the dynastic family of Pandya, a state that existed from the third century B.C. to the early 14th century in southern India, in what is now southern Tamil Nadu. The petty Pandya princelings were involved in a complex system of vassal relationships and were usually subordinate to the rulers of the city of Madurai. They conducted an extensive sea trade with Southeast Asia and the West, frequently fought with Ceylon, and carried on a continual struggle with their northern neighbors, including the Pallavas, the Chalukyas of Vatapi, the Rashtrakutas, and the Cholas. The principalities of southern Kerala were usually subordinate to the Pandyas.
In the late tenth and early 11th centuries the Pandya state was conquered by the Cholas, from whose rule it freed itself in the 12th century. It attained its last high point under Jatavarman Sundara Pandya (1251–68), who conquered Ceylon and a number of northern territories. In 1310, Pandya was crushed by Malik Kafur, general of the sultan of Delhi. Princes of the Pandya family continue to be mentioned into the 16th and 17th centuries.