Inscriptions of Kulottunga-Chola I
64 to 65 Inscriptions at Tiruvorriyur & Tiruvalangadu
66 to 68 Inscriptions at Kolar, Somangalam & Conjeeveram
69 to 70 Inscriptions at Tirukkalukkunram & Srirangam
71 to 72 Inscriptions at Kilappaluvur & Tiruvidaimarudur
73 to 74 Inscriptions at Cholapuram & Conjeeveram
75 to 76 Inscriptions at Tirukkalukkunram & Jambukesvara temple
77 to 78 Inscriptions at Kavantandalam & Perumber
copper-plate grants allot to the Eastern Chalukya king Rajaraja I. a
reign of 41 years,
while the Pithapuram inscription of Mallapadeva gives him 40 years.
Accordingly, his death and the accession of his son
Kulottunga I. would prima facie fall in A.D. 1061-62 or
1062-63. This date is
not borne out by the Telugu inscriptions of Kulottunga I. which
contain both a Saka date and a regnal year, and according to which
the accession took place in Saka-Samvat 991-92 = A.D. 1069-71.
And Professor Kielhorn’s calculations of the dates of Tamil
and Kanarese inscriptions prove that his reign commenced between the
14th March and the 8th October A.D. 1070.
original name of the king was Rajendra-Choda,
and in the Tamil inscriptions of his 2nd, 3rd
and 4th years (Nos. 64 to 67 and 77 below) he is actually
called Rajakesarivarman, alias Rajendra-Choladeva (II.). The
account of Kulottunga’s birth and youth in the Kalingattu-Parani
seems to imply that he was adopted by Gangaikonda-Chola (i.e.,
Rajendra-Chola I.), who apparently had no son of his own, and that
he was nominated the heir-apparent of his grandfather. If the Kalingattu-Parani (xiii. Verse 62) calls Kulottunga’s father Pandita-Chola, this can
hardly refer to his real father, the Eastern Chalukya king, but must
mean his adoptive father, Rajendra-Chola I.
That the latter had the surname Pandita-Chola may be
concluded from two of his Tanjore inscriptions,
which mention a regiment entitled Pandita-Sola-terinda-villigal, i.e.,
‘the chosen archers of Pandita-Chola.’
While still heir-apparent,
Kulottunga I. distinguished himself by capturing elephants at
Vayiragaram and by defeating the king of Dhara at Sakkarakottam.
to the copper-plate grants his first charge was the country of Vengi,
which had been ruled over by his father and paternal grandfather.
Instead of ‘the Vengi country,’ Kulottunga’s Tamil
inscriptions use the expression ‘the region of the rising of the
and the Pithapuram pillar inscriptions employ the term Andhra-mandala
or Andhra-vishaya, i.e.,
country. Kulottunga is
stated to have entrusted this province to viceroys, first to his
uncle Vijayaditya VII., then to his second son Rajaraja II., next to
his third son Vira-Choda,
who assumed office on the
23rd August A.D. 1078,
and finally to Choda of Velanandu.
Is said to have governed Vengi for 15 years
and Rajaraja II. for 1 year. If we deduct the sum of these two reigns from A.D. 1078, the
year of Vira-Choda’s appointment, the result is A.D. 1062 as the
date of Vijayaditya’s accession.
This year coincides with the end of the reign of the Eastern
Chalukya king Rajaraja I., but is 8 years prior to Kulottunga’s
coronation. This discrepancy may be explained in the following manner.
The Chola king Virarajendra I. claims to have conquered the
country of Vengi and to have bestowed it on Vijayaditya.
This expedition may have taken place just after the death of
Rajaraja I. who was succeeded in A.D. 1062 by his brother
Vijayaditya VII. It looks as if the rightful heir Kulottunga I. had
been ousted by the latter with the assistance of Virarajendra I.
This would explain the
fact noted before, that Kulottunga came to the throne 8 years after
his father’s death. As
noted by Dr. Fleet,
Vijayaditya VII. Had later on to apply to Rajaraja of Kalinganagara
(A.D. 1071 to 1078) for assistance against the Choda who threatened
to absorb his dominions. This
Chola enemy was no doubt Kulottunga I. who, after Vijayaditya’s
death, repaced him by Rajaraja II. and soon after by Vira-Choda.
localities in which the inscriptions of Kulottunga’s 2nd
(A.D. 1071-72) are found show that he was then in possession of
Tiruvorriyur, Tiruvalangadu and Kolar.
