Land Revenue and Administration
- The principal source of the state income was land revenue. if was fixed at one-third of the produce and was collected both in kind and cash.
| Points To Be Remembered|
Tiruvakya-Kelvi Verbal orders
Olainayamak Chief Secretary
Peruvalis Trunk road
Mun-rukai-mahasenani The great army with three limbs
Velaikkaras The body guard of the monarch
Vari Revenue department
Dharmasanam The court of justice
Archaka Worshipping priest
Samvatsara Variyam Annual committee
Tottavariyam Garden committee
Eri-variyam Tank committee
Panchavara-variyam A standing committee
Pon-variyam Gold committee
Variyapperumakkal The members of the committee
Perumakkal Member of Mahasabha
Nyayattar The judicial committee
Alungnum The executive committee of an Ur
Siraf It was a meeting point of the sailors and merchants of the entire Indian Ocean
Udasina Ascetics of strangers of foreigners
- All land was properly surveyed and classified. At times, there were periodical revisions.
- The responsibility for collection of revenue was that of the village assemblies and the village as a whole was made responsible for payment of the entire revenue due from it to the king’s officer.
- For administrative convenience, the Chola empire was divided into eight provinces ‘mandalams’.
- Each province was sub-divided into various divisions and districts ‘Valanadus’ and ‘Nadus’.
Points To Be Remembered
- The committee: (a) Annual supervision committee (b) Committee for charities (c) Tank committee (d) Gardens committee (e) Supervision of Justice committee (f) Gold supervision committee (g) Supervision of Wards committeed (h) Supervision of Fields committee (i) Supervision of Temple committee (j) Supervision of Ascetic committee.
- A Chola inscription informs us that the residents of a district imposed a tax upon themselves for the conduct of worship in a particular temple (large corporation organisation).
- There were corporate organisations of areas larger than a district. An inscription of Rajaraja Chola refers to the “Great Assembly of twelve districts”, and an inscription of Travancore, of the 12th century A.D., mentions a corporate body of six hundred for the whole state.
- Pugalendi’s work Nala Venba, a Tamil version of the love story of Nala and Damayanti, is one of the most melodious in Tamil poetry.
- Rajaraja, after conquering the North part of Sri Lanka, named it Mummadi Chola-Mandalam.
- The Nataraja image, at the gate temple of Chidambaram, has been described as “the cultural epitome” of the Chola period.
- The various villages were grouped into and placed under a sub-division called ‘Kurram’ or ‘Kottam’. The lowest unit of administration was village.
- Local Self-government
- The arrangements of local self-government has been regarded as the basic feature of administration of the Cholas.
- The administration of the Cholas had the provision of local self-government beginning from the village up to the Mandal level at the top.
- The village assemblies were known by the designations, the ‘Ur’ and ‘Sabha’ (or Mahasabha).
- The ‘Ur’ was a general gathering of the entire adult population of a village.
- The ‘Sabha’ or ‘Mahasabha’ was the assembly of Brahman villagers. For the formation of Mahasabha, first the village was divided into thirty wards.
- The people of each ward used to nominate few people possessing the following qualifications:
(i) Ownership of about an acre and a half of land;
(ii) Residence in a house built on one’s own site;
(iii) Age between thirty five and seventy;
(iv) Knowledge of one Veda and Bhasyas; and
(v) He or any of his relations must not have committed any wrong and received punishment.
- Those who had been on any of the committees for the past three years and those who had been on the committee but had been failed to submit the accounts were excluded from being nominees.
Points to be Remembered
- The two Uttaramerur inscriptions of the Chola monarch Prantaka I may be said to constitute a great landmark in the history of the Chola village assemblies.
- The first inscription laid down rules for the election of the various committees, and the second inscription amended these rules with a view to removing some practical difficulties.
- Important sections of local administration were entrusted to committees of six or twelve members according to the importance of their functions.
- The power of these assemblies were quite extensive. They managed all the affairs of a village like maintenance of roads, tanks and irrigation projects and looked to the welfare of the people.
- They settled petty disputes and were also entrusted the responsibility of detecting crimes and punishing the criminals.
- To look after in detail the current problems of administration, the assemblies appointed a number of committees for various departments.
- For administration of justice, there were village courts and caste panchayats in rural areas.
- The judicial committee of the Mahasabha called the Nyayattar settled cases of disputes, both civil and criminal.
- In towns there were regular courts headed by the Judges, appointed by the king.
- Apart from the normal methods of evidence, there were sometimes trials by ordeal.