Chola Dynasty

of 34 /34 open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API Chola dynasty Chola Empire 300s BC–1279 Flag The Chola Empire at its greatest extent, during the reign of Rajendra Chola I in 1030 CE Capital Early Cholas: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Chola" redirects here. For other uses, see Chola (disambiguation). Chola Empire was a Tamil empire which was one of the longer-ruling dynasties in southern India. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Asoka, of Maurya Empire; as one of the Three Crowned Kings , the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century AD. The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River, but they ruled a significantly larger area at the height of their power from the later half of the 9th century till the beginning of the 13th century. The whole country south of the Tungabhadra was united and held as one state for a period of two centuries and more. [1] Under Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola I , the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in South Asia and South-East Asia. [2][3] The power of the new empire was proclaimed to the eastern world by the expedition to the Ganges which Rajendra Chola I undertook and by the occupation of cities of the Read Edit View history Article Talk Search Main page Contents Featured content Current events Random article Donate to Wikipedia Interaction Help About Wikipedia Community portal Recent changes Contact Wikipedia Toolbox Print/export Languages اﻟﻌﺮﺑﯿﺔবাংলা Català Create account Log in

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    Chola dynasty

    Chola Empire

    300s BC1279


    The Chola Empire at its greatest extent, during the reign ofRajendra Chola I in 1030 CE

    Capital Early Cholas:

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "Chola" redirects here. For other uses, see Chola (disambiguation).

    Chola Empire was a Tamil empire which was one ofthe longer-ruling dynasties in southern India. Theearliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are ininscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Asoka, ofMaurya Empire; as one of the Three Crowned Kings,the dynasty continued to govern over varying territoryuntil the 13th century AD.

    The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of theKaveri River, but they ruled a significantly larger area atthe height of their power from the later half of the 9thcentury till the beginning of the 13th century. The wholecountry south of the Tungabhadra was united and heldas one state for a period of two centuries and more.[1]

    Under Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola I,the dynasty became a military, economic and culturalpower in South Asia and South-East Asia.[2][3] Thepower of the new empire was proclaimed to the easternworld by the expedition to the Ganges which RajendraChola I undertook and by the occupation of cities of the

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    Capital Early Cholas:Poompuhar, Urayur,Tiruvarur,Medieval Cholas:Pazhaiyaarai, ThanjavurGangaikondaCholapuram

    Languages Tamil

    Religion Hinduism

    Government MonarchyKing - 848871 Vijayalaya Chola - 12461279 Rajendra Chola III

    Historical era Middle Ages - Established 300s BC - Rise of the medieval


    - Disestablished 1279

    Area 3,600,000 km(1,389,968 sq mi)

    Today part of India Sri Lanka Bangladesh Malaysia Indonesia Singapore Maldives

    List of Chola kings

    Early Cholas

    Elara Chola 235 BC 161 BC

    Ilamcetcenni Karikala Chola


    maritime empire of Srivijaya, as well as by the repeatedembassies to China.[4]

    During the period 10101200, the Chola territoriesstretched from the islands of the Maldives in the southto as far north as the banks of the Godavari River inAndhra Pradesh.[5] Rajaraja Chola conqueredpeninsular South India, annexed parts of what is nowSri Lanka and occupied the islands of the Maldives.Rajendra Chola sent a victorious expedition to NorthIndia that touched the river Ganges and defeated thePala ruler of Pataliputra, Mahipala. He alsosuccessfully invaded cities of Srivijaya.[6] The Choladynasty went into decline at the beginning of the 13thcentury with the rise of the Pandyas, who ultimatelycaused their downfall.[7][8]

    The Cholas left a lasting legacy. Their patronage ofTamil literature and their zeal in the building of templeshas resulted in some great works of Tamil literature andarchitecture.[3] The Chola kings were avid builders andenvisioned the temples in their kingdoms not only asplaces of worship but also as centres of economicactivity.[9][10] They pioneered a centralised form ofgovernment and established a disciplined bureaucracy.

    Contents [hide]

    1 Origins

    2 History2.1 Early Cholas

    2.2 Interregnum

    2.3 Medieval Cholas






    Bahasa Indonesia





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    Simple English

    Srpskohrvatski /

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    Killivalavan Kopperuncholan

    Kocengannan Perunarkilli

    Interregnum (c.200848)

    Medieval Cholas

    Vijayalaya Chola 848871(?)

    Aditya I 871907

    Parantaka Chola I 907950

    Gandaraditya 950957

    Arinjaya Chola 956957

    Sundara Chola 957970

    Uttama Chola 970985

    Rajaraja Chola I 9851014

    Rajendra Chola I 10121044

    Rajadhiraja Chola 10181054

    Rajendra Chola II 10511063

    Virarajendra Chola 10631070

    Athirajendra Chola 10671070

    Later Cholas

    Kulothunga Chola I 10701120

    Vikrama Chola 11181135

    Kulothunga Chola II 11331150

    Rajaraja Chola II 11461173

    Rajadhiraja Chola II 11661178

    Kulothunga Chola III 11781218

    Rajaraja Chola III 12161256

    2.3 Medieval Cholas

    2.4 Later Cholas (10701279)

    3 Government and society3.1 Chola country

    3.2 Nature of government

    3.3 Local government

    3.4 Foreign trade

    3.5 Chola society

    4 Cultural contributions4.1 Art

    4.2 Literature

    4.3 Religion

    5 In popular culture

    6 See also

    7 Notes

    8 References

    9 External links

    Origins [edit]

    There is very little information available regarding the origin of theChola Dynasty. The antiquity of this dynasty is evident from thementions in ancient Tamil literature and in inscriptions. Latermedieval Cholas also claimed a long and ancient lineage to theirdynasty. Mentions in the early Sangam literature (c. 150 CE)[11]

    indicate that the earliest kings of the dynasty antedated 100 CE.Parimelalagar, the annotator of the Tamil classic Tirukkural,mentions that this could be the name of an ancient king.

    The most commonly held view is that this is, like Cheras andPandyas, the name of the ruling family or clan of immemorial



    Ting Vit

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    Rajaraja Chola III 12161256

    Rajendra Chola III 12461279

    Chola society

    Chola government

    Chola military Chola Navy

    Chola art Chola literature

    Solesvara Temples

    Poompuhar Uraiyur


    Gangaikonda Cholapuram


    Tiruvarur Telugu Cholas


    Part of a series on

    History of Tamil Nadu

    antiquity. The annotator Parimelazhagar writes "The charity of peoplewith ancient lineage (such as the Cholas, the Pandyas and theCheras) are forever generous in spite of their reduced means". Othernames in common use for the Cholas are Killi (), Valavan() Sembiyan (). Killi perhaps comes from theTamil kil () digger or a worker of the land. This word often forms an integral partof early Chola names like Nedunkilli, Nalankilli and so on, but almostdrops out of use in later times. Valavan is most probably connectedwith 'valam' () fertility and means owner or ruler of a fertilecountry. Sembiyan is generally taken to mean a descendant ofShibi a legendary hero whose self-sacrifice in saving a dove fromthe pursuit of a falcon figures among the early Chola legends andforms the subject matter of the Sibi Jataka among the Jataka storiesof Buddhism.[12] In Tamil lexicon Chola means Soazhi or Saeidenoting a newly formed kingdom, in the lines of Pandya or the oldcountry.[13] Sora or Chozha in Tamil becomes Chola in Sanskrit andChola or Choda in Telugu.[14]

