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9.GUPT A EMPIRE( founder was Sri gupta)


pu ranas:Dev ichandraguptam and the Mudhrakshasam written by Visakadatta

Chinese trav eler Fah ien (v isited India during the reign of Chandragupta II)
Important source for the reign of Samudragupta is the Allahabad Pillar inscription.
This inscription is engrav ed on an A sokan pillar. It is written in classical
Sanskrit, using the Nagari script. It consists of 33 lines composed by Harisena.
Samudraguptas accession, his military campaigns in north India

1.Chandragupta I (320 330 A.D.)

Founder of the Gupta dy nasty was Sri Gupta, succeeded by Ghatotkacha. two
were called Maharajas.
Chandragupta I was the first to be called Maharajadhiraja (the great king of kings
matrimonial alliance with the Licchav is
Chandragupta I is considered to be the founder of the Gupta era which starts with
his accession in A.D. 320

2.Sam udragupta (330-380 A.D.): Allahabad Pillar inscription prov ides a detailed
account of his reign

T h ree stages in his m ilitary cam paign

against the South Indian monarchs, defeated twelv e rulers.
policy in South India was different.He did not destroy and annex those
kingdoms. Instead, he defeated the rulers but gav e them back their kingdoms.
He only insisted on them to acknowledge his suzerainty
The third stage was to eliminate his remaining north Indian riv als fought
against nine kings,uprooted them and annex ed their territories. performed
the asv am edha sacrifice. He issued gold and silv er coins. hailed as Indian

Ex tent of Sam udraguptas Em pire 330-380AD

upper Gangetic v alley , the greater part of modern U.P., a portion of central India and the
southwestern part of Bengal.
The Saka and Kushana principalities on the west and northwest were within the sphere of his
The kingdoms on the east coast of the Deccan, as far as the Pallav a Kingdom, acknowledged
his suzerainty .

Estim ate of Sam udragupta

m ilitary achiev ements

It calls him Kav iraja because of his ability in composing v erse. His im age
depicting him with Veena is found in the coins issued by him . He was also a
patron of many poets and scholars
prom otion of Sanskrit literatu re and learning. Ardent follower of
Vaishnav ism but was tolerant of other creeds

3.Chandragupta II (380-415 A.D.)[Vikram adity a]

Samudragupta was succeeded by his son Chandragupta II

Chandragupta-II undertook his campaign in western India against the Sakas
greatest of the military achiev ements = war against the Saka satraps of western
India Rudrasimha III, the last ruler of the Saka satrap was defeated, dethroned
and killed.
western Malwa and the Kathiawar Peninsula were annex ed
title Sakari, meaning, destroy er of Sakas. He also called himself Vikramadity a
the western boundary of the Empire reached to the A rabian Sea gaining access to
Broach, Sopara, Cambay and other sea ports. This enabled the Gupta empire to
control trade with the western countries.
Ujjain (MP) became an important commercial city and soon became
the alternativ e capital of the Guptas.
fine cotton clothes of Bengal, Indigo from Bihar, silk from Banares, the scents of
the Himalay as and the sandal and species

The western traders poured Roman gold into India in return for Indian products.

Patronized great literary figures like Kalidasa. He promoted artistic activ ity (golden

Fahiens Visit

nine y ears stay in India,

he spent six y ears in the Gupta empire.
He returned by the sea route, v isiting on the way Cey lon and Jav a.
main purpose of his v isit was to see the land of the Buddha and to collect Buddhist
manuscripts from India.
He stay ed in Pataliputra for three y ears study ing Sanskrit and copy ing Buddhist tex ts.
According to him, Buddhism was in a flourishing condition in the northwestern
India but in the Gangetic v alley it was in a state of neglect. Gangetic v alley as the land
of Brahmanism
He was not interested in political affairs His interest was primarily religion. He
assessed ev ery thing from the Buddhist angle.

4.Kum aragupta was the son and successor of ChandraguptaII.

general peace and prosperity .

he laid the foundation of the Nalanda Univ ersity .

A t the end of his reign, a powerful wealthy tribe called the Pushy am itras defeated the
Gupta arm y . A branch of the Huns from Central A sia made attempts to cross the
Hindukush mountains and inv ade India.

