A Critical Study on the "Last Days of Rajaraja Chola - 1 and the causes of his Death"

Thread started by virarajendra on 19th July 2017 09:59 PM


A Critical Study on the "Last Days of Rajaraja Chola-1 (A.D.985-1016) - the Tamil Chola Emperor" and the cause of his Death & the switch over of the Chola capital city from Thanjavur to Gangaikonda Cholapuram"

Among all Temple Inscriptions and Copper Plate Grants issued during the rule of Rajaraja Chola - 1 (A.D.985-1016) the latest year during which "many" inscriptions have been inscribed was in his 29th year of his rule being A.D.1014 (A.D.985 + 29 = A.D.1014).

Rajaraja Chola - 1 in his 29th year in A.D.1014 with the completion of his great religious Project the construction of Rajarajaeswarem Temple at Thanjavur, retired from active royal duties in the year A.D.1015 and handed over the full control of the massive Chola Empire to his son Rajendra Chola - 1 and remained as Emperor only name-sake and choose a religious life at Palaiyaarai. Here Rajaraja Chola - 1 establised a settlement of Saivite Priests and named it as Sivapathasekara Mangalam after a title he received as Sivapathasekaran on completion of his religious Project as seen from an inscription at Rajarajeswarem Temple in Thanjavur. They had "Kudamulukku Peru Vilaa" of the Thanjavur Rajarajeswarem Templw in the year A.D.1010. All Inscriptions on the Temple walls on endowments made by many individuals to this Temple were finish inscribed in the year A.D.1014.

"......சிவபாதசேகரனென்றும் ஸ்ரீ ராஜராஜனென்றும் திருநாமம் உடையன யாண்டு இருபத்தொன்பதாவது (A.D.1014)......."
Inscription on the northern outer wall of the Vimanam of Rajarajeswarem Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
South Indian Inscriptions - Vol 2, Ins no 91

It seems on completion of his Religious Project that he was given the title as Sivapathasekaran (meaning the one at the service of God Siva), which mostly appears in his 29th year Inscriptions at Thanjavur Temple. There is also an inscription at the Thiruvalanjuli Temple of his 29th year which too has a reference to Emperor Rajaraja's tituler name the Sivapathasekaran. (Note: A settlement - of Tamil Saivite Priests was known as Mangalam, and that of Sanskrit Vedic Priests was known as Chathurvedimangalam)

In this region of Sivapathasekara Mangalam he built a Maalikai (Palace) for himself which was known as Rajaraja Cholan alias Sivapathasekaran - Maalikai where he spent his last year of his life in religious activities upto his 31st year being A.D.1016, where he ultimately demised due to old age at an age of around 76 years. The portrait said to be of Rajaraja Chola and Karuvur Thevar at Thanjavur is in fact has to be that of Rajaraja Chola - 1 after the commencement of his religious life where he is seen with a Kamandalam in his hand, and Rajendra Chola - 1 his son standing behind with much respect to his father. (Refer to Part 1 of my Research article in this same Website titled "Rajendra Chola's 1000th anniversary of ascending the Chola Throne at Thanjavur)

This is confirmed by a Stone Inscription at the Paalkuaththu Amman Temple round Door-Post Pillars which were originally lying at the site of Mudikondan in Udaiyalur near the Sivalingam Site and subsequently taken to the nearby Vishnu temple and finally to Paalkulaththu Amman temple as Door-Post on two sides. It is in the right hand pillar while viewing the temple the Tamil Inscription could be read still in good condition and of importance to us which is of value for our study is as follows:

".....Sri Sivapaathasekara Mangalaththu "eluntharuli nintra Sri Rajaraja Thevar aana Sri Sivapaathasekara Thevar" Thirumaalikai munbil periya Thiru Mandapam....". This Pillar as per the inscription was undoubtedly a part of the Mun-Mandapam built in front of Sivapathaseka Thevar Maalikai built during the period of Rajaraja Chola's final year, and was damaged and repaired by two officers during the period of Kulothunga Chola - 1 and the foregoing Inscription was inscribed on same. (Inscription of his 42th year of Kulotunga Chola - 1 being A.D.1112).

