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Chola military

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Chola military
சோழர் படை
FoundedUnknown date
Disbanded1280 AD
Headquarters
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HistoryWars

Invasions

Battles

The Chola military (Tamil: சோழர் படை) was the combined armed forces of the Chola Empire organized during two separate Tamil golden ages, the Sangam Period and the Medieval Era. The Chola military fought dozens of wars, it also underwent numerous changes in structure, organization, equipment and tactics, while conserving a core of lasting Tamil traditions.

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Tamil language

Tamil language

Tamil is a Dravidian language natively spoken by the Tamil people of South Asia. Tamil is an official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the sovereign nations of Sri Lanka and Singapore, and the Indian Union territory of Puducherry. Tamil is also spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is also spoken by the Tamil diaspora found in many countries, including Malaysia, Myanmar, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and Mauritius. Tamil is also natively spoken by Sri Lankan Moors. One of 22 scheduled languages in the Constitution of India, Tamil was the first to be classified as a classical language of India.

Chola dynasty

Chola dynasty

The Chola dynasty was a Tamil thalassocratic empire of southern India and one of the longest-ruling dynasty in the world history. The earliest datable references to the Chola are from inscriptions dated to the 3rd century BCE during the reign of Ashoka of the Maurya Empire. As one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, along with the Chera and Pandya, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territories until the 13th century CE. The Chola Empire was at its peak and achieved imperialism under the Medieval Cholas in the mid-9th century CE.

Medieval Cholas

Medieval Cholas

Medieval Cholas are a part of Chola Dynasty and rose to prominence during the middle of the 9th century CE and established one of the greatest empires of South India. They successfully united South India under their rule and through their naval strength extended their influence in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. They had trade contacts with the Arabs in the west and with the Chinese in the east.

Tamil culture

Tamil culture

Tamil culture is the culture of the Tamil people. Tamil culture is rooted in the arts and ways of life of Tamils in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, and across the globe. Tamil culture is expressed in language, literature, music, dance, theatre, folk arts, martial arts, painting, sculpture, architecture, sports, media, comedy, cuisine, costumes, celebrations, philosophy, religions, traditions, rituals, organizations, science, and technology.

Sangam period (300 BC–300 AD)

It has not been possible to assemble an internal chronology of the Sangam works and pinpoint when and how the early Chola military was formed. The earliest mention of the Chola army comes from Indian historian, K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, who claimed that King Ilamchetchenni defeated Maurya Empire King Bindusara, son of Chandragupta Maurya, in battle. Fragmentary poems in the Purananuru[1] also state that, Ilamchetchenni Chola, revered as a brave king and hard fighter, successfully resisted the exploration of the Mauryan army in Tamilakam.

Karikala Chola

Karikala Chola stands pre-eminent amongst all those mentioned in Pattinappaalai. 'Karikala' means 'elephant feller' or 'charred leg', which is assumed to be a reference to an accident by fire that befell the prince early in his life. Pattinappaalai describes this accident and the enterprising way in which the prince escaped and established himself on the Chola throne. Pattinappalai is a poem on the then Chola capital Kaveripattinam and describes the numerous battles Karikala fought against the Cheras and Pandyas, including the famous Battle of Venni where the Chola army defeated a confederacy of (about) a dozen rulers headed by Chera and Pandya kings. Following the battle, the Chera king was disgraced (received a wound on his back) and committed suicide. Karikala thus broke the confederacy that was formed against him, conquered the Chera and Pandya kingdoms, and established Chola hegemony over Tamilakam. After the Battle of Venni, Karikala defeated the confederacy of nine minor chieftains in the Battle of Vakaipparandalai. He also invaded Sri Lanka and took away, among other things, 12,000 Sinhalese men to work as slaves in the construction of the Kallanai Dam.[2]

The poet Kovur Kilar mentions a protracted civil war between two Chola chieftains Nalankilli and Nedunkilli. Nedunkilli isolated himself in a fort in Avur, which was being besieged by Mavalattan, Nalankilli's younger brother. The poet chided Nedunkilli to come out and fight like a man instead of causing untold misery to the people of the city. In another poem, the poet begs both the princes to give up the civil war as whoever wins, the loser will be a Chola.

