IndianRepublic of IndiaIND
These are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, kathak of Uttar Pradesh, kathakali and mohiniyattam of Kerala, kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, manipuri of Manipur, odissi of Odisha, and the sattriya of Assam. Theatre in India melds music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue. Often based on Hindu mythology, but also borrowing from medieval romances or social and political events, Indian theatre includes: the bhavai of Gujarat, the jatra of West Bengal, the nautanki and ramlila of North India, tamasha of Maharashtra, burrakatha of Andhra Pradesh, terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and the yakshagana of Karnataka.


Karnataka StateKarnataka, IndiaKarnatka
Karnataka is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Telangana to the northeast, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and Kerala to the south. The state covers an area of 191976 km2, or 5.83 percent of the total geographical area of India. It is the sixth largest Indian state by area. With 61,130,704 inhabitants at the 2011 census, Karnataka is the eighth largest state by population, comprising 30 districts. Kannada, one of the classical languages of India, is the most widely spoken and official language of the state alongside Urdu, Konkani, Marathi, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kodava and Beary.

Andhra Pradesh

AndhraAPAndhra Pradesh State
Rangasthalam is an Indian theatre in the Telugu language, based predominantly in Andhra Pradesh. Gurazada Apparao wrote the play Kanyasulkam in 1892, often considered the greatest play in the Telugu language. C. Pullaiah is cited as the father of Telugu theatre movement. The Telugu film industry is largely based in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. The Telugu film culture (also known as "Tollywood") is the second-largest film industry in India next to the Bollywood film industry. Film producer D. Ramanaidu holds a Guinness Record for the most films produced by a person.

South India

Southern IndiaSouth IndianPeninsular India
Films in regional languages are prevalent; this includes Kannada cinema (Karnataka), Malayalam cinema (Kerala), Tamil cinema (Tamil Nadu) and Telugu cinema (Telangana and Andhra Pradesh). The first silent film in South India, Keechaka Vadham, was made by R. Nataraja Mudaliar in 1916. In South India, the first Tamil talkie, Kalidas, was released on 31 October 1931, barely seven months after India's first talking picture Alam Ara. Mudaliar also established South India's first film studio in Madras.


Kanchipuram, also known as Kānchi or Kancheepuram''', is a temple city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu in Tondaimandalam region, 72 km from Chennai – the capital of Tamil Nadu. The city covers an area of 11.605 sqkm and had a population of 164,265 in 2011. It is the administrative headquarters of Kanchipuram District. Kanchipuram is well-connected by road and rail. Chennai International Airport is the nearest domestic and international airport to the city, which is located at Tirusulam in Kanchipuram district.

Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

PeriyarE. V. RamasamyE. V. Ramasami
Periyar claimed that Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada came from the same mother language of Old Tamil. He explained that the Tamil language is called by four different names since it is spoken in four different Dravidian states. Nevertheless, current understanding of Dravidian languages contradicts such claims. For example, the currently known classification of Dravidian languages provides the following distinct classes: Southern (including Tamil–Malayalam, Kannada and Tulu); Central (including Telugu–Kui and Kolami–Parji); and, Northern (including Kurukh–Malto and Brahui).

Tamil literature

TamilTamil poetryliterature
Tamil literature refers to the literature in the Tamil language. Tamil literature has a rich and long literary tradition spanning more than two thousand years. The oldest extant works show signs of maturity indicating an even longer period of evolution. Contributors to the Tamil literature are mainly from Tamil people from South India, including the land now comprising Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Sri Lankan Tamils from Sri Lanka, and from Tamil diaspora. The history of Tamil literature follows the history of Tamil Nadu, closely following the social, political and cultural trends of various periods.


TanjoreTanjavurThanjavur City
It dates back to about the 1600s, the period of Nayakas of Thanjavur, who encouraged art, classical dance and music literature, both in Telugu and Tamil. The art is usually a combination of raised and painted surfaces, with the Hindu god Krishna being the most popular image depicted. In modern times, these paintings have become souvenirs of festive occasions in South India, wall decors, and collectors' items for art lovers. The major occupation of the inhabitants of the city is tourism and service-oriented industry, while the traditional occupation is agriculture. Thanjavur is known as the "Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu".


Kannada languageCanareseKannada-language
In some 3rd–1st century BCE Tamil inscriptions, words of Kannada influence such as nalliyooraa, kavuDi and posil have been introduced. The use of the vowel a as an adjective is not prevalent in Tamil but its usage is available in Kannada. Kannada words such as gouDi-gavuDi transform into Tamil's kavuDi for lack of the usage of Ghosha svana in Tamil. Hence the Kannada word 'gavuDi' becomes 'kavuDi' in Tamil. 'Posil' ('hosilu') was introduced into Tamil from Kannada and colloquial Tamil uses this word as 'Vaayil'. In a 1st-century CE Tamil inscription, there is a personal reference to ayjayya, a word of Kannada origin. In a 3rd-century CE Tamil inscription there is usage of oppanappa vIran.