His successor Skandagupta fought successfully against the Huns and sav ed the empire.
but great strain on the gov t resources. After Skandaguptas death, many of
his successor could not sav e the Gupta empire from the Huns.
Ultimately ,the Gupta power totally disappeared due to the Hun inv asions and later by
the rise of Y asodharm an in Malwa


Council consisting of a chief m inister, a Senapati or com m anderin-chief of the

arm y and other important officials. A high official called Sandiv igraha was mentioned in
the Gupta inscriptions, most probably minister for foreign affairs close contact with the
prov incial administration through a class of officials called Kum aram aty as and
Ay uktas. Prov inces in the Gupta Empire were known as Bhuktis and prov incial
gov ernors as Uparikas.

Bhuktis were subdiv ided into Vishy as or districts.They were gov erned by Vishy apatis.
Nagara Sreshtis were the officers looking after the city administration. The v illages in the
district were under the control of Gram ikas

no restrictions on peoples mov ements and they enjoy ed a large degree of personal
imposing fine was common no harsh form of punishment. roads were kept safe
no fear of thiev es.
people were generally prosperous and the crimes were negligible

CA STE SY STEM BECA ME RIGID: The Brahmins occupied the top ladder
untouchablity began slowly of the society ( segregation of Chandalas was mentioned
by Fahien)
position of wom en also becam e m iserable, prohibition of study ing religious
tex t. early marrisge of girl+ giv ing up the sway mawara
Brahm anism reigned supreme during the Gupta period. It had two branches -
Vaishnav ism and Saiv ism
most of the gupta king were v aisnav ite.
Religious literature like the Puranas was composed during this period (neglect
of Buddhism and Jainism started)

In western and southern India Jainism flourished. The great Jain Council was held at
V alabhi during this period and the Jain Canon of the Swetambras was written.

ART AND CULT URE "a golden age"


Both the Nagara and Drav idian sty les of art ev olv ed during this period.
But most of the architecture of this period had been lost due to foreign
inv asions like that of Hu ns.
The temple at Deogarh near Jhansi and the sculptures in the temple at Garhwas near
Allahabad remain important specimen of the Gupta art.
T HERE WERE no influence of the gandhara sty le
unique Buddh a statue unearthed at sarnath. The Bhitari monolithic pillar of
Skandagupta is also remarkable

m etallury : craftsm en efficient in art of casting metal statues and pillars.

gigantic copper statue of Buddha and Iron pillar at delhi.

The paintings of the Gupta period are seen at Bagh cav es near Gwalior.
The m ural paintings of A janta(B)
The Gupta coinage was also remarkable( 8ty pe of gold coins were issued )


SA NSKRIT language became prominent during gupta. nagari script h ad ev olv ed

from brahm i script. The best of the Sanskrit literature belonged to the Gupta
Sam udragupta patronized a number of scholars including Harisena,
kalidasa,v ishakadatta.
Kalidasa remain the foremost among them.
His master-piece was the Sanskrit drama Shakuntala. It is considered
one among the hundred best books of the world.
two other play s - the Malav ikagnim itra and Vikram orv asiy a.
His two well-known epics are Raghuv amsa and Kumarasambhav a.
Visakadatta was another celebrated author of this period.
two Sanskrit dramas, Mudrarakshasa and Dev ichandraguptam.
Sudraka was a renowned poet of this age and
his book Mrichchakatika is rich in humour and pathos.
Vasav adatta written by Subhandhu.
The Puranas in their present form were composed during this period


Ary abhatta first to declare the spherical earth.

mathematics, astronomy , astrology and medicine.
Varaham ihira composed Pancha Siddhantika, the fiv e astronomical sy stems.
His work Brihadsamhita is a great work in Sanskrit literature deals with a
v ariety of subjects like astronomy , astrology , geography ,architecture,
weather, animals, marriage and omens.
Brih adjataka: work on astrology (one of the 5)

m edical science

Vagbhata(author Ashtangasamgraha (Summary of the eight branches of

medicine) liv ed during this period. He was the last of the great medical trio of ancient
India. The other two scholars Ch araka and Susruta liv ed before the Gupta age.


HARSHA VARDHANA succeded in north India after decline of the Gupta.

