India | Tamil Nadu

Chola Dynasty




Chola Dynasty, the Southern Indian family of rulers, ruled over from the late 9th century to the late 13th century. The empire covered most of South India, Sri Lanka, the Maldive Islands, and parts of the Indonesian island of Java from their native soil near Thanjavur (Tanjore) on the southeastern coast of India in present day Tamil Nadu. Vijalaya was the founder of the dynasty and he captured Thanjavur in 850. Rajaraja I was a noteworthy ruler of Chola who was known as Rajaraja the Great. Both Rajaraja I and his son Rajendra, conquered almost the whole of what became the Madras Presidency. The eastern Chalukyas of Vegi, the Pandyas of Madurai, and the Gangas of Mysore were defeated by Rajaraja. The king also conquered Sri Lanka, the Maldive Islands, and Sumatra and other places in Malay Peninsula. Rajendra Chola conquered up to the banks of Ganges and got the title of Gangaikonda (the victor of Ganges). He built up a new capital called Gangaikondacholapuram. During the administration of Cholas, the empire was divided into mandalams or provinces, further sub-divided into valanadus and nadus. The Cholas were patrons of art who constructed many stone temple complexes which are decorated with painted and sculpted representations of the Hindu gods. The Chola era came to an end with the Pandyas defeating them in 1279.


Updated on 20th August, 2018

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