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Friday, 20 October 2017

Kulothunga Chola III - Sarabeswara Temple - Battle Of Nettur

Kulothunga Chola III - Sarabeswara Temple - Battle Of Nettur
Kulothunga Chola III was the last recognised mighty Chola monarch who delayed the process of collapse of dynasty for about a generation. He ruled the great Chola empire which was once ruled by greatest ever rulers of Indian subcontinent like Karikala Chola, Vijayalaya Chola I, Aditya Chola I, Rajaraja Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Rajendra Chola II, Kulothunga Chola etc.

Kulothunga Chola III succeeded Rajadhiraja Chola II and ruled between 1178-1218 A.D. His chief queen was Bhuvanamuludaiyal. In his reign he waged wars on Pandyas, Hoysalas, Sinhalas of Ceylon, Chodas of Velanadu etc. Before him, the influence of central administration of Cholas on outlying parts was decreasing rapidly. After his coronation as king of Chola empire, he brought order to the internal administration and strengthened it.



Conquests and Battle of Nettur :

In his reign, Kulothunga Chola III fought in 3 wars with Pandyas (1182 A.D.,1188 A.D. and 1205 A.D.). During early time of his rule, there was a civil war going on in Pandyan country. Two pandyan princes were fighting for the crown. During Rajadhiraja Chola II's reign Vira Pandya somehow managed to capture the Pandyan throne. Vikrama pandya was eager to wage a war on Vira Pandya and capture the throne. The Sinhala king Parakramabahu joined hands with Vira Pandya and supported him as the king of Pandyan empire. Vikrama Pandya sought the help of Kulothunga Chola III in defeating Vira Pandya to become the king of Pandyan empire.

This led to invasion of Pandyan empire by Kulothunga Chola III. The Cholas and Vikrama Pandya on one side and Vira Pandya and Sinhala forces on other. The Cholas very easily defeated combined forces of Pandyas and Sinhalas. Vira Pandya was driven in to exile and Vikrama Pandya was made the king of Pandyan empire by Kulothunga Chola III. This was the first war with Pandyas for Kulothunga III which took place in 1182 A.D.

Vira Pandya was waiting in exile for revenge and for the Pandyan crown. He secretly built a vast army aided by his allies from Ceylon. In the year 1188-89 A.D., Vira Pandya invaded the Pandyan kingdom and tried to reclaim his throne. But his attempt was stopped by Kulothunga Chola III on the battlefield of Nettur. Vira Pandya tried very hard to defeat Kulothunga Chola III but due to increased strength of Chola army. This war which took place in 1188 A.D. between Cholas and Vira Pandya is referred as Battle Of Nettur.

After Vikrama Pandya, Jatavarman Kulasekhara Pandya became king of Pandyan kingdom in 1190 A.D. He rebelled against the Kulothunga Chola III's involvement in internal affairs of his kingdom. In 1205, Kulothunga III attacked Pandyan country and defeated Kulasekhara Pandyan.


During Kulothunga III's reign, the king of Hoysala was Veera Ballala II. He was an ambitious king and tried to extend his boundaries beyond his limits i.e. Kaveri-Thungabadra basin. In 1186 A.D., Kulothunga Chola III noticed the growing power of Hoysala king Veera Ballala II. A war took place between Kulothunga III and Ballala II around 1187-88 A.D. in which Veera Ballala II was very badly defeated by Kulothunga III. After this war, there were friendly relations between Cholas and Hoyasalas.

Sarabeswara Temple :

Kulothunga Chola III was a great builder and among his many well known constructions, the construction of Sarabeswara or Kampahareswara temple at Tribhuvanam near Kumbakonam was prominent. It is considered as a great specimen of Dravidian architecture. The design of this temple resembles Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur. This temple consists of Ramayana reliefs on its walls.


