Sunday, April 18, 2021
Home Variety Culture and History Rajaraja Chola I: Conqueror, temple builder and one of the greatest emperors of India

Rajaraja Chola I: Conqueror, temple builder and one of the greatest emperors of India

Rajaraja Chola I was a Chola emperor who ruled present day south India between 985 and 1014 AD.

On Wednesday, the southern state of Tamil Nadu is celebrating the 1,034th Sathaya Vizha marking the birth anniversary of one of the greatest emperors of the country – King Rajaraja Chola.

Rajaraja Chola-I, who was born as Arulmozhi Varman, is also known as Arunmozhi Udayar and respectfully as Periya Udayar. Rajaraja Chola is credited for ending the 30 year period of the stalemate of the Chola dynasty. As an able king, Rajaraja Chola ruled for the period of next 20 years, achieving so many victories that when he died in 1014 AD, he was beyond dispute the lord paramount of Southern India.

The territory of Rajaraja Chola- I included modern day’s Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Sri Lanka and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

The conquests of Rajaraja Chola

In the first 8 years of his reign, Rajaraja Chola-I consolidated and augmented his army. Since ages, the Pandyas, Cheras and Sinhala were against the Cholas. The first attack was on Chera King Bhaskara Ravi Varman Thiruvadi and in this campaign in Kerala, Rajaraja I destroyed a fleet in the port of Kandalur. However, some history records say that the port was under Pandyas. This conquest led him to assume the title “Mummudi Chola” which meant the wearer of three crowns Chera, Chola and Pandya.

In 991 AD, a king named Mahinda V of Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon) mutinied against him and fled to take refuge in the Southern region of the Island. Rajaraja I, who was waiting for such an opportunity to attack Sri Lanka, raided the island in 993 AD. The army of Rajraja I crossed the ocean by ships, burnt Sri Lanka and destroyed Anuradhapura, the capital of the Sinhala kings of Sri Lanka. Rajaraja could win half of the northern island of Sri Lanka and his son Rajendra Chola-I won rest of the territories in the island.

Read: Findings at Keeladi site trace back to 6th century BCE, graffiti symbols found bear resemblance to Indus Valley Civilisation

In 998-999 AD, Rajaraja Chola captured parts of modern Karnataka from the Ganga Kings. By the turn of the millennium, the Western Chalukyan dynasty had risen to prominent power in North of Cholas. Rajaraja I was victorious against the Western Chalukyan King Satyasraya. When the war with the Western Chalukyas concluded the Tungabhadra river became the northern frontier of the Chola Kingdom. He conquered Vengi and subsequently Kalinga. Raja Raja Chola is also said to have captured the Laccadive Islands and Maldives Islands.

Raja Raja Chola – A champion of Art and Culture

In 1010, Raja Raja built the grand Brihadisvara Temple, also called Rajarajesvaram temple, in Thanjavur dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple and the capital acted as a centre of both religious and economic activity. It is one of the largest temples in India and is an example of Dravidian architecture during the Chola period. The temple turned 1000 years old in 2010. It is also known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil.

The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”, with the other two being the Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Airavatesvara temple.

The temple was built by him on a command given by Lord Shiva in his dream. The temple is a testimony to the Chola power and wealth at the time of Rajaraja Chola I. The stories of Rajaraja Chola’s conquest have been engraved on the walls of this temple.

Rajaraja Chola embarked on a mission to recover the hymns after hearing short excerpts of Thevaram in his court. He sought the help of Nambiyandar Nambi. Rajaraja thus became to be known as ‘Tirumurai Kanda Cholan’ meaning one who saved the Tirumurai. Till Rajaraja Chola, Shiva temples only had images of god forms, but after the advent of Rajaraja, the images of the Nayanar saints were also placed inside the temple.

Rajaraja through Nambi arranged the hymns written by three saint poets Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar and ensured that these were sung in all the temples and provided for the upkeep of this service, a tradition which is continued till date. This is perhaps the greatest service to Hinduism and Tamil by Rajaraja Chola-I.

Rajaraja Chola is also credited for being a great temple builder. He also built Tiruvalisvaram temple at Brahmadesam in Tamil Nadu, Uttarakailash at Tiruvadi, Vaidyanath temple at Tirumalavadi, Tamil Nadu.

Though Rajaraja was an ardent devotee of Shiva, he remained a truly secular king. He and his family donated lavishly to build Vinnagarams – Vishnu temples. When the Srivijaya king of present Indonesia approached Rajaraja to help him in constructing a Buddha Vihara, he had donated an entire village, Anaimangalam near Nagappattinam for the purpose and for the upkeep of the Chudamani Vihara in Nagappattinam.

References: 1. Indian History, Cholas by Krishna Reddy

2. Tamil Nadu School Board textbooks

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Devendra Fadnavis alleges harassment by Uddhav govt to Remdesivir supplier as Maharashtra struggles with coronavirus

Devendra Fadnavis informed that a Maharashtra minister’s OSD had called company officials and questioned threateningly as to why the provisions were made at the request of the opposition party.

Christian Pakistani rights activist says he may be deported back to Pakistan, was earlier attacked by Jihadists

Rahat John Austin, a Pakistani rights activist living in South Korea, said on Twitter that he might get deported and sent back to Pakistan where his life is under threat.

Gujarat: Three Bangladeshi intruders arrested from Surat for human trafficking, minor girl rescued from prostitution

On Saturday, while working on a tip-off, Special Operation team busted the racket and arrested the trio. 17-year-old girl who was rescued was sent to children's home.

Mumbai Police issues order allowing only vehicles with colour coded stickers to run on streets: Details

The Mumbai Police has issued an order stating that only colour-coded vehicles will be allowed to operate on the streets.

ABP journalist falls for joke where iPhone user claimed to have started ‘Indu ki Dhaba’ after job loss

ABP journalist Astha Kaushik bought the iPhone user's fake 'Indu ki Dhaba' claims without any due verification.

Video claiming a dargah was recently constructed on footpath along Sabarmati riverfront road in Ahmedabad goes viral: Details

Netizens have shared a video claiming that a dargah had mysteriously sprung up along the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad

Recently Popular

Karan Johar’s Dharma Production fires Kartik Aryan, not to work with him again: Here is what happened

Dharma Productions said it was pushed to the wall by “unprofessional behaviour” of Kartik Aryan during shooting of Dostana 2

Kangana Ranaut slams Karan Johar after Dharma Productions fires Kartik Aryan, tells them not to ‘force him to hang himself’ like SSR

Kangana Ranaut has hit out at Karan Johar and Dharma Productions after Kartik Aryan was fired from Dostana 2.

Controversial Mufti Ejaz Arshad Qasmi of the AIMPLB passes away: Details

Mufti Ejaz Arshad Qasmi of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has passed away on Saturday.

Video claiming a dargah was recently constructed on footpath along Sabarmati riverfront road in Ahmedabad goes viral: Details

Netizens have shared a video claiming that a dargah had mysteriously sprung up along the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad

Siddharth Varadarajan of The Wire spreads fake news a day after The Logical Indian apologised for the same: Read details

Siddharth Varadarajan spread fake news again, in fact, the same fake news that the Logical Indians had apologised for just a day ago.

Aaj Tak to air public apology on 23rd April for sharing fake news on Sushant Singh Rajput, pay Rs 1 lac fine: Details

Aaj Tak has been asked by the NBSA (News Broadcasting Standard Authority) to air a public apology for fake news on Sushant Singh Rajput
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,077FansLike
529,928FollowersFollow
24,200SubscribersSubscribe