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: Tiruvalangadu Copper Plates

“85. To this ruler of men (Rajaraja I) was born a son, Madhurantaka, whose limbs bore all the (distinguishing) marks of earth-rulers, who resembled a different Manmatha (mind-bom) who had defied the angry roar of Hara (Siva)”.

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“89. (This) famous (and) heroic lord of men intent upon doing meritorious deeds with large quantities of money acquired by (the strength of) his own arm, turned his attention to the conquest of the quarters (digvijaya), backed by a powerful army.

90. Accordingly, he the unequalled king Uttama Chola first started to the (southern) quarter marked by (the asterism) Trisanku, with a desire to conquer the Pandya king, after having arranged for the protection of his own capital.

91. The commander of forces (dandanatha) of this crest-jewel of the Solar race (i.e., Madhurantaka) (Rajendra I) struck the Pandya king who had a powerful army. And the Pandya leaving his own country which was the residence of (the sage) Agastya, from fear (of Madhurantaka), sought refuge in the Malaya hill.

92. (Then) the politic son of Rajaraja took possession of the lustrous pure pearls which looked like the seeds (out of which grew) the spotless fame of the Pandya king.

93. Having placed there his own son, the glorious Chola-Pandya, for the protection of his (i.e. the Pandya’s) country, the light of the Solar race started for the conquest of the western region.

94. Having heard of the humiliation which the rulers of the earth were subjected to by (the sage) Bhargava (i.e., Parasurama) on the battlefield, (and) not being able to meet him (i.e., Bhargava) (in battle) on earth, that proud king (Madhurantaka) set his mind upon conquering the country called after him.”

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“96. Madhurantaka fearlessly crossed the Sahya (mountain) (and) immediately attacked the lord of the Kerala (country) together with his forces. Then a fierce battle took place which wrought ruin upon (several) kings.

97. Having conquered the Kerala king and having annihilated the country protected by the austerities of the chief of the Bhrigus, that prince, the abode of prosperity, turned towards his own capital (which looked) as if (it were) dancing (in joy) with (its upraised) hands, viz., brilliant fluttering flag-cloths and whispering welcome by (its) sweetly (jingling) waist-belts of (damsels) with unsteady eyes.”

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“99. Having appointed his own son, the glorious Chola-Pandya, to protect the western country, he, the very god of Death (Kala) to the Taila-family (i.e., the Western Chalukyas), entered (the town of) Kanchi, which was like the waist-band (kanchi) of the goddess-earth.

100. Observing that the lord of the Chalukyas, king Jayasimha, was the seat of the (sinful) Kali (age), Rajendra-Chola—himself the destroyer of the Kali (age)—started first to conquer him (i.e., Jayasimha) alone.

101. It may be no wonder that the fire of his anger burst into flame as it came into contact with the descendant of Taila.

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102. While this king with anger was engaged in vanquishing Jayasimharaja, very strangely (indeed), the fire of grief of the Ratta ladies burst into flame, washed by the tears (trickling) from (their) eyes.”

“104. The forces of Cholendrasimha and Jqyasimha fought an intensive battle, each (side) kindling the anger of the other, wherein the fire generated by the tusks of huge infuriated elephants dashing (against each other), burnt all the banners.

105. That lord of Rattarashtra (i.e., Jayasimha) in order to escape from the fire of the terrible rage of the ornament of the Solar race (i.e., Rajendra-Chola) took to his heels with fear, abandoning all (his) family, riches and reputation.”

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107. The army of Rattaraja, hemmed in on all sides by the continuous downpour of arrows (and) beleaguered by the heroes of the army of the ornament of the Solar race, was (completely) destroyed just as a range of clouds tossed about by the force of furious winds.

108. Having defeated Rattaraja with (his) forces, the son of Rajaraja, well-versed in polity and attended by all his numerous virtues such as courage, prowess and victory, got (back) to (his) (capital) town.

109. This light of the Solar race, laughing at Bhagiratha who had brought down the Ganga (to the earth from heaven) by the power of (his) austerities, wished to sanctify his own country with the waters of the Ganga (i.e., the river Ganges) carried thither through the strength of (his) arm.

110. Accordingly (he) ordered the commander of the army who had powerful battalions (under his control), who was the resort of heroism (and) the foremost of diplomats, to subdue the enemy kings occupying (the country on) the banks of that (river).

111. Before him, as from the slopes of the Himalayas, marched a very large army like the tremendous volume of the waters of the Ganga with wavy rows of moving horses, causing all the quarters to resound with its confused clamour.

112. The van of his army crossed the rivers by way of bridges formed by herds of elephants. The rest of the army (crossed the same) on foot, (because) the waters in the meantime had dried up being used by elephants, horses and men.

113. The soldiers of Vikrama-Chola (Rajendra Chola I) having reached the points of the compass (first) by the dust raised by crowds of elephants, horses and foot-men, quickly entered (next) the country of hostile kings.”

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“137. May Rajendra-Chola be victorious all over the earth, whose many gem(-like) virtues step beyond the bounds of the egg of the three worlds; (the number of) whose enemies is not sufficiently (large) for the (full) display of (his) splendid heroism; who (like) an ocean is the birth-place of all innumerable gem(-like) virtues; for (the grasp of) whose intelligence sciences (as they now exist) are limited (in number); who being solicited gives to the crowd of suppliants super-abundant wealth; and who is the birth-place of prosperity.”

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