He also renovated many temples whiich were constructed by his ancestors. He erected a Mukha-mandapa of Sabhapati, the gopura of goddess Girindraja (Sivakami) and the verandah around the enlosure in the Siva temple of Chidambaram. He also renovated Shiva temples at Tiruvidaimarudur, Thiruvarur, Ekambareswarar temple at Kanchipuram, Halahalasya temple at Madurai etc.


Defeat in the hands of Pandyas :

During the last phase of his reign, Kulothunga Chola III had to face a defeat in the hands of Pandyan king Maravarman Sundara Pandya. Due to aging and lack of support from his feudatories, Kulothunga Chola III lost to Pandyas around 1216 A.D. Kulothunga III and his son Rajaraja Chola III were driven in to exile. After this Kulothunga III was succeeded by Rajaraja Chola III. By that time due to rising Pandyan power, the Chola empire was much reduced in size as well as influence.



Sunday, 1 October 2017

Rajadhiraja Chola II

He ruled Chola country which was once ruled by great kings like Karikala Chola, Aditya Chola, Parantaka Chola, Rajaraja Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I etc.
Rajadhiraja Chola II was one of the Chola kings who ruled during its downfall and one of the several kings who were responsible for the downfall of the great Chola empire. He ruled Chola country which was once ruled by great kings like Karikala Chola, Aditya Chola, Parantaka Chola, Rajaraja Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I etc.

Rajadhiraja Chola II succeeded Rajaraja Chola II around 1166 A.D. He ruled between 1166-1178 A.D. The major issue happened during his time which led to weakening of Chola empire was Pandyan succession dispute in which Chola intervened under Rajadhiraja Chola II. He was not the direct descendant of Rajaraja Chola II as he was the son of Rajaraja Chola II's sister. Rajaraja II chose him as his successor as he did not have son of his own.


As we know that the great Kulothunga Chola I of Chola dynasty invaded and captured whole Pandya empire. After that Kulothunga appointed Pandyan princes as Viceroys who work under Chola government. After that Cholas slowly started losing control over Pandyan territory as some of the Pandyan princes started revolting against Cholas. During Rajadhiraja Chola II's reign, they lost control completely over Pandyas. Around 1166 A.D., a dispute of succession arose between Parakrama Pandya of Madurai and Kulasekara. Kulasekara attacked Madurai with a heavy military force. Parakrama Pandya asked help of Parakramabahu I, king of Lanka. Before the help could reach, Kulasekara very brutally killed Parakrama Pandya, his wife and some of his sons. Parakramabahu I decided to kill Kulasekara and install Virapandya (son of parakrama Pandya) as the new king of Pandya empire. A fierce war broke out between Lankan forces and Kulasekara. Kulasekara requested the help of Rajadhiraja Chola II and a large Chola force was sent to his aid. The Chola help was of no use as Kulasekara lost the battle and Lankan king installed Virapandya on the Pandyan throne. Rajadhiraja II felt insulted and he continued to fight Lankan forces. Very soon, the Chola force won the battle and drove back Lankan force to their Island. Now Cholas made Kulasekara as king of Pandyan country.


Now the Lankan king wanted to take revenge on Cholas and planned to invade Chola country. The Cholas came to know this and they landed a attack on Sri Lanka. A large Chola force landed on Lankan Island and caused a huge damage there. Parakramabahu I recognised that his support to Parakrama Pandya gave him this result. So he thought that Kulasekara was the able king of Pandya empire and befriended Kulasekara. They both now planned to crush the Chola power and the Cholas didn't expected this alliance. Now the Cholas waged a war against the combined forces of Lanka and Pandyan empires. The fierce Chola army defeated Kulasekara and installed Virapandya to the Chola throne.


A number of feudatories of Cholas started revolting and declared themselves independent. This weakened the Chola power gradually. Rajadhiraja II saw many revolts during his reign and took no effective measures to crush them. He was succeeded by Kulothunga Chola III around 1178 A.D.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Battle of Kanauj (17 May 1540)

The Battle of Kanauj was fought between Mughal Emperor Humayun and Sher Shah Suri (Sher Khan) of Sur Empire. The battle took place on 17 May 1540.
The Battle of Kanauj was fought between Mughal Emperor Humayun and Sher Shah Suri (Sher Khan) of Sur Empire. The battle took place on 17 May 1540.


