Under the rule of the Pallavas, Cholas and the Pandya kings, there were tremendous growth and development in the field of art, architecture and literature, which reached great heights. The history of Tamil language can be traced back to the age of the Tolkapiyam, the Tamil Grammar text, ascribed to around 500 B.C. Similarly, the Sangam literature dates back to 500 B.C.
People of Tamilnadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the most urbanized states of India but most of the people still live in villages. In Tamil Nadu, there is an established caste system with traditional differentiations a lot more pronounced than in many other parts of India. A large part of population is confined to the Chennai (covering industrial areas, townships and the surrounding villages) and those around Madurai, Tiruchchirappall and Coimbatore. About 80 percent of the people in Tamil Nadu follow Hinduism. A substantial percentage of population in Tamil Nadu follows Christianity and Islam.
Languages Spoken in Tamil Nadu
Tamil is the official language of Tamil Nadu state and one of the 18 languages mentioned in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution. Tamil is one of the classical languages of the world, with a rich heritage of literature. It is the most widely spoken language in Tamil Nadu. Besides Tamil Nadu, Tamil is also spoken by a number of people in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Mauritius and Malaysia. The antiquity of Tamil is comparable to Sanskrit. Tamil is written in a derivative of the southern ‘Brahmi’ script. The alphabet of Tamil is unique (phonetic). That is, in Tamil language letters represent sounds, rather than ideas, as is the case in the ‘Mandarin’ language of China.
Religions in Tamil Nadu
The history and culture of Tamilnadu goes back to thousands years back. For centuries, people of various religions have been residing in the state. The main religions in Tamilnadu are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Jainism. Hinduism, along with its various sects, is the oldest religion in the state. Hindus are followers of number of sectarian monastic institutions (called mathas).
Like all other South Indian states, Tamil Nadu is also known for a wide variety of delicious food both for the vegetarians as well as the non-vegetarians. Grains, lentils, rice and vegetables are the main ingredients of the traditional foods of Tamil Nadu. Spices add flavor and give a distinctive taste to the Tamil cuisines. Some of the most common and popular dishes of the region are idly, dosai, vada, pongal and Uppuma. Coconut chutney and sambhar invariably form a part of most of the Tamil dishes.