Contrary to popular belief,there were five Kingdoms of the Tamils and not three kingdoms,Chera,Chola and Pandya.
The five Kingdoms are,
While the Chera Kingdom extended ,
‘By the early centuries of the Common Era, civil society and statehood under the Cheras were developed in present-day western Tamil Nadu. The location of the Chera capital is generally assumed to be at modern Karur (identified with the Korura of Ptolemy). The Chera kingdom later extended to the plains of Kerala, the Palghat gap, along the river Bharathappuzha and occupied land between the river Bharathappuzha and river Periyar, creating two harbour towns, Tondi (Tyndis) and Muciri (Muziris),where the Roman trade settlements flourished.
The Chola and Pandya Kingdoms were in the interior parts of the present Tamil Nadu.
The western coastal areas were ruled by Cheras,Mushikas and Ays Dynasties.
As the first Chera has been mentioned as having participated in the Mahabharata battle, Chera kingdom is mentioned in the Aitreya Aranyaka of the Rig Veda Ramayana,Sumerian texts and by various historians of Greece,these Kingdoms are to be dated at least towards 5000BC,when Ramayana took place.
For date of Ramayana,please read my article on the date of Ramayana.
Rama’s ancestor Satyavrata Manu,also called as Vaiwasvatha Manu was from the south of Vindhya mountains and the region where he reigned was located near and included Madagascar.
And this was a part of Lemuria/MU.
So the date of these Chera kingdoms,of which the present State of Kerala was a part,may safely pushed back to 5000 BC.
And the landmass then was different,it was in Lemuria/MU.
‘The Cheras were an ancient Dravidian royal dynasty of Tamil origin. The first to establish an historical ruling dynasty in the area, they ruled wide-ranging areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in south-eastern and south-western India respectively, areas that had been settled since at least 5000 BC, when Neolithic carvings had been left in Edakkal Caves. Chera territory included regions such as Venad, Kuttanad, Kudanad, Pazhinad, and others, encompassing the area between Kanya Kumari in the south to Kasargod in the north (now in the far north of Kerala). Also included in this list are Palghat, Coimbatore, Salem and Kollimalai, although they quite probably did not rule all of these areas at all times as ancient borders could be quite fluid at times. Their core territory was in Kerala, while the later rise of the Pallavaspushed them out of Tamil Nadu. However, they did establish a capital at Vanchi, which was known by the Romans as Muzris after an active sea-borne trade sprang up between the two powers.’
The first Chera King was Vanavaramban” Perumchottu Uthiyan Cheralathan.
He took part in the Mahabharata War as the provider of food both to Pandava and Kaurava armies.
He had two sons,each ruling a part of Chera kingdom.
‘The Mushika Kingdom (Mushaka Rajya, also called Ezhimalai Rajya, Puzhinadu, Kolathunadu, Chirakkal Rajya among the more common names) was an ancient kingdom of the Tamil Sangam period in present-day Kerala, India, ruled by a royal dynasty of the same name. Its dominions, for most of its recorded history, covered the present-day regions of Northern Kerala, Tulunadu and Coorg, between the western slopes of the Western Ghats in the East and the Arabian Sea in the West.It was one of the five primary ruling dynasties in the ancient Tamilakam of recorded history, and in the Tamil Sangam Period, along with the Cheras, the Pandyas, the Cholas and the Ays. Ezhimalai Nannan was the most powerful ruler of Ezhimalai. He expanded the kingdom to include Gudalur and Coimbatore in his lifetime.
Reference to Mushikas in Mahabharata.
The Mahabharata mentions the Mushika as one of the kingdoms of South India, and is grouped with the Cheras, Pandyas and Cholas.The Mushika Dynasty in the Mahabharata indicates the Ay Dynasty in Thiruvananthapuram area possibly before the formally known Mushika Dynasty branched out.
The Tamil Sangam period is replete with mention of the Mushika Family, and especially that of their most famous ruler Nannan, who had his capital at Pazhi (Pazhayangadi).
The Greek traveler Strabo, who lived around 100 BCE, mentions the kingdom of Mushika in his accounts. The Greek geographer Ptolemy mentions the Ay Dynasty, the mother dynasty of Nannan (Mushika) in the Second Century C.E, and refers to it as “Aoi”
The Ay dynasty (I / Ai dynasty) (later known as the Venad and subsequently the Thiruvithamkur Dynasty) ruled parts of southern India from the early Sangam age, which spanned from c. 3rd century BC to c. 4th century AD, till the Independence of India. At their zenith, the dynasty ruled an area extending from Tiruvalla in the north to Nagercoil in the south including western Ghats inn the east.One part of the Ayi Kingdom was headquartered in Mavelikkara while another was headquartered at Periyaoor, later called Keezhperoor, Aykudi, Alwarkurichi,Tenkasi (Ayiraperi village), .
References and citations.
This king is mentioned in the eighth decade of the century by the poet Arisil Kilar after winning a great victory at Takadur against the Adiyaman and two great kings. However, his position in this list is highly subject to change, and he is never shown in the same place twice in other lists. He also goes by the name of Karuvar-Eryia-ol-val-ko-Perunceral Irumporai. It seems likely that he is the son or descendant of Yanaikat-sey Mantaran Cheral (of the second century AD), but the Barr List places him first (as does the Pillai list), ahead of the more traditional founder of the dynasty, Perumchottu Uthiyan Cheralathan, who is shown as the third ruler.
The succession after Peruncheral is where things become really complicated. The kingdom appears to divide in two or, more probably, forms a boundary region that is governed by a junior member of the royal house. Each of Peruncheral’s sons gain a throne of their own with one, seemingly the Vanavar (Vanavarambanas) branch, being the senior.
Natuvan (or Antuvan) Cheral Irumporai and Udiyan Cheral have been connected together as those two sons, since they are already accepted as being brothers. However, it is not certain that Peruncheral is their father. The accepted story is that Udiyan, carrying the dynastic name Vanavaramban, succeeds his father and conquers territory to the north, but he later places his brother Antuvan in charge there to begin a co-ruling ‘dynasty’ while he rules the main kingdom