Poompuhar maritime museum


Poompuhar is the lost city of ancient tamils mentioned in the great tamil epic ‘silapathikaram’. Due to lack of fund further research has not been carried out at this underwater archaeological site. Anyone visiting the site can understand the importance of this site. The site museum reveals lot of information about the artifacts brought from sea and unearthed in the vicinity. Whatever I could understand from the visit to the museum, I have presented below.

Things found during excavations near seashore

  1. Brick wall
  2. Brick masonry structure
  3. Urai kinaru(terracotta well)
  4. Boats

Observations inside sea around present day poompuhar

  1. A wall at 7 metre deep
  2. a ship wreck at 17 metre deep(ship sunk in 1791)
  3. At five kilometre distance into sea at 23 metre deep, a horshoe shaped man-made structure

Things collected from the sea around present day poompuhar

  1. Black-white coloured pot shreds
  2. Red coloured pot shreds
  3. Gray coloured pot shreds
  4. Roman amphorae type pot shreds
  5. Vessels with inscriptions
  6. Small pearls
  7. Zinc weights
  8. Square coins of sangam age

Reference to poompuhar in inscriptions of Bharhut

A buddhist monk whose name is ‘soma’ belonged to kagandi has donated this sculpture. The inscription belongs to 2nd century BC. Kagandi is other name of poompuhar. This indicates antiquity of poompuhar as a well known city.

Reference to poompuhar in inscriptions in foreign books

  1. Periplus of erythrean sea
  2. Ptolemy
  3. Pliny

Reference to poompuhar in prakrit books

  1. milind pana
  2. jataka stories
  3. abidamavataram
  4. buddhavamsa story

Places where excavations were carried out in poompuhar

  1. Kizhayur
  2. Vaanagiri
  3. Vellaian irupu
  4. Pallavaneeswaram
  5. Maingramam

Ancient tamil coins found in thailand- Excavations at ‘Khuan luk pat’

  1. 2 cm size coin with attacking tiger on one side and a car with horse and elephant on the other side of the coin. This coin belongs to cholas of sangam age
  2. Another coin with bull on one side and boat/kapal on other side. This coin belongs to pallavas period.

The above coins explains the usage of tamil coins in thailand before 1200 and 2000 years respectively.

Roman coins found in tamilnadu at various places(24 places)

Name of the place Object found
Arikamedu Coins Pot shreds
Alagankulam Coins Pot shreds
Uraiyur Pot shreds
Kattankanni Coins
Karivalamvanthanallur Coins
Karukkakurichi Coins
Kalayamputtur Coins
Kanchipuram Coins Pot shreds
Kavirippumpattinam Coins Pot shreds
Kulattupalayam Pot shreds
Karaikkadu Pot shreds
Kodumanal Pot shreds
Korkai Pot shreds
Sengamedu Pot shreds
Tondamanattam Coins
Thanjavur Coins
Nattamedu Coins
Pennaru Coins
Mamallapuram Coins
Madurai Coins
Mambalam Coins
Melsattamangalam Pot shreds
Vasavasamudram Pot shreds
Vellalur Pot shreds


There is also a sculptural art gallery nearby depicting the story of the epic through sculptures created by art students.

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Engineer, traveller, Cyclist, self-experimenter, Aspiring triathlete

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