Place:Tamil Nadu, India

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NameTamil Nadu
Alt namesMadrassource: Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 349
Madras Presidencysource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) XI, 530
TypeState
Coordinates11.0°N 78.0°E
Located inIndia     (1947 - )
Contained Places
District
Chennai
Coimbatore
Cuddalore
Dindigul
Erode
Kanchipuram
Kanyakumari
Krishnagiri
Madurai
Nagapattinam
Pudukkottai
Ramanathapuram
Salem
Sivaganga
Sivagangai
Thanjavur
The Nilgiris
Thiruvallur
Thoothukudi
Tiruchirapalli
Tirunelveli
Tiruppur
Tiruvannamalai
Tiruvarur
Vellore
Viluppuram
Virudhunagar
General region
Carnatic
Inhabited place
Alandur
Allinagaram
Ambasamudram
Ambur
Anaimalai
Arantangi
Ariyalur
Arni
Arumuganeri
Aruppukkottai
Atirampattinam
Bodinayakkanur
Chetput
Chidambaram
Denkanikota
Devakottai
Dhanushkodi
Dharapuram
Dharmapuri
Eraniel
Fort St. David
Golden Rock
Gopichettipalaiyam
Gudalur
Gudiyatham
Harur
Idāppādi
Ilaiyankudi
Jayamkondacholapuram
Jolārpettai
Kadaiyanallur
Kallakkurichchi
Kambam
Kanniyākumāri
Karaikkudi
Karur
Kattuputtur
Kaveripattnam
Kayalpattinam
Kelambakkam
Kilakarai
Kolachel
Kotagiri
Kottūr
Kulasekarappattinam
Kumārapālaiyam
Kurinjippadi
Madurantakam
Manappari
Marthandam
Mathura
Mayuram
Melappālaiyam
Melur
Mettupalaiyam
Mettur
Muttyāluppettai
Nagappattinam
Namakkal
Nattam
Padmanabhapuram
Palni
Panakudi
Panruti
Paramagudi
Parangipettai
Pattukkottai
Perambalur
Peranāmpattu
Periyakulam
Pilamedu
Pollachi
Pollur
Pudukottai
Puliyangudi
Pālayankottai
Rajapalaiyam
Rameswaram
Rānipettai
Rāsipuram
Sadras
Sankarankovil
Sattānkulam
Satyamangalam
Sendamangalam
Shencottah
Singanallur
Sivakasi
Sivanganga
Srivilliputtur
Swamithope
Taranambādi
Theni
Thichur
Thiruvattar
Tiruchengodu
Tirukkalukkunram
Tirukkoyilur
Tirumangalam
Tirupparanguram
Tiruppattur
Tiruttani
Tirutturaippaundi
Tiruvalur
Tiruvettipuram
Tiruvottiyūr
Tisaiyanvilai
Tondi
Turaiyur
Tuticorin
Udagamandalam
Udankudi
Udumalaippettai
Uttamapālaiyam
Valparai
Vaniyambadi
Vattalkundu
Vedaranniyam
Vettaikkāranpudūr
Vikramasingapuram
Virudunagar
Vriddhachalam
Wandewash
Åndippatti
Ārani
Unknown
Aruvankadu
Godavari
Kirippur
Kumbapettai
Pudukkotai
South Arcot
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Tamil Nadu (Tamiḻ Nāḍu "Tamil Country", formerly Madras State) is one of the 29 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai (formerly known as Madras). Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian subcontinent and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry and the South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is bounded by the Eastern Ghats on the north, by the Nilgiri Mountains, the Meghamalai Hills, and Kerala on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait on the southeast, and by the Indian Ocean on the south. The state shares a maritime border with the nation of Sri Lanka.

Tamil Nadu is the eleventh largest Indian state by area and the sixth largest state by population. It has a high HDI ranking among Indian states as of 2017.[1] The economy of Tamil Nadu is the second-largest state economy in India with in gross domestic product after Maharashtra and a per capita GDP of .[2] It was ranked as one of the top seven developed states in India based on a "Multidimensional Development Index" in a 2013 report published by the Reserve Bank of India. Its official language is Tamil, which is one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world.

The state is home to a number of historic buildings, multi-religious pilgrimage sites, hill stations and eight World Heritage sites. The people of Tamil Nadu have continued to develop their cultural heritage in terms of music, dance, literature, theatre, cuisine, and other art forms.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Prehistory

Archaeological evidence points to this area being one of the longest continuous habitations in the Indian peninsula. In Attirampakkam, archaeologists from the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education excavated ancient stone tools which suggests that a humanlike population existed in the Tamil Nadu region somewhere around 300,000 years before homo sapiens arrived from Africa. In Adichanallur, from Tirunelveli, archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unearthed 169 clay urns containing human skulls, skeletons, bones, husks, grains of rice, charred rice and celts of the Neolithic period, 3,800 years ago. The ASI archaeologists have proposed that the script used at that site is "very rudimentary" Tamil Brahmi. Adichanallur has been announced as an archaeological site for further excavation and studies. About 60 per cent of the total epigraphical inscriptions found by the ASI in India are from Tamil Nadu, and most of these are in the Tamil language.

