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Battle of Takkolam

The Battle of Takkolam was a military engagement between Rajaditya, son of the Chola king Parantaka I (907–955) and a confederacy led by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna III (939–967) at Takkolam in the present-day Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, southern India. The Rashtrakuta contingent included a collection of feudal militias and royal soldiers (from Western Gangas, Banas and Vaidumbas among others). The battle fought in 948-49 CE resulted in the defeat of the Cholas and the death of Rajaditya on the battlefield.[2] 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.[1]

Battle of Takkolam
  • Rashtrakuta victory - death of Chola prince Rajaditya
  • Defeat and destruction of the Chola empire
  • Submission of Pandya and Chera kingdoms
Chola Empire (supported by their allies: Cheras[1]) Rashtrakuta Empire (supported by their vassals: Western Gangas, Bana Kingdom, and Vaidumbas)
Commanders and leaders
  • Krishna III
  • Butuga II
  • Casualties and losses
  • Rajaditya Chola
  • Rajaditya was garrisoned at Takkolam in newly acquired countries to protect the northern edges of a nascent Chola state. 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 Butuga. According to the inscription, during the battle, Rajaditya was struck while seated atop his war elephant by an arrow from prince Butuga of the Western Ganga family.[3] The Chola army was subsequently defeated and retreated in disorder.[2]

    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 CE, the king "uprooted the Cholas, distributed their territory among his followers, and extracted tribute from the Chera (Kerala) and Pandya kings" during his campaign.[1]

    As per historians, the defeat at Takkolam reversed the substantial political gains made by Parantaka in previous decades. It opened the way for a period of multiple (and perhaps even disputed) accessions.[4] The Chola royals remained in confusion, and perhaps continued a precarious political existence under the threat of Rashtrakuta invasion.[1]

    The death of prince Rajaditya is unusually commemorated by the Cholas. The Chola version of the events can be found in Larger Leiden Grant[5] (1006 CE) of Rajaraja and Tiruvalangadu Plates (1018 CE) of Rajendra Chola.[6]


    1. ^ a b c d e Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 100-101.
    2. ^ a b 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.
    3. ^ Epigraphia Indica 6 (1900–01), no. 6c: 53–56.
    4. ^ Nilakantha Sastri, Cōḷas, 140–67.
    5. ^ Epigraphia Indica 22 (1933–34), no. 34: vv. 19–21.
    6. ^ South Indian Inscriptions 3 (1920), no. 205: v. 54.
    • Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. 3. p. 990. ISBN 0-313-33536-2, ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.