Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra Chola I (Rajendra Chola the Great) (Tamil: முதலாம் இராசேந்திர சோழன்) was the son of Rajaraja Chola I and was one of the greatest rulers of Tamil Chola dynasty of India. He succeeded his father in 1014 CE as the Chola emperor. During his reign, he extended the influences of the already vast Chola empire up to the banks of the river Ganges in the north and across the ocean. Rajendra’s territories extended coastal Burma, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Maldives, conquered the kings of Srivijaya (Sumatra, Java and Malay Peninsula in South East Asia) and Pegu islands with his fleet of ships. He defeated Mahipala, the Pala king of Bengal and Bihar, and to commemorate his victory he built a new capital called Gangaikonda Cholapuram. The Cholas became one of the most powerful dynasties in Asia during his reign. The Tamil Chola armies exacted tribute from Thailand and the Khmer kingdom of Cambodia. Like the predecessors of the Cholas, the Pallavas and the contemporaneous Pandiyans, the Cholas too under Raja Raja I the father of Rajendra and then Rajendra Chola I too undertook several expeditions to occupy territories outside Indian shores. Of these kings, it was Rajendra who made extensive overseas conquests of territories like the Andamans, Lakshadweepa, wide areas of Indo China (Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia and Modern Vietnam) and indeed, Burma (**). In fact, Rajendra Chola I was the first Indian king to take his armies overseas and make conquests of these territories, even though there is epigraphical evidence of Pallava presence in these very areas, but it is not known that Burma and Indo-China were subordinate to them, as they were under Rajendra and his successors up to Kulothunga I.

He also built a temple for Siva at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, similar in design to the Tanjore Brihadisvara temple built by Rajaraja Chola. He assumed titles Parakesari and Yuddhamalla.

Read more about Rajendra Chola I:  Co-regent, Ascension and Early Reign, Military Conquests, Social Work, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Rajendra’s Legacy, Officials, Personal Life and Family, Sri Kalahasti Temple, Historic Novels Featuring Rajendra Chola I

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