Have you heard of a continent that is lost from the earth beneath the ocean? Have you heard of the continent called Lemuria or Kumari Kandam? If not let’s try and understand the researcher’s perspective to this lost continent. With the advancement of technology and scientific capabilities, archeologists and scientist have proposed many new theories and existence of civilizations in the past. You can find many references of the sunken cities. One most talked city example is Dwarika in Gujarat, India. Similarly, a theory proposed in the 19th century suggests the existence of land referred to as Lemuria in south of existing India. The name comes from the lemur fossils (Lemurs are ancestral primates like monkeys, apes, and humans that are considered to have evolved from them) found in Madagascar and India but not in Middle East or Africa. This lead to the theory that India and Madagascar were once part of a larger sunken continent that was named as ‘Lemuria’ located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Definitely sunken continents do exist – like Zealandia in the Pacific or Mauritia and the Kerguelen Plateau of Indian Ocean, but due to scarcity of data and known geological formation under the Indian or Pacific Oceans that resulted into the hypothetical Lemuria which is no longer considered a valid scientific hypothesis.
The hypothesis of existence of sunken continent Lemuria has been taken by writers involved in the mystical, magical powers, supernatural practices, or phenomena in India. References of Lemuria differ amongst them, but all agree that a continent existed in ancient times in south India and sank beneath the ocean as a result of a geological, disastrous change due to pole shift or some unknown phenomenon. Some writers have tried to associate Lemuria with Kumari Kandam (sunken land that connected Madagascar to South India and Australia that covers most part of the Indian Ocean), a legendary sunken mainland area referenced in the Tamil literature claiming that it was the foundation of civilization.
A group of Tamil writers who are member of the clergy and promote religious revival adapted this theory. These people perform religious revivals that travel and conduct revivals. They connected it to the Pandyan rulers and legends who were ruling the lost lands to the ocean, which is mentioned at many places in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit literature. They mention about the loss of Pandyan kingdom territory to the sea. This is found in scattered versions of Purananuru (dated between 1st century BCE and 5th century CE) and Kaliththokai (6th-7th century CE).. According to their philosophy, Kumari Kandam was the region where the initial two Tamil literary academies (referred to as Sangams) were organized during the Pandyan reign. The Tamil Sangams or Cankams according to traditional Tamil references were assemblies of Tamil scholars and poets that existed way back in past. Scholars consider that these assemblies were actually named as kootam. In all three sects or assemblies are found to have existed in descriptions in texts. It is accepted that the first two were held in cities that got submerged into sea and the third assembly was held in the present-day city of Madurai. They claimed Kumari Kandam as the cradle of civilization (a term referring to locations where according to archaeological sources civilization is considered to have emerged) to prove the history of Tamil language and culture. The words “Kumari Kandam” is seen to have appeared first in Kanda Purana which is a 15th-century Tamil version of the Skanda Purana, written by Kachiappa Sivacharyara (1350-1420).Other medieval writers also make references to the loss of ancient lands to the south of Kanyakumari, in different explanations on ancient texts such as Tolkappiyam. The Tolkappiyam is a work on the grammar of the Tamil language and the ancient and historical earliest work on Tamil literature and linguistics.
There are also various other ancient references that talks about loss of land to the sea. Many Tamil Hindu shrines have legendary references that talks on surviving the floods mentioned in Hindu mythology which could be seen in temples of Kanyakumari, Kanchipuram, Kumbakonam, Madurai, Sirkazhi and Tiruvottiyur. In addition, there are also mentions of temples submerged under the sea, such as the Seven Pagodas of Mahabalipuram. One of the most important stories as per Puranas keep the start of life at the beginning of the very popular Hindu flood story – the legend of Manu in India. The Sanskrit-language Bhagavata Purana (dated 500 BCE-1000 CE) describes Manu as the Lord of India. In another reference in Manimeghalai (dated around 6th century CE) mentions that the historical port city of Kavirippumpattinam during Chola period (modern day Puhar) was destroyed completely by a flood. It is said that this flood was created by the Hindu deity Indra because Chola king forgot to celebrate a festival dedicated to him.
Unfortunately none of these ancient Indian texts or their medieval explanations uses the name “Kumari Kandam” for the land supposedly lost due to rise of sea levels. These texts do not even mention that the land lost to the sea was a big mainland continent and was located in the south of Kanyakumari. In modern times according to the research work done at India’s National Institute of Oceanography, it is found that the sea level at that time was lower by 100m about 14,500 years ago. The sea level was lower by 60 m about 10,000 years ago. Hence as per modern understanding, it is very well possible that there could have been land that is lost to the see. This can very well be seen in the theory that says once a land bridge exists that connected India to Sri Lanka. Due to global warming around 10,000-12,000 years back, the rising sea levels resulted in flooding. This could be considered to have been basis for submerged prehistoric settlements that existed around the lowland coastal areas of India and Sri Lanka.
One prominent piece of evidence that partially supports the existence of Kumari Kandam is Adam’s Bridge (also known as Ram Setu). This bridge is a chain of limestone shoals located in the Palk Strait area between India and Sri Lanka. It extends around 18 miles from mainland India to Sri Lanka. This strip of land was once considered to be a natural formation however few argue that images taken by a NASA satellite depict it as a long broken bridge under the ocean’s surface.
As with many of the proposed theories from time to time, it seems a mix of thoughts exists and that there is some truth to the ancient thoughts on the existence of land called Kumari Kandam but still more studies and evidences and proofs are needed which is yet to be determined to make a final decision.
– See more at: https://www.myind.net/lost-continent-lemuria-or-kumari-kandam