The 1000th Coronation Year of Rajendra Chola – One of the Greatest Kings of India
Posted by: AjithkumarJune 22, 2014in History, India, My thoughts77 CommentsThis article is a tribute to Rajendra Chola – I, the greatest Tamil king and one of the greatest emperors of the world, on the 1000th anniversary of his Coronation of the Chola king.
“There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.” — Plato
Fortunately in our country we had many great philosophers as our kings. These kings despite being great warriors, were also extra-ordinary human beings and left a legacy for the future generations. Ours is a land of Philosopher kings like Janka, Harsha vardhana, Chandragupta II, Raja Raja Chola and so on; in fact one of the greatest philosophers of all time – Buddha, was a prince.
Ever since I was a kid, I have always wanted to learn more about the Cholas, partly because I belonged to same community as that of the Cholas and partly because of the huge temples they built around the river Kaveri. My native place used to be the heart of Chola Empire’s commerce and administration. As a child I have spent hours together in the legendary port of Kaveri Poompatinam (the biggest port of Cholas, majority of which is now submerged under sea).I have spent more time in the Shiva temples built by the Cholas than at home. So, I was always eager to learn about them and when finally I got a chance to read about the Cholas in our history book, I was deeply disappointed. Information about the rule of Raja Raja Chola was restricted to a single paragraph in the huge book. While the book had chapters for every sultan of slave dynasty who came from Afghan and about those plunderers from Turkey, it hardly had anything about the Cholas. That disappointment led to a curiosity, which forced me to research more about the Chola kings. It was hard to find related books at the library, but I some how managed to read books about Raja Raja Chola, and by then, my curiosity about him, became more of an admiration.
The Legacy of Raja Raja – I:
During the second year of my college, a junior and a very close friend of mine, Jefferson Daniel, introduced me to the greatest Tamil novel of all time “Ponnien Selvan” – A semi-fictional biography of Raja Raja Chola. Reading that book prompted me to get more authentic information about him. Raja Raja Chola conquered the kingdoms of Chera (current Kerala), Vengi, Western Chalukyas (Major part of Karnataka and some parts of Maharastra), Kalinga (orrisa) and Srilanka (Major Part of Sri Lanka). Chola kingdom was one of the strongest, wealthiest and the largest kingdoms of that time. He created the first Navy of India, no Indian Kings before him ever had a Navy. His naval fleet was so powerful, that Chinese envoys, visited Tanjavur to learn about ship construction and naval weaponry. He had close to half a million war prisoners, but instead of putting them in Jail, he gave them two options to go back to their kingdoms or to work for him in constructing the greatest temple of all time. majority of them stayed back and were instrumental in building one of the wonders of world – the Peruvudaiyar Temple (Brahadeeswara Temple). However just expansion of the empire or building temples was not his legacy, his legacy was his administration and his approach towards the citizens. In my opinion his greatest achievement was the implementation of a working democracy in the state’s administration. The Country was divided in to provinces and the provinces were divided in to villages, and every village was divided in to 30 wards. People selected the representative for their ward through a procedure called as Kudavolai System. Unlike today there were certain restrictions to contest in that election. The contestant should be educated and should be between 35 and 70 years of age. Empowering the people and bringing them in to governance made the kingdom to become on of the most prosperous and happy kingdoms. The administrative powers at the provincial level were completely decentralized. This in my opinion was the true legacy of Raja Raja.
The Coronation of Rajendra Chola – One of Greatest Kings of India:
Exactly 1000 years ago and probably during this part of the year, Raja Raja Chola passed his last breath. That year, 1014 AD was very significant in the history of India, the coronation happened and King Rajendra Chola sat on the Chola throne for the first time. It goes without saying that he inherited a mighty empire from his father, however along with the empire, he also inherited his father’s wars.
