The Chola Empire was based in the Kaveri River Valley, which runs southeast through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and the southern Deccan Plateau to the Bay of Bengal. Compared to the Chola kings from earlier periods, one is able to discuss about the rulers from this era with a little more certainty. The rule of Chola dynasty rose to prominence in 850 when their ruler Vijayalaya defeated the Pallavas and took over Tanjore from them. Rajendra's inscriptions laud him as the "cunning hero, who killed Rajaraja after making him wear the double crown for three years". Their chronology is difficult. As a consequence, the southern part of India was divided between the Pallava and Pandya Kingdoms. They ruled … All authority rested in his hands. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Between 1150 and 1279, the Pandya family gathered its armies and launched a number of bids for independence in their traditional lands. The inscriptions of the Pandyas, recording royal grants and other grants made by local citizens, date to the 2nd century. Much of Tamil classical literature and the greater Tamil architectural monuments belong to the Sangam period, which also saw a revival of Shaivism (worship of the god Shiva) and the development of southern Vaishnavism (worship of the god Vishnu). The last king of the dynasty was Rajendra Chola III and was defeated by Pandya King Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I. The Chola Dynasty was a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century. Kings like Rajaraja Chola and Rajendra Chola further expanded the kingdom into the Tamil region. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Early Muslim Rule in India From 1206 to 1398 CE, The Mauryan Empire Was the First Dynasty to Rule Most of India, Biography of Ashoka the Great, India's Mauryan Emperor, Biography of Chandragupta Maurya, Founder of the Mauryan Empire, Wootz Steel: Making Damascus Steel Blades, J.D., University of Washington School of Law, B.A., History, Western Washington University. The center of Chola power was later moved to Kanci (now Kanchipuram), farther to the north. This rule stretched over for over five long centuries until the 13th century. The main area they ruled was the valley of the Kaveri River. With the booty thus acquired, he built the great Brihadishvara temple at Tanjore (now Thanjavur). The origins of the Chola Dynasty are lost to history. It saw majestic architectural accomplishments such as the Thanjavur Temple, amazing artwork including particularly graceful bronze sculpture, and a golden age of Tamil literature and poetry. Chola dynasty was a Tamil dynasty of southern India; They are one of the longest-ruling dynasty in history. It was an ancient rival that finally did in the Cholas for good. In the peak of their time, the empire was extedded to the whole south india, sri lanka, maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia and to ganges in the east The ruling family came from the Tamil ethnic group. King Vijayalaya renounced his Pallava overlord and captured the city of Thanjavur (Tanjore), making it his new capital. Dr. Kallie Szczepanski is a history teacher specializing in Asian history and culture. Kulothunga Chola killed the son of Virarajendra Chola called Athirajendra Chola, who had a better claim for the Chola throne than Kulothunga, to become the king of the Chola Dynasty in 1070 CE. But despite 400 years of glory, the Chola Empire disappeared from history; a sad fate for a civilisation which was among the most remarkable produced by the medieval world. The Colas (Cholas) were by far the most important dynasty in the subcontinent at this time, although their activities mainly affected the peninsula and Southeast Asia. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Chola-dynasty, Ancient Origins - The Chola Dynasty: Exploring the Achievements of an Indian Empire Spanning 400 Years, Chola dynasty - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). There was a fully developed secretariat to oversee the functioning of Central administration. Chola kings and emperors bore the titles Parakesharivarman and Rajakesharivarman, alternately. This happened when Prithviraj Chauhan was captured by Ghori in the 12th century which led to the collapse of the Chauhan Dynasty. King: was the most important person in the Chola administration. 1. By 996 he had conquered Kerala (the Chera country) and acquired northern Sri Lanka. The Chola Dynasty shrank to the region around Tanjore and soon came to an end when the last Chola King, Rajaraja III died. ; Thousands of inscriptions in temples tell about their administration, society, economy and culture. The Cholas are the earliest and the most ancient among the South Indian royal houses. The Chola Empire under Rajendra even exacted tribute from Siam (Thailand) and Cambodia. