Economy Social Condition under Nayak
The Nayaks were conservatives. Caste system remained very rigid. Trade and commerce flourished. Valangai and Idangai groups continued their activities. The artisan communities like carpenters goldsmiths and blacksmiths were there. Common people suffered from contagious diseases like cholera and smallpox. Poverty, slavery and bonded laborers were there. Taking advantage of the sufferings of the local people, the Dutch merchants started slave markets and enslaved people. Lot of Telugu speaking people migrated in to Tamil country and emerged as a new land holding class. The Government gave land grants and big support to them.
The Brahmins enjoyed the right of education. Vedic education was given in Sanskrit medium. Nayak rulers gave liberal grants to mutts to promote education. Ordinary villagers lived in poverty and ignorance. Illiteracy prevailed among them.
The land based agricultural economy was mainly dependent on natural water resources like rain. Some Nayak rulers like Tirumalai Nayak and Rani Mangammal attempted to improve the irrigation system. Oil crushing (Chekku Alai) Palm Sugar and Jaggary making, Pottery, salt making were famous domestic industries in Tamilnadu. Spinning and weaving were familiar in Kancheepuram and Madurai. Textile industry got importance in Coimbatore, Kancheepuram and Madurai. Iron, silver, gold and other metals were available Utensils and ornaments were produced through domestic industries, Bullock carts were the main inland transport.
Rice, millets, vegetables, salt, species and cloth were sold in local market. Rice, powdered sugar, millets, spices, cotton and silk clothes were exported gold. tin, silver, lead, copper brass and luxury items were imported.
The Nayak rulers patronized Hindu religion. The Nayak kings gave liberal donations to temples. ViswanathaNayak extended good service to the temples at Srirangam and Trichy. VeerappaNayak raised huge wall around the Chidambaram temple. Rani Mangammal gave liberal grants to Muslim darghas. Temple built during this period at Thiruvannamalai, Tindivanam, Ginjee are famous. They patronized saivism and promoted Linga worship. Mahamaham festival, Sivarathiri and Ekathesi festivals were celebrated. During the period of ThirumalaiNayak Chithirai thiruvizha, Theppa thiruvizha and Ther thiruvizha were introduced.
Tamil and Telugu languages were given importance. Saiva mutts played good role in the development of religious literature. Ellappanavalar wrote Arunachalapuranam. Kumarakurubarar wrote Kandarkalivenba. Arunagirinathar’ s Thiruppukazh was more appreciated. Gnanaprakasadesikar wrote Kachikkalambakam. Namachivaya pulavar wrote Chithambaravenba. Revanna siddhar wrote Thiruppatheeswarar puranam. King RaghunathaNayak wrote two books on music entitled Sangita Sudha and Bharata Sudha. These two books talk about new ragas and thalas discovered by him. During the period of Nayaks rule Talugu literature flourished more.