Gandaraditya Chola - Son Of Parantaka Chola I

Gandaraditya Chola - Son Of Parantaka Chola I a ruler and a poet
Gandaraditya Chola was the son of one of the powerful monarchs of India and Chola empire Parantaka Chola I. He ruled the great Chola empire which was once ruled by legends such as Karikala Chola, Aditya Chola I, Parantaka Chola I etc,. He probably ruled between 950-956 A.D.

Ascending The Chola Throne :

Parantaka Chola I's elder son was prince Rajaditya. His second son was Gandaraditya. During the battle of Takkolam, the enemies brutally killed Rajaditya. So the next son has to ascend the throne and hence Gandaraitya became the king of Chola empire.

As a ruler :

Gandaraditya was not a expansionist like his father Parantaka Chola I. He was interested in religious works and building tenples across Chola country. He was a devotee of lord Shiva and built a numerous Shiva temples. During his reign, Tondaimandalam continued to be occupied by Rashtrakutas under Krishna III's leadership. But Gandaraditya did not offered any resistance. The reason for not showing resistance is not clear. But he was assimilating his position south of the Paalar river. The Chola empire started to crumble from this period.

His queen was Madevadigalar or Sembiyan Madeviyar. She along with her husband participated in numerous religious activities. She helped Gandaraditya to build temples across Chola empire. She bore him a child named Madhurantaka Uttama Chola. She gave birth to Uttama Chola when Gandaraditya was old. Gandaraditya made his younger brother Arinjaya co-regent. He gave up day to day administration to Arinjaya and finally gave throne to him. This was because, Gandaraditya realized that he was losing control over empire and he saw the downfall of it, so he made his younger brother as king. But Arinjaya was also not a able ruler.

As a poet :

Gandaraditya was a poet and his works mainly were religious. He composed devotional hymns on Lord Shiva. He composed the Thiruvisaippa, a devotional poetic work on Lord Shiva on Chidambaram temple. In his poetic works he praised the glory of Lord Shiva and mentions of the many temples of Lord Shiva in the country.

Death and succession :

The death of Gandaraditya remains as a mystery. An inscription gives him the epithet "Merku-erzhundu-arulina-devar" which literally means "the lord who rose and went to the west". Here the west being the direction of death. He might have committed a religious suicide which was a common ritual at that time.

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