The Cholas, being in possession of parts of both the west and the east coasts of peninsular India, were at the forefront of these ventures. It played a significant role in linking the markets of China to the rest of the world. Roman coins dating from the early centuries of the common era have been found near the Kaveri delta. , Kamban flourished during the reign of Kulothunga Chola III. The Chola Dynasty reached its peak under Rajaraja Chola I (r. 985 – 1014 AD) and his son, Rajendra Chola (r. 1014 – 1044 AD). , The farmers occupied one of the highest positions in society. [page needed], Jayamkondar's masterpiece, Kalingattuparani, is an example of narrative poetry that draws a clear boundary between history and fictitious conventions. , The Chola dynasty was at the peak of its influence and power during the medieval period.  A second invasion was led by Virarajendra Chola, who conquered Kedah in Malaysia of Srivijaya in the late 11th century. This was known as the middle age Cholas. There was a class of hired day-labourers who assisted in agricultural operations on the estates of other people and received a daily wage. Inscriptions of 890 refer to his contributions to the construction of the Ranganatha Temple at Srirangapatnam in the country of the Western Gangas, who were both his feudatories and had connections by marriage with him.  Commentaries were written on the great text Tolkāppiyam which deals with grammar but which also mentions ethics of warfare. , The Cholas, under Rajaraja Chola III and later, his successor Rajendra Chola III, were quite weak and therefore, experienced continuous trouble.  A new development in Chola art that characterised the Dravidian architecture in later times was the addition of a huge gateway called gopuram to the enclosure of the temple, which had gradually taken its form and attained maturity under the Pandya Dynasty. Details of the Pandyan civil war and the role played by the Cholas and Sinhalas, are present in the Mahavamsa as well as the Pallavarayanpettai Inscriptions. The Pandyas first steadily gained control of the Tamil country as well as territories in Sri Lanka, southern Chera country, Telugu country under Maravarman Sundara Pandiyan II and his able successor Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan before inflicting several defeats on the joint forces of the Cholas under Rajaraja Chola III, and the Hoysalas under Someshwara, his son Ramanatha The Pandyans gradually became major players in the Tamil country from 1215 and intelligently consolidated their position in Madurai-Rameswaram-Ilam-southern Chera country and Kanyakumari belt, and had been steadily increasing their territories in the Kaveri belt between Dindigul-Tiruchy-Karur-Satyamangalam as well as in the Kaveri Delta i.e., Thanjavur-Mayuram-Chidambaram-Vriddhachalam-Kanchi, finally marching all the way up to Arcot—Tirumalai-Nellore-Visayawadai-Vengi-Kalingam belt by 1250. During the period of Rajaraja III, the Hoysalas sided with the Cholas and defeated the Kadava chieftain Kopperunjinga and the Pandyas and established a presence in the Tamil country. , The order of the King was first communicated by the executive officer to the local authorities. Rajendra Chola built a huge tank named Solagangam in his capital city Gangaikonda Solapuram and was described as the liquid pillar of victory.  The Ulavar community were working in the field which was associated with agriculture and the peasants were known as Kalamar. The navy commanders also acted as diplomats in some instances. It served as the capital city for a span of 250 years. Not only did the Cholas outlast Ashoka's Mauryan Empire, they continued to rule until 1279 CE—more than 1,500 years. , While the Cholas did build their largest and most important temple dedicated to Shiva, it can be by no means concluded that either they were followers of Shaivism only or that they were not favourably disposed to other faiths. He also successfully invaded kingdoms of the Malay Archipelago. , There is very little written evidence available of the Cholas prior to the 7th century.  Jain and Buddhist authors flourished as well, although in fewer numbers than in previous centuries.  The south Indian guilds played a major role in interregional and overseas trade. The students were provided with food, bathing oil on Saturdays, and oil for pups. , The Chola dynasty has inspired many Tamil authors. The metal industries and the jewellers art had reached a high degree of excellence. However, it is not known if they had any relation to the early Cholas. At the top of this economic pyramid were the elite merchant groups (samayam) who organised and dominated the regions international maritime trade.  More recently, Balakumaran wrote the novel Udaiyar, which is based on the circumstances surrounding Rajaraja Chola's construction of the Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur. Tikkana Somayaji wrote Nirvachanottara Ramayanamu and Andhra Mahabharatamu. , Around the 7th century, a Chola kingdom flourished in present-day Andhra Pradesh.  The Chola dynasty went into decline at the beginning of the 13th century with the rise of the Pandyan dynasty, which ultimately caused their downfall.. Thereafter, until the reign of Vikrama Chola in 1133 CE when the Chola power was at its peak, these hereditary lords and local princes virtually vanished from the Chola records and were either replaced or turned into dependent officials. The period covered by the Sangam poetry is likely to extend not longer than five or six generations. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd Tanjore – Capital of the Chola Dynasty.  The internal chronology of this literature is still far from settled, and at present a connected account of the history of the period cannot be derived. , Rajaraja Chola I and Rajendra Chola I were the greatest rulers of the Chola dynasty, extending it beyond the traditional limits of a Tamil kingdom. The best known of these were the Manigramam and Ayyavole guilds who followed the conquering Chola armies.  