Background

The Mughal forces led by Humayun were completely routed and put to flight by the forces of Sher Khan in The Battle of Chausa fought on June 26, 1539. Humayun just saved his life by throwing himself into the river Ganges and escaped from the battle field.
Humayun returned to Agra from his defeat at the Battle of Chausa and tried to seek help from his brothers to fight against Sher Khan. Hindal Mirza agreed to support his brother with his forces, but Kamran Mirza refused to place his forcesunder Humayun's command as he was more interested in taking power for himself.
Later, having no chance of taking power from Humayun, Kamran left to Lahore along with his forces.
However Humayan managed to gather a sufficient army to fight against Sher Khan.


Battle

Humayun along with his brothers Askari Mirza and Hindal Mirza marched to Kanauj to meet Sher Khan. And Battle of Kanauj was fought on 17 May 1540.
Humayun repeated the mistakes he made during the battle of Chausa. He made many tactical errors and his artillery did not play any major role in the battle. All this lead to the defeat of Mughal forces again in the hands of Sher Khan (Sher Shah Suri). With the fall of Mughal forces Humayun and his brothers again escaped from the battle field and retreated back to Agra.


After The Battle

Humayun and his brothers did not choose to stay in Agra since Sher Khan followed them. Sher Khan became the master of Agra and Delhi. Mughal Empire was put to an end for a while because of this Short Sur Dynasty founded by Sher Shah Suri. Humayun lived in exile for next 15 years.

Pallava Dynasty

Pallava Dynasty
After the decline of the Sangam Age in the Tamil country, the Kalabhra rule lasted for about 250 years. Thereafter, the Pallavas established their kingdom in Tondaimandalam with its capital at Kanchipuram. Their rule continued till Tondaimandalam was captured and annexed by the Imperial Cholas in the beginning of the tenth century A.D.

Origin of the Pallavas

There are many disputes regarding the origin of Pallavas. Their antecedents are unknown. Some historians maintain that their origin could be traced to the Pahlava (Parthians) of northwestern India. But it is more likely that their name is derived from the Sanskrit equivalent (Pallava means ‘leaves’,’foliage’) of the Tamil word “Tondai” which designates their original domain, tondaimandalam. On the other hand there is a legend that first pallava was a stranger who married a native Naga princess. The Nagas are symbols of fertility and indigenous power. Another view was that the Pallavas were a branch of the Brahmin royal dynasty of the Vakatakas of the Deccan. Even the language of Pallavas was not certain. Some inscriptions stone indicates that the court language of the Pallavas, which in Andhra was at first Prakrit, changed to Sanskrit. Later, in the Kanchi area, from around the sixth century, Tamil began to be used more often.


Political History

The Pallavas were the first South Indian dynasty which succeeded in extending the political control and administrating it effectively. The early Pallava rulers from 250 A.D. to 350 A.D. issued their charters in Prakrit. Sivaskandavarman and Vijayaskandavarman were significant among them. The second line of Pallava rulers who governed between 350 A.D. what's more, 550 A.D. issued their contracts in Sanskrit. The most vital ruler of this line was Vishnugopal who was vanquished by Samudragupta during his South Indian endeavor. The leaders of the third line who ruled from 575 A.D. to their definitive fall in the ninth century issued their charters both in Sanskrit and Tamil. Simhavishnu was the first ruler of this line. He demolished the Kalabhras and immovably settled the Pallava administer in Tondaimandalam. He also crushed the Cholas and stretched out the Pallava region up to the river Kaveri. Other incredible Pallava leaders of this line were Mahendravarman I, Narasimhavarman I, and Narasimhavarman II.

