From Jatland Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Chera dynasty was one of the principal lineages in the early history of the present day states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in southern India.[1] Together with the Cholas of Uraiyur and the Pandyas of Madurai, the early Cheras were known as one of the three major powers (muventar) of ancient Tamilakam (a macro region in south India) in the early centuries of the Common Era.[2]


Jat clans


The Chera country was geographically well placed to profit from maritime trade via the extensive Indian Ocean networks. Exchange of spices, especially black pepper, with Middle Eastern and Graeco-Roman merchants are attested in several sources. The Cheras of the early historical period (c. second century BCE - c. third century CE) are known to have had their original centre at Karur in interior Tamil Nadu and harbours at Muchiri (Muziris) and Thondi (Tyndis) on the Indian Ocean coast (Kerala).[5]

The early historic pre-Pallava[6] Tamil polities are often described as a "kinship-based redistributive economies" largely shaped by "pastoral-cum-agrarian subsistence" and "predatory politics".[7] Tamil Brahmi cave label inscriptions, describe Ilam Kadungo, son of Perum Kadungo, and the grandson of Ko Athan Cheral of the Irumporai clan.[8] Inscribed portrait coins with Brahmi legends give a number of Chera names. Reverse of these coins often contained the Chera bow and arrow symbol.[9] The anthologies of early Tamil texts are a major source of information about the early Cheras.[10] Chenguttuvan, or the Good Chera, is famous for the traditions surrounding Kannaki, the principal female character of the Tamil epic poem Chilapathikaram.[11] After the end of the early historical period, around the 3rd-5th century CE, there seems to be a period where the Cheras' power declined considerably.[12]

Cheras or Keralas of the Kongu country are known to have controlled western Tamil Nadu and central Kerala in early medieval period. Present-day central Kerala probably detached from Kongu Chera kingdom around 8th-9th century AD to form the Chera Perumal kingdom (c. 9th- 12th century AD).[13] The exact nature of the relationships between the various branches of Chera rulers is somewhat unclear.[14] Some of the major dynasties of medieval south India - Chalukya, Pallava, Pandya, Rashtrakuta, and Chola - seems to have conquered the Chera or Kerala country. Kongu Cheras appear to have been absorbed into the Pandya political system by 10th/11th century AD. Even after the dissolution of the Perumal kingdom, royal inscriptions and temple grants, especially from outside Kerala proper, continued to refer the country and the people as the "Cheras or Keralas".[15]

The rulers of Venad (the Venad Cheras or the "Kulasekharas"), based out of the port of Kollam in south Kerala, claimed their ancestry from the Perumals.[16] In the modern period the rulers of Cochin and Travancore (in Kerala) also claimed the title "Chera".[17]

Mention by Pliny

Pliny[18] mentions....If the wind, called Hippalus32, happens to be blowing, it is possible to arrive in forty days at the nearest mart of India, Muziris33 by name. This, however, is not a very desirable place for disembarcation, on account of the pirates which frequent its vicinity, where they occupy a place called Nitrias; nor, in fact, is it very rich in articles of merchandize. Besides, the road-stead for shipping is a considerable distance from the shore, and the cargoes have to be conveyed in boats, either for loading or discharging. At the moment that I am writing these pages, the name of the king of this place is Cælobothras.

Another port, and a much more convenient one, is that which lies in the territory of the people called Neacyndi, Barace by name. Here king Pandion used to reign, dwelling at a considerable distance from the mart in the interior, at a city known as Modiera. The district from which pepper is carried down to Barace in boats hollowed out of a single tree,34 is known as Cottonara.35

None of these names of nations, ports, and cities are to be found in any of the former writers, from which circumstance it would appear that the localities have since changed their names. Travellers set sail from India on their return to Europe, at the beginning of the Egyptian month Tybis, which is our December, or at all events before the sixth day of the Egyptian month Mechir, the same as36 our ides of January: if they do this, they can go and return in the same year. They set sail from India with a south-east wind, and upon entering the Red Sea, catch the south-west or south. We will now return to our main subject.

