Contrary to the misinformation being spread that the Tamil Polity and Culture were inimical to Sanatana Dharma references in the Mahabharata and ancient Tamil classics abound about the intricate and interwoven relationship between Sanatana Dharma and Tamils.
I have quite a few articles on this issue.
Lord Krishna married a Pandyan princess.
He had a daughter through her and he gifted his daughter diribg her marriage 100 Yadava Families, enjoining them with the task of providing Milk and Curds to her descendents.
Her name was Pandyah.
The wife of Lord Krishna was called Nappinnai and Andal, the Vaishnavaite Saint states this in her Thiruppavai which is sung even to day in Vaishnava Temples.
Arjuna married a Pandyan princess Chitrangadha and she was from Manalur Tamil Nadu.
Sahadeva defeated Cholas, Pandyas, Andhras and Cheras during his Dig Vijaya on the occasion of the Rajasuya yaga performed by Yudhistira.
Balarama visited Parashurama in the South which was then called Chera Kingdom.
Balarama worshiped Devi at Kanyakumari and Lord Murugan at Valliyur, Tamil Nadu.
Chera Kimg Udiyan Cheralathan fed both the Pandya and Kaurava armies during the Kurukshetra War.
Pandya King Malayathdwaja fought alongside the Pandavas during the Mahabharata War and wounded Dronacharya.
He was the father of Meenakshi after whom the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple is named.
(Please read a detailed post on this in thecsite)
Now I have come across references in the Mahabharata that Lord Krishna broke open the gates of a Pandyan King Kulasekhara and killed him in a battle.( VII.11.398) and VIII.23.1016)
‘ Kulashekharan is said to be as strong as a bull. He is apparently killed by Lord Krishna, but although his son wants to avenge his father’s death, he is dissuaded from doing so by his well wishers.
Krishna also defeated Chola King.(VII.11.321)
Krishna’s encounter with the Pandyas
The mighty Sarangadhwaja, the king of the Pandyas, has white steeds, decked with armour set with stones of lapis lazuli. His country was invaded and his father was slain by Krishna in battle. Obtaining weapons then from Bhishma and Drona, Bala Rama andKripa, prince Sarangadhwaja became, in weapons, the equal of Rukmi and Karna andArjuna and Achyuta. He then desired to destroy the city of Dwaraka and subjugate the whole world. Wise friends, however, from desire of doing him good, counselled him against that course. Giving up all thoughts of revenge, he is now ruling his own dominions. Steeds that were all of the hue of the Atrusa flower bore a hundred and forty thousand principle car-warriors that followed that Sarangadhwaja, the king of the Pandyas, opposing Drona in Kurukshetra War.(7:23)
One of the contemporaries of Jarasandha of the Brhadratha dynasty of Magadha is Jayatsena of Magadha. He takes part in the Kurukshetra War in the Mahabharata as one of the leaders on the side of Kauravas, along with Srutayus of Kalinga, Paundraka Vasudeva of Pundra, Karna of Anga, and Malayadwaja of the Pandyas.
During the battle, Malayadwaja apparently wounds the mighty Dronacharya, the teacher of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas, and who fights on the side of the Kauravas. Malayadwaja goes further and takes on Drona’s son, Ashwathama, in a duel.
Malayadwaja’s daughter is Meenakshi, after whom the famous temple of Meenakshi Amman is built in Madurai. The city of Madurai is built around this temple. After this, the Pandyas fall back into obscurity for seven centuries.
The Magadha King, Jayatsena, brought to the Pandava’s side another akshauhini division of soldiers consisting of warriors with unlimited prowess. King Pandya, who lived near the ocean, came to the Pandava’s side bringing with him a veritable sea of troops.
An inscription records that a Pandya king led the elephant force in the Mahabharata War on behalf of the Pandavas, and that early Pandyas translated the epic into Tamil. The first named Chera king, Udiyanjeral, is said to have sumptuously fed the armies on both sides during the War at Kurukshetra ; Chola and Pandya kings also voiced such claims—of course they may be devoid of historical basis, but they show how those kings sought to enhance their glory by connecting their lineage to heroes of the Mahabharata. So too, Chola and Chera kings proudly claimed descent from Lord Rama or from kings of the Lunar dynasty—in other words, an “Aryan” descent. ‘
References and Citations.