Showing posts with label Hindu Pantheon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hindu Pantheon. Show all posts

Remembering Kamla Bhasin, Indian Feminist Activist, Poet, Author, And Social Scientist.

Kamla Bhasin, a well-known feminist activist, died in the early hours of Saturday (25th of September 2021) after a long battle with cancer. She was 75 years old at the time. 

Bhasin, who was born in 1946 in the hamlet of Shahidanwaali in Punjab (now Pakistan), was known for her ability to speak to a room full of "anybodys" - diplomats, television viewers, feminists, and children, to name a few. 

The underlying theme, which she tailored to the audience, was always one of gender equality. 

After four years with a rural non-governmental organization named Seva Mandir in Udaipur, Bhasin joined the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1976, where she worked until 2002. 

Sangat, a South Asian Feminist Network, was founded in 2004 by Bhasin and fellow feminists Abha Bhaiya, Runu Chakravarty, Gauri Choudhury, Sheba Chhacchi, Manjari Dingwaney, and Joginder Panghaal, with the assistance of Delhi-based feminist resource organization Jagori. 

Bhasin was involved in major feminist battles in the nation throughout the 1980s and 1990s, from rallies against dowry killings to demonstrations that led to reforms in the way rape and sexual assault were punished. 

She also helped to the cause by writing feminism, patriarchy, and violence pamphlets that were translated into various languages and served as the foundation for Women's Studies in a number of organizations. 

In the last decade, she has also been connected with Eve Ensler's One Billion Rising campaign to eliminate violence against women. 

Bhasin's FAO work brought her all across South Asia, where she met other female activists and formed lasting connections. 

Bhasin and other feminists from the Global South made a major contribution to the feminist movement by expanding its reach beyond national borders, ensuring that the movement also attacked the military-nationalist complex, which they saw as part of patriarchal oppression. 

Bhasin initially visited Pakistan after Partition in 1983, at the request of the Pakistani Family Planning Association, to assist them organize their work on women's empowerment. 

She met renowned feminist lawyer Asma Jahangir (who died in 2018) and other Women's Action Forum activists. 

During the 1980s, Bhasin and Nighat Said Khan from Pakistan, among others, assisted women from both countries in forging connections: they met for workshops, discussed relevant issues and protest strategies that drove the feminist movement in both countries, and, most importantly, they exchanged and re-wrote songs that were frequently sung during these protests. 

Kamla was a pioneer in the women's movement not just in India but also in South Asia. 

She had an incredible capacity to convey the most difficult topics, such as patriarchy, feminism, masculinity, peace, nonviolence, and development from the perspective of women, via rhyme, music, poetry, images, and texts. 

"She worked across generations, and she inspired a lot of young feminists all across South Asia,” said Kavita Srivastava, general secretary of the People's Union of Civil Liberties in Rajasthan, headquartered in Jaipur. 

Bhasin's talent to versify and narrate stories helped her establish and sustain relationships across boundaries. 

She quickly established a name as a songwriter and creator of children's rhymes. 

Bhasin's feminism was activism in action; the manner in which it was carried out was equally important: women had to meet, speak, sing, and laugh with one another; the transformation, she once told this writer, had to take place on the inside. 

“Tod tod kay bandhanon ko dekho bahnain aati hain...Ayengi, zulm mitaengi (breaking the shackles that hold them back, behold, the ladies have risen...)” is one of Bhasin's songs from the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

They'll be the ones to put an end to oppression)” — was inspired by popular Punjabi folklore and quickly became a fixture at most feminist events. 

Bhasin also brought shouts from feminist demonstrations on the other side of the border. 

She remembered learning the phrase "Meri behane maange Azaadi" from Pakistani feminists in an interview with the Hindustan Times in 2018. 

She subsequently claimed she invented the words. 

“The phrases would vary a lot depending on what we were demonstrating against, whether it was caste inequality, tribal injustice, or violence against women,” Bhasin added. 