Kalavali by Poygayar mentions the Chola King Kocengannan and his battle with the Chera king Kanaikkal Irumporai. The Chera was taken prisoner and Poygayar, who was a friend of the Chera, sang a poem praising the Chola King Kochchenganan in 40 stanzas. The Chola king, pleased with the work, released the Chera. Kalavali describes the battle fought at Kalumalam, near the Chera capital. Kocengannan is one of the 63 nayanars. Kocengannan became the subject of many instances in later times and is portrayed as a pious Siva devotee who built many fine temples for Siva along the banks of the river Kaveri.

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K. A. Nilakanta Sastri

K. A. Nilakanta Sastri

Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri was an Indian historian who wrote on South Indian history. Many of his books form the standard reference works on the subject. Sastri was acclaimed for his scholarship and mastery of sources and was a recipient of the third highest Indian civilian honour of Padma Bhushan.

Ilamchetchenni

Ilamchetchenni

Ilamchetchenni was an early Tamil king of the Chola dynasty during the Sangam period. He was a great warrior and ruled the Chola kingdom with Uraiyur as the capital. He married a Velir princess from Alundur and their child was Karikala Chola. Ilamchetchenni Chola was succeeded by his son, Karikala Chola, who is considered one of the greatest among the Early Cholas.

Maurya Empire

Maurya Empire

The Maurya Empire, or the Mauryan Empire, was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power on the Indian subcontinent based in Magadha, having been founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 322 BCE, and existing in loose-knit fashion until 185 BCE. The Maurya Empire was centralized by the conquest of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, and its capital city was located at Pataliputra. Outside this imperial center, the empire's geographical extent was dependent on the loyalty of military commanders who controlled the armed cities sprinkling it. During Ashoka's rule the empire briefly controlled the major urban hubs and arteries of the Indian subcontinent except those in the deep south. It declined for about 50 years after Ashoka's rule, and dissolved in 185 BCE with the assassination of Brihadratha by Pushyamitra Shunga and the foundation of the Shunga Empire in Magadha.

Bindusara

Bindusara

Bindusara, also Amitraghāta or Amitrakhāda or Amitrochates was the second Mauryan emperor of India. He was the son of the dynasty's founder Chandragupta and the father of its most famous ruler Ashoka. Bindusara's life is not documented as well as the lives of these two emperors: much of the information about him comes from legendary accounts written several hundred years after his death.

Chandragupta Maurya

Chandragupta Maurya

Chandragupta Maurya was the first emperor of the Mauryan Empire in Ancient India who expanded a geographically extensive kingdom based in Magadha and founded the Maurya dynasty. He reigned from 320 BCE to 298 BCE. The Maurya kingdom expanded to become an empire that reached its peak under the reign of his grandson, Ashoka, from 268 BCE to 231 BCE. The nature of the political formation that existed in Chandragupta's time is not certain. The Mauryan empire was a loose-knit empire.

Purananuru

Purananuru

The Purananuru, sometimes called Puram or Purappattu, is a classical Tamil poetic work and traditionally the last of the Eight Anthologies (Ettuthokai) in the Sangam literature. It is a collection of 400 heroic poems about kings, wars and public life, of which two are lost and a few have survived into the modern age in fragments. The collected poems were composed by 157 poets, of which 14 are anonymous and at least 10 were women. This anthology has been variously dated between 1st century BCE and 5th century CE, with Kamil Zvelebil, a Tamil literature scholar, dating predominantly all of the poems of Purananuru sometime between 2nd and 5th century CE. Nevertheless, few poems are dated to the period of 1st century BCE.

Tamilakam

Tamilakam

Tamiḻakam refers to the geographical region inhabited by the ancient Tamil people, covering the southernmost region of the Indian subcontinent. Tamilakam covered today's Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and southern parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Traditional accounts and the Tolkāppiyam referred to these territories as a single cultural area, where Tamil was the natural language and permeated the culture of all its inhabitants. The ancient Tamil country was divided into kingdoms. The best known among them were the Cheras, Cholas, Pandyans and Pallavas. During the Sangam period, Tamil culture began to spread outside Tamilakam. Ancient Tamil settlements were also established in Sri Lanka and the Maldives (Giravarus).

