Brahmanical framework.
Collaboration between Ruling and Priestly Classes
This network of collaboration explains why the number of grants to brahmins
and temples went on increasing: a comparison, for example, of such grants
between the Pallava and Chola periods will bear this point out. The study of
Chola documents further shows that the brahmadeyas or predominantly
brahmin villages were distributed throughout their territorial units, and
deliberations of systematically constituted assemblies in such villages,
consisting only of brahmin members, show that religious pursuits were not
their only concern. The other category of grants—the devadanas—made the
temple a focal point of activities not only in rural areas but, in some cases, in
urban areas as well.
Feudalisation Process
The early medieval period has often been projected as representing a major
structural change in Indian society. The economy was rurals, and the vast
number of assignments, resulting in the proliferation of landed
intermediaries, introduced feudal characteristics in it. Trade declined, urban
centres fell into decay, and the old manufacturing guilds came to be reduced
to the insignificant position of low sub-castes. The impressions that the
sources give are those of a predominantly rural society organised in such a
way as to yield the maximum quantum of revenue to the state. Trading
activities had a comparatively subservient role in this political structure. And
yet, the process of the crystallisation of regions, which reached a crucial stage
in this period, offers a contrast to any general impression of stagnation. The
regions of this period were still incipient, but they were not exactly
corresponding with the earlier janapada units either.
Cultural Facets of Regionalism
The emergence of regions, apart from being a political process, had several
cultural facets as well. Though it is not easy to identify the factors
responsible for the emergence