Classical form is Bharatanatyam, whereas the popular forms are known as Koothu and performed in village temples and on street corners.
Tamil cinema, known as Kollywood, is an important part of the Indian cinema industry.
A third inscription in Kanheri Caves refers to a Dhamila-gharini (Tamil house-holder).
In the Buddhist Jataka story known as Akiti Jataka there is a mention to Damila-rattha (Tamil dynasty).
Locally developed scripts such as Grantha and Pallava script induced the development of many native scripts such as Khmer, Javanese Kawi script, Baybayin and Thai.
Tamil visual art is dominated by stylised Temple architecture in major centres and the productions of images of deities in stone and bronze.
The well-known Hathigumpha inscription of the Kalinga ruler Kharavela refers to a T(ra)mira samghata (Confederacy of Tamil rulers) dated to 150 BC.
Periplus also indicates that the chief exports of the ancient Tamils were pepper, malabathrum, pearls, ivory, silk, spikenard, diamonds, sapphires, and tortoiseshell.
The names of the three dynasties, Cholas, Pandyas, and Cheras, are mentioned in Tamil Sangam literature and grammatical works like Tolkappiyar refers to them as the "Three Glorified by Heaven", (Tamil: Later, they are mentioned in the Mauryan Empire's Pillars of Ashoka (inscribed 273–232 BCE) inscriptions, among the kingdoms, which though not subject to Ashoka, were on friendly and allied terms with him.
Chola bronzes, especially the Nataraja sculpture of the Chola period, have become notable as a symbol of Hinduism.
Tamil performing arts are divided into popular and classical.
English historian and broadcaster Michael Wood called the Tamils the last surviving classical civilisation on Earth, because the Tamil mainstream preserved substantial elements of their past regarding belief, culture, music and literature despite the modern globalised world.