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34 Interesting Raja Raja Chola I Facts

Raja Raja Chola I was one of the greatest kings in the history of South India. He belonged to the later Cholan Dynasty. He was a great administrator, fierce warrior, a philanthropist and lover of beauty. Before going to know more about this great king let’s know some background about the dynasty and then get back to him through our list of interesting Raja Raja Chola I facts.

Interesting Raja Raja Chola I Facts: 1-8

1. Cholan Dynasty (location of this great kingdom was in Tamil Nadu, India) is the one of the few dynasties which made its mark in the history of India. Cholan or simply Chola Dynasty’s reign is divided into 3 parts viz., Early Cholans, Medieval Cholans and Later Cholans.

2. Sangam literature, one of the main source for verifying Tamilian’s ancient history, mentions that early Cholans existed in the first few centuries of the common era. Kings like Kantaman, Karikala Chola (yes we agree the names are more or less like tongue twisters!), Elaare are famous. King Kantaman is famous and is considered to be a contemporary of Sage Agastya and to bring the Kaveri River down to the earth with his devotion.

3. Medieval Cholans are also called as the Imperial Cholas. This is where the Chola Dynasty reached its zenith and Parantaka Chola I, Parantaka Chola II, Rajendra Chola are few of the popular kings.

4. Raja Raja Chola I also belonged to Medieval Cholans and he was the gem of all the kings. They ruled from 848 CE to 1070 CE.

5. Later Cholans ruled from 1070 CE to 1279 CE. Though at first kings like Kulothonga Chola, Raja Raja Chola II, Vikrama Chola etc. were efficient enough to protect their kingdom but just like any other great dynasty it was nearing its end and with weak rulers the great dynasty ended in 1279 CE.

6. The actual name of the dynasty is Sora or Chora, a Tamil word but not Chola; Chola was a Sanskrit word and it has been in use.

7. The origin of Cholans is a debatable issue even now. Though there are many sources for documenting the great kingdoms but the origin of Cholans cannot be traced back with the help of those sources. There are many assumptions based on some evidences about their origin.

8. Many say that the Cholans are not actually Tamilians but they come from either Chalukyas of Eastern Andhra Pradesh or Telugu Chodas who trace their decent to Ikshvakus – the dynasty of Lord Shri Ram. Ikshvakus trace their decent to Manu and Cholas too trace their decent to Manu. The territories of Telugu Chodas and Cholans were pretty near. Telugu Chodas were allies of Chalukyas.

Interesting Raja Raja Chola I Facts: 9-17

9. Another interesting but hard-to-believe assumption is that the Cholans were a Naga tribe which came either from Bengal (Bengal was called as Pangala during those days) or from north part of the country. The emblem of Cholans is the tiger, an animal which was uncommon to be seen in Tamil Nadu.

10. The usage of Prakrit language instead of Tamil in earlier inscriptions are some of the proofs which connote that Cholans may not be Tamilians but may be either Telugus or of Kannada origin.

11. Raja Raja Chola I was the third child of the King Parantaka Sundara Chola and Vanavan Maha Devi of the Velir Malayaman Dynasty. His real name was Arulmozhi Varman. He was also called as RajaRaja Sivapada Sekhara which translates into the King of Kings who has Lord Siva’s feet as his crown. His adopted name with which he is known – “Raja Raja” – meant King of the Kings.

12. He was a very loving brother. It is said that to avenge his brother Aditya Karikalan’s death, he fought against Chera Kandalur and won. Remember, he didn’t lose a single battle in his lifetime. Now that’s great!

13. His elder brother Aditya Chola was assassinated in 969 CE and then Uttama Chola was declared as the crown prince. Unlike other great kings like Asoka, Ajatasatru etc., he had no jealousy even if he had, he didn’t show it openly.

14. Uttama Chola ruled for 15 years and after his death, Raja Raja Chola I was declared as the king unanimously through a democratic process which was followed by the Cholans.

15. He ascended the throne in the year 985 CE and he was assisted by his sister Kundavai Pirattiyar in administration and management of temples.

