Aditya Chola I - Second Ruler Of Imperial Cholas And Battle Of Sri Purambiyam Or Thirupurambiyam

Aditya Chola I - Second Ruler Of Imperial Cholas And Battle Of Sri Purambiyam Or Thirupurambiyam
Aditya Chola I was the second ruler of imperial Cholas and probably ruled between 870 - 907 A.D. He was a great Chola king as he followed 'attack and invade' policy and recovered his ancestral dominions by the conquest of mighty Pallavas.

Early Life :

Aditya Chola I first entered in to battle field when Chola kingdom under his father Vijayalaya Chola's rule, was attacked by allied forces of Pandyas and Pallavas. He had to take charge of the battle because his father was ill at that time. Later his father died and he succeeded his father and became the second monarch of imperial Chola kingdom. He had 2 recognized queens namely Tribhuvanamadeviyar and Ilangon Pichchi. Although later evidences were found that he had many other queens or wives which we will discuss in the following paragraphs.

Battle Of Thirupurambiyam or Sri Purambiyam :

This battle greatly aided Aditya Chola I. As we discussed in our previous article that the allied forces of Pandyas and Pallavas planned to invade the Chola kingdom which was under the rule of Vijayalaya Chola, father of Aditya Chola I. But due to aging, Vijayalaya Chola died at that time and Aditya Chola I succeeded him as the new king of Chola kingdom. At the same time, the ruler of Pallava dynasty, Nandivarman III also died and he was succeeded by his elder son Nripatunga.

Now, the Pandyan king Varagunavarman II became an ally of Nripatunga, king of Pallava dynasty. Here comes a twist in the story. Nripatunga had a step-brother named Aparajita who also desired to be a king and wanted the place of Nripatunga. So Aparajita allied with king of Western Ganga Kingdom named Prithvipathi I and the hero of our article Aditya Chola I.

Now there are two sides who are fighting for supremacy over power. On one side we have Pandyan king Varagunavarman II and Nripatunga, and on other side we have Aparajita, Prithvipathi I and Aditya Chola I. Both the armies met at Thirupurambiyam near Kumbakonam around 885 A.D. Aparajita with the help of Aditya Chola and Prithvipathi I very easily defeated Nripatunga and captured the throne. Now the Pallava dynasty have a new king named Aparajita. He was very thankful to Aditya Chola. As the battle was won by Aparajita, the real gains went to Aditya Chola. This battle ensured the end of Pandya rule in South India. Pandya king Varagunavarman II renounced his throne and led an ascetic life. The grateful Aparajita not only allowed Aditya Chola to keep the territories won by his father Vijayalaya Chola but also gave some extra territories won from defeated Pandyas.

Invasion Of Pallava Empire By Aditya Chola :

As we discussed earlier that the king Aditya Chola followed 'attack and invade' policy, he was not satisfied with the subordinate position under Pallava king Aparajita. He wanted to be the supreme power and single monarch of South of India. He decided to attack and invade Pallava empire. In the battle, Aditya pounced upon Aparajita when he was mounted on an elephant and killed him. That marked the end of Pallava rule in Tondaimandalam (north Tamilnadu). Now the whole Pallava country became Chola territory. This was a massive achievement by Aditya Chola which was not attained by any other king of Chola empire. Now the whole of South except Chera empire is under Aditya Chola. The Chera empire maintained friendly relations with Aditya Chola as they know what would be their fate if they opposed him. In some inscriptions, it is mentioned that, the then Chera ruler, Sthanu Ravi to have received royal honors from Aditya Chola. Sthanu Ravi gave his daughter to the son of Aditya Chola as his wife.

Invasion Of Kongu :

At that time Kongu country was being ruled by Pandyan king Veeranarayana. Aditya Chola invaded Kongu and annexed it into his territory.

Aditya Chola's Contribution To Hinduism :

Aditya Chola I was a Shaivite and encouraged construction of Lord Shiva temples in large number throughout his empire. The Anbil plates of Sundara Chola mentions that Aditya Chola I built large number of Shiva temples on either sides of river Cauvery commencing from Sahya mountain where the river takes its rise up to the sea. He made huge grants to Thiruvarur temple. He also built Sundaresvara temple. Although he was a hindu, he was tolerant to other religions. There was no restrictions on religions. People were free to worship whatever god they believed in without any fear. In Tondaimanarrur (modern Tondamanad in Kalahasthi), there is a temple called Kodandaramesvara temple which was built by Aditya Chola I. In fact in 890 A.D. his inscriptions speak of his contributions to construction of Ranganatha temple at Srirangapatnam (now in Mandya district, Karnataka) in the country of Western Ganga.

Other Wives Of Aditya Chola I :

Tribhuvanamadeviyar and Ilangon are the names two queens of Aditya Chola I which are widely known. But Aditya Chola had many wives according to some historical records. An inscription was found in a dilapidated temple about a kilometer from Pattisvaram near Kumbakonam of Aditya Chola I and also a inscription was discovered by historians which is engraved in the 17th of the reign years of Aditya Chola. These inscriptions mention other wives of Aditya Chola I, few of them are Thennavan Mahadevi, Thirunarana Mahadevi, Chembiyan Deviyar alias Kulamanikka Nampirattiyar and these inscriptions also talk about the endowment made by Azhisi Kattadigal, queen of Aditya Chola I, in memory of her deceased mother at Thirusomiswaram temple, situated in Kumbakonam on the northern bank of river Cauvery.

Death And Succession :

Aditya Chola I died in Tondaimanarrur which now is known as Tondamanad located in Sri Kalahasthi of Andhra Pradesh. A "Pallipadai" (Shrine built over a burial ground) of Aditya Chola I was built there by his son Parantaka I. Parantaka I built a Shiva temple on the ashes of his father. Aditya Chola I ruled for a long time and laid a strong foundation for the Chola empire for his coming generations to rule. The conquests he made were tremendous because those conquests he made were on powerful kingdoms like Pallavas and Pandyas. He was succeeded by his son Parantaka I.

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