During the Chola period silk weaving attained a high degree and Kanchipuram became one of the main centres for silk. Crimes of the state, such as treason, were heard and decided by the king himself; the typical punishment in these cases was either execution or confiscation of property.  Cholas always successfully controlled the Chalukyas in the western Deccan by defeating them in war and levying tribute on them. , Of the devotional literature, the arrangement of the Shaivite canon into eleven books was the work of Nambi Andar Nambi, who lived close to the end of the 10th century. However, this is more of a direction to the Shaivite community by its religious heads than any kind of dictat by a Chola emperor. About 16 miles long, it was provided with sluices and canals for irrigating the lands in the neighbouring areas. , According to Tamil tradition, the Chola country comprised the region that includes the modern-day Tiruchirapalli District, Tiruvarur District, Nagapattinam District, Ariyalur District, Perambalur district, Pudukkottai district, Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal District. The guilds described sometimes by the terms nanadesis were a powerful autonomous corporation of merchants which visited different countries in the course of their trade. The increase in the royal patronage and also the number of devadana and bramadeya lands which increased the role of the temples and village assemblies in the field. He also prayed before him before his embarking on war to regain the territories in and around Kanchi and Arcot from the waning Rashtrakutas and while leading expeditions against both Madurai and Ilam (Sri Lanka). An obscure dynasty, the Kalabhras invaded Tamil country, displaced the existing kingdoms and ruled during that time. The roads through Tamil Nadu are busy and crowded, with everyday and unusual sights that make for interesting stops. Marital and political alliances between the Eastern Chalukyas began during the reign of Rajaraja following his invasion of Vengi. The real founder of the Chola dynasty of Tanjore wasVijayalaya, a feudatory of the Pallavas. The annual floods in the Kaveri marked an occasion for celebration, known as Adiperukku, in which the whole nation took part. The Chola Navy (Tamil: சோழர் கடற்படை; Transliteration: Cōḻar kadatpadai) comprised the naval forces of the Chola Empire (4th Century BCE - 1279 CE), a Tamil thalassocratic empire of southern India, one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the world. The Ashokan inscriptions speak of the Cholas in plural, implying that, in his time, there were more than one Chola. , The Chola rulers built several palaces and fortifications to protect their cities. The water tanks that came up during the Chola period are too many to be listed here. The last period of Chola tradition was in the middle of 1070 AD-1279 AD which was known to be the Later Cholas. A day’s journey to Tanjore travelling further south along the coast before turning west into the Tamil heartlands, characterized by lovely and colorful temple towns with deep religious ambiance along the route. Even crimes such as manslaughter or murder were punished with fines. The Chola dynasty was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of southern India. Chola dynasty (Tamil:சோழர்) was a Tamil dynasty which was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in southern India. The Cholas are featured in the History of the World board game, produced by Avalon Hill. [f] The Cholas continued to rule over a diminished territory in the neighbourhood of Uraiyur, but only in a minor capacity. Some scholars identify Kulothunga Chola II with Krimikanta Chola or worm-necked Chola, so called as he is said to have suffered from cancer of the throat or neck. This is borne out by the fact that the second Chola king, Aditya I (871–903 CE), built temples for Shiva and also for Vishnu. Due to the lack of a legislature or a legislative system in the modern sense, the fairness of king's orders dependent on his morality and belief in Dharma.  The Vellalar were also sent to northern Sri Lanka by the Chola rulers as settlers. The Great Living Chola Temples is a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for a group of Chola dynasty era Hindu temples in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This word often forms an integral part of early Chola names like Nedunkilli, Nalankilli and so on, but almost drops out of use in later times. Copperplate grants of the Pallava Buddhavarman (late 4th century) mention that the king as the "underwater fire that destroyed the ocean of the Chola army". The Cholas were a Tamil kingdom of the pre and post Sangam period (300 BCE – 300 CE).  The Chola fleet represented the zenith of ancient Indian sea power. The Chola admirals commanded much respect and prestige. He changed the capital of the Chola Dynasty to Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Despite these ancient origins, the period when it is appropriate to speak of a "Chola Empire" only begins with the medieval Cholas in the mid-9th century CE. , In almost all villages the distinction between persons paying the land-tax (iraikudigal) and those who did not was clearly established.  A Chola inscription states that he captured or plundered 14 places, which have been identified with Palembang, Tambralinga and Kedah among others. The Cholas are also known as the Choda. [clarification needed], One of the main articles which were exported to foreign countries were cotton cloth. The river Kaveri and its tributaries dominate this landscape of generally flat country that gradually slopes towards the sea, unbroken by major hills or valleys. The Chola kings built temples and endowed them with great wealth.  Rajendra's territories included the area falling on the Ganges-Hooghly-Damodar basin, as well as Sri Lanka and Maldives. There is no evidence that Rajendra was followed immediately by another Chola prince. , There existed a brisk internal trade in several articles carried on by the organised mercantile corporations in various parts of the country. He took over the Tanjore kingdom in the 8th century and led to the rise of the mighty Cholas by defeating the Pallavas. It was serialised in the Tamil weekly Kumudam.  