Administration

Pallavas maintained a well-organized administrative system. Pallava state was divided into Kottams. Again Kottam was administered by officers appointed by the king. The king was at the centre of administration in which he was assisted by able ministers. He was the fountain of justice. He maintained a well-trained army. He provided land-grants to the temples known as Devadhana and also to the Brahmans known as Brahmadeya. It was also the responsibility of the central government to provide irrigation facilities to the lands.

A number of irrigation tanks were dug by the Pallava kings. The irrigation tanks at Mahendravadi and Mamandoor were dug during the reign of Mahendravarman I. Detailed information on the tax system could also be traced from the Pallava inscriptions. Land tax was the primary source of the government revenue. The Brahmadeya and Devadhana lands were exempted from tax. Traders and artisans such as carpenters, goldsmiths, washer-men, oil-pressers and weavers paid taxes to the government. The Pallava inscriptions throw much light on the village assemblies called sabhas and their committees. They maintained records of all village lands, looked after local affairs and managed temples.


Literature

Kanchi was a great ancient centre of learning. The founder of the Kadamba dynasty, Mayurasarman studied Vedas at Kanchi. Dinganaga, a Buddhist writer came to study at Kanchi. Dharmapala, who later became the Head of the Nalanada University, belonged to Kanchi. Bharavi, the great Sanskrit scholar lived in the time of Simhavishnu. Dandin, another Sanskrit writer adorned the court of Narasimhavarman II. Mahendravaraman I composed the Sanskrit play Mattavilasaprahasanam. Tamil literature had also developed. The Nayanmars and Alwars composed religious hymns in Tamil. The Devaram composed by Nayanmars and the Nalayradivyaprabandam composed by Alwars represent the religious literature of the Pallava period. Perundevanar was patronized by Nandivarman II and he translated the Mahabharata as Bharathavenba in Tamil. Nandikkalambagam was another important work but the name of the author of this work is not known. Music and dance also developed during this period.

Art and Architecture

The rulers of Pallava Kingdom were not only great soldiers but also very great patrons of Art and Architecture. The monuments at Mamallapuram are among the oldest remaining ones in the South India. They are rock temples and sculptures created under the patronage of kings of the Pallava dynasty in the sixth to eighth centuries, A.D. king Mahendras cave temple at Mamandur is another fine work of Pallavas.  Mahendra’s legacy of cave-temples provides us with the earliest documented rock-cut architecture in the Tamil country. His inscriptions engraved on the stone walls of several of his cave-temples have survived and proclaim his authorship through the use of his royal name and titles.
The monuments at Mamallapuram are among the oldest remaining ones in the South India. They are rock temples and sculptures created under the patronage of kings of the Pallava dynasty in the sixth to eighth centuries, A.D. king Mahendras cave temple at Mamandur is another fine work of Pallavas.


Mahendra’s cave-temples are characterized by plain, massive, square-sectioned pillars with an octagonally chamfered middle portion. Generally speaking, the only sculptured figures in these cave-temples are door guardians, though the walls of these shrines must have been originally plastered and painted with figures illustrating religious themes. These paintings have eroded away over the centuries. Fortunately, in one of Mahendra’s last cave-temples, the one which is excavated near the top of the Rock-Fort Hill, Tiruchirapalli, there is a splendid carving in relief of Shiva-Gangadhara on the western wall of its porch. This masterpiece demonstrates the excellence of Pallava sculpture in Mahendra’s day.

Art and Architecture  of Pallava Kingdom
King Mahamalla created something unprecedented in the Tamil country when his artisans carved whole temples out of solid rock masses. The Five Rathas of Mamallapuram are the best examples of these monolithic shrines.
The Great Penance Panel at Mamallapuram is another unique creation of Mahamalla’s. This expansive open-air relief carving remains unparalleled in world art.

