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CHOLADYNASTY
History:
CholasruleformsanimportantpartinthehistoryofSouthIndia.Itsawremarkableprogressinalmostallspheresoflifesuchaspolity,
cultureandeconomy.In9thcentury,theCholasgainedcontrolandoverthrewthePallavas.TheyruledinthesouthofIndiafromthe9thto
13thCentury.TheIndianCholaEmpireconquerednotonlysouthofIndiabutalsoextendedtheirempireovertheseasandruledpartsofthe
MaldivesandSriLanka.
Vijayalaya
ThefounderofCholaKingdomwasVijayalayawhoconqueredthekingdomofTanjoreduringmid8thcentury.TheIndianCholadynastyis
animportantlandmarkinthehistoryofIndia.TheCholaEmpireoccupiedpresentTanjoreandTrichirappallidistrictswithsomeadjoining
areas.TheruleofCholadynastyrosetoprominencein850whentheirrulerVijayalayadefeatedthePallavasandtookoverTanjorefrom
them.DuetotheconflictbetweenPallavasandPandyas,VijayalayaoccupiedTanjoreandmadehiscapital.Hewassucceededbyhisson
AdityaI.
AdityaI
AdityaIdefeatedPallavakingAparajitaandalsoParantakaViranarayana,theKonguruler.AfterAdityaIthekingdomwasascendedbyhis
sonParantakaIwhoruledbetween907to955AD.Cholaspowerearnedsupremacyunderhisreign.Parantaka1annexedterritoryof
PandyaKingandsoonconqueredtheVadumbas.HedefeatedawayallofthePallavaspower.
RajarajaChola
RajarajaChola(9851014AD)wastheoneoftheimperialisticandgreatestCholarulers.Hewasoneofthegreatest
kingsoftheSouthIndiaandwasknownas"RajarajatheGreat".UndertheruleofRajarajatheCholakingdomgrew
intoanextensiveandwellknitempire.ItmaintaineddiplomatictieswithcountriesasdistantasBurma(Myanmar),
China,andMalaysiaacrosstheIndianOcean.RajarajaIwiththehelpofhisablesonRajendraconquerednearlythe
wholeofthepresentMadrasPresidency.
HedefeatedtheeasternChalukyasofVegi,thePandyasofMaduraiandtheGangasofMysore.Hewasanable
administratorandalsoagreatbuilder.RajarajacholabuiltamagnificenttempleatTanjore,whichisnamedas
Rajarajeshwarafterhisname.
RajendraChola
RajendraI(10121044AD)wasalsoanablerulerlikehisfatherRajarajaChola.HewentuptoBengalandbecamevictoriousonthebanks
ofGanges.Hewasgiventhetitleof"Gangaikonda"(thevictorofGanges).HebuiltupanewcapitalcalledGangaikondacholapuram.
RajendraChola'sgreatestachievementswastheconquestofAndamanandNicobarislands.DuringRajendraCholareignthekingdomwas
calledthe"GoldenAgeofCholas."AfterhisdeaththeCholakingdombegantodecline.Hissuccessorswereweakandsothekingdom
starteddisintegrating.
ViraRajendra
ViraRajendra(10641070AD)theelderbrotherofRajendraIIsucceededhisbrothertoreignforthenextsevenyears.Heconqueredthe
invasionofChalukyaKinganddefeatedtheChalukyaruler.VirareconqueredVengiandfoiledtheeffortsofVijayabahuofCeylonwhowas
tryingtodrivetheCholasoutofCeylon.WhileSomeswaraIIsucceededtheChalukyasthrone,Rajendramadesomeincursionsbutlateron
builtfriendlytiesbygivinghisdaughtertoVikramaditya.SoonafterthedeathofViraRajendrain1070AD,therewasacontestforthe
throneandAdhiRajendra,theheirapparenttookthethrone.
Place

Patna,Bihar,Bengal&Srilanka

Period

Patna,Bihar,Bengal&Srilanka

Language Tamil
Religion

Hinduism

Kings

Vijayalaya,AdityaI,RajrajaChola,RajendraChola,ViraRajendra,KulottungaI,VikramaChola

KulottungaI
RajendraIIsucceededAdhirajendrawhogotthetitleasKulottungaChola.Inabout1073,KalachuriKingYasahkaranainvadedVengibut
didnotgainanything.PandyasandChera'sattackweredefeateddownbyKulottunga.ThesouthernKalingarevoltwasalsoputdown.In
about1118AD,theViceroyofVengitheVikramadityaVItookcontrolofVengifromCholaand

about1118AD,theViceroyofVengitheVikramadityaVItookcontrolofVengifromCholaand
thussucceededinseparatingtheCholasfromtheEasternChalukyas.GangavadiandNolambavadi
werelosttoHoysala'sVishnuvardhana.
VikramaChola(11201135AD)
Thenextsuccessor,thesonofKulottungaIrestoredtheCholapowerbyreconqueringVengiandby
takingcontrolofpartofGangavadi.Hisreignwassomewhatpeacefultohissubjectsthoughthere
werefloodsandfaminesinSouthArcot.TheHoysalaexpansiontookcontrolofCholapower
slowlyandsubsequently.ThelastrulersnamelyKulottungaII,RajarajaII,RajadhirajaIII
couldnotstoptheHoysalasannexationofCholaKingdom.CholasholdonPandyankingdomhad
alreadyweakened.Inabout1243,thePallavachiefdeclaredindependence.TheKakatiyasand
HoysalaspartitionedamongthemselvestheterritoryoftheCholaEmpireandCholaEmpireceased
toexistforever.
AdministrationandArt
CholaDynastywasprosperous.Itwasdividedintomandalamsorprovinces,furthersubdividedintovalanadus
andnadus.TheCholasalsobuiltmanytemplesandnumeroussculptureswerealsofound.Theyincludebronze
imageofNataraja,thedivinedancerShiva,dancingthedanceofdeathanddestruction.TheCholarulersare
rememberedmostfortheircreationsratherthantheirruling..Cholarulerswereactivepatronsofthearts,poetry,
drama,music,anddance.Theyareknownforconstructingenormousstonetemplecomplexesdecoratedinside
andoutwithpaintedandsculptedrepresentationsoftheHindugods.
CultureandSociety
ThereweremanydevelopmentsinthecultureandsocietyduringtheChola
Empire.Themaincenterforculturalandsocialgatheringswasthetemple.The
templewasaninstitutioninitself.Thetemplecourtyardfunctionedasaschool
wherestudentsweretaughttheancientVedasandHolyScriptures.Thetemples
werebuiltintheformofcitadelswherepeoplecouldfeelsafeduringanattackoraggression.Thesociety
wasdividedintoBrahminsandnonBrahmins.ThiswasthetimewhenBhakticultemergedandLordShiva
wasworshippedasasymboloffertility.LanguagedevelopedimmenselyandmanylanguageslikeTamil,
KannadaandTeluguweredevelopedfromSanskrit.

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