Madurai Meenakshi’s Father Sarangadwaja Killed By Aswathama Mahabharata
The relationship that existed between the Kings of North and South was quite ancient and was determined by the exigencies of the Times. During the Mahabharata period, Tamil Kings, Chera, Chola and Pandyas took part in Draupadi’ Swayamwar, Attended Yudhishtra’s Rajasuya Yaga,Arjuna and Krishna married Princesses from Dravida Desa, Arjuna, Balarama, Sahadeva, Bhima went on Pilgrimage to South, Krishna married a Pandya princess, had a daughter called Pandyah, Megasthenes refers to this, Krishna killed Kulasekara Pandya, Krishna spent sometime in Yaanai malai near Madurai..and the references are too many..
Kulasekara Pandya was Madurai Meenakshi’s Grandfather. He was killed by Sri Krishna in a battle and his son Sarangadwaja was advised by his well wishers not to try to seek vengeance as it would be counter productive.
Sarangadwaja , later, took part in the Mahabharata War on the side of Pandavas against Kauravas. He fought valiantly against Drona, Aswathama. Sarangadwaja was killed by Aswathama Mahabharata records this.
Pandya king Sarangadhwaja sided with the Pandavas in the great Kurukshetra War. His main opponent was Ashwathama.
As per Bhishma’s ratings, Pandya king was rated as a great Ratha (a grade for chariot-warriors) (5,172).
Pandya, who dwelt on the coast-land near the sea, came accompanied by troops of various kinds to Yudhishthira, the king of kings (5:19). There hath come Pandya. Remarkably heroic and endued with prowess and energy that have no parallel, he is devoted to the Pandava cause. (5:22).
Dhrishtadyumna and Shikhandi and the five sons of Draupadi and the Prabhadrakas, and Satyaki and Chekitana with the Dravida forces, and the Pandyas, the Cholas, and the Cheras, surrounded by a mighty array – were mentioned as part of the Pandava army (8:12).
Pandya, that foremost of warriors skilled in shafts and weapons, was destroying crowds of foes by means of diverse kinds of shafts. Piercing the bodies of the elephants and steeds and men with sharp shafts, that foremost of smiters overthrew and deprived them of life. Cutting off with his own shafts the diverse weapons hurled at him by many foremost of foes, Pandya slew his enemies (8:19). He was slain by the Kaurava hero Ashwatthama (8:20,46) His name was mentioned as Sarangadhwaja.
Sarangadwaja was also called as Malayathdwaja and his daughter was Meenakshi who ruled Pandya Kingdom later from Madurai and Meenakshi temple st Madurai is named after her.