Battle of Venni

Battle of Venni

Battle of Venni is a military engagement fought by the early historic Chola (Uraiyur) ruler Karikala with a confederacy of Pandya (Madurai) and Chera rulers. Venni is identified with present day Kovilvenni near Thanjavur, southern India.

Kallanai Dam

Kallanai Dam

Kallanai is an ancient dam built by Karikala of Chola dynasty in 150 CE. It is built across the Kaveri river flowing from Tiruchirapalli District to Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India. The dam located in Thanjavur district. Located at a distance of 15 km from Tiruchirapalli, 45 km from Tanjavur. It is the fourth oldest water diversion or water-regulator structures in the world and the oldest in India that is still in use. Because of its spectacular architecture, it is one of the prime tourist spots in Tamil Nadu.

Nalankilli

Nalankilli

Nalankilli was one of the Tamil kings of Early Cholas of the Chola Dynasty who ruled Tamilakam in the Southern India and was mentioned in the ancient Sangam Literature. He was the son of Karikala Chola the Great. Nalankilli was mentioned in context with a civil war between him and another Chola king Nedunkilli. The information known about him are from the fragmentary stanzas of Purananuru and Manimekalai.

Nedunkilli

Nedunkilli

Nedunkilli was a Tamil king of the Early Cholas from the region of Tamilakam mentioned in Sangam Literature. Nedunkilli was mentioned in context with a civil war between him and another Chola Nalankilli. The only information we have is from the fragmentary poems of Sangam.

Nayanars

Nayanars

The Nayanars were a group of 63 Tamil Hindu saints living during the 6th to 8th centuries CE who were devoted to the Hindu god Shiva. Along with the Alvars, their contemporaries who were devoted to Vishnu, they influenced the Bhakti movement in early medieval South India. The names of the Nayanars were first compiled by Sundarar. The list was expanded by Nambiyandar Nambi during his compilation of material by the poets for the Tirumurai collection, and would include Sundarar himself and Sundarar's parents.

Medieval Chola army

The Chola dynasty faded into darkness after c. 300 CE. During this period, the Cholas lost their sovereignty in Tamilakam and held on to their old capital city of Urayur by serving as a vassal state under the Kalabhra and Pallava dynasties. Making use of the opportunity during a war between the Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya Chola rose out of obscurity and captured Thanjavur and re-established the Chola dynasty. In 852 CE, Vijayalaya Chola declared war on the Pandyas and defeated them. The Cholas became so powerful that the Pallavas were also wiped out from the Thanjavur region at a later stage. The Medieval Chola Empire traced their ancestry to the ancient Tamil King, Karikala, making him the dynasty's ancestral father.[3]

Organization and administration

Cholas recruited military personnel of four types: soldiers of hereditary military families, soldiers raised from various tribes, personnel provided by various tradesman and merchants, and mercenaries.[4]

In addition to the divisions, there were the Nadapu—the commissariat and Payanam—the admiralty and logistics. The addition to these, bureaucratic reforms revolutionized the Chola Army, resulting in victories on a massive scale.[5]

Famous generals

Rajendra I at battle in Karnataka.
Rajendra I at battle in Karnataka.

There were hundreds of generals in the Medieval Chola Army, some notable commanders include:

  • Senathipathi Araiyan Rajarajan (11th century)
    • Younger brother of Rajendra Chola I and highest ranking general of the Chola Army during their victories against the Western Chalukya dynasty, Somavamsi dynasty, the Pala Kingdom, and the Kamboja Pala dynasty
  • Senathipathi Abrameya pallavan, was the commander in chief of Rajaraja chola.
  • Senathipathi Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan (10th–11th century)
  • Senathipathi Karunakara Tondaiman (Late 11th century)
    • Famous general during the reign of Kulottunga Chola I that defeated the Kalinga armies of King Anantavarman and went on to plunder Lanka
    • The Karunakara Pillaiyar temple in the Jaffna peninsula was built after him. The village, Thondaimanaru, in Ceylon was also named after him
  • Senathipathi Naralokaviran (Late 11th century)
    • General during the reign of Kulottunga Chola I and his successor Vikrama Chola that led many Chola campaigns in the deep south and distinguished himself in the Pandya Wars
  • Senathipathi Paluvettaraiyar Maravan Kandanar (Late 10th century)
  • Thalapathi Thiruchitrambalamudaiyan Perumanambi (Late 12th century)
  • Anipathi Annan Pallavarayan (Late 12th century)
    • Invaded Polonnaruwa and destroyed Parakramabahu's preparations for the invasion of Chola Nadu and provided support for Sinhalese Prince Sri Vallabha, nephew of Parakramabahu and a rival claimant to the Polonnaruwa throne