32 Or Favonius, the west wind, previously mentioned in the present Chapter.

33 The modern Mangalore, according to Du Bocage.

34 Or canoes.

35 The Cottiara of Ptolemy, who makes it the chief city of the Æi, a tribe who occupied the lower part of the peninsula of Hindostan. It has been supposed to be represented by the modern Calicut or Travancore. Cochin, however, appears to be the most likely.

36 Marcus observes that we may conclude that either Pliny or the author from whom he transcribed, wrote this between the years of the Christian era 48 and 51; for that the coincidence of the 6th of the month Mechir with the Ides of January, could not have taken place in any other year than those on which the first day of Thoth or the beginning of the year fell on the 11th of August, which happened in the years 48, 49, 50, and 51 of the Christian era.

Nagavanshi History

Dr Naval Viyogi[19] writes.... Kashmir to Assam, Himalyan ranges have been the largest centre of the abode of Naga race since dark age of prehistoric time. But their traces are still visible in the form of ethnic groups, social and religious traditions, old architectural remains, inscriptions, coins, name of cities and places all over India.

In some parts of Ceylon and in ancient Malabar country , ancient Nagas established their rule. The Tamil literature of first century A.D. has repeated description of Naga-Nadu or the Country of Nagas. Still today Malabar coast is one of the largest Centres Naga Worship. In South, Travancore temple of Nagercoil[20] is famous.

CF. Oldham has thrown much light on this subject. He writes[21] "The Dravidians were divided into Chera, Choru and Pandyas in ancient time. Chera or Sera (in ancient Tamil Sarai is synonym of serpent in Dravidian language. It is clear from the words like Chera-Mandel (Coromandal) Naga-Dipa (serpent Island), and Naga-Nadu (Naga country) that Dravidians of South were of Asura or Naga family. In addition to the above, the Cheru or Sirai had also spread in all the Gangatic valley, which are in existence still to-day. They maintain their origin from some Naga deity or Devta. (Elliot, sup Glossary N. W. F. PP 135-36) Cherus are most ancient people. They possessed a large part of Gangatic valley and lived there from time immemorial. During the incendiary, time of the Muslim invaders, Cherus were forced to draw hands from their lands and now they are landless people. They are undoubtedly blood relatives of Dravidian Cheras."


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[22] ने लेख किया है ...केरल (AS, p.223) एक भारतीय राज्य, जो भारत के दक्षिण-पश्चिम सीमा पर स्थित है। इसकी राजधानी तिरुवनन्तपुरम (त्रिवेन्द्रम) है। केरल को 'भारत का मसालों का बगीचा' कहा जाता है। यह मलय पर्वत की क्रोड में बसा हुआ प्रदेश है, जिसमें भूतपूर्व त्रावणकोर और कोचीन की रियासतें सम्मिलित हैं। केरल का उल्लेख महाभारत, सभापर्व 31, 71 में इस प्रकार है- "पांड्यांश्च द्रविडाश्चैव सहितांश्चोड्र केरलै:, आंध्रास्तालवनांश्चैव कलिंगानुष्ट्रकर्णिकान्।"

महाभारत सभापर्व 51 में केरल और चोल नरेशों द्वारा युधिष्ठिर को दी गई चंदन, अगुरु, मोती, वैदूर्य तथा चित्रविचित्र रत्नों की भेंट का उल्लेख है- "चंदनागरु चानन्तं मुक्तावैदूर्यचित्रका:, चोलश्च केरलश्चोभौ ददतु: पांडवाय वै"।