The King Narasimha-II devoted himself mainly to the building of structural temples, using stone blocks. The twin towers of the Shore Temple are his creation. Other important structural stone temples built by him are at Panamalai and Kanchi. His Kailasanatha Temple, Kanchi, is a vast treasure-house of Pallava art.
Art and Architecture  of Pallava Kingdom


Chronology

The following chronology was composed from the charters of Nilakanta Sastri in his A History of South India:

Early Pallavas

·        Simhavarman I (275–300)
·        Skandavarman (unknown)
·        Visnugopa (350–355)
·        Kumaravishnu I (350–370)
·        Skandavarman II (370–385)
·        Viravarman (385–400)
·        Skandavarman III (400–436)
·        Simhavarman II (436–460)
·        Skandavarman IV (460–480)
·        Nandivarman I (480–510)
·        Kumaravishnu II (510–530)
·        Buddhavarman (530–540)
·        Kumaravishnu III (540–550)
·        Simhavarman III (550–560)

Later Pallavas

·        Simhavishnu (575–600)
·        Mahendravarman I (600–630)
·        Narasimhavarman I (Mamalla) (630–668)
·        Mahendravarman II (668–672)
·        Paramesvaravarman I (670–695)
·        Narasimhavarman II (Raja Simha) (695–722)
·        Paramesvaravarman II (705–710)
·        Nandivarman II (Pallavamalla) (730–795)
·        Dantivarman (795–846)
·        Nandivarman III (846–869)
·        Aparajitavarman (879–897)



Champa - Unknown Daughter Of Well Known Maharana Pratap

Champa - Unknown Daughter Of Well Known Maharana Pratap

All the kings of large empire started bowing down under Akbar's rule but Maharana Pratap never bowed. He faced many challenges and difficulties in life but saved the Hindu Dharm. Such a great warrior's daughter was Champa.

Akbar's army occupied the Chottor kingdom. Maharana Pratap used to roam in Aravalli range forests, caves and hills with his family. He suffered above 25 years to save his country, religion independence and respect.



In such conditions they had to roam on foot whole day. At nights, ground or hills were their beds. Children had to fast many times. In 3 or 4 days they could find some wild dates or grass rotis to eat. Sometimes they had to flee from the places while making rotis.

Maharana Pratap had a daughter named Champa who was 11 years old and a son of age 4. One day both were playing near bank of river. Young prince started feeling hungry. He started asking for roti and crying a lot. That small kid had no idea that his parents have no food to give to their prince. Champa started telling stories and some how managed to make him sleep.

When Champa with brother in her lap went near her mom, she observed that her dad was in some kind of tension. Champa asked " Dad! Why are you so tensed?"

Maharana told "Dear, we have a guest. Such a time came where a guest has to leave hungry from the king of Chittor."



Champa said "Dad,don't worry! No guest will return hungry from us. I saved the two rotis which you gave me yeaterday. I am not hungry. I saved it for brother but as he slept now you can give them to guests."

Champa gets the two grass rotis saved under the stone. With a little chutney they served that rotis to guests. Guests went away after lunch but father Maharana couldn't see the difficulties faced by his Children. That day he decides to write a letter of surrender to Akbar.

11 year old Champa used to eat grass rotis in 2 or 4 days and sometimes she saved that too. Her part of roti she used to feed her brother timely. Due to this she got very weak. She even fainted the day she gave rotis to guests. Maharana Pratap started crying by holding her in lap - "My dear, I will not trouble you anymore. I have written letter to Akbar."



Champa got surprised even in unconscious state. She told - "Dad, What are you doing? You will become slave to Akbar just to save us from death? Are we not going to die one day? Dad, promise me that you will never surrender to Akbar". Champa got silent forever while speaking these words.

People say that in Akbar kingdom by looking at Maharana's letter Prithviraj writes letter back to Maharana not to surrender and then Maharana leaves the thought of surrendering to Akbar. But here is a different story where the daughter Champa sacrifices her life to save the prestige of her dad and kingdom. Such were the great daughters of great warriors of our country. 

