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The Chola Empire Building

Empire Building

  • Rajaraja I is the most celebrated of the Chola kings. He engaged in naval expeditions and emerged victorious in the West Coast, Sri Lanka and conquered the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.
  • The military victory of Raja Raja I over Sri Lanka led to its northern and eastern portions coming under the direct control of the Chola authority.
  • Rajaraja I appointed a Tamil chief to govern the annexed regions and ordered a temple to be built.
  • It is locally called Siva Devale (shrine of Siva).
  • The Chola official appointed in Sri Lanka built a temple in a place called Mahatitta.
  • The temple is called Rajarajesvara.
  • Even as he was alive, Rajaraja I appointed his son, Rajendra I, as his heir apparent.
  • For two years, they jointly ruled the Chola kingdom.
  • Rajendra I took part in the military campaigns of his father, attacking the Western Chalukyas.
  • Consequently, the boundary of the Chola Empire extended up to Tungabhadra river.
  • When Rajaraja I attacked Madurai, the Pandyas escaped with their crown and royal jewels and took shelter in Sri Lanka.
  • Thereupon, Rajendra I conquered Sri Lanka and confiscated the Pandya crown and other royal belongings.
  • Rajendra I conducted the most striking military exploit after his accession in 1023 by his expedition to northern India.
  • He led the expedition up to the Godavari river and asked his general to continue beyond that place.
  • The Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple was built to commemorate his victories in North India.
  • During the Chola reign, the naval achievements of the Tamils reached its peak.
  • The Cholas controlled both the Coromandel and Malabar coasts.
  • The Chola navy often ventured into Bay of Bengal for some decades.
  • Rajendra‚Äôs naval operation was directed against Sri Vijaya.
  • Sri Vijaya kingdom (southern Sumatra) was one of the prominent maritime and commercial states that flourished from c. 700 to c. 1300 in South-east Asia.
  • Similarly, Kheda (Kadaram), feudatory kingdom under Sri Vijaya, was also conquered by Rajendra.
  • The Chola invasions of Western Chalukya Empire, undertaken in 1003 by Rajaraja I and 1009 by Rajendra I, were also successful.
  • Rajendra sent his son to ransack and ravage its capital Kalayani.
  • The dwarapala (door keeper) image he brought from Kalayani was installed at the Darasuram temple near Kumbhakonam, which can be seen even today.
  • Rajendra I assumed the titles such as Mudikonda Cholan (the crowned Chola),Gangaikondan (conqueror of the Ganges), Kadaramkondan (conqueror of Kadaram) and Pandita Cholan (scholarly Cholan).

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