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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Battle of Nettur

Battle of Nettur
Battle of Nettur was fought by Pandyan king Vira pandyan with Vikrama padya and Chola king Kulothunga Chola III in 1188, to ascend the throne he lost during the Pandyan Civil war in 1182.

Back ground

As we all know that Civil War (Pandyan Civil War) occurred in the pandyan kingdom between 1169-1182. It started during the reign of Parakrama Pandyan I(father of Vira Pandyan) involving the Chola Emperor Rajadhiraja Chola II and Ceylonese king Parakramabahu I of Polonnaruwa (Sri Lanka or Sinhala). After a series of battles Vira Pandyan was installed on the Throne by Rajadhiraja Chola II.

In 1178 Kulothunga Chola III (1178 to 1218 CE) ascended the throne of Chola empire, after succeeding Rajadhiraja Chola II. The civil war in the Pandyan kingdom had not yet settled when he came to the throne, and the Chola forces were still involved in active fighting in pandyan kingdom. Parakramabahu lost many battles to Rajadhiraja Chola II, but restarted his efforts against the Cholas and even convinced and made an agreement with Vira Pandyan to help him against Cholas.

Vikrama Pandyan who is waiting for a chance to ascend the Pandyan throne leaked about the plan of Parakramabahu to Kulothunga Chola III and sought his help against Vira Pandya, which led to an invasion of the Pandyan kingdom by Kulothunga Chola III. The battle resulted in the defeat of the Pandyan and Sri Lankan forces, Vira Pandya was driven out of Pandyan kingdom, and replaced him with Vikrama Pandya, a rival claimant on the throne of Madurai in 1182. Sri Lankan(Sinhala) forces withdrew from Pandyan kingdom, retaining only the area around Rameswaram.


From his exile, with the aid of his allies (Sinhala and Venad kingdoms), Vira Pandyan preparing to made another effort to retrieve his fortune. In 1188, the fugitive, Vira Pandyan invaded the Pandyan kingdom and tried to reclaim his throne. But the attempt was stopped by Kulothunga Chola III with his large army on the battlefield of Nettur. Vira Pandya tried hard to defeat the cholan army in the battle, but due to the lack of support from his allies and increased strength of Kulothunga Chola III’s army Vira Pandyan lost the battle and forced to flee.

After the battle

With the defeat in the battle Vira Pandyan fled to Venad kingdoms. But shortly afterwards, experiencing the extensive resources and power of the Chola Empire and Venad king realised prolonged resistance to be impractical and decided to make peace with the cholas. The both Vira pandyan and Venad king submitted to Kulothunga Chola III. They offered their obeisance to the open durbar (court) at Madurai. Vira Pandyan was given a vast land grant in Madurai though his regal title.

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