land was classified into different grades according to its natural fertility and
the crops raised on it. Besides land revenue, there were tolls on goods in
transit, taxes on professions and houses, dues levied on ceremonial occasions
like marriages, and judicial fines.
Military Administration The soldiers of the Cholas generally consisted of
two types—the kaikkolar who were royal troops receiving regular pay from
the treasury; and the nattuppadai who were the militia men employed only
for local defence. The kaikkolar comprised infantry, cavalry, elephant corps
and navy. The Cholas paid special attention to their navy. Within the
kaikkolar, the velaikkarars were the most dependable troops in the royal
service, ready to defend the king and his cause with their lives. Attention was
given to the training of the army and cantonments, called kadagams, existed.
Administrative Units and Structures
Different Structures of Control for Different Regions The Cholas
developed different structures of control for different regions of their
• In the Cholamandalam, the valanadu (an artificial revenue/political
unit) was established by reorganising the nadus into a larger unit,
after revenue surveys and assessments were completed in all the
zones by 1003 AD. The valanadu came to have natural boundaries like
water courses. In the valanadu formation, on the one hand, nadus
were broken up, villages from one nadu transferred to another,
brahmadeya and devadana villages removed from nadu jurisdiction.
On the other hand, chieftaincies were also brought under the valanadu
scheme. The new revenue unit destabilised the integrity and
‘insularity’ of the peasant region, nadu, to a large extent. Actual
political control was realised by the Cholas through structuring their
institutions to suit the sub-regional differences in the different
• In Pandimandalam, the earlier structures, while remaining the same,
were vastly improved upon by intensive agrarian expansion and
organisation in the wet zones of the Tampraparni valley.
the former kottam or larger pastoral-cum-
• In Tondaimandalam,