    On the history of the early Cholas there is very little authenticwritten evidence available. Historians during the past 150 yearshave gleaned a lot of knowledge on the subject from a varietyof sources such as ancient Tamil Sangam literature, oraltraditions, religious texts, temple and copperplate inscriptions.The main source for the available information of the earlyCholas is the early Tamil literature of the Sangam Period.[15]

    There are also brief notices on the Chola country and itstowns, ports and commerce furnished by the Periplus of theErythraean Sea (Periplus Maris Erythraei).[16] Periplus is awork by an anonymous Alexandrian merchant, written in the

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    Chronology of Tamil history

    Sangam period


    Three Crow ned Kings

    Education Legal system

    Government Economy

    Society Religion Music

    Early Pandyas

    Early Cheras Early Cholas


    Medieval history

    Pallava Empire

    Pandya Empire

    Chola Empire

    Chera Kingdom

    Vijayanagara Empire

    Madurai Nayaks

    Tanjore Nayaks

    Kalahasti Nayaks

    Gingee Nayaks

    Thondaiman Kingdom

    This box: view talk edit

    time of Domitian (8196) and contains very little information ofthe Chola country.[17] Writing half a century later, thegeographer Ptolemy gives more detail about the Chola country,its port and its inland cities.[18] Mahavamsa, a Buddhist textwritten down during the 5th century CE, recounts a number ofconflicts between the inhabitants of Ceylon and Cholas in the1st century BCE.[19] Cholas are mentioned in the Pillars ofAshoka (inscribed 273 BCE232 BCE) inscriptions, wherethey are mentioned among the kingdoms which, though notsubject to Ashoka, were on friendly terms with him.[20][21][22]

    History [edit]

    The history of the Cholas falls into four periods: the earlyCholas of the Sangam literature, the interregnum between thefall of the Sangam Cholas and the rise of the medieval Cholasunder Vijayalaya (c. 848), the dynasty of Vijayalaya, andfinally the Later Chola dynasty of Kulothunga Chola I from thethird quarter of the 11th century.[23]

    Early Cholas [edit]Main article: Early Cholas

    Further information: Legendary early Chola kings

    The earliest Chola kings for whom there is tangible evidenceare mentioned in the Sangam literature. Scholars generallyagree that this literature belongs to the second or first few centuries of the common era.[11] The internalchronology of this literature is still far from settled, and at present a connected account of the history of theperiod cannot be derived. The Sangam literature records the names of the kings and the princes, and of thepoets who extolled them. Despite a rich literature that depicts the life and work of these people, these

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    An early silver coin of Uttama Cholafound in Sri Lanka show ing the Tiger emblemof the Cholas.In Grantha Tamil.[25]

    cannot be worked into connected history.[24]

    The Sangam literature also records legends about mythicalChola kings.[26][27][28] These myths speak of the Chola kingKantaman, a supposed contemporary of the sage Agastya,whose devotion brought the river Kaveri into existence.[29]

    Besides, two names stand out prominently from among thoseChola kings known to have existed who feature in Sangamliterature: Karikala Chola and Kocengannan.[30][31][32][33] Thereare no sure means of settling the order of succession, of fixingtheir relations with one another and with many other princelingsof about the same period.[34][35] Urayur (now in/part-ofThiruchirapalli) was their oldest capital.[27] Kaveripattinam also

    served as an early Chola capital.[36] The Mahavamsa mentions that an ethnic Tamil adventurer, a Cholaprince known as Elara, invaded the island around 235 BCE.[27][37]

    Interregnum [edit]There is not much information about the transition period of around three centuries from the end of theSangam age (c. 300) to that in which the Pandyas and Pallavas dominated the Tamil country.[38] Anobscure dynasty, the Kalabhras, invaded the Tamil country, displaced the existing kingdoms and ruled foraround three centuries.[39][40][41] They were displaced by the Pallavas and the Pandyas in the 6thcentury.[31][42] Little is known of the fate of the Cholas during the succeeding three centuries until theaccession of Vijayalaya in the second quarter of the 9th century.[43]

    Epigraphy and literature provide a few faint glimpses of the transformations that came over this ancient lineof kings during this long interval. What is certain is that when the power of the Cholas fell to its lowest ebband that of the Pandyas and Pallavas rose to the north and south of them,[32][44] this dynasty wascompelled to seek refuge and patronage under their more successful rivals.[2][45] The Cholas continued torule over a diminished territory in the neighbourhood of Uraiyur, but only in a minor capacity. In spite of theirreduced powers, the Pandayas and Pallavas accepted Chola princesses in marriage, possibly out of regardfor their reputation.[46] Numerous inscriptions of Pallavas of this period mention their having fought rulers of

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    'the Chola country'.[47][48] Despite this loss in influence and power, it is unlikely that the Cholas lost totalgrip of the territory around Uraiyur, their old capital, as Vijayalaya, when he rose to prominence hailed fromthis geographical area.[49][50]

    Around the 7th century, a Chola kingdom flourished in present-day Andhra Pradesh.[49] These TeluguCholas (or Chodas) traced their descent to the early Sangam Cholas. However, it is not known if they hadany relation to the early Cholas.[51] It is possible that a branch of the Tamil Cholas migrated north duringthe time of the Pallavas to establish a kingdom of their own, away from the dominating influences of thePandyas and Pallavas.[52] The Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang, who spent several months in Kanchipuram during639640 writes about the 'kingdom of Culi-ya', in an apparent reference to the Telugu Chodas.[43][53]

    Medieval Cholas [edit]Main article: Medieval Cholas

    While there is little reliable information on the Cholas during theperiod between the early Cholas and Vijayalaya dynasties, thereis an abundance of materials from diverse sources on theVijayalaya and the Later Chola dynasties. A large number ofstone inscriptions by the Cholas themselves and by their rivalkings, Pandyas and Chalukyas, and copper-plate grants, havebeen instrumental in constructing the history of Cholas of thatperiod.[54][55] Vijayalaya, possibly a feudaory of Pallavas, tookan opportunity arising out of a conflict between Pandyas andPallavas in c. 850, captured Thanjavur from Muttarayar andestablished the imperial line of the medieval Cholas.[56][57]

    The Chola dynasty was at the peak of its influence and powerduring the medieval period.[1] Through their leadership and vision,Chola kings expanded their territory and influence. The secondChola King, Aditya I, caused the demise of the Pallavas anddefeated the Pandyas of Madurai in 885, occupied large parts ofthe Kannada country, and had marital ties with the Gangas. In

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    Portrait of Rajaraja Chola and his guruKaruvurar at Brihadeesw arar Temple

    Portrait of the Chola Emperor RajendraChola I, the Chola Empire became one of themost pow erful dynasties in Asia during hisreign.

    the Kannada country, and had marital ties with the Gangas. In925, his son Parantaka I conquered Sri Lanka (known asIlangai). Sundara Chola, also known as Parantaka Chola II,regained territories from the Rashtrakutas and expanded theChola dominions up to Bhatkal in Kannada country. RajarajaChola I and Rajendra Chola I extended the Chola kingdombeyond the traditional limits of a Tamil kingdom.[2][3] At its peak,the Chola Empire stretched from the island of Sri Lanka in thesouth to the Godavari-Krishna basin in the north, up to theKonkan coast in Bhatkal, the entire Malabar Coast in addition toLakshadweep, Maldives and vast areas of Chera country. Thekingdoms of Deccan and the eastern coast were subordinates,feudatories of the Cholas, and other kingdoms like theChalukyas between 10001075 paid tribute to the Cholas.[58]

