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While temples are replete with giant marvels in sculptural works and aesthetic carvings, there are monuments like at Mamallapuram seashore resort that just give one a glimpse of the construction ability of Pallava rulers who were known for their seafaring ability and also patronised fine arts and crafts during their reign.One of the ancient literary treatises Tolkaapiyam written during Sangam era (400 BCE to 300 CE) has laid down the grammar of Tamil, the mother of all Dravidian languages, that is compared to Sanskrit of the north, Latin and Greek of the European civilisation.A distinct ethnic group with a history dating back to Sangam era (from 400-300 B. E to 300 CE), Tamils are either Saivites or Vaishnavites segment of Hindu pantheism.Their literature can be traced to the grammatical treatise 'Tolkaapiyam' written around 500 B. While a majority of Tamils are Hindus (88%), Christians forming 6% of the population and Muslims (5.57%) live in harmony and have their own places of worship and festivals to celebrate.National festival Deepavali celebrated over the slaying of demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna is also one of the most joyous occasions for the Tamils.Crackers, sweets and new clothes are important things that cannot be missed in any family during this festival.Tamil Nadu women often adorn themselves with flowers in their hair, the favourite being 'Malli Poo' or jasmine.
During the reign of Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas, a number of temples and public utilities like dams and irrigation tanks were built which are still being used after minor renovation.
But for the masses who could not decipher the intricacies of the Carnatic music, popular numbers having common lyrics snatched from the popular usage hold sway and form an important medium of entertainment.
Rich in diversity, the states boasts of a variety of folk dances like Parai, Karakaatam, Villupaatu and Koothu that add spice to the life of local inhabitants including tribes in hill areas.
While singing comes naturally to the people here, Tamil language is flexible enough to accommodate the growth of a number of dialects which have their own music genre evolved over centuries.
However, when it comes to the music for the elite group, the Carnatic music that evolved during later half of 18th and early 19th centuries have been known to entertain a refined audience known for their acute sensibilities and knowledge of the music.