Chola dynasty

The Chola kingdom was one of the most important Indian kingdoms and is considered the most influential Hindu kingdom until today. It is attributed to the Tamils. Like the ancient Greeks and Romans knew how to exercise the Tamil Cholas far-reaching cultural influence on their neighbors. The heyday lasted from the 9th to the 13th century.

The early Chola

South Indian rulers of that name already existed in the time of Emperor Ashoka, held the kingdoms of this name on his edicts as friendly neighbors. Also in the Tamil Sangam literature, they are often called. Under their king Karikal ( at ) Chola were the early Chola to 190, the opponent of the Chera and Pandya kings. Karikalan was still a century later famous as the military, urban and dike Bauer on Kaverifluss. However, the ambitious man forced to make concessions, lest they fled to him of its population.

From 250, the Chola, together with their two neighbors were from the invasion of a mountain tribe ( the Kalabhra, rather jainistisch and buddhist, precise origins in the dark) displaced. The previous ruler of the river valleys and coast were displaced, weakened the power of the Brahmins. End of the 6th century, then got a new outsider - the first Pallava king - at that smote the Kalabhra and also the heartland of the Chola on Kaverifluss brought under his control. The Chola were insignificant local rulers.

The Chinese pilgrim monk Hsuan - tsang said about this period the following: "It is a desolate and wild land, full of jungle forests and marshland. Its population is not numerous, and bands of robbers drive open to mischief. The climate is hot and the behavior of the population dissolute and cruel. The priests ... are just as dirty as their dilapidated monasteries. "

Resurgence and power peak

The resurgence of the Chola took place only at the end of the 9th century, when the Pallava power crumbled. To 850 was Thanjavur ( Tanjore ) is the capital. Aditya ( Athiththa Chola, reg. 871-907 ) struck against 897 recent Pallava rulers in the duel on his war elephants. Nevertheless, the Chola kings were able to build at the time no supremacy: Although Parantaka I (r. 907-955 ) sacked Madurai and drove the Pandya king to Ceylon, but lost the battle of Takkolan 949 against Krishna III, a Rashtrakuta. King. Rajaditya, the son and co-regent of Cholakönigs fell in battle. With this defeat, the Chola for several decades had to be confined to her home country.

The great conquerors of this dynasty were Rajaraja I (reigned 985-1014 ) and his son Rajendra I (reigned 1014-44, co-regent as early as 1012). Rajaraja beat the old enemy, the Chera and Pandya kings and conquered Ceylon. Also Rajendra undertook extensive military campaigns - first he conquered the capital of the Chalukya, then pulled against the Pala Empire of Bengal ( 1022/23 ). After his victory over the Pala he let his new capital called Gangaikonda Cholapuram inaugurate with the water of the Ganges, which defeated the Pala king supposedly had to wear. Rajendra went further and introduced successfully in 1025 a campaign against Sri Vijaya, to influence their trade relations. Rajendra also sent two diplomatic missions to China, where he gave a list of goods. To a confrontation with the Turkish-Islamic conqueror Mahmud of Ghazni, the several major campaigns successfully conducted almost annually in north India 997-1025, but it never came. It is not clear the cause of Rajendras expansion policy, the aussparte the army commander and conqueror Mahmud of Ghazni.

During the previous trading nodes descended on the north west coast of India by the Muslim attacks, the main commercial hub of India has now shifted to the south. The enormous rise of Chola needed resources that have been provided with a Umverlagerung the shipping lanes of the Red Sea in the wake of the emergence of the Egyptian Fatimid Empire. For South Indian Chola time merchant guilds had proven great maritime influence.

The Chola period was the heyday of the Tamil South India. Music and dance, poetry and drama ( Tamil epic Kamba Ramayanam, hagiography Periapuranam ), art, stone and bronze sculptures, paintings, temple ( Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur - UNESCO World Heritage Site), philosophy and religion reached in the Indian context new highlights, with the temples as a cultural center. Family and protective deity of the Chola kings was Shiva. Larger groups and Hindu temples in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, are symbols of the cultural influence of the Chola abroad.

The end of the dynasty

As the offspring Rajendras extinct, 1070 came a (eastern ) Chalukya prince in Gangaikonda Cholapuram to power, which was only a maternal Chola. Under Kulottunga I (reigned 1070-1120 ), the Chola kingdom experienced a further economic and political heyday. Middle of the 12th century had succeeded Kulottunga II (r. 1133-1150 ), his vassals, especially the Pandya in Madurai grant broad autonomy. Rajaraja II (r. 1146-63 ) had then to pass seven years of civil war in Pandya, in which Ceylon under King Parakramabahu I ( r. 1153-86 ) intervened.

Until the government at the end of King Kulottunga III. 1216 held the Empire ( now in marriage alliance with the Hoysala ) still together. But the feudal princes of King Rajaraja III. (reigned 1216-52 ) - the Pandya Maravarman (r. 1216-38 ) and Vira- Ravivarman on the Malabar coast - made ​​themselves constantly. The Pandya destroyed the capital city of Thanjavur, and Rajaraja III. had lost the throne, if not the Hoysala Narasimha II (r. 1220-34 ) would have saved him again.

Between 1256 and 1279 the kingdom was extinguished under the blows of Pandya of Madurai, this occurred at the site.

List of Chola kings

  • Ilamchetchenni (100 AD).
  • Karikala ( 100-120 )
  • Vijayalaya Chola ( 848-881 )
  • Athiththa Chola ( 881-907 )
  • Paranthaha Chola I ( 907-955 )
  • Kandarathiththa Chola ( 950-957 )
  • Arinchchaya Chola ( 956-957 )
  • Paranthaha Chola II ( 957-970 )
  • Uththama Chola ( 973-985 )
  • Rajaraja Chola I. (985-1014)
  • Rajendra Chola I (1012-1044)
  • Rajadhiraja Chola I. (1018-1054)
  • Rajendra Chola II (1051-1063)
  • Virarajendra Chola (1063-1070)
  • Athirajendra Chola ( 1070)
  • Kulothunga Chola I. (1070-1120)
  • Vikkrama Chola (1118-1135)
  • Kulothunga Chola II (1133-1150)
  • Rajaraja Chola II (1146-1163)
  • Rajadiraja Chola II (1163-1178)
  • Kulothunga Chola III. (1178-1218)
  • Rajaraja Chola III. (1216-1256)
  • Rajendra Chola III. (1246-1279)