Rajaraja Chola the Great 985 AD to 1014 AD
Rajaraja I was son of Parantaka II and Vanavan Mahadevi. Thiruvalangadu plates speak about Rajaraja I. He was the most powerful king of the Chola dynasty. The greatness of Rajaraja brought glory not only to the Chola kingdom, but also to the Tamil country. He issued several inscriptions. Rajaraja had a strong army. He defeated the Chera army at Thiruvanathapuram. He also defeated Baskara Ravi the Raja of Kollam. He assumed a title Kandalur salai Kalamarutharuliya”. He defeated the Pandya king Amarabhujangan.
Rajaraja defeated Mahinda V the king of Ceylon and occupied Anuradhapuram and the northern part of Ceylon. He made Polonnaruva city a new capital. Rajaraja got the title “Mummudi Cholan” after the conquest of three southern kingdoms of Cheras, Pandyas and Ceylon. He captured Gangapadi. Tadigaipadi and Nolambapadi in the Mysore region. He successfully completed digvijayam with the conquest of vilignam. He conquered Kalinga and Maldives Island. He also had titles ‘Arunmozhi’, ‘Rajakesari’. Rajaraja was ably assisted by his efficient son Rajendra.
Rajaraja was an able administrator. He introduced land survey system. He encouraged local self government through out his empire. He built the big temple namely Brahadeeswarar temple in Tanjore and Siva temple in Quilon and Polonnaruva.. He was a devotee of Lord Siva. He encouraged Buddhism and supported Saivism. lie gave permission for the construction of Buddha Shrine at Nagapattinam and donated Anairnangalam village to the Buddhist monastery.
Family of Rajaraja I
Parents Father : Sundaracholan alias Paranthaka II
Mother : Vanavan Madevi, She was proudly called as Puliyai payantha ponman, means she who gave birth of a son like a tiger.
Brother : Aditha karikalan
Sister : Kundavai pirattiyar
Queens of Rajaraja : Lokamadevi (Accession and coronation queen), Abimanavalli, Ladamadevi,Cholamadevi, Trilokyamadevi, Piruthvimadevi, Panchavan madevi, Meenavanmadevi, Vanavanmadevi alias Tribhuvanamadvi (mother of Rajendrachola I), Viranaryani, Villavanmadevi.
Sons : Rajendra I and Alavandan
Daughters : Gangamadevi, Madevadigal, Kundavai
Puliyai Payantha Ponman : Vanavan madevi was called as Puliyai payantha ponman, her son was the great king and equal to Devendra, says Thirukoyilur inscription,
"Senthiru Madanthaiman seerajarajan
indira samanan irajasarvanj janom
puliyaip payantha ponman…"
The birth star of Rajaraja I
Sadhabhishak (Sathyam in Tamil) star in the month of iypassi
This has been revealed from the following verses of Thiruvenkadu inscription,
yaandu una avatu vatakarai rajendra simha
Valanattu nangur nattu nangur sritiruven
kadudayarkku …… tiruvavataram seytarulik
iyppinaga tingal sathayathirunal narru teertha
Madavum atarku munpu arunal tiruvizhap potapum
This inscription says that there should be a celebration for 6 days before the Sathayam day and on that day in the month of iypassi when Rajaraja was born holy bath have to be performed for the God of the temple of Thiruvenkaadu temple.
Rajaraja's other Names
Tirumurai kanda cholan