Sou rces:
Harshacharita written by Bana
trav el account of Hiuen Tsang(v isited India in the sev enth century )
the dramas written by Harsha, namely Ratnav ali, Nagananda and
Priy ardarsik
Harsha established his hold ov er the whole of north India. The regions modern
Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa were under his direct control.
Harsha and Buddhism

Dev out Saiv a but later he became an ardent Hinay ana Buddhist. Hiuen Tsang
conv erted him to Mahay ana Buddhism.
He erected thousands of stupas and established trav ellers rests , monasteries
Kanauj Assem bly to honour the chinese pilgrim and inv ited reresentativ e of all the
religious sects

society and Econom y

The fou rfold div ision of the society

Hiu en T sang mentions that the Sudras practiced agriculture
The position of women was not satisfactory .(sati,dowry werre prev alent and
sway amav ara,remarriage were not permitted)

Econom y

trade and com m erce declined

less no.coin and slow activ ities of m erchant guilds.
decline in handicraft industry and agri(farmers began to prduce limited

Cultural progress

art and architecture :v ery few

Hiu en T sang describes the glory of the m onastery with many storey s built by
Harsha at Nalanda.
Harsha was a great patron of learning.
Banabhatta adorned his roy al court.He wrote Harshacharita and kadam bari.
matanga div akara and Barthihari were some famous literary figure.

Hasha himself authored 3 play s Ratnavali, pridarshika and Naananda.

harsha patronised nalanda university .


It was founded by Kum aragupta I during the Gupta period.

It was patronised by his successors and later by Harsha
Nalanda Univ ersity was a residential univ ersity and education was free including the
boarding and lodging.
It was maintained with the rev enue deriv ed from 1 00 to 200 v illages. Though it was a
Mahay ana Univ ersity , different religioussubjects like the V edas, Hinay ana
doctrine, Sankhy a and Y oga
philosophies, general subjects like logic, grammar, astronomy , medicine and art were
in the sy llabus.
Admission was made by means of an entrance ex amination.
According to Itsing, the Chinese pilgrim, there were 3000 students on its rolls. It
had an observ atory and a great library housed in three buildings.


kalabhra rule lasted for 250 y ear after decline of Sangam age.
Thereafter, the Pallav as established their kingdom in T ondaim andalam with its
capital at Kanchipuram . continued till Tondaimandalam was captured and annex ed
by the Imperial Cholas in the beginning of the tenth century A .D
When T ondaim andalam was conquered by the Satav ahanas, the Pallav as became
their feudatories. After the fall of the Satav ahanas in the third century A.D.,
they becam e independent.
The Pallav as issued their earlier inscriptions in Prakrit and Sanskrit


The early Pallav a rulers from 250 A .D. to 350 A.D. issued their charters in Prakrit.
Siv askandav arm an and Vijay askandav arm an WERE THE IMPORTANT ONES.
The second line of Pallav a rulers who ruled between 350 A.D. and 550 A.D.
issued their charters in Sanskrit.IMPORTA NT: Vishnugopa
T h ird line who ruled from 57 5 A.D. to their ultimate fall in the ninth century
issued their charters both in Sanskrit and Tamil.
Sim hav ishnu was the first ruler of this line He destroy ed the Kalabhras and
firmly established the Pallav a rule in Tondaimandalam. also defeated chola and
ex tended the pallav a territory up to riv er kav eri.
other great patron were Mahendrav arman I, Narasimhav arman I,
and Narasimhav arman II.

Mahendrav arm an I (600 630 A.D.){pallav as}

long-drawn Pallav a Chaluky a Conflict began during his period. Pulakesin

II(chalu ky a) m arch ed against the Pallav as and captured the northern part of
their kingdom.
Mahendrav arm an I was a follower of Jainism in the early part of his career.
He was conv erted to Saiv ism by the influence of the Saiv a saint,
Thirunav ukkarasar alias Appar. built shiv a temple at Tiruv adi. assumed a number of
titles like Gunabhara,Saty asandha, Chettakari (builder of temples)
Chitrakarapuli, V ichitrachitta and Mattav ilasa great buillder of cav e temples:

Inscription hails him as Vichitrachitta who constructed a temple for Brahma,

V ishnu and Siv a without the use of bricks, timber, metal and mortar
His rock-cut tem ples are found in a number of places
Authored a Sanskrit work: Mattav ilasa Prahasanam .
His title Chitrakarapuli rev eals his talents in painting. He is also regarded as an ex pert
in music.
The music Inscription at Ku dum ianm alai is ascribed to him

Narasim hav arm an I (630-668 A.D.)

