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Administration of the Chola Empire

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Administration of the Chola Empire - Lesson Summary

The Chola Empire was divided into nine provinces, called “Mandalams” which was further divided into a number of districts, or zillas, known as “Valanadus”. Each Valanadu was divided into a number of villages, called Nadus. Larger towns were known as Taniyurs.

The Nadu shouldered administrative activities like collection of taxes, dispensing justice, settling disputes, keeping land records, etc. A Sabha had separate committees looking after functions like irrigation, gardens, temples, etc. Under the supervision of the Chola government, rich peasants of the Vellala caste controlled the affairs of the Nadus.

The Chola kings often gave land grants or Brahmadeya to Brahmins. An assembly or Sabha of prominent Brahmin landholders looked after each Brahmadeya, while associations of traders, known as Nagarams, looked after the administration in towns. The decisions taken by these Sabhas were recorded on the walls of the temples by way of inscriptions.

The Uttaramerur inscriptions, state the details and the basis on which a person could become a member of a Sabha. The Chola inscriptions mention several categories of land. Land was named according to the purpose for which it was donated by the Chola kings.

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