Bhasin's rhymes challenged gender stereotypes and norms, including the well-known Dhammak Dham, a children's book published by UNICEF, and the poem "Kyunki mein ladki hun mujhe padhna hai/Padhne ki mujhe manahi hai so padhna hai (It's because I'm a girl, I want to study/ It's because I'm not meant to study Jagori adapted the rhymes to music and marketed them as audio cassettes and, subsequently, CDs. 

“When I think back on my thirty-plus years in the women's movement, Kamla's songs come to me first. These songs made me angry against patriarchy and happy to be a sister. Kamla's music defied categorization. They had nothing to do with victimization or agency. There were songs that were furious, sorrowful, funny, and passionate. They demonstrated that we were not alone and that change could be achieved. Kamla was a true ‘zinda dil,'” queer feminist activist Jaya Sharma remarked. 

Bhasin's appearance on Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate, where she spoke about the need for a paradigm shift in understanding rape – not as the victim's loss of honor, but the perpetrator's – was as significant as her ground-breaking speech at the Beijing Women's Conference in 1995: both received standing ovations. 

From the back seats, she could quietly applaud a heated gathering of India-Pakistan peace campaigners. 

However, determining her nationality would be challenging. 

When she was sick, she could use her wheelchair to mark the end of a hard night for the ladies of the area by reciting stirring poetry. 

She would, however, immediately explain. 

The trip was anti-patriarchy, not anti-men. 

Kamla Bhasin, who died on Saturday at the age of 75 after a brief battle with illness, is best known for grafting a phrase originally used by Pakistani women opposing Gen Ziaul Haq's tyranny on the Indian political system: the universal and unqualified demand for Azadi, or freedom. 

According to one account of the slogan's voyage to India, Bhasin, then in her forties, drew attention to herself during a Women's Studies Conference at Kolkata's Jadavpur University by beating a small drum and chanting a phrase. 

While surrounded by other women, ‘Azadi' stands up against patriarchy. 

Kamla Bhasin was inspired by the chant and created her own poetry based on its fundamental essence. 

“I know a lot of patriarchal, anti-women ladies, and I know a lot of guys who have spent their whole lives fighting for women's rights. Feminism is an idea, not a biological phenomenon.” 

What started as a feminist rallying cry was quickly applied to the struggles of laborers, dalits, and adivasis, among others. 

She delivered the now-famous words at a campaign to abolish violence against women called "One Billion Rising from South Asia."

 “For self-expression — Azadi/for celebration — Azadi... from patriarchy — Azadi/from hierarchy — Azadi/from unending violence — Azadi/from hopeless silence — Azadi...” 

Kamla Bhasin started working full-time on her feminist network Sangat after leaving her position at the United Nations in the 1970s. 

Bhasin was given a sad funeral in Delhi's Lodhi electric cremation, and tributes came in from all across South Asia. 

Prashant Bhu­shan, a prominent human rights lawyer, stated, "She was not just a women's rights fighter, but also a philanthropist who established and helped establish several excellent public interest organizations like Jagori in HP and School for Democracy in Rajasthan." “She will be sorely missed.” 

Books, Writings as well as other Scholarly works 

She authored books and pamphlets about patriarchy and gender that have been translated into almost 30 languages. 




Many NGOs now utilize them to assist people understand gender problems. 

Her book, Feminism & Its Relevance in South Asia, which she co-authored with Bindia Thapar and was originally published in 2005, was reprinted in 2013 and now has a Hindi edition (Hasna Toh Sangharsho Mein Bhi Zaroori Hai). 

Borders & Boundaries: Women in India's Partition, Understanding Gender, and What Is Patriarchy? are some of her other notable works. 

She envisioned a feminist movement that transcended class, borders, and other binary social divides in her writings and politics. 

She was a key figure in South Asia's One Billion Rising campaign

She traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal, to kick off the 2017 edition of the movement. 