Though he was the king of that vast kingdom, the ministers, poets and everyone around sang of his father, Rajaraja Chola, and called him the greatest Chola king. It is so difficult to be the sons of great men, the benchmark is set too high that only very few can live up to the billing. However Rajendra Chola had plans to not only meet the expectations of the people but also to overshadow even his late father’s glory. As an unbiased reader of history one will acknowledge that he surpassed his Father’s legacy by creating a truly global empire. His navy held the Islands of Andaman and Nicobar, controlling the entire Indian ocean. He finished all the wars that he inherited. He destroyed the rebellion of the Pandyas, Kalinga (Orrisa) was completely brought under control. When the Sinhalese King fought for his freedom, Rejendra Chola destroyed that rebellion and brought the entire Sri Lanka under his direct rule. With no more rebellion and with the mighty Chola flag, a pouncing tiger, fluttering right from parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kalinga and Lanka, he set his sights beyond.
Rajendra Chola’s Empire
Before starting further conquests, he made sure the economy of the country grows at a rapid pace; he opened up the market and commerce flourished, with Romans, Arabs and the Chinese strolling on the vast streets of Tanjavur and Nagai, selling their merchandise. At the same time the export of the local merchandise grew multifold. There was no discontent or poverty among any sect in the kingdom. The young Chola king , then wanted more. He set his eyes North, and instead of sending just his army he lead the army himself along with the able support of one of great army generals of all time (Araiyan Rajarajan) and captured Odda kingdom. The Palas who ruled the Gangetic plains of Bihar and Bengal, were a formidable opponents. The king Mahipala had a huge army, however after one of the bloodiest wars of that time the Pala kingdom fell and Mahipala laid his crown at Rajendra’s feet. Rajendra erected a small Shiva temple in the banks of Ganges and performed a Pooja there, and got the title ‘Gangaikonda Cholan‘. He brought the water of Ganga back to Tanjavur and later build a huge temple in Gangai Konda Cholapuram. He had plans to build a bigger temple than the Tanjavur temple, but dropped that idea, because he wanted his father’s temple to be the biggest in his kingdom.
GangaiKonda Cholapuram Temple
The Cold War Between Mohammad Ghazni and Rajendra Chola:
When Rajendra Chola controlled the entire South and Eastern India, Mohammad Ghazni was repeatedly invading the North and North-West India. Mahmud set out on regular expeditions against India as he vowed to raid India every year (It is a myth that he failed 17 times and won the 18th time. He came, he conquered, he looted and he left the country every-time). He captured and looted Mathura, Kannauj and Meerut, and set his sights on the south of India. South India at that point of time was far wealthier than North India, however he dropped the plans after learning about the might of Rajendra Chola through his spies. Certain historians also feel that the North Indian conquest of Rajendra and his show of strength acted as a major deterrent in preventing the Arabs’ and Afghans’ from attempting to conquer India (The Southern part).
Invasion of the Indonesian Archipelago:
With significant portion of the Indian subcontinent under him he strengthened his Navy and sent it on a expedition to conquer the lands of South-East Asia. His naval technology and capabilities were far advanced than his contemporaries’. Fearing the power of Rajendra Chola, the kings of Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, Malay Penisula and the Indonesian Archipelago accepted the Chola’s as their overloads. The navy won over every kingdom in its path. All the lands around the Bay of Bengal came under Cholas, and the entire Bay of Bengal was addressed as “The Chola Lake“. On the Western side he captured Lakhswadeep and Maldives. So at the height of Rajendra Chola’s power the Chola kingdom was so vast, making it one of the largest empires to ever rule the subcontinent.
Angkor Wat Built by SuryaVarman II of Khmer Dynasty – A Chola Vassal
Rajendra made his men as the kings of several kingdoms in Combodia and the Indonesian Archipelago. SuryaVarma I, a vassal of Rajendra Chola re-established the Khmer kingdom again by taking the help of Rajendra Chola. His successor SuryaVarma II built the largest Hindu Temple in the whole world (Angkor Wat), the artisans from the Chola kingdom aided a great deal in establishing this temple. In return SuryaVarma II continued with the homage and the fealty to Kulothunga Chola I. The recently excavated towns in Cambodia lay testament to the fact that the town planning of the Cholas was much ahead of their times. The border conflict between Thailand and Combodia for over hundred years is actually over an Ancient Shiva Temple – Preah Vihear Temple. Rajendra’s vassal, Surya Verma I under the instructions of Rajendra built that temple. Most of these temples had riches beyond imagine, but were looted by the Europeans later.