An inscription of his 3rd year (No. 67 below) is
found at Somangalam (near Manimangalam), and one of his 4th
year (No. 77 below) at Kavantandalam (between Conjeeveram and
Chellur plates of Vira-Choda state that Kulottunga I. conquered the
Kerala, Pandya and Kuntala countries and was anointed to the Choda
kingdom under the name Kulottungadeva.
Instead of ‘the Choda kingdom’ the Pithapuram inscription of
Mallapadeva uses the expression ‘the five Dravidas.’
The first inscription in which he is called
Kulottunga-Choladeva is one of the 5th year of his reign,
i.e., A.D. 1074-75, at Conjeeveram (No. 68 below).
It states that he defeated the king of Kuntala, that he
crowned himself as king of the Chola country, and that he
decapitated an unnamed Pandya king.
In speaking of ‘the prostitution of the Lakshmi of the
Southern region.’ And ‘the loneliness fo the goddess of the
country on the banks of the Kaveri,’ the inscription suggests
that, before Kulottunga’s arrival in the South, the Chola country
had lapsed into a state of anarchy and lost its ruler.
A similar account of the condition of the Chola country is
given in the Kalingattu-Parani, which states besides that
Kulottunga defeated Virudaraja
and that ‘the king of kings’ had met with his death. A third account of the same events is furnished by Bilhana in
During the reign of his elder brother Somesvara II. (A.D.
1069 to 1076), Vikramaditya VI. Married the daughter of the Chola
king. Shortly after
“the news reached him that his father-in-law was dead and that the
Chola kingdom was in a state of anarchy.”
He immediately started for Kanchi and Gangakundapura
and put his wife’s brother on the Chola throne. A few days after his return from this expedition, “he
learnt that his brother-in-law had lost his life in a fresh
rebellion and that Rajiga, the lord of Vengi, had taken possession
of the throne of Kanchi.” Rajiga
found an ally in Somesvara II., but Vikramaditya VI. Put Rajiga to
flight, took Somesvara II. prisoner and ascended the throne himself
in A.D. 1076. Dr. Fleet
was the first to recognize that Rajiga is a familiar form of
Rajendra-Choda, the original name of Kulottunga I.
The Chola king whose daughter became the wife of Vikramaditya
VI. Is identical with Virarajendra I., one of whose inscriptions
proves that he entered into friendly relations with Vikramaditya VI.
The son and successor of Virarajendra I. and the brother-in-law of
Vikramaditya VI. Was Parakesarivarman, alias Adhirajendra.
He is probably the ‘king of kings,’ whose death,
according to the Kalingattu-Parani, preceded Kulottunga’s
arrival in the Chola country. Finally,
the Virudaraja of the Kalingattu-Parani, and the king of
Kuntala whom Kulottunga claims to have defeated, is Vikramaditya VI.
The war between these two kings must fall before A.D.
1074-75, the date of No. 68 below.
inscription of the 11th year = A.D.
1080-81 (No. 78 below) adds that Kulottunga I. drove Vikkalan
(i.e., Vikramaditya VI.) from Nangili (in the Kolar district)
by way of Manalur to the Tungabhadra river, and that he conquered
the Ganga-mandalam and Singanam.
A later inscription (No. 73 below) substitutes Alatti for
Manalur and ‘the country of Konkana’ for
nor Alatti can be identified. Singanam
seems to refer to the dominions of Jayasimha III., Vikramaditya’s
younger brother to whom he had given the office of viceroy of
Other inscriptions assert that Vikkalan and Singanan had to take
refuge before Kulottunga in the western ocean.
It may have been in the course of the war against the two
brothers that Kulottunga “captured a thousand elephants at Navilai
which was guarded by the Gandanayakas” (read Dandanayakas
For, Navilai is probably the capital of Navale-nadu, a
district of Mysore, which is mentioned in inscriptions at
Kattemanuganahalli and Belaturu.
In the Vikramankaderacharita we of course look in vain
for an account of reverses experienced by Vikramaditya VI., but are
told that he “had once more to extinguish the Chola” before
entering his capital of Kalyana,
and that after a long period of peace he again put the Chola to
flight and took Kanchi.