Indus valley script between 2000 and 1500 BCE

A Neolithic stone celt (a hand-held axe) with the Indus script on it was discovered at Sembian-Kandiyur near Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. According to epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan, this was the first datable artefact bearing the Indus script to be found in Tamil Nadu. According to Mahadevan, the find was evidence of the use of the Harappan language, and therefore that the "Neolithic people of the Tamil country spoke a Harappan language". The date of the celt was estimated at between 1500 BCE and 2000 BCE.

Sangam period (300 BCE – 300 CE)

The early history of the people and rulers of Tamil Nadu is a topic in Tamil literary sources known as Sangam literature. Numismatic, archaeological and literary sources corroborate that the Sangam period lasted for about six centuries, from 300 BC to AD 300. The recent excavations in Alagankulam archaeological site suggests that Alagankulam is one of the important trade centre or port city in Sangam Era.

Bhakti Movement

The Bhakti movement originated in Tamil speaking region of South India and spread northwards through India. The Bhakti Movement was a rapid growth of bhakti beginning in this region with the Saiva Nayanars (4th–10th centuries) and the Vaisnava Alvars who spread bhakti poetry and devotion.[3] The Alwars and Nayanmars were instrumental in propagating the Bhakti tradition.

Medieval period (600–1300)

During the 4th to 8th centuries, Tamil Nadu saw the rise of the Pallava dynasty under Mahendravarman I and his son Mamalla Narasimhavarman I. The Pallavas ruled parts of South India with Kanchipuram as their capital. Tamil architecture reached its peak during Pallava rule. Narasimhavarman II built the Shore Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Much later, the Pallavas were replaced by the Chola dynasty as the dominant kingdom in the 9th century and they in turn were replaced by the Pandyan Dynasty in the 13th century. The Pandyan capital Madurai was in the deep south away from the coast. They had extensive trade links with the south east Asian maritime empires of Srivijaya and their successors, as well as contacts, even formal diplomatic contacts, reaching as far as the Roman Empire. During the 13th century, Marco Polo mentioned the Pandyas as the richest empire in existence. Temples such as the Meenakshi Amman Temple at Madurai and Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli are the best examples of Pandyan temple architecture. The Pandyas excelled in both trade and literature. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the south coast of India, between Sri Lanka and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world.

Chola Empire

During the 9th century, the Chola dynasty was once again revived by Vijayalaya Chola, who established Thanjavur as Chola's new capital by conquering central Tamil Nadu from Mutharaiyar and the Pandya king Varagunavarman II. Aditya I and his son Parantaka I expanded the kingdom to the northern parts of Tamil Nadu by defeating the last Pallava king, Aparajitavarman. Parantaka Chola II expanded the Chola empire into what is now interior Andhra Pradesh and coastal Karnataka, while under the great Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola, the Cholas rose to a notable power in south east Asia. Now the Chola Empire stretched as far as Bengal and Sri Lanka. At its peak, the empire spanned almost . Rajaraja Chola conquered all of peninsular south India and parts of Sri Lanka. Rajendra Chola's navy went even further, occupying coasts from Burma (now ) to Vietnam, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Sumatra, Java, Malaya, Philippines in South East Asia and Pegu islands. He defeated Mahipala, the king of Bengal, and to commemorate his victory he built a new capital and named it Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

The Cholas were prolific temple builders right from the times of the first medieval king Vijayalaya Chola. These are the earliest specimen of Dravidian temples under the Cholas. His son Aditya I built several temples around the Kanchi and Kumbakonam regions. The Cholas went on to becoming a great power and built some of the most imposing religious structures in their lifetime and they also renovated temples and buildings of the Pallavas, acknowledging their common socio-religious and cultural heritage. The celebrated Nataraja temple at Chidambaram and the Sri Ranganathaswami Temple at Srirangam held special significance for the Cholas which have been mentioned in their inscriptions as their tutelary deities. Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola built temples such as the Brihadeshvara Temple of Thanjavur and Brihadeshvara Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram, the Airavatesvara Temple of Darasuram and the Sarabeswara (Shiva) Temple, also called the Kampahareswarar Temple at Thirubhuvanam, the last two temples being located near Kumbakonam. The first three of the above four temples are titled Great Living Chola Temples among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Vijayanagar and Nayak period (1336–1646)

The Muslim invasions of southern India triggered the establishment of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire with Vijayanagara in modern Karnataka as its capital. The Vijayanagara empire eventually conquered the entire Tamil country by c. 1370 and ruled for almost two centuries until its defeat in the Battle of Talikota in 1565 by a confederacy of Deccan sultanates. Subsequently, as the Vijayanagara Empire went into decline after the mid-16th century, many local rulers, called Nayaks, succeeded in gaining the trappings of independence. This eventually resulted in the further weakening of the empire; many Nayaks declared themselves independent, among whom the Nayaks of Madurai and Tanjore were the first to declare their independence, despite initially maintaining loose links with the Vijayanagara kingdom. The Nayaks of Madurai and Nayaks of Thanjavur were the most prominent of Nayaks in the 17th century. They reconstructed some of the well-known temples in Tamil Nadu such as the Meenakshi Temple.

