200 BC to 300 AD is called as the Sangam Age because of the Sangam classical literature which refers to the existence of three Dhravidian communities namely Solan, Pandyan, and Chera. Pandyas were the powerful dynasty that controlled the destiny of other two dynasties namely Chola and Chera.
The reference to Cholas appears in the Mahabharata epic of 7th cent BC. The Sanskrit Grammarian Katyayana of 4th cent BC also mentions of Cholas. Again the name occurs on the Ashokan edicts of 3rd century BC. So it is suggested that the three Dhravidian dynasties namely Chola, Chera, Pandya had sprung up from a common origin and developed three kingdoms in a three well defined region and live in harmony so as to allow free movement and trade. The first historical King was Karikala who is stated to have invaded Ceylon . He is assumed to have lived in the second half of 1st century AD. He was succeeded by his son Nedumuri Killi. It was during Nedumuri Kill's reign, Kaveripattanam is supposed to have been destroyed by the sea. During second or 3rd cent AD, the Pallavas seems to have been in the zenith of their power and the Chola Kingdom was conquered by them (Pallavas). Nothing is heard of Cholas since then until 8th century AD.
The square copper coins similar in fabric to what Cheras and Pandyans introduced, remained the currency in the beginning of 1st century AD. They had both obverses and reverses. The later coinage is a single obverse design issued during 1st and 2nd century AD. No gold coin is heard of early Cholas.