Poompuhar – The Lost City

Why in news?

Recent studies have found traces of an ancient port city of Poompuhar buried undersea, in Mayiladuthurai district of Tamil Nadu (TN).

About Poompuhar

It is also known as Kaveripoompattinam and there are references to this in the Tamil epic Manimekalai.

  • City was established initially in the Cauvery Delta, about 30 km away from the present town around 15,000 years ago.
  • The city was spread over about 250sq. km, complete with a huge harbor, a lighthouse, ship and dockyards, and settlements.
  • It had maritime trade links with South East Asia and Egypt. City was submerged due to “kadalkol” or rising sea levels. However, the reasons and periods of its extinction remain unresolved.
  • Several geological features indicate that the Poompuhar region was prone to floods, tsunamis and accelerated impact of sea level rise and cyclone – induced surges.
  • The port city had probably been relocated & rebuilt repeatedly owing to such natural occurrences.
  • The seventh redevelopment was probably about 2,500 years ago & it might have submerged due to rise in sea level about 1,020 years ago.

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