Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra Chola I, often described as Rajendra the Great, was the ruler of the Chola Empire in south India between 1012 - 1044 AD.[3][4] Rajendra succeeded his father Rajaraja I in 1014 AD.[3] The extensive Chola empire under Rajendra included most parts of present-day south India, with the river Krishna as the northern limit, Sri Lanka and the Laccadives and the Maldives.[3] He carried out a successful military expedition to the River Ganges through Orissa and Bengal and brought Ganges water to his new capital down in the Kaveri Delta, Gangaikondacholapuram.[3] Rajendra's ambitious campaign against the kingdom of Srivijaya (the southern Malay peninsula and Sumatra) is dated to c. 1025 AD. A number of strategic places along the Straits of Malacca came under Chola control as a result of this campaign.[3] Rajendra was succeeded by Rajadhiraja I (1018 - 1054).[5]

Rajendra Chola I
Parakesari, Yuddhamalla, Mummudi, Gangai Kondan, Kadaram Kondan
Rajendra Chola (cropped).JPG
Sculpture of Rajendra I at Gangaikondacholapuram (Ariyalur District)
Reignc. 1014 – c. 1044 CE[1]
PredecessorRajaraja I
SuccessorRajadhiraja I
Died1044 CE
Brahmadesam, Tiruvannamalai District, Tamil Nadu[2]
Burial
Brahmadesam, Tiruvannamalai District, Tamil Nadu[2]
Spouse
  • Tribhuvana or Vanavan Mahadevi
  • Mukkokilan
  • Panchavan Mahadevi and Viramahadevi
Issue
DynastyChola Dynasty
FatherRajaraja I
MotherVanavan Mahadevi alias Tribhuvana Mahadevi
ReligionHinduism

The Cholas were by far the most important dynasty of South Asia at the time of Rajendra, although their activities mainly affected the South India and Southeast Asia.[6] The Chola naval campaigns in the Arabian Sea and the Strait of Malacca were essential to the control over the Indian Ocean spice trade (from the Southeast Asia or southern China to the Arabia or eastern Africa).[6]

Early life and ascensionEdit

Rajendra I was the only son of Rajaraja I and queen Vanavan Mahadevi alias Tribhuvana Mahadevi (he must have had at least three sisters, the younger Kundavai, the queen of Chalukya-Vimaladitya, a daughter called Mahadevi). Other major members of the royal household included queen mothers Dantisakti Vitanki alias Lokamahadevi and Kundavai, the elder sister of Rajaraja. The nakshatra of Rajendra's birth was Tiruvatirai (Ardra).[7]

Rajendra was declared heir apparent and formally associated with his father in the administration of the Chola Empire in the final years of his rule (1012 - 1014 AD).[8] In 1018, Rajendra (the Parakesari) appointed his son Rajadhiraja (the Rajakesari) as heir apparent to the Chola throne.[9]

Ruling careerEdit

Early campaignsEdit

Rajendra led campaigns from 1002 CE. These include the conquest of the Rashtrakutas and the campaigns against the Western Chalukyas. He conquered the Chalukyan territories of Yedatore (a large part of the Raichur district between the Krishna and the Tungabhadra), Banavasi in the north-west of Mysore and capital Manyakheta. Rajendra erected a Siva temple at Bhatkal. He also conquered Kollipakkai, located to the north of Hyderabad in present-day Telangana. An excerpt from an inscription in Tamil from Kolar states:

In the 8th year of the reign of Kopparakesarivanmar sri Rajendra Sola Deva, who, while the goddess of Fortune, having become constant, increased, and while the goddess of the great Earth, the goddess of victory in battle and the matchless goddess of Fame, having become his great queens, rejoiced-that in his extended lifetime, conquered with his great war-like army Idaiturai-nadu, Vanavasi shut in by a fence of continuous forests; Kollipakkai, whose walls were surrounded by sulli trees; Mannaikkadakkam whose fortification was unapproachable.[10]

Conquest of Sri LankaEdit

 
Inscription dated to 1100 CE Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Rajaraja I conquered the northern half of Sri Lanka during his reign. Rajendra invaded Ceylon in 1017 CE and annexed part of the island.[11] As a result of the campaign, Rajendra captured the regal jewels of the Pandyas, which Parantaka I tried to capture and the crown of the Sinhala king. The Sinhala king Mahinda V was taken prisoner and transported to the Chola country.

