Mu to Lemuria and Kumari-Kandam to Sumeria – II
by Jayasree Saranathan on 12 Sep 2021 2 Comments

The idea of Lemuria


The idea of Lemuria was invented due to the influence of the then prevailing mood in the scientific community. Philip Sclator, who discovered Lemuria, was doing research on animals and their habitat. Greatly influenced by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, he was engaged in research in Madagascar Islands on the African shores of the Indian Ocean. While doing so, he discovered similarities between the living beings there with those in India. His research was in fossils of animals in Madagascar.


He found them not to have any relationship with those in nearby Africa, but related to those found in distant India. Therefore, he concluded that including Madagascar, there should have been one large landscape of the Indian peninsula: he proposed the continent of Lemuria. His theory was that animals which lived in the same landscape got separated during the Continental drift.


Such a separation affecting India could not have taken place in the recent thousands of years, but should have occurred millions of years back, according to science. But seeing that old Tamil literature indicated the submerged lands of Kumari and Kollam of Thennan’s (ancient Pandyan) country, Tamilians started clinging to the Lemuria theory and are still holding on to it. Multi-discipline scientific researches, however, indicate that such a large landscape could not have got submerged. If one landmass submerges, another will rise elsewhere. Examining the contours of the Indian Ocean, it is inferred that it would take hundreds of thousands of years for such a large landmass to get submerged.


Today Science has discarded the Lemuria theory as improbable. But Tamilians are still holding on to it; perhaps, they need to understand how Madagascar and India were connected.


The Mascarene Plateau lays near the submerged ridge running from Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea. Indian texts call it Malaiya ridge; it continues as Western Ghats in South India. The ridge under water is also known as Kumari ridge according to Tamil text Silappadhikaram. This text says that Kollam and Kumari peaks were submerged under the ocean. There is a place named Kollam in Kerala close to the Western Ghats. So it is surmised that the extension of the Western Ghats into the Indian Ocean was called Kumari range by ancient Tamils.


About six thousand years ago, the Pandyan king encountered the Second Cataclysm. People who escaped that upheaval reached Kumari Mountains or Malaiya ridge and up to present South India’s south west shores. They set up their capital at a place called Kavaatam. This city of Kavaatam existed during Ramayana period. We find a reference to it in the description of Sugreeva of the places in the south. (1) It was submerged during the Third Cataclysm about 3500 years BP.


However, the memory of Kavaatam was carried by the survivors. Kavaatam was also referred to as Alavai (mouth of a serpent) in Tamil texts. Even today we have places with the same names close to that region. The survivors had re-established Alavai which became Alwaye (in Kerala, India) in due course. In recent years it further mutated to Aluva.


Even present Kollam has been named after the earlier Kollam that was submerged. During the Second Cataclysm, using Kumari Mountains as base, people spread up to Rajasthan via the Western Ghats.


The prominent evidence connecting Madagascar and India is the Zebu type cattle. These are found only in India. DNA research shows that these types of cattle were also in Madagascar. But these did not arrive in India from Madagascar. Even in nearby Africa, these species are not to be found. But DNA research has established that 5000 years back these cattle migrated from India to Madagascar. (2)


At the time, Madagascar and India were linked by the now-submerged ridge. But during the last Cataclysm about 3500 years ago, the entire Kumari mountain range was submerged leaving parts of Maldives above the water. The name Maldives sounds like Malaai – the Malaai range that was the original name of the Western Ghats which extended into the sea up to Madagascar. It could have been Malaai theevu or Malaai Dwipa, which later became Maala-theevu. Even the name Malagasay, for the people of Madagascar, resembles the Tamil word ‘malai’ (hill) and Sanskrit word ‘Malaya’ (which also means hill or mountain) and the Prakruth expression for “of the mountains” (malaigal+sa = malagasa), thus showing that Malagasay means people of the hills or mountains. Ramayana mentions the Western Ghats as Malaya mountains. 


