Rajadhiraja Chola II - Pandya Civil War

Pandya Civil War

After the conquest of the Pandya country by Kulothunga Chola I, the local Pandya princes were allowed to rule as they liked, subject to a vague suzerainty of the Cholas. Some of the Pandyas were loyal to the Cholas as can be seen by one Parantaka Pandya took part in Kulothunga I's Kalinga campaigns. But after Kulothunga I, the Cholas lost any little control they had over the Pandyas. There are hardly any inscriptions to be found in the Pandya country after the reign of Kulothunga Chola I.

About 1166 C.E. Parakrama Pandya in Madurai, and Kulasekara quarrelled about the succession and Kulasekara attacked Madurai. Parakrama appealed to the Lanka king Parakramabahu I. Before the Sinhala help could reach Parakrama, Kulasekara took Madurai and killed Parakarama, his wife and some of his children. The Sinhala king instructed his general to continue to war until Kulasekara is defeated and the Pandaya throne was bestowed upon a son of Parakrama Pandya.

Kulasekara put up a good fight and the Sinhala forces had to get reinforcements from Lanka. Kulasekara then appealed to Rajadhiraja Chola II, and a large force was sent to his aid. However Kulasekara lost his fight against the Lankan forces. The Lankan general installed Virapandya, a son of Parakrama Pandya on the throne. The fight continued between the Chola forces and that of the Sinhala. The Chola army soon defeated the Sinhalese forces and drove them back to the island. In the fight annan pallavarayan, chola general beheaded two sinhala generals lankapuri thandanayagan and jagathvisaya thandanayagan. The two generals head were installed in pandya fort after cholas make Kulasekara as pandya king.

Parakramabahu prepared a counter offensive against the Chola mainland. On hearing this the Chola general induced Srivallabha, a rival of Parakramabahu to the Sinhala throne to undertake an invasion of the Lanka island. A naval expedition landed in Lanka and attacked and destroyed many places. Seeing the damage his support of Parakrama Pandya had brought to him, Parakramabahu recognised Kulasekara as the rightful king of the Pandyas, and entered in to an alliance with him against the Cholas. Cholas discovered Kulasekara's treachery and changed their policy at once. After further fighting, the Cholas set up Virapandya on the Pandya throne and drove Kulasekara into exile

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