Arakkal Dynasty

Arakkal Dynasty
Arakkal (Kingdom of Cannanore, Sultanate of Laccadive and Cannanore) was a previous city-state on the Malabar Coast, ruled by the dynasty of the same name. The ruling King was called Ali Raja and the ruling queen was called Arakkal Beevi. Arakkal Kingdom consists of the Cannanore town, the southern Laccadive Islands (Agatti, Kavaratti, Androth and Kalpeni, and also Minicoy). The regal family is said to be initially a branch of the Kolattiri, descended from a princess of that family who changed over to Islam.They owed constancy to the Kolattiri rulers, whose ministers they had been at one time. The rulers took after a specific law of legacy general among the Hindus of Malabar under which the progression is dependably to the posterity of its female individuals only.

There is a consensus among scholars that the Arakkal family had Nair origins: In the seventeenth century, one of the Padanairs (commanders) of Kolathiri, Arayankulangara Nair, changed over to Islam. His wife was the daughter of Kolathiri, and they later came to be known as Arakkal. Around this time, numerous Muslim trader families turned out to be monetarily persuasive in the Malabar area. At the point when the Arakkal family took control of Lakshadweep, they accomplished close regal status.



Arakkal Dynasty Backstory

There is a legend that, centuries ago, Kolathu Nadu (presently Kannur district) was ruled by Chirakkal Raja. His daughter began to drown while bathing in the Chirakkal kulam (pond). Her friends cried and shouted but were unable to rescue her. A passing Muslim boy named Muhammad Ali, usually called as Mammali, heard a shouting and came to find out what was wrong. He recognized the girl drowning in the pond as the princess, but was hesitant about saving her because untouchability and if a lower-caste person touched an upper-caste person it was considered a sin, possibly punishable by death. However, the boy rescued her and gave her his mundu to cover herself. When the news reached the Chirakkal Raja, he called his daughter and the Muslim boy to him.

At that time, if a person gave a "pudava" (a protracted material used for masking the frame) to an unmarried female, they had been considered married. The scholars of the courtroom told the Raja that since his daughter was touched by a Muslim, she was no longer allowed to go into the palace. But, the boy had given her his pudava, so she become married to him as properly. However, the Raja was unhappy to give his daughter to a poor family but as in step with the custom the king had no other choice however to present his daughter to the Muslim boy. Therefore she turned into declared an outcaste but given that she was married to Mammali, the King granted her the land at Kannur and the palace of Arakkal Kettu as dowry and so he have become the ruler of a part of the country. The area given to the boy was known as Arakkal and his family was called the Arakkal family. The ruler's daughter was known as Arakkal Beevi.

In path of time, Arakkal own family became the masters of the Kannur market. Their income mainly came from the foreign trade. The Poruguese,the Dutch and the English attempted to maintain friendly members of the family with the Arakkal circle of relatives due to their influence within the field of commerce. Arakkal circle of relatives additionally had the ownership of the Lakshadweep islands. Arakkal Bibi’s palace became vey massive and considered one of the greatest buildings in Malabar. Ali Raja had come to be a distinguished figure after the acquisition of fort St:Angelo,Kannur from the Dutch in 1772.  However after a few years, Arakkal Bibi had pressured to give up her political independence to English. Even after that, throughout the 1921 Malabar insurrection Arakkal circle of relatives stood at the side of the British authorities and appealed to the Moplahs not to participate in any outbreak. While there has been a rebellion between the Thiyyas and Moplahs in Kannur,the Arakkal house played a prominent role in restoring peace. Ali Raja Sultana Zainaba Aysha Beevi was the last head of the Arakkal dynasty.


The Matriarchal system

The Arakkal family followed a matriarchal system of descent: the eldest member of the family, whether male or female, became its head and ruler. While male rulers were called Ali Rajah, female rulers were known as Arakkal Beevis. Sultana Aysha Aliraja was the ruler until her death on the morning of September 27, 2006.

