Rajarajan - Military Conquests - Northern Wars - Western Chalukya Wars

Western Chalukya Wars

During the reign of Rajaraja Chola, there were continuous wars with the Western Chalukyas to assert supremacy and there are multiple epigraphic evidences that show that the Cholas were constantly fighting with the Chalukyas or against the vassals of the latter. It is unclear as to why Rajaraja mounted an invasion against Satyasraya. According to historian Eugen Hultzsch the circumstances that led to the war are not mentioned in any of Rajaraja's inscriptions. But we do know that the rulers of these two conquered provinces were originally feudatories of the Rashtrakutas. An inscription of Irivabedanga Satyasraya from Dharwar describes him as a vassal of the Western Chalukya Ahvamalla for he describes himself as a bee at the lotus feet of Ahavamalldeva in 1002 A.D. An inscription of Rajaraja asserts that he captured Rattapadi by force. Rajendra led the Chola armies against the Western Chalukyas and would turn Manyakheta, the Chalukyan capital into his own playground. Raja Raja I claims damages worth "seven and a half lakshas from Irattapadi which was evidently the site of war with Satyashraya resulting in victory for Raja Raja I and payment of damages by the Chalukya king. Chalukya kingdom Satyashraya would renege on his promise of agreeing to Chola suzerainty, but would be defeated by Rajendra Chola I when he became king. Irivabedanga Satyasraya partially acknowledges this Chola onslaught in his Hottur (Dharwad) inscription as he screams in pain. In his own words he calls himself the ornament of Chalukya race and the slayer of the Tamil. He identifies his opponent as Rajaraja Nittavinodha Rajendra Vidyadhara, the ornament of the Chola kula Nūrmadi Chola(one hundred times more powerful). In the same inscription, he accuses Rajendra of having arrived with a force of 900,000 and of having gone on rampage in Donuwara thereby blurring the moralities of war as laid out in the Dharmasastras. He says that his opponent destroyed the caste (jāti nāsa) of his people. Historians like James Heitzman, Wolfgang Schenkluhn conclude that this confrontation displayed the degree of animosity on a personal level between the rulers of the Chola and the Chalukya kingdoms, the feeling of otherness and their inability to identify with the other side that degenerated to a level of violence that overthrew the established social order(destruction of caste). They also draw a parallel between this relationship and the enmity between the Chalukyas of Badami and the Pallavas of Kanchi. There is also epigrahic evidence of earlier encounters between the Cholas and the Hoysalas who were vassals of the Western Chalukyas during the reign of Rajaraja Chola. An inscription from the roof of the Gopalakrishna temple at Kaleyur in the Tirumukudalu Narasipur taluk dated in Saka 929 being current, Parabhava, corresponding to 1006 A.D, records that Rajaraja's viceroy Aprameya displayed his valor by slaying the Hoysala minister Naganna and multiple other generals of the Hoysalas like Manjaga, Kalega(or Kali Ganga), Nagavarman, etc. There is also a similar inscription in the Channapatna taluk that shows Rajaraja crushing the Hoysalas. Rajaraja evidently attached much importance to his victory over Satyasraya, as he is said to have presented gold flowers to the Rajarajesvara temple on his return from the expedition. At the end of this war, the southern banks of the Tungabadhra river became the frontier between these two empires.

Read more about this topic:  Rajarajan, Military Conquests, Northern Wars

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