This section is from the book "Some Contributions Of South India To Indian Culture", by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar. Also available from Amazon: Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture.
In this mass of literature we get some allusions to the Mauryas and Mauryan invasions of South India which throw a new light upon this particular period of history. Among the number of poets whose works are found collected in this volume of literature there are three authors that refer to the Mauryan invasions specifically. One of them is the Brahman poet, Mamulanar, the much respected Brahman poet of the Agastya gotra belonging to the south country, the other is one Param-Korranar and the third is Kallil Attirayanar. Mamulanar has got two references in respect of this particular matter, and the other two one each. The general character of these references is to a distant hill worn by the rolling: cars of the Mauryas beyond which a young lover might have gone in quest of wealth. His love-lorn sweetheart at home, pining away in solitude for his return, is assured in various ways that even if he should have got past this hill he would keep his promise and return on the appointed day. That is the general purport of the passages 1 in the first two authors. This means that a particular hill marks the frontier limit of the Tamil land, going beyond which one gets into foreign land and unknown country, return from which in safety is problematical. The hill under reference marks therefore some well-known frontier hill a considerable distance from the Tamil land across which the war chariots of the Mauryas had to be taken at considerable labour. A tribe of people, foreigners apparently, specifically called Kosar, advanced southwards so far as the Podiyil Hill and defeated some enemy there when the chieftain of Mohur declined to submit. In consequence the Mauryas marched upon the territory. In regard to this the points to be noted are that the Kosar, of whom 4 divisions are known in this body of Tamil literature, were somehow connected with the Mauryas. There is only one Mohur known to Tamil literature of which a chief of the name Palaiyan played an important part against various enemies, most conspicuous among them being Seih-Kuttuvan Sera. It is to subjugate this Mohur which is a place about 7 miles north-east of the town of Madura with a fortified temple and some remnants of a comparatively old chieftaincy, that the Mauryas are said to have advanced after the failure of the Kosar. The other poem of this author refers to the southern invasion of the Mauryas. This time the Mauryas came led forward by the Vadukar, or pushing them in front. In this connection there is the same reference to the hill worn by the war chariots of the Mauryas.1 The second author merely refers to the Mauryas and the cutting down of the hill to make a roadway for the war chariots of the Mauryas. The third author refers similarly to the cutting down of the hill side to make way for the rolling cars. But the word Moriyar has a second reading Oriyar which the learned commentator on the work has adopted as the reading. On this point it must be noted that a dispassionate and close examination of the passage shows clearly that the reading Moriyar would read very much better and would be very much more in keeping with the general sense of the passage than the reading Oriyar. Having regard to the class of works concerned, the other passages under reference in connection almost with the same matter ought to be the best commentary on this doubtful passage. It therefore leaves no room for doubt that there is a Mauryan invasion or invasions under reference, and that in the course of this invasion they had to get across a difficult hill making a roadway for themselves. That this hill was at some considerable distance, from the point of view of the Tamilian, and to a love-lorn damsel of the Tamil land going across the hill is as much as Shakespeare's "her husband is to Aleppo gone." The author Mamulanar refers in the first passage rather familiarly to the wealth of the Nandas. The same author in another1 passage refers to this wealth of the Nandas as having accumulated in Patali (Patna), but got hidden in the floods of the Ganges in times gone, by. The point of the reference in these cases is, as is borne out by a corresponding passage 2 of the same author in connection with the accumulated wealth of the Seras, that the Nandas had accumulated vast wealth and the accumulated wealth at one time came to be of no use to them having been hidden in the one case in the waters of the Ganges, in the other by being buried in the earth. We have then in Mamulanar an author who had heard of the wealth of the Nandas and who speaks of the southern invasions of the Mauryas. By way of confirmation, the two other authors speak of the invasions of the south by the Mauryas also in equally clear terms excepting for a difference of reading in one of the two cases. We shall now proceed to consider who the Vadukar and the Kosar are, the two people that are brought into connection with these Mauryan invasions.
1 Aham 251.
1 Aham 281.
1 Aham 264. 2 Aham 127.