He was sent by the Maharajah to establish a base for expeditionary forces, but he rebelled and established his own independent rajahnate. There was more involvement of non-Brahmin elements in the temple administration.  The Mahavamsa mentions that an ethnic Tamil adventurer, a Chola prince known as Ellalan, invaded the island Sri Lanka and conquered it around 235 BCE with the help of a Mysore army.. It had four elements, comprising the cavalry, the elephant corps, several divisions of infantry and a navy. Rajaraja Chola I launched several naval campaigns that resulted in the capture of Sri Lanka, Maldives and the Malabar Coast. , Justice was mostly a local matter in the Chola Empire; minor disputes were settled at the village level. The temples acted not only as places of worship but also as centres of economic activity, benefiting the community as a whole. The Hoysalas, under Vira Someswara, were quick to intervene and this time they sided with the Pandyas and repulsed the Cholas in order to counter the latter's revival. [d], The earliest Chola kings for whom there is tangible evidence are mentioned in the Sangam literature. , Rajendra Chola I conquered Odisha and his armies continued to march further north and defeated the forces of the Pala Dynasty of Bengal and reached the Ganges river in north India. The Cholas invaded Sri Lanka under these two kings, spread their territories to the north as far as the Ganges River, and also brought maritime South East India under their sphere of … Completed around 1030, only two decades after the temple at Thanjavur and in the same style, the greater elaboration in its appearance attests the more affluent state of the Chola Empire under Rajendra. It discusses all five branches of grammar and, according to Berthold Spuler, is still relevant today and is one of the most distinguished normative grammars of literary Tamil. From 900 to 1100, the navy had grown from a small backwater entity to that of a potent power projection and diplomatic symbol in all of Asia, but was gradually reduced in significance when the Cholas fought land battles subjugating the Chalukyas of the Andhra-Kannada area in South India.. The earliest datable references to the Chola are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE left by Ashoka, of the Maurya Empire (Ashoka Major Rock Edict No.13).  The serialisation lasted for nearly five years and every week its publication was awaited with great interest. [page needed], The other major towns were Thanjavur, Uraiyur and Kudanthai, now known as Kumbakonam. His administrative role consisted of issuing oral commands to responsible officers when representations were made to him. , Under the Cholas, the Tamil country reached new heights of excellence in art, religion, music and literature. The Chola dynasty was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of southern India.The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Ashoka, of the Maurya Empire.As one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century AD. The first of the very significant temple towns is Chidambaram, where Shiva is said to have performed the cosmic dance at the sport where the hallowed Nataraja temple now stands. , Temple building received great impetus from the conquests and the genius of Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola I. During the period 1010–1153, the Chola territories stretched from the islands of the Maldives in the south to as far north as the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh.  Rajendra Chola I dug near his capital an artificial lake, which was filled with water from the Kolerun and the Vellar rivers. A. L. Frothingham, Jr. Kalā: The Journal of Indian Art History Congress, The Congress, 1995, p.31, ndia: The Most Dangerous Decades by Selig S. Harrison p.31, Between 2 Oceans (2nd Edn): A Military History of Singapore from 1275 to 1971 by Malcolm H. Murfett, John Miksic, Brian Farell, Chiang Ming Shun p.16, South India and Her Muhammadan Invaders by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar p.40-41, A Global History of Architecture by Francis D. K. Ching, Mark M. Jarzombek, Vikramaditya Prakash p.338, Technology and Society by Menon R.V.G. Education in the contemporary sense was not considered important; there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that some village councils organised schools to teach the basics of reading and writing to children, although there is no evidence of systematic educational system for the masses. ", Song dynasty reports record that an embassy from Chulian (Chola) reached the Chinese court in 1077, and that the king of the Chulian at the time, Kulothunga I, was called Ti-hua-kia-lo. They established educational institutions and hospitals around the temple, enhanced the beneficial aspects of the role of the temple, and projected the royalty as a very powerful and genial presence.  The Vellalar community was the dominant secular aristocratic caste under the Chola rulers, providing the courtiers, most of the army officers, the lower ranks of the bureaucracy and the upper layer of the peasantry. Much of Tamil classical literature and the greater Tamil architectural monuments belong to the Sangam period, which also saw a revival of Shaivism (worship of the god Shiva) and the development of southern Vaishnavism (worship of the god Vishnu).  The vellan-vagai was the ordinary ryotwari village of modern times, having direct relations with the government and paying a land-tax liable to revision from time to time. Another very large lake of this period, which even today seems an important source of irrigation was the Viranameri near Kattumannarkoil in South Arcot district founded by Parantaka Chola. , In general, Cholas were followers of Hinduism. The largest and tallest of all Indian temples of its time, it is at the apex of South Indian architecture. 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