they were local chiefs thrown up from the
period, when the valanadus encompassed their territories. They came back
into prominence in the late twelfth century, posing a serious political threat to
the Cholas through coalitions among themselves or with new chiefs or
traditional enemies of the Cholas.
Chola Taxation System
Conventional        Approach         vs     Proponents        of    Segmentary
State Conventionally, a well-organised taxation system was supposed to
have existed both under the Pallavas and Cholas. Recurrent mention of
Puravu Vari tinaikkalam in Chola records was taken to mean a regular land
revenue department and of the Varippottagam as a well maintained record of
land rights and taxes based on enquiries and surveys and kept up-to-date by
fresh entries. A differentiation was, however, made between ‘central’ taxes
and local cesses, the latter collected by local bodies, with the ‘central’
government ever willing to assist them in enforcing their demands. Despite
the numerically significant references to land taxes (puravu, kadamai, irai)
collected by ‘central’ officers, the proponents of the segmentary state do not
recognise any flow of revenues from the localities to the centre.
Land Revenue as Major Source Statistical analysis of the chronological
and spatial distribution of tax terminology and the context of their occurrence
have however, revealed that the major land tax (kadamai) was standardised,
along with a number of smaller ones related to land. Methods of collection,
storage and revenue transfers from the locality to the government are
identified through the references to granaries at different levels (ur and nadu)
and the nattumudal (total revenue from a nadu) collected for the state by the
nadu and by the valanadu above it. The sabha and nagaram settled revenues
directly with the state. Non-agricultural taxes got augmented over time and
acquired prominence in the late Chola period, revealing a growth in craft
production and trade activities.
Local Collection and Reinvestment Local forms of collection and a
reinvestment of such revenues in the regional economy avoided problems of
central collection and redistribution. Resource mobilisation by the state
cannot, thus, be separated from the process of redistribution of resources to
                                   state structure, that is, brahmadeya and the
integrative elements within the