The Chinese Connection:
The Chinese Kingdoms (Initially the Tang Dynasty and later the Song Dynasty), respected the Cholas a lot and they gave liberal licenses to the Chola people to trade in China. The Chola people back then set up a huge settlement and were the pioneers of trade in China. They built several temples in their locality, though several got destroyed, a few are still alive. The Chezhiyan temple (called as Chediyan in China), in Quanzhou is still quite popular and the Chinese people worship there every day, claiming it to be very powerful. There is a huge Shiva Lingam in the Bamboo Park in China built around the same period. Some inscriptions in China also describes about the Naval co-operation between the Chinese and the Chola Kingdom.
The Chedian Temple, China, Photo Courtesy: Ananth Krishnan, The Hindu
The Legacy of Rajendra Chola:
Rajendra Chola controlled the greatest army that India had seen, while Raja Raja Chola had an army of 900,000 strong men, Rajendra had an army close to 1.5 million men (To put that number in perspective the current Indian army has 1.1 million active personnel) and he had a naval fleet that was unmatched by anyone at that time. However after a couple of centuries his kingdom shrunk and was eventually overthrown. His huge capital city is today reduced to a small village. The only remnants of that great city are the Shiva temple and Lion Well. Fortunately the place is now a world heritage site and the city of one of the greatest kings of India is not completely lost. In addition to those great achievements he also left a lasting legacy, he built temples around the country and allotted agricultural lands and wealth to every temple. People might not know, most of the significant Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Sri Lanka are built by him. Those temples protected the people during natural calamities and droughts for centuries together. Hundreds of those temples that he built has withstood invasions and even after 1000 years they still stand tall and serve the people. The temples he built in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and China are still a testament to the greatness of this land and its people.
The Indian Government named the Naval Training Academy as TS Rajendra, to appreciate the greatness of the Naval fleet of Rajendra. Science, technology, spirituality and fine arts thrived during his rule. Unlike modern day secularism, he was truly secular despite being a strong Shaivite, he built Buddhist temples and Buddhist schools for the benefit of the minority Buddhists who lived in his kingdom.
To me Raja Raja Chola is a hero, but Rajendra Chola is a super star. I just wish those historians who write our history books to give due importance to the Chola Kingdom as well. If the Gupta period was the First Golden Age of India, definitely the Chola empire is the Second Golden Age of India. We call Alexander the Great, (who was eventually defeated), but we fail to acknowledge the greatness of Rajendra who conquered faraway lands and established kingdoms under him, spread philosophy, art and architecture, improved trade and above all was never defeated in a battle. In every aspect, be it ambition, the army size, victories or battle strategies Rajendra was ahead of every great conqueror that includes Alexander. Unlike the tyrant invaders, Rajendra was a great philosopher, and he gave a great deal of importance to administration, education and welfare of all his subjects.
Note: Rajendra Chola’s Birthday is being celebrated in a grand manner in Gangaikonda Cholapuram on 24th and 25th of July, please support it and be a part of it if possible
Nilakanta Sastri, K. A. (1935). The Cholas, University of Madras, Madras.
Nilakanta Sastri, K. A. (1955). A History of South India, OUP, New Delhi.
Nilakanta Sastri, K. A. (1955), A History of South India – From Prehistoric Times to the Fall of Vijayanagar.
Rothermund, Dietmar; Kulke, Hermann (1998). A history of India. New York: Routledge.
