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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Battle of Koppam (Koppal)

Battle of Koppam
The Battle of Koppam was fought between the Medieval Cholas and Chalukyas of kalyani around 1053-54 at a place called Koppam. The Cholas were lead by Rajadhiraja Chola I and supported by his brother Rajendra chola II. The Chalukyas were lead by Someshvara I.

Background:

The reign of Someshwara-I was known for continuous conflicts with the Cholas. So He replaced his capital from Manyakheta to Kalyani.


Rajadhiraja Chola I had a desire to suppress the Chalukyan rule in Northern Karnataka and southern part of Modern Maharashtra and annex them to Cholas emipire.
The Vengi (or Venginadu) is a region spread over the mandals of Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh. Vengi kept moving in the hands of Eastern Chalukyas, Western Chalukyas, Cholas, Pandyas through the history. The major conflict was risen when Someshwara I had planned to take control over Vengi, Someshwara-I captured it and gained short term control.
King Rajadhiraja Chola I was eager to restore Chola Power in Vengi. Rajadhiraja Chola defeated the western Chalukyan forces in the Battle of Dannanda (in Guntur) and Chalukyan forces were wiped out from Vengi. The forces of Rajadhiraja Chola had been successful to sack Kollipakkai, Kampilli, Pundur, Yetagiri and the Chalukyan Capital Kalyani. But before 1050 AD, Someshwara was able to make a dramatic recovery. He was successful in driving out the Chola forces of his capital and he carried war in the heart of the Chola kingdom. In 1053-54 AD, Rajadhiraja and his younger brother Rajendra Chola II led a campaign against the Chalukyas. The fierce battle was fought at Koppam.


Battle:

Rajadhiraja led a huge army northward and ransacked the province of Rattamandalam. His army was followed in the rear by forces under Rajendra Chola II (Rajadhiraja's brother). The Chalukya king Someshvara I was prepared to meet his enemy at Koppam.
The Battle started, Chola troops were holding the upper hand. Suddenly Chalukyan archers shot Rajadhiraja fighting on an Elephant mortally wounding him. Finally, Rajadhiraja Chola was wounded to death on the elephant in the Battle. He came to be known as Yanai-mel-thunjina Devar (The king who died on elephant). The Chola troops panicked and began to retreat.


His younger brother Rajendra Chola II crowned himself as next Chola Monarch and immediately took the command of the reserved forces and boosted the energy in Cholan warriors. He was able to re-activate the Chola army which fought with the Chalukyas without getting defeated. This inflicted the heavy losses on the Chalukya army forcing Someshvara I to flee. The result was that Cholas won the battle. But Rajendra Chola II was not able to annex any of the Chalukyan territory with this war. 
Rajendra Chola II mounted a victory pillar at Kollapura (modern Kohlapur) and returned to his capital Gangaikondacholapuram with much booty which including the Chalukya queens Sattiyavvai and Sangappai. The disgrace of Koppam gave sleepless nights to Someshwara -I.

Though the Cholas were successful in the battle, the king and supreme commander of Cholo's, Rajadhiraja I lost his life in the battlefield and was succeeded to the throne by his younger brother, Rajendra Chola II.

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