Power struggles of the 18th century (1688–1802)

By the early 18th century, the political scene in Tamil Nadu saw a major change-over and was under the control of many minor rulers aspiring to be independent. The fall of the Vijayanagara empire and the Chandragiri Nayakas gave the sultanate of Golconda a chance to expand into the Tamil heartland. When the sultanate was incorporated into the Mughal Empire in 1688, the northern part of current-day Tamil Nadu was administrated by the nawab of the Carnatic, who had his seat in Arcot from 1715 onward. Meanwhile, to the south, the fall of the Thanjavur Nayaks led to a short-lived Thanjavur Maratha kingdom. The fall of the Madurai Nayaks brought up many small Nayakars of southern Tamil Nadu, who ruled small parcels of land called palayams. The chieftains of these Palayams were known as Palaiyakkarar (or 'polygar' as called by British) and were ruling under the nawabs of the Carnatic.


Europeans started to establish trade centres during the 17th century in the eastern coastal regions. Around 1609, the Dutch established a settlement in Pulicat, while the Danes had their establishment in Tharangambadi also known as Tranquebar. In 1639, the British, under the East India Company, established a settlement further south of Pulicat, in present-day Chennai. British constructed Fort St. George and established a trading post at Madras. The office of mayoralty of Madras was established in 1688. The French established trading posts at Pondichéry by 1693. The British and French were competing to expand the trade in the northern parts of Tamil Nadu which also witnessed many battles like Battle of Wandiwash as part of the Seven Years' War. British reduced the French dominions in India to Puducherry. Nawabs of the Carnatic bestowed tax revenue collection rights on the East India Company for defeating the Kingdom of Mysore. Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah surrendered much of his territory to the East India Company which firmly established the British in the northern parts. In 1762, a tripartite treaty was signed between Thanjavur Maratha, Carnatic and the British by which Thanjavur became a vassal of the Nawab of the Carnatic which eventually ceded to British.

In the south, Nawabs granted taxation rights to the British which led to conflicts between British and the Palaiyakkarar, which resulted in series of wars called Polygar war to establish independent states by the aspiring Palaiyakkarar. Puli Thevar was one of the earliest opponents of the British rule in South India. Thevar's prominent exploits were his confrontations with Marudhanayagam, who later rebelled against the British in the late 1750s and early 1760s. Rani Velu Nachiyar, was the first woman freedom fighter of India and Queen of Sivagangai. She was drawn to war after her husband Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar (1750–1772), King of Sivaganga was murdered at Kalayar Kovil temple by British. Before her death, Queen Velu Nachi granted powers to the Maruthu brothers to rule Sivaganga. Kattabomman (1760–1799), Palaiyakkara chief of Panchalakurichi who fought the British in the First Polygar War. He was captured by the British at the end of the war and hanged near Kayattar in 1799. Veeran Sundaralingam (1700–1800) was the General of Kattabomman Nayakan's palayam, who died in the process of blowing up a British ammunition dump in 1799 which killed more than 150 British soldiers to save Kattapomman Palace. Oomaithurai, younger brother of Kattabomman, took asylum under the Maruthu brothers, Periya Marudhu and Chinna Marudhu and raised an army. They formed a coalition with Dheeran Chinnamalai and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja which fought the British in Second Polygar Wars. Dheeran Chinnamalai (1756–1805), Polygar chieftain of Kongu and feudatory of Tipu Sultan who fought the British in the Second Polygar War. After winning the Polygar wars in 1801, the East India Company consolidated most of southern India into the Madras Presidency.


British rule (1801–1947)

At the beginning of the 19th century, the British firmly established governance over entirety of Tamil Nadu. The Vellore mutiny on 10 July 1806 was the first instance of a large-scale mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company, predating the Indian Rebellion of 1857 by half a century. The revolt, which took place in Vellore, was brief, lasting one full day, but brutal as mutineers broke into the Vellore fort and killed or wounded 200 British troops, before they were subdued by reinforcements from nearby Arcot. The British crown took over the control governance from the Company and the remainder of the 19th century did not witness any native resistance until the beginning of 20th century Indian Independence movements. During the administration of Governor George Harris(1854–1859) measures were taken to improve education and increase representation of Indians in the administration. Legislative powers given to the Governor's council under the Indian Councils Act 1861 and 1909 Minto-Morley Reforms eventually led to the establishment of the Madras Legislative Council. Failure of the summer monsoons and administrative shortcomings of the Ryotwari system resulted in two severe famines in the Madras Presidency, the Great Famine of 1876–78 and the Indian famine of 1896–97. The famine led to migration of people as bonded labours for British to various countries which eventually formed the present Tamil diaspora.

India (1947–present)

When India became independent in 1947, Madras presidency became Madras state, comprising present-day Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh up to Ganjam district in Odisha, South Canara district Karnataka, and parts of Kerala. The state was subsequently split up along linguistic lines. In 1969, Madras State was renamed Tamil Nadu, meaning "Tamil country".

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