The Lost Continent of Kumari Kandam

Most people are familiar with the story of Atlantis, the legendary sunken city as described by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato.

To this day, opinion is still divided as to whether this story should be understood literally or taken merely as a morality tale. Further east in the subcontinent of India is a similar tale.

This is the tale of the“lost continent” of Lemuria, frequently connected to the legend of Kumari Kandam by speakers of the Tamil language.

In the 19th century, a section of the European and American scholars speculated the existence of a submerged continent called Lemuria, to explain geological and other similarities between Africa, India and Madagascar.

A section of Tamil revivalists adapted this theory, connecting it to the Pandyan legends of lands lost to the ocean, as described in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit literature.

According to these writers, an ancient Tamil civilization existed on Lemuria, before it was lost to the sea in a catastrophe. In the 20th century, the Tamil writers started using the name "Kumari Kandam" to describe this submerged continent.

They claimed Kumari Kandam as the cradle of civilization to prove the antiquity of Tamil language and culture.


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