Madras Presidency

MadrasMadras ProvinceMadras Government
The first prominent rulers of the northern part of the future Presidency were the Tamil Pandya dynasty (230 BC – AD 102). Following the decline of the Pandyas and the Cholas, the country was conquered by a little known race of people called the Kalabhras. The country recovered under the subsequent Pallava dynasty and its civilisation attained a peak when the later Telugu kings started acquiring vast places in Tamil Nadu. Following the conquest of Madurai by Malik Kafur in 1311, there was a brief lull when both culture and civilisation began to deteriorate. The Tamil and Telugu territories recovered under the Vijayanagar Empire, founded in 1336.

Vijayanagara Empire

Vijayanagar EmpireVijayanagarVijayanagara
Chamarasa was a famous Veerashaiva scholar and poet who had many debates with Vaishnava scholars in the court of Devaraya II. His Prabhulinga Leele, later translated into Telugu and Tamil, was a eulogy of Saint Allama Prabhu (the saint was considered an incarnation of Lord Ganapathi while Parvati took the form of a princess of Banavasi). At this peak of Telugu literature, the most famous writing in the Prabandha style was Manucharitamu. King Krishnadevaraya was an accomplished Telugu scholar and wrote the celebrated Amuktamalyada.


MadrasChennai, IndiaRoyapettah
Tamil and English are the primary medium of instruction, though some schools also use Telugu and Urdu as medium of instruction in their schools. Public schools run by the Chennai Corporation are all affiliated with the Tamil Nadu State Board, while private schools may be affiliated with either of the Tamil Nadu Board of Secondary Education or the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). A few schools are affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board or the Montessori system.

History of Tamil Nadu

Tamil historyits historyAncient period
The Madras state was named Tamil Nadu (literally The Land of Tamils or Tamil Country) in 1969. The Sri Lankan Civil War during the 1970s and the 80s saw large numbers of Sri Lankan Tamils fleeing to Tamil Nadu. The plight of Tamil refugees caused a surge of support from most of the Tamil political parties. They exerted pressure on the Indian government to intercede with the Sri Lankan government on behalf of the Sri Lankan Tamilians. However, LTTE lost much of its support from Tamil Nadu following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi on 21 May 1991 by an operative from Sri Lanka for the former prime minister's role in sending Indian peacekeepers to Sri Lanka to disarm the LTTE.


RamanujacharyaSri RamanujacharyaRamanujar
Ramanuja was born to Tamil parents in the village of Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. His followers in the Vaishnava tradition wrote hagiographies, some of which were composed in centuries after his death, and which the tradition believes to be true. The traditional hagiographies of Ramanuja state he was born to mother Kānthimathi and father Asuri Kesava Somayāji, in Sriperumbudur, near modern Chennai, Tamil Nādu. He is believed to have been born in the month of Chaitra under the star Tiruvadhirai. They place his life in the period of 1017–1137 CE, yielding a lifespan of 120 years.

Brahmi script

BrahmiBrāhmīBrāhmī script
The language used in these inscriptions, nearly all of which have been found upon Buddhist relics, is exclusively Prakrit, though Telugu proper names have been identified in some inscriptions. Twenty-three letters have been identified. The letters ga and sa are similar to Mauryan Brahmi, while bha and da resemble those of modern Telugu script. Tamil-Brahmi is a variant of the Brahmi alphabet that was in use in South India by about 3rd century BCE, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Inscriptions attest their use in parts of Sri Lanka in the same period. The language used in around 70 Southern Brahmi inscriptions discovered in the 20th century have been identified as a Prakrit language.

Dravidian peoples

DravidianDravidiansDravidian people
The largest-Dravidian ethnic groups are the Telugus from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Tamils from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, the Kannadigas from Karnataka, the Malayalis from Kerala, and the Tulu people from Karnataka. Certain communities of Marathis from Maharashtra are considered as Scytho-Dravidians. The most commonly spoken Dravidian languages are Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Brahui, Tulu, Gondi and Coorg. There are three subgroups within the Dravidian language family: North Dravidian, Central Dravidian, and South Dravidian, matching for the most part the corresponding regions in the Indian subcontinent.