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Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra Chola I (/rɑːdʒeɪndrə/; Middle Tamil: Rājēntira Cōḻaṉ; Classical Sanskrit: Rājēndradēva Cōla; Old Malay: Raja Chulan; c. 971 CE – 1044 CE), often referred to as Rajendra the Great, and also known as Gangaikonda Cholan, and Kadaram Kondan was a Chola Emperor who reigned between 1014 and 1044 CE. He is considered the most significant ruler in early eleventh-century South Asia for his role in patronising the arts, encouraging trade and expanding the Chola Empire to its greatest extent.

Karnataka

Karnataka

Karnataka, formerly Mysore State, is a state in the southwestern region of India. It was formed as Mysore State on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act and renamed Karnataka in 1973. The state corresponds to the Carnatic region. Its capital and largest city is Bengaluru.

Battle of Kandalur Salai

Battle of Kandalur Salai

The battle of Kandalur salai, also spelled Kanthaloor salai, was a naval engagement of the Cholas under Rajaraja I against the "salai" at Kandalur in Trivandrum Kerala. The exact location of Kandalur—somewhere south Kerala—is a subject of scholarly debate. The above event is sometimes assumed to be identical with the "conquest of Vizhinjam by a general of Rajaraja [I]", before the burning of Lanka, given in the Tiruvalangadu Grant/Plates.

Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan

Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan

Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan was a commander of the Chola Army. He was one among the famous chieftains of the Chola emperors Rajaraja I and Rajendra I and chief of the Samanthas of North Arcot and also the husband of Rajaraja's elder sister Kunthavai Pirattiyar. He was also the chieftain of the Sri Lanka Front Army of Rajaraja l and Rajendra I. Territory under his authority was known as Vallavaraiyanadu. He ruled Brahmadesam. Vandiyathevan is idealized in Kalki Krishnamurthy's (Kalki) famous novel Ponniyin Selvan and also in many other novels like Vandiyadevan Vaal, Vandiyadevan Senai Thalaivan.

Chola conquest of Anuradhapura

Chola conquest of Anuradhapura

The Chola conquest and occupation of Anuradhapura Kingdom was a military invasion of the Kingdom of Anuradhapura by the Chola Empire. It can be seen as an ensuing conflict between Chola and Sinhalese kings after the initial conflict between Chola and the Pandya-Sinhalese alliance during conquest of the Pandya Kingdom by Chola king Paranthka I. After the defeat, Pandya king Rajasimha took his crown and the other regalia and sought refuge in Anuradhapura. The Paranthka made several futile attempts to regain regalia, including invasion of Sri Lanka on a date between 947 and 949 CE during the reign of Sinhalese king Udaya IV. Therefore, one of the driving motives behind the invasions of Anuradhapura by the Cholas' was their desire to possess these royal treasures. The conquest started with the invasion of the Anuradhapura Kingdom in 993 CE by Rajaraja I when he sent a large Chola army to conquer the kingdom and absorb it into the Chola Empire. Most of the island was subsequently conquered by 1017 CE and incorporated as a province of the vast Chola empire during the reign of his son Rajendra Chola I. The Chola occupation would be overthrown in 1070 CE through a campaign of Sinhalese Resistance led by Prince Kitti, a Sinhalese royal. The Cholas fought many subsequent wars and attempted to reconquer the Sinhalese kingdom as the Sinhalese were allies of their arch-enemies, the Pandyas. The period of Chola entrenchment in northern Sri Lanka lasted in total about three-quarters of a century, from roughly 993 CE to 1070 CE, when Vijayabahu I recaptured the north and expelled the Chola forces restoring Sinhalese sovereignty.