Known as Mam alla(means great wrestler). His v ictory ov er Pulakesin II in the

Battle of Manim angalam near Kanchi is mentioned in Kuram copper plates.
entered Chaluky a territory ,captured and destroy ed the capital city of
Vatapi. Narasimhav armanI assumed the title Vatapikonda.
Another notable achiev ement of Narasimhav arman I was his nav al ex pedition to
Sri Lanka.
During his reign, Hiuen Tsang v isited the Pallav a capital Kanchipuram.
His description of Kanchi is v iv id. He calls it a big and beautiful city , six miles in
It had 1 00 Buddhist. monasteries in which about 1 0,000 Buddhist monks
liv ed.
Narasim hav arm an I was the founder of Mam allapuram and the m onolith ic
rathas were erected during his reign.

Narasim hav arm an II or Rajasim ha (695 -7 22 A.D.)

Pallav as and chaluky a conflict continued till N2.

His regime was peaceful.
he ev inced more interest in dev eloping the art and architecture.
The Shore tem ple at Mamallapuram and the Kailasanatha temple at
Kanchipuram were built in this period.
The famous Sanskrit scholar Dandin is said to hav e adorned his court trade fluorished
he sent ambassador.
Rajasimha assumed titles like Sankarabhakta, V adhy av idy adhara and
Agamapriy a.succeeded by Parameswarav arman II and Nandiv arman II.

Pallav as rule lasted till 9th cent.

Adm inistration of the Pallav as

div ided into kottam ( administered by officer appointed by king) well trained army
land grant for temple and also to the Brahmans known as Brahmadey a.
irrigation facilities were prov ided( no. of irrigation tank were made): irrigation tanks
at Mahendrav adi and Mamandoor

land tax : primary source of gov t rev enue, Brahmadey a and Dev adhana lands were
ex empted from tax .

Society under the Pallav as

rigid caste sy stem :h igh place for bhram ins( land grant and responsibility
of looking after tem ple)
rise of Saiv ism and V aishnav ism and also the decline of Buddhism and Jainism
The construction of temples by the Pallav a kings pav ed the way for the spread of
these two religions


Besides the Pallav as, the Western Chaluky as and the Rashtrakutas in the Deccan
constitute important political forces.
BOTH THESE KINGDOMS HA D their riv als in the far south namely the pallav as
and cholas.

CHALUKY AS (543-7 55 A D):

WETERN CHALUKY AS RULED ov er an ex tensiv e area in the deccan for about 2

century after which Rastrkutas became powerful.
Pulakesin I

was the founder of the Chaluky a dy nasty .

He established a small kingdom with Vatapi or Badam i as its capital.

Pulakesin II (608-642 A.D.)

The Aihole inscription issued by him giv es the details of his reign.
He fought with the Kadambas of Banav asi and the Gangas of My sore and established
his suzerainty .
Another notable ach iev em ent of Pulakesin II was the defeat of
Harshav ardhana on the banks of the riv er Narm ada.
he put a check to the ambition of Harsha to conquer the south.
In his first ex pedition against the Pallav as, Pulakesin II emerged v ictorious.

But he suffered a hum iliating defeat at the hands of Narasim hav arm an I
near Kanchi.
Subsequently , the Ch aluky a capital Vatapi was captu red and
destroy ed by the Pallav as.
Hiu en T sang v isited to his kingdom during his reign.

Successor: Vikram adity a:

He once again consolidated the Chaluky a kingdom and plundered the Pallav a
capital, Kanchi. av enged his fathers defeat and death at the hands of the
Pallav as.
Kirtiv arman II was the last of the rulers of the Chaluky as.

He was defeated by Dantidu rga, the founder of the Rashtrakuta dy nasty .

Adm inistration and social life under the chaluky as:

highly centralised unlike that of pallav as and cholas. v illage autonomy was absent .
great maritime power. Pulakesin II had 1 00 ships in his nav y .
Badam i chalu ky as were Brahm anical hindus but they gav e respect to other
A number of temples in honour of V ishnu, Siv a and other gods were also built
during this period. Hiuen Tsang mentioned about the decline of Buddhism in
western Deccan but jainism was on the path of progress.
Rav ikirti, the court poet of Pulakesin II who composed the A ihole inscription was a

Art and Architecture

Chaluky as were great patrons of art.(V esara sty le).

Howev er, the v esara sty le reached its culmination only under the Rashtrakutas and
the Hoy salas.
structural temples at Badami,A ihole and Pattadakal.
Their cav e temples are found in Ajanta, Ellora and Nasik
The best specimens of Chaluky a paintings can be seen in the Badami
cav e temple and in the Ajanta cav es.

