Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vijayalaya Chola

Reign: 846 AD - 881 AD (or 850 AD - 890 AD)
Father: Kumaraan Kusan (according to some scholars)
Wife: Not known
Children: Aditya Chola
Capital city: Uraiyur or Palaiyaru

'Parakesari' Vijayalaya Chola was the first Chola of medieval period. The early Cholas were very powerful. However, they lost thier power and became princes. Even, Vijayalaya Chola was just a prince under the control of Pallava empire. He came to power in 850 AD or 846 AD. Uraiyur or Palaiyaru was his capital city.

During his period, the Pallavas had to keep fighting with Pandyas and Chalukyas. The Pallava king Nandivarman III won Pandian Varagunan and Chola in the battle of Tellaru. Either Vijayalaya Chola or his predecessor would have helped Pandya king in this war.

Later, in 854 AD, there was a battle between Pandian king and Pallava in Kudamooku (current day's Kumbakonam). In this battle, the son of Varaguna Pandian I, Srimaran Srivallaba won the Pallava. Then, there was a battle between Nandivarman's son Nirupadunga Pallava and Srimaran in the banks of river Arichilaru. The Pallava won this battle.

 In 862 AD, Srimaran's son Varaguna Pandian II waged war against the Pallavas. The Pallava king Aparajithavarman got help from his grand father Ganga king Prithvipati. The Chola king Vijayalaya helped the Pallava king. The war hapenned in a small place called Tirupurambiyam near Kumbakonam. There was a royal clan named Mutharaiyar who either used to support Pallavas or Pandyas depending upon the situation. During Vijayalaya's reign, Mutharaiyars were supporting Pandyas and were ruling from Niyamam aka Chenthalai. Tanjore city was also under their control. The Pallava won the battle; Vijayalaya captured Tanjore from Mutharaiyars. Prithvipathi was killed in the battle. It should be noted that it was not him but was his son Aditya Chola was participated in the Tirupurambiyam battle. He would have been very old during this period.

According to few scholars, he had already won Tanjore from Mutharaiyar in 846 AD.

It appears that he had built a temple for Durga (Nisumbasudhani) in Tanjore.

It is not known what was his father's name. However, few scholars assume it would be Kumaraan Kusan.
It is said that he had fought 32 battles and have 96 brave marks in his body.

It is not known about his wife. He had a sone named Aditya Chola.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cholas during Kalappirar (Kalabhras) Period

 Tamil Nadu was ruled by Kalappirar aka Kalabhras for 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.

There is nothing much known about Cholas for about six centuries except for some references about them in some books such as Periya Puranam. It appears that some of them moved to Andhra area and called as Telugu Cholas and there were others who lived on the banks of river Kaveri. They either worked for Pandyas and Pallavas or married their women to them.

It is not clearly known who were Kalappirars actually. They appeared to be bandit group. It appears it was due to them that the Cholas declined in the 3rd century AD. They were defeated by Pandyas and Pallavas in the 6th century AD. 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).

 Although there are some records about Telugu Cholas, there are no much records about Tamil Cholas during Kalappirar period and Pallava/Pandya period. Only few references and records are available. Various Chalukya, Pandya, and Pallava kings claimed that they have won Cholas or captured Chola kingdoms. However, it is unknown how much truth was there in those records.

As per Periya Puranam, the Pandya king who lived during the period of Tirugnana Sambanda had a Chola princess named Mangaiyarkarasi as his wife. There was a Chola king named Pugal Chola Nayanar who won Karoor. When Sundarar went to Madurai along with Seraman Perumal, he saw a Chola prince who had married a Pandya princess. Uraiyur Nachchiyar who married Lord Ranganath was the daughter of the Chola king Dharmavarman.