She read her renowned Azadi poem to great applause and audience involvement at a One Billion Rising event in New Delhi in 2013. 


She spoke out against capitalism's role as a patriarchal actor in the objectification of women's bodies. 

Her hatred of capitalism, on the other hand, sprang from a far more fundamental political position. 

She said that the contemporary family's nature is founded on the idea of ownership. 

"It all began with the creation of private property. 

People wanted to leave a legacy, but since there were no families, males had no idea who their children were. 

Only women were recognized as moms. 

That's when patriarchy arrived," she said. 

Furthermore, she said that contemporary neoliberal capitalism, with its grotesque numbers such as the pornography and cosmetics industries, each worth billions of dollars, reduces women to their bodies. 

Furthermore, these sectors encourage women to be dehumanized, which adds to a culture of violence and abuse. 

"So what's the harm in rapping or touching you once you're a body?" Kamla inquires. 

She criticizes capitalism as a system in which everything is for sale and profits take precedence over individuals. 

"India needs a cultural revolution," Bhasin remarked.

She hated the fact that women in South Asia are enslaved by a plethora of societal traditions and beliefs that support and uphold patriarchy. 

"Patriarchy is often justified using religion as a shield. 

When you ask a question, you will be answered, "yeh toh hamara sanskar hai, riwaaj hai (This is our culture, our customs)." In a 2013 interview with The Hindu, she said, "And when this is done, it implies reasoning has finished and believe has crept in." She questioned the legitimacy and history of common words, as well as patriarchal notions in language. 

The Hindi term swami, which is often used for a partner, for example, connotes 'lord' or 'owner,' as does the word 'husband,' which has its origins in animal husbandry. 

She declared all of these practices to be in violation of India's constitution, which guarantees every woman the right to equality and a decent existence. 

Feminist theory perspectives 

Feminism is not a western idea, according to Bhasin. 

She emphasized that Indian feminism is rooted in the country's own trials and tragedies. 

She said that she did not become a feminist by reading other feminists, but rather as part of a broader natural progression from being a development worker to becoming a feminist development worker. 

She said that it is a common occurrence. 

"People are not pleased with feminism, and even if I name it XYZ, they will still be opposed," she remarked when asked what she had to say about the assumption that the word feminism antagonizes a lot of people. 

It's because they're bothered by the idea that we desire freedom and equality, and there are a lot of individuals, conventions, and traditions that oppose women's liberation.” 

While she acknowledged that theory and action must work together for change to occur, she also believes that feminist theory is critical. 

Social scientists, feminists, and academics were often consulted and collaborated with in her seminars. 

They may be characterized as a union of action and philosophy. 

Feminism, she insisted, is not a battle between men and women. 

She described the conflict as a battle between two philosophies. 

One that empowers males and elevates them, and the other that promotes equality. 

Bhasin is survived by four siblings, including former Rajasthan lawmaker Bina Kak, as well as a disabled son, Jeet. 

Meeto Bhasin Malik, her only child, committed suicide in 2006. 

Bhasin's funeral was conducted at the Lodi Road crematorium in New Delhi on September 25.

You may also want to read more about India here.

October Is Hindu Heritage Month In The United States Of America

The US states of Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, and Massachusetts, have declared October to be Hindu Traditions Month, citing Hinduism's unique history and heritage as having "contributed significantly" to America. 

The proclamations came after a number of Hindu organizations in the United States announced the inclusion of another major festival, a month-long celebration of Hindu heritage, in October. 

“Communities of the faith have long served as beacons of hope, sharing their beliefs and bettering their communities through service; improving and inspiring the lives of thousands of followers around the world,” according to the respective declarations issued recently by the offices of governors of various states, congressmen, and senators. 

Through its unique history and tradition, Hinduism has made a significant contribution to our state and nation. 

Hindu organizations in the United States are currently lobbying and working hard to get "Hindu Heritage Month" officially declared by the US government. 

