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1000 years of Ascending the Throne- Remembering the King

Discussion in 'Central & South Asia' started by Rajaraja Chola, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Rajaraja Chola

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    [​IMG]

    This year marks 1,000 years since Rajendra Chola’s ascension to the throne. Under him, the kingdom rose in strength and power. His military prowess is remembered even today.

    For the palaces of Thanjavur, 1014 A.D. was a remarkable year. One of the greatest emperors of their time, the King of the Chola dynasty, Raja Raja Chola I, had passed away. It was time for his son, Rajendra Chola I, to take over the vast empire. Everyone was apprehensive. Even though Rajendra and Raja Raja had ruled as regents since 1012 A.D., the kingdom mourned the passing of its king and awaited its new one anxiously. So much had been written and sung in his father’s praise the Brihadeeswara Temple, which stood towering over the city was a constant reminder of his great deeds. What would Rajendra do as King?



    Rajendra Chola I came from a long line of great kings. Here are some other kings of the medieval Chola kingdom, in chronological order

    Vijayalaya Chola

    Parantaka Chola I

    Gandaraditya Chola

    Sundara Chola

    Raja Raja Chola I

    Rajendra Chola I

    Rajadiraja Chola I

    Rajendra Chola II

    Virarajendra Chola


    Growing up in the shadow of his great father, Rajendra had often assisted him on many campaigns. As a young soldier of the Chola army, Rajendra led conquests against the Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas. He established himself as an able leader. The Chola kings had the habit of appointing their successors while they were alive, probably to avoid dispute among the heirs later. And so, Rajendra was appointed as yuvaraja or regent and ruled along with his father in his last years.

    Rajendra’s reign

    Contrary to everyone’s expectations, Rajendra rose up to his father’s name and went even beyond his legacy. While Raja Raja Chola was the first king to have a Navy, Rajendra organised the fleet and used it to extend the Chola rule far and wide. He also took charge of his army and finished the battles that his father fought for long — with Sri Lanka, the Pandya kings and in the Kalinga territories. He brought them all under his reign. However, the best was yet to come.

    Rajendra’s army marched north, and along the Ganges, bringing the water of the sacred river back to the kingdom of the South. From then on, he was called Gangaikondan (he who brought the Ganges). His navy was unmatched and would sail to kingdoms that are now Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia. In fact, it was his successor, Surya Varma II, who built the Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu temple in the world, in Cambodia.

    To commemorate his success over the Pala dynasty, Rajendra built a new capital for his vast kingdom which extended from Sri Lanka in the south up to the Tungabhadra. Gangaikondacholapuram rose, about 80 km from the old Chola capital — Thanjavur. It was to be the new capital from 1025 A.D. for about 250 years. Here, Rajendra built a temple that looked much like his father’s historic feat in the old city and called it Gangaikonda Choleeswaram (it is now also referred to as the Brihadeeswara temple, a smaller version of the original at Thanjavur). While it is no match for the sheer size of its predecessor, its stone and sculpture work, done in exquisite detail by the master craftsmen of his time, more than makes up for its size. He is also credited with creating a vast lake which is 16 miles long and three miles wide. This water body is still one of India’s largest man-made lakes.

    Under his reign, the Cholas became an indomitable dynasty in Asia, and rose in strength. Rajendra had a strong army and his navy had no match. Even today, the Indian Government calls its Naval Training Academy as T.S. Rajendra, after his expert command over the seas.

    This year, 2014, marks 1,000 years since the ascension of one of the greatest rulers of India. In July, there were grand celebrations in Gangaikonda Cholapuram to remember the man who moved across land and sea, and surpassed his father to attain everlasting glory.

    Remembering a king - The Hindu
     
  2. Shark2

    Shark2 BANNED

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    So do historians know on which day Rajendra Chola ascended the throne.
    And is there some kind of celebration in Tamil Nadu like in Maharashtra which celebrates the birthday
    of Shivaji Maharaj every year.
     
  3. anant_s

    anant_s SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Cholas
    The founder of the Chola Empire was Vijayalaya, who was first feudatory of the Pallavas of Kanchi. He captured Tanjore in 850 A.D. He established a temple of goddess Nishumbhasudini (Durga) there. Aditya I succeeded Vijayalaya. Aditya helped his overlord the Pallava king Aparajita against the Pandyas but soon defeated him and annexed the whole of the Pallava kingdom.