Before the deluge, the Kumari mountain range had provided connection to nearby islands. It is possible that shepherds moved throughout this range from Madagascar to the Indian main lands on the Western Ghats. The cattle moved between these regions. But this movement was totally disrupted when the Third Cataclysm took place 3500 years ago. So what is seen now was surmised by Philip Sclater (proponent of Lemuria theory) as a ‘continental drift’ between India and Madagascar. Only a careful study of Tamil literature shows that a linking mountain chain went in to the Indian Ocean from the Arabian Sea. This facilitated the movement of people between these two regions in the not-so-long ago past. This link is further established by the genetic study of cattle that showed movement from India to Madagascar.


Though Kumari mountain range disappeared under the ocean, groups of people migrated via the Western Ghats long before. Their life was centered on cattle only. The evidence for this is found in Vettuvavari in Silappadhikaram (second century AD). (3) This text speaks about the hunter-cattle herders living in near Madurai; they worshiped Mahishasuramardini who killed the demon Mahishasura, and sacrificed cattle to that god.


People of Mahar and Mang in the northern parts of Western Ghats followed identical lives. The place took the name after Mahar and became Maharashtra. They, like the hunters in Vettuvavari (in Silappadhikaram), sacrificed cattle and worshiped the female goddess. Wherever any cattle died, only these people removed the carcasses. Their profession, like the hunters of Vettuvavari, was stealing cattle.


In ancient Tamil lands, there was a tradition of cattle-stealing on two occasions, one while starting a war and another by hunter-herders living on the fringes of the kingdom, to supply the cattle needs of the people and protect them as well. The latter kind of people are described in Silappadhikaram. The act of stealing was not considered an offence but as an accepted practice for people living in regions with no access to food and protection by the king. We find this trend from south to north of the Western Ghats up to Maharashtra. In course of time, they lost their relevance as protectors. During the British period, they were treated with contempt as a thief-caste and classified as low castes.


Thus, various people of various regions in the submerged lands of Tamils were connected with the rest of India. There was no continent of Lemuria in the Indian Ocean. On one side of the Indian Ocean, the submerged Kumari or Malaya mountain enabled people to move from Madagascar to the Western Ghats to and fro.


The regions scattered on the Indian Ocean were not called Kumari-kandam in any ancient Tamil text. There is reference only to the Kumari mountain range. There was a Kumari river in the ancient land of Pandyans. There is repeated reference to Pandyans as southerners (Thennan or Thennavan), suggesting they lived in the region south of the Equator. There is a connection between Kumari and the southern hemisphere. In Sanskrit language, southern region and South Pole were called Kumeru while north and North Pole were called Sumeru.  Kumari could be a transformation of Kumeru which indicated south.


By this name it is deduced that Kumari extended to Deep South where we can locate the South Madurai that existed before the First Great Floods that occurred at the end of Ice Age. That period calculated on the basis of number of years for all three Sangam Assemblages as told by the 10th century Nakkeeranar in his commentary to Irayanar Kalaviyal puts the beginning of Sangam age at 12000 years before present. That was the time Tamil was refined with grammar.


The olden and the first Madurai where the first assemblage of Tamil Sangam was established were on the lower part of the ridge. The visible regions of this ridge today are the Andaman and Nicobar islands.


South Madurai was the first land of the southerner Pandyans. This was above sea level at that time as the sea level was nearly 120 meters below as compared to now. The location is close to Sundaland (where Tamil influence can be seen in Polynesia, possible due to the location of the ancient capital of Tamils).


Tamil culture was more or less established 12,000 years ago at Kumeru with the establishment of the First Sangam. The name shows co-existence of Tamil and Sanskrit even at that time. The first wave of migration took place from this region when the first floods occurred in the Indian Ocean around this time. Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam speaks of this first flood from which people of South Madurai were protected by an act of Lord Shiva. There is a possibility that others who lived in the scattered islands in the Indian Ocean advanced northward towards Arabian Sea.


People who migrated from Kumeru reached the northern regions. Upon reaching the north of the equator, they aptly called the region Sumeru. Sumeria is one such place occupied by a group of migrating people. Those pushed by sudden flash floods from the Indian Ocean entered two regions. One was the mouth of river Saraswati which was in existence before 10,000 years BP. The Persian Gulf was dry at the time of Ice Age was inundated when the sea level rose in a flash flood.


