Seize control of the lucrative Indian Ocean trade routes and utilize advanced metallurgy as you build one of the wealthiest sea empires of medieval Asia. The Dravidian unique units are the Urumi Swordsman, a warrior wielding a scathing flexible sword, and the Thirisadai, a massive vessel that dominates the high seas.
The Dravidians are a South Asian civilization introduced in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India, representing the Chola Empire who controlled southern India and stretched across Southeast Asia. In the game, they focus on infantry and naval units. The Dravidians are noted to have the worst cavalry in the game, as they are one of the two civilizations without Husbandry and Bloodlines, and the only non-Native American civilization without access to any Imperial Age cavalry upgrades in their Stable (being the only civilization to have access to Battle Elephant, but not its elite upgrade). To compensate, the Dravidians put more emphasis on raw firepower with their elephants over durability, thanks to their Elephant Archers attacking faster (which stacks with Thumb Ring), Medical Corps slowly regenerating hit points for their elephants for longer battles, and Wootz Steel allowing their Battle Elephants' attacks to ignore armor (which also benefit their infantry), essentially making their Elephant Archers and Battle Elephants "glass cannon" units.
In terms of gameplay and technology tree, they are relatively similar to both Vikings and Malay, as they are solid in both water and land maps thanks to their early game bonuses, having strong foot archers and infantry units, strong rushing and booming strategies, and very lackluster cavalry.
The Dravidians are classified as an infantry and navy civilization, and have fully upgraded infantry and Dock, with Barracks technologies at half price, while both unique units are in their main strength part. Despite this, they also have above-average ranged units with fully upgraded Arbalesters, Hand Cannonners, and faster-attacking Skirmishers and Elephant Archers. To offset them, their Stable units are lacking, with only Light Cavalry and (non-Elite) Battle Elephants as their Stable choices, with no other Stable technologies or Plate Barding Armor. Although Wootz Steel and Medical Corps slightly compensate for their Stable, it is more useful for the elephant units and infantry. Lacking Stable technologies is a hinderance for their elephants. Outside of the Siege Elephant, their siege weapons are mediocre, with non-Siege-Engineer Siege Onagers as the only selling point. Their Monks are also underwhelming, as they lack Redemption and Fervor, which not only makes them less functional, but it is also harder to collect Relics. They also lack Heresy, so their elephants are vulnerable to conversion, combined with no Husbandry. Defense is average, without Architecture and Treadmill Crane. Their economy is good at wood and fishing, thanks to getting wood when advancing ages, and carrying more from fishing. Apart from this, their economy is weak, since both Castle Age mining technologies and Crop Rotation are absent.
The Dravidians have a campaign devoted to their civilization: Rajendra. They also appear in:
Select 1Eṉṉa vēṇdum? (என்ன வேண்டும்) - What (do) you need? (annoyed)
Select 2Ēṉ tuṇṭarvacērkiṟai -
Select 3Cēṭi kuṇṭuvantēṉ -
Select 4Ippadittāṉ (இப்படித்தான்) - This is how it is
Move 1Celvēṉ (செல்வேன்) - Will go
Move 2Culvaṭiceyvēṉ (சுல்வடிசெய்வேன்) - I will do it
Move 3Uṅkaḷ viruppappaṭi (உங்கள் விருப்பப்படி) - As per your wish
Move 4Uṅkaḷ karuṇai (உங்கள் கருணை) - Your kindness
AI player names
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Dravidian AI characters:
Jayasimha: was the first ruler of the Chalukya dynasty of Vatapi (modern Badami) in present-day India. He ruled the area around modern Bijapur in the early 6th century, and was the grandfather of the dynasty's first sovereign ruler, Pulakeshin I.
Vikramaditya I (655–680 CE): was the third son and followed his father, Pulakeshi II on to the Chalukya throne. He restored order in the fractured kingdom and made the Pallavas retreat from the capital Vatapi. He adopted the title Raja-malla after defeating the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I, who was known as Maha-malla ("great wrestler").
Kadungon (ruled 590–620 CE): also known as Thennavan, was a Pandya king of early historic south India. He is chiefly remembered for reviving the Pandya dynastic power in south India. Along with the Pallava king Simhavishnu, he is credited with ending the Kalabhra rule, marking the beginning of a new era in south India.