    63.jpg
    Chola-temples-Brihadeeswara-Temple-gopuram.jpg


    By the end of the ninth century, the Cholas had defeated the Pallavas completely and weakened the Pandyas capturing the Tamil country (Tondamandala) and including it under their domination He then became a sovereign ruler. The Rashtrakuta king, Krishna II gave his daughter in marriage to Aditya.

    He erected many Shiva temples. He was succeeded in 907 A.D. by Parantaka I, the first important ruler of the Cholas. Parantaka I was an ambitious ruler and engaged himself in wars of conquest from the beginning of his reign. He conquered Madurai from the Pandya ruler Rajasimha II. He assumed the title of Maduraikonda (captor of Madurai).

    He, however, lost to the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna III at the battle of Tokkolam in 949 A. D. The Cholas had to cede Tondamandalam to the adversary. At that point of time the Chola kingdom almost ceased to exist. It was a serious setback to the rising Chola power. The revival of Chola power began from the accession of Parantaka II who recovered Tondamandalam to reestablish dominance of the dynasty.

    The climax in Chola power was achieved under the successor of Parantaka II, Arumolivarman, who crowned himself as Rajaraja I in 985 A D the next thirty years of his rule formed the formative periodof Chola imperialism.

    The Chola kingdom grew under him into an extensive and well-knit empire, efficiently organized and administered and possessing a powerful standing army and navy. Rajaraja began his conquests by attacking the confederation between the rulers of the Pandya and Kerala kingdoms and of Ceylon. Polonnaruva became the capital of Chola province in North Ceylon after the defeat of Mahinda V, the Ceylonese king.

    He also annexed the Maldives. Elsewhere, several parts of modern Mysore were conquered and annexed which intensified their rivalry with the Chalukyas. Rajaraja built the magnificent Shiva temple of Brihadeshwara or Rajaraja temple at Thanjavur which was completed in 1010. It is considered a remarkable piece of architecture in South Indian style.

    Rajaraja I also encouraged Sri Mara Vijayottungavarman, the Sailendra ruler of Sri Vijaya to build a Buddhist Vihara at Negapatam. This vihara was called ‘Chudamani Vihara’ after the father of Sri Mara. Rajaraja was succeeded by his son Rajendra I in 1014 A.D. He ruled jointly with his father for a few years. He also followed a policy of conquest and annexation adopted by his father and further raised the power and prestige of the Cholas. He followed the expansionist policy and made extensive conquests in Ceylon.

    The Pandya and Kerala country after being conquered was constituted as a viceroyalty under the Chola king with the title of Chola-Pandya. Madurai was its headquarters. Proceeding through Kalinga, Rajendra I attacked Bengal and defeated the Pala ruler Mahipala in 1022 A.D. But he annexed no territory in north India.

    To commemorate the occasion, Rajendra I assumed the title of Gangaikondachola (the Chola conqueror of Ganga). He built the new capital near the mouth of the Kaveri and called it Gangaikondacholapuram (the city of the Chola conqueror of the Ganga).

    With his naval forces, he invaded Malaya Peninsula and Srivijaya Empire that extended over Sumatra, Java and the neighbouring islands and controlled the overseas trade route to China. He sent two diplomatic missions to China for political as well as commercial purposes.

    Rajendra was succeeded by his son Rajadhiraja I in 1044 A.D. He was also an able ruler. He put down the hostile forces in Ceylon and suppressed the rebellious Pandyas and subjugated their territory. He celebrated his victory by performing Virabhisheka (coronation of the victor) at Kalyani after sacking Kalyani and assumed the title of Vijayarajendra. He lost his life in the battle with the Chalukyan king Someswara I at Koppam. His brother Rajendra II succeeded him. He continued his struggle against Someswara.

    He defeated Someswara in the battle of Kudal Sangamam. Next came Virarajendra I, he too defeated the Chalukyas and erected a pillar of victory on the banks of Tungabhadra. Virarajendra died in 1070 A.D. He was succeeded by Kulottunga I (1070-1122 A.D.) the great-grandson of Rajaraja I. He was the son of Rajendra Narendra of Vengi and Chola princess Ammangadevi (daughter of Rajendra Chola I). Thus Kulottunga I united the two kingdoms of the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi and the Cholas of Thanjavur.