केरल तथा दक्षिण के अन्य प्रदेशों को सहदेव ने अपनी दिग्विजय यात्रा के दौरान जीता था। 'रघुवंश' (4,54) में कालिदास ने केरल का उल्लेख इस प्रकार किया है- "भयोत्सृष्टविभूषाणां तेन केरलयोषिताम्, अलकेषु चमूरेणश्चूर्णप्रतिनिधी कृत:" अर्थात् "दिग्विजय के लिए निकली हुई रघु की सेनाओं के केरल पहुंचने पर केरल की युवतियों, जिन्होंने भय से सारे विभूषण त्याग दिए थे, की अलकों में सेना की उड़ाई हुई धूलि ने प्रसाधन के चूर्ण का काम किया।

सम्राट अशोक के शिलालेख 2 में पांड्य, सातियपुत्र और केरल राज्यों का उल्लेख है। ताम्रपर्णी नदी तक इनका विस्तार माना गया है। परवर्ती काल में केरल को 'चेर' भी कहा जाता था, जो केरल का रूपांतर मात्र है।

केरल की मुख्य नदियाँ 'मुरला', 'ताम्रपर्णी', 'नेत्रवती' और 'सरस्वती' आदि हैं। इतिहासकार हेमचंद्र रायचौधरी के अनुसार उड़ीसा में महानदी के तट पर स्थित वर्तमान सोनपुर के पास के प्रदेश को भी केरल कहते थे, क्योंकि यहाँ स्थित 'ययाति नगरी' से केरल युवतियों का सम्बंध धोई कवि ने अपने 'पवनदूत' नामक काव्य में बताया है; किंतु यह तथ्य संदेहास्पद है।

See also

External links


  1. Gurukkal, Rajan (2015). "Classical Indo-Roman Trade: A Misnomer in Political Economy". Economic and Political Weekly. pp.26–27.
  2. Karashima, Noboru (2014). A Concise History of South India: Issues and Interpretations. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198099772.
  3. O.S.Tugania:Jat Samuday ke Pramukh Adhar Bindu,p.63,s.n. 2513
  4. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. स-236
  5. Gurukkal, Rajan (2015). "Classical Indo-Roman Trade: A Misnomer in Political Economy". Economic and Political Weekly. pp.26–27.
  6. Gurukkal, Rajan (2002). "Did State Exist in the Pre-Pallavan Tamil Region?". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 63: 198–150. JSTOR 44158082. pp.138-150.
  7. Gurukkal, Rajan (2015). "Classical Indo-Roman Trade: A Misnomer in Political Economy". Economic and Political Weekly. pp.26–27.
  8. Pletcher, Kenneth (2018). "Cera Dynasty". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  9. Majumdar, S. B. (2016). "Money Matters: Indigenous and Foreign Coins in the Malabar Coast". In K. S. Mathew (ed.). Imperial Rome, Indian Ocean Regions and Muziris: New Perspectives on Maritime Trade. Cambridge: Routledge.
  10. Zvelebil, Kamil (1973). The Smile of Murugan: On Tamil Literature of South India. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-03591-1. pp.52-53
  11. Thapar, Romila (2018). "India (History) - Southern Indian Kingdoms". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  12. Menon, A. Sreedhara (2007). A Survey of Kerala History (2007 ed.). Kerala, India: D C Books. ISBN 978-8126415786,p. 118.
  13. Narayanan, M.G.S. (2013) [1972]. Perumals of Kerala: Brahmin Oligarchy and Ritual Monarchy. Thrissur: CosmoBooks. ISBN 9788188765072. pp. 89-90 and 92-93.
  14. Narayanan 2013, pp. 80-81.
  15. Menon 2007, p. 118.
  16. Menon 2007, p. 118.
  17. Menon 2007, p. 81.
  18. Natural History by Pliny Book VI/Chapter 26
  19. Nagas, The Ancient Rulers of India, Their Origins and History, 2002, p. 32-33
  20. Proceedings of the 7th All India Oriental conference PP 248-49
  21. Oldham CF.; "The Sun and the Serpent" PP.157 and 191
  22. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.223-224