The Central Government t under the headship of the King. Council of ministers and officials took active part in running the administration of Central Government. The higher officials were called Peruntaram and the lower officials were called Siruntaram.
The Chola Empire was divided into
nine provinces. They were also called mandalams. The head of the province
was called viceroy. Close relatives of kings were appointed as viceroys.
The Viceroys were in constant touch with the Central Government. Viceroys
received orders from the king. They sent regular reply to the king. The
viceroys had a large number of officials to assist them in the work of
The land revenue was the main source of income of the Chola Government. Proper land survey was made. Lands were classified as taxable land and non taxable land. There were many grades in the taxable lands. Land revenue differed according to these grades. Generally 1/6 of the land yield was collected as tax either in cash or in kind or both according to the convenience of the farmers. Besides land revenue, there were some other sources of income like customs and tolls. Taxes on mines, ports, forests and salt pans were collected. Professional tax and house tax were also collected. Many other taxes were levied. Tax burden was more on the society. Sometimes due to failure of rain and famine people could not pay tax.
The Cholas had an efficient army and navy. The Chola army consisted of elephant, cavalry and infantry. Soldiers were given proper training. Commanders enjoyed the ranks of nayaks and senapathis. The army was divided into 70 regiments. The Chola arm had 60,000 elephants. Very costly Arabian horses were imported to strengthen the cavalry. The Chola kings defeated the Cheras at Kandalur salai. The kings of Ceylon and Maldives were also defeated. The Chola navy was formidable one in South India. With the help of their navy the Cholas controlled Coromandal and Malabar coasts. Bay of Bengal became the Chola lake. The Chola army and navy together had 1,50,000 trained soldiers. The armies of the tributary chieftains also joined Chola army at needy times. Generally the Chola army was led by the King or Yuvaraja.
The Chola king was the chief justice.
The Chola kings gave enough care for the judicial administration. The
village level judicial administration was carried on by the village assembly.
Minor disputes were heard by the village assembly. Disputes were settled
with proper evidences. Punishments were awarded by the judicial officers.
The trial of serious offences and major cases were conducted by the king