Tamil people, are an ethnic group native to Tamil Nadu, India and the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Historic and post 15th century emigrant communities are also found across the world, notably Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Reunion (France) and the UK. Since the early BCE, urbanization and mercantile activity along the western and eastern coast of what is today Kerala and Tamil Nadu led to the development of four large Tamil political states (Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallavas) and a number of small petty states warring amongst themselves for dominance. Between the 3rd century BCE and the 3rd century CE Tamil people also produced native literature that came to be called Sangam literature. In centuries BCE religions such as Jainism, Buddhism and Vedic religion was spread amongst the populace. Tamils were noted for their military, religious and mercantile activities beyond their native borders.
Contributions by Rrjanbiah, Sundar, and Rxasgomez.