Coromandel was the name given by European traders to India’s south-eastern seaboard, a corruption of the Tamil Cholamandalam, after the temple-building Chola kings who ruled the southern peninsula for centuries prior to the Islamic invasions. Highly acclaimed historian Charles Allen explores the astonishing Buddhist and Jain civilisations that flourished all along India’s eastern seaboard before Hinduism became the established religion. In this book, Allen continues his investigation into early Indian history, begun in Ashoka. At each point in his journey through the Indian south he meets local historians, gurus, politicians and other colourful personalities, and with their help uncovers some extraordinary stories about the past.

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COROMANDEL. A name which has been long applied by Europeans to the Northern Tamil Country, or (more comprehensively) to the eastern coast of the Peninsula of India.

This is the India highly acclaimed historian Charles Allen visits in this fascinating book. Coromandel journeys south, exploring the less well known, often neglected and very different history and identity of the pre-Aryan Dravidian south.

During Allen’s exploration of the Indian south he meets local historians, gurus and politicians and with their help uncovers some extraordinary stories about the past. His sweeping narrative takes in the archaeology, religion, linguistics and anthropology of the region – and how these have influenced contemporary politics.

Known for his vivid storytelling, for decades Allen has travelled the length and breadth of India, revealing the spirit of the sub-continent through its history and people. In Coromandel, he moves through modern-day India, discovering as much about the present as he does about the past.

Additional information

Weight0.34 kg
Dimensions19.6 × 12.4 × 2.4 cm






xv, 411




954 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K