Pandyas and CherasEdit

In 1018/19 CE, Rajendra marched into the Pandya and Chera Perumal kingdoms and conquered the two countries.[12] Rajendra appointed one of his sons as viceroy with the title Jatavarman Sundara Chola-Pandya with Madurai as the headquarters (in-charge both Pandya and Chera/Kerala countries).

Chalukyan conflictEdit

In 1015 CE, Jayasimha II became the king of Western Chalukyas. He tried to recover the losses suffered by his predecessor Satyashraya, who fled his capital and was later restored to the throne by Raja Raja I as a tribute paying subordinate. Initially, Jayasimha II was successful as Rajendra was busy with his campaigns in Sri Lanka.[13] In 1021 CE, after the demise of the Eastern Chalukyan king Vimaladitya of Vengi, Jayasimha supported the claim of Vijayaditya VII to the throne against the claims of Rajaraja Narendra. Rajaraja Narendra was the son of Vimaladitya and Chola princess Kundavai.[13] Rajendra helped his nephew Rajaraja defeat Vijayaditya.[14] His armies defeated Vijayadiya in Vengi and Jayasimha in the battle of Maski.[13]

 
Gangaikonda Cholapuram was built by Rajendra Chola to celebrate his success in the Ganges Expedition
 
Brihadeeswarar temple inscription reading "Gangaikondacholan"

Expedition to the GangesEdit

In 1019 CE, Rajendra's forces marched through Kalinga towards the river Ganga. In Kalinga the Chola forces defeated Indraratha the ruler of the Somavamsi Dynasty.[15] Rajendra Chola took help of the Paramaras and the Kalachuris with whom Indraratha had a bitter enmity and Rajendra Chola took advantage of this situation. Indraratha was defeated against the combined armies and probably was killed. Within years of this event, Yayati II, the next Somavamshi ruler restored order in the Odra region and was successful in coming out of the influence of Rajendra Chola I.

The Chola army eventually reached the Pala kingdom of Bengal where they defeated Mahipala. The Chola army also defeated the last ruler of the Kamboja Pala dynasty Dharmapala of Dandabhukti.[16][17] The Chola army went on to raid East Bengal and defeated Govindachandra of the Chandra dynasty and invaded Bastar region.[18][19] He constructed a new capital at Gangaikondacholapuram and built the Brihadeeswarar Temple similar to the Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur.

 
Rajendra Chola's Territories c. 1030 CE

South East Asian expeditionEdit

Srivijaya was a kingdom centered on Palembang in Sumatra, ruled by the Sailendra dynasty. During the reign of Mara Vijayatungavarman, Srivijaya had cordial relations with the Chola Empire during the reign of Rajaraja Chola I; Mara Vijayatungavarman built a Chudamani Vihara at Nagapattinam. Mara was succeeded by Sangrama Vijayatunggavarman.

Khmer Emperor Suryavarman I made war on the kingdom of Tambralinga (in the Malay Peninsula). Suryavarman I requested aid from Rajendra.[20][21] After learning of Suryavarman's alliance with Rajendra Chola, Tambralinga requested aid from Srivijaya, which was granted by Sangrama.[20][22] This eventually led to the Chola expedition against the Srivijiya Empire. This alliance somewhat also had a religious nuance, since both the Chola Empire and the Khmer Empire were Hindu Shivaist, while Tambralinga and Srivijaya were Mahayana Buddhist.[citation needed]

