Tamil Nadu (Tamil: தமிழ்நாடு "Country of the Tamils", pronounced [t̪ɐmɨɻ n̪aːɽɯ]( listen)) is one of the 32 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai (formerly known as Madras). Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by Puducherry (Pondicherry), Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is bound by the Eastern Ghats in the north, the Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, and Palakkad on the west
Tamil is the official language of Tamil Nadu which was the first language to be declared as classical language of India, the other being Sanskrit. Most of the older works are in verse form, and prose gained popularity later. All through history, Tamil literature has sought to inform and inspire, educate and entertain. Tamil poetry has universal appeal as evidenced by many examples.
Tamils have a large number of folk dances. These are performed for every possible occasion, to celebrate the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, weddings and festivals. Tamil dance is closely intertwined with the Tamil theatrical tradition. The most celebrated of these is karakattam.
The Kings of the olden days created sangams for Iyal Isai Nadagam (Literature, Music and Drama). Music plays a major role in sangams. Music in Tamil Nadu had different forms. In villages where farming was the primary work, the ladies who work in the fields used to sing kulavai songs.
In terms of modern music (light, film, pop, etc.), the music of Tamil Nadu is praised very highly. Ilaiyaraaja was the most prominent composer of film music in Tamil cinema during the late 1970s and 1980s. His work highlighted Tamil folk lyricism and introduced broader Western musical sensibilities to the South Indian musical mainstream.
Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form originating from Tamil Nadu. Bharatanatyam is thought to have been created by Bharata Muni, a Hindu sage, who wrote the Natya Shastra, the most important ancient treatise on classical Indian dance. In ancient times it was performed in Hindu temples by Devadasis.