Pallavas, etc.
     •   Chetas of Kalinta: Kharavela (Hathigumpha Inscription)
     •   Sangam Dynasties of South: Cholas of Uraiyur (later Kaveripattinam
         or Puhar); Pandyas of Madurai; Cheras of Vanji or Karur
Dawn of Civilisation in the South Early historical society in the south is
reconstructed mainly from the early Tamil anthologies and it is only recently
that the picture has started receiving corroboration from the expanding
discipline of archaeology. The culture was composite, in which the northern
and local elements had already attained a high level of fusion, but variations
in this culture may be best analysed by referring to the regional scheme in the
Tolkappiyam, the earliest Tamil grammar.
Regional Diversity of the South Five physiographic divisions of the land
and the climate are mentioned in it: the forests, the hills, the plains, the
littoral and the arid. Dealing with seasonal patterns in these zones, the work
speaks about gods, staple food, fauna, flora, folk-habits, occupations, musical
instruments and so on, but the pattern of life differed from region to region.
Thus, for example, while life in the plains centred around agricultural pursuit,
that in the littoral was vigorously concerned with commerce. There was
distinction too between the rural and urban areas, many of the settlements of
the latter category having come up by this period.
Main Kingdoms of the South The Chola, Pandya and Chera were the
three main kingdoms, but a number of tribal chieftaincies we hear of, were no
less important. Wars and tribal clashes were frequent and the king, who was
at this stage essentially, a war leader, was primarily concerned with the
protection of his tribe or kingdom. Not unnaturally, the Sangam poems,
although occasionally revealing a type of sophistication which is in tune with
the emerging complexity of the society, manifest a largely tribal sentiment in
war and love.