Ch aluky a tem ples m ay be div ided into two stages.

1. temples at A ihole and Badam i

1. among 7 0 temple found at aihole 4 are important
1. ladh khan temple is a low, flat roofed structure consisting of pillared hall
2. Durga temple resembles a Buddha chaity a
3. Huchimalligudi temple
4. jain temple at Meguti
2. among temple at badami, Muktheeswara temple and the Melagutti Siv alay a are
notable for their architectural beauty .

A group of four rock-cut temples at Badami are marked by high workmanship. The
walls and pillared halls are adorned by beautiful images of gods and human beings.

2. second stage: represented temples at Pattadakal: 1 0 temples are here 4 in

northern sty le and 6 in drav idian sty le.

The Papanatha temple is the most notable in the northern sty le.The Sangamesv ara
temple and the V irupaksha temple are famous for their Drav idian sty le

Rashtrakutas (7 55 97 5 A.D.)

The Rashtrakutas were of Kannada origin(mother tongue).

Dantidurga was the founder of the Rashtrakuta dy nasty .
He defeated the Gurjaras and captured Malwa from them.
Then he annex ed the Chaluky a kingdom by defeating Kirtiv arman. II.
His successor Krishna I was also a great conqueror.
He defeated the Gangas and the eastern Chaluky as of V engi.
He built the magnificent rock-cut monolithic Kailasa temple at Ellora.

The nex t important king of this dy nasty was Gov inda III.

his sucessor Am oghav arsh a 1(815-880 AD) ruled for a long period of 64 y ears.
He had lost control ov er Malwa and Gangav adi.
Y et, his reign was popular for the cultural dev elopment.
He was a follower of Jainism. Jinasena was his chief preceptor.
He was also a patron of letters and he himself wrote the famous Kannada work,
Kav irajam arga.
He had also built the Rashtrakuta capital, the city of Malkhed or Many akheda.

Among the successors of Amoghav arsha I, Krishna III (936-968 A.D.)

He went as far as Rameswaram and occupied it for sometime.
He built sev eral temples in the conquered territories including the
Krishneswara temple at Rameswaram.
Throughout his reign he possessed the Tondaimandalam region including the
capital Kanchi.
After his death, the power of the Rashtrakutas declined.

Adm inistration

The Rashtrakuta Empire was div ided into sev eral prov inces called rashtras under the
control of rashtrapatis.
They were further div ided into v ishay as or districts gov erned by v ishay apatis.
The v illage administration was carried on by the v illage headmen.
Howev er, the v illage assemblies play ed a significant role in the v illage administration

Society and Econom y

V aishnav ism and Saiv ism flourished.

Y et, they did not affect the progress of Jainism under the patronage(1 /3 rd of the
deccan population were Jain).
there were some prosperous buddhist settlement at place like kanheri, sholapur and
Dharwar. there was harmony among v arios relns.
An inscription giv es details of this educational centre.
It was run by the income from the endowments made by the rich as well as by all the
v illagers on occasions of functions and festiv als
Econom y flou rished, activ e com m erce between Deccan and arab. arab
trade was promoted by Rastrakutas.

cultural contribution:

patronised sanskrit.
there were many scholar in the roy al court
Triv ikrama wrote Nalachampu and the Kav irahasy a was composed by
Halay udha during the reign of Krishna III.
Gunabhadra wrote the Adipurana,
Sakatay ana wrote the grammer work called A mogav ritti.
V irachary a was the author of Ganitasaram

Kannada literature saw its beginning during the period of the

Am ogav arshas Kav irajam arga was the first poetic work in Kannada language.

Pampa was the greatest of the Kannada poets. His famous work
was V ikramasenav ijay a.
Ponna was another famous Kannada poet and he wrote Santipurana.

Art and Architecture

The art and architecture of the Rashtrakutas were found at Ellora and Elephanta.
A t Ellora, the most remarkable temple is the Kailasa tem ple.
It was ex cav ated during the reign of Krishna I.
It is carv ed out of a massiv e block of rock 200 feet long, and 100 feet in
breadth and height.
The temple consists of four parts - the main shrine, the entrance gateway , an
intermediate shrine for Nandi and mandapa surrounding the courty ard.
The central face of the plinth has imposing figures of elephants and lions giv ing
the impression that the entire structure rests on their back
It has a three-tiered sikhara or tower resembling the sikhara of the
Mamallapuram rathas.
The Kailasa temple is an architectural marv el with it beautiful sculptures.
The sculpture of the Goddess Durga is shown as slay ing the Buffalo demon.
In another sculpture Rav ana was making attempts to lift Mount Kailasa, the
abode of Siv a.
The scenes of Ramay ana were also depicted on the walls.
The general characteristics of the Kailasa temple are more Drav idian.