In 1025 CE, Rajendra led Chola forces across the Indian Ocean and invaded Srivijaya, attacking several places in Malaysia and Indonesia.[23] The Chola sacked Kadaram (the capital) and Pannai in Sumatra and Malaiyur in the Malay Peninsula. Rajendra also invaded Tambralinga and the Langkasuka Kingdom in modern Malaysia and south Thailand.[24][25][26] The Chola forces captured the last ruler of the Sailendra Dynasty Sangrama Vijayatunggavarman.[27] The Chola invasion was the end of Srivijaya.[28][29] Srivijaya's maritime power declined under Chola attack.[30] After this the Chola Empire conquered large portions of Srivijaya, including its ports of Ligor, Kedah, and Tumasik (now Singapore).[30][31] The Chola invasion furthered the expansion of Tamil merchant associations such as the Manigramam, Ayyavole, and Ainnurruvar into Southeast Asia.[32][33][34][35] For the next century, Tamil trading companies from southern India dominated Southeast Asia.[28][29] The expedition of Rajendra Chola I is mentioned in the corrupted form as Raja Chulan in the medieval Malay chronicle Sejarah Melaya, and Malay princes have names ending with Cholan or Chulan, such as Raja Chulan of Perak.[36][37][38][39][40] One record of Rajendra Chola describes him as the King of Lamuri in north Sumatra.[41] The Chola invasion led to the fall of the Sailendra Dynasty of Srivijaya and the Chola invasion also coincides with the return voyage of the great Buddhist scholar Atiśa from Sumatra to India in 1025.[42]

DeathEdit

Rajendra I died at the village of Brahmadesam, present-day Tiruvannamalai District in Tamil Nadu. This information is recorded in an inscription by his son, Rajadhiraja I which states that Rajendra's queen Viramahadevi committed sati upon her husband's death and her remains were interred in the same tomb at Brahmadesam. It adds that the queen's brother, Madhuranthaka Parakesari Velan,[43] who was a general in Rajendra's army, constructed a watershed at the same place in memory of his sister.[2][44]

Personal life and familyEdit

The Siddanta Saravali of Trilochana Sivacharya states that Rajendra was a poet and he composed hymns in praise of god Shiva. A commentary on the same work states that Rajendra brought a number of Saivas from the banks of the river Ganges and settled them in Kanchi and the Chola country.[45]

TitlesEdit

  • After his successful campaign to Ganges river in north India he got the title Gangaikonda Chola (The Chola who took the Ganges river). And after his successful Southeast Asian campaign he got the title "Kadaram Kondan" (He who took Kedah in Malaysia).[46]
  • He inherited the title Mummudi Cholan (Chola with three crowns) from his father with Mummudi, a title used by Tamil kings who ruled the three kingdoms of Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras.[47] To commemorate his conquests, Rajendra assumed other titles such as Mudigonda Cholan and Irattapadikonda Cholan.
  • Rajendra I bore the title Chalukya-Chudamani, that is Crest Jewel of the Chalukyas.[48]

FamilyEdit

Rajendra I had many queens including Tribhuvana or Vanavan Mahadevi, Mukkokilan, Panchavan Mahadevi and Viramahadevi, last of whom committed sati upon her husband's death (1044 AD).[49] His three sons, namely Rajadhiraja, Rajendra II and Virarajendra, followed him on the Chola throne in succession (the identity of the Chola-Pandya viceroy Jatavarman Sundara Chola-Pandya is not known). Arulmoli Nangaiyar Piranar and Ammangadevi (queen of Eastern Chalukya Rajaraja I and the mother of Kulottunga I) are the two known daughters of king Rajendra.[50]

Work and legacyEdit

 
Rajendra Chola in Battle, Kolaramma Temple, Kolar[51]
 
Stone sculpture with Tamil Inscription, Chokkanathaswamy temple, Bengaluru built in 10th century AD
 
Tamil Inscription at Chokkanathaswamy temple

Rajendra Chola built a vast artificial lake, sixteen miles long and three miles wide which was one of the largest man-made lakes in India.[52] The fortified capital of Rajendra Chola was of impressive grandeur and Ottakoothar states, On seeing Gangapuri, all fourteen worlds encircled by the billowing ocean are overwhelmed with joy.[52][53] The extent of the empire was the widest in India and the military and naval prestige was at its highest.[54] The successful invasions of Rajendra Chola were applauded by several medieval Tamil poets like Jayamkondan in his text Kalingattupparani and Ottakkoothar in his text Ula.[46] He founded a new capital city called Gangaikonda Cholapuram and built a Shiva temple similar to the Thanjavur Brihadisvara temple built by his father Rajaraja Chola. He expanded the Pathirakali Amman Temple and Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee.[52]

