Medieval Chola Empire and it's relations with Miyanmar (Burma) - Part 2

Thread started by virarajendra on 18th June 2011 11:08 AM

Author - Virarajendra

Medieval Chola Empire and it's relations with Miyanmar (Burma) - Part 2

(continued from Part - 1)

(6) Period of Athirajendra Chola {A.D.1070-1073}

In the year A.D.1070 emperor Virarajendra Chola died, and his son Athirajendra Chola {A.D.1070-1073} succeeded on he Chola throne. During this period the king Vijayabahu - 1 (A.D.1059-1114) of Sri Lanka was struggling hard to relieve the northen half of his country from the Chola domination. After many unsuccesfull efforts, few years before the year A.D.1071 he sent some envoys with rich presents to emperor Anuruddha of Arimaddanapur in Miyanmar, requesting for military assistance against Cholas. But Anuruddha probably realising the impending danger to his growing empire, in the event he antagonised the mighty Cholas by providing forces to Vijayabahu of Sri Lanka, instead sent rich presents to him including camphor and sandlewood in place of soldiers.

(7) Period of Kulothunga Chola - 1 {A.D.1073-1123}

Athirajendra Chola too died shortly thereafter in illness, which resulted in emperor Kulothunga Chola - 1 {A.D.1073-1123} ascending the Chola throne as the next successor in the year A.D.1073. In Sri Lanka king Vijayabahu - 1 not withstanding the decision made by Anuruddha, on his own waged war with the Cholas and successfully expelled them from Sri Lanka in the year A.D.1074, after a period of nearly 72 years of Chola direct rule over the northern half of Sri Lanka. With this victory king Vijayabahu assumed the title "Chaththuru Chola kula anthaha".

The new Chola emperor the Kulothunga Chola - 1 made no attempts in recovering the lost northern half of Sri Lanka.King Vijayabahu immediately after his victory over Cholas in A.D.1074 sent his envoys to Rammanadesa - which was now in the control of the Arimaddana king - requesting for twenty pious elderly Buddhist monks versent in Pitaka, along with the religious books, and some sacred relics.

King Anuruddha responded to this request and sent learned Buddhist monks with copies of Pitaka who instituted a Nikaya (Sect) known as "Rammana Nikaya"to re-foster Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Emperor Anuruddha was followed by his son Sawulu {A.D.1079-1084}on throne at Arimaddanapur.

Towards the latter part of his rule the general Kyanzittha decided to get rid of the Chola forces stationed in Thandung and sent his forces to defeat them. However immediately after this incidence emperor Sawulu died and Kyanzittha (A.D.1084-1112), also known as "Thiribuwanaditya" who was also a son of Anurudda by his another queen - an Indian princess from Bengal - took over the throne at Arimaddanapur.

At this time of his coronation the Kyanzitha's forces returned back saying they have conquered the Indian country of Thandaung and Nga Thon Pinle (thickly populated Miyanmar regions with Chola - Traders and forces) in the present Pegu division, and captured the Tamil Chola (Tamil Indian) warriors stationed in this region, who were now settled in another region named Singu east of Arimaddanapur possibly under captivity.

Some years after A.D.1084 it appears Kulothunga Chola sent an army under a Chola prince to one of the ports of Rammanadesa to avenge the capture of Chola forces, and king Kyanzitha now without antogonising the Chola prince sent tributes and warmely welcomed him, possibly released the Chola warriors under captivity, and took time to appraise him on the great religion of Buddhism who apparently adhered to the Buddhist religion.

The Chola Prince in strengthening his friendship with the Arimaddanapura kingdom also gave his daughter in marriage to Kyanzittha, thus smoothening the relations of the Cholas with the Arimaddanpur kingdom of Miyanmar. The name of this Chola prince and his daughter given in marriage to Kyanzittha is not known.

It appears during this period with the newly builtup relations the traders from the Tamil Nadu and the other countries of the Chola empire, became very free to trade as far as Arimaddanapur the capital city of Kyanzitha in central Miyanmar region, and they were also able to build a Vishnu temple at Arimaddanapur without any hinderance in the very heart of a Buddhist country named as "Nanadesi Vinnagar Alvar Koyil". Some years later a trader named "Irayiran Sriyananana Kulasekara Nambiyar" from Mahodayapuram (present Cranganore) of the Malaimandalam (the present Kerala state) of South India - the former capital city of the Chera kingdom [/b]which was at that time under the rule of the Chola empire - built a sacred mandapa (hall), gave a sacred door to same, and one standing lamp to burn constantly in the mandapa of this temple.

In the year A.D.1106 Kyanzittha sent envoys to to pay tributes to the Chinese emperor Hui Tsung (A.D.1101-1126) of the Sung Empire. The emperor orderd the envoys to be provided the same rank and ceremony as to the envoys from the Chola country. But the grand council advised "....the Chola country is subject to Sri Vijaya (of Indonesia). During the hsi-ning period (A.D.1068-79) imperial decrees were addressed to it on thick-backed paper and enclosed in box and wrapper. Now Pukan (Arimaddanapur) is a big kingdom. We cannot look down on it as an ordinary little dependent kingdom. We desire to adopt the same protocal as in the case of the Ta-shih (Arabs), Chiao-chih (Annam) etc to whom imperial appointments and decrees were all written on white-backed, gold flowered, damask paper, and stored in a partly gold gilt tube with key and forwarded in a brocade silk double wrapper as sealing envelope * The emperor approved....." Emperor Kyanzittha was followed by his grandson Alaungsithu (A.D.1112-1187) on the Arimaddanapur throne.

(8) Period Vikkrama Chola {A.D.1118 -1135} & Kulothunga Chola - 2 {A.D.1133-1150}

It appears the good relations the Arimaddanapur kingdom had with Cholas continued for some time even after Kulothunga Chola * 1, during the period of rule of Vikkrama Chola {A.D.1118 -1135} and Kulothunga Chola * 2 {A.D.1133-1150}</.

(9) Period of Rajaraja Chola * 2 {A.D.1146-1163}

However during the rule of Rajaraja-2 {A.D.1146-1163} we note, among the distant lands which sent tributes to the Chola country is the Pappalam the seaport city of Rammanadesa.

However the fact remains that there had been continuos sea traffic on account of trade between TamilNadu and the Miyanmar kingdoms even thereafter, and we note in the year A.D.1178 Chinese traders being aware that one who wishes to go to the Chola kingdom from China, has to either tranship from Kollam kingdom or go there from the Pukan (Arimaddanapur) kingdom. This clearly indicates the extent of trade activities between China, Pukan and Chola country.

(10) Period of Pandiyas after Medieval Cholas

Even after the fall of Chola empire and the re-surgence of the Pandiyan empire, we note Pandiyan kings having relations with Arumanam the Rammanadesa of the Miyanmar country.

Maravarman Sundarapandiyan * 2 {A.D.1238-1251} claims to be the overlord of the king of Poppalam (Pappalam), and Sadaiyavarman Sunderapandiyan {A.D.1251-1271} claims having received tributes from Arumanam. However the Pandiya relations with Miyanmar country is left out for further research study as it does not fall within the scope of the title of this essay.



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