Battle of Takkolam
The Battle of Takkolam (c. 949 CE) was a military engagement between a contingent of troops led by Rajaditya, the eldest son of the Chola king Parantaka I (907–955), and another led by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna III (939–967) at Takkolam in southern India. The battle resulted in the death of Rajaditya on the battlefield and the defeat of the Chola garrison at Takkolam.
|Battle of Takkolam|
|Chola Empire (supported by their allies: Chera Perumals)||Rashtrakuta Empire (supported by their vassals: Western Gangas, Bana Kingdom, and Vaidumbas)|
|Commanders and leaders|
The battle is considered as the climax of the confrontation between the two imperials powers, the Cholas and the Rashtrakutas, for mastery of south India. The death of prince Rajaditya is unusually commemorated by the Cholas. The Chola version of the events can be found in Larger Leiden Grant (1006 AD) of Rajaraja I and Tiruvalangadu Plates (1018 AD) of Rajendra Chola. An account of the battle, which differs in some details from the Chola version, is found in the Atakur inscription issued by Krishna III and prince Butuga II (a young underlord of Krishna III) of the Western Ganga family. The Sravana Belgola record of Ganga king Marasimha (963 - 975 AD) also claims victory of the king for his predecessor Bhutuga II.
It seems that king Parantaka I anticipated a climatic battle with the Rashtrakutas and their allies in Tirumunaippati Nadu.
Sometime in the 930s, or perhaps as early as 923 AD, prince Rajaditya was sent with a substantial military contingent, including elephants and horses, as well as his entire household, to the region (to protect the northern edges of a nascent Chola state). The prince was joined in Tirumunaippati Nadu by his mother and his half-brother Arinjaya (whose mother also might have been from the Chera Perumal family).
Battle at TakkolamEdit
The Rashtrakuta contingent at Takkolam included a collection of feudal militias and royal soldiers (from Western Gangas, Banas and Vaidumbas among others). Prince Rajaditya was supported by a number of military personnel from Kerala (Chera) chiefdoms.
An account of the battle, which differs in some details from the Chola version, is found in the Atakur inscription issued by Krishna III and prince Butuga (a young underlord of Krishna III) of the Western Ganga family. According to the inscription, during the battle, Rajaditya was struck while seated atop his war elephant by an arrow from prince Butuga. The Chola prince died instantly. The Chola army was subsequently defeated and retreated in disorder.
The collapse of the Chola resistance after the battle of Takkolam lead to the virtual destruction of the Chola empire. The Rashtrakutas conquered eastern and northern parts of the Chola empire and advanced to Rameswaram. As per the Karhad copper plates of Krishna II, dated 959 AD, the king "uprooted the Cholas, distributed their territory among his followers, and extracted tribute from the Chera (Kerala) and Pandya kings" during his campaign.
As per historians, the defeat at Takkolam reversed the substantial political gains made by Parantaka Chola in previous decades. It opened the way for a period of multiple (and perhaps even disputed) Chola accessions. The Chola royals remained in confusion, and perhaps continued a precarious political existence under the threat of Rashtrakuta invasion.
- Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 100-101.
- Curry, Anne (2020). The Cambridge History of War: Volume 2, War and the Medieval. Cambdrige. p. all.
- Ali, Daud. "The Death of a Friend: Companionship, Loyalty and Affiliation in Chola South India." Studies in History, vol. 33, no. 1, Feb. 2017, pp. 36–60.
- Epigraphia Indica 22 (1933–34), no. 34: vv. 19–21.
- South Indian Inscriptions 3 (1920), no. 205: v. 54.
- Ali, Daud. “The Death of a Friend: Companionship, Loyalty and Affiliation in Chola South India.” Studies in History, vol. 33, no. 1, Feb. 2017, pp. 36–60.
- Epigraphia Indica 6 (1900–01), no. 6c: 53–56.
- Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 100-101 and 113-114.
- South Indian Inscriptions 7 (1932), No. 1009.
- Nilakantha Sastri, Cōḷas, 140–67.