R. Hall, Kenneth (October 1975). Khmer Commercial Development and Foreign Contacts under Sūryavarman I
Śrīnidhiḥ: perspectives in Indian archaeology, art, and culture : Shri K.R. Srinivasan festschrift By K. R. Srinivasan, K. V. Raman
Epigraphia Indica, Volume 22 By Devadatta Ramkrishna Bhandarkar, Archaeological Survey of India, India. Dept. of Archaeology, India. Archaeological Survey
The Art and Architecture of Angkor Kings
Hermann Kulke, K. Kesavapany, Vijay Sakhuja (2009). Nagapattinam to Suvarnadwipa: Reflections on Chola Naval Expeditions to Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian, 2009.
Brilliant and commendable.... I do not have further words to truly express my admiration for your well researched write-up. You have great talent in presenting facts as a compelling read without any traces of attempted propaganda. It puts me to shame that being a compatriot and in my early thirties myself, I've been blightfully ignorant of our own great heritage. Just back from a pilgrimage visit in Kumbakonam and vicinity, I can now truly attest to the greatness of such foresightedness that even today the dilapidated fort like structures of such temples can protect people in dire straits of calamities. Sad that govt is only interested in money spinning temples like Tirupati etc and wilfully overlooking the great marvels in our Temples.
I seriously wish there was someway I can assist you in compelling a full fledged write-up along the lines of Book by Amish on Shiva Trilogy. If you can present actual facts in such fashion, I haven't the faintest of doubts that your work may become commercially viable and thereby enhance your research into further depths. You owe it to our future generations mate. Do keep up the good work and look for avenues to expand this knowledge into propaganda(If that is what spreading the truth is termed by Morons). Petty minded people like Pandey above are a bane but they also provide us a chance to showcase our virtues of tolerance and mutual respect.
Thanks Vishwanathan. What started as a casual article ended up becoming a viral post. I am receiving appreciation mails from Indians around the world. I am now feeling responsible and will seriously think about publishing a book. Thanks for your encouragement and support.
P.S: I have removed your phone number from your comment for privacy reasons.
Really a good article ; good job ; one observation is that in Wikipedia now the chola empire itself is not shown fully now ; when I saw sometime back the map which u mentioned was available ; now its reduced :(
I feel that someone is trying to hide our rich history
Even I had seen that Tirumala tirupati temple was built by a chola king but now in Wikipedia it is removed :(
donno what is happening; in future our kids will beleive only Wikipedia
Thanks Mr.Ajith for wrote this article.I am belonging to Gangaikondacholapuram.we are carring out vast arrangements to celebrate the Rajendira chola 1000-d yr of cornation in his birthday, that falls on July 25th2014 at GKC puram.Your artile is ver well supporting it.
Thanks Ajith for the article which has sparked an interest in me to know more about the Chola Empire.I agree with the observation of Venkata Murthy. I hope your well researched article helps in appreciating our History.
I am going to share this with my children and friends.
Good article as I am learning our past kingdoms to appreciate. You are right, ours don't have much publicity but that will not make us forget in this digital age.
Just curious, do you know why Chola just conquered the SEA-Eastern sides but not West-towards Middle East/Arabs/Africa etc since they have Naval power? Just comparing with latter imperialist who travelled everywhere.
I am very thankful for the work you have done in helping people like me learn more about their history and heritage. I am sharing it with my children, so they can understand and appreciate the history and their culture. Thanks again.
A very good article.. nicely written.... its very true that most of the contents here, I am hearing for the first time. Its truly inspiring & a must add in to the History text boooks.... with better details....
Thanks for this great write up. Are you planning to write a book about chola kingdom? If not please start writing a book. This will be useful for our future generations. Everyone or at least South Indians should know about him .
May I add a point to yours, please read Kadal Pura by Sandilyan and you will know more. And one more thing, Cholas never invaded any country on the basis of Religion, though they expanded their culture,philosophy and Art. And as you said Cholas were the first ever empire in India to have a Naval Force, that too, to reckon with.... I love Raja Raja, Rajendran and Anabhaya Kulothungan... And his best friend Karunakara Pallavan( Ilaya Pallavan) from Kadal Puraa...
