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Yanaikatchai Mantaran Cheral Irumporai

Mantharan Cheral Irumporai (Tamil: மாந்தரன் சேரல் இரும்பொறை) was a ruler of the Chera dynasty in early historic south India (c. 1st - 4th century CE). He was a warring ruler, and constantly moved about the frontiers of his dominions. He was hailed "Yanai Katchai" meaning 'the One with an Eye-sight Like an Elephant'.[1]

Mantharan Cheral Irumporai
Chera ruler

According to early Tamil literature, Mantharan Cheral was a contemporary of famous Pandya ruler Nedum Chezhian (II, early 3rd century CE[2]).[3] Purananuru tells that he participated in the battle of Talaiyalam-Kanam allied with Chola ruler Killivalavan and five other small rulers including Ezhini, Thithiyan, Irungo Vaenman, Porunan and Erumaiyuran against Nedum Chezhian.[4] However, the Pandyas invaded the Chera country, won the battle and Mantharan Cheral 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". Mantharan 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".[5]

The Chola ruler Rajasuyamvetta Perunnarkilli was also at war with Mantharan Cheral, and Thervan Malayan chief of Miladu is said to have assisted the Cholas in these battles. Kurunkozhiyur Kizhar, a poet in the Mantharan Cheral's court, praises the king for having once saved a city called Vilamkil from the enemies.

The poet Kurunkozhiyur Kizhar and Kudalur Kizhar who were present at the death of Mandaran Cheral state that the death was portended by a falling star (possibly a comet) seven days previous to the occurrence.

The mentioned brightly visualised comet that appeared in the said month of March and April might have been the Halley's comet of 141 CE (February–April) under the Aries across Phalguna.[7] [8][9][10]


  1. ^ (PN:53,20,22)
  2. ^ "India - The Shunga kingdom". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  3. ^ Kanakasabhai, V (1904), The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago, Asian Educational Services, New Delhi.
  4. ^ (PN:20,22,32,53 & 229)
  5. ^ (Purananuru-PN:229)
  6. ^ (PN:229)
  7. ^ Ravene, G (1897), 'The appearance of Halley's Comet in A.D. 141', in The Observatory 20: pp. 203-205.
  8. ^ Purananuru, Sangam literature of Ancient Tamils: verses-20,22
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^