Indian History
General Knowledge

Early Medieval Period in South India

The Chola Empire ( 850 - 1279 AD )

» The capital of Chola Empire was Tanjore, Gangaikondacholapuram.
» The founder of the Chola dynasty was Vijayalaya, who was at first a feudatory of the Pallavas. He captured Tanjore in 850 AD.
» The greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja (985-1014AD) and his son Rajendra I (1014 – 1044 AD).
» Rajaraja buit Vrihadeshwar / Rajarajeshwar temple (attributed to Shiva) at Tanjore.
» Rajendra I conquered Orissa, Bengal, Burma and Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Chola dynasty was at its zenith during his reign
» Rajendra I assumed the title of Gangaikondachola and build a city called Gangaikondacholapuram.
» The last ruler of Chola dynasty was Rajendra III.
» The king Was the head of central authority helped by a council of minister, but the administration was democratic.
» The Chola empire was divided into Mandalams (Province) and these in turn were divided into Valandu (Commissionary), Nadu (District) and Kunam (a group of villages).
» The arrangement local self-government is regarded as the basic feature of the administration of Cholas.

» Land revenue and trade tax were the main sources of income.
» The style of architecture which came into vogue during this period is called Dravida e.g. Kailashnath temple of Kanchipuram.
» Another aspects was image-making which reached its climax I dancing figure of shiva called nataraja.
» Kambana who wrote Ramavataram was one of the greatest figures of Tamil poetry. His Ramayana is also known as Kamba Ramayana.
» Kambana, Kuttana and Pugalendi are considered as ‘three gems of Tamil poetry’.
» In the temples, the Vimana or the tall pyramidal tower dominated dominates the whole structure of the shrine and imparts an extraordinary dignity to it.
» Gopuram and Garbhagriha are the other two important structures.
» The best specimens the temples of Vijayalaya, Choleshwara, the Nageshwara temple, the Koranganath temple and the Muvarakovitha temple.