கல்வெட்டின் வாசகம்

1 ஸ்வஸ்திஸ்ரீ ஸகலபுவந சக்கரவர்த்திகள் ஸ்ரீகு
2 லோத்துங்க சோழ தேவற்கு யாண்டு நாற்ப
3 த்திரண்டாவது ஸ்ரீசிவபாதசேகரமங்கலத்து
4 எழுந்தருளி நின்ற ஸ்ரீராஜராஜதேவரான ஸ்ரீ
5 சிவபாதசேகரதேவர் திருமாளிகை முன்பில்
6 பெரிய திருமண்டப
முன்[பி]லடுப்பு ஜீர்
7 ந்நித்தமையில் இம்மண்டபம் எடுப்பி
8 த்தார் பிடவூர் (பிடவூர் வேளான்) வேளா
9 ன் அரிகேசவனாந கச்சிராஜற்காக இவ்வூர்
10 நாயகம் செய்து நின்ற ஜயசிங்ககுலகா
11 ல வளநாட்டு குளமங்கல நாட்டு சா
12 த்தமங்கலத்து சாத்தமங்கலமுடை
13 யான் நம்பிடாரன் நாடறிபுகழன் இ
14 வருடன் விரதங்கொண்டு செய்தார் இ
15 வ்வூர் பிடாரகளில் ராஜேந்த்ரசோழனு
16 தைய நாயகநான ஈசானசிவரும் தேவ
17 நபயமாந அறங்காட்டி பிச்சரும்.

கல்வெட்டின் பிரதி


In the above reading of the Inscription we will try to understand what is meant by the words underlined. What does realy "eluntharuli nintra Sri Rajaraja Thevar" mean ??. Under normal understanding we could possibly take it to mean that "Rajaraja was bodily present at the….thirumaalikai". A similer usage of the word "eluntharuli" could be seen in an Inscription in the Thiruvarur Temple at Tamil Nadu, where the bodily presence of Rajendra Chola - 1 and Anukkiyaar Paravai Nangai on a chariot is referred to as follows, in the same sense.

".......ராஜேந்திர சோழ தேவரும் அணுக்கியர் பரவை நங்கையரும் தேர் மேல் எழுந்தருளி......". Hence it is clear "எழுந்தருளி" means being bodily present at a place.

In his 31st year too Rajaraja Chola - 1 in A.D.1016 has provided endowments to a temple at Kanyakumari. It was shortly after in this same year he met his death at Sivapathasekaran Maalikai due to old age, and Rajendra Chola - 1 succeeded on th Chola throne. This is further confirmed by the fact that Rajendra Chola's Meikeerthi starting with the introduction 'Thirumanni valara' appears for the first time - only from his Inscriptions of his 4th year being A.D.1016 (A.D.1012 + 4), from whence the "sole reign" of this vast empire came directly under the rule of his son Rajendra Chola - 1.

"....."பெரும்புகட் கோவிராஜகேசரிவன்மரான உடையார் ஸ்ரீ ராஜராஜத்தேவர்க்கு யாண்டு ௩௧ வது ராஜராஜ பாண்டிநாட்டு உத்தம சோழ வளநாட்டு புறத்தாய நாட்டு குமரிக்களிக்குடி ராஜராஜேஸ்வரம் உடையத்தேவர்......."

Travancore Archaeological Series - Vol 1, No 8, page 247

After his death of Rajaraja Chola - 1 it is clear as per the Inscription an Idol of "Sri Rajaraja Thevar" would have been consecrated within the Palace known as "Sri Sivapaathasekara Thevar Thirumaalikai" at "Sri Sivapaathasekara Mangalam". The normal Palace of Rajaraja known as Maalikai has been pre-fixed with the word "Thiru" possibly because this Palace has been turned into Memorial Palace after his death in A.D.1016

There could have definitely been a "Pallippadai Temple" in the vicinity of Sivapathsekaran Maalikai but still much positive evidences have not surfaced in respect of same except for a Sivalingam that has surfaced in this region. The truth of this mystry could be only solved by a thorough Archaeological Excavations and Research done in this region.

With the death of Rajaraja Chola-1 in A.D.1016 his son Rajendra Chola-1 ascended the Chola throne at the Chola capital at Thanjavur. Rajendra Chola-1 continued to rule from Thanjavur and provided endowments to Thanjavur Rajarajeswarem Temple (Periya Koyil).

The Indian Mainland expedition of Rajendra Cholan - 1 commenced in the year A.D.1019 and ended in the year A.D.1020 in one single expedition and the names of all countries conquered by his forces from Sakkarakkoatam onwards upto the Gangetic region and river Gangai in the east of North India, and Purvadesam (Gandara country) of Pakistan in the west of North India were included in his Meikeeththi (true glory) only from the year A.D.1021 and in it's short format as "Purvadesamum Gangaiyum konda Ko-Parakesari Rajendra Chola Devar".

