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.