According to the organizers, President Joe Biden should issue an Executive Order designating October as Hindu Heritage Month. 

“In order to continue to harbor and preserve healthy ties with India, the homeland of millions of Hindu-Americans, we ask you (the president) to officially designate the month of October as Hindu Heritage Month by Executive Order,” they stated. 

Ajay Shah, head of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), said it's astonishing how little people know about Sanatan Vedic Dharma. 

"It's past time for the rest of the world to learn about our philosophy and ethos. "

By mid-July, he claimed, the VHPA and other Hindu organizations had submitted over 20 letters to state governors asking that October be declared Hindu Heritage Month. 

The Hindu Heritage Month event will highlight the importance of variety in Hindu civilization. 

Sanjay Kaul, vice president of the World Hindu Council of America, one of the event's organizers, stated, "Hindu history and culture are thousands of years old; it is our responsibility to share it with the world and pass it on to our future generations so that they feel pride in their origins." 

Cultural programs, fashion displays, webinars, multi-day conferences, walkathons, and other events are planned, according to the organizers. 

These activities will adhere to the Covid protocol and will be held both in person and online. 

Dr. Jai Bansal, vice president of the World Hindu Council of America, emphasizes that the Hindu community is modest by nature. 

With the second and third generations now making their imprint in their adopted countries, the time has come for the Hindu community to come out of its shell and speak about its rich cultural history and vital role in contributing to the fabric of the adopted lands in a variety of ways. 

"The American experience is all about sharing and learning each of our unique cultures, traditions, and histories," Hindu Student Council president Arnav Kejriwal said, welcoming the organizers' decision to hold the month-long event. 

"We will get to see so many communities graciously tell their unique stories in the course of a dedicated history and awareness month, and I am ecstatic about the opportunity." To put the occasion in context, VHPA general secretary Amitabh VW Mittal stated that there is no one book that can explain Hindu philosophy since it is continuously developing and its contribution to human civilization is immeasurable. 

In fact, the vitality of Hinduism puts it at danger of being misunderstood, he said, adding that Hindu Heritage Month would allow the world to see how open and free Hindu thought is, which is "frequently restricted and distorted by the term "religion."

“The Hindu Heritage Month is a great opportunity for the Hindu community to remember our collective journey so far — from the ancient Vedic times, our own golden eras, through the trials and tribulations of conquests and colonization — and look optimistically forward at the opportunity we have for recovering and rearticing,” says Kalyan Viswanathan, president of Hindu University of America. 

Shobha Swami, General Secretary of the Coalition of Hindus of North America (COHNA), spoke about the variety of the culture that would be honored throughout October. 

The ethnic tapestry here is colored by multigenerational Hindus from all over the globe who call the United States home. 

For this month-long festival in October, they want to show off their vitality in arts, dance, music, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, ayurveda, and cuisine in all its forms,” she added. 

The inclusion of another significant celebration, a full month of festivities, in October as the Hindu Heritage Month was announced by Hindu dharma-based organizations from across the globe, including those of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain traditions. 

Hindus are one of the most recent and fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States and Canada. 

They are completely integrated into every area of their adoptive community, providing it with not just great professional achievements but also rich cultural legacy, according to organizers. 

They are supported by a rock-solid family structure and a passion for education. 

Their varied and rich culture has amazed everyone in the Western world, from beautiful ethnic clothing to delectable cuisine to holidays like Holi and Diwali. 


All organizations, companies, and people that identify with the Sanatan (everlasting) principles inherent in Hindu dharma are welcome to participate. 

More than 30 groups have already signed on to this wonderful celebration of our common history, with many more likely to do so soon. 

“Hindu history and culture is thousands of years old; it is our responsibility to share it with the world and pass it on to our future generations for them to take pride in their roots,” said Sanjay Kaul, Vice President - World Hindu Council of America, one of the event's organizers. 