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Development of the dynasty took place when kings like Aditya I and Parantaka I ruled. His son Rajendracola Deva I (reigned 1014–44) outdid Rajaraja’s achievements. Chola Dynasty was one of the most powerful dynasties of south India. The kingdom is mentioned, however, in early Tamil literature, and on one of the Pillars of Ashoka (273 - 232 BCE). This began around the end of the Sangam era, i.e. In the mid-9th century, the dynasty began to expand its territory. Parades, functions at temples, book releases and plays have been organized to give the public a glimpse into the grandeur and greatness of the dynasty. It was the first true maritime empire based in India. During the middle of the 9th century AD, the Chola Empire was established. From 1216 the Hoysala kings obtained lands in the Chola country, former Chola feudatories threw off their allegiance, northern powers intervened, and the upheaval facilitated the Pandya conquest of the Chola country in 1257. But Vijayalaya founded Chola empire and ruled most parts of SouthIndia from 850- 870 CE. The dynasty originated in the rich Kaveri (Cauvery) River valley. The ancient forts and palaces of the Chola dynasty were destroyed by the Pandya invasion after their rise from the dominance of the Cholas during the early 13th century (circa 1212). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The dynasty originated in the rich Kaveri (Cauvery) River valley. Tanjore (now Thanjavur) became the Chola capital. The king was aided and advised by a council of ministers who held office at the pleasure of the king. At that point of time the Chola kingdom almost ceased to exist. Coming to terms with the Rastrakutas, he took Nellore from them about 940, but their king, Krsna III, seized Tondaimandalam. The second period in the history of the Chola Dynasty is known as the ‘Interregnum’. The Chola dynasty wis ane o the langest-rulin dynasties in the history o soothren Indie.The earliest datable references tae this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions frae the 3rd century BCE left bi Ashoka, o the Maurya Empire.As ane o the Three Crouned Keengs o Tamilakam, the dynasty continued tae govren ower varyin territory till the 13t century CE. The Chola Empire, however, did not long outlast its gadfly. When war broke out between the Pallava and Pandya kingdoms in about 850 CE, the Cholas seized their chance. The legendary King Karikan was the common ancestor through whom Around the year 300 CE, the Pallava and Pandya Kingdoms spread their influence over most of the Tamil heartlands of southern India, and the Cholas went into a decline. But the Chola … Cultural and artistic influences flowed in both directions between Indochina and the Indian mainland. After decades of intermittent warfare, the Chalukya kingdom collapsed in 1190. Although the Cholas were subdued by the Pallavas around 650 AD, they returned to power less than a century later. Chola Dynasty. Uraiyur (now Tiruchchirappalli) was its oldest capital. It also appears in the Greco-Roman Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (c. 40 - 60 CE), and in Ptolemy's Geography (c. 150 CE). Nobody knows exactly when the first Chola kings took power in the southern point of India, but certainly, the Chola Dynasty was established by the third century BCE, because they are mentioned in one of Ashoka the Great's stelae. Chola Dynasty: Chola dynasty had power around Kaveri Delta and were subordinates to the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. The next two kings, Rajaraja Chola I (r. 985 - 1014 CE) and Rajendra Chola I (r. 1012 - 1044 CE) extended the empire still further. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The Chola Empire left a rich legacy in the Tamil country. Vijayalaya who belonged to Cholas family invaded with a little army on Muttaraiyar and captured Kaveri delta in the middle of the 9th century A.D. Karikala Chola was the most famous among the early Chola kings, while Rajaraja Chola, Rajendra Chola and Kulothunga Chola I were famous emperors of the medieval Cholas.. Nobody knows exactly when the first Chola kings took power in the southern point of India, but certainly, the Chola Dynasty was established by the third century BCE, because they are mentioned in one of Ashoka the Great's stelae. The Chalukya Empire, in the western Deccan Plateau, rose up periodically and tried to throw off Chola control. This marked the start of the Medieval Chola period and the peak of Chola power. The revival of Chola power began from the accession of Parantaka II who recovered Tondamandalam to re­establish dominance of the dynasty. Kulottunga I (reigned 1070–1122), who succeeded to both the Chola and Eastern Chalukya crowns by right of inheritance, wisely abandoned the Deccan and concentrated on uniting the eastern coast. Vijayalaya (reigned c. 850–870) began the occupation of the territory of the Pallavas, which was extended under Aditya I (reigned c. 870–907). The Colas (Cholas) were by far the most important dynasty in the subcontinent at this time, although their activities mainly affected the... Brihadishvara Chola temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. The Chola Dynasty arose in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent. The Chola dynasty ended in 1279. Corrections? 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