Govinda III (reign 793–814 CE): was a famous Rashtrakuta ruler who succeeded his illustrious father Dhruva Dharavarsha. He was militarily the most successful emperor of the dynasty with successful conquests-from Kanyakumari in the south to Kannauj in the north, from Banaras in the east to Broach (Bharuch) in the west.
Amoghavarsha (ruled 814–878 CE): was a Rashtrakuta emperor, the greatest ruler of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. His reign of 64 years is one of the longest precisely dated monarchical reigns on record. Many Kannada and Sanskrit scholars prospered during his rule.
Srimara Srivallabha (ruled 815–862 AD): was a Pandya king of early medieval south India. Srimara was famously known as the Parachakra Kolahala ("the Confounder of the Circle of his Enemies"). The Larger Sinnamanur Plates (Sanskrit portion) tells that Srimara defeated the "Mayapandya", the Kerala (Chera), the king of Simhala, the Pallava and the Vallabha. The Tamil portion claims victories at Kunnur and Vizhinjam as well as in Sri Lanka.
Vijayalaya: was a king of South India (reigned 847 – 871 CE) who founded the imperial Chola Empire. He ruled over the region to the north of the river Kaveri. The ancient Chola kingdom, once famous in Tamil literature and in the writings of Greek merchants and geographers, faded into darkness after 300 CE. Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya rose out of obscurity and captured Thanjavur.
Rajaraja Chola (also called Rajaraja Chola I, born Arulmoli Varman) (947 CE – 1014 CE): often described as Rajaraja the Great, was a Chola emperor who reigned from 985 CE to 1014 CE and was the most powerful king in south at his time, chiefly remembered for reinstating the Chola power and ensuring its supremacy in South India and Indian Ocean. He also built the great Brihadisvara Temple at the Chola capital Thanjavur.
Rajendra Chola (இராஜேந்திர சோழன்), also Rajendra Chola I or Rajendra I: was a Chola emperor of South India (Present day Tamil Nadu, Andhra pradesh, Kerala, Part of Karnataka and Telangana) who succeeded his father Rajaraja Chola I to the throne in 1014. During his reign, he extended the influence of the Chola empire to the banks of the river Ganga in North India and across the Indian ocean to the West and Southeast Asia, making the Chola Empire one of the most powerful maritime empires of India.
Kulothunga (1025 CE - 1122 CE): was an 11th-century Chola Emperor who reigned for fifty-two years. He also served as the Eastern Chalukya Emperor succeeding his father Rajaraja Narendra. He is related to the Chola dynasty though his mother's side and the Eastern Chalukyas through his father's side.
Vijayabahu (born Prince Keerthi) (ruled 1055–1110): also known as Vijayabahu the Great, was a medieval king of Sri Lanka. Born to a royal bloodline, Vijayabahu grew up under Chola occupation. He assumed rulership of the Ruhuna principality in the southern parts of the country in 1055. Following a seventeen-year-long campaign, he successfully drove the Cholas out of the island in 1070, reuniting the country for the first time in over a century. During his reign, he re-established Buddhism in Sri Lanka and repaired much of the damage caused to infrastructure during the wars.
Maravarman I, also known as Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I (முதலாம் மாறவர்மன் குலசேகர பாண்டியன்): was a Pandyan emperor who ruled regions of South India between 1268–1308 CE. His death lead to the Pandyan Civil War in 1308–1323.
Harihara I (also called Hakka): was the founder of the Vijayanagara Empire, which he ruled from 1336 to 1356 CE. He and his successors formed the Sangama dynasty, the first of four dynasties to rule the empire. He was the eldest son of Bhavana Sangama, the chieftain of a cowherd pastoralist community descent from the Yadava race.
Krishna Devaraya: was a medieval Indian emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire, who reigned from 1509 to 1529. He was the third ruler of the Tuluva dynasty. He ruled the largest empire in India after the decline of the Delhi Sultanate. He became the dominant ruler of the peninsula by defeating the sultans of Bijapur, Golconda, the Bahmani Sultanate and the Gajapatis of Odisha, and was one of the most powerful Hindu rulers in India.
