Saturday, July 28, 2012

Aadhan Aavini Chera

Aadhan Aavini was a Chera king who ruled during the Tamil Sangam period. The poet Orampogiyaar has referred him in 'Aingurunooru'.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Little known Chola princes

Periya Puranam, the epic about the devotees of Lord Shiva, which was written by Sekkizhar has references about few Chola kings arguably during the period of Kalapirars. As there is no other historical record about these incidents or kings, the consolidated information is given in this post.

It is believed that Kootruva Nayanar was a Kalappirar king. He won many countries and wanted the Brahmins of Chidambaran to coronate him. The brahmins declined that citing that they would coronate only Cholas. They were afraid of him and hence they ran out to Chera country.

When Thandi Adigal of 8th century AD was arguing with Jains, the Chola king played the role of the judge. The Jain saints lost the competition and he sent them out of Tiruvarur.

During the period of Tirunavukkarasar, a Chola king was ruling from Pazhaiyarai. He helped the saint to discover the Shiv Linga idol which was hidden by the Jain saints. He also chased them away.

Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar went to Tiruppananthal. There, the Chola king was trying to straight the idol of Shiv Linga which was slightly slanting by pulling it by his elephants. As he was not successful, the saint tried and achieved the same.

The wife of Nedumaran, Mangaiyarkkarasi was probably the daughter of some Chola king. Nedumaran ruled Pandian kingdom from Madurai in the middle of 7th century AD. He was also called as 'Nelveli vendra Nindra Seer Nedumaran'.

Sundarar and Cheraman Peramal went to Pandian king (Kochchadaiyan Ranadheeran). Pandian had a Chola prince as his son in law. All four of them visited many pilgrim sites.

Also, there are references found in Vaishnaivite texts too. It appears that there was a Chola king during Tondaradi Podi Alwar's period. There was a Chola king named 'Dharma Varman'; his daughter Uraiyur Nachiar declined to marry anyone else other than Lord Vishnu. Tirumangai Alwar was a Chola general.

In 831 AD, there was a Chola prince Kumaarankusan by name. He was a great warrior and philanthropist.

In the middle of 9th century AD, the Pandian king Seemaran Seevallabhan won the battle in Kudamooku (Kumbakonam) over Chola, Ganga and Pallava kings. The Pallava king named 'Thellaru erindha Nandivarman' who was ruling between 825 AD and 847 AD won a Chola king (as per Nandi Kalampakam).

Overall, it appears that during the dark age, the Cholas lost thier power and were serving as princes from Pazhaiyarai under the control of Pallavas and Pandians. Few kings migrated to Andhra and ruled from Kadappa and Karnool regions; they were later called as Telugu Cholas.

Although there are no much historical records about the Chola kings during the dark age, to some extent the information given above is known from the following sources: Nandi Kalambakam book, Periya Puranam book, Vellore copper plates and Chinnamanoor copper plates.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Renadu Cholas

The princes who ruled Renadu region (current Cuddappah - Kurnool region) during the 7th century AD were called as Renadu Cholas. The Chinese traveler Yuan Chwang who visited this region in 639-640 AD has written that he had visited Chola kingdom. These kings claimed that they belonged to Karikala Chola's dynasty. It is not clear how and when these people moved to Andhra.They used lion symbol (not tiger).

As they had accepted the supermacy of Pallavas, their names also resemble Pallava kings. Nandi Varman was a Renadu Chola. He had three sons - Simha Vishnu, Suddhanandan, Dhananjayavarman. Dhananjayavarman's son was Mahendra Vikramavarman. He had two sons - Gunamudidan and Punyakumaran.Punyakumaran was the last king of Renadu Cholas. His wife name was 'Vasanta Pottri Chola Madevi'. She was believed to be from Chalukya dynasty.

Apart from those who mentioned above, there was a king named Chola Maha Rajathirajan Vikramaditya Satyadityanna. His wife was Ilan Chola Madevi. He ruled Renadu as well as Chittavud.

