R.Champakalakshmi in her book Trade, ideology, and urbanization: South India 300 BC to AD 1300 has stated that there are two urbanisation phase was there in Tamil Nadu. One is during early period (which she believes stimulated by external trade) and another is during medieval Chola period(9th-13th Centuries)

The major periods of urbanization can be recognized in Tamil Nadu, the first coinciding with the early centuries of the Christian era, i.e. the Sangam period, and the second with the period of Colas, i.e. from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries ad. The intervening period provides through fairly large-scale agrarian expansion the basis tor the growth of urban centres in the Cola period. (pp 205)

Apart from this two period, did we had any other Urbanisation phase in South India(say during Pallava period or during Vijayanagar period)?


Keezhadi seems to be the ancient urbanization. Indian union government has less interest to do archeological research over there. If it is done, we could fine more truths which would be equivalent to Indus Valley Civilization.


Note: although the question title states 'ancient India', this answer deals with the (medieval) examples which the OP specifically mentioned ("Pallava period or during Vijayanagar period") as being interested in.

Vijayanagara and Bahmani

The Vijayanagara Empire (1336 - 1646) and, to a lesser extent, the Bahmani Sultanate both developed urban centres. In History of Medieval India, 800-1700, Satish Chandra writes:

The Vijayanagara and Bahmani kingdoms dominated India south of the Vindhyas, for more than 200 years. They not only built magnificent capitals and cities, and beautified them with many splendid buildings and promoted arts and letters, but also provided for law and order and the development of commerce and handicrafts.

Citing KD Morrison and CM Sinopoli (2006) and Michael C. Howard's 'Transnationalism and Society: An Introduction', among other sources, Wikipedia notes on Vijayanagara:

The city rapidly grew from an ancient pilgrimage center in 13th-century, to being founded as a capital of Vijayanagara Empire in early 14th century, to being a metropolis stretching by some estimates to 650 square kilometers by early 16th century.[18] It became the world's second largest city, after Beijing, by about 1500 CE.

Chandra cites Niccolò de' Conti, a merchant and explorer from Venice who wrote after a visit in 1420 to Vijayanagara:

'The circumference of the city is sixty miles, its walls carried up to the mountaills, and enclose the valleys at their foot .... In this city there are estimated to be ninety thousand men fit to bear arms...'

Pallava Dynasty

This dynasty existed from 275 AD to 897 AD. The capital Kanchipuram was a city of some importance:

Kanchipuram grew in importance when the Pallavas of southern Andhra Pradesh, wary of constant invasions from the north, moved their capital south to the city in the 6th century....Under the Pallavas, Kanchipuram flourished as a centre of Hindu and Buddhist learning....a Chinese traveller who visited Kanchipuram in 640, recorded that the city was 6 miles (9.7 km) in circumference

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