Tamil Nadu was the seat of the Chola empire (10th-13th cent.). Muslims swept away the Hindu Vijayanagar kingdom in the 16th cent. and controlled the area for about a century. The Portuguese established trading posts in the 16th cent., followed by the Dutch, French, and British in the early 17th cent. After a struggle (1741-63) with the French and with Haidar Ali and Tippoo Sahib, the British emerged victorious. Under Great Britain, the territory controlled from Madras city was considerably enlarged.
After independence its Telugu-speaking areas were transferred to Andhra Pradesh in 1953, and in 1956 the Kannada-speaking areas were transferred to Mysore (now Karnataka), and the Malayalam areas to Kerala. In 1969 the name of the state was changed from Madras to Tamil Nadu. The Tamils of Tamil Nadu have provided logistical support for the guerrillas trying to establish an independent Tamil state in an area covering the Jaffna peninsula and E Sri Lanka, and some Tamils support the idea of an independent homeland consisting of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil-speaking areas of Sri Lanka and the neighboring Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala.
State (pop., 2001: 62,645,679), southeastern India. Lying on the Bay of Bengal, its coastline includes the enclaves of Pondicherry and Karaikal (both parts of Pondicherry union territory); it is also bordered by Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh states. Tamil Nadu covers an area of 50,216 sq mi (130,058 sq km), and its capital is Chennai (Madras). Its interior includes the fertile Kaveri (Cauvery) River delta. By the 2nd century AD the region was occupied by Tamil kingdoms. The Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar ruled the southern regions from 1336 to 1565. The Portuguese entered the area at the end of the 15th century, only to be displaced by the Dutch in the 16th–17th centuries. The British established a settlement in 1611, which expanded to become the separate presidency of Madras, which lasted from 1653 to 1946. The state of Tamil Nadu was formed in 1956. It is one of India's most industrialized states, manufacturing vehicles, electrical equipment, and chemicals.
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