HISTORICAL EPOCH BEGINS
By the third century Be, the megalithic people moved into the fertile river basins and reclaimed marshy deltaic area. The new material culture of the north began to penetrate South India with the help of conquerors, traders, and Jaina, Buddhist and some brahman missionaries. Now the southern people came to practise wet paddy cultivation, founded numerous villages and towns, and carne to 'have social classes.
Cultural and economic contacts between the north and the south became important from the fourth century Be. The Pandyan country was known to Megasthenese who lived in Pataliputra. The earlier Sangam texts are familiar with the rivers Ganga and Son, and also with Pataliputra. Asoka's title 'dear to gods' was adopted by a Tamil chief. Eventually, many elements of Tamil culture also spread to the north, and in the brahrnanical texts the Kaveri carne to be regarded as one of the holy rivers in the country.
At the turn of the last century Be South India moved from pre-history into history, and literary records reflecting contemporary events are available. Kharavela, the king of Kalinga, speaks of defeating the Tamil confederacy, which was doubtless that of the 'three crowned kings', the Cholas, Pandyas, and Cheras, and their feudatories.