The Pandyan or Pandiyan or Pandian dynasty was an ancient Tamil dynasty, one of the three Tamil dynasties, the other two being the Chola and the Chera. The Pandya King, along with Chera King and Chola King, were referred to as the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam.

The dynasty ruled parts of South India from around 600 BCE (Early Pandyan Kingdom) to first half of 17th century CE. They initially ruled their country Pandya Nadu from Korkai, a seaport on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, and in later times moved to Madurai. Fish being their flag, Pandyas were experts in water management, agriculture(mostly near river banks) and fisheries and they were eminent sailors and sea traders too. Pandyan was well known since ancient times, with contacts, even diplomatic, reaching the Roman Empire. The Pandyan empire was home to temples, including Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, and Nellaiappar Temple built on the bank of the river Thamirabarani in Tirunelveli. The Pandya kings were called either Jatavarman or Maravarman Pandyan. From being Jains in their early ages, they became Shaivaits after some centuries of rule.
Strabo states that an Indian king called Pandion sent Augustus Caesar "presents and gifts of honor".

The early Pandyan Dynasty of the Sangam Literature faded into obscurity upon the invasion of the Kalabhras. The dynasty revived under Kadungon in the early 6th century, pushed the Kalabhras out of the Tamil country and ruled from Madurai. They again went into decline with the rise of the Cholas in the 9th century and were in constant conflict with them. The Pandyas allied themselves with the Sinhalese and the Cheras in harassing the Chola empire until they found an opportunity for reviving their fortunes during the late 13th century. The Later Pandyas (1216–1345) entered their golden age under Maravman Sundara Pandyan and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan (c. 1251), who expanded the empire into Telugu country, conquered Kalinga(Orissa) and invaded and conquered Sri Lanka. They also had extensive trade links with the Southeast Asian maritime empires of Srivijaya and their successors. During their history, the Pandyas were repeatedly in conflict with the Pallavas, Cholas, Hoysalas and finally the Muslim invaders from the Delhi Sultanate. The Pandyas lost their capital city Madurai to Madurai Sultanate in 1335 . However they shifted their capital to tenkasi and conitued to rule the Tirulnelveli, Tuticorin, Ramanad, Sivagangai regions until 1650.

Mean while Madurai sultanate was replaced by nayak governors of Vijayanagar in 1378. In 1529 Nayak governors declared independence and established Madurai Nayak dynasty. The introduction of Palaiyakkarar system by Madurai Nayak dynasty vanished the The Pandyan Kingdom one and all .
The Pandyas excelled in both trade and literature. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the South Indian coast, between Sri Lanka and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world. Traditionally, the legendary Sangams were held in Madurai under their patronage, and some of the Pandya Kings were poets themselves.