• Brahmadeya or agrahara villages were villages granted to Brahmins
and inhabited entirely by them. These were less common than the first
type, but much more prosperous, because of their exemption from tax.
• Devadana were villages granted to god. They functioned more or less
in the same manner as the first type except that the revenues from
these villages were donated to a temple and hence received by the
temple authorities and not by the state.
During the Pallava period, the first two types were predominant, but
under the Cholas the third or the last type gained more popularity when the
temples became the centres of life.
TYPES OF GENERAL ASSEMBLIES
The ur consisted of the paying residents of an ordinary village.
In the sabha, membership was restricted to the Brahmins of the village, or
was found exclusively in a village gifted to Brahmins.
The nagaram was found more commonly in trade centres such as cities
In some villages the ur and the sabha were found together. Very large
villages had two urs, if this was found to be more convenient.
Functioning and Constitution of Assemblies
The functioning of assemblies differed from place to place according to local
conditions. The ur was open to all the tax-paying adults of the village, but in
effect the older members played a more prominent role with some forming a
small executive body. The ur had an executive body, called alunganam,
whose numerical strength and the manner of the appointment of its members
are not clear. The sabha had a more complex machinery, which functioned
very largely through its committees called the variyams. Both usually
constituted smaller committees of different sizes from among their members
for specialised work.
Election to the executive body and other committees of the ur or sabha
appears to have been conducted by draw of lots from among those who were
to the constitution and working of the ur or
eligible, though amendments