Karunakara Tondaiman

Karunakara Tondaiman

Karunakara Tondaiman was a general of Chola Emperor Kulottunga I. He is renowned for leading the Chola invasion of Kalinga during the reign of Kulottunga I and is the hero of Jayamkondar's poem Kalinkkattuparani In the Parani poem he is referred to as the lord of Vandai. while in the Draksharamam inscription of Kulottunga I, he is called as Vanduvaraja and Pallavaraja. He also served as a minister under Kulothunga Chola's son and successor, Vikrama Chola.

Naralokaviran

Naralokaviran

Naralokaviran, also known as Kalinga Rayan, was a general in the Chola army during the reign of Kulottunga I and his successor Vikrama Chola. He was the headman of Arumbakkam and a resident of Manavil in Manavil Nadu in Tondai Mandalam. He maintained a large fief at Manavil. Naralokaviran led many Chola campaigns in the deep south and distinguished himself in the Pandya Wars. He had many titles like Madurantaka Ponnambala-koothar, Sabharnataka, Kalinga Rayan, Porkoyil-Tondaiman, Koothan, Tondaiyarkon, the Lion of Kalinga.

Vikrama Chola

Vikrama Chola

Vikrama Chola, known as Kō Parakēsari Varman, was a 12th-century ruler of the Chola Empire in southern India. He succeeded his father Kulothunga I to the throne. Vikrama Chola was crowned as the heir-apparent by his father early in his life. He was appointed as viceroy of the Vengi province in 1089 C.E., succeeding his brother Rajaraja Chodaganga. Vikrama during his tenure successfully managed to check the ambitions of the Western Chalukya Vikramaditya VI on the Vengi kingdom.Vikrama Chola inherited the territories which included Tamil Nadu and some parts of Andhra Pradesh.

Paluvettaraiyar

Paluvettaraiyar

The Pazhuvettaraiyar were feudatories of the medieval Cholas. They ruled over the areas of Kila-Paluvur, Mela-Paluvur and Keezhaiyur in the Udaiyarpalayam taluk of the Ariyalur district. They were responsible for a number of benefactions to the temples at this place and were known to have been related to the Cholas by marriage.

Lankapura Dandanatha

Lankapura Dandanatha

Lankapura Dandanatha, more commonly referred to as simply Lankapura, was a Senapati of the Sinhala Army during the reign of King Parakramabahu I. He led an expeditionary force to South India in support of the Pandyan king Parakrama Pandyan I, bringing parts of South India under their control. Lankapura succeeded in restoring the Pandyan prince to the throne, and ordered the use of Sri Lankan currency in areas under his control. Whether he died during the invasion is unclear, since Sri Lankan sources claim that Lankapura returned to Sri Lanka as a war hero, while Indian sources say that he was killed.

Regiments

Horse-drawn chariots used by the Chola Army
Horse-drawn chariots used by the Chola Army
Elephants used in battle
Elephants used in battle

Chola inscriptions mention numerous regiments by specific names. Rajaraja Chola I created a powerful standing army and a considerable navy, which achieved even greater success under his son Rajendra Chola I. The prominence given to the army from the conquest of the Pandyas down to the last year of the king's reign is significant and shows the spirit with which the king treated his soldiers. Rajaraja evidently gave his army its due share in the glory derived from his extensive conquests. The army composed chiefly of Kaikolars (men with stronger arms), which were royal troops receiving regular payments from the treasury (e.g. Arul mozhideva-terinda-kaikola padai; in this, arulmozhideva is the king's name, terinda means well known, and padai means regime).[6][7]

The following regiments are mentioned in the Tanjavur inscriptions:

