|| India History - The Cholas
850: The Cholas gained Importance
The territory south, of rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra extending upto
Cape Comorin is known as South India or Carnatic region. South India
was divided into three kingdoms namely the Cholas, the Chera and the
Pandyas of which Cholas was the most famous kingdom. The Cholas
occupied present Tanjore and Trincnopoly districts with some adjoining
areas. Till eight century the Chola kingdom was very small but gained
importance from the ninth century onwards.
The Chola dynasty rose to prominence when in 850 their ruler
Vijayalaya defeated the Pallavas and snatched Tanjore from them. Then
Tanjore became the capital of the Chola kingdom. In the ninth century
Aditya Chola and Parantaka I were the successors of Vijayalaya.
985-1018: Reign of Rajaraja I
The most important ruler of Chola was Rajaraja I. He was one of the
greatest kings of the South India and was known as "Rajaraja the
Great". Rajaraja I and his able son Rajendra, conquered nearly the
whole of the present Madras Presidency. Rajaraja defeated the eastern
Chalukyas of Vegi, the Pandyas of Madurai and the Gangas of
Mysore. His kingdom extended from Cape in the north to Comorin in the
south. He conquered Sri Lanka, the Maldive Islands and Sumatra and
other places in Malay Peninsula.
He was not only an able administrator but also a great builder. He
built a magnificent temple at Tanjore and which is named as
Rajarajeshwar after his name.
1018-1048: Reign of Rajendra Chola
Rajendra Chola was also a able ruler like his father. He even went
upto Bengal. He was victorious upto the banks of Ganges. He assumed
the title of "Gangaikonda" (the victor of Ganges). On his way he built
up a new capital called Gangaikondacholapuram. His greatest
achievements was the conquest of Andaman and Nicobar islands. During
his reign the kingdom was called the "Golden Age of Cholas." After his
death the Chola kingdom began to decline. His successors were weak and
so the kingdom started disintegrating.