Pugazh Chola

Period: Probably between 300 AD and 600 AD

In Periya Puranam, there is a reference about Pugazh Chola. He became one of 63 nayanmars - the sacred devotees of Lord Shiva. He is believed to have lived during the Kalabhras (Kalappirar) period.

Kochenganan Chola

Period: Tamil Sanga Period or sometime between 400 AD and 600 AD

There are two different theories about Kochenganan Chola. Some scholars believe that he lived during the Tamil Sangam age and he was the one who fought with the Chera king Kanaikkal Irumborai. It is referred in Pura Nanooru.

There are other scholars who claim that Pura Nanooru did not talk about this king. According to them, this king was a powerful Chola king lived during Kalabhras period. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and built around 70 Shiva temples. He also won Kongu and Thondai countries. It is also believed that he could have fought with Buddha Varman Pallava and won him. Buddha Varman was the son of Simha Vishnu Pallava.

His parents were Suba Devan and Kamalavathi.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kalabhras (Kalappirar)

Kalabhras who are called as Kalappirars by Tamils ruled Tamil Nadufor about three centuries from 3rd or 4th century AD. After their decline it was ruled by Pallavas and Pandyas for the next three centuries. Cholas came to limelight again in the middle of 9th century AD during Vijayalayala Chola.

It is not clearly known who were Kalappirars actually. They appeared to be bandit group. The region between Tirupati and Ganges river was ruled by Satavahanas. Pallavas were princes who ruled the southern region and had accepted the supremacy of Satavahanas. After the decline of Satavahanas, Pallavas became powerful. They claimed themselves as the emperors for the region between Krishna river and Pennai river. They also captured Aruva and Aruva Vadathalai countries. This led the bandits in the forests of Kadappai to move towards south. Pallavas kept capturing the countries occupied by them and ultimately made Kanchi as their capital. The first Pallava king to have Kanchi as his capital was Siva Skandavarman. This made Kalabhras to enter into Cholas and Pandya regions. This could have hapenned between 350 AD - 450 AD.

Kalabhras ruled Chola region as powerful emperors till 575 AD. They were completely defeated by the Pallava king Simha Vishnu. They lost their mpire. They became princes in various regions such as Tanjore, Vallam, Chenthalai, Pudukkottai, etc.

In between, the Pandya king Kandungon became powerful and he established the Pandyan empire successfully. Similar to Pandyas, Cholas couldn't reestablish their empire. Initially, Kalbhras were powerful. Then, there were powerful Pallavas ruling the Chola region till 875 AD.

It appears the Kalabhras were Jains and Buddhists.

There are references about a Kalappirar king named Achchutavikkandan who claimed to have won Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas. He was a Buddhist. The reference was found in a book written by Buddhadatta (period: probably 450 AD).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Udaya Kumaran Chola

Period:  Probably 150 AD - 200 AD

Udaya Kumaran was the son of Nedumudi Killi, who was an early Chola king lived during Silappadhikram period.  Banas were princes who ruled North Arcot region. The Bana princess Ceerthi was Udaya Kumaran's mother.

Manimegalai, the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi, had religious powers. Using that, she was feeding the poor people in Poompuhar. When the king came to know, he invited her to his palace and honoured her. He also coverted his prison into a 'Dharma sala'.

Udaya Kumaran fell in love with Manimegalai. However, Manimegalai, being a Buddhist saint, was interesting only in serving the poor. She diguised herself into a female named Kaya Chandikai. However, Udaya Kumaran knew this and still he was disturbing Manimegalai. By mistaking that Udaya Kumaran was running after his wife, Kaya Chandikai's husband Vidhyadhar killed him and went back to his own country. Manimegalai was put behind the bars by the king. The queen took her out of the prison and kept her under house arrest in her palace. She tortured her; utlimately she realized the greatness of Manimegalai and let her go.