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Tondai Nadu

Present day Tondai Nadu region in Tamil Nadu
Tondaimandalam, Dravida (hist.), Aruvavadadalai (hist.), Carnatic (hist.)
Country India
District Chennai ,
Metro Chennai
Languages: Tamil
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
No. of districts 7
Largest city Chennai

Tondai Nadu (Tamil: தொண்டைநாடு) is a historical region located in the northernmost part of Tamil Nadu. The region comprises the districts which formed a part of the traditional Pallava kingdom. The boundaries of Tondai Nadu are ambiguous – while some included only the Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and the northern part of Viluppuram district in Tondai Nadu and grouped the southern part of Viluppuram District, the Union Territory of Pondicherry and Cuddalore District under a separate region called "Nadu Naadu", some even included the Vellore District and the so-called "Nadu Naadu" in Tondai Nadu. The Tondai Nadu region also included the Chittoor and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh.


Early days this region was ruled by the tribal chiefs who also called as Irular or Aravar. It then came under the rule of Cholas during first century AD. The capital of Thondai Nadu is Kanchipuram. It is once a glory city where Buddhist University present which is equivalent to Nalanda University.

In the 3rd century AD period, Tondai Nadu was ruled by Ilandiraiyan, the first king with the title "Tondaiman", whom P. T. Srinivasa Iyengar identifies with a Pallava prince. The medieval Pallavas ruled Andhra and Northern Tamil Nadu, from the 4th to the 9th centuries, with their seat of capital at ancient Kanchipuram. Then the ancient king Adondai captured Tondainadu.[1]

Tondai Nadu is the region north of the Kaveri basin. It was captured by the second Chola monarch, Aditya (r. ca. 871-907). he defeated the armies of the Pallavas of Kanchipuram and claimed all of Tondai Nadu as Chola territory.Thondai Nadu included Chittoor and Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh..

Even today, the priests in Hindu temples in Chennai refer this place as "thondaimandalam" when they start the rituals.