Cholas and Other South India Dynasties: Political History: Chula Administration

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Political History

Political History


His capture of Tandoor from an ally of the pandas around 850 AD was the first step in the rise of the Cholas.


Responsible for overthrowing the pal lavas and occupying their territory com politely.

Karnataka I

  • His reign, though initially saw progress and prosperity, ended in disaster and gloom brought about by the hostility of the Rashtrakuta, whose Krishna III de- feasted Karnataka in the battle of Take- lam (949) and took away half of the Terri- tory.
  • There was confusion and disorder for about 30 years. His successors were Ganaraditya, Arinjaya, Karnataka II and Uttamachola.

Raja I

  • Original name – Arumolivarman the real greatness of the Cholas begins with him.
  • Defeat of the confederation of the three kingdoms of Pandya, Kerala and Ceylon and their occupation, and establishment of a Chula province in north Ceylon.
  • Annexation of a few parts of modern Mysore from Ganges.
  • Invasion of the Western Chalukyas king- domb in order to force them to retreat from Voong.
  • Annexation of Maldives.
  • Permission to the Calendar ruler of Sri Vijaya (Sri Mara Vijayottunga) to con- strict the famous Chudamani Vihaan at Nagapattinam.

Narendra I

  • A worthy son of his father, he raised the cola empire to the position of being the most extensive and respected state of his time.
  • Completion of the conquest of Ceylon.
  • Triumphant march through the Pandey and Kerala territories and their annex- action.
  • Defeat of the Western Chalukyas who were trying to meddle in the succession dispute avenge.
  • Punishment of the Kalinga rule (Mahdi- Kamarnava) , who sided with the Western Chalukyas.
  • Military expedition to the Ganga Valley. And cons ruction of the new capital Gangai-konda Cholapuramin celebration of the expedition.
  • Naval expedition to Sri Vijaya which was successful, and the kingdom was restored to its ruler (Sangria Vijayottunga
  • Two embassies to China for political as well as commercial purposes.


  • Rajadhiraja suppressed rebellions in Pandya, Kerala and Ceylon kingdoms.
  • Kulottunga I united the Vega kingdom with the Chula Empire.
  • Raja II was the last Chula ruler of some importance, though Cholas contain- used to be there even afterwards as local chieftains.

Chula Administration

The most striking feature of the administrate- tie system of the Cholas was their auto no vinous village and town administration, there being no significant difference between the central and provincial administration of the Cholas and that of any other dynasty of early medieval India.

Central Administration

Emperor at the apex of administration; work- ship of the deceased rulers, and construction of temples as tributes to dead kings (a special feature of the Chula period) .

Provincial Administration

Division of the empire into principalities (un- der vassal chiefs) and ′ mandalas ′ (provinces under viceroys who were mostly royal princes) ; further division of the provinces into valanadus ′ (divisions) , ′ nexus ′ (districts) and ′ Kura ′ s ′ (villages) .

Village Administration

Autonomous administration for town and to unships, known as ‘tankurrams’ ; own autonomy was quite similar to village au- tony and both were alike administered by assemblies.

Three Types of Villages:

  • Villages with anointer- caste population, paying taxes to the king.
  • ‘Agrahara’ villages, granted to Brahe- mines and inhabited entirely by them.
  • ‘DeVaan’ villages granted to god; they functioned more or less in the same manner as the first type except that the revenues from these villages were do- noted to a temple.

Three Types of General Assemblies

  • ‘Ur’ – consisting of the tax- paying resin- dents of an ordinary village.
  • ‘Sabha’ - its membership was re- stricter to the Brahmins of the village, or it was found exclusively in villages gifted to Brahmins.
  • ‘Anagram’ - found more commonly in trade centers such as cities and towns.

Constitution of Assemblies

The Uttaramerur Inscription, belonging to the reign of Karnataka I (10th century) , gives details about the constitution and functioning of the local ′ Sabha:

  • Their functioning differed from place to place.
  • The ‘or’ was open to all the tax- pay- in male adults of the village, but in effect the older members played a more prominent role. The ‘Sabha’ had the same system.
  • Both usually constituted smaller com- mites of different sizes from among their members for specialized work.
  • Election to the executive body and other committees of the ‘or’ or ‘Sabha’ appears to have been by lot from among those who are eligible.
  • The assembly generally met in the pre- cents of the temple.

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