Possibly one group entered North India through Saraswati river and another group entered Mesopotamia through the Persian sea. That region is called Sumeria. It is no surprise to find Tamil origin names in Sumeria if they had drifted or migrated from Kumeru where Tamil was an established language even as early as 12,000 years ago. Tamil sources say that it was a Vedic culture with Shiva as the presiding deity.


Interestingly, the findings in Gobekli Tepe and Nevali Cori located on the Euphrates in southern Turkey show temples and figures carved in stone established at a time between 10th and 8th Millennium BC. A human figure found here shows a tuft on the head of a person, a typical tuft that a Vedic man sported on his head with its end coiled into a knot.


This fits with our contention that an already evolved people of the south called Kumeru had gone to the North and established Sumeru and continued their Vedic practices. The excavated region has features resembling temples that are oval or circular shaped.


Around the same time, a similar feature was made in the south-eastern coast of India in a place called Pumpuhar. From Graham Hancock’s analysis we come to know of the shape of that structure which now lies under water, which, he says, was formed 11,500 years before present. The similarity between this and the Nevali Cori structure in Sumeria smacks of a common origin for the idea and architecture for the kind of worship that was done there. Moving further north, we find the Arkaim structure showing a similar design.


Chronologically Arkaim comes later, around 4000 years ago only. But this concept travelled further north and entered the North American continent through Bering Strait. That entry must have taken place 10,000 years ago when Bering Strait acted as a land bridge. The Pueblo Kiva also has a circular shape.


They call it Kee-vuh (that is how Kiva is pronounced) in their language. They say it means below or under. That is exactly the meaning and word in Tamil also. In Tamil ‘Keezhe’ (with the characteristic zha sound of Tamil) means below or under.


All these structures have a common idea of positioning the structure below the surface. That is what Nagas were used to. (Anyone who prefers live under the ground like a serpent is a Naga.) The scattered lands on the top of the two ridges in the Indian Ocean must have had caves, natural or artificially made, for the purpose of safe dwelling. That continued when they migrated to Sumeru.


Adding strength to this notion, the carvings of the Gobekli Tepe show some connection to an ancient culture of South Madurai of the Indian Ocean. A figure resembling a lizard is found carved on a pillar.


Interestingly, lizards are found carved in Varadaraja temple in Kanchipuram too.


The lizard carvings are found on the ceiling of the main sanctum. There is a story woven around these lizards, but looking at the lizard carving in Gobekli Tepe, it makes us wonder whether there was an ancient practice of carving lizards in temples.


Lizards are a common feature in daily life of the Tamils and all Indian people. It is an important tool of omen in knowing the future. There is a branch of knowledge that deals with omens connected with the sound that lizards make and the results that can be expected if a lizard happens to fall on a person. A Tamil Sangam poem tells about such an omen (4). By all this it is surmised that the presence of lizards in a temple was considered necessary, because the sounds that lizards make or omens they show by falling on a person could have been welcomed as a means of knowing whether the prayer that a worshiper is making in the temple will be fulfilled or not.


The importance of lizards not only travelled from Vedic society to Sumeria, it also travelled to the Incas in the Andes. The Chullpas, the funeral towers of the Aymara of Incas, contain the engravings of lizard on them. (5)


Perhaps the same belief of the temples of Kanchipuram and Gobekli Tepe are repeated here. Instead of Gods, the ancestors were thought to have conveyed their answers to the prayers of the off springs through the omen of lizard.


What is of importance is that the lizard culture was a Tamil and Vedic culture. Only if it had developed in the Indian Ocean dwellings before 10,000 years BP, is it possible for it to have travelled to Sumeria on one side of the ocean and to the Incas on the other side of the ocean (around 3500 years ago, when the last Flood was experienced by the ancient Tamils in the Indian Ocean. The remaining population in the Indian Ocean migrated to the east, to the Polynesian Islands in the Pacific and from there to the Incas).


The travel of a single culture from the Indian Ocean to the northern part of the globe can also be seen in the similarity of the grinding stones used by Tamils and others of India and the far away Native Americans.