I have read most of the novels of Sandilyan, however irrespective of the story he is narrating the central character of the story will be a Pallavan, for instance in Kadal pura the central character is not Rajendra Cholan but Karunaagara Pallavan. Kadal Pura is full of fiction and wrong time lines, for instance Aguda would have been shown as a 25 year old (however he was born only in 1068 while Rajendra Chola dided in 1044). On the other hand Kalki, irrespective of the story he narrates the central character of the story will be a Chola; even in Sivagamiyin Sabatham (a story about Narasimha Pallavan) the central character is Paranjothi (a chola character). While the novels of Sandilyan are absolutely beautiful, especially the way he narrates wars; they should not be considered as reliable historical facts.
I am 81 and I was under the mistaken notion that I knew quite a lot about the Chola Kings. But your article was a real eye-opener and highlighted many things I was not aware of ! Many thanks,Mr Ajith Kumar for educating me,even though you must be much younger than myself !
Great write up on Rajendra Chola,Could you please suggest me some books that explains the entire Chola dynasty .i am a great fan of Chola and believe to be one of them.And don't mention Gupta period is the Golden period of India as we never belong to this country,Chola period is the golden period of Tamils but still we can't forget about the achievements made by Pandyan kingdoms and their contribution to Tamil.
Your article is extremely well researched and reveals a side of Rajendra Chola which one does not truly read in history. What I did miss was an elaboration of Rajendra Chola the man and the philosopher residing in him which you so beautifully expatiated in your introduction.
Thanks.. It is very true that I haven't done justice to the introduction of this article. I will soon write a 'Part II' for this article highlighting more about his administration, philosophy and his devotion to his mother (step mother) Panchavan Mahadevi.
Thanks for the write up. It only says that we are not having a clear picture of our own history and this write up is certainly an eye opener. Great Rulers are great philosophers is the key for the welfare of the subjects under those rulers. Cholas are one of the greatest in the Indian History and the Chola Dynasty has captured many countries across the Bay of Bengal is something far advanced for that time.
Hope our government wakes up and preserver the national treasures built by our rulers in the past
Can't agree more.. However TamilNadu Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Ministry hardly does anything to preserve these monuments. Leave alone preserving they don't even get the lease amount from those who enjoy the properties and agricultural lands owned by these temples. We started a movement to preserve some old temples that are in very poor condition, but authorities would not even give permission to renovate these old temples. We tried and did our best to restore a few however it is a hard task and our only hope is the native people of the villages (where these temples are located).
A very good article at appropriate time.We Indians need to know our history ,our abilities,our capasities and priorities/goals to lead the world.For any significant achievement first we need unity.We should know that RAJENDRA CHOLA -1 is an Indian first.whether he is a Tamil or Andhra or Kannadiga or a Bengali or a Gujarathi or a Kashmiri should not arise.we should study more about his administration and war capabilities.Winning any populace is not so easy.He achieved this from faraway places like present Mayanmar,Malay,Indonesia and many areas in East -Indian countries.Thanks to Ajithkumar.
Here is someone brainwashed with 'me indian first' propaganda.
King Rajendra was a tamil first and a tamil last. He was no Indian. There was no concept of India in his times. India was a unified response to British colonial role --- nothing more and nothing less. I do not want the real greatness of tamil kings to be undermined by the newly discovered Indian nation and jingoistic patriotism. I am sure Bengal and Karnataka had great rulers and thats what they are. Not 'Indian'. Please open your eyes to historical facts and quit being brainwashed.
