The History Of The Medieval Chola Dynasty

1235 words - 5 pages

The history of the medieval Chola dynasty is full of mystery and intrigue. Accounts of assassination and war are intertwined with a history rich in cultural pride, magnificent art and grand temples that convey the period as a prosperous time. From a few scattered tribes the medieval Chola dynasty rose to form a great civilization. As a society with a strong focus on naval and administrative achievements the Cholas affected the history of India.
The history of the medieval Chola Dynasty starts several hundred years after the Sangam age when Vijayalaya Chola took control of Thanjavur city in the middle of the ninth century CE (Chandrakumar). The Chola Empire grew over the next two centuries ...view middle of the document...

Each elephant was fitted with razor-sharp trunk armor and as they “sliced through the battlefield” the men the elephants carried launched spears and arrows into the enemy below (Mystery). Rajaraja Chola I build his army to be unstoppable and it indeed expanded the Chola Empire to almost twice its size in less than seven years (V). Rajaraja Chola I’s military focus was not limited to land; he looked to the sea for new conquests as well. Rajaraja Chola I was the first Indian ruler to build warships and create a naval force (Culture) and his navy was instrumental in the expansion of the Chola Empire. When the boats of Rajaraja Chola I arrived at the harbors of an unprepared rivals, being incapable of defense, surrender was often the outcome (Culture). It is said that the navy formed by Rajaraja Chola I went on to conquer over twelve thousand islands within his life and was even more successful under the control of Rajaraja Chola I’s son (Mystery). With the Chola Empire expanding over land and sea Rajaraja Chola I was faced with the problem of governing over the land.
Rajaraja Chola I made sweeping changes to the way the government was run to make it possible to control the entire Chola Empire (Varalaaru). After fist surveying the land, Rajaraja Chola I spilt the Chola Empire into small communities and assigned local government officials for each (Mystery). To keep the local governments from becoming corrupt Rajaraja Chola I also created a way to audit the records of each official and placed policies for removing the corrupt (V). Rajaraja Chola I also levied taxes on land owners and created a system of repossession for those who did not pay (Raja). With government under control and peace thought-out the land the Chola Empire gained a large amount of wealth, and Rajaraja Chola I had a plain for putting that wealth to use.
As a Hindu, Rajaraja Chola I had a problem with the men killed under his command. Hindu law stated that it was forbidden to kill another and with his next life hinging on the actions of his current one Rajaraja Chola I had to find a way to absolve his actions (Mystery). Rajaraja Chola I’s answer to this was to build a large temple in capital city to appease the Hindu Gods. Rajaraja Chola I had granite blocks brought in from over twenty kilometers away to build a large complex of buildings (V).
The temple at Thanjavur, that still stands today, has the honor of being the worlds first completely granite temple and provides proof of the Chola Empire’s great artistic and...

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