Middle Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1975 | 141,178 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I in the timeframe A.D. 985-1070. The Cholas of Southern India left a remarkable stamp in the history of Indian architecture and sculpture. Besides that, the Chola dynasty was a successful ruling dynasty even conquering overseas regions....

Appendix on Tiruvalangadu Copper Plates

The Tiruvalangadu (Thiruvalangadu) Copper Plates of the sixth year of Rajendra Chola I, speaking of Rajaraja I, say:

69. Though requested by the subjects (to occupy the Chola throne), in order to destroy the persistendy blinding-darkness of the powerful Kali (age), Arunmolivarman, who understood the essence of royal conduct, desired not the kingdom for himself even in (his) mind, while his paternal uncle coveted his (i.e., Arumolivarman’s) dominions.

70. Applying (his) mind to (the devotion of) Sarva (Siva) utilising (his) wealth in the act of performing His worship (employing) all (his) retinue in the construction of houses (i.e., temples) for Him, and directing (his) subjects to (regularly) perform His festive processions, (showing his) wrath (only) in the killing of enemies and (distributing his) riches among virtuous Brahma-nas, that king (Madhurantaka) bore on (his) broad shoulders, the (weight of the) earth.

X                                        X                                        X

72. Arunmolivarman was himself then installed in the administration of the kingdom (as if) to wash away the stain of the earth caused by the Kali (age) of his body (bathed by the water during the ceremony of installation); and the ends of the quarters heavily roared with the tumultuous sounds of the war-drums, rows of bells and bugles, kettle-drums, tambourines and conches.

73. (Surely) the milky ocean formed itself into a circle in the shape of (his) parasol in the sky and came to see its (own) daughter Sri (Lakshmi) resting on the chest of this (king).

74. Indeed, the ladies of (the lords of) the quarters, who were taken captive during the digvijaya (i. e., the conquest of the quarters), rendered (their) service to this victorious monarch with chowries (made) of (his) fame, lustrous as the shining moon-beams.

75. Although, in the tulabhara (ceremony), the king was weighed against gold-pieces in the scales (tula), he was still (found) a-tula (i.e., unequalled). (Hence,) it is difficult to comprehend the greatness of the great.

76. This king—a pile of matchless prosperity, majesty, learning, strength of arm, prowess, heroism and courage—invaded and conquered, in order, (all) the quarters commencing with the direction of Trisanku (i.e., the south).

77. The moon as if to afford protection to the Pandya king born in his own family, and thinking (unto himself) “I am also a raja (king), became the white parasol of this (king) who was intent upon conquering that (southern) quarter.

78. (King) Amarabhujanga being seized, (other) dissolute kings, whose rule was secretly mischievous, being much afraid of him at heart, wishes to hide (themselves) somewhere (just like serpents with sliding crooked bodies).

79. The commandant of (this) ornament of the Solar race, the hereditary home of (the Goddess of) victory, captured (the town of) Vilinda whose moat was the sea, whose extensive ramparts were glorious and high (and) which was impregnable to the enemy warriors.

80. The Lord of the Raghavas (i.e., Rama) constructing a bridge across the waters of the ocean with (the assistance of) able monkeys, killed with great difficulty the king of Lanka (i.e. Ravana) with sharp-edged arrows; (but,) this terrible General of that (king) Arunmolivarman crossed the ocean by ships and burnt the Lord of Lanka (Ceylon). Hence Rama is (surely) surpassed by this (Chola General).

81. This is strange that though Satyasraya fled to avoid misery from the attack of his (i.e. Arunmolivarman’s) ocean-like army, (still) misery found a (permanent) abode in him. But this is not strange, that his flight is due to (i.e., is the result of) his birth from Taila.

82. “Since Rajaraja, an expert in war, of the (same) name as myself, has been killed by a powerful club, I shall, therefore, kill that Andhra (king) called Bhima though (he may be) faultless.” So saying, he (Arunmolivarman) killed him (i.e. Bhima) with a mace.

83. Having conquered the country (which was) the creation of Rama (i.e. Parasurama) whose beloved vow was to annihilate the whole of the Kshatra (Kshatriya) race—the country which was adorned with pious people, was matchless and inaccessible on account of the mountains and the ocean, he caused abundant joy to all kings that held a bow (in their hands), (and made) his commands shine on the rows of the diadems of all rulers of the earth.

84 Having subdued in battle the Ganga, Kalinga, Vanga, Magadha, Aratta, Odda, Sau-rashtra, Chalukya and other kings, and having received homage from them, the glorious Raja-raja—a rising sun in opening the groups of lotuses, viz., the faces of crowds of learned men—ruled the earth whose girdle is the water of all oceans.”

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