  • Uttama- Chola-terinda-Andalagattalar
  • Perundanattu Anaiyatkal — Elephant corps.
  • Pandita-Chola-Terinda-villigal — Archers
  • Nigarili- Chola terinda-Udanilai-Kudiraichchevagar — Cavalry
  • Mummadi- Chola-terinda-Anaippagar — Elephant corps
  • Vira- Chola-Anukkar
  • Parantaka-Kongavalar — Light Infantry
  • Mummadi- Chola-terinda-parivarattar
  • Keralantaka-terinda-parivarattar
  • Mulaparivara-vitteru alias Jananatha-terinda-parivarattar
  • Singalantaka-terinda-parivarattar
  • Sirudanattu Vadugakkalavar
  • Valangai-Parambadaigalilar
  • Sirudanattu-Valangai-Velaikkarappadaigal
  • Aragiya- Chola-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Aridurgalanghana-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Chandaparakrama-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Ilaiya-Rajaraja-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Kshatriyasikhamani-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Murtavikramabharana-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Rajakanthirava-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Rajaraja-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Rajavinoda-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Ranamukha-Bhima-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Vikramabharana-terinda-Valangai-Velaikkarar
  • Keralantaka-vasal-tirumeykappar
  • Anukka-vasal-tirumeykappar — Personal bodyguards
  • Parivarameykappargal — Personal bodyguards
  • Palavagai-Parampadaigalilar
  • Perundanattu-Valangai-Velaikkarappadaigal

Velaikkarappadaigal or Velaikkarar is the equivalent of "Guards regiment" or "King's Regiment"—a royal suffix given in honor of their loyalty and bravery. Some historians like Stein also propose that they were drawn from the civilian population during wartime, suggesting they were more like a national guard. They are mentioned in the Mahavamsa; according to that account, the Sinhalese kingdom tried to use them as mercenaries against the Chola empire. They were later silenced and decommissioned when they refused and rebelled.

There are almost seventy of such regiments that have been found in these inscriptions. In most of the foregoing names, the first portion appears to be the surnames or titles of the king himself or that of his son. That these regiments were called after the king or his son shows the attachment that the Chola king bore towards his army.

It may not be unreasonable to suppose that these royal names were prefixed to the designations of these regiments after they had distinguished themselves in some engagement or other. It is worthy of note that there are elephant troops, cavalry and foot soldiers among these regiments.

Top officers took various titles after the different kings such as Rajaraja chola Brahmarajan, Rajarajakesari Muvendavelar, Jayamkondachola Villuparaiyar, Uttamachola Muvendavelar, Manukula Muvendavelar, Nittavinotha Muvendavelar, Atirajendra Muvendavelar, Mummudi chola pallavaraiyar, and Viranarayanan Muvendavelan.[8]

Chola troops in battle
Chola troops in battle

Garrisons

The army was stationed throughout the country in the form of local garrisons and in cantonments called Kadagams. The Cholas also stationed garrisons outside the country to consolidate the administration of their conquered territories. Following the Chola conquest of Anuradhapura, Senathipathi of the Sri Lanka Front Army of Rajaraja l and Rajendra I, Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan, garrisoned the city of Polonnaruwa to administer control over the island and deter any attempt of reconquest by the Sinhalese armies.[9] After the troubles in the Pandya country, Kulothunga Chola I stationed his army in a number of military colonies along the main route to Pandya from Chola lands. One such colony was found at Kottaru and another at Madavilagam near South Arcot district in Tamil Nadu.[10]

Discover more about Garrisons related topics

Chola conquest of Anuradhapura

Chola conquest of Anuradhapura

The Chola conquest and occupation of Anuradhapura Kingdom was a military invasion of the Kingdom of Anuradhapura by the Chola Empire. It can be seen as an ensuing conflict between Chola and Sinhalese kings after the initial conflict between Chola and the Pandya-Sinhalese alliance during conquest of the Pandya Kingdom by Chola king Paranthka I. After the defeat, Pandya king Rajasimha took his crown and the other regalia and sought refuge in Anuradhapura. The Paranthka made several futile attempts to regain regalia, including invasion of Sri Lanka on a date between 947 and 949 CE during the reign of Sinhalese king Udaya IV. Therefore, one of the driving motives behind the invasions of Anuradhapura by the Cholas' was their desire to possess these royal treasures. The conquest started with the invasion of the Anuradhapura Kingdom in 993 CE by Rajaraja I when he sent a large Chola army to conquer the kingdom and absorb it into the Chola Empire. Most of the island was subsequently conquered by 1017 CE and incorporated as a province of the vast Chola empire during the reign of his son Rajendra Chola I. The Chola occupation would be overthrown in 1070 CE through a campaign of Sinhalese Resistance led by Prince Kitti, a Sinhalese royal. The Cholas fought many subsequent wars and attempted to reconquer the Sinhalese kingdom as the Sinhalese were allies of their arch-enemies, the Pandyas. The period of Chola entrenchment in northern Sri Lanka lasted in total about three-quarters of a century, from roughly 993 CE to 1070 CE, when Vijayabahu I recaptured the north and expelled the Chola forces restoring Sinhalese sovereignty.

