heart of Tamilaham, the home of the Tamils or Tamil Nadu, lies around and
south of the curve of the Eastern Ghats as it goes to merge with the Western
Ghats in the Nilgiris. Some of the oldest prehistoric settlements of India
have been found in this area, which has also been the cradle of ancient arts
and crafts and industries, a land of innumerable, incomparable temples.
The Bharatnatyam is the traditional dance of Tamil Nadu. The dancers seem
to express their infatuation with the lord who has been described in one of
the Prayers as Lord Krishna, with eyes like lustrous pearls, heads bedecked
with Peacock feathers and body the hue of Heaven.
The people of Tamil Nadu speak Tamil, one of the oldest and most developed
languages of India. Religion is second nature to Tamilians, intricately
mixed with colourful blends of secular practices and religious observance.
Tamilians attach great importance to the wearing of the sacred thread by the
Brahmins and Mangalsutra (a special necklace) by women after marriage. Many
men wear the religious mark over their forehead- known as the Tilak
(vermilion). Another common practice is bathing everyday in nearby river,
stream or tank.