The grandeur of the Chola Empire, one of the longest ruling dynasties in South India

Source: The post is based on the article “The grandeur of the Chola Empire, one of the longest ruling dynasties in South India” published in The Hindu on 13th October 2022.

What is the News?

After the Ponniyin Selvan I movie, based on Kalki’s creation of a world of the Cholas, there is a renewed interest in knowing more about one of the oldest and longest-ruling dynasties in the history of Southern India spreading over four centuries.

What are the sources of the Chola kingdom?

Literary sources: The best option to know more about the ancient civilisation is to read from the available literature that talks of the valour and conquests of Chola kings of yore, their trade links and wealth, styles of administration, art and architecture, and cuisine and skills of the period.

For instance, 1) details of the Chola kings in Tamil Sangam literature such as Pattinappalai and Puranaanooru was brought to print by U.V. Swaminatha Ayyar.

2) The Mahavamsa (which tells the history of Sri Lanka), Periplus of the Erythraean Sea and other notes by Chinese and Arabian travellers to India also have many details about them.

3) Japanese historian Noboru Karashimahas has written insightful volumes on the Cholas’ economic, social and administrative prowess.

4) Besides that, books and novels by scholars and modern writers on the Dravidian kingdom also reveal more important information.

Other sources: The monumental relics, majestic bronzes and 1,00,000 inscriptions, and temples also reveal details about the Cholas.

About the era of the Chola kingdom
Must read: Ponniyin Selvan:1 puts focus on the Cholas: what happened during their rule?

Literary works: Kalingathu Parani by Jayam kondar, Kamba Ramayanam by Kambar, Periya Puranam by Sekkizhar were written during the reign of Kulothunga I and II.

Architectural achievements: The construction of the Brihadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur was done by Raja Raja I. Similarly, Gangai konda Chozhapuram was built by Rajendra I, and the Airavateswara Temple at Dharasuram was done by Rajaraja III.

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