Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Cheras ruled over the Malabar Coast in southwestern India. This is the modern day Kerala State in the Indian Union. The other two major dynasties were Cholas in the eastern Coromandel Coast and Pandyas in the south central peninsula. These dynasties came into existence in the later centuries BCE and were in constant conflict with one another. In the same period, the Tamil language, arts and literature prospered.
The Chera capital was Vanchi. Its exact location is still a matter of conjecture. Possibilities range from Karur, near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, to areas closer to Kochi. Details of twenty five Cheran kings are recorded, including dates of their reigns, and their accomplishments. They secured and maintained large armies, and fought neighboring kingdoms to acquire or expand their domain. They confronted and crushed piracy on the high seas. In attempts to restore harmony they sometimes married women of warring neighbors.
Throughout the reign of the Cheras, trade continued to bring prosperity to Kerala with spices, ivory, timber and gems being exported to the Middle East and southern Europe.
Belief systems as well as products were exchanged. Early beliefs and religious practices generally had a naturist or animist basis. People housed the elements of the cosmos as well as the trees and animals, believing that such entities embodied the spirits of deities. It seem that ancestor worth was also practiced, with early stone monuments being indicative of this custom. Cheras kings prayed to a goddess whom they honored with chanting, drumming and rice offerings. Around the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, both Buddhism and Jainism came to Kerala. Trade with the Middle East may have established early contact with Judaism. In fact some accounts relate King Solomonís court as receiving spices, ivory and peacocks from Kerala. Fleeing the ravages of Jerusalem, Jewish settlers may have arrived as early as 70 CE. Christianity may also have made inroads, with some accounts suggesting that Thomas the Apostle arrived in 52 CE.
List of Ancient Chera Kings
|Name of King||Period||Son of||Capital|
|Cheran Chenkutuvan||N/A||Imayavaramban Nedun-Cheralatan||NA|
|Palyanai Sel-Kelu Kuttuvan||115-130||Udiyancheralatan||NA|
|Kalankai-Kanni Narmudi Cheral||115-140||Imayavaramban Nedun-Cheralatan||NA|
|Vel-Kelu Kuttuvan||130-185||Imayavaramban Nedun-Cheralatan||NA|
|Adukotpattu Cheralatan||140-178||Imayavaramban Nedun-Cheralatan||NA|
|Kuttuvan Irumporai||NA||Vel-Kelu Kuttuvan||NA|
|Ilamcheral Irumporai||241-257||Kuttuvan Irumporai||NA|
|Tagadur Erinda Perumcheral||185-201||Selvak-Kadungo||NA|
|Yanaikat-sey Mantaran Cheral||201-241||Tagadur Erinda Perumcheral||NA|
|Perumkadungo||257-287||Yanaikat-sey Mantaran Cheral||NA|
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