Chola Empire: The information regarding the rise of the Chola Empire starts from the Sangam era (3rd century). The description of two Chola kings Karikala and Kochenganan is found in the Sangam literature. The Chola kingdom was also known as Chola Mandalam and was situated on the eastern bank of the rivers Pennar and Kaveri.
- The capital of the Chola Empire was at Uraiyur near Thrichanapalli.
Vijayalaya (848-871 AD)
- Vijayalaya is considered the founder of the Chola Empire, who founded this empire in the ninth century.
- Vijayalaya was a feudatory of the Pallava rulers.
- It captured Tanjore (Thanjavur) and made its new capital, earlier Uraiyur was capital.
- Vijayalaya assumed the title of 'Narkesari' to commemorate the victory of Tanjore.
- Vijayalaya had also built a grand temple named Choleswar.
Aditya I (871-907 AD)
- Aditya I, the son of Vijayalaya, became the ruler after the death of his father in 875 AD.
- Aditya I, established an independent Chola kingdom by defeating the last incompetent Pallava ruler Aparajita Varman.
- After conquering the Pallavas and establishing an independent Chola Empire, Aditya I assumed the title of "Kodandarama".
Parantaka I (907-950 AD)
- Parantak I became the ruler in 907 AD.
- Parantaka I defeated the Pandya ruler Raj Singh II and assumed the title of "Maduraikonda".
- During his reign, Parantaka I badly defeated the combined armies of Pandya kings and Sri Lanka in the battle of Vellore in 915 AD.
- It expanded the Chola Empire, expanding the boundaries of its kingdom to Kanyakumari.
- The Chidambaram temple at Tanjore (Thanjavur) was built by Parantaka I.
- In 949 AD, Krishna III of the Rashtrakuta dynasty made a treaty with the Ganges and attacked the Chola king Parantaka I, and the Cholas were badly defeated in the battle of Takkolam. With this, the northern part of the Chola empire went under the control of the Rashtrakutas.
Rajaraja I (985-1014 AD)
- Rajaraja I ascended the throne in the year 985 AD.
- Rajaraja I was the most powerful ruler of the Cholas.
- Rajaraja I defeated the naval forces of the Chera rulers at Kandalur and assumed the title of "Kandalur Shalaikalmarut".
- He defeated the Sri Lankan ruler Mahendra V in the war and annexed the northern part of Sri Lanka to his kingdom.
- It shifted the capital of Sri Lanka from Anuradhapura to Polannarua and renamed it Jayanathamangalam.
- Rajaraja I also got a Shiva temple built at Jayanathamangalam and assumed the title of "Shivapadasekhar".
- According to the information received from the inscriptions, Rajaraja Chola wanted to establish a monopoly on the trade in the countries of South Asia.
- To achieve this goal, he conquered 12000 islands including the Kalinga kings, and established his kingdom on them.
- Rajaraja I had also sent one of his envoys to China.
- The credit for starting the special art of writing history "historical foreword" also goes to Rajaraja I.
- He had adopted the disasters of "Mummadi Choladev", "Jayagond", and "Cholmartand".
- For the determination of land revenue, he got the land survey done in 1000 AD.
- Established local self-government in his state.
- During his reign, he built a Shaivite temple named "Rajarajeshwara" near Tanjore (Thanjavur), which later came to be called "Vrihadeshwara Temple" due to its grand size.
Rajendra I (1014-1044 AD)
- After the death of Rajaraja I, his son Rajendra I became the emperor.
- In the fifth year of his reign, he attacked the ruler of Sri Lanka, Mahendra V, imprisoned him, and merged the whole of Sri Lanka into his kingdom.
- He also defeated the Chera and Pandya kings in battle. Declaring his son "Rajadhiraj" the ruler of the Pandya region, he gave him the title of "Chol-Pandya".
- He also campaigned towards Uttarapatha and defeated Mahipala, the Pala ruler of Bengal. The success of this campaign assumed the title of "Gangaikonda Chola".
- For irrigation, a huge lake named "Cholagangam" was constructed.