The Malay-language Hikayat Iskandar Zulkarnain was written about Alexander the Great as Dhul-Qarnayn and from it the ancestry of several southeast Asian royal families is traced to Iskandar Zulkarnain,[55] through Rajendra Chola (Raja Suran, Raja Chola) in the Malay Annals, such as the Sumatran Minangkabau royalty.[56][57]

InscriptionsEdit

  • An inscription of the king from the Adhipuriswara temple in Chengalpattu district gives his natal star as Tiruvadarai. Donations were made to the temple to celebrate the king's birthday in the month of Maargali.[58]
  • Another inscription from the Umamahesvara temple in Konerirajapuram, Thanjavur district refers to the donations by Alvar Parantakan Kundavai-Pirattiyar during the third year of the king's reign.[59]

Officials and feudatoriesEdit

Rajendra (the Parakesari) appointed his son Rajadhiraja (the Rajakesari) as heir apparent to the Chola throne in 1018 AD.[60] Large military expeditions, like the Pandya and Chalukya wars, were carried out by Rajadhiraja.[61] The prominent feudatories or officials of the time were,

Popular cultureEdit

  • India's merchant navy training ship TS Rajendra was named in his honour.[67]
  • The state government of Maharashtra proposed to dedicate Rajendra Chola's portrait to Mazgaon Docks[68]

LiteratureEdit

  • Vengayin Maindhan by Akilan covers the life and achievements of Rajendra Chola
  • Gangapuri Kavalan by Vembu Vikiraman in which Rajendra Chola is the protagonist
  • Mannan Magal by Sandilyan set in the period of Rajendra Chola
  • Gangai Konda Cholan by Balakumaran
  • Ulagam Vendra Cholan by Bharathika which covers the war history and lifetime achievements

