Cheras, Cholas & Pandyas - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

Cheras, Cholas & Pandyas

by Devender

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During the Sangam age, South India was under the rule of 3 dynasties namely: Cheras, Cholas & Pandyas.


They were also called Keralaputras and their capital was Vanji. They had 2 major seaports: Muziri & Tondi and their emblem was Bow.

Senguttuvan (Red/Good Chera) was the greatest ruler of Cheras and the Roman Temple of Augustus which was later destroyed by Tipu was made during this period. These people used to trade Pepper (Yavanpriya) and Jackfruit with Romans.


They were also known as Cholamandam and their chief crop was Paddy. Their emblem was Tiger.

Karikala was the greatest ruler of Cholas. He founded Puhar (Kaveripatanam) which became the capital on river Kaveri. Puhar became the center of commerce and trade as it was also a seaport for these people. Another city known as Uraipur was the Chief Political Centre and it was famous for the Cotton trade.


This dynasty was founded by a woman king. Its chief crop was Paddy and Emblem was Carp.

This kingdom was famous for its pearls trade and it patronized the Sangam assembly at capital Madurai.

Important Features of 3 kingdoms

  • Major revenue sources:
  • Agriculture, Trade, and Warbooty

  • Main influence:
  • The main influence was Brahamanas. Sacrifices and Dakshina were very prominent.

  • Primary Deity:
  • Seyon/Murugan/Subramaniyam among other worshipped gods like Indra and Vishnu.

  • Ruling class: Arasar
  • Lowest class: Kadaisiyar
  • Military captains: Enadi
  • Rich Peasants: Vellasem
  • Agricultural labors: Pariyars
  • Chief Exports/Imports:
  • Cotton fabric, Pepper (Yavanpriya), Ivory, Cardamom, Pearl, Cinnamon & Precious stones were chief exports whereas chief imports were Gold, Horses, sweet wines & Coins (Gold & Silver)

  • Craftsmans were coordinated in Shrenis acc. to work which had legal control over them and can give credits to laborers.
  • Shataka was a very special kind of cloth and Mathura was famous for it in the North.

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