Arnav Kejriwal, President of the Hindu Student Council (HSC), expressed his delight at the organizers' choice to host this month-long event, saying, "HSC is very pleased about the Hindu Heritage Month." Sharing and learning about each of our many cultures, customs, and history is fundamental to the American experience. 

In the course of a devoted history and awareness month, we will get to witness so many groups kindly share their unique experiences, and I am thrilled at the possibility of seeing the Hindu American community give our own memories in return.” 

“The Vedic Sanatan Dharma — which is, with a limited capacity of understanding, referred to as Hinduism — represents the only continuous civilization that has survived the test of time for tens of thousands of years,” said Amitabh VW Mittal, General Secretary of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA). 

There is no one book that can be used to understand Hindu philosophy since it is continuously developing and has an incalculable contribution to human civilisation; in fact, its vibrancy risks being misunderstood. 

The Hindu Heritage Month will allow the rest of the world to see how open and free this philosophy is, which is often misunderstood by the term "religion." “The Hindu Heritage Month is a great opportunity for the Hindu community to remember our collective journey so far — from the ancient Vedic times, our own golden eras, through the trials and tribulations of coexistence,” said Kalyan Viswanathan, President of Hindu University of America, who sees this as the community's chance to communicate with the world in general and the United States and Canada in particular. 

During the festivities, I hope we may think on what it means to be Hindu in today's world: if it's just a question of ethnicity or whether we have something to say, something to offer that might be of incalculable worth to all of humanity.” Shobha Swami, the General Secretary of the Coalition of Hindus of North America (COHNA), spoke about the variety of the culture that would be honored throughout October. 

“Multigenerational Hindus from all over the globe who have made the United States their home contribute to the ethnic tapestry here.

For this month-long festival in October, they want to show off their vibrancy in arts, dance, music, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, Ayurveda, and cuisine in all its forms,” she added. 

Anyone interested in becoming a part of the HHM celebration can register as a partner on our website,

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Is Chayagrahi?


("shadow snatcher") In the Ramayana, the first of the two major Hindu epics, a monster. 

Chayagrahi lives by the sea and captures birds flying above by grabbing their shadows in the water and dragging them down to her waiting jaws. 

This technique provides her with a constant supply of food, but she makes the fatal error of attempting to catch the monkey-god, Hanuman, in this manner. 

Other than brahmins, Hanuman performs the rituals required by the Dharma Shastras. 

See Pandurang Vaman Kane (trans. ), A History of Dharmasastra, 1968, and Raj Bali Pandey, Hindu Samskaras, 1969, for further details.  Despite their antiquity, the former is more encyclopedic and the latter is more approachable; they remain the finest sources on ancient Hindu rituals. 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is A Chauri?



A Chauri is used to brush flies and insects away by whisking. 

The name comes from the term "chamara," which refers to a yak's long tail hairs, from which it was originally manufactured. 

The chauri was a regal symbol in ancient India, and it may be seen in religious figures like the Didarganj Yakshi's sculptures. 


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Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

What Are Hindu Rituals of Childhood?



The Dharma Shastras, or treatises on religious obligation, define the samskaras of early infancy as a collective term (dharma). 

Jatakarma (birth rituals), 

namakarana (name), 

nishkramana (first excursion), 

annaprashana (first feeding), 

chudakarana (tonsure), 

and karnavedha are examples of these rites (piercing the ears). 

The text's main aim is to demonstrate the significance of the Pushti Marg, especially the influence of the Pushti Marg's leaders on these eightyfour holy figures, which are held in almost every Hindu community. 

It's a fascinating sectarian work, but it's not historically accurate. 


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Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Was Chidvilasananda?


Chidvilasananda - (b. Malti Shetty, 1955) Swami Muktananda's successor as a modern Hindu teacher. 

Muktananda preached a form of spiritual discipline known as siddha yoga, or "adepts' discipline," which emphasizes chanting, meditation, study, and, most importantly, loyalty to one's spiritual teacher. 

SYDA (Siddha Yoga Dham America), the organization established by her guru, has Chidvilasananda as its present head and preceptor. 

