17 Facts About Tamils


Tamil people, known as Tamilar, or simply Tamils, are a Dravidian ethno-linguistic group who trace their ancestry mainly to India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, union territory of Puducherry and to Sri Lanka.

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The Jaffna Kingdom, inhabited by Sri Lankan Tamils, was once one of the strongest kingdoms of Sri Lanka and controlled much of the north of the island.

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Tamils were noted for their influence on regional trade throughout the Indian Ocean.

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Periplus indicates that the chief exports of the ancient Tamils were pepper, malabathrum, pearls, ivory, silk, spikenard, diamonds, sapphires, and tortoiseshell.

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Tamils led successful expeditions to the north as attested by his epigraphs found as far as Cuddappah.

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Tamils defeated two Pandya princes one of whom was Maravarman Sundara Pandya II and briefly made the Pandyas submit to the Chola overlordship.

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Tamils then defeated Kopperunjinga, the Kadava chieftain, and turned him into a vassal.

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The Sri Lankan Tamils saw the act as linguistic, cultural and economic discrimination against them.

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Tamils are the majority in the union territory of Puducherry, a former French colony.

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The Sri Lankan Tamils are descendants of the Tamils of the old Jaffna Kingdom and east coast chieftaincies called Vannimais.

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The Indian Tamils are descendants of bonded laborers who migrated from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka in the 19th century to work on tea plantations.

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Under the terms of an agreement reached between the Sri Lankan and Indian governments in the 1960s, about 40 percent of the Indian Tamils were granted Sri Lankan citizenship, and many of the remainder were repatriated to India.

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Tamils have strong attachment to the Tamil language, which is often venerated in literature as Tamilannai, "the Tamil mother".

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The Tamils are native to modern state of India known as Tamil Nadu and the northern and eastern part of Sri Lanka.

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Many emigrant Tamils retain elements of a cultural, linguistic, and religious tradition that predates the Christian era.

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The Alvars and Nayanars, who were predominantly Tamils, played a key role in the renaissance of Bhakti tradition in India.

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Traditionally, the Tamils sit on the ground and the food is served on a banana leaf.

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