There are grinding stones for making sandal paste which were in regular use for the common man in olden days, but are used in temples only these days.


Native Americans:


The Gobekli Tepe has another significant carving:

“Elsewhere on the site, on the northern slope of the hill, there is a rectangular complex named ‘the lion column building’. Its four pillars have depictions of leonine creatures, which could also be tigers or leopards. One pillar has a 30-cm-high graffito of a squatting woman who appears to be giving birth”. (


It is obvious that the figure was that of Lajja Gauri, a form of Aditi, the Vedic deity.


The Incas have Pachamama, allegorical of Mother Earth and how she gives birth (fertility) to produces that enrich mankind.


A similar depiction is found in the Indus seals also and made its appearance in faraway Norway and in Greek society. This concept is separate but is mentioned to show that the discovery of this figure in Turkey in the 9th millennium BC does not mean that the concept of this figure originated there. It was essentially a Vedic concept, a concept of Aditi who gave birth to Vamana, an avatar of Vishnu, who pushed Bali under the ground, an allegorical story of a natural event of land going under water. The location was Bali of Indonesia, the former Sunda land which was the centre of stories of Narasimha avatar and Varaha avatar also. The discovery of many lion and boar carvings in Gobekli Tepe makes me connect this past memory of the people who settled in Sumeria.


On Kumeru people migrating to the north, we may mention that it was Vaivasvata Manu who entered North India with his people and sages who were already well versed in Vedic practices (6). Upon reaching the Saraswati, the Rig Vedas were given over a period of time. (The arrangement of the four Vedas was done 5000 years ago by Ved Vyas)


Here we may ask: is it possible that since Manu came from Kumeru, could he be the Pandyan king? The question arises because Manu is also referred to as Dravideswara.


The answer is, he was not the Pandya king because: (a) when Manu entered the Saraswati river 12000 years ago, the Pandya king was busy in refining Tamil grammar and creating the First Sangam in South Madurai. (b) From Manu, Ikshvaku was born and the Ikshvaku dynasty started in North India. There is no relationship between the Ikshvaku dynasty and the Pandyas. (c) Pandya originated from Moon dynasty (Chandra vamsam, DNA of mother side), while Manu came from Sun dynasty (Soorya vamsam, DNA of father side). Though they belonged to the same region of the Indian Ocean in the south, their maternal lineages were different and they separated 12,000 years back.


From Kumeru, people also migrated via the Bay of Bengal to Dacca (Bangladesh) and to West Bengal in India. There are tribes called Tiyars, Teers, Theevars (islanders) and so on. From the Sanskrit word Dwipa, island, there are many tribes in Maharashtra and West Bengal with names derived from dwipa, according to the Census of 1881 by British India. (7) It is recorded that these people, if and when met with any hardship or difficulties due to hurricane, etc., during fishing or harvesting, would pray to a goddess called Kala-Kumari. (8) This shows the connection between these people and the olden Pandyan country, Kumari mountains, Kumari river and goddess Kumari.


The name Theevar indicates that those people had migrated from islands and associated lands. The name sounds Tamil. Worshiping Kumari indicates their relationship with Kumari in the ancient Thennan Pandyan country. Though Pandyas lived in South Madurai, all the people of the 49 countries scattered in that large landscape (as told in olden Tamil texts), followed the same traditions of the Thennan-Pandyan country. From Polynesian islands to the Ninety degree ridge to the Malaiya mountain, the Kumeru was a land of scattered islands where a similar culture was followed. With change of tides of the Ocean and the tides of Time, they were scattered over India, Sumeria, and the Pacific regions. In this backdrop, the idea of Lemuria or a ‘vast’ Kumari-kandam is not realistic.



1)      Valmiki Ramayana: 4-41- 19.

2)    “Recent studies in Indian Archaeo-Linguistics and Archaeo-Genetics having bearing on Indian Prehistory” by Dr. P. Priyadarshi

3)     Silappadhikaram: Chapter 12.

4)    Kali-th-thogai –verse 11(Tamil Sangam text) (“palliyum paangu oththu isaiththana”)








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