India was, is and will be a land of highly diverse people but bound by a common thread.. There was concept of Bharatvarsha in his times, Ramayan and Mahabharat were the stories told to every kids during those times across India. Everyone wanted to leave their last breath in Kasi. One's spiritual quest is over only when he visits both Kasi and Rameshwaram. Every spiritual seeker went to Kailash. While Raja Rajan was called as 'Ponnien Selvan' (Son of river Ponni), Rajendran worshiped Ganga. Cholas took pride of the fact that 'Chedi' kingdom (Raja Rajan's mother side ancestors) fought along with the Pandavas in Mahabharat. Till date they are called as Chedirayans. Irrespective of the skin tones, languages, race and numerous kingdoms the people of this land has always been united by a common thread and that is Sanatana Dharma. It is believed that the Ashes of Shakthi is spread across India in various places not just in Tamil Nadu, there is a Jyothirlinga in every corner of this country not just in Tanjore, Adi Shankara started his mutts in every direction of this country and not just in Kerala. Dharma and Mukthi were the guiding force for people all across. This entire concept of British formed India is illogical, British did not form India, British controlled only half of the nation while the rest were princely states. If there was no common binding thread, why did all the princely states joined India at the time of independence, and how can a seamless country form out of that hubris. The Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu and the kids of Macqulay in the North spread this idea of British formed India, which is an outright lie. British ruled half of India for less than 90 years (From 1757 to 1857 parts of India was controlled by English East India Company and from 1857 to 1947 India was ruled by the queen), however far bigger kingdoms have ruled India for centuries together, how can you attribute the formation of India to the Brits?
The concept of a nation state encompassing the entire Indian subcontinent did not exist prior to the British. That is just the facts.
While there were times when large portions of the land were under various kings (notably the Gupta, the Chola, Chera, Mughal dynasties etc), the borders expanded and contracted as individual kingdoms at the periphery of these empires extended their control and shook of the hold of the emperors who were ruling from afar.
India consisted of many kingdoms (as you have also pointed out), but these kings were vassals and subjects of the British East India company and then later (after 1858) subjects of the British Crown - that is, directly under the British monarchy. Prior to this, the different kingdoms (and not a nation state of India which didn't exist) were seen as either vassals or as private property of a single company which had its own shareholders.
That is British established the notion of a single nation state which is ADMINISTERED centrally. This is important to understand - because prior to this India was not seen as a place which was administered by a single political entity.
Incidentally, Burma and Ceylon were not administered from India and was not seen by the British as part of the nation state of India. Which is why these places became separate nations when the British left India.
So while there was definitely transfer of ideas, religions etc across large parts of India, there wasn't a notion of a single political nation state called India prior to the British.
It goes without saying that what was called as India/Indica/Hind/Bharat was never ruled by one single kingdom. But still the whole world addressed the entire sub-continent as a single entity. What was the reason for that? The terrain, food, languages, clothing and race are highly diversified, yet the world identified the entire land mass as a single entity. Columbus set out on a voyage towards India and not to a Baroda, maratha or travancore kingdom. Alexander wanted to conquer India and not just mewar, meerut or magadha in India. This land always had a common identity, irrespective of geo-political diversity. So Rajendra Chola was an Indian king as much as he was a Chola King. There were 566 Princely States, also called Native States, which were not part of British India. These states were not conquered by the British, however I do agree that many of them were subsidiary alliances. In 1947, at the time of the partition of India, Britain offered these princely states in the sub-continent the option of acceding to either India or Pakistan, or remaining independent. They could all have aspired to become independent countries just like what the Nizam did (He was of Turkish origin), but every princely state readily became an integral part of India. They were ready to lose their identity and merge with India. Why is that? Despite Nizam of Hyderabad wanting a separate country the people of Hyderabad state wanted to be with India (85% Hindus). At that time Hyderabad was the richest of all princely states, it had good infrastructure, telecommunication, railways and even an airport. Despite all that the people wanted to be a part of India and revolted against the Nizam, thousands were killed and terrorized by the Nizam forces. The reason for that is they identified themselves as a part of Bharat and not as an entity of Hyderabad. Every political observer at the time of our independence said that India would break in to several small countries, and yet here we are after 7 decades as a single country. This is not because we had great prime ministers and governments, but because the majority of the population share a common thread.