16. When Raja Raja Chola I ascended the throne, his father and grandfather had strengthened Cholan Dynasty in South India by then. He made several successful conquests on the neighboring Cheran and Pandyan kingdoms and increased his kingdom’s territories manifold.

17. After conquering the whole of South India, he adopted a title of “Mummadi Chola”. He then concentrated on Sinhalese dynasty which was ruling Ceylon or present day Sri Lanka. The contemporary king was Mahinda V. He defeated Mahinda V and then captured Anuradhapura, the capital city of Sinhalese Dynasty and occupied the northern part of the Ceylon but southern part remained independent. To commemorate his victory in Ceylon he built a Lord Shiva temple there. His son, Rajendra Chola conquered the entire Ceylon.

Interesting Raja Raja Chola I Facts: 18-25

18. He conquered many other kingdoms. Kingdoms of Coorg, Pandyas, Gangas, Nolambas, Tadigaipadi etc., are few to mention. The Eastern Chalukyas maintained matrimonial relationship with the Cholans. He even conquered Quilon. His son Rajendra Chola conquered Kalinga and went beyond the Ganges and adopted the tittle Gangaikonda Chola.

19. He sent naval expeditions to the islands of Maldives. With the naval power, he occupied Ceylon and his son occupied some parts of South-east Asia. He even had a standing army.

20. He changed the face of Cholan administration after he ascended the throne. The princes and landlords who acted independently were turned into local officials. He strengthened local self-government and ordered the officials to conduct land surveys. He sent missions to China to improve trade and economy of the kingdom.

21. He was a patron of arts. After listening to some short excerpts of Thevaram, he asked to retrieve all the scripts of Thevaram with the help of Nambi and divine intervention.

22. He was a Saivaite and he did everything possible to spread Hinduism in Ceylon and other parts which were occupied by him. But he was tolerant towards other religions as well. He built many Vishnu temples and allowed to construct Buddhist Chudamani Vihara. His own second daughter followed Buddhism and he never seemed to oppose her.

23. Though he had 11 consorts, only one conceived and they had 3 kids, two daughters and one son. His eldest daughter was named after his sister Kundavai.

24. He built the great RajaRajeshwara temple or Brihadweshwara temple in Tanjavur which was his capital city. The temple is very famous and is now one of the UNESCO’s world heritage sites.

25. The main deity of the temple is Lord Siva and it was built to show the Cholan power and supremacy. The name Brihadeshwara was given by Marathas but not Cholans. They called the deity as RajaRajeshwara.

Interesting Raja Raja Chola I Facts: 26-34

26. The entire temple is built of granite. They used 1,30,000 tons of granite in making the temple. There are over 100 underground passages in the temple and some of those passages lead directly to the palace of the king. The cap stone of this temple weighs around 80 tons and it is still a mystery that how can people with supposedly so low technology could put such a heavy stone so high! It is said that the cap of the temple is built in such a way that the shadow doesn’t fall on the ground but falls on itself. Yet some scientists say that it is proved wrong.

27. It is speculated that the huge cap was placed by using manpower and elephants or by using Vedic mantras which would levitate the 80-ton stone and keep it above the vimana. The vimana is 200 feet high. What’s most surprising is that the place where this temple is built, there is no granite available in a radius of 100 km. There is a statue of Nandi (the Bull), vehicle of Lord Shiva. It is gigantic and is made from a monolithic granite. Sure the craftsmen were really talented to make a block of granite to a magnificent bull’s statue.

28. The temple was built ages ago but the paintings of this temple will simply mesmerize you. They used natural pigments to make colors and needless to say they used those colors for paintings and that is the reason why even now after a 1000-year period the paintings are still rich and striking.

29. The temple is just not famous for its paintings and gigantic statues. It is noted for its beautiful architecture. 81 of 108 karanas or dancing positions of Bharatanatyam (one of the 8 classical dances of India) are carved and these poses were mentioned in the Natya Shastra written by Rishi Bhagat. The temple was famous for dancing too. Trained dancers used to perform when there was an occasion.

30. After all this, no one knows how he died. His death is still a mystery to historians. Like any other great king he doesn’t have a big mausoleum. The mausoleum that is shown now in no way proves that it is his. It is not in Tanjore but in a remote village named Udayalur in Tamil Nadu.