    The most important reforms carried out by him in the internal administration was the re- surveyal of land for taxation and revenue purposes. He was also titled Sungam tavirtta (he who abolished tolls). The Chola authority in Ceylon was overthrown by Vijayababu, the monarch of Ceylon during Kulottunga’s reign. He sent a large embassy of 72 merchants to China and also maintained cordial relations with Sri Vijaya.

    He defeated the rulers of the Pandya kingdom and that of Kerala. Thfe Chola Empire continued for more than a century after him. Weak rulers succeeded him. The Cholas and the later Chalukyas clashed for the overlordship of Vengi, the Tungabhadra doab and the Ganga country.

    The Chola Empire continued in a flourishing condition during the twelfth century but declined by the end of the thirteenth century. The Pandyan king Sundara rendered the final blow by seizing Kanchi in 1297 A.D. The place of the Cholas was taken over by the Pandyas and the Hoysalas. This marked the end of the Chola power.

    Administration:
    The king was the head of the administration of the Cholas and all powers were concentrated in his hands. The form of the Chola government was hereditary monarchy. The rule of primogeniture generally prevailed. The king generally appointed his Yuvaraja (heir) during his reign.

    The Chola rulers took high- sounding titles as Gangaikondacholapuram. The royal household also runs on an elaborate scale. The royal priest Rajguru became the close confidant of the royal family. The king had council of ministers to aid and assists him.

    The king gave verbal orders (tiruvakya-kelvi) which were drafted by the private secretary and confirmed by the Olainayamak (Chief Secretary) and a Perundaram before its despatch by the Vidaiyadhikari (despatch clerk). They often advised him on important matters. An elaborate and complicated bureaucracy ran the government.

    The officials tended to form a separate class in society. Perundaram were higher officials while sirutaram were lower officials. Peruvalis (trunk roads) helped in royal tours. The general tendency was to make the officers hereditary. The officials were paid by assignments of land called jivitas according to their status.

    Revenue Administration:
    A well-organised department of land revenue, known as the puravu-varitinaik – katam was in existence. Land revenue was collected in cash or kind. Land was possessed by individuals and communities. The state under Rajaraja demanded 1/3rd of the gross produce. Kadamai or Kudimai, according to N.K. Sastri was the land revenue. There were taxes on profession, mines, forests, saltpans, etc. Kulottung I abolished tolls. Unpaid labour was frequently employed.

    Military Administration:
    The army consisted of infantry, cavalry and elephants which formed the three limbs of the great army – Mun-rukai-Mahasenai. The Kaikkolas were soldiers armed with strong arms and the Sengundar were armed with spears.

    The Velaikkarars were the most dependable troops in the royal service and were the bodyguards of the monarch, who defended him with their lives and were ready to immolate themselves on the king’s funeral. Attention was given to the training of the army and cantonments, called Kadagams or padaividu, existed. The Cholas paid special attention to their navy.

    The whole empire was divided into mandalams or provinces. Sometimes princes of the royal family were appointed governors of the provinces. Further they were divided into valanadus (divisions), nadus (districts) and kurrams (villages). Village was the basic unit of administration.

    The villages were mainly of three types. The first type constituted of an intercaste population where the land was held by all classes of people and paid taxes to the king in the form of land revenue. It was the most frequent type. The second was the Brahmadeya or agrahara villages which was granted to the Brahmins and was entirely inhabited by them.

    They were exempted from tax and were prosperous. The third type of village was the Devadana, which were villages granted to god. The revenues from these villages were donated to a temple. During Cholas the Devadana type of villages gained more popularity as the temples became the centres of life.

    There was remarkable autonomy at the village level. Chola officials participated in village administration more as observers than as administrators. The Cholas are best known for their local self government at the village level.

    We hear of three assemblies called the ur, sabha or mahasabha and nagaram. The ur was a general assembly of the village. The ur consisted of all the tax-paying residents of an ordinary village. The Alunganattar was the executive committee and the ruling group of the ur.

    The ur open to all male adults but was dominated by the older members. The sabha was apparently an exclusively Brahmin assembly of the brahmadeya villages. The sabha had more complex machinery, which functioned largely through its committees called the variyams.

