administration, there being no significant
of Cholas was more centralised than that of the Rashtrakutas or the
Chalukyas.
Central Administration The emperor or king was at the apex of the
administration. He had an udankuttam, immediate attendants, a group of
ministers representing all the chief departments of administration to advise
him on the disposal of business, besides a chancery (olai). Worship of
deceased rulers, and construction of temples as tributes to dead kings was a
special feature of the Chola period.
    There was an elaborate and complicated administrative machinery or
bureaucracy for the Cholas, comprising officials of various grades. The
officials tended to form a separate class in society, organised in two ranks, an
upper perundanam and a lower sirudanam. Higher officers were known by
the title of adigarigal, while officers of all ranks were usually referred to by
the general titles of karumigal and panimakkal. They were usually
remunerated by assignments of land (jivitas) suited to their position. Titles of
honour and shares in booty taken in war formed other rewards of public
service.
Provincial Administration The empire was divided into principalities
(under vassal chiefs) and mandalams (provinces under viceroys who were
mostly royal princes) with further division of the provinces into valanadus
(divisions), nadus (districts) and kurrams (villages).
Town and Village Administration There was autonomous administration
for towns and townships, known as tankurrams. Town autonomy was quite
similar to village autonomy and both were administered by assemblies.
Revenue Administration A well-organised department of land revenue,
known as the puravuvaritinaik-kalam, was in existence. All cultivable land
was held in one of the three broad classes of tenure which may be
distinguished as peasant proprietorship (vellanvagai), service tenure, and
tenure resulting from charitable gifts. The first type was the ordinary ryotwari
village of modern times, having direct relations with the government and
paying a land tax liable to revision from time to time.
    All land was carefully surveyed and classified into tax-paying and non-
taxable lands. In every village and town, the residential part of the village
(urnattam), temples, tanks, channels passing through the village, the