Q. Which one of the following term was used for the riverine tract type of landscape in Tamilangam?

[A] Kurinji

[B] Mullai

[C] Neythal

[D] Marutham

Answer: D

Sangam poems help us understand the social formation of the time. According to the thinai concept, Tamilagam was divided into five landscapes or eco-regions namely Kurinji, Marutam, Mullai, Neytal and Palai. 

Each region had distinct characteristics – a presiding deity, people and cultural life according to the environmental conditions, as follows: 

  • Kurinji: hilly region: hunting and gathering 
  • Marutham: riverine tract: agriculture using plough and irrigation. 
  • Mullai: forested region: pastoralism combined with shifting cultivation 
  • Neythal: coastal land: fishing and salt making. 
  • Palai: parched land. Unsuitable for cultivation and hence people took to cattle lifting and robbery. 

Source: Tamil Nadu state board.