The Pallavas were a dynasty of South India. They ruled for a very long time, for as many as six centuries from third century CE onwards. Initially they were a small power in what is now northern Tamil Nadu, with their capital at Kanchipuram. From the sixth century they figure as a major regional power, dominating a large territory that included the domains of several small rulers, and defending it in an almost continuous series of wars against the Pandyas of Madurai (southern Tamil Nadu) and the Chalukyas. Their power began to wane from about mid-eighth century.