Discuss the administration of the state during the Pandyan times

The administration during the Pandyan dynasty’s rule in ancient South India, which spanned from approximately the 3rd century BCE to the 16th century CE, exhibited several key features that shaped the political and socio-cultural landscape of the region. Here, we’ll discuss the administration of the state during the Pandyan times:

**1. Monarchical System:**

   – The Pandyan dynasty was characterized by a monarchical system, where the king was the central authority and held significant political and administrative power.

   – The king, often referred to as the “Pandya ruler” or “Pandya king,” played a crucial role in governance, law enforcement, and defense.

**2. Administrative Hierarchy:**

   – The Pandyan administration was organized hierarchically, with officials at various levels responsible for specific administrative functions.

   – The kingdom was divided into districts or provinces, known as “nadus” or “mandalams,” each headed by a local administrator or governor. These local officials played a crucial role in maintaining law and order and revenue collection.

**3. Revenue System:**

   – The revenue system in the Pandyan state was based on land taxation. Revenue, known as “karai,” was collected from cultivators, and land was assessed based on its fertility and the crops grown.

   – The state also levied taxes on trade, commerce, and various economic activities, contributing to the royal treasury.

**4. Local Governance:**

   – Local self-governance played a significant role in the Pandyan administration. Village councils, known as “sabhas” or “ur panchayats,” were responsible for local affairs, dispute resolution, and decision-making at the grassroots level.

   – These councils were instrumental in maintaining community harmony and settling disputes.

**5. Infrastructure and Irrigation:**

   – The Pandyan dynasty was known for its irrigation and infrastructure projects. They constructed numerous reservoirs, tanks, and canals to enhance agricultural productivity.

   – The construction of “kulams” (tanks) and “anais” (dams) was essential for storing and managing water resources.

**6. Religion and Culture:**

   – Religion played a vital role in Pandyan administration, with the rulers often acting as patrons of temples and religious institutions.

   – The Pandyan kings contributed to the development of Tamil literature, art, and culture, leaving behind a rich legacy of inscriptions, poems, and temple architecture.

**7. Trade and Maritime Activities:**

   – The Pandyan kingdom had a thriving trade network, with significant maritime trade connections with other regions, including Southeast Asia.

   – Ports like Korkai and Madurai served as crucial centers for trade and commerce, facilitating cultural exchanges and economic prosperity.

**8. Legal System:**

   – The Pandyan administration had a well-developed legal system with inscriptions documenting various legal provisions and procedures.

   – The state enforced property rights and resolved disputes through legal mechanisms.

**9. Decline and Later History:**

   – The Pandyan dynasty faced challenges, including invasions by other South Indian dynasties and external forces such as the Cholas and the Delhi Sultanate.

   – By the 16th century, the dynasty had significantly declined, leading to the eventual demise of the Pandyan state.

In summary, the administration during the Pandyan times was characterized by a monarchical system, decentralized governance, a well-structured revenue system, irrigation projects, and a rich cultural heritage. The dynasty’s contributions to art, literature, and trade have left a lasting impact on the history and culture of South India.

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