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The early Cholas ruled between the 1st and the 4th centuries A.D. The first and the most famous king of the early Cholas was Karikalan. He is well known for his great engineering marvel, "Kallanai", a great anaikut (dam used for irrigation) across the Cauvery River. He was succeeded by Nedumudikilli . Chola power declined with frequent attacks by the Pallavas, Cheras and Pandyas , but they rose to power again around the 9th century.
The Medieval Cholas rose to prominence when the king Vijayalaya defeated the Pallavas and captured Thanjavur. The Medieval Chola kings went on to capture most of South India, Bengal, and some foreign islands like Indonesia. Until around the 13th century, the Chola Empire was the most powerful in South India.
The greatest kings among the Medieval Cholas were Rajaraja Chola I (reigned 985-1014) and his son Rajendra Chola I (reigned 1014-42). Under them, Chola power reached its zenith. The Rajaraja conquered Kerala and a part of Sri Lanka. Rajendra later completed the conquest of Sri Lanka, crossed the Ganges and marched across Kalinga to Bengal, and sent out a great naval expedition that occupied parts of Myanmar, Malaya, and Sumatra. For 300 years the Chola kingdom supported a flourishing social and economic life, marked by a flowering of Dravidian culture. Rajendra, to commemorate his victory over the Ganges, created a new capital and named it Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
By the 13th century, the Chola kingdom had exhausted its resources and was on the decline. It succumbed to an attack by the Hoysalas from the west and the Pandyas from the south. The last king of the Medieval Cholas was Rajendra Chola III.
The emblem of the Chola empire was the tiger, which was featured on the Chola flag, coins and in other contexts of political significance.
List of Medieval Chola Kings
|Name of King||Reign Period||Son of||Capital|
|Vijayalaya Chola||848-881||Is not available||Thanjavur|
|Athiththa Chola||871-907||Vijayalya Chola||Thanjavur|
|Paranthaha Chola I||907-955||Athiththa Chola||Thanjavur|
|Kandarathiththa Chola||950-957||2nd Son of Paranthaha Chola I||Thanjavur|
|Arinchchaya Chola||956-957||3rd Son of Paranthaha Chola I||Thanjavur|
|Paranthaha Chola II||957-970||Arinchchaya Chola||Thanjavur|
|Uththama Chola||973-985||Kandarathiththa Chola||Thanjavur|
|Rajaraja Chola I||985-1014||Paranthaha Chola II||Thanjavur|
|Rajendra Chola I||1012-1044||Rajaraja Chola I||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Rajadhiraja Chola I||1018-1054||Eldest Son of Rajendra Chola I||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Rajendra Chola II||1051-1063||2nd Son of Rajendra Chola I||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Virarajendra Chola||1063-1070||Rajendra Chola II||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Athirajendra Chola||1067-1070||Virarajendra Chola||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Kulothunga Chola I||1070-1120||Son of the daughter of Rajendra Chola I||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Vikkrama Chola||1118-1135||Kulothunga Chola I||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Kulothunga Chola II||1133-1150||Vikkrama Chola||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Rajaraja Chola II||1146-1163||Kulothunga Chola II||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Rajadiraja Chola II||1163-1178||Cousin of Rajaraja Chola II||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Kulothunga Chola III||1178-1218||Rajaraja Chola II||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Rajaraja Chola III||1216-1256||Kulothunga Chola III||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
|Rajendra Chola III||1246-1279||Rajaraja Chola III||Gangaikonda Cholapuram|
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