The people, the main population of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu (about 65 million people); also live in the North of Sri Lanka (3000 thousand people, where stand out Sri Lankan Tamils living here from the 8th-13th centuries., and Indian Tamils, appeared here since the mid – 19th century.) and in Singapore (110 thousand people). Tamils also live in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, in all major cities of India, as well as in the Diaspora in many countries of the world.
The majority of Tamils – Hindus, Shaivites and Vaishnavas, there are Sunni Muslims) and Christians. Tamils originate from the ancient Dravidian peoples who inhabited the territory of South Asia from the 3rd Millennium BC and moved to the southern regions from the North-West. Protodravidian peoples formed a significant proportion of the population of the civilization of the Indus valley. However, there is very little information about the ethnic history of South India in 2 – 1 millennia BC.
The ancient state of Dravidian peoples of southern India – Choli, Cheri and Pandya existed since the beginning of BC To the late 1st – the early 2nd Millennium BC formed an independent Principality. In the late 18th – 19th centuries here a significant role is now played by the Europeans, emerged the French (Pondicherry) and the British settlement, there was a major commercial and industrial center Madras (Chennai). After India gained independence, the Tamil territory was transformed into the state of Madras, later renamed Tamil Nadu (Tamil Nadu).
Tamils are engaged in arable farming (grow rice, millet, oilseeds), work on tea and cotton plantations; they have highly developed crafts – weaving, blacksmithing (processing of copper, bronze), jewelry, making decorative sculptures, weaving baskets and mats, making utensils, art utensils, making musical instruments.