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The most powerful ruler of the Chola dynasty was Raja Raja Chola Ist

Updated on August 9, 2016

Karikaala Cholan Kallanai


The King of Chola kingdom

There were two phases of South Indian History during which the Cholas held sway over this region. The first Chola ruler was Karikala who carved out an out an independent kingdom during the first century AD. The kingdom continued to exist till the fourth century. It disappeared under the aggression of the Pandyas and the Cheras. After a lapse of about five centuries, the Sun of Chola glory once again shone on the political horizon of southern India. The rulers of the later Chola dynasty remained in power from the ninth to the thirteenth century AD.

The founder of the later Chola empire was Vijayala (AD 850 -875). he captured Tanjore from the Pallavas and made it the capital of his kingdom. He was succeeded by his son Aditya who gave crushing blow to the Pallava power. Aditya's successor Parantaka (AD 907 – 949) further enhanced the power of the Cholas by completely subjugating the Pallavas. He also fought successful wars against the Pandyas and the king of Sri Lanka.

Chola - Raja Raja I


Chola Rajaraja first


Rajaraja Ist was succeeded by his son

The most powerful ruler of the Chola dynasty was Raja Raja Chola Ist. He strengthened his navy and invaded Sri Lanka. He was also an able administrator. He was succeeded by his son Rajendra Chola.

He inflicted crushing defeats on the Pandyas of Madurai, the Chalukyas of Vengi and the Gangas of Karnataka. He is believed to have carried arms to Kalinga (Orissa) in the north and Sri Lanka in the south. He had also conquered many Islands including the islands of Lakshadweep and Maldives.

Rajaraja I was succeeded by his son, Rajendra Chola in AD 1014. much like his father, Rajendra was a great conqueror and annexed to the vast empire left by his great father, the territories of the remaining part of Sri Lanka, central India and Orissa.



Cholas were great builders of temples and tanks

In general, they temples in granite stone. The Chola temples bring out the best elements of the Dravidian style of architecture.

The famous of the Chola temples are found at brahmadesam, Tanjore, Gangaikonda – Cholapuram. Darasuram and Tribhuvanam. The temple of Brihadeeshwara at Tanjore is the largest and tallest temple built by the Cholas. It is one of the largest Shaiva temple complexes in the country. The tower which rises on the garbhagriha is about 200 feet high. Its inner walls reveal the finest specimens of Chola paintings. This temple was built by Rajaraja Chola in 1009 AD. The Gangaikonda – Cholapuram temples was built by Rajendra Chola in 1030. it is also a very large temple. These temples contain some of the finest carvings and sculptures. Besides stone sculpture, he Cholas produced a variety of bronze sculpture. In quality and beauty, the Chola sculptures excel. The dancing images of Nataraja, produced by the Chola artists in bronze, have earned a unique place in the history of Indian art.


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