    Rajendra Chola I completed the conquest of the island of SriLanka and captured the Sinhala king Mahinda V as a prisoner, inaddition to his conquests of Rattapadi (territories of theRashtrakutas, Chalukya country, Talakkad, and Kolar (where theKolaramma temple still has his portrait statue) in Kannadacountry.[59] Rajendra's territories included the area falling on theGanges-Hooghly-Damodar basin,[60] as well as Sri Lanka andMaldives.[56] The kingdoms along the east coast of India up tothe river Ganges acknowledged Chola suzerainty.[5] Chola naviesinvaded and spread their influence to Srivijaya.[6][61] Threediplomatic missions were sent to China in 1016, 1033 and1077.[56]

    The Western Chalukyas under Satyasraya and Somesvara I tried to wriggle out of Chola domination fromtime to time, primarily due to the Chola influence in the Vengi kingdom.[4] The Western Chalukyas mountedseveral unsuccessful attempts to engage the Chola emperors in war and except for a brief occupation ofVengi territories between 11181126, all their other attempts ended in failure with successive Chola

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    emperors routing the armies of the Chalukyas at various places in many wars. Cholas always successfullycontrolled the Chalukyas in the western Deccan by defeating them in war and levying tribute on them.[62]

    Even under the emperors of the Cholas like Kulothunga I and Vikrama Chola the wars against theChalukyas were mainly fought in Chalukya territories in Karnataka or in the Telugu country like Vengi,Kakinada or Anantapur or Gutti. Then the small Kannada kingdoms of the Kadambas, Hoysalas,Vaidumbas or Kalachuris, steadily increased their and finally replaced the Chalukyas.[63] With theoccupation of Dharwar in North Central Karnataka by the Hoysalas under Vishnuvardhana where he basedhimself with his son Narasimha I in-charge at the Hoysala capital Dwarasamudra around 1149, and with theKalachuris occupying the Chalukyan capital for over 35 years from around 11501151, the Chalukyakingdom was already starting to dissolve.[64]

    The Cholas under Kulothunga Chola III even collaborated to the herald the dissolution of the Chalukyas byaiding Hoysalas under Veera Ballala II, the son-in-law of the Chola monarch, and defeated the WesternChalukyas in a series of wars with Somesvara IV between 11851190 AD. The last Chalukya king'sterritories did not even include the erstwhile Chalukyan capitals Badami, Manyakheta or Kalyani. That wasthe final dissolution of Chalukyan power though the Chalukyas existed only in name since 11351140. Butthe Cholas remained stable till 1215, were absorbed by the Pandiyan empire and ceased to exist by1279.[65]

    On the other hand, throughout the period from 11501280, the staunchest opponents of the Cholas werePandya princes who tried to win independence for their traditional territories. This period saw constantwarfare between the Cholas and the Pandyas. The Cholas also fought regular wars with the EasternGangas of Kalinga, protected Vengi though it remained largely independent under Chola control, and haddomination of the entire eastern coast with their feudatories the Telugu Chodas, Velananti Cholas, RenanduCholas etc. who also always aided the Cholas in their successful campaigns against the Chalukyas andlevying tribute on the Kannada kingdoms and fought constantly with the Sinhalas, who attempted tooverthrow the Chola occupation of Lanka, but till the time of the Later Chola king Kulottunga I the Cholashad firm control over Lanka. In fact, a Later Chola king Rajadhiraja Chola II was strong enough to prevail overa confederation of five Pandya princes who were aided by their traditional friend, the king of Lanka, this onceagain gave control of Lanka to the Cholas despite the fact that they were not strong under the resoluteRajadhiraja Chola II. However, Rajadhiraja Chola II's successor, the last great Chola monarch Kulottunga

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    Chola territories during Kulothunga Chola Ic. 1120

    Chola III reinforced the hold of the Cholas by quelling rebellion and disturbances in Lanka and Madurai,defeated Hoysala generals under Veera Ballala II in Karuvur, in addition to holding on to his traditionalterritories in Tamil country, Eastern Gangavadi, Draksharama, Vengi and Kalinga. After this, he entered intoa marital alliance with Veera Ballala II (with Ballala's marriage to a Chola princess) and his relationship withHoysalas seems to have become friendlier.[66][67][68][69]

    Later Cholas (10701279) [edit]Main article: Later Cholas

    Marital and political alliances between the Eastern Chalukyasbegan during the reign of Rajaraja following his invasion ofVengi.[70] Rajaraja Chola's daughter married Chalukya princeVimaladitya.[71] Rajendra Chola's daughter was also married toan eastern Chalukya prince Rajaraja Narendra.[72]

    Virarajendra Chola's son Athirajendra Chola was assassinated ina civil disturbance in 1070, and Kulothunga Chola I, the son ofRajaraja Narendra, ascended the Chola throne starting the LaterChola dynasty.[63][72][73]

    The Later Chola dynasty saw capable rulers in Kulothunga CholaI, his son Vikrama Chola, other successors like Rajaraja CholaII, Rajadhiraja Chola II and the great Kulothunga Chola III, whoconquered Kalinga, Ilam and Kataha. However, the rule of thelater Cholas between 1218, starting with Rajaraja Chola II to the last emperor Rajendra Chola III was not asstrong as those of the emperors between 8501215. Around 1118, they lost control of Vengi to the WesternChalukya and Gangavadi (southern Mysore districts) to the Hoysalas. However, these were only temporarysetbacks, because immediately following the accession of king Vikrama Chola, the son and successor ofKulothunga Chola I, the Cholas lost no time in recovering the province of Vengi by defeating ChalukyaSomesvara III and also recovering Gangavadi from the Hoysalas. The Chola Empire, though not as strong asbetween 8501150, was still largely territorially intact under Raja Raja Chola II (11461175) a fact attestedby the construction and completion of the third grand Chola architectural marvel, the chariot-shaped

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    Airavatesvara Temple at Dharasuram on the outskirts of modern Kumbakonam. This temple is part of theWorld Heritage Sites trinity of the Great Living Chola Temples, along with the Brihadeeswarar Temples ofThanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram, built by his predecessors Raja Raja Chola I and Rajendra Chola I,respectively. Chola administration and territorial integrity till the rule of Kulothunga Chola III was stable andvery prosperous up to 1215, but during his rule itself, the decline of the Chola power started following hisdefeat by Maravarman Sundara Pandiyan II in 121516.[74] Subsequently, the Cholas also lost control of theisland of Lanka and were driven out by the revival of Sinhala power.

    In continuation of the decline, also marked by the resurgence of the Pandyas as the most powerful rulers inSouth India, a lack of a controlling central administration in its erstwhile-Pandyan territories prompted anumber of claimants to the Pandya throne to cause a civil war in which the Sinhalas and the Cholas wereinvolved by proxy. Details of the Pandyan civil war and the role played by the Cholas and Sinhalas, arepresent in the Mahavamsa as well as the Pallavarayanpettai Inscriptions.[75][76]

    The Cholas, under Rajaraja Chola III and later, his successor Rajendra Chola III, were quite weak andtherefore, experienced continuous trouble. One feudatory, the Kadava chieftain Kopperunchinga I, even heldRajaraja Chola III as hostage for sometime.[77][78] At the close of the 12th century, the growing influence ofthe Hoysalas replaced the declining Chalukyas as the main player in the Kannada country, but they toofaced constant trouble from the Seunas and the Kalachuris who were occupying Chalukya capital for thoseempires were their new rivals. So naturally, the Hoysalas found it convenient to have friendly relations withthe Cholas from the time of Kulothunga Chola III, who had defeated Hoysala Veera Ballala II, who hadsubsequent marital relations with the Chola monarch. This continued during the time of Rajaraja Chola IIIthe son and successor of Kulothunga Chola III[74][79]

