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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2, p. 321.


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CHAPTER IX
THE HINDU PERIOD OF SOUTHERN INDIA
Intlroditctory
SOUTHERN INDIA is geographically divided from Northern The
India by the Vindhya mountains and the Narbada river. To South.
Its boun-
the south of these, stretching almost across the whole peninsula, daries.
is the upland plateau known as the Deccan, separated from the
sea on the east by the lower tracts watered by the Godavari and
Krishna (Kistna) rivers, and on the west by the long strip under
the Ghlts known as the Konkan. The Tungabhadra and
Krishna rivers form the dividing line of the Deccan, to the
south of which lies the country now generally distinguished as
Southern India; but for the present historical summary the
latter term is held to include the Deccan and all tracts below
the Vindhyas and the Narbad5, thus embracing the entire
area known of old as the 'South' to the Hindus of the north
(Deccan = dakshina = 'southern ').
The people of Southern India speak one or other of the Its
family of languages classed as Dravidian, the principal of which languages.
are Telugu (north and east), Kanarese (north and west),
Tamil (south), and MalayAlam (the western seaboard), with
two others, Tulu and Kodagu (or Coorg), confined to small
tracts. There are, however, forms of speech used by the
hill tribes-Todas, Kotas, and others-which probably contain
a large admixture of aboriginal words, dating from centuries
earlier than even the first Dravidian inroads. In the MalayA-
lam and Telugu countries there appears to be no great variety
of dialects; but amongst the Tamil-speaking peoples there are
differences, arising from the fact that for at least two thousand
years, if not for longer, the Tamils were divided into distinct
nationalities, ruled over by PAndya and Chola sovereigns. The
subjects of the Chera kings spoke Kanarese for the most part,
while those of the Pallava dynasties probably used the Tamil
and Telugu of the Ch6la tracts. The only non-Dravidian
language in the area under consideration is Marathi, spoken by
VOL. II, Y



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