Tamil Nadu is one of the most industrialized and urbanized states of India. To its east is the Coromandel Coast which is a vanguard of India’s maritime history. Traders and merchants used its ports to come to India for textiles and spices. Tamil Nadu is the land of temple towns, classical music and dance, and religious processions with Tamil as the oldest surviving Dravidian language. The region witnessed the reign of powerful dynasties like the Chera, Pandya, Chola, Maratha, and the Vijayanagara kings. The British rule began in the 17th century with the establishment of the East India Company in Madras, now called Chennai, which paved the way for transformation. The rock cut monoliths in Mamallapuram are witness to an ancient stone carving tradition, kept alive through temple buildings and sculptures.
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