    The Pandyas in the south had risen to the rank of a great power who ultimately banished the Hoysalas fromMalanadu or Kannada country, who were allies of the Cholas from Tamil country and the demise of theCholas themselves ultimately was caused by the Pandyas in 1279. The Pandyas first steadily gainedcontrol of the Tamil country as well as territories in Sri Lanka, Chera country, Telugu country underMaravarman Sundara Pandiyan II and his able successor Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan before inflictingseveral defeats on the joint forces of the Cholas under Rajaraja Chola III, his successor Rajendra Chola IIIand the Hoysalas under Someshwara, his son Ramanatha[74] Rajendra III tried to survive by aligning with

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    the Kadava Pallavas and the Hoysalas in turn in order to counter the constantly rising power of thePandyans who were the major players in the Tamil country from 1215 and had intelligently consolidatedtheir position in Madurai-Rameswaram-Ilam-Cheranadu and Kanniyakumari belt, and had been steadilyincreasing their territories in the Kaveri belt between Dindigul-Tiruchy-Karur-Satyamangalam as well as inthe Kaveri Delta i.e. Thanjavur-Mayuram-Chidambaram-Vriddhachalam-Kanchi, finally marching all the wayup to ArcotTirumalai-Nellore-Visayawadai-Vengi-Kalingam belt by 1250.

    The Pandyas steadily routed both the Hoysalas and the Cholas.[7] They also dispossessed the Hoysalas,who had been overestimating their power by interfering in the politics of Tamil country by routing them underJatavarman Sundara Pandiyan at Kannanur Kuppam and chased them back to the Mysore plateau andstopped the war only thereafter.[8] At the close of Rajendra's reign, the Pandyan empire was at the height ofprosperity and had taken the place of the Chola empire in the eyes of the foreign observers.[80] The lastrecorded date of Rajendra III is 1279. There is no evidence that Rajendra was followed immediately byanother Chola prince.[81][82] The Hoysalas were routed from Kannanur Kuppam around 1279 byKulasekhara Pandiyan and in the same war the last Chola emperor Rajendra III was routed and the Cholaempire ceased to exist thereafter. Thus the Chola empire was completely overshadowed by the Pandyanempire and sank into obscurity and ceased to exist by the end of the 13th century.[78][82]

    Government and society [edit]

    Main article: Chola Government

    Chola country [edit]Main article: Chola Nadu

    According to Tamil tradition, the old Chola country comprised the region that includes the modern-dayTiruchirapalli District, Tiruvarur District, Nagapattinam District, Ariyalur District, Perambalur district,Pudukkottai district, Pichavaram Taluk and the Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal District inKaraikal. The river Kaveri and its tributaries dominate this landscape of generally flat country that graduallyslopes towards the sea, unbroken by major hills or valleys. The river Kaveri, also known as Ponni (golden)river, had a special place in the culture of Cholas. The annual floods in the Kaveri marked an occasion for

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    celebration, Adiperukku, in which the whole nation took part.

    Kaveripoompattinam on the coast near the Kaveri delta was a major port town.[27] Ptolemy knew of this andthe other port town of Nagappattinam as the most important centres of Cholas.[18] These two townsbecame hubs of trade and commerce and attracted many religious faiths, including Buddhism.[83] Romanships found their way into these ports. Roman coins dating from the early centuries of the common era havebeen found near the Kaveri delta.[84][85]

    The other major towns were Thanjavur, Uraiyur and Kudanthai, now known as Kumbakonam.[27] AfterRajendra Chola moved his capital to Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Thanjavur lost its importance.[86] The laterChola kings moved around their capitals frequently and made cities such as Chidambaram, Madurai andKanchipuram their regional capitals.

    Nature of government [edit]In the age of the Cholas, the whole of South India was, for the first time ever, brought under a singlegovernment.[87] when a serious attempt was made to face and solve the problems of public administration.The Cholas' system of government was monarchical, as in the Sangam age.[31] However, there was little incommon between the local chiefdoms of the earlier period and the imperial-like states of Rajaraja Chola andhis successors.[88]

    Between 980 and c. 1150, the Chola Empire comprised the entire south Indian peninsula, extending fromthe east coast to the west coast and bounded to the north by an irregular line along the Tungabhadra riverand the Vengi frontier.[2][5] Although Vengi had a separate political existence, it was closely connected tothe Chola Empire and the Chola dominion virtually extended up to the banks of the Godavari river.[89]

    Thanjavur and later Gangaikonda Cholapuram were the imperial capitals.[90] However both Kanchipuram andMadurai were considered to be regional capitals in which occasional courts were held. The king was thesupreme leader and a benevolent authoritarian.[91] His administrative role consisted of issuing oralcommands to responsible officers when representations were made to him.[92] A powerful bureaucracyassisted the king in the tasks of administration and in executing his orders. Due to the lack of a legislatureor a legislative system in the modern sense, the fairness of king's orders dependent on his morality andbelief in Dharma. The Chola kings built temples and endowed them with great wealth.[9][93] The temples

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    This is the Anchor of an Unknow n LOLA classChola ship, excavated by the Indian Navy diversoff the coast of Poombuhar.

    acted not only as places of worship but also as centres of economic activity, benefiting the community as awhole.[9][94]

    Local government [edit]Every village was a self-governing unit.[95] A number of villages constituted a larger entity known as aKurram, Nadu or Kottram, depending on the area.[95][96][97] A number of Kurrams constituted avalanadu.[98] These structures underwent constant change and refinement throughout the Chola period.[99]

    Justice was mostly a local matter in the Chola Empire; minor disputes were settled at the village level.[97]

    Punishment for minor crimes were in the form of fines or a direction for the offender to donate to somecharitable endowment. Even crimes such as manslaughter or murder were punished with fines. Crimes ofthe state, such as treason, were heard and decided by the king himself; the typical punishment in thesecases was either execution or the confiscation of property.[100]

    Foreign trade [edit]See also: Chola Navy

    The Cholas excelled in foreign trade and maritime activity,extending their influence overseas to China and SoutheastAsia.[101] Towards the end of the 9th century, southernIndia had developed extensive maritime and commercialactivity.[102][103] The Cholas, being in possession of partsof both the west and the east coasts of peninsular India,were at the forefront of these ventures.[104][105][106] TheTang dynasty of China, the Srivijaya empire under theSailendras, and the Abbasid Kalifat at Baghdad were themain trading partners.[107]

    Chinese Song Dynasty reports record that an embassyfrom Chulian (Chola) reached the Chinese court in the year1077,[108][109][110] and that the king of the Chulien at thetime, Kulothunga I, was called Ti-hua-kia-lo.[111] This embassy was a trading venture and was highly

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    profitable to the visitors, who returned with copper coins in exchange for articles of tributes, including glassarticles, and spices.[111] Chinese records rarely described Tamil merchants. On the other hand, afragmentary Tamil inscription found in Sumatra cites the name of a merchant guild Nanadesa TisaiyayirattuAinnutruvar (literally, "the five hundred from the four countries and the thousand directions"), a famousmerchant guild in the Chola country.[103] The inscription is dated 1088, indicating that there was an activeoverseas trade during the Chola period.[109] Six other inscriptions have been found across South-East Asiaand bear testimony to merchant activities as well as to the naming of trade-related places and public workin that region after members of the Tamil royal family.[112] Probably, the motive behind Rajendra'sexpedition to Srivijaya was the protection of the merchants' interests.[113]

    Chola society [edit]There is little information on the size and the density of the population during the Chola reign.[114] Thestability in the core Chola region enabled the people to lead a productive and contented life. There is onlyone recorded instance of civil disturbance during the entire period of Chola reign.[115] However, there werereports of widespread famine caused by natural calamities.[116][117]

    The quality of the inscriptions of the regime indicates a high level of literacy and education in the society.The text in these inscriptions was written by court poets and engraved by talented artisans. Education inthe contemporary sense was not considered important; there is circumstantial evidence to suggest thatsome village councils organised schools to teach the basics of reading and writing to children,[118] althoughthere is no evidence of systematic educational system for the masses.[119] Vocational education wasthrough hereditary training in which the father passed on his skills to his sons. Tamil was the medium ofeducation for the masses; Religious monasteries (matha or gatika) were centres of learning and receivedgovernment support.[120][121][122]

    Cultural contributions [edit]

    Under the Cholas, the

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    Detail of the main vimanam (tow er) of theThanjavur Temple

    Detail of the statue of Rajaraja Chola atBrihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur.

