The Cholas

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  • Topic: Cholas, Kulothunga Chola I, Chola Dynasty
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The Chola Dynasty

Chola dynasty or Chozhan dynasty (Tamil: சோழர், சோழன்) was a Tamil dynasty which was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in Southern India. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Asoka, of Maurya Empire; as one of the Three Crowned Kings, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century AD. The heartland of the Cholas or Chozhas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River, but they ruled a significantly larger area at the height of their power from the later half of the 9th century till the beginning of the 13th century. The whole country south of the Tungabhadra was united and held as one state for a period of two centuries and more.[1] Under Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in South Asia and South-east Asia.[2][3] The power of the new empire was proclaimed to the eastern world by the expedition to the Ganges which Rajendra Chola I undertook and by the occupation of the maritime empire of Srivijaya, as well as by the repeated embassies to China.[4] During the period 1010–1200, the Chola territories stretched from the islands of the Maldives in the south to as far north as the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh.[5] Rajaraja Chola conquered peninsular South India, annexed parts of what is now Sri Lanka and occupied the islands of the Maldives. Rajendra Chola sent a victorious expedition to North India that touched the river Ganges and defeated the Pala ruler of Pataliputra, Mahipala. He also successfully invaded kingdoms of the Malay Archipelago.[6] The Chola dynasty went into decline at the beginning of the 13th century with the rise of the Pandyas, who ultimately caused their downfall.[7][8] The Cholas left a lasting legacy. Their patronage of Tamil literature and their zeal in building temples has resulted in some great works of Tamil literature and architecture.[3] The Chola kings were avid builders and envisioned the temples in their kingdoms not only as places of worship but also as centres of economic activity.[9][10] They pioneered a centralised form of government and established a disciplined bureaucracy.

|Contents | |1 Origins | |2 History | |2.1 Early Cholas | |2.2 Interregnum | |2.3 Medieval Cholas | |2.4 Later Cholas (1070–1279 AD) | |3 Government and society | |3.1 Chola country | |3.2 Nature of government | |3.3 Local government | |3.4 Foreign trade | |3.5 Chola society | |4 Cultural contributions | |4.1 Art | |4.2 Literature | |4.3 Religion | |5 In popular culture | |6 See also | |7 Notes | |8 References | |9 External links |

Origins

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South India in BC 300, showing the Chera, Pandya and Chola Kingdoms There is very...
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