Nice write up Ajith! I always wanted to tell stories of our history to my son (now 3.5 years old) so that he could grow up bold and feel proud of our country, heritage... These kind of articles would be of great use to all of us. Appreciate the idea of explaining about our history especially south Indian history.
It is extremely important to tell our kids about our true history, they should not breathe the air of slavery. Despite being a free country for 7 decades there is an innate slave mindset among most people. Our kids will become confident individuals if we taught them about their roots and our true history.
Great article....am a great history buff myself...love to read and then visit the forts...right from the sand fort in jaisalmer to the largest one in Chittorgarh....but then this is all north india, as our books only mentioned spices from southern India and almost negligible info on the kings...I never delved further...as am still reading and visiting places in north and west....you have a black taj mahal in Aurangabad!
True ... I'm from Karnataka and had studied about the frequent skirmishes between Chalukyas and the Cholas. I also knew that our sanatan dharma was spread upto Indonesia by Cholas. Like you said at present it is a sad state of affair where there are separate chapters for each mughal king and also for those slave kings from Persia / Afghanistan ... Time to emphasize our history by showing what we really were. The worst part is if you bring this topic on a national TV you will find lots of debates that will start and we will become communal. There is one such b@#tard in Bangalore called as U R Ananthmuthy.
very nice article. As you say it is unfortunate that our History books talk more of foreign invaders and looters including the British, than of our own. The Frenchman Franscois Gautier is trying to change this by setting up musuem in Pune that will show the true Indian History. Your research and articles hopefully will lead to a similar thing in Tamil Nad.
I see in Tamil Nadu statues of petty politicians who were criminals with no moral values. Instead, why don't we erect statues for these great emperors? We should name our streets after them and at least Tamil Nadu schools must impart enough information about the Cholas; after all,it is our heritage as Tamilians and all Indians must be proud of these great men.
First we should make Tamil our first or compulsory language in our curriculum. No other state has their state language optional like Tamil nadu. And people choose Hindi as second language leaving Tamil towards extinction.
Ajithkumar, thank you so much for a brilliantly researched article on the greatest emperor of them all. I have been complaining to my North Indian friends how they are ignorant of their own but they read extensively about the Moghuls and other invaders. In the West, India means Taj Mahal instead of Thanjavur Big Temple.
I hope the new BJP government, and specifically, the HRD Minister, Ms Shruti Irani does something to re-write our history books. They should make your article compulsory in Tamil Nadu schools.
I am a great fan of Emperor Raja Raja Chola as well as his son, Rajendra. May their names continue to shine for another thousand years.
Very nice article. I was born and brought up from Kumbakonam and naturally a big Chola fan. You can also read the books on Rajendra (4 volumes) and Rajaraja (6 volumes) by Shri Balakumaran. Tooo good like your article. Thanks a lot.
Yes, indeed it is one of the greatest kingdom which we failed to document. I am always curious and keep reading where ever I find little bit about chola. There are books which largely written on the Turkish, Mughal and British Invasion and plunder india but there is little about the native rulers. Keep sharing!
Enjoyed this writeup on the greatest chola and his conquest beyond south. Kalki has captured the beauty of the chola empire with his classic Ponniyin Selvan. I am proud of Cholas and having lived n Chidamabaram where Paranthaka chola has done the gold plate in the temple. I enjoyed reading your writeup very nice
Nice article. Rajendra Chola may not be in history books in schools, but Tamil poetry, prose, movie songs and novels like Ponniyin Selvan give him due credit. Thus, your work of compiling them and presenting them with references is a great contribution. I share your thoughts on life as you mentioed in your bio. Thanks.
Very informative...i wish our history books are rewritten from the British perspective when they colonised us. A hollywood range movie should be made like the ones I saw Genghis Khan, Alexander...on Raja Raja Chola and Rajendra Chola, 2 parts,,,that will highlight the valor of our great kings.
Can't agree more.. Every other country honor its past by making movies about its history. It is very important for the citizens of a country to know and have pride in their history and their roots. There will be a quantum shift in the attitude of our youngsters if movies and TV series are made about these great men.