    Under the Cholas, theTamil countryreached new heightsof excellence in art,religion andliterature.[123] In all ofthese spheres, theChola period markedthe culmination ofmovements that hadbegun in an earlierage under thePallavas.[124][125]

    Monumentalarchitecture in theform of majestictemples andsculpture in stone

    and bronze reached a finesse never before achieved in India.[126]

    The Chola conquest of Kadaram (Kedah) and Srivijaya, and theircontinued commercial contacts with the Chinese Empire,enabled them to influence the local cultures.[127] Many of the surviving examples of the Hindu culturalinfluence found today throughout the Southeast Asia owe much to the legacy of the Cholas.[128][129]

    Art [edit]Main article: Chola Art

    The Cholas continued the temple-building traditions of the Pallava dynasty and contributed significantly tothe Dravidian temple design.[130] They built a number of Siva temples along the banks of the river Kaveri.The template for these and future temples was formulated by Aditya I and Parantaka.[131][132][133]

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    With heavily ornamented pillars accuratein detail and richly sculpted w alls, theAiravatesw ara temple at Darasuram is aclassic example of Chola art andarchitecture

    Temple building received great impetus from the conquests andthe genius of Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola I.[134]

    The maturity and grandeur to which the Chola architecture hadevolved found expression in the two temples of Thanjavur andGangaikondacholapuram. The magnificent Siva temple ofThanjavur, completed around 1009, is a fitting memorial to thematerial achievements of the time of Rajaraja. The largest andtallest of all Indian temples of its time, it is at the apex of SouthIndian architecture.[70] The temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram atGangaikondacholapuram, the creation of Rajendra Chola, wasintended to excel its predecessor.[135] Completed around 1030,only two decades after the temple at Thanjavur and in the samestyle, the greater elaboration in its appearance attests the moreaffluent state of the Chola Empire under Rajendra.[130][136] TheBrihadisvara Temple, the temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram andthe Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram were declared as WorldHeritage Sites by the UNESCO and are referred to as the Greatliving Chola temples.[137]

    The Chola period is also remarkable for its sculptures andbronzes.[138][139][140] Among the existing specimens inmuseums around the world and in the temples of South Indiamay be seen many fine figures of Siva in various forms, such as

    Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi, and the Saivaite saints.[130] Though conforming generally to theiconographic conventions established by long tradition, the sculptors worked with great freedom in the 11thand the 12th centuries to achieve a classic grace and grandeur. The best example of this can be seen inthe form of Nataraja the Divine Dancer.[141][142]

    Literature [edit]Main article: Chola literature

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    Chola bronze from the Ulster Museum

    The age of the Imperial Cholas (8501200) was the golden age ofTamil culture, marked by the importance of literature.[3] Cholainscriptions cite many works, the majority of which have beenlost.[143]

    The revival of Hinduism from its nadir during the Kalabhrasspurred the construction of numerous temples and these in turngenerated Saiva and Vaishnava devotional literature.[144] Jainand Buddhist authors flourished as well, although in fewernumbers than in previous centuries.[145] Jivaka-chintamani byTirutakkatevar and Sulamani by Tolamoli are among notable bynon-Hindu authors.[146][147][148] The art of Tirutakkatevar ismarked by all the qualities of great poetry.[149] It is consideredas the model for Kamban for his masterpiece Ramavataram.[150]

    Kamban flourished during the reign of Kulothunga Chola III. HisRamavatharam (also referred to as Kambaramayanam) is anepic in Tamil literature, and although the author states that hefollowed Valmiki's Ramayana, it is generally accepted that hiswork is not a simple translation or adaptation of the Sanskritepic.[151] Kamban imports into his narration the colour and landscape of his own time; his description ofKosala is an idealised account of the features of the Chola country.[148][152][153]

    Jayamkondar's masterpiece Kalingattuparani is an example of narrative poetry that draws a clear boundarybetween history and fictitious conventions. This describes the events during Kulothunga Chola I's war inKalinga and depicts not only the pomp and circumstance of war, but the gruesome details of thefield.[153][154][155] The famous Tamil poet Ottakuttan was a contemporary of Kulothunga Chola I and servedat the courts of three of Kulothunga's successors.[150][153][154][156] Ottakuttan wrote Kulothunga CholanUla, a poem extolling the virtues of the Chola king.[157]

    The impulse to produce devotional religious literature continued into the Chola period and the arrangementof the Saiva canon into 11 books was the work of Nambi Andar Nambi, who lived close to the end of 10th

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    Bronze Chola Statue of Nataraja at theMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

    century.[158][159] However, relatively few Vaishnavite works were composed during the later Chola period,possibly because of the apparent animosity towards the Vaishnavites by the Later Chola monarchs.[160]

    Religion [edit]In general, Cholas were the adherents of Hinduism. Throughouttheir history, they were not swayed by the rise of Buddhism andJainism as were the kings of the Pallava and Pandya dynasties.Even the early Cholas followed a version of the classical Hindufaith. There is evidence in Purananuru for Karikala Chola's faith inSaivism in the Tamil country.[161] Kocengannan, another earlyChola, was celebrated in both Sangam literature and in the Saivacanon as a saint.[33]

    While the Cholas did build their largest and most importanttemple dedicated to Lord Shiva, it can be by no meansconcluded that either they were staunch Saivites or followers ofSaivism only or that they were not favourably disposed to otherfaiths. This is borne out by the fact that the second Chola kingAditya I himself built quite a few temples for Siva and for LordVishnu. In AD 890, his inscriptions speak of his contributions to the construction of the Ranganatha Templeat Srirangapatnam (now in Mandya district of Karnataka) in the country of Western Gangas who were bothhis feudatories and had marital relations with him. During the time of Aditya I (871903 AD) the Gangas ofKannada country had recognized his superiority which he acknowledged by marrying into that family andmaking grant contributions to the construction of the Sri Ranganatha temple at modern Srirangapatnam.Aditya I regularly gave many endowments to the Sri Ranganatha Temple at Srirangam around AD 896 andissued an inscriptional dictat pronouncing that the great temples of Siva and the Ranganatha temple atSrirangam to be the 'Kuladhanam' of the Chola emperors.[162]

    It was Aditya I's dictat which was faithfully carried out by hisillustrious son Parantaka I and his successors wherein it wasdeclared in edicts that the Siva Temple of Chidambaram (at that

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    The Prambanan temple complex, built bySanjaya dynasty.

    time the grand Siva temples of Tanjore and GangaikondaCholapuram were not in existence) and the Sri RanganathaSwami temple of Srirangam were the 'Kuladhanams', i.e.,tutelary (deities) treasures of the Chola emperors. This dictatwas repeated around 300 years back when the last great CholaKing, Kulothunga III, the builder of the great SarabeswararTemple at Tribhuvanam on the outskirts of Kumbakonam, hailsLord Ranganatha at Srirangam in an inscription in the SrirangamKoil, as his 'tutelary deity'. As per findings of Dr. Hultzsch, thegreat epigraphist, in this inscription acknowledgment is made to

    the earlier great Chola king Parantaka about declaring the Chidambaram (Siva) Koil and the Srirangam(Vishnu) Koil as 'Kuladhanams' of the Cholas a pointer to the fact that the Cholas were secular andpatronized equally all religions and sub-sects within the same religion. Another proof of this is the existenceof as many as 40 Vaishnava Divyadesams out of 108 such temples in the Chola country, which arefunctioning and flourishing even today.