31. His entire life can be traced out with the help of his inscriptions and that tradition was followed by his son but nothing is written about his death. There is a Lord Siva’s lingam above the grave. There was an inscription related to the king but it didn’t indicate that Udayalur is the real place where he was buried or where he wanted to get buried.

32. Local folks have a different story to say. According to people, the king was killed by a woman who was sent by Mahinda V, Sinhalese ruler of Ceylon. Mahinda V failed to defeat Raja Raja Chola I so he sent a woman who became good friends with the Chola king.

33. When the king was inspecting the progress of the Brihadeshwara Temple from 8th floor she simply pushed him down and he died.

34. That is why they say that the temple was not finished properly. That is why his son, Rajendra Chola shifted his capital city from Tanjore to Gangaikonda Cholapuram. That is why Rajendra Chola seized complete Ceylon under his control and kept Mahinda V as a war prisoner till Mahinda V died.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

33 thoughts on “34 Interesting Raja Raja Chola I Facts”

  1. utter fabrication and history twisting.
    cholas are the velirs kings of tuvarai (dwaraka) during the aryan invasion and they escaped and came down south. all indians where tamils during that time even though me being kannadig. it is a historical fact.

    • Dude, whoever you are, you need to learn history clearly. The Aryan Invasion theory that you are shouting about at such high pitch doesn’t even exist. It has long been proven wrong by historians all over the world and you come here with zero knowledge of what is happening around the world and shout like a dumb person. Stop being dumb and start reading for the sake of NOT PROVING YOURSELF an utterly blind and ignorant IDIOT.

      • If u know everything say it with proof do not scold any body indecently!! That show truth in what’s written is burning u ??

        Who ever written this 34 facts is a coward he does not know facts !!

    • Bro you should really go through the history,
      As a south Indian, you should really start collecting facts from the history and not from anywhere else.
      I totally dont understand why a tamil kingdom thrives in dwarka and leaves when aryans came.

  2. Sankalan if u have some thing to say just say it why in-between u try act as though u know everything fact is that u also do not know anything so close ass hole keep shit till ur mouth and go

    • Whoever you are, you don’t even have the courage to give your real name and you like to use abusive words. That alone tells about your character, your education, your family background and your decency. I scolded, you abused. This makes you worse. About the proof you are asking, it seems that you from the family of people who love being spoon-fed everything. Try to find the truth on your own. About the Aryan Invasion Theory, you can find tons of information all over the internet and many scholarly papers.

      The 34 facts that have been provided here come straight from the history books. If you opine that those history books are wrong, then that is your opinion.

      I just have a question, is badmouthing and abusing in your family and cultural tradition? Well, scolding others is a different thing but abusing others shows your family’s and your culture’s approach.

      Have a nice time.

      For anyone who wants to go and abuse this guy, his email id is: [email protected], his IP address is: 157.50.16.246, uses Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited and lives in TAMIL NADU, in particular, Madurai. Wow! The proud Tamilians!!

      True nature of Tamilians revealed!!

  3. This was totally fake, they didn’t not know clear history about cholas and Tamil, don’t read this totally fake, because in this say cholas may be belongs to karnataka or Andhra but the basic fact is in earlier days all southern part is named as Tamil Nadu.

    • ROHIT,

      Either you must be a dumb person displaying the purest and highest degree of stupidity that you have bequeathed down your ancestry or you are just a person who doesn’t even read properly between the lines. These second category of people are no better than illiterates.

      An alternate hypothesis is that you must be a time traveler who went back in past to actually know that the name Tamil Nadu was present back then.

      We will suggest – READ before you SHOUT blindly. We said, “The origin of Cholans is a debatable issue even now.” (#7) and we also stated, “Many say that the Cholans…” (#8). There is clearly a split of opinions among historians. This explains why there are different theories.

      Do you even understand the meaning of the word ‘DIFFERENT’?

      Are you a historian? Are you an archeologist? What the hell are you? Looks to me like you are just a dumb and yet a proud person.

