(Last Updated on : 27/08/2011)
There are various theories that have been brought out regarding the Origin of Dravidians
. The term Dravidian is used to refer to all of the non-Aryan population in the peninsula of India. They are considered to be the aboriginal inhabitants of the land. Dravidians are of Caucasian origin. They prevail in the southern and eastern parts of India. The history of the Dravidians is lost in antiquity. They were the domiciled inhabitants. They have preserved no literature and left no monuments which throw light upon their origin.
There are two main theories with regard to the origin of the Dravidians in India. One is that they came through the northwest passages in the Himalaya Mountains
much earlier than the Aryan invasion. The physical features of the Dravidians are similar to that of the Caucasians. They were driven to the south and east by later invasion of the Aryans. The other theory is that they had a southern origin. The imaginary sunken continent in the Indian Ocean
, called Lemuria is thought to have been the original home of the Aryans
Dravidians were most tenacious as far as their religious rites are concerned. The great mass of Dravidian deities, rites, and superstitions have become a part of Hinduism. In several manners there has been connection between original Dravidian worship and Hinduism
Some Historians suggest that proto-Dravidian was part of a larger Elamo-Dravidian language family. According to some the Dravidians were preceded in the subcontinent by an Austro-Asiatic people and were followed by Indo-European-speaking migrants later. The original inhabitants may be identified with the speakers of the Munda languages.
Some believe that Dravidian-speaking people were spread throughout India before a series of Indo-Aryan migrations. There are evidences that native Dravidian speakers learned and adopted Indic languages.
Another theory of origin of Dravidians was propagated by Sir William Hunter. According to him there are two branches of Dravidians: Kolarians speaking dialects and the proper Dravidians who belong to Tamil family. The first group entered India from north east thereby occupying the northern part of Vindhyas. However even the basis of this theory is considered as obscure.