69, of the 14th year, adds that Kulottunga I. put ‘the
five Pandyas’ to flight and subdued the western portion of their
country, including the Gulf of Mannar, the Podiyil mountain, Cape
Comorin and Kottaru. He
limited the boundary of the Pandya country and placed garrisons in
the strategically important places of the newly acquired territory, e.g.,
at Kottaru. Along with
the Pandya country he conquered Kudamalai-nadu, i.e., the
western hill-country (Malabar), whose warriors, the ancestors of the
Nairs of the present day, perished to the last man in defending
their independence. Of
special places occupied on the western coast, the Kalingattu-Parani
(xi. Verse 71) mentions Vilinam
and Salai, and the Vikkirama-Solan-ula states that at Salai
Kulottunga I. twice destroyed the ships (of the Chera king).
The defeat of ‘the five Pandyas’ and the burning of
Kottaru are referred to also in an inscription at Chidambaram
and in the Kalingattu-Parani.
the 26th year of his reign (No. 72 below), i.e.,
A.D. 1095-96, Kulottunga conquered the country of Kalinga.
This expedition s described in detail in the Kalingattu-Parani.
It would fall into the reign of Anantavarman, alias
Chodaganga, of Kalinganagara (A.D. 1078 to about 1142).
Rajakesarivarman, alias Rajendra-Choladeva II. or
Kulottunga-Choladeva I., had various other names.
The Chellur and Pithapuram plates mention his surname
from which the designation of a temple at Bhimavaram was derived.
Hence certain coins with the legend Cholanarayana have
perhaps to be assigned to him.
The Kalingattu-Parani calls him Kulottunga-Chola,
Abhaya and Jayadhara.
The last name is applied to him in two inscriptions at
Chidabaram and Tiruvorriyur.
An inscription at Pallavaram
belongs to the 39th year of
‘Kulottunga-Choladeva who abolished tolls,’ and three later
mention the name of the same king.
As the Vikkirama-Solan-ula states that Kulottunga I.
it has to be assumed that Sungandavirtta was another of his
surnames. A list of
those which appear in his inscriptions in the Telugu country I have
From his Chola predecessors he inherited the titleUdaiyar,
‘the lord.’ Later on he assumed the titles Chakravartin,
‘the emperor,’ and Tribhuvanachakravartin, ‘the emperor
of the three worlds,’ which occur first in inscriptions of the 14th
and 20th years (Nos. 69 and 71 below), respectively.
capital was Gangapuri or Gangakundapura,
i.e., Gangaikonda-cholapuram, which had been founded by his
grandfather Rajendra-Chola I. alias Gangaikonda-Chola,
and which had been the residence of the latter and of Virarajendra
The city second in importance was Kanchi.
An inscription of the 30th year of Kulottunga’s
reign (No. 73 below) is dated from his palace at Kanchipuram.
copper-plate grants state that Kulottunga I. married Madhurantaki,
the daughter of Rajendradeva of the solar race,
and had by her seven sons.
The eldest Vikrama-Choda,
was crowned (most probably) on the 18th July A.D. 1108.
The second, Rajaraja II., was viceroy of Vengi from 1077 to
1078 and was succeeded by the third brother, Vira-Choda.
queen Madurantaki is not mentioned by name in his inscriptions.
But she is probably intended by ‘the mistress of the whole
world’ or ‘the mistress of the whole earth,’ to whom many of
his inscriptions refer. An inscriptio of the 26th year (No. 72 below)
gives the names of three additional queens : - Dinachintamani,
Elisai – Vallabhi and Tyagavalli.
In the 30th year (No. 73 below) Dinachintamani
seems to have been dead and Tygavalli to have taken her place.
The Kalingattu-Parani (x. verse 55) states that
Tyagavalli exercised equal authority with the king himself.
I. is stated to have reigned for 49 years in the Chellur plates of
his grandson, and for 50 years in the
Pithapuram inscription of Mallapadeva.
This would carry us to A.D. 1118-19 or 1119-20.
Hence he must have appointed his son Vikrama-Chola co-regent
during his life-time (in A.D. 1108).
The latest epigraphical date of Kulottunga I. is the 49th
year of his reign in two inscriptions at Gangaikondacholapuram (No.
80 of 1892) and Achcharapakkam (No. 256 of 1901).