History and Culture of Tamil Nadu (Vol. 2)
Epigraphy, or the study of inscriptions, has played a very important role in reconstructing the history of India. Tamil Nadu in particular has a very large number of epigraphs, which have been of immense help to historians in writing about the history of the Tamil country. The majority of these inscriptions are written in Tamil. However, beginning from the sixth century ad, a large number of inscriptions, both lithic and copper-plate grants came to be composed in Sanskrit as well. Some of these epigraphs are wholly in Sanskrit while some, especially the copper-plate inscriptions, are bi-lingual, with the first or prashasti portion in chaste Sanskrit and the second or operative part of the record being in Tamil.
While volume I dealt, in detail, with the Sanskrit inscriptions belonging to the Pallavas, Pandyas, Colas and their feudatories up to c. 1310 ad, this book deals with the Sanskrit inscriptions of the period of the Vijayanagara, Nayaka, Later Pandya and Maratha kings who ruled over Tamil Nadu. These Sanskrit records provide interesting and valuable details regarding civil and military administration, social and economic life, education, literature and the religious and cultural conditions of those times and have been very well presented in this work.
This book is an important contribution not only to the field of epigraphy, but to the history of South India in general and the history of Tamil Nadu in particular.