South India : Decline of the Cholas

Exact Match
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Chola dynasty | Rajaraja I | Rajendra I | Administration | Decline

King Kullotunga & administrators The successors of Rajendra I turned their attention to conflicts within the peninsula and the struggle with the Chalukyas for the province of Vengi was revived. A Chola raid into the heart of Chalukya territory saw the sacking of the capital it Kalyani. This was avenged in 1050 A.D. by the Chalukya king. This rivalry became somewhat less intense during the reign of the Chola King Kulottunga I (1070-1118), perhaps because he had Chalukya blood on his mother's side, and this introduced a new element into the relationship. The old enemies of the far south, the Pandyas, Kerala, and Ceylon, remained at war. Shrivijaya, still smarting under defeat by Rajendra, was peaceful, and this permitted a steady improvement in the commerce of south India and better communications with the Chinese, to whom Kulottunga sent an embassy of seventy-two merchants in 1077 A.D.

By the third quarter of the twelfth century Chola ascendancy was waning. Provinces on the fringes of the kingdom were being eroded by neighbours. The power of the feudatories in the Deccan had increased when central control weakened. Frequent campaigns had exhausted Chola resources and although they had finally succeeded in establishing their supremacy it was at the cost of their own stability. Furthermore, the eventual breaking of Chalukya power by the Cholas was to recoil on the Cholas themselves since it removed the controlling authority over the Chalukya feudatories, who set up their own kingdoms and prepared to attack the Chola kingdom.

Among these the most powerful were the Yadavas, the Hoysalas, and the Kakatiyas. Finally the Chola era came to an end with the Pandyas finally defeating the Cholas in 1279.

The end of this section

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