    Election to the executive body and other committees of the ur and sabha appears to have been conducted by draw of lots from among those who were eligible. The nagaram was an assembly of merchants and were found more commonly in the trading centers.

    The Uttaramerur inscriptions of the Chola monarch Parantaka I of 919 A.D. and 921 A.D may be said to constitute a great landmark in the history of the Chola village assemblies. It gives details about the functioning and constitution of the local sabha.

    The 919 A.D. inscriptions framed the rules for election and 921 A.D. incriptions amended them.

    There were 30 wards (kudumbus) each nominatin members for selections of people with the prescribed qualifications. Elections from each ward was by lot (kudavolai, literally means pot-ticket) for a period of one year.

    Of the thirty so selected, twelve members who had earlier served in the garden and tank committee and were advanced in age, were assigned to the samvatsarvariyam or annual committee, twelve to the Tottavariyam or the garden committee and 6 members to the Eri-variyam or tank committee Pancha-variyam (a standing committee) and Pon-variyam (gold committee) were the other two committees.

    Variyapparumakal were the members of the committee, Perunguri were the members of the Mahasabha; Nyayaffarwas the Judicial committee and Madhyasthas, a small staff of paid servants in the village assisted the committees and maintained village records. The Assembly generally met in the temple, or under a tree or near a tank

    The sabha possessed proprietary rights over communal lands. It also controlled private lands of the villages. It reclaimed forest and waste land. It aided in the assessment of the produce and land revenue. It collected land revenue and had the power to sell the land in question, in cases of default. I also had the powers of taxation for purposes connected with the village and of remission of taxation for specific reasons.

    Rajendra_map_new.svg.png

    Economic Life:
    Land tax constituted the single largest source of income of the Chola state. It was generally assessed at one-third of the produce. The village assembly took land tax and local levies. Cattle rearing were a subsidiary occupation.

    Trade with foreign countries was an important feature of the Cholas mercantile activities. The rulers built a network of royal roads that were useful for trade as well as for the movement of the army. There were gigantic trade guilds that traded with Java and Sumatra.

    South India exported textiles, spices, drugs, jewels, ivory, horn, ebony and camphor to China. Trade brought considerable prestige and affluence to the Cholas. Kalanju was the currency prevalent in the Chola kingdom.

    Social Life:
    The caste system was the basis of the social organization under the Cholas. Society was divided into a number of social groups or castes. Each caste was hereditary and constituted an occupational group. Bramhanas occupied a privilege position in the society. They combined both religious authority and economic power. They were exempted from taxes, owned and enjoyed land with full royal support.

    Their main duties included learning and teaching of the Vedas and performing rituals and ceremonies. Some of them served as chief priests of the temple. Some of them were more adventurous and engaged themselves in trade.

    They were given lighter punishments in case of offences committed. The almost total absence of Kshatriya institutions necessitated an alliance between sections of brahmanas and the dominant peasantry. The Nattar was the dominant peasant community, and the cultivators were the subordinate client group of the nattars. The newly assimilated castes from marginal tracts were often combined in mass groupings of Idangai (left handed castes) and Valangai (right handed castes.

    Rudimentary hierarchy of social groups from classical times according to the Silapadikaram were vellalar-cultivator, kovalar-cowherds and shepherds, vedar-hunters, Padaiyacciar- artisan groups and armed men and valaiyar-fishermen. Worship of deceased rulers and construction of temples as tributes to dead kings was a special feature of the Chola period.

    The History of Chola Empire | Indian History
     
  4. Rajaraja Chola

    Rajaraja Chola BANNED

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    Celebrations is limited to big temple in Tanjore. The state does not promote anything .
     
  5. TejasMk3

    TejasMk3 FULL MEMBER

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    It's really sad :( he is supposed to be one of the greatest kings in Tamil History.I guess they are too busy preparing paperwork for Jaya :lol:
     
  6. Hindustani78

    Hindustani78 ELITE MEMBER

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    Celebrations did held even this year.26th July 2014

    Santha Sheela Nair, retired IAS officer and vice president of Tamil Nadu Planning Commission, lighting the first lamp at the Chozeeshwarar temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram on Friday
    [​IMG]


    JAYANKONDAM: People of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and its surrounding villages took pride in celebrating the crowning millennium year of King Rajendra Chola.

