The cheats were the principle ruling dynasties of the present day Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Together with Pandyas and Cholas they were major kingdom of Tamilakam. Chera was the brave and prosperous monarchy of its time and date back to 4 BCE to 12CE in two part Chera and later known as Kulasekharas.
The most powerful account of such dynasties is Santana literature written in Old Tamil and other account of travelers also explain the history of chera.
Capital of such big empire is now identified near modern day Kodungallur. Chera capital has been called “Vanchi” and “Karur”. Chera started their kingdom by expanding the territory from kuttanad to various neighborhood of Pallavas, Rashtrakutas, Kadamabas. They even fight with Yavanas (Greek) on South Indian coast.
Chera kingdom was highly advance in trade with middle East, China, Greek, north Africa and Europe. It’s geographical advantage makes it one of the highest trading kingdom. Exotic spice was major Tarde items of Chera empire.
There is many theory about Chera
- the word comes from Chera is drive from cheral, meaning “declivity of a mountain” in ancient Tamil.
- word drive from Kera and it’s comes from most common ancient name of Coconut.
- word cher+ Alam is refer to slushy land
-word cher means added and this make cheral as the land added to mountainous or hilly country.
- Megasthenes (Earlier Greek ambassador at 4th BCE), Pliny in the 1 CE, Periplus in 1st CE and Ptolemy by 2nd CE describe about Cheras.
- Early Indian account of Panini, Pantajali, Kautilya mentioned of chera in their subsequent texts. However Sangam Literature have more detail history of the Cheras. Pattittupattu, Agananuru, purananuru, Silappatikaram.
- pattittupattu the fourth book in Ethuthokai anthology of Sangam poem, mentions a number of rulers of Chera dynasty. The Sangam Literature gives extensive detail about Chera dynasty mention below:
Nedam cheralathan- Kumatturk Kumar
Palyane Check kezhu kuttuvan- Palaik Kantamanar
Narmudi Cheral- Kappiyarruk Kappiyarruk
Senguttuvan Chera- Patakar
Adu Kottu pattu Cheralathan- Kakkaipatiniyar Nacellaiyar
Selva kadumko valiathan- Kapilar
Perum cheral Irumporai- Aricil List
Ilam Cheral Irumporai- Perunkunrurk Kilar