    Chola king Sundara (Parantaka II) was a staunch devotee of the reclining Vishnu (Vadivu Azhagiya Nambi)at Anbil in the banks of Cauvery on the outskirts of Tiruchy, to whom he gave numerous gifts andembellishments, and prayed before him by keeping his sword before the deity, beforeo his proceeding forwar for regaining the territories in and around Kanchi and Arcot from the waning Rashtrakutas and whileleading expeditions against both Madurai and Ilam (Sri Lanka).[163] Parantaka I and Sundara Cholaendowed and built temples for Siva and Vishnu.[164] Rajaraja Chola I patronised Buddhists and provided forthe construction of the Chudamani Vihara (a Buddhist monastery) in Nagapattinam at the request of theSrivijaya Sailendra king.[26][165][166][167] While it is true that the biggest and grandest temples of the Cholaswere dedicated to Lord Siva, all Chola kings especially from Aditya to Rajendra IV built great temples forLord Vishnu and gave numerous grants and gifts to them.

    During the period of Later Cholas, there were supposedly instances of intolerance towardsVaishnavites,[168] especially towards Ramanuja, the acharya of the Vaishnavites.[169] Kulothunga Chola II,a staunch Saivite, is said to have removed a statue of Vishnu from the Siva temple at Chidambaram, thoughthere are no epigraphical evidences to support this theory. There is an inscription from 1160 that the

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    Standing Hanuman, Chola Dynasty,11thCentury.

    custodians of Siva temples who had social intercourses with Vaishnavites would forfeit their property.However, this is more of a direction to the Saivite community by its religious heads than any kind of dictatby a Chola emperor. While Chola kings built their largest temples for Siva and even while emperors likeRaja Raja Chola I held titles like 'Sivapadasekharan', in none of their inscriptions did the Chola emperorsproclaim that their clan only and solely followed Saivism or that Saivism was the state religion during theirrule.[170][171][172]

    In popular culture [edit]

    The history of the Chola dynasty has inspired many Tamilauthors to produce literary and artistic creations during the lastseveral decades.[173] The most important work of this genre isthe popular Ponniyin Selvan (The son of Ponni), a historicalnovel in Tamil written by Kalki Krishnamurthy.[174] Written in fivevolumes, this narrates the story of Rajaraja Chola.[175] PonniyinSelvan deals with the events leading up to the ascension ofUttama Chola to the Chola throne. Kalki had utilised theconfusion in the succession to the Chola throne after the demiseof Sundara Chola.[176] This book was serialised in the Tamilperiodical Kalki during the mid-1950s.[177] The serialisationlasted for nearly five years and every week its publication wasawaited with great interest.[178]

    Akilan's Vegaiyin Maindhan, a novel narrating the eventssurrounding the capture of Lankan King, Mahinda V and thebuilding of Gangaikonda Cholapuram by Rajendra Chola I wonthe sahitya Akademi award for the year 1963.

    Kalki's earlier historical romance Parthiban Kanavu deals withthe fortunes of an imaginary Chola prince Vikraman, who wassupposed to have lived as a feudatory of the Pallava kingNarasimhavarman I during the 7th century. The period of the

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    V T E

    Narasimhavarman I during the 7th century. The period of thestory lies within the interregnum during which the Chola in eclipse before Vijayalaya Chola revived theirfortunes.[175] Parthiban Kanavu was also serialised in the Kalki weekly during the early 1950s.

    Sandilyan, another popular Tamil novelist, wrote Kadal Pura in the 1960s. It was serialised in the Tamilweekly Kumudam. Kadal Pura is set during the period when Kulothunga Chola I was in exile from the Vengikingdom, after he was denied the throne. Kadal Pura speculates the whereabouts of Kulothunga during thisperiod. Sandilyan's earlier work Yavana Rani written in the early 1960s is based on the life of KarikalaChola.[179] More recently, Balakumaran wrote the novel Udaiyar based on the circumstances surroundingRajaraja Chola's construction of the Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur.[180]

    There were stage productions based on the life of Rajaraja Chola during the 1950s and in 1973 ShivajiGanesan acted in a screen adaptation of a play titled Rajaraja Cholan. The Cholas are featured in theHistory of the World board game, produced by Avalon Hill.

    See also [edit]

    History of Tamil Nadu

    Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions in Malaysia

    Classical India

    Timeline: Northwestern India Northern India Southern India Northeastern India

    6th centuryBCE 5th centuryBCE 4th centuryBCE

    3rd centuryBCE 2nd century


    (Persian rule)(Greek conquests)




    Shishunaga dynasty

    Nanda empire


    Maurya Empire

    Sunga Empire






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    2nd centuryBCE

    1st centuryBCE 1st centuryCE

    2nd century 3rd century 4th century 5th century 6th century 7th century 8th century 9th century10th century11th century




    Kushan Empire


    Kidarite Kingdom


    (Islamic conquests)

    Kabul Shahi

    (Islamic Empire)

    Kuninda Kingdom

    Western Satraps

    Gupta Empire


    Vakataka dynasty,Harsha


    Pala Empire

    Paramara dynasty


    Eastern Gangadynasty

    Sena dynasty



    Western GangaDynasty






    Yadava dynasty


    Kakatiya dynasty

    Hoysala Empire

    Varman dynasty



    Pala dynasty


    Notes [edit]

    1. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 157

    2. ^a b c d Kulke and Rothermund, p 115

    3. ^a b c d Keay, p 215

    4. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 158

    5. ^a b c Majumdar, p 407

    6. ^a b Meyer, p 73

    7. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 195

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    8. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 196

    9. ^a b c Vasudevan, pp 202210. ^ Keay, pp 217218

    11. ^a b The age of Sangam is established through the correlation between the evidence on foreign tradefound in the poems and the writings by ancient Greek and Romans such as Periplus. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri,A History of Cyril and Lulu Charles, p 106

    12. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, pp 192013. ^ Archaeological News A. L. Frothingham, Jr. The American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of the

    Fine Arts, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 6912514. ^ "The name Coromandel is used for the east coast of India from Cape Comorin to Nellore, or from point

    Calimere to the mouth of Krishna. The word is a corrupt form of Choramandala or the Realm of Chora,which is the Tamil form of the title of the Chola dynasty". Gupta AN, p 182

    15. ^ The period covered by the Sangam poetry is likely to extend not longer than five or six generations K.A.Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 3

    16. ^ The Periplus refers to the region of the eastern seaboard of South India as Damirica The Periplus of theErythraean Sea (Ancient History source book).