- In 1035 AD, Rajendra I defeated Kulotungavarman, the ruler of the Srivijaya Empire in a battle, and merged the Malaya Peninsula, Sumatra and Java into his kingdom.
- Vedic education and philosophy flourished during his reign. A huge school was built for the study of Vedic literature.
Rajadhiraja I (1044-1054 AD)
- After the death of Rajendra I, his son Rajadhiraja I succeeded him.
- The rebellious rulers of Sri Lanka, Chera, and Pandya kingdoms tried to defeat it by forming a combined army, but ultimately Rajadhiraja I was victorious.
- He got his coronation done by conquering Kalyani, and assumed the title of "Vijay Rajendra". It was here that he also performed the Ashwamedha Yagya.
- He died in the battle of Koppam during Kalyani's struggle with the Chalukyas.
Rajendra II (1054-1063 AD)
- Rajendra II became the ruler after the death of his brother Rajadhiraja.
- Rajendra II defeated Someshvara I of the Chalukya dynasty in the battle of Koodal Sangamam in 1062 AD.
- Rajendra II established Jayastambha at Kolhapur, and assumed the title of "Prakesari".
Veer Rajendra (1063-1067 AD)
- Veer Rajendra became the ruler after his brother Rajendra II and assumed the title of "Rajkesari".
- To expand his empire, he married his daughter in the Chalukya dynasty of Kalyani.
- It was during this period that the Chalukya king Someshwar of Kalyani committed suicide in the Tungabhadra river because of the humiliation of being defeated by the Cholas.
Adhirajendra (1067-1070 AD)
- Adhirajendra was the last ruler of the Chola Empire founded by Vijayalaya.
- He was assassinated in a mass revolt during his reign.
- The Chola-Chalukya dynasty was established after the marriage of Madhurantika, the queen of the Eastern Chalukyas, and Rajendra II, the ruler of the Cholas.
Kulottunga I (1070-1120 AD)
- Kulottunga I defeated Yashah Karnadeva, the ruler of Kalachuri, and Anantavarman, the king of Kalinga.
- During his reign, King Vijaybahu of Sri Lanka declared his independence.
- Kulottung I again got the land survey done for the determination of land revenue.
- Abolished octroi and tatkars for ease of trade. He assumed the title "Shungmatvirta" (the remover of taxes).
Vikram Chola (1120-1133 AD)
- Vikram Chola succeeded Kulottunga I.
- The Nataraja temple located in Chidambaram was renovated.
- By this, taxes were forcibly collected from the subjects, and the ancient Vaishnava idol installed in the temple was thrown into the sea. Due to this, it got the title of "renunciation sea".
Kulottunga II (1133–1150)
- Kulottunga II was the son of Vikram Chola.
- Kulottunga II threw the idol of Govindaraja into the sea, which shows him to be intolerant of religion.
- Kulottunga II and its feudatories patronized Ottakkuttan, Sekkilar and Kamban.
Rajaraja II (1150-1173 AD)
- Rajaraja II was a weak and incompetent ruler. During this time the rise of powerful feudatories started.
Rajadhiraja II (1173-1182 AD)
- During his reign, there was a dispute regarding succession in the Pandya dynasty, in which Rajadhiraja II assisted Veer Pandya.
Kulottunga III (1182-1216 AD)
- He became the ruler in 1182 AD and was the last great ruler of the Chola dynasty.
- In 1186 AD, Kulottunga III defeated the Pandya king Veera Pandya, who had become the ruler with the help of Chola ruler Rajadhiraja II.
- In 1205 AD, it was badly defeated by the Pandyas under the leadership of Jatavarman Kulasekhar.
Rajadhiraja III (1216-1250 AD)
- Rajadhiraja III was a weak and incompetent ruler. Pandya king Sundar attacked and took Rajadhiraja III captive.
Rajendra III (1250-1279 AD)
- Rajendra III was the last ruler of the Chola dynasty.
- During his reign, once again the Pandya kings invaded and the Chola Empire went completely under the suzerainty of the Pandyas.