Her parents and other family members became Muktananda's followers when she was a kid, and she devoted the rest of her life in his service, ultimately acting as his interpreter on his trips to America. 

Muktananda named her and her brother, Subhash (who subsequently adopted the name Nityananda), as his successors, but her brother quit the group a few years after Muktananda died. 

Chidvilasananda continues to travel between one ashram near Bombay called Ganeshpuri and ashrams and centers all over the globe. 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Where Is The Chidambaram Temple?


 ("thought-clothed") Temple town in the Tamil Nadu state's South Arcot district, approximately 125 miles south of Madras. 

Chidambaram is known for the Chidambaram Temple, which is devoted to the deity Shiva in his incarnation as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. 

This temple is also known for housing the linga composed of space, the most subtle of the five elemental lingas (bhutalingas). 

The temple is constructed in the traditional Dravida style, with gopurams (temple towers) rising in each of the cardinal directions and walls surrounding the temple in between. 

The current temple was built in the tenth century C.E., when Chidambaram was the Chola dynasty's capital, and is one of southern India's oldest temples. 

Nataraja, as Lord of the Dance, represents the link between religion and the arts. 

Nataraja is a primordial dancer whose performance includes all aspects of creation, destruction, and all in between. 

Human dancers mimic him both physically and metaphorically, by executing the dance postures he defined and by engaging in a creative activity. 

Relief carvings depicting the 108 fundamental dance postures (karanas) that are still essential to traditional Indian dance, especially the Bharatanatyam school, which is the main dance style in Tamil Nadu, may be seen on the temple's eastern wall. 

The Dikshitars, Nataraja's hereditary servants, are also there. 

The Dikshitars were part of Shiva's celestial host (gana), according to legend, and followed him down from heaven when he settled in Chidambaram.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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Hinduism - Who Was Chaturbhujdas?


 (late 16th century) One of the ashtachap, a group of eight bhakti (devotional) poets from northern India. 

The Pushti Marg, a religious group whose members are Krishna devotees (bhakta), utilized the works of these eight poets for liturgical reasons. 

All eight are mentioned in the Pushti Marg's sectarian literature as members of the community and companions of either Vallabhacharya or his successor, Vitthalnath. 

Chaturbhujdas is believed to be the son of Kumbhadas, one of the first ashtachap poets, and a companion of Vitthalnath, according to allusions in his poetry. 

Chaturbhujdas portrays himself as a companion to Krishna and his wife, Radha, in his poems, offering modern followers a glimpse into their everyday lives. 

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Hinduism - Who Were The Cheras, Or The Chera Rulers Of Kerala?

Chera Dynasty is a historical dynasty in India. 

From the second century B.C.E. until the ninth century C.E., a Hindu dynasty controlled most of what is now Kerala. 

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The Cheras were always at odds with the Pandyas and Cholas, the two major kingdoms in the deep south, and were ultimately annexed by the Cholas in the ninth century C.E. 

Who is the Chera dynasty's founder? 

Cheral Athan Uthiyan From Tamil literature, Uthiyan Cheral Athan is widely regarded as the first known king of the Chera line (and the possible hero of the lost first decad of Pathitrupattu). 

"Vanavaramban" was another name for Uthiyan Cheral (Purananuru).  His base of operations was at Kuzhumur (Akananuru). 

Chera Script 

Inscription of Irumporai Cheras from Pugalur

Perum Kadungon 
Ko Athan Chel (Cheral)
Ilam Kadungo

Early Cheras epigraphic and numismatic evidence has been discovered through archaeology. 

Three generations of Chera kings of the Irumporai dynasty are described in two almost similar inscriptions found at Pugalur (near Karur) during the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. 

On the occasion of the investiture of Ilam Kadungo, son of Perum Kadungo and grandson of Ko Athan Cheral Irumporai, they chronicle the building of a rock shelter for Jains.