    17. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 23

    18. ^a b Ptolemy mentions the town of Kaveripattinam (under the form Khaberis) Proceedings, AmericanPhilosophical Society (1978), vol. 122, No. 6, p 414

    19. ^ Mahavamsa eText ^ The Asokan inscriptions speak of the Cholas in plural, implying that, in his time, there were more than

    one Chola K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 20. However, this analogy is doubtful because the sameinscription, all the kings either friendly or subordinate to the Mauryan Empire have been referred to in pluralfor e.g. subordinates like the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, thePitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas or friendly empires have been called 'Cholas' and 'Pandyas' (and asfar as Tamraparani or modern Sri Lanka significantly the word 'Tamraparani' does not clearly meanterritory ruled by one or more kings. It is indeed a known fact that for most of their history though, thePandyas ruled their dominions with members of the same family dividing their empire into various partsand controlling various aspects of administration of their territories. The Cholas too followed the samepractice with sons of the Chola emperors controlling various parts or aspects of their territories oradministration along with their relatives or allies who bore the common title 'Chola'. This knowledge aboutthe friendly empires of both 'Pandyas' and 'Cholas' must have prompted Ashoka to refer to them thus. Link:

  • pdfcrowd.comopen in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API ^ The Edicts of Ashoka, issued around 250 BCE by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, mention the Cholas as

    recipients of his Buddhist proselytism: "The conquest by Dharma has been won here, on the borders, andeven six hundred yojanas (5,4009,600 km) away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond therewhere the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south amongthe Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni (Sri Lanka)". S. Dhammika, The Edicts of King Asoka:An English Rendering

    22. ^ Smith, p viii23. ^ The direct line of Cholas of the Vijayalaya dynasty came to an end with the death of Virarajendra Chola

    and the assassination of his son Athirajendra Chola. Kulothunga Chola I, ascended the throne in 1070.K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp 170172

    24. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp 1920, pp 10410625. ^ Chopra et al., p 31

    26. ^a b South Indian Inscriptions, Vol 3

    27. ^a b c d e Tripathi, p 45728. ^ Manimekalai (poem 00-10)29. ^ Manimekalai (poem 22-030)30. ^ Majumdar, p 137

    31. ^a b c Kulke and Rothermund, p 104

    32. ^a b Tripathi, p 458

    33. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 11634. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp 10510635. ^ The only evidence for the approximate period of these early kings is the Sangam Literature and the

    synchronization with the history of Sri Lanka as given in the Mahavamsa. Gajabahu I who is said to be thecontemporary of the Chera Senguttuvan is determined to belong to the 2nd century. This leads us to datethe poems mentioning Senguttuvan and his contemporaries to belong to this period.

    36. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 11337. ^ Gnanaprakasar, Nallur Swami. "Beginnings of tamil rule in ceylon" . Retrieved 2006-

    12-05.38. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 13039. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp 130, 135, 13740. ^ Majumdar, Ancient India. p 139

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    41. ^ Thapar, p 26842. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 135

    43. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp 130, 133. Quote:"The Cholas disappeared from theTamil land almost completely in this debacle, though a branch of them can be traced towards the close ofthe period in Rayalaseema the Telugu-Chodas, whose kingdom is mentioned by Yuan Chwang in theseventh century A.D

    44. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 10245. ^ Pandya Kadungon and Pallava Simhavishnu overthrew the Kalabhras. Acchchutakalaba is likely the last

    Kalabhra king Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 10246. ^ Periyapuranam, a Saiva religious work of 12th century tells us of the Pandya king Nindrasirnedumaran,

    who had for his queen a Chola princess. Chopra et al., p 9547. ^ Copperplate grants of the Pallava Buddhavarman(late 4th century) mention that the king as the

    'underwater fire that destroyed the ocean of the Chola army'. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, pp 10410548. ^ Simhavishnu (575600) is also stated to have seized the Chola country. Mahendravarman I was called

    the 'crown of the Chola country' in his inscriptions.

    49. ^a b Chopra et al., p 9550. ^ Tripathi, p45951. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 4. Quote:"it is not known what relation, if any, the Telugu-

    Chodas of the Renadu country in the Ceded District, bore to their namesakes of the Tamil land, though theyclaimed descent from Karikala, the most celebrated of the early Chola monarchs of the Sangam age"

    52. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri postulates that there was a live connection between the early Cholas and theRenandu Cholas of the Andhra country. The northward migration probably took place during the Pallavadomination of Simhavishnu. Sastri also categorically rejects the claims that these were the descendants ofKarikala Chola K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 107

    53. ^ Tripathi, pp 45845954. ^ The Chola inscriptions followed the practice of prefacing the intended text with a historical recounting, in a

    poetic and ornate style of Tamil, of the main achievements of the reign and the descent of the king and ofhis ancestors South Indian Inscriptions, Vol 2

    55. ^ Chopra et al., p 102

    56. ^a b c Dehejia. p xiv57. ^ Kulke and Rothermund, pp 12212358. ^ K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, Advanced History of India (1955), pp. 174

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    59. ^ K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, Advanced History of India (1955), pp. 19160. ^ K. A. Nilakanta Sastri,The Colas,pp 19421061. ^ Stuart Munro-Hay, Nakhon Sri Thammarat The Archaeology, History and Legends of a Southern Thai

    Town, p 18, ISBN 974-7534-73-862. ^ Chopra et al., pp 107109

    63. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India64. ^ 'A History of South India', K. A. Nilakanta Sastri (2003), p.18465. ^ Mukund, p.xlii66. ^ "Kulottunga fought successful wars against the Cheras and Hoysala Ballala II and performed

    Vijayabhisheka at Karuvur in A.D.1193." K. A. Nilakanta Sastri,'Advanced History of India', p.29567. ^ "After the second Pandya War, Kulottunga undertook a campaign to check to the growth of Hoysala power

    in that quarter. He re-established Chola suzerainty over the Adigaimans of Tagadur, defeated a Chera rulerin battle and performed a vijayabhisheka in Karuvur (1193). His relations with the Hoysala Ballala II seemto have become friendly afterwards, for Ballala married a Chola princess". K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, 'A Historyof South India', p. 178

    68. ^ Chopra et al., p 10769. ^ Chopra et al., p 109

    70. ^a b Keay, p 21671. ^ Majumdar, p 405

    72. ^a b Chopra et al., p 12073. ^ Majumdar, p 372

    74. ^a b c Tripathi, p 47175. ^ South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. 1276. ^ Chopra et al., pp 12812977. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 194

    78. ^a b Tripathi, p 47279. ^ Majumdar, p 41080. ^ Tripathi, p 48581. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 197

    82. ^a b Chopra et al., p 13083. ^ The Buddhist work Milinda Panha dated to the early Christian era, mentions Kolapttna among the best-

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    known sea ports on the Chola coast. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 2384. ^ Nagaswamy, Tamil Coins a study85. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 10786. ^ Chopra et al., p 10687. ^ The only other time when peninsular India would be brought under one umbrella before the

    Independence was during the Vijayanagara Empire (13361614)88. ^ Stein, p 2689. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 44890. ^ "Thanjavur" .91. ^ There was no legislature or executive. The king ruled by edicts, which generally followed dharma a

    culturally mediated concept of 'fair and proper' practice. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, pp 451, 46046192. ^ For example, Rajaraja is mentioned in the Layden copperplate grant to have issued an oral order for a gift

    to a Buddhist vihara at Nagapattinam, and his orders were written out by a clerk K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, TheCas, p 461

    93. ^ Keay, p 21894. ^ Some of the output of villages throughout the kingdom was given to temples that reinvested some of the

    wealth accumulated as loans to the settlements. The temple served as a centre for redistribution of wealthand contributed towards the integrity of the kingdom. Keay, pp 217218

    95. ^a b Tripathi, pp 47447596. ^ Stein, p 20

    97. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 18598. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 15099. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 465

    100. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 477101. ^ Kulke and Rothermund, pp 116117102. ^ Kulke and Rothermund, p 12

    103. ^a b Kulke and Rothermund, p 118104. ^ Kulke and Rothermund, p 124105. ^ Tripathi, p 465106. ^ Tripathi, p 477107. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 604108. ^ Keay, p 223

