Early Cholas - Sources

Sources

List of Chola kings
Early Cholas
Elara Chola · 235 BC – 161 BC
Ilamcetcenni · Karikala Chola
Nedunkilli ·
Killivalavan · Kopperuncholan
Kocengannan · Perunarkilli
Interregnum (c.200–848)
Medieval Cholas
Vijayalaya Chola 848–871(?)
Aditya I 871–907
Parantaka Chola I 907–950
Gandaraditya 950–957
Arinjaya Chola 956–957
Sundara Chola 957–970
Uttama Chola 970–985
Rajaraja Chola I 985–1014
Rajendra Chola I 1012–1044
Rajadhiraja Chola 1018–1054
Rajendra Chola II 1051–1063
Virarajendra Chola 1063–1070
Athirajendra Chola 1067–1070
Later Cholas
Kulothunga Chola I 1070–1120
Vikrama Chola 1118–1135
Kulothunga Chola II 1133–1150
Rajaraja Chola II 1146–1173
Rajadhiraja Chola II 1166–1178
Kulothunga Chola III 1178–1218
Rajaraja Chola III 1216–1256
Rajendra Chola III 1246–1279
Chola society
Chola government
Chola military · Chola Navy
Chola art · Chola literature
Solesvara Temples
Poompuhar · Uraiyur
Melakadambur
Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Thanjavur
Tiruvarur · Telugu Cholas

On the history of Cholas, as in many other subjects of Indian history, we have very little authentic written evidence. Historians during past 150 years have gleaned a great treasury of knowledge on the subject from a variety of sources such as ancient Tamil Sangam literature, oral traditions, religious texts, temple and copperplate inscriptions of the imperial cholas from the 10th century.

The main source for the available information of the early Cholas is the early Tamil literature of the Sangam Period. There are also brief notices on the Chola country and its towns, ports and commerce furnished by the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (Periplus Maris Erythraei). Periplus is a work by an anonymous Alexandrian merchant, written in the time of Domitian (81 – 96 CE) and contains precious little information of the Chola country. Writing half a century later, the geographer Ptolemy has more to tell us about the Chola country, its port and its inland cities.

Mahavamsa, a Buddhist text, also recounts a number of conflicts between the inhabitants of Ceylon and the Tamil immigrants.

Cholas also are mentioned in the Pillars of Ashoka (inscribed 273 - 232 BCE) inscriptions, where they are mentioned among the kingdoms, which, though not subject to Ashoka, were on friendly terms with him.

Kharavela, the Kalinga king who ruled during the 2nd century BCE, in his Hathigumpha inscription, claims to have destroyed a confederacy of Tamil states (‘’Tamiradesasanghatam’’) which had lasted 132 years.

Chronicles such as the Yalpana Vaipava Malai and stone inscriptions like Konesar Kalvettu recount that Kulakkottan, an early Chola king and descendant of Manu Needhi Cholan, was the restorer of the ruined Koneswaram temple and tank at Trincomalee in 438 CE, the Munneswaram temple of the west coast, and as the royal who settled ancient Vanniar in the east of the island Eelam.

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