While the Guptas ruled in the north, the southern half of the Indian subcontinent was ruled by a separate series of dynasties. One, the Chalukyas (6th-8th centuries AD) expanded south from the Deccan plateau and formed a large but far-flung and volatile dominion. As time wore on, a new power came into being: the Rashtrakuta dynasty (8th-10th centuries), which formed a considerably more powerful state. For generations, the Rashtrakutas vied with the Bengali Palas and the Gurjara Pratiharas for supremacy in the so-called Kannauj Triangle.
Alongside the Rashtrakutas rose another entity, the Pandyas (6th-10th centuries) of south India. Under able rulers such as Kadungon and Srimara, the Pandyas ruled much of the coast along the Bay of Bengal, engaging at times – not always by choice – in the Kannauj Triangle rivalry. The region that they ruled was a prominent node along a healthy trade network spanning the Indian subcontinent and its surrounding oceans. However, both realms nearly faced ruin and narrowly avoided catastrophe when the Pala Emperor Devapala launched an ambitious campaign to the far south to expand his already vast realm.
The power vacuum and instability created by this and other events directly enabled the rise to supremacy of another great power, the Chola Empire (9th-13th centuries). Although based primarily in southern India and Sri Lanka, the Cholas, led by intrepid rulers such as Rajaraja and Rajendra, expanded their sphere of influence northeast to coastal Bengal as well as to Southeast Asia. In one notable conflict, Rajendra Chola allied himself with Suryavarman I of the Khmer Empire to crush Srivijaya, a maritime empire based primarily in Sumatra and Malaysia. The Chola fleet was among the most powerful of its time, being meticulously organized and well equipped. Comprising a wide array of vessel types, it could crush enemy navies in small-scale engagements or swarm and overwhelm them with sheer numbers.
Southern India was also remarkably technologically advanced. One of its more famous products was wootz, a predecessor of modern steel. Dravidian weapons fashioned of this substance were stronger, deadlier, and more durable than their counterparts elsewhere. This technology eventually spread along trade routes to the Middle East, where it became known as Damascus steel, and finally into Europe. Weaponry from this region was also innovative in nature: one prominent example is the urumi, a flexible blade that was wielded like a whip. Urumis had an uncanny ability to circumvent defenses and inflict dreadful lacerations.
As the Chola Empire declined, a second wave of Pandya dominance replaced it. However, at this time further adversities emerged: scions of the Delhi Sultanate now made regular incursions south in an attempt to conquer the remainder of the Indian subcontinent. Nevertheless, a new power rose in response to these threats: the Vijayanagara Empire (14th-17th centuries). This formidable state harnessed the strengths of its predecessors, but would also import gunpowder weaponry from European merchants who frequented the region. Though successful for a while, Vijayanagara was eventually overwhelmed by the steady pressure of invasions from the north.
The Dravidians are very similar to the Vikings, as both have powerful navy and infantry. They have a very weak Stable, but with Battle Elephants instead of Knights. They also have weak Monks, just like the Vikings, but good trash wars and having access to fully upgraded Arbalesters, similar to the Malay.
The Dravidian emblem in the user interface shows Nataraja, a depiction of the Hindu God Shiva as the divine cosmic dancer. The symbolism has been interpreted in classical Indian texts such as Unmai Vilakkam, Mummani Kovai, Tirukuttu Darshana and Tiruvatavurar Puranam, dating from the 12th century CE (Chola empire) and later.
Due to receiving extra wood every Age, having more efficient Fishing Ships and fishermen with a complete technology tree, possessing a team bonus that provides additional population from Dock, and getting Thirisadai as their unique ships, the Dravidians are one of the most powerful civilizations in water maps. However, they have much lower win rates in land maps because of their abysmal cavalry units, which make them extremely vulnerable against cavalry raiding. Nevertheless, because they receive a wood bonus whenever they reach new Age, the Dravidians get a significant economic advantage in the early game.
The Dravidians have the least horse-Cavalry units outside of Mesoamerican civilizations, only their Light Cavalry line is using the horse.