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    109. ^a b Kulke and Rothermund, p 117110. ^ See Thapar, p xv

    111. ^a b Mukund p. 92112. ^ Mukund p. 88113. ^ Mukund p. 95114. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 284115. ^ during the short reign of Virarajendra Chola, which possibly had some sectarian roots.116. ^ Chopra et al., p 125117. ^ Chopra et al., p 129118. ^ Scharfe, p 180119. ^ 17th century Italian traveler Pietro Della Valle (1623) has given a vivid account of the village schools in

    South India. These accounts reflect the system of primary education in existence until the morder times inTamil Nadu

    120. ^ Rajendra Chola I endowed a large college in which more than 280 students learnt from 14 teachers K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 293

    121. ^ The students studied a number of subjects in these colleges, including philosophy (anvikshiki), Vedas(trayi the threefold Vedas of Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda. The fourth Atharvaveda was considered anon-religious text.), economics (vartta), government (dandaniti), grammar, prosody, etymology, astronomy,logic (tarka), medicine (ayurveda), politics (arthasastra) and music. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History ofSouth India, p 292

    122. ^ Scharfe, pp 172173123. ^ Mitter, p 2124. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 418125. ^ Keay, p 174126. ^ It was, however, in bronze sculptures that the Chola craftsmen excelled, producing images rivalling the

    best anywhere. Thapar, p 403127. ^ Kulke and Rothermund, p 159128. ^ The great temple complex at Prambanan in Indonesia exhibit a number of similarities with the South

    Indian architecture. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 709129. ^ Kulke and Rothermund, pp 159160

    130. ^a b c Tripathi, p 479131. ^ Dehejia p. 10

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    131. ^ Dehejia p. 10132. ^ Harle, p 295133. ^ Mitter, p 57134. ^ Vasudevan, pp 2124135. ^ Keay, p221136. ^ Nagasamy R, Gangaikondacholapuram137. ^ "Great Living Chola Temples" . UNESCO. Retrieved 2008-06-03.138. ^ Chopra et al., p 186139. ^ Mitter, p 163140. ^ Thapar, pp 309310141. ^ Wolpert, p174142. ^ By common consent, the finest Cola masterpieces are the bronze images of Siva Nataraja. Mitter, p 59143. ^ , including Rajarajesvara Natakam- a work on drama, Viranukkaviyam by one Virasola Anukkar, and

    Kannivana Puranam, a work of popular nature. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, pp 663664144. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 333145. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 339146. ^ Chopra et al., p 188147. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp 339340

    148. ^a b Encyclopaedia of Indian literature, vol. 2, p 1195149. ^ Chopra et al., p 196

    150. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 340151. ^ Legend of Ram By Sanujit Ghose152. ^ Rays and Ways of Indian Culture By D. P. Dubey

    153. ^a b c Chopra et al., p 116

    154. ^a b K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 20155. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp 340341156. ^ Majumdar, p 8157. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian literature, vol. 1, p 307158. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, pp 342343159. ^ Chopra et al., p 115160. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 681161. ^ Purananuru (poem 224) movingly expresses his faith and the grief caused by his passing away.

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    162. ^ ^ Tripathi, p 480164. ^ Vasudevan, p 102165. ^ The name of the Sailendra king was Sri Chulamanivarman and the Vihara was named 'Chudamani

    vihara' in his honour. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 214166. ^ Keay, pp 222223167. ^ Majumdar, p 406168. ^ Stein, p 134169. ^ Vasudevan, p 104170. ^ K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, p 176171. ^ K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, The Cas, p 645172. ^ Chopra et al., p 126173. ^ Das, p 108174. ^ "Versatile writer and patriot" . The Hindu. Retrieved 2008-05-29.

    175. ^a b Das, p 109176. ^ Das, pp 108109177. ^ "English translation of Ponniyin Selvan" . The Hindu. Retrieved 2008-05-29.178. ^ "Lines that Speak" . The Hindu. Retrieved 2008-05-29.179. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian literature, vol. 1, pp 631632180. ^ "Book review of Udaiyar" . Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2005-02-22. Retrieved 2008-05-30.

    References [edit]

    Chopra, P.N; Ravindran, T.K; Subrahmanian, N (2003). History of South India ; Ancient, Medieval andModern. New Delhi: S. Chand & Company Ltd. ISBN 81-219-0153-7.

    Das, Sisir Kumar (1995). History of Indian Literature (19111956) : Struggle for Freedom Triumph andTragedy. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 81-7201-798-7.

    Dehejia, Vidya (1990). The Art of the Imperial Cholas. India: Columbia University Press.

    Gupta, A.N; Gupta, Satish (1976). Sarojini Naidu's Select Poems, with an Introduction, Notes, andBibliography. Prakash Book Depot.

    Harle, J.C (1994). The art and architecture of the Indian Subcontinent. New Haven, Conn: Yale

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    University Press. ISBN 0-300-06217-6.

    Hermann, Kulke; Rothermund D (2001) [2000]. A History of India. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32920-5.

    Keay, John (2000). India: A History. New Delhi: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-255717-7.

    Majumdar, R.C (1987). Ancient India. India: Motilal Banarsidass Publications. ISBN 81-208-0436-8.

    Meyer, Milton Walter (1997). Asia: a concise history. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.ISBN 0-8476-8063-0.

    Mitter, Partha (2001). Indian art. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-284221-8.

    Mukund, Kanakalatha. Merchants of Tamilakam: Pioneers of International Trade. India: Penguin BooksIndia.

    Nagasamy, R (1970). Gangaikondacholapuram. State Department of Archaeology, Government of TamilNadu.

    Nagasamy, R (1981). Tamil Coins A study. Institute of Epigraphy, Tamilnadu State Dept. ofArchaeology.

    K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, K.A (1984) [1935]. The Cas. Madras: University of Madras.

    K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, K.A (2002) [1955]. A History of South India. New Delhi: OUP.

    Scharfe, Hartmut (2002). Education in Ancient India. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-12556-6.

    Smith, Vincent H (2006). The Edicts of Asoka. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1-4286-4431-8.

    "South Indian Inscriptions" . Archaeological Survey of India. What Is India Publishers (P) Ltd.Retrieved 2008-05-30.

    Stein, Burton (1998). A history of India. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-20546-2.

    Thapar, Romila (1995). Recent Perspectives of Early Indian History. Columbia, Mo: South Asia Books.ISBN 81-7154-556-4.

    Tripathi, Rama Sankar (1967). History of Ancient India. India: Motilal Banarsidass Publications.ISBN 81-208-0018-4.

    Vasudevan, Geeta (2003). Royal Temple of Rajaraja: An Instrument of Imperial Cola Power. New Delhi:Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-383-3.

    Various (1987). Encyclopaedia of Indian literature, vol. 1. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 81-260-1803-8.

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    Various (1988). Encyclopaedia of Indian literature, vol. 2. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 81-260-1194-7.

    Wolpert, Stanley A (1999). India. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22172-9.

    External links [edit]

    UNESCO World Heritage sites Chola temples

    Art of Cholas

    Chola coins

    Chola coins of Sri Lanka

    Devotion in South India: Chola Bronzes, Asia SocietyMuseum exhibition

    A history of empires

    Categories: Former monarchies of Asia Former countries in AsiaStates and territories established in the 300s BC States and territories disestablished in 12791279 disestablishments Chola dynasty Empires and kingdoms of India Dynasties of IndiaHindu dynasties History of Thanjavur Chola EmpireStates and territories established in the 4th century BC Tamil Kings

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