Rulers of Arakkal Dynasty

·    Ali Raja Ali (1545 - 1591)
·        Ali Raja Abubakar I (1591 - 1607)
·        Ali Raja Abubakar II (1607 - 1610)
·        Ali Raja Muhammad Ali I (1610 - 1647)
·        Ali Raja Muhammad Ali II (1647 - 1655)
·        Ali Raja Kamal (1655 - 1656)
·        Ali Raja Muhammad Ali III (1656 - 1691)
·        Ali Raja Ali II (1691 - 1704)
·        Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa I (1704 - 1720)
·        Ali Raja Muhammad Ali IV (1720 - 1728)
·        Ali Raja Bibi Harrabichi Kadavube (1728 - 1732)
·        Ali Raja Bibi Junumabe I (1732 - 1745)
·        Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa II (1745 - 1777)
·        Ali Raja Bibi Junumabe II (1777 - 1819)


Heads of the Arakkal Dynasty since 1819

·        Ali Raja Bibi Mariambe (1819 - 1838)
·        Ali Raja Bibi Hayashabe (1838 - 1852)
·        Ali Raja Abdul Rahman I (1852 - 1870)
·        Ali Raja Musa Ali (1870 - 1899)
·        Ali Raja Muhammad Ali V (1899 - 1907)
·        Ali Raja Bibi Imbichi (1907 - 1911)
·        Ali Raja Ahmad Ali (1911 - 1921)
·        Ali Raja Bibi Ayesha (1921 - 1931)
·        Ali Raja Abdul Rahman II (1931 - 1946)
·        Ali Raja Bibi Arakkal Mariumma (1946 - 1947)
·        Ali Raja Sultan Hamza (1947-?)
·        Ali Raja Sultana Aysha Beevi (?-2006)

·        Ali Raja Sultana Zainaba Beevi (2006-present)

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Rajaraja Chola II - Construction Of Airavateswarar Temple

Rajaraja Chola II -  Construction Of Airavateswarar Temple


Rajaraja Chola II was not a great king like Karikala Chola, Aditya Chola, Rajaraja Chola, Rajendra Chola etc, but he was successful in maintaining such a vast Chola kingdom which included Madurai, Kongunadu, Thirunelvelli, Nellore, Guntur, Vijayawada, Rajhamundry and Kalinga,given to him by his father. Northern Sri Lanka was also under his control. He succeeded his father Kulothunga II in 1150 A.D. His reign is considered as the start of downfall of the great Chola empire of South India.


During his reign, there were no conquests made by him. He ruled for 26 years according to his inscriptions. According to some poems written during his reign, he probably invaded Sri Lanka. Towards the end of his rule, a civil unrest broke out in Pandya country which was under Chola rule because of which the Chola authority weakened in Pandya Country. As we know that from the time of Aditya Chola to the time of Virarajendra Chola, the Pandyas were revolting against Cholas. Pandyan kings like Maravarman Sundara Pandyan and Jatavarman Vira Pandyan slowly increased their military strength and emerged as the most powerful kingdom around 1200-1300 A.D. The Cheras also started to revolt against Cholas during his reign. All these revolts weakened the Chola empire.


Apart from the revolts, Rajaraja Chola II had a very peaceful rule during later half of his reign. He encouraged arts and culture. He patronized many temples and offered donations to them. The main work of Rajaraja Chola II that puts him in the history of Cholas was the construction of one of the greatest temples of India called Airavateswarar temple which is located at Kumbakonam in Tamilnadu. It is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As we know that most of the kings of Chola dynasty are Shaivites, Rajaraja Chola was also a Shaivite and worshipped Lord Shiva. This temple is dedicated by him to Lord Shiva and Shiva here is known as Airavateshvara.

Rajaraja Chola II made Rajadhiraja Chola II as co-regent in 1163 A.D. He was the son of his sister and he made him his co-regent because he did not have children up to that time. After declaring him as Co-regent, Rajaraja Chola II had two sons. So Rajaraja Chola II was succeeded by Rajadhiraja Chola II in 1166 A.D. 

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