Tamil Nadu, literally 'The Land of Tamils' or 'Tamil Country', is one of the few regions that has been inhabited by people since prehistoric times. The culture and traditions have survived the test of time, making Tamil a widely spoken language all over the world.
The Chera, Chola and Pandya are the oldest Tamilian dynasties that have been identified. Together, they contributed to the creation of a variety of unique cultures and languages. These dynasties are also credited with the growth of the Sangam Literature, some of the oldest extant literature in the world. The constant battle between these empires for a bigger fragment of land created strong friction, providing scope for external invasions. Upheaval finally came about, when, in the third century, the Kalabhras invaded the region and changed the power dynamics that had been constant for generations. Traditional order was restored when the Pandyas and the Pallavas defeated them.
The Cholas entered the scenario by defeating the Pallavas and the Pandyas and reached the pinnacle of power in the 9th century, when the entire southern peninsula was under their control. Unrest in the region was a result of Muslim invasions which overthrew existing dynasties and establishied the Vijayanagara Empire. A brief rule by the Marathas came next, followed by the arrival of the British in the 17th century. They created the Madras Presidency that encompassed the whole of Tamil Nadu. After the Independence of India, the state boundaries were defined on the basis of linguistic differences, giving birth to the state of Tamil Nadu as it is known today.
This varied history of the state has successfully made Tamil Nadu into a hub of rich crafts, deep-rooted traditions, insightful literature and a symphony of music and dance, placing it high on the cultural as well as historic arena.
Kanchipuram, also known as Kanchi, is Tamil Nadu's centre for silk weaving and handlooms. In the city alone there are over 85 silk and cotton yarn mills and dyeing units. Kanjeevaram sarees are a distinct tradition of Tamil Nadu, exclusively produced in Kanchipuram. The majority of the city's population are part of the silk saree weaving industry, with more than 5000 families practising the traditional craft. The Weavers' Service Centre in Kanchipuram tremendously supports the traditional techniques of Tamil Nadu's silk and cotton weaving industry, as well as its artisans.
SELECT THE CRAFT BELOW AND DISCOVER ITS TECHNIQUES