Korkai is located in Thoothukudi district in Eral village at least 25 km from Tiruchendur road. Recently, the CM talked about the upliftment and restoration of civilization. The city was a commercial city during the Sangam period. While the Chola build a port in the city by invoking its lesser distance from the sea.
Finding its history in the epic literature of the Kannagi period, the Korkai was known to have an abundant amount of pearls. People were found bathing in pearls. The quality of the pearl was so good that it was worn by Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen. Citing the golden history associated with the Kannagi civilization, the government of Tamil Nadu has embarked on a quest to trace it.
CM Stalin allocates 15 crores for Kannagi civilization
MK Stalin, CM of Tamil Nadu has allocated 15 crores for research regarding Kannagi civilization. The National Institute of Marine Technology has started excavating the Sagar Dara for any crucial finds. Apart from this, pre-excavations are also being carried out in the 13 km sea zone between Thoothukudi port and Tiruchendur.
Speaking to the media, the minister said authorities had also carried out searches earlier. During this time, researchers discovered that trade was carried out on the banks of the Ganges from countries such as Rome and Sri Lanka. Apart from this, Korkai was also a trading town before the 8th century BC, Minister Thangam Thennarasu said.
Contribution of M Karunanidhi to Poompuhar
Former Chief Minister Mr. Karunanidhi was also keen to give artistic form to Kannagi architecture. The CM was reluctant to come up with an epic scene from ‘Silapathikaram’. He tried to give a sculptural form to all the historical ones like Govalan and Kannagi. It was Ms. Karunanidhi’s efforts that helped transform the epic literature of the state into visual. He was the first person to want to bring all the discoveries to the public.
Finds during excavations at Korkai
It was noted that around 812 objects were found during the Korkai excavations. Items such as conch bracelets, stone beads, iron fragments, copper bracelets, filter pipes, Gangetic pottery, Egyptian pottery and Chinese pottery have been found in the Korkai excavations .
Apart from that, brick construction and two-storey brick storage tank were also available. Similar constructions were found earlier at Keezhadi, Poompuhar and Arikamedu. Citing all this, CM Stalin is ready to conduct research under the sea to learn more about the 3000-year-old civilization that submerged under the sea. Earlier in 1968, the government conducted the first research in Korkai. During the search, a brick structure two and a half feet deep was found. In addition, a construction consisting of nine floors as well as brick and flint castings were also found.
What is Korkai’s story?
Korkai was located in the Thoothukudi district of the state of Tamil Nadu. One can reach the city after traveling 25 km on the road to Tiruchendur. Korkai is believed to be the region where the ‘Thanporunai’ civilization was located. In the current context, Thanporunai is Thamiraparani.
Previously, Korkai was ruled by a king named ‘Vetrivel chezhiyan’. However, when Kannagi came from Poompuhar with a chilambu, he demanded justice and burned Madurai. The main reason for this fire was the wrong information given by a goldsmith which led to the massacre of 1000 blacksmiths who lived in his country. During the Sangam period, each king had two capitals. Vanchi and Mushiri to King Chola. Popular was the residence of King Chola. King Pandya had Madurai and Korkai.
The Kannaki temple was also located in Korkai. Even today, people believe that the pond here was known as ‘Kannimar Kuttam’, which translates to ‘King’s Bath’. The maritime document Periplus of the Erythraean Sea refers to Colchi as Korkai. It was first excavated by Caldwell in 1876. He published this study in The Indian Antiquary journal, said researcher Selvakumar. The government of Tamil Nadu has embarked on the task of investigating the civilization of the Tamils, which has been described as “epic-fantasy”, and proving that “all the data is true through excavations in the world arena”.
Article first published: Friday, September 23, 2022, 8:03 p.m. [IST]