He intially in the year A.D.1021 embarked only on the construction "Gangaikonda Cholapuram City" and the "Chola Gangam" Tank. The reason to build his new city at the Gangaikonda Cholapuram would have been mooted by the fact that he will have a better control over the newly conquered countries of the north without having to cross so many rivers before comming to Gangaikonda Cholapuram from Thanjavur.

With the return of his forces from their great expedition in the north-east and north-west, he very soon embarked on his overseas war expedition towards South-East Asian Countries in the year A.D.1022, with the same vigor, vitality and enthusiasm created by the great victories upto North-East and North-West India and in Sri Lanka. He immediately thereafter sent a large force overseas in many ships (alai kadal meethu pa Kalam seluthti) on a great war expedition towards Kadaram kingdom (Kedah Region) and other kingdoms of Malaysia, and Sri Vijaya kingdom in (Palembang Region) and other kingdoms of Sumatra Indonesia, and the other South-East Asian Countries including the regions of the present Thailand and Miyanmar etc. These forces very successfully conquered all these overseas countries by A.D.1024 and their names were further added to his Meikeerthi (True Glory) from the year A.D.1025. These victories condensed in a short format were also included in many of his Inscriptions as "Purvadesamum Gangaiyum Kadaramum konda Ko-Parakesari Rajendra Chola Devar".

It was only immediately after the war expedition to South-East Asia was completed in A.D.1024, Rajendra Chola - 1 concentrated on the construction of his "New Palace" and "Gangaikonda Choliswarem Temple" at the new city of Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

Among the 'available Inscriptions' of Rajendra Chola - 1 which refers the "royal orders" given by him from his various Royal Palaces in Tamil Nadu, the first "royal order" that has been given by him from Gangaikonda Cholapuram Palace in the year A.D.1029 (as pointed out by the Scholar in Chola Epigrapical Studies Dr Daud Ali). However very recently Dr.Ila Thiagarajan pointed out to an earlier inscription in respect of same dated A.D.1027 (in his recent book titled "Gangaikonda Cholapuram Kalvettukkal'). Hence we could conclude the construction of the Rajendra Chola's Royal Palace at Gangaikonda Cholapuram was completed by the year A.D.1027.

From the foregoing it is clear that Rajendra Chola - 1 continued to rule from Thanjavur even after the death of Rajaraja Chola - 1 in A.D.1016 upto the time of completion of his new Palace at Gangaikonda Cholapuram around A.D.1027. However Rajendra Chola - 1 in addition to his stay at Thanjavur Palace, also spent time in his other Palaces at Palaiyaarai and Kanchipuram during his period of rule after the death of Rajaraja Chola - 1. The great Chola naval expedition to the South-East Asian countries too took place while he was still at his Thanjavur Palace. Hence it is clear Rajendra Chola - 1 never switched from the city of Thanjavur to his new captital city hurriedly, as his new palace at the Gangaikonda Cholapuram was only ready around A.D.1027 while Rajaraja Chola - 1 demised in the year A.D.1016.

There is also another earliest dated Inscription of Rajendra Chola - 1 of the year A.D.1032 is found at the Thanjavur Rajarajeswarem temple on a "royal order" issued by him from the Mudikondan Thirumalikai at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, (SII, Vol 2, Part 1, page 1060) which confirms that Rajendra Cholan didnot completely abonden the capital city of Thanjavur in preference to his new capital city of Gangaikonda Cholapuram but was in touch with the activities of the old city of Thanjavur.

Important Note:

Since of late there had been few Videos presented through Youtube with newly created stories that Rajaraja Chola - 1 met his death being pushed by a Sri Lankan women while being on the 8th Tier of the Vimanam inspecting the construction of the Rajarajeswarem Temple. The second being that he was actually pushed by Rajendra Chola - 1 his son from that height, and buried within the Thanjavur temple, which is the location of the present Karuvur Thevar's shrine. In one of these Videos the author himself admits that there are no positive evidences available for same, but they are purely his own conclusions based on the circumstances prevailing at that time - which is completely baseless as there are no proofs whatsoever in any of the Historical and Literary Sources, or in any Temple Inscriptions or Copper Plate Grants - of India, Tamil Nadu or Sri Lanka. Further the inference made in these Videos that Rajaraja Chola - 1 had a dispute with his father and thereby decided to build a new captal city doesnot hold water, as Rajaraja Chola - 1 never knew in his lifetime the Rajendra Chola's intensions to build a new capital city and palace, as he died earlier in A.D.1016 while the new captal city and palace at Gangaikonda Cholapuram were completed around A.D.1029. Further even after Rajaraja's death in A.D.1016 upto the year A.D.1021 Rajendra Chola continued to rule from the Palace at Thanjavur which too dismisses the inference in these Videos. Further during this period up to his 10th year in A.D.1021 - the time he commenced his North indian Expedition has given some endowments and didnot abondon the Rajarajeswarem Temple or Thanjavur at any time even after the death of Rajaraja Chola.

