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The Tamil Chola Empire

The Tamil Chola Empire



The Tamil Chola Empire was one of the most significant Indian kingdoms and is considered the most influential Hindu kingdom in Indian history. The Chola kings were very famous in India for their great deeds. The Chola dynasty belongs to the Vellalar caste (“noble Tamil warrior caste”) and to the lineage of Suryavamsam (Sun dynasty).The Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras were all descended from the Sangam periods. The reign of King Raja Raja Chola is considered the Golden Age of the Tamils. The capital of the Cholas was the royal city Thanjavur and the emblem of the Chola kingdom was the tiger. Even today, Tamil movements use the tiger in their symbols. Improvements in Dravidian Art, architecture, economy, military and government were also observed in the Chola age.Under the reign of Rajendra Chola, the Cholas defeated enemies and expanded their empire outside India. They ruled over South / East India, Indian islands like Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Bangladesh, Maldives and Indonesia. It is possible that the influence of the Cholas was much greater and extended over to the Philippines as well.

The Cholas were very religious Hindus and followers of Shaivism (teaching of Lord Shiva). The Chola kings would not tolerate any concept of a God higher than Lord Shiva. It was tradition of the Cholas in conquered territories to build a Shiva temple to thank Lord Shiva for victory and glory. Generally, the Chola Kings consider it as a measurement of power. The greater the monument, the greater the power.

The Cholas also spread their cultural and religious influence on neighboring countries as well. They built temples and Culture Schools all over Southeast Asia.

During Chola dynasty, South Indian merchant guilds had shown great maritime influence as well. The Indian government even named the Merchant Navy Training Centre in Mumbai as TSRAJENDRA as a tribute to this. Rajendra Chola was the founder of the first Indian Navy.

The Brihadisvara temple is one of the famous monument built by the Cholas. The temple, which is more than 1000 years old, is located in Thanjavur and listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site. A statue of Nataraja, from the Chola period, is also considered one of the world famous symbol of Hinduism.

However, the later Cholas were not mighty kings, like their great ancestors. The resurgence of the archenemy Pandyas spelt the end of the Cholas.

By SATHIYA SEELAN

 

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5 Responses to "The Tamil Chola Empire"

  1. Guru  December 30, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    The article is informative with some blunders. There is no dravidian and aryan races and culture. These are colonial constructs and should not be used. Please read ‘Breaking India’ book by Rajiv Malhotra. It will be eye opener. Decolinize.

    Reply
  2. v k shanan  February 23, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Good thought provoking and tamil unifying magazine. Bravo.

    Reply
  3. Charu  February 23, 2015 at 7:27 am

    The history teaches us many lessons .. Chola’s were not able to maintain the vast kingdom so was it wise in the first place to expand the kingdom ? Be it Genesis Khan or Alexander or Muryas .. they expanded their Kingdom pretty fast .. either there was weak resistance or they had superior army . All of them imposed their respective religions.. none were able to either maintain territory nor the religious beliefs among the kingdoms

    Reply
  4. sureshrk  February 23, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Very informative. One glaring piece of info missing is date and time period. Can you please state the centuries when the chola empire came into existence and when it waned.

    Reply
  5. udhay  September 26, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Legendary of Tamizh ppl

    Reply

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