      IF YOU HAVE SO GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF CHOLAS, WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU HERE ON THIS WEBSITE READING THIS ARTICLE? LOOKS TO US THAT YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. DO YOU EVEN KNOW YOUR OWN ANCESTRY? I BET YOU DON’T.

      And, you are saying “in earlier days all southern part is named as Tamil Nadu”. Show me documented proof of your claim. Can you show? Bring a proof and then shout else, get lost and sink in your false pride and of course, your doomed knowledge.

      • We do have documented proof that chozhas are tamizh….it is stated it agananuru and purananuru of sangam literature…. It speaks about karikala chozhan who built kalanai before 2000 yrs and with due respect I didn’t have any intention of visiting this site in certain…i was looking for some information about arulmozhi varman as I don’t have books to collect information as am not at my place and hence I had to browse and this strange page was on the list and your title made me to open this site… And you where asking…who asked you to open this page to some comments… You know what most of the tamizh people would open any website, books if they see the name chozhas because of the love we have towards our ancestors, kings…. And you want to know more about chozhas or any other tamizh kings learn tamizh read and understand sangam literature and then argue with others… And present day books content can be changed, edited…as far as we have our tamizh literature…we know what the truth is

      • And agananuru purananuru not oly speaks about karikala chozhan…so don’t confuse urself there are few karikalan and few pulikesi keep that in mind while you do some research.

    • During the first to 8th century, Tamil region was ruled by Kalabrahas. But southern Karnataka was ruled by the Gangas. In fact, southern Karnataka is called Gangavadi. The earliest Tamil conquests into Karnataka happened in 950AD. Interestingly, the conquest of Karnataka led to the end of Medivial Cholas. The Gangas took the help of the Chalukya and continued to war against the Cholas to gain back control. By 1070AD 8 Chola Kings had died and there were no Chola Heirs. Rajendra Chalukya of Vengi in AP usurped the Chola Throne. Thus the Chola lineage ended in about 270 years.

  4. Can you please provide or add some more facts on Darasuram and Gangaikondacholapuram temple. I am not a scholar just history buff.

  5. Chola is a naga tribe ? Huh ? What an idiotic claim. Don’t tell this to any Tamizhan. You may get slapped. Why do you idiots claim our pride you utter fools. Rajaraja is a Tamizhan king . It is because of fusion of Tamizh and sanskrit some words are in sanskrit. Don’t blabber . Your father is your father just because your neighbours father is rich he can’t be your father . You dumb.

    • Stop shouting and displaying your Tamizhan pride. It will be better if you provide valid resources that are nationally accepted to back up your claims. If you can provide such proof, we will happily make changes. Until then, shove your false Tamizhan pride in your throat and choke on it. You people still believe in Aryan invasion theory. That alone proves the ignorance of your Tamizhans as the rest of the world has discarded the theory and all its iterations. Instead of calling us dumb, why don’t you simply create a publicly available website and prove each of your false pride with valid proofs? We are not dumb, you are plain idiots.

      • Mr. Sankalan, with due respect to you, let me tell the following facts as far as I know. I don’t want to go into Aryan and Dravidian theory. But there is no doubt that the cholas till Rajendra chola were pure Tamils. Since Rajendra chola’s son died in a battle, he had only a daughter by name Ammanga devi who was married to a chalukya king which later led to telugu cholas, though the origin of telugu script is during Krishnadeva Raya’s rule whereas Tamil script existed as early as atleast 2000 years. As per ASI records, Sanskrit/prakrit in the north and Tamil script in south are holding the major portion. Regarding Rajaraja chola, he only retrieved the famous tamil saivite hymbs Thirumurai which was sung by saivite nayanmars of Tamil nadu, though he gave equal importance to Sanskrit also. To conclude, cholas upto Rajendra Chola are pure Tamils and after them, it is a combination of Tamil/Telugu cholas. Thank you.

        • Sir, can you provide some reliable source? We will be very happy to make the necessary changes to this article. However, providing the source is very important. What we are fighting over is ‘HISTORY’. We did not live that history we are talking about. We only have information from different sources. Even the greatest of the historians can make mistakes because reconstructing the past is not easy and there is always a room for some error. No one can for sure say that whatever history has been presented is accurate.
          Even to this day, new findings come out discarding the old established notions and beliefs. So, while we have no reason to discard what you are saying, we also have no reason to simply accept it without any concrete source that can be relied upon.
          Can you provide some source?