Further the story floating around in these Videos recently unhappy relationship between the Father and the Son, we note Rajendra Chola - 1 has been a devoted son of his father the Rajaraja Chola. Though the Rajarajeswarem temple was almost 90% complete during the time Rajendra Chola started building his new city, palace, and the temple (in A.D.1025), he had to employ the skilled and experienced Silpis and other Artisons working at the Rajarajeswarem Temple at Thanjavur to construct Gangaikonda Cholapuram Projects. There was no animosity between the father and the son Rajaraja and Rajendra Chola at any time, and the story that thereby Rajendra Chola had to pullout all Silpis and other Artisons working at the Rajarajeswarem Temple at Thanjavur while the latter was still not 100% complete - too doesnot hold water as Rajaraja Chola - 1 demised in A.D.1016 while the pullout of the skilled Silpikal from Thanjavur took place only in A.D.1025.

Not a single Sri Lankan Literary or Historical Chronicle, Inscription or Copper Plate Grant, has ever mentioned anything about a Sri Lankan Women pushing Rajararaja Chola from the eighth Tier of Thanjvur Temple to his death. Further Rajaraja Chola wouldnot not have ever climbed such a height at a old age of 76 years to inspect the construction work on top of the Vimanam. Rajendra Chola being a very devoted son of the Rajaraja chola too would not have pushed him from that height of this same temple, as per another false Video Story now floating around via Youtube too has no truth whatsoever, as that too has no postive evidences and purly an inference of this Video Producer as mentioned by the Author himself in his Video.

Recently this same Video Producer has floated another Video [u]claiming that Rajaraja Chola - 1 was not the son of Sunthara Chola (also known as Paranthaha Chola - 2) of medieval period and was the son of Verl Paari of Parambumalai father of Angavai and Sangavai. How rediculous this Video Producer could be who doesnot know even the basic "Tamil History" confusing himself with Paari Verl of third Sangam period, with Rajaraja Chola of the Medieval period. He has floated many such Videos giving "sensational blunders on Cholas of Medieval period". All proclamations made in his Videos on Medieval Cholas - can be challenged with positive epigraphical and archaelogical evidences. In the light of the false proclamations, statements made by him with no postive evidences it clearly appears to be an individual who is Anti-Cholas, and thereby the Historians should refrain from adding any value to his Videos as "authentic Historical Documents and be ignored'.

He should produce all historical - manuscripts, documents, inscriptions, archaeological documents on all his claims of the events that said to have taken place in his Videos - in the history of the Medieval Cholas proving same for the the "Historical Community of Tamil Nadu" to study and ascertain the authenticity of same.

Even his claim that Rajaraja Chola - 1 was the son of Verl paari of Parambumalai and adopted by Vaanavan Madevi the queen of Sunthara Cholan as her younger son, and as the younger brother of Aathitha Karikaalan eldest son of Sunthara Cholan could be proved absolutely false from a part of the text of the Inscription of Rajaraja Chola - 1 27th year (A.D.1012) given below which is seen on the south, east and north walls of of the Virataaneswara temple Kilur in Thirukoilur taluk, South Arcot District:

".......தன் தமிழ்நாடன் சண்ட பராக்கிரமன் திண்திறட்கண்டன் செம்பியர் பெருமான் செந்திருமடந்தைமன் ஸ்ரீ ராஜராஜ இந்திர சமானன் ராஜசர்வஞ்சன் என்னும் புலியை பயந்த பொன்மான் கலியை கரந்து கரவாக்காரிகை சுரந்தமுலை மிகப்பிரிந்து முழங்கெரி நடுவனும் தலைமகட் பிரியா தைய்யல் நிலைபேறு துண்டா விளக்கு......மணிமுடி வளவன் சுந்தரசோழன் மந்தர தாரன் திருப்புயம் முயங்கு தேவி விருப்புடன் வந்து உதித்தருளிய மலையர் திருகுலத்தோர் அண்மையாக........"

South Indian Inscriptions - Vol 8, Inscription No:863, Page 433

From the above it is clear Rajaraja Chola - 1 was the legitimate son of Sunthara Cholan and not an adopted son from Verl Paari of Parambumalai"

to be continued


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