Question: How did Chola temples become the nuclei of settlements?
Answer: Chola temples became the nuclei of settlements which grew around them.
- These were centres of craft production. Amongst the crafts associated with temples, bronze images and paintings were distinctive and world famous.
- Temples were also endowed with land by rulers as well as by others. The produce of this land went to maintain all the specialists who worked at the temple and very often lived near it – priests, garland makers, cooks, sweepers, musicians, dancers, etc.
- Temples were not only places of worship, they were the hub of economic, social and cultural life as well.
Question: What type of Chola art is world famous?
New Kings and Kingdoms – Answer: Chola bronze images are considered amongst the finest in the world.
Question: How did River Kaveri bring prosperity to Chola kingdom?
Answer: The river Kaveri branches off into several small channels before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. These channels overflow frequently, depositing fertile soil on their banks. Water from the channels also provides the necessary moisture for agriculture, particularly the cultivation of rice. It promoted agriculture development during Chola period.
Question: What kind of irrigation works were developed in the Tamil region? OR How did agriculture developed in Chola kingdom?
Answer: Although agriculture had developed earlier in other parts of Tamil Nadu, it was only from the fifth or sixth century that this area was opened up for large-scale cultivation.
- Forests were cleared in some regions; land was levelled in other areas.
- In the delta region embankments were built to prevent flooding.
- Canals were constructed to carry water to the fields.
- In many areas two crops were grown in a year.
- For irrigation, wells were dug and in other places huge tanks were constructed to collect rainwater.
Question: Was caste system prevalent in Chola empire? Give details.
New Kings and Kingdoms – Answer: Following instances indicate that caste system was prevalent in Chola kingdom:
- Rich peasants of the Vellala caste had considerable control under Chola government.
- Brahmanas often received land grants or brahmadeya. As a result, a large number of Brahmana settlements emerged in the Kaveri valley.
- People of Pulaiyas (considered outcast by Brahamanas and Vellala caste) used to live on the outskirts of village in small hamlet. They were not allowed to participate in Village administrative activities.
Question: What was sabha in Chola empire? How its members were chosen?
Answer: Land grants given to Brahamans called brahamadeya. These land grants were looked after by an assembly (Sabha) of prominent Brahmana land holders which worked very efficient. Their decisions were recorded in detail in inscriptions, often on the stone walls of temples. The sabha had separate committees to look after irrigation works, gardens, temples, etc.
The members of the village assembly were elected by lottery system called Kudavolai System. The names of the eligible persons were written on palm leaves and put into a pot. A boy was asked to pick up names from the pot. The chosen persons were declared elected.
Question: Who can become the member of the village assembly under Chola kingdom?
New Kings and Kingdoms – Answer: Brahamans who had received land grants and people of Vellala caste has considerable control of village assembly or sabha. Following was the criterion to become member of the sabha:
- All those who wish to become members of the sabha should be owners of land from which land revenue is collected.
- They should have their own homes.
- They should be between 35 and 70 years of age.
- They should have knowledge of the Vedas. They should be well-versed in administrative matters and honest.
- If anyone has been a member of any committee in the last three years, he cannot become a member of another committee.
- Anyone who has not submitted his accounts, as well as those of his relatives, cannot contest the elections.