5 Types of Land Grants by Chola Kings

5 Types of Land Grants by Chola Kings
In ancient India, Kings and Queens were known for their generous land and monetary grants to priest and artisan class. Though there are different reasons why these grants were given, but most prominent one was to showcase their powress among their counterparts. Other reasons include welfare and religiousity. Chola Kings were not different from their counterparts. In one of the Chola inscriptions, they have defined five different types of land grants. These are

1. Vellanvagai: land grant for non-Brahmana, peasant proprietors
2. Brahmadeya: land grant for Brahmanas
3. Shalabhoga: land grant for the maintenance of a school
4. Devadana/tirunamattukkani: land gifted for maintanance of the temples
5. Pallichchhandam: land donated to Jaina institutions

We often see large land grants (Brahmadeya) were given to Brahmanas as a result large number of settlements emerged in Kaveri valley. Each Brahmadeya was administered by the Sabha (assembly) of rich Brahmana landowners. Their important decisions were often engraved in stone inscriptions.