Rajaraja I

Rajaraja I

Rajaraja I, often described as Rajaraja the Great, or Mummudi Chola as was a Chola emperor who reigned from 985 CE to 1014 CE. He was the most powerful Tamil king in South India during his reign and is remembered for reinstating the Chola influence and ensuring its supremacy across the Indian Ocean.

Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra Chola I (/rɑːdʒeɪndrə/; Middle Tamil: Rājēntira Cōḻaṉ; Classical Sanskrit: Rājēndradēva Cōla; Old Malay: Raja Chulan; c. 971 CE – 1044 CE), often referred to as Rajendra the Great, and also known as Gangaikonda Cholan, and Kadaram Kondan was a Chola Emperor who reigned between 1014 and 1044 CE. He is considered the most significant ruler in early eleventh-century South Asia for his role in patronising the arts, encouraging trade and expanding the Chola Empire to its greatest extent.

Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan

Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan

Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan was a commander of the Chola Army. He was one among the famous chieftains of the Chola emperors Rajaraja I and Rajendra I and chief of the Samanthas of North Arcot and also the husband of Rajaraja's elder sister Kunthavai Pirattiyar. He was also the chieftain of the Sri Lanka Front Army of Rajaraja l and Rajendra I. Territory under his authority was known as Vallavaraiyanadu. He ruled Brahmadesam. Vandiyathevan is idealized in Kalki Krishnamurthy's (Kalki) famous novel Ponniyin Selvan and also in many other novels like Vandiyadevan Vaal, Vandiyadevan Senai Thalaivan.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa

Poḷonnaruwa, also referred as Pulathisipura and Vijayarajapura in ancient times, is the main town of Polonnaruwa District in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. The modern town of Polonnaruwa is also known as New Town, and the other part of Polonnaruwa remains as the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is the southern-most state of India. The tenth largest Indian state by area and the sixth largest by population, Tamil Nadu is the home of the Tamil people, whose Tamil language—one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world—is widely spoken in the state and serves as its official language. The capital and largest city is Chennai.

Navy

The maritime force of Cholas was formed from ships used for trade, as they did not have a dedicated ship for naval combat. The ships were used for transporting the land army overseas.[11]: 251 [12]: 77 

Source: "Chola military", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 19th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chola_military.

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Notes
  1. ^ Sastri, Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta (1955). The Cōlas. University of Madras.
  2. ^ Walking to Kataragama. International Centre for Ethnic Studies. 2007. ISBN 9789555801102.
  3. ^ "Epigraphia Indica Vol V". Manager of Publications, Delhi.
  4. ^ Sastri 1992b: 745-7
  5. ^ The Encyclopedia of Military History from 3500 B.C. to the Present, Page 1458–59 by Richard Ernest Dupuy, Trevor Nevitt Dupuy -1986,
  6. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath (1999). Kaikolar. ISBN 9788122411980.
  7. ^ "Kaikolappadai".
  8. ^ The Travancore state manual, Volume 1, page 192
  9. ^ A Global History of Pre-Modern Warfare: Before the Rise of the West, 10,000 BCE–1500 CE. Routledge. 14 September 2021. ISBN 9781000432121.
  10. ^ South Indian Inscriptions, vol. 3
  11. ^ Majumdar, Romesh Chandra (2001). The History and Culture of the Indian People, Volume V: The Struggle for Empire. Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
  12. ^ Sakhuja, Vijay; Sakhuja, Sangeeta (2009). "Rajendra Chola I's Naval Expedition to Southeast Asia: A Nautical Perspective". In Kulke, Hermann; Kesavapany, K.; Sakhuja, Vijay (eds.). Nagapattinam to suvarnadwipa: Reflections on the chola naval expeditions to Southeast Asia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. pp. 76–90.
References

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