    Thousands of people, including women and children, thronged the Chozeeshwarar Temple on Friday evening and a huge rally started from Maaligai Medu, the village where remains of the king’s palace were excavated.

    Three elephants walked in front of the rally in memory of the king whose skills on the battle field was well known. The elephants were followed by folk artistes, who caught the eye of people as the rally passed by. Slogans praising the king were raised all along the rally.

    Writers Balakumaran, Kulothungan and Kudavayil Balasubramaniyan, who wrote books on the king and the temple, Santha Sheela Nair, vice-president of Tamil Nadu Planning Commission, P Senthil Kumar, commissioner of disciplinary proceedings, Nagercoil, K Dhanavel, IAS officer (retd) and Porko, former vice-chancellor of Madras University were taken on a chariot-like vehicle.

    The writers were later honoured for their contributions to Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

    Meanwhile, in Thanjavur, a torch relay commenced at Thanjavur Big Temple. The rally was flagged off by Collector Dr N Subbaiyan, in the presence of writer Balakumaran, who lit the torch. The torch was escorted through Thanjavur city by 1,000 volunteers on motorcycles.

    From Palliagraharam, around 100 volunteers on bikes escorted 20 torch bearers, who took turns in taking the torch to Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

    The torch was used to light up 1,000 lamps around the temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram. The Thanjavur chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) made arrangements for the torch rally. The team of torch bearers later joined the rally.

    A huge crowd welcomed the rally when it reached the temple. Around 6.30 pm, Santha Sheela Nair lit the first lamp at the temple, after which a thousand small lamps were lit by women, marking the millennial year of the king’s coronation.

    Ramu (75) of Thottikulam village, said, “I haven’t seen such a joyful festival before. When I was young I heard a lot about King Rajendra Chola and this temple. Only now am I seeing how the people are celebrating the king. The joy of people here gives me the feeling that the king is alive and in our midst.” Later, a grand symposium was held on the temple and writers and historians spoke about King Rajendra Chola’s achievements in various fields.

    Gangaikonda Cholapuram hails Emperor Rajendra Chola -The New Indian Express
     
  7. Rajaraja Chola

    Rajaraja Chola BANNED

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    The state doesnt celebrate in many was yet.. Like Organizing a week in his honour, schemes in his names, more than that, no state holiday :'(
     
  8. SCORPION KING

    SCORPION KING FULL MEMBER

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    thanks for the info specifically granite temple ...i saw the full documentary on National geographic channel. one day i visit the temple
     
  9. Hindustani78

    Hindustani78 ELITE MEMBER

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  10. Shark2

    Shark2 BANNED

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    The Chola Dynasty certainly had the greatest Navy in the history of India which conquered
    huge parts of Southeast Asia
    Its strange that the Indian Navy did not name one of their ships after Rajendra Chola.
     
  11. Water Car Engineer

    Water Car Engineer ELITE MEMBER

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    India names warships after cities or locality.
     
  12. Shark2

    Shark2 BANNED

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    What about INS Vikramaditya? Vikramaditya is not a name of an Indian city.
     
  13. Water Car Engineer

    Water Car Engineer ELITE MEMBER

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    True, I just realized several arent by city, etc ie. Rajput class, Vikrant Class Aircraft Carriers, Talwar class, etc.

    Just that the they all have the same first letter for the most part.

    INS Rajput (D51)
    INS Rana (D52)
    INS Ranjit (D53)
    INS Ranvir (D54)
    INS Ranvijay (D55)

    INS Talwar (F40)
    INS Trishul (F43)
    INS Tabar (F44)
    INS Teg (F45)
    INS Tarkash (F50)
    INS Trikand (F51)

    INS Shivalik (F47)
    INS Satpura (F48)
    INS Sahyadri (F49)
     
  14. Hindustani78

    Hindustani78 ELITE MEMBER

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    There are full boats on names in ICGS.

    ICGS Sarojini Naidu, ICGS Durgabai Deshmukh, ICGS Kasturba Gandhi, CGS Aruna Asaf Ali, CGS Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, CGS Meera Behn, CGS Savitribai Phule
     
  15. Sneaker

    Sneaker FULL MEMBER

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    There must be a mistake. 1000 years ago India was already been occupied and enslaved by you know who. How can there be a "Indian" king then? RSS conspiracy...