    • Oh mister Mani, the ultimate brain of the world, why don’t you go ahead and spell the truth with concrete proof? Come on, give up some material that is unanimously accepted by all historians across the length and breadth of the nation. Maybe we are idiotic but you are no less than a stupid scamp who goes around calling others idiot and brainless. What job we do is none of your business but you coming to this site definitely proves that you are not so well-informed either as you need to read the whole article. Obviously, you are here to get information because if you were so knowledgeable, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. So, whoever hell you are and whatever job you do, tuck your tail in your mouth and get lost. Rascal!

  6. Is it true they had a hand in the construction of angkor wat, I would also like it if you could let us know their naval abilities. Thank you

  7. raja Rajan was a tamilian king.but they had a link with telugus and chalukyas.that is true.

  8. Article seems very interesting. I too am a history buff.
    I request all the commenters to maintain some decorum please. Yes, if you feel something is not right, you may support your claim with necessary proof/s.. for correction.
    It requires tremendous efforts to collect/collate data before you publish historical truths.

  9. chozhas are tamil kings who ruled over south india
    they ruled over a time period where all south indian states spoke tamil . chozha means new dynasty . they are of pure tamil origin

  10. yep dude you are right i think even if she studies the NCERT book of class 6 and 7 then that person will gain some knowledge

    • Hello Dakshika, please provide us with the correct history. With all due respect, I hope you studied NCERT books of class 6 and 7 and you have ample knowledge. Why are you here in the first place? Please consider providing the correct information that can be validated by all historians alike and then talk. Definitely, your knowledge is also limited which explains why you are on this website. If you had immense knowledge of Indian history, you didn’t have to come here. Leaving a comment like this just like others who have been blasting about incorrect information doesn’t make any sense.

      Not even a single person provided the so-called ‘right information’. Can you provide? If you can, then provide it instead of being sarcastic. We have repeatedly said that we will fix the article if someone can provide the necessary information with proper validation from historians all across India and world.

      Give us one universally accepted theory penned down in all history books and we will be very much happy to change our article. If you can’t, then keeping quite is a better option because shouting only shows your arrogance and ignorance at the same time.

      • Mr. Sankalan Baidya, Just would like to know, what are your sources for this information. The facts are interesting, just that would like to see the proofs aswell. Who ever provides in this forum, would be much appreciated! Thanks, CJ

  11. The shiva is not called as Rajarajeshwara. He is called as Peruvudaiyar. And the temple is called as Peruvudaiyar temple or periya Kovil.. correct your facts please.
    Chozhas are not from North and if you have said so in this website as fact,then u must be the one at the first place to provide us with proofs.since u have done all the research works u might have the proof,so let’s see it.instead of unnecessary word fights,this would be logical

  12. I saw all your chats & fights. First i just a student not a archeologist or something stuffed guy. Mr.sankalan baidya ena peru sir adhu i will win if some 1 conduct a tongue twister game. U told something about “true nature of tamilans revealed”. Of course we have guts & proud to say we r tamilans. You told something tamil nadu name is revealed now shall i tell u something that name is taken from the ancient name thamizhagam(தமிழகம்) consists of modern places of karnataka, andhra pradesh, kerala & tamil nadu if u want the proof go & ask it to raja raja cholan with fucking time travel. Thats a good opinion right.!! I hope you can argue with him. Better he can give a good & trueful answer. Please dont argue whoever it is that king is a good man eg: he helped the opposite injured soldiers with his 20000 medical troops & saved his life. Learn to be like a man Mr.
    & stop saying about a particular religion or particular language all r humans respect every 1 please sir.

  13. And i really wondered about something is rajaraja chola 1 sword is 30kg & actually 5people needed to lift it damn, now a days people cant even lift 5kg but he actually roaming with 30kg sword all over his life time. If any one want to see the sword it is in trichy museum & u can also lift it if u wish. thank you.

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