For about five centuries the Pallavas or Pallavas ruled over the northern parts of what is the Tamil Nadu of today. Their capital city was Kancheepuram or Kanchipuram and their northern border was River Krishna. They came up during the 4th century A.D., after the fall of the Shata Vahanas.

Of the Pallavaa kings, the most noted were Mahendravarman I (571 – 630) and Narasimhavarman I (630 –668). The Pallava kings are remembered mainly for the great contribution they had given to the Dravida architecture and sculpture, of which the sublime example is the celebrated beach temples of Mahabalipuram.

Bodhidharma who set up a sect of Buddhism known as Chan was a Pallava prince. Their clashes first with the Guptas and then with the Cholaas, and the Chaalukyas ultimately brought an end to the Pallava era.