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The Chola Empire was a Southern Indian Tamil family and is one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of the world. The earliest datable references to the Chola are in the Maurya Empire inscriptions left by Ashoka from the 3rd century BCE.
See the fact file below for more information on the Chola Empire or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Chola Empire worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The dynasty emerged from the valley of the wealthy Kaveri (Cauvery) River. Its oldest capital is Uraiyur (now Tiruchchirappalli).
- Its prominent pillars are Vijayalaya (its founder), Aditya I, and Rajendra Chola.
- Among the early Chola kings, Karikala Chola was the most famous, while Rajaraja Chola, Rajendra Chola and Kulothunga Chola I were also celebrated medieval Chola emperors.
- During the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, the Cholas were at the height of their might. The dynasty was a political, economic, and cultural power in Asia under Rajaraja Chola I (Rajaraja the Great) and his son Rajendra Chola. The territories of the Chola extended from the Maldives islands in the south to as far north as the Ganges River banks in Bangladesh.
THE EARLY RULERS
- The Chola Dynasty, although uncertain, was established before the time when the early Sangam poems were written, i.e. around the 2nd century AD.
- This era’s Chola rulers are referred to as the ‘Early Cholas,’ marking the first phase in the Chola Dynasty history.
- The Sangam literature is the main source of knowledge about this time, though this source mainly deals with legends about mythical Chola kings. For example, the Cholas are known for claiming descent from the Sun.
- Other sources mentioning the Cholas include a Greco-Roman periplus entitled Eritrean Sea Periplus, and inscriptions found on the pillars erected by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka.
- The Chola Dynasty’s second phase of history is known as the ‘Interregnum.’ This began towards the end of the Sangam period, i.e. towards AD 300, when the Chola dynasty fell out of control. As a result, the southern part of India split between the Kingdoms of Pallava and Pandya.
- Though the Cholas suffered a decline, the family was not extinct, and under these new powers they were supposed to have acted as sub-rulers. In addition, the emerging forces mostly left the Cholas alone, possibly because of the respect they still had. It was also because of this dignity that the Pallavas and Pandyas were prepared to marry princesses of Chola.
- The period of the Interregnum ended about the middle of the 9th century A.D. That was when the Pallavas and the Pandyas were in conflict with one another, and the Cholas, under Vijayalaya’s leadership, took the opportunity to stand up against them.
- The rebellion was a success that brought about the establishment of the period of ‘Medieval Chola.’
- The successors of Vijayalaya continued to extend the territories of Chola in southern India, ultimately subjugating both Pallavas and Pandyas. After the Cholas (by 985 AD) dominated the Tamil-speaking regions of southern India, the Chola rulers sought to expand even further.
- The Chola Dynasty reached its peak under Rajaraja Chola I (r. 985 – 1014 AD) and his son, Rajendra Chola (r. 1014 – 1044 AD).
- The Cholas invaded Sri Lanka under these two kings, spread their territories to the north as far as the Ganges River, and also brought maritime South East India under their sphere of influence.
- The last era in the Chola Dynasty history is referred to as the ‘Later Chola’ era, which started not long after the reign of Rajendra Chola, and ended in the latter half of the 13th century A.D.
- Kulothunga I, whose father was an Eastern Chalukyan prince, and mother a Chola princess, was the first ruler of this period.
- Thus the Later Chola period rulers were also known as the Cholas of Chalukya. Kulothunga inherited both the Chola lands and those of the Eastern Chalukyas as a result of his parentage. However, at that time, the latter was collapsing, and Kulothunga chose to abandon his claim to it, concentrating on his Chola territories.
IMPACT ON ARTS AND CULTURE
- The Cholas had tremendous impact on India, particularly southern India’s Tamil-speaking parts, not only from a political perspective but also in the arts and culture.
- Many Hindu temples, including the Temple of Thanjavur and the Cholapuram Temple of Gangaikonda, were constructed thanks to the patronage of the Chola rulers.
- Additionally, during this time, many bronze sculptures of incredibly high quality were also produced, many of which have survived to this day.
- Under the Chola rulers, literature flourished too, and education was encouraged, leading to a high literacy rate among their subjects.
Chola Empire Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Chola Empire across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Chola Empire worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Chola Empire which was a Southern Indian Tamil family and is one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of the world. The earliest datable references to the Chola are in the Maurya Empire inscriptions left by Ashoka from the 3rd century BCE.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Chola Empire Facts
- Chola Facts
- Empire Wordscapes
- Descriptive Term
- Historical Events
- 2 Pics 1 Title
- The Chola Legacy
- Chola’s Flag
- Questions Addressed
- The Founder
- Empires’ Purpose
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Link will appear as Chola Empire Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 28, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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