Chola Kudavolai System

Uttaramerur inscriptions talk about Kudavolai system. This system was a very notable and unique feature of the village administration of the Cholas. There were 30 wards in each village. A representative for each ward was elected through Kudavolai system. Names of the contestants from whom one could be chosen were written on palm leaf tickets. These palm leaves were put into a pot and shuffled. A small boy picked up palm leaves one by one from the pot. Persons whose name tickets were picked up by the boy were declared elected. Like that 30 members for thirty wards were elected. This kind of peculiar election system was called kudavolai system. Out of the thirty elected members, twelve members were appointed to the Annual committee, twelve members were appointed as the members of the Garden committee and six members to the Tank committee.

Members of the standing committee and a Gold committee were also elected. Qualification of the members was given. A person who could be chosen through Kudavolai system must have age from 35 to 70. He should possess one veli land and of a house built in a taxable land on his own site. He should have knowledge about vedas and mantras. Persons who killed brahmins or women or cow or children were disqualified. Thieves, drunkards and people who had undergone punishments were also disqualified from contesting election from kudavolai system.
The people of the Chola Empire were more benefited by the Chola administration. Historians like K.A.Neelakanda Sastri appreciates the administrative efficiency of the Chola kings. The best aspects of the Chola administration were followed by the rulers of the later period.