Elephanta is an island near Bom bay .

It was originally called Sripuri.
The sculptural art of the Rashtrakutas reached its zenith in this place.
There is a close similarity between the sculptures at Ellora and those in
At the entrance to the sanctum there are huge figures of dwara-palakas.
images of Shiv a in v arious forms - Nataraja,Gangadhara, Ardhanareesv ara and
The most imposing figure of this tem ple is T rim urthi. The sculpture is six
metre high.
It is said to represent the three aspects of Shiv a as Creator, Preserv er
and Destroy er.

Jain literature flourished under the patronage of the Rashtrakutas. Amogav arsha I,
who was a Jain patronized many Jain scholars.


A fter the decline of the Sangam period, the Cholas became feudatories in Uraiy ur.
They became prom inent in the ninth century and established an em pire
com prising th e m ajor portion of Sou th India
Their capital was T anjore
They also ex tended their sway in Sri Lanka and the Malay Peninsula.

The founder of the Im perial Chola line was Vijay alay a.

He captured Tanjore from Muttaraiy ars in 81 5 A .D. and built a temple for
His son Adity a put an end to the Pallav a kingdom by defeating A parajita and
annex ed Tondaimandalam.
He defeated the Pandy as and the ruler of Cey lon. suffered from the rastrakutas
in th famous battle of takkolam.
Parantaka I was a great builder of temples.
He also prov ided the v imana of the famous Nataraja tem ple at
Chidambaram with a golden roof.
After a gap of thirty y ears, the Cholas regained their suprem acy under
Rajaraja I.

Rajaraja 1(985-1014)
Under Rajaraja I and his son Rajendra I that the Chola power reached its highest point
of glory .

1. Defeating Chera and destructing its nav y

2. Defeat of panday a ruler(Am arbhujanga): estd chola authority in the panday a
country .
3. conquest of Gangav adi, tadigaipadi and Nolam bapandi
4. A nnex ation of northern Sri lanka The capital was shifted from A nuradhapura to
Polanaruv a where a Shiv a temple was built
5. The Chola v ictory ov er the growing power of the Western Chaluky as of Kaly ani.
6. The restoration of Vengi throne to its rulers Saktiv arman and V imaladity a by
defeating the Telugu Chodas.
7. Rajarajas last military achiev ement was a nav al ex pedition against the Maldiv e
Islands which were conquered.

Rajaraja assumed a number of titles like Mummidi Chola, Jay ankonda

and Siv apadasekara.
He completed the construction of the famous Rajarajeswara temple or Brihadeeswara
temple at Tanjore in 1 01 0 A .D.

Rajendra I (1012-1044 A.D.)

He continued his fathers policy of aggressiv e conquests and ex pansion.
His important wars were

1. Mahinda V , the king of Sri Lanka attempted to recov er from the Cholas the northern
part of Cey lon. Rajendra defeated him and seized thesouthern Sri Lanka.
2. He reasserted the Chola authority ov er the Chera and Pandy a countries
3. He defeated Jay asimha II, the Western Chaluky a king and the riv er Tungabadhra was
recognised as the boundary between the Cholas and Chaluky as.
4. The Chola army crossed the Ganges by defeating a number of rulers on its way .
Rajendra defeated Mahipala I of Bengal.
5. Rajendra founded the city of Gangaikondacholapuram and constructed the
famous Rajesv aram temple in that city .
6. A nother famous v enture of Rajendra was his nav al ex pedition to Kadaram or Sri
V ijay a. A number of places were occupied by Chola forces. But it was only temporary
and no permanent annex ation of these places was contemplated.
7. Rajendra I had put down all rebellions and kept his empire intact

A t the death of Rajendra I the ex tent of the Chola Empire was at its peak.

the riv er tungabhadra was its northern boundary .

