About The CHOLAS

  • By Neelakanta Sastri
  • December 27 2020
Brihadesvara Mandir, Tanjore

The introduction below is courtesy and copyright ‘Rare Books Society of India. Org - https://www.rarebooksocietyofindia.org . Thanks Kailash for letting us about this valuable site, suggesting the book and Cholas and compilation.

“Early Indian history repletes with several empires from 5th Century BCE or even earlier till the about 14th Century BCE.  While in the Northern parts of India, Maruya and Gupta dynasties, to name just two, were prominent, in the Southern part it was largely ruled by Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallava Kingdoms.  Of these, the Chola empire need special mention as for nearly 400 years – mid of 9th Century CE to early 13th Century CE they ruled almost the entire South of India with total authority. 


In the height of their power, their area extended upto Tungabhadra river, Ceylon [Sri Lanka] in the South and Vietnam in the East. While the peak of the empire started with Raja Raja Chola [985 CE to 1014 CE], his son Rajendra Chola [1012 CE to 1044 CE] even expanded beyond the shores like Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Bangladesh, Maldives and Indonesia.  The earliest known Naval aramada was commanded by Rajendra Chola to capture these South and South East Asian territories.


His most famous military enterprise was his expedition to north India. The Chola army crossed the Ganges by defeating a number of rulers on its way. Rajendra defeated Mahipala I of Bengal. To commemorate this successful north-Indian   campaign Rajendra founded the city of Gangaikondacholapuram [City on the Conquest of Ganges] and constructed the famous Rameshwaram temple in that city. He also excavated a large irrigation tank called Cholagangam on the western side of the city.


Cholas were devout Shaivaites and some of the India’s biggest temples were built by them like Brihadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur by Raja Raja, Shiva temple at Gangai Konda Cholapuram near Thanjavur by Rajendra.  They may liberal endowments to various temples including the temple at Chidambaram. The world’s largest temple complex at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, built in 1200 CE is the prime example of Chola influence.


The influence of Cholas in Art, architecture, religion, economy, governance, education etc is profound and is even today a prominent factor in South Indian Culture.


This books which was first published in the year 1935 was republished in 1955-57 by the same author under the aegis of Madras University.  Students of History will find this book a very interesting reading.


To read Contents of book click on PDF


To download book by clicking on link


Also read

1. Study of Chola Inscriptions

2. Brihadesvara Temple

3. Gangaikondacholapuram Temple


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