in fact gave this stimulus to Vedic tradition.
Tamil saints of the sixth and seventh centuries AD were the progenitors of
the bhakti movement. The hymns and sermons of the Nayanars (Saivite
saints) and Alvars (Vaishnavite saints) continued the tradition of bhakti.
Saivite saints were Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar, and others. Most
remarkable thing about this age was the presence of women saints such as
Andal (an Alvar).
Education and Learning
Education in the early days was controlled by the Jainas and Buddhists. The
Jaina institutions were located at Madurai and Kanchi. But soon Brahmanical
institutions superseded them. Ghatikas or Brahmin institutions were attached
to the temples and mostly confined to advance study. In the eighth century AD
the maths also became popular. A math was an omnibus institution because
of its being a rest-house, a feeding centre and also an education centre. In all
these institutions, Sanskrit was the medium of instruction, because it was also
the official language.
Kanchi, the pallava capital, was a great centre of Sanskrit learning. Both
Bharavi and Dandin, the authors of Kiratarjuniyam and
Dasakumaracharitam respectively, lived in the Pallava court. The scientific
works of Varahamihira and the poetry of Kalidasa were well known in the
Pallava country. Most of the kings were accomplished scholars and
Mahendravarman I himself wrote the famous burlesque, Mattavilasa
Spread of Indian Culture
Pallavas were also instrumental in spreading Indian culture in South-East
Asia. Till the eighth century AD Pallava influence was predominant in
Saivism enjoyed official patronage in these countries. The Pallava type of
sikhara is to be found in the temples of Java, Cambodia and Annam.