was that greater stress was laid on dana (gift) than on yajna (sacrifice).
The Cholas constructed extensive irrigation works, roads and cities.
Gangaikonda Cholapuram, the artificial lake near it (16 miles in length) and
use of huge blocks of dressed stone in the construction of dams across the
Kaveri for irrigational purposes were some monumental public works carried
on under the Cholas.
The industrial population of the country was broadly divided into the
valangai (right-hand) and idangai (left-hand) divisions. The Chola
kingdom often witnessed feuds between these two groups. A clash
between the two groups in the second year of Kulottunga I resulted in the
burning of a village, the destruction of its sacred places and the looting of
the temple treasury.
Trade and Diplomacy
Indian, particularly south Indian, merchants had participated in international
trade since ancient times. But sources of information about these ancient
times are restricted to archaeological finds and occasional references in
literary texts which tell little about the activities of merchants. However, for
the medieval period there are many sources including several inscriptions,
some of which are even recorded by the merchants themselves.
A distinction was made between merchants operating locally (swadesi)
and internationally (nanadesi). The merchants had their own settlements
(nagara) with autonomous institutions of local government. The great ports
(pattinam) also had their guilds and autonomous institutions, but they were
much more under the control of royal officers, who, of course, had to try to
get along with the local people.
The great guilds operating in several countries (i.e. nanadesi) had