Tamils are inventors , pioneers and world travelers before any other Dravidian group ventured anywhere.
The languages of Burma, Laos, Old Malay, Thai, Balinese , Old Tagolog are written in a script derived from the Pallava Grantha alphabet, exported from Tamil country . The Acehnese language was written in Tamil.
Sanskrit inscriptions found in Cochin China (Vietnam) and the rest of SE Asia are written in remarkably correct Grantha (NOT Devanagiri ) which originated also in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil is the official language of Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and Singapore , the Mauritian currency has Tamil as one of the languages not Telugu or Kannada or Malayalam.
Romans knew of Kancheepuram, Madurai and Dindugal in addition to ports on the Coromandel coast.
An ancient Tamil ship bell (~1450) was found in the island of New Zealand proving that Tamils ventured far beyond their waters. see The Mystery of the Tamil Bell in New Zealand
The first shipping magnate from India was a Tamil VOC Chidambaram, pretty much the entire banking and lending industry in Burma was dominated by Tamil Chettiars
Update: The more I think of this the more I find reasons to just be fascinated with the vastness and reach of Tamil. It is true that Telugu was said to be the Italian of the East by one traveller to Hampi, but did he learn it? No.
Veerama Muniva (~1780 Constanzo Beschi – Wikipedia ) whose real name is Conztanzo Beschi was so enamored with Tamil that not only did he master it, he wrote poems treatises and translated the Thiru Kural ( which he said was the foremost of all books, mind you he was a Catholic Priest sent to convert the masses) into Latin. The first Bible was translated into Tamil not Telugu or Kannada.
Telugu people dont like to hear this, but till the 20th century they were mostly backward in societal and educational achievements. Thats why even the Presidency was dominated by Tamils who at the time were the first to learn English.
Now to Telugu, it can be argued that pure Telugu is nothing but Sanskritized Brahmi, a scholar would rather just learn Sanskrit. However Tamil has an ancient connection to Hinduism, Tirupavai, Andar Paasuram are devotional songs in pure Tamil , Mani Pravalam and Divya Prabhandham (though Sanskritized) are liturgical styles not found anywhere else.
If you read and speak pure Telugu, Sanskrit pours out, not that theres anything wrong with that, I am a Sanskrit scholar foremost but we’re talking about the body of work of the language.
None of the other Indian groups have such accomplishments to boast of from Antiquity.