At Edakkal in the Western Ghats, a brief Tamil-Brahmi inscription with the word Chera ("Kadummi Pudha Chera") was discovered.

Recent archaeological finds are confirming Karur's status as a historic south Indian political, economic, and cultural center. 

Huge numbers of copper coinage with Chera emblems like as the bow and arrow, Roman amphorae, and Roman coins were discovered during excavations at Karur. 

With the aid of archaeological evidence, an old route may be traced from Kerala's harbours (such as Muchiri, or Muziris, or Thondi) across the Palghat Gap to Karur in interior Tamil Nadu. 

Historians have yet to pinpoint Muziris, also known as "Muchiri" in Tamil, as a Chera kings' base. 

Excavations at Pattanam (near Cochin) have shown a compelling case of identification with the site. 

Over time, significant quantities of Roman coins have been found in central Kerala and the Coimbatore-Karur area (from locations such as Kottayam-Kannur, Valluvally, Iyyal, Vellalur and Kattankanni).

What is the location of the Chera dynasty? 

Cera dynasty, sometimes spelt Chera, rulers of a historic kingdom in what is now Kerala state in southern India, also known as Keralaputra. 

Cera was one of the three main kingdoms of southern India that made up Tamilkam (Territory of the Tamils), with its capital on the Malabar Coast and its hinterland. 

Who is the most powerful king of the Chera dynasty? 



According to Chera legend, Sengutturan was the greatest monarch of the Chera dynasty. 

The Chola and Pandya rulers had been vanquished by him. 

At the close of the third century A.D., the Chera's authority began to wane. In the eighth century A.D., they regained power. 

What Was The Chera Coinage?

A handful of coins thought to be Cheras, mainly discovered in Tamil Nadu's Amaravati riverbed, are a significant source of early Chera history. 

A number of punch-marked coins were found in the Amaravati riverbed. Copper and its alloys, as well as silver square coins, have been found. 

On the obverse, most of these early square coins had a bow and arrow, the Cheras' traditional symbol, with or without a legend. 

There have been reports of silver-punch stamped coins with a Chera bow on the reverse, which are a replica of the Maurya coins. 

Hundreds of Chera copper coins have been found in Pattanam, Kerala's central district. 

In a riverbank in Karur, bronze dies for minting punch marked coins were found.

A coin with a portrait and the Brahmi inscription "Mak-kotai" above it, as well as another with a picture and the legend "Kuttuvan Kotai" above it, were also discovered. 

Both impure silver pieces are thought to be from the first century CE or later. Both coins have a blank back side. 

Karur also produced impure silver coins with Brahmi legends "Kollippurai", "Kollipporai", "Kol-Irumporai" and "Sa Irumporai". 

In general, portrait coins are thought to be imitations of Roman coinage. 

On the reverse, all legends were written in Tamil-Brahmi characters, which were believed to represent the names of Chera kings. 

The bow and arrow emblem was often seen on the reverse. 

A joint coin with the Chola tiger on the obverse and the Chera bow and arrow on the reverse demonstrates the Cholas' partnership. 

Karur has also yielded Lakshmi-type coins with a probable Sri Lankan provenance.

The macro study of the Mak-kotai coin reveals striking resemblances to modern Roman silver coins. 

In Karur's Amaravati riverbed, a silver coin with a picture of a person wearing a Roman-style bristled-crown helmet was also found. 

The Chera family's traditional emblem is a bow and arrow, which is shown on the reverse side of the coin.

Who is the final Chera dynasty king? 

Kulasekhara Rama Rama Kulasekhara (late 11th century CE) was the final king of medieval Kerala's Chera Perumal dynasty. 

Chera rulers belong to what Hindu Caste? 

The Villavars of Chera Kingdom, were the Illavas or Ezhavas with roots in Sri Lanka, and this clan also branched out to the Karnataka Billavas. 

