The Chola Empire: 9th to 12th Century

In the previous post, we have read about Chola, Chera and Pandya Empire of ancient ages. Now, in this post, we will see the re-emergence of Chola Empire. The Cholas of 9th Century CE were the feudatories of Pallavas. As soon as the power of Pallavas decentralised, Cholas overthrown their power. So, as established Chola Empire.

Chola Empire

Chola Empire of 9th Century CE to 12th Century CE
Chola Empire of 9th Century CE to 12th Century CE

The Cholas of 9th Century ruled over a large part of the Southern Peninsula. The founder of the Chola Kingdom was Vijayala. Vijayala was the feudatory of Pallavas. But, he conquered Tanjore in 850 CE and defeated Pallavas in the end of 9th Century CE. The age of these Chola rulers was famous for the magnificent and splendid temple architecture.

They gave patron to the trade and commerce. They also conquered region up to Ceylon or Sri Lanka. The Chola Empire was also famous for its Village Administration and advanced Navy.

Chola Empire: Rajaraja Chola

The most important ruler of the Chola Empire was Rajaraja (985-1014). He was the greatest ever ruler of Chola Kingdom. Rajaraja had a very good administration as he was the administer of the certain region during the reign of his father.

He defeated almost all Southern Indian Kingdoms. So, the conquered area was consolidated properly by him. Rajaraja also conquered the Northern Ceylon or Sri Lanka. He also conquered and annexed the north-western parts of the Ganga Empire.

Rajendra Chola

Rajendra Chola (1014-1044 CE) was the son of Rajaraja Chola. He was also his successor. He also extended the policy of aggression of his father. So, as he conquered the remaining Chera and the Pandya Kingdom. He also conquered all the Ceylon or Sri Lanka. But after 50 years of conquest of Sri Lanka. His successors did a Matrimonial Alliance with Sri Lanka and Ceylon then became an independent state.

One of the most important exploits (sometimes, I do not understand how the exploits become important? 🙁 But, sometimes it is also necessary to learn from our past. So, studying about them is also important.) of Rajendra Chola was his march over the Kalinga to Bengal region. He reached north by completely eliminating the Ganga Kingdom. So, he adopted the title of Gangaikondachola meaning Chola Conqueror of Ganga.

He also built a new capital and named it Gangaikondacholapuram. During his reign, the Chola Navy was the strongest one. So, sometimes the Bay of Bengal also named as Chola Lake. And he had good relations with the south-east Asian Kingdoms.

Relation with the South-East Asian States
Relation with the South-East Asian States

The most important sculpture of the Chola Empire was the Nataraj, the dancing Shiva. It was/is/will be the most significant and important sculpture for the world. In the next coming post, we will understand the sculpture of Nataraj.

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