Cross-Cultural Relations between Dravidian India and Central China: New Evidences from the Tradition of Martial Art

Mathew Varghese


The existence of MahÅyÅna Buddhism in South India in the earliest centuries of its birth is not an undisputed claim. This article attempts to use a new source of evidence to prove that MahÅyÅna Buddhism did indeed flourish in ancient times in Dravidian India, although historical evidence is considered insufficient to prove it. The author focuses on the similarities between Kalaripayattu, a martial art form practised in Dravidian India and Chuan-fa of China, considered as the fundamental martial art tradition, to explore and support his claim of the MahÅyÅna tradition’s roots in Southern India.

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