobothras ruled a kingdom extending to Tyndis (on the north-west)".[2]
  • By the time Claudius Ptolemy (2nd century) wrote, Tyndis had grown large enough for him to call it (Geography 7.1.8) a town (polis).[7]
  • Tabula Peutingeriana locates Tondis north of Muziris (north of Templ Augusti and Lacus Muziris).[2]

Early Tamil textsEdit

There are references to a port with the name Tondi, on the Kerala coast, in the early Tamil texts. It was under the control of the Chera rulers (probably via/under a collateral branch).[5] No archaeological evidence has been found for Tyndis.[5]

LocationEdit

The location of Muziris provides clues for the location Tyndis, which was 500 stades (92 km) north of it (by river and sea).[2]

In ancient times, Tyndis held close connections with Chera kingdom. The historic archives documented the Chera Kingdom as the powerful Tamil Kingdom whose turf extends the entire present-day state of Kerala, Kanyakumari and expanding up to Kongu Nadu.

The perfect array of religions, customs, languages, and traditions over the flow of time reflects in the prosperous heritage of Malabar. Upon reaching the Tyndis port, they further traveled to the inlands using smaller boats and then by carts to the hill stations of Wayanad or Coorg, and then on wards in search of spices and precious herbs.


The exact location of the port is still unknown. Possible candidates include the following modern locations:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, 53 and 54
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gurukkal, R., & Whittaker, D. (2001). In search of Muziris. Journal of Roman Archaeology, 14, 334-350.
  3. ^ a b Gurukkal 2015, pp. 26–27.
  4. ^ "Official website of Ponnani Municipality".
  5. ^ a b c d Selvakumar, V. (25 November 2016). K. S. Mathew (ed.). Imperial Rome, Indian Ocean Regions and Muziris: New Perspectives on Maritime Trade. Taylor & Francis. pp. 274–76. ISBN 978-1-351-99752-2.
  6. ^ "Classical Indo-Roman Trade". Economic and Political Weekly. 48 (26–27). 5 June 2015.
  7. ^ Lionel Casson 2012, p. 213.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gurukkal, R., & Whittaker, D. (2001). In search of Muziris. Journal of Roman Archaeology, 14, 334-350.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit