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  • 05 October, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

Chola Dynasty

Chola Dynasty

  • A recently released movie centered on a made-up history of the Chola kingdom in the tenth century.
  • The Cholas are renowned for their progressiveness, the architectural wonders and temples they built, the historical period's social structure, and the naming of cities after women.


The Cholas' reign:

Sphere of influence

  • Currently existing Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and portions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka made up the Chola kingdom.
  • It is one of the dynasties with the longest reigns in recorded history.

Geographic range:

  • The lush Kaveri River Valley served as the Cholas' home base.
  • South of the Tungabhadra, they united peninsular India and controlled it as one state for three centuries.
  • The southernmost point of the Chola holdings was the Maldives, and the northernmost point was the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Capital and significant locations: Thanjavur served as their early capital, followed by Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
  • Madurai and Kanchipuram were regarded as the regional capitals where sporadic court proceedings took place.

Establishment of the dynasty:

  • Vijaylaya, a Pallava monarch who was called a "feudatory," started the dynasty.
  • Vijaylaya built the groundwork for a dynasty that would control a significant portion of southern India while being a relatively minor player in the area among giants.
  • The Rajaraja I dynasty rose to power as a military, economic, and cultural force under Rajaraja I and his successors Rajendra I, Rajadhiraja I, Rajendra II, Virarajendra, and Kulothunga Chola I.
  • The dynasty continued to rule various lands up until the 13th century CE as one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, with the Chera and Pandya.
  • Other strong dynasties in the area rose and fell during the Chola period (about the 9th to 12th century AD), including the Rashtrakutas of the Deccan, who overthrew the Cholas, and the Chalukyas of the Andhra Pradesh region, with whom the Cholas repeatedly engaged in war.
  • Agriculture and canals under the Cholas: Tamil Nadu had significant agricultural growth during the imperial Chola Dynasty's dominion, particularly in the Kaveri Basin.
  • The majority of the Kaveri River's canals date from this time.
  • Trade: Although the scope of this dominance is debatable, the Cholas had close relations with commercial organizations, which enabled them to launch great naval expeditions.
  • A powerful army and navy: The Chola dynasty was most notable for its maritime prowess, which allowed them to extend their conquests as far as Malaysia and the Sumatra islands of Indonesia.
  • Because of the dominance, for a while the Bay of Bengal was transformed into a "Chola lake."
  • The dynasty rose to prominence in South Asia and South-East Asia as a military, economic, and cultural force.
  • The 9th and 10th centuries were a turbulent time when countries frequently went to war with one another, therefore the Cholas had good reason to maintain a formidable army and navy.

Design & Culture:

  • Temple construction: The Pallava dynasty, which was influenced by the Amaravati school of design, is how the Cholas traditionally built their temples.
  • The two splendid temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram are examples of how the Chola architecture has developed to maturity and majesty.
  • Brihadeeswara Temple: At the time it was constructed, the majestic Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur, India, was the biggest structure there.
  • The extensive administrative and financial procedures pertaining to the temple's daily management are etched on the walls of this temple.

Temple of Airavateswara:

  • Rajaraja II commissioned the construction of the beautiful Airavateswara temple at Darasuram near Thanjavur, which is a fine example of the stage of architectural development attained in the 12th century CE.


  • The sculptures and bronzes produced during the Chola era are equally noteworthy.
  • Chola kings and queens ordered several pieces of art and sculpture, including the well-known bronze Nataraja statues.
  • Bronzes from the Chola era were produced utilizing the lost wax method.
  • In the past, the Rashtrakutas constructed the Kailasanatha temple in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, which at the time was the largest monolithic edifice (made from a single rock).
  • Blots on the Chola history include the slaughter of people, especially Brahmans and children, and the sacking and plundering of Chalukyan cities like Kalyani.
  • Anuradhapura, the former seat of the Sri Lankan kings, was destroyed.

Read Also: Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022

Source: The Hindu

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