From Academic Kids

The Cheras were one of the three ancient Tamil dynasties who ruled the southern tip of the peninsula of India for most of its early history.

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 Hinduistic beliefs and religious practices generally had a mixed naturist and 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, eventhough it is generally considered as Christians arrived much later to India.

List of Ancient Chera Kings

Name of King Period Son of Capital
Udiyancheralatan N/A NA NA
Antuvancheral NA NA NA
Imayavaramban Nedun-Cheralatan 56-115 Udiyancheralatan NA
Cheran Chenkutuvan N/A Imayavaramban Nedun-Cheralatan NA
Palyanai Sel-Kelu Kuttuvan 115-130 Udiyancheralatan NA
Poraiyan Kadungo NA Antuvancheral 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
Selvak-Kadungo 131-155 Poraiyan Kadungo 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
Ilamkadungo 287-317 Perumkadungo NA
Kanaikal Irumporai 367-397 NA NA

Template:Middle kingdoms of Indiafr:Chera


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