BharatnatyamBharata NatyamBharathanatyam
A Natya incorporates the elements of a Nritya. 1) Senthamarai (Tamil, 1962). 2) Thillana Mohanambal (Tamil, 1968). 3) Paattum Bharathamum (Tamil, 1975). 4) Salangai Oli (Tamil, 1983). 5) Sagara Sangamam (Telugu, 1983). 6) Mayuri (Telugu, 1985). 7) Manichitrathazhu (Malayalam, 1993). 8) Sringaram (Tamil, 2007). 9) Kamaladalam(Malayalam, 1992). Uttara Asha Coorlawala, ed. Re-presenting Indian Dance. Dance Research Journal. Congress on Research in Dance 36/2. Winter 2004. ISSN 0149-7677. Douglas M. Knight, Jr. Balasaraswati: Her Art and Life. Wesleyan University Press. Middletown, CT, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-8195-6906-6. Sunil Kothari, Bharata Natyam, Marg Publications, Mumbai: 1997.

Meenakshi Temple

Meenakshi Amman TempleMadurai Meenakshi TempleMadurai Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Temple (also referred to as Meenakshi Amman or Meenakshi-Sundareshwara Temple), is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, and her consort, Sundareshwar, a form of Shiva. The temple is at the center of the ancient temple city of Madurai mentioned in the Tamil Sangam literature, with the goddess temple mentioned in 6th century CE texts. Madurai Meenakshi temple was built by King Kulasekara Pandya (1190-1216 CE).

Sri Vaishnavism

ThenkalaiSri VaishnavaSrivaishnava
In the 15th-century, these monasteries expanded by establishing Ramanuja-kuta in major South Indian Sri Vaishnavism locations. The organizationally important Sri Vaishnavism matha are: The Sri Vaishnava tradition has two major sub-traditions, called the Vadakalai ("northern") and Thenkalai ("southern"). The term northern and southern sub-traditions of Sri Vaishnavism refers respectively to Kanchipuram (the northern part of Tamil country) and Srirangam (the southern part of Tamil country and Kaveri river delta area where Ramanuja wrote his Vedanta treatises from). These sub-traditions arose as a result of philosophical and traditional differences in the post Ramanuja period.


PondicherryPondichéryUnion Territory of Puducherry

States and union territories of India

StateIndian stateUnion Territory
Madras state was renamed Tamil Nadu in 1968. North-eastern states of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura were formed on 21 January 1972. Mysore State was renamed as Karnataka in 1973. On 16 May 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union and the state's monarchy was abolished. In 1987, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram became states on 20 February, followed by Goa on 30 May, while Goa's northern exclaves of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli became separate union territories.

Vyjayanthimala Bali

Vyjayanthimala made her screen debut at the age of 13 through the Tamil film Vaazhkai (1949) and Telugu film Jeevitham in 1950 and acted in Bollywood movies Bahar and Ladki. Following the success of Nagin, Vyjayanthimala established herself as one of Bollywood's leading actresses while making inroads in successful Tamil and Telugu films. After successfully establishing herself as a commercial actress, Vyjayanthimala appeared in Devdas, playing Chandramukhi, the hooker with a heart of gold, in 1955.

Sri Lanka

CeylonCeyloneseDemocratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
With the constitutional reforms of 1972, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) and Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) created a common front called the Tamil United Front (later Tamil United Liberation Front). Following a period of turbulence as Tamil militants rose to power in the late 1970s, these Tamil political parties were succeeded in October 2001 by the Tamil National Alliance. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a Marxist–Leninist political party founded by Rohana Wijeweera in 1965, serves as a third force in the current political context. It endorses leftist policies which are more radical than the traditionalist leftist politics of the LSSP and the Communist Party.


Kerala stateKerala, Indiastate of Kerala
In respect of female empowerment, some negative factors such as higher suicide rate, lower share of earned income, child marriage, complaints of sexual harassment and limited freedom are reported. In 2015, Kerala had the highest conviction rate of any state, over 77%. Kerala has the lowest proportion of homeless people in rural India – 0.04%, and the state is attempting to reach the goal of becoming the first "Zero Homeless State", in addition to its acclaimed "Zero landless project", with private organisations and the expatriate Malayali community funding projects for building homes for the homeless. The state was also among the lowest in the India State Hunger Index next only to Punjab.

Carnatic music

CarnaticCarnatic classical musicIndian classical music
For example, all songs by Tyagaraja (who composed in Telugu) have the word Tyagaraja in them, all songs by Muthuswami Dikshitar (who composed in Sanskrit) have the words Guruguha in them; songs by Syama Sastri (who composed in Telugu) have the words Syama Krishna in them; all songs by Purandaradasa (who composed in Kannada) have the words Purandara Vittala; while Gopalakrishna Bharathi (who composed in Tamil) used the signature Gopalakrishnan in his compositions. Papanasam Sivan, who has been hailed as the Tamil Tyagaraja of Carnatic music, composed in Tamil and Sanskrit, and used the signature Ramadasan in his compositions.