Monday, 17 October 2011

The Chera Dynasty

                                                                              chera coins

The kingdoms of the Cheras were located to the south of the great Mauryan Dynasty and Keralaputra and Cheraputra were first mentioned in the inscriptions of Ashoka the Great. However we come to know many details about the Chera Dynasty from the poems of the Sangam literature.

The Chera dynasty was one of the ancient Tamil dynasties who reigned over south India from early times until the fifteenth century. Their kingdom extended over the Malabar Coast, Karur, Coimbatore and Salem Districts in South India, which now is a part of present day Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Chera kings were constantly into conflicts with their neighboring kingdoms to established political associations they sometimes inter- married with the families of the adversary kings.

The first Chera ruler was Perumchottu Utiyan Cheralatan who founded the Chera dynasty. He was succeeded by his son Imayavaramban Nedum Cheralatan who converted the Chera dynasty into a powerful one and extended and enriched his kingdom from all aspects. Imayavaramban’s reign was also very important for the development of art and Literature as he patronized art and culture greatly. His poet laureate was Kannanar.

However, the greatest ruler of the Chera Dynasty was Kadalpirakottiya Vel Kelu Kuttuvan, whose reference has been made in the great Tamil epic- Silappadigaram.

Trade and Commerce flourished during the reign of the Cheras. The Cheras traded in ivory, timber, spices and exported precious gems and pearls to the Middle East and these trade contacts with the Middle East established Judaism.

Though the Cheras had their personal religion, a large number of other religious traditions also existed during their rule. Buddhism and Jainism both were introduced in Kerala by the second century BC.

Thanks: mapsofindia

Pandyan empire

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