Maharashtra State BoardHSC Arts 11th
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The Administrative System, Trade, Social Life

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The Administrative System, Trade, Social Life:

In the administrative systems of South Indian dynasties, there were officials such as ‘Maha Dandanayaka’, ‘Rashtrika’, ‘Deshadhikruta’, ‘Amatya’, ‘Ayuktas’, etc. The kingdom was divided into many provinces, which were known as ‘Mandalam’. A member of the royal family was the chief of the Mandalam. There were many officers under him such as ‘Vishayapathi’, ‘Deshadhipathi’, ‘Deshadhikruta’, ‘Rashtrika’, etc. The administration of the Southern kingdoms was very efficient as every order issued related to state affairs was recorded down and no action was taken unless authenticated by the concerned officer.

Village Autonomy:

Village autonomy was an important feature of the state administration in South India. The ‘Gramasabha’ (village council) looked after the entire administration of the village. The head of the Gramasabha was known by different names such as ‘Gramabhojaka’, ‘Gramakuta’ etc., and was elected by the villagers or sometimes appointed by the king. A council similar to Gramasabha functioned at the district and provincial levels.

Land revenue was the main source of income for the state. Apart from it the excise tax, professional tax, pilgrimage tax were the sources of income. The Cholamandalam provinces were well-known for excellent quality textiles as plain and coloured cotton cloth, as well as silk clothes, was produced in this province. The fine cloth of the Chera kingdom was one of the important commodities in the Indo-Roman trade as it is mentioned in the travel accounts of Marco Polo. The trade and industries in South India flourished during this period. Cities like Paithan, Tagar (Ter), Nashik, etc. flourished because of it. The goods produced in rural areas were brought for sale in the cities. The market place used to be located in the center of the city. The merchant guilds (Shreni) in South India played an important role in trade and the social system.

South-Indian Coinage:

During the Mauryan period, the Maurya coins were in circulation in South India. After the decline of Mauryas, the Pandya kings issued their own punch-marked coins. The images like sun, horse, stupa, tree, fish were carved on the Pandyan coins. On the Chera coins, there used to be a bow and arrow on one side and an image of an elephant on the other. On the Chola coins, the symbol of tiger as the royal emblem of Cholas was depicted. The Chola coins were made of gold, silver and the legend on it was inscribed in Devanagari script. The coins belonging to Chola king Rajaraja are issued in three metals; gold, silver, and copper, with the image of Rajaraja and a tiger. Due to the trade with Rome, many Roman coins were found in this area.

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During the Mauryan period, the Maurya coins were in circulation in South India. After the decline of Mauryas, the Pandya kings issued their own punch-marked coins. The images like sun, horse, stupa, tree, fish were carved on it. On the Chera coins, there used to be a bow and arrow on one side and an image of an elephant on the other. On the Chola coins, the symbol of the tiger as the royal emblem of Cholas is depicted. The Chola coins were made of gold, silver and the legends on it were inscribed in Devnagari script. The coins belonging to Chalukya king Rajaraja are issued in three metals gold, silver, and copper, with the image of Rajaraja and a tiger. Due to the trade with Rome, many Roman coins are found in this area. It is seen that the seals of Indian rulers are reprinted on these coins and again brought into circulation.

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