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