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 46–49. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  2. ^ a b c Ē. Kē Cēṣāttiri. Sri Brihadisvara: The Great Temple of Thānjavūr. Nile Books, 1998. p. 19.
  3. ^ a b c d e Thapar, Romila (2003) [2002]. The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300. New Delhi: Penguin Books. pp. 364–365. ISBN 978-0-14-302989-2.
  4. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 194-95 and 228.
  5. ^ Karashima, Noboru (2014). A Concise History of South India: Issues and Interpretations. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 370. ISBN 978-0-19-809977-2.
  6. ^ a b Thapar, Romila. "The Colas". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  7. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 186–87.
  8. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 194–95.
  9. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 195–96.
  10. ^ Epigraphia Carnatica, Volume 10, Part 1, page 32
  11. ^ Indian History with Objective Questions and Historical Maps Twenty-Sixth Edition 2010, South India page 59
  12. ^ See Sastri, K. A. N., A History of South India, p165
  13. ^ a b c See Sastri, K. A. N., A History of South India, p166
  14. ^ Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, page 70
  15. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (2000) [1935]. The Cōlas. Madras: University of Madras. p.208
  16. ^ Ancient Indian History and Civilization by Sailendra Nath Sen p.281
  17. ^ West Bengal District Gazetteers: Nadīa p.63
  18. ^ The Cambridge Shorter History of India p.145
  19. ^ Dimensions of Human Cultures in Central India by Professor S.K. Tiwari p.161
  20. ^ a b Kenneth R. Hall (October 1975), "Khmer Commercial Development and Foreign Contacts under Sūryavarman I", Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 18 (3), pp. 318-336, Brill Publishers
  21. ^ Munoz, Paul Michel. Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula p. 158-159
  22. ^ *Majumdar, R. C. (1961). "The Overseas Expeditions of King Rājendra Chola", Artibus Asiae 24 (3/4), pp. 338–342. Artibus Asiae Publishers.
  23. ^ Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella (ed.). The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans. Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 142–143. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1.
  24. ^ The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World by Lincoln Paine p.866
  25. ^ Andaya, Leonard Y. Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka p.35
  26. ^ Epigraphia Carnatica, Volume 10, Part 1, page 41
  27. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Kesavapany, K.; Sakhuja, Vijay. Nagapattinam to Suvarnadwipa: Reflections on the Chola Naval Expeditions to Southeast Asia p. 230
  28. ^ a b Abshire, Jean. The History of Singapore p. 17
  29. ^ a b Murfett, Malcolm H.; Miksic, John; Farell, Brian; Chiang, Ming Shun. Between Two Oceans: A Military History of Singapore from 1275 to 1971 p. 16
  30. ^ a b Sar Desai, D. R. Southeast Asia: Past and Present p.43
  31. ^ Munoz, p. 161
  32. ^ Sen, Tansen. Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations 600-1400 p. 159
  33. ^ Findlay, Ronald; O'Rourke, Kevin H. Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium p. 69
  34. ^ Wink, André. Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the expansion of Islam 7th-11 centuries p. 325
  35. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath. Ancient Indian History and Civilization p. 564
  36. ^ Gunn, Geoffrey C. History Without Borders: The Making of an Asian World Region, 1000-1800 p. 43
  37. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Kesavapany, K.; Sakhuja, Vijay. Nagapattinam to Suvarnadwipa: Reflections on the Chola Naval Expeditions to Southeast Asia p. 71
  38. ^ Sen, Tansen. Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations p. 226
  39. ^ Kalyanaraman, A. Aryatarangini, the Saga of the Indo-Aryans p.158
  40. ^ Singam, S. Durai Raja. India and Malaya Through the Ages
  41. ^ Wink, André. Al-Hind: The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest p. 326
  42. ^ Atisa and Tibet: Life and Works of Dipamkara Srijnana by Alaka Chattopadhyaya p.91
  43. ^ Place Names Society of India. Madhav N. Katti (ed.). Studies in Indian place names, Volume 6. Published on behalf of the Place Names Society of India by Geetha Book House, 1984. p. 89.
  44. ^ Place Names Society of India. Madhav N. Katti (ed.). Studies in Indian place names, Volume 6. Published on behalf of the Place Names Society of India by Geetha Book House, 1984 - India. p. 89.
  45. ^ R. S. Sharma, K. M. Shrimali. A Comprehensive history of India: A.D. 985-1206, Volume 4, Part 1, A comprehensive history of India, K. K. Dasgupta. People's Publishing House, 1992. p. 14.
  46. ^ a b Nagapattinam to Suvarnadwipa: Reflections on the Chola Naval Expeditions to .Southeast Asia by Hermann Kulke, K Kesavapany, Vijay Sakhuja p.170
  47. ^ Temples of South India by V.V. Subba Reddy p.118
  48. ^ N. Subrahmanian. Tamil Epigraphy: A Survey. Ennes Publications, 1980. p. 128.
  49. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. p. 228.
  50. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. p. 228.
  51. ^ Rice, Benjamin Lewis (1994). Epigraphia Carnatica: Volume X: Inscriptions in the Kolar District. Mangalore, British India: Department of Archeology, Mysore State. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  52. ^ a b c Art of the Imperial Cholas by Vidya Dehejia: p.79
  53. ^ See Schmidt, K, p32
  54. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (1998). A history of India. Routledge. p. 109. ISBN 0-415-15482-0.
  55. ^ Balai Seni Lukis Negara (Malaysia) (1999). Seni dan nasionalisme: dulu & kini. Balai Seni Lukis Negara. ISBN 9789839572278.
  56. ^ John N. Miksic (30 September 2013). Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300_1800. NUS Press. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-9971-69-574-3.
  57. ^ Marie-Sybille de Vienne (9 March 2015). Brunei: From the Age of Commerce to the 21st Century. NUS Press. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-9971-69-818-8.
  58. ^ S. R. Balasubrahmanyam. Middle Chola Temples: Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I, A.D. 985-1070. Thomson Press (India), 1975 - Hindu temples - 424 pages. p. 301.
  59. ^ S. R. Balasubrahmanyam. Middle Chola Temples: Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I, A.D. 985-1070. Thomson Press (India), 1975. p. 269.
  60. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 195–96.
  61. ^ a b Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 226–27.
  62. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 226–27.
  63. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 226–27.
  64. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 226–27.
  65. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 226–27.
  66. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1955). The Colas (2nd revised ed.). University of Madras. pp. 226–27.
  67. ^ "Press release, President address". Government of India. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  68. ^ "Rajendra Chola: Maharashtra to dedicate Tamil emperor Rajendra Chola's portrait to Mazgon Docks". The Times of India. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2018.

Further readingEdit

Preceded by
Rajaraja Chola I
Chola dynasty
1012–1044 CE
Succeeded by
Rajadhiraja Chola