Local Chieftains

Apart from the three Tamil kingdoms, a number of local chieftains ruled in different parts of Tamil Nadu. They were known as Velirs. The Sangam literature furnishes lot of information about them. The most famous among the Velirs were called Seven Patrons or Kadaiyelu Vallalgal. They were Pari, Ori, Malayan, Elini, Pegan, Aay, and Nalli.

The local chieftains had extended patronage to the Tamil poets like Kabilar,, Avvaiyar, Nallathanar and Perunchithiranar. In turn, these poets hailed them for their generosity. They had also extended their help to resolve any disputes between the rulers. For example, Avvaiyar played the role of a diplomat in the court of Adhiyaman. Another Sangam poet, Kapilar had taken care of Pari’s daughter’s after his death. These local chieftains made generous donations to the poets, bards and their consorts. Like the Chera, Chola and Pandya rulers, the local chieftains had also played a significant role in the political, social and cultural domains during the Sangam Age.