The Chera or Cheraas the dynasty which came to power even before the Sangha period ruled over Kerala and some parts of the modern Tamil Nadu upto 5th century A.D. Their capital was Vanchimuroor near Kodungalloor. The Cheraas established trade relations with West Asia and the countries of southern Europe. It was during the Chera rule that Buddhism, Jainism, and also Jewish-Christian religions reached Kerala.