After Rajendra I, the greatness of the Chola power was preserv ed by rulers like
Kulottunga I and Ku lottu nga I II.
Kulottunga I was the grandson of Rajendra I
He succeeded the Chola throne and thus united the V engi kingdom with the
Chola Empire.
During his reign Sri Lanka became independent.
subsequently V engi and the My sore region were captured by western
chaluky as.
Under Kulottunga III the central authority became weak.

The rise of the feudatories like the Kadav aray as and the emergence of the Pandy a
power as a challenge to Chola supremacy contributed to the ultimate downfall of
the Chola Empire.

Rajendra III was the last Chola king who was defeated by Jatav arman
Sundarapandy a II.
The Chola country was absorbed into the Pandy a Empire.



Ex cellent sy stem of administration. the ex tent and resources of the chola empire
increased the power and prestige of monarchy .
There was elaborate administrativ e machinery comprising v arious officials
called perundanam and sirudanam


WELL organised land rev enue department called as Purav uv arithinaikkalam

(carefully surv ey ed and classified for the assessment of rev enue.
resident portion: ur nattam.
temple were ex empted from tax es.
besidland rev enue, tolls, customs , professional tax , dues lev ied on ceremonial
occassions like marriages and judicial fines.
Kulottunga I became famous by abolishing tolls and earned the title
Sungam Tav irtta Cholan.
Military adm inistraiton

Regular standing army elephants, cav alry , infantry and nav y .

About sev enty regiments. The roy al troops were called Kaikkolaperu m padai.
personal troop to defend the king known as Velaikkarar.
A ttention was giv en to the training of the army and m ilitary cantonm ents called
kadagam s ex isted.
The Cholas paid special attention to their nav y . The nav al achiev em ents of the
T am ils reached its clim ax under the Cholas.

Prov incial Adm inistration

Chola Empire was div ided into m andalam s

each mandalam into v alanadu s and nadus.
In each nadu were a no. of autonomous v illages.
the roy al princes were of charge ofmandalams.
The v alanadu was under periy anattar and nadu under nattar.

Village Assem blies:

v illage autonomy with sabha reached its culmination during Chola rule.
That v illage was div ided into th irty wards and each was to nominate its members
to the v illage council.
The qualifications to become a ward member were:
a. Ownership of at least one fourth v eli of land.
b. Own residence.
c. A bov e thirty y ears and below sev enty y ears of age.
d. Knowledge of V edas.

Norm s for disqualification were also m entioned in the inscription

a. Those who had been members of the committees for the past three y ears.
b. Those who had failed to submit accounts as committee members.
c. Those who had committed sins.
d. Those who had stolen the property of others

From the persons duly nominated, one was to be chosen for each ward by kudav olai
sy stem for a y ear. the names of eligible persons.The names of eligible persons were
written on palm-leav es and put into a pot.

They were div ided into six v ariy ams such as samv atsarav ariy am, eriv ariy am, thotta
v ariy am, pancha v ariy am, pon v ariy am and purav uv ari v ariy am to take up six
different functions of the v illage administration.
The committee members were called v ariy apperumakkal.

Socio-econom ic Life

caste sy stem was s prev alent. special priv ileges to brahm ins and
kshatriy a.
two major div isions among the castes Valangai and Idangai castes.
cooperation am ong v arious caste but position of women didn't improv ed.
the practice of sati was prev alent. dev dassi atteched to temples.
saiv ism and v aishnav ism continued to flourished.
The temples remained centres of economic activ ity during this period.
The mathas had great influence during this period.
Agriculture and industry flourished.
Reclamation of forest lands and the construction and maintenance of irrigation tanks
led to agricultural prosperity .
kanchi: silk weav ing fluorished.
metal work dev eloped owing to demand of images for temple and utensils.
Gold, silv er and copper coins were issued in plenty at v arious denominations.
Commercial contacts between the Chola Empire and China, Sumatra, Jav a
and Arabia were ex tensiv ely prev alent.

Education and Literature:

Beside temple, mathas as educational centre also flourished.

The inscription at Ennay iram, Thirumukkudal and Thirubhuv anai prov ide details of
the colleges ex isted in these places. v eda, epics,maths andmedicine were taught.
T he dev elopm ent of T am il literature reached its peak during the Chola
Siv akasintamani written by Thiruthakkadev ar and Kundalakesi belonged to 1 0th
century .
The Ramay ana composed by Kam ban and the Periy apuranam or
T iruttondarpuranam by Sekkilar are the two master-pieces of this age.