The period of Pailava rule is an important chapter in the history of Tamil Nadu. After defeating the Kalabhras, Pailavas established their rule in the Tamil country. Their rule had extended from Sixth century A.D. to Ninth century A.D. The core of the Pallava kingdom was known as Thondai Mandalam. It extended from the river Krishna in the North to the river Palar in the South.

The Paliava rule was significant in many respects. There was religious revival as well as literary growth. An excellent administrative structure had existed under the Pallava rule. The Pallavas had also effected important changes in the sphere of art and architecture.

Origin of the Pallavas

There are many theories regarding the origin of the Pallavas. Some scholars consider that the Pallavas were foreigners. According to this theory, the Pallavas were the descendents of the Persians who invaded North India. But many scholars do not accept this theory.

The theory that the Tamil country had been the original home of the Pallavas is based on the story of Thondaiman Ilanthiraiyan. He was considered to be a descendent of the Chola-Naga tribes. However, the Tamil origin for the Pallavas has been ruled out on many counts.

It is generally considered that the Pallavas had migrated to the Tamil country from North India. While in North India, they served under the Mauryas. After the decline of the Mauryas, the Pallavas migrated to the Andhra region. Before coming to the Tamil Country, they stayed in the Andhra region for some time and served under the Satavahanas. Subsequently, they established the Pallava kingdom in Thondaimandalam by overthrowing the Kalabhras.