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The Cholas

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The Cholas - Lesson Summary

The Chola dynasty was in power from the latter half of the 9 th century to the beginning of the 13 th century. It was at its peak during the medieval period. Vijayalaya an ancient chiefly family of the Cholas captured the Kaveri delta from the Muttaraiyars. He built a temple devoted to goddess Nishumbhasudini at Thanjavur and made it his capital. Gradually, the kingdom grew in size with conquering the neighbouring regions of Pandyan and Pallava.

In 985, Rajaraja I came to power and expanded the empire even more. He defeated the Cheras to acquire the Malwar coast, Madurai and other territories in the south-east. Rajaraja I, and his son, Rajendra I, succeeded in making the Chola dynasty a military, economic and cultural power in Asia. Both of them together, continued to expand the kingdom by raiding the Ganga valley.

The bronze statues and temples of the Chola empire bear testimony to its art and architecture. The temples that time were built not only as places of worship, but also as centres of learning, and economic, social and cultural activity.

Agriculture was the main source of revenue. It was supported by well-developed irrigation facilities like wells, canals and water tanks. For large-scale agricultural production, people started clearing forests, and embankments were constructed to control floods.


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