The Rajput Kshatriya clans of Bhil Meenas of Rajastan, Meenas of Rajastan, and Bhils of North India belong to the same Kshatriya Warrior Caste lineage.

What Constituted The Chera Economy?

Trade in spices.

Spice Routes (Blue) and Silk Road (Red)

The Chera chiefdom's trade connections with the Graeco-Roman world's merchants, the "Yavanas," and with north India supplied significant economic impetus. 

The main economic activity was trade over the Indian Ocean. 

When it comes to the nature of the "spice trade" in ancient Chera land, there is considerable disagreement. 

Given the presence of seemingly uneven governmental structures in south India, it is debatable if the Tamil merchants conducted this "trade" with the Mediterranean world on equal terms. 

Because it occurred between the Roman Empire and South India with unequal chiefdoms, some more recent scholars claim that the "trade" was a "severe imbalance" transaction.

The Cheras became a major power in ancient southern India due to geographical advantages such as favorable Monsoon winds that carried ships directly from Arabia to south India, as well as an abundance of exotic spices in the interior Ghat mountains (and the presence of a large number of rivers connecting the Ghats to the Arabian Sea). 

Spice trade between Middle Eastern and Mediterranean (Graeco-Roman) navigators dates from before the Common Era and was mostly cemented throughout the Common Era's early years. 

The Romans conquered Egypt in the first century CE, which helped them gain supremacy in the Indian Ocean spice trade. 

Pliny the Elder in the first century CE, Periplus Maris Erythraei in the first century CE, and Claudius Ptolemy in the second century CE are the first Graeco-Roman descriptions of the Cheras. 

The Periplus Maris Erythraei depicts the "commerce" in Keprobotras' area in great detail. 

Muziris was the most significant city on the Malabar Coast, which "abounded with great ships of Romans, Arabs, and Greeks," according to the Periplus. 

Spices in bulk, ivory, wood, pearls, and jewels were "exported" from Chera to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries.

The Romans are reported to have brought large quantities of gold in exchange for black pepper. 

The discovery of Roman coin hoards in different areas of Kerala and Tamil Nadu attests to this. 

Pliny the Elder laments the loss of Roman money to India and China in exchange for luxuries such as spices, silk, and muslin in the first century CE. 

The fall of the Roman empire in the 3rd and 4th century CE slowed the spice trade across the Indian Ocean. 

With the Mediterranean's departure from the spice trade, Chinese and Arab navigators stepped in to fill the void.

Trade In Wootz Steel

The wootz crucible steel from medieval south India and Sri Lanka was used to create the renowned damascus blades. 

High carbon Indian steel is mentioned in ancient Tamil, Greek, Chinese, and Roman literature. 

The crucible steel production process began in the 6th century BC at the production sites of Kodumanal in Tamil Nadu, Golconda in Telangana, Karnataka, and Sri Lanka, and was exported globally; by 500 BC, the Chera Dynasty had produced what was referred to as the finest steel in the world, i.e. 

Seric Iron, which was sold to the Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, and Arabs. 

Steel was shipped in the form of steely iron cakes known as "Wootz." 

Wootz steel from India has a high carbon content.

To fully remove slag, black magnetite ore was heated in the presence of carbon in a sealed clay crucible within a charcoal furnace. 

Smelting the ore first to make wrought iron, then heating and hammering it to remove the slag was another option. 

Bamboo and leaves from plants like Avrai provided the carbon supply. 

By the 5th century BC, the Chinese and natives in Sri Lanka had acquired the Cheras' wootz steel manufacturing techniques. 

This early steel-making technique in Sri Lanka used a unique wind furnace powered by monsoon winds. 

Antiquity-era production sites, as well as imported relics of old iron and steel from Kodumanal, have been discovered in locations like Anuradhapura, Tissamaharama, and Samanalawewa. 

Some of the first iron and steel artifacts and manufacturing techniques from the classical era were introduced to Sri Lanka by a 200 BC Tamil trading guild at Tissamaharama, in the south east.

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