The Medieval Chola Empire and it's relations with Malaysia, Indonesia & Thailand - P1

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The Medieval Chola Empire and it's relations with Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand & Cambodia - Part 1

A Prelude to this Research Article

"The Cholas" were one of the three principal Tamil dynasties who ruled regions of present Tamil Nadu and Kerala of India from time immemorial - namely the Cherar, Cholar & Paandiyar. The Chola kingdom during most part of the historical period approximately covered the central regions of present Tamil Nadu encompassing the Thanjavur district, Thiruvarur district, Nagapattinam district, Ariyalur district and Karur district.

Towards the end of the tenth century A.D. the Cholas rose as a powerful - Tamil ruling dynasty, with their capital at "Thanjavur" and later at "Gangaikonda Cholapuram". They conquered vast territories in the Indian mainland and 'near overseas' in the west and south of India, and 'far overseas' in South-East Asia - at the time of their supreme power and greatness around A.D.1025.

The objective of this Article is do give a deep insight into the actual history of the Medieval Cholas and their relations with the South-East Asian countries - especially the present Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand supported by evidences.

Important Note to Readers:

The following is a Research Article complete with evidences meant for Scholars in the study of "Medieval Cholas of Tamil Nadu". However a General Reader who is not keen in the study of relative evidences but only in the subject matter, could read the contents of this Article "less" the evidences and it's sources - shown in 'grey' under "References" in each sub-section.


(1) The period of Rajaraja Chola - 1 (A.D.985-1014)

In the year A.D.985 king Rajaraja Chola - 1(A.D.985 - 1014) ascended the throne as the next successor to the Chola kingdom in Tamil Nadu. He gradually conquered the neighbouring and far lying territories within the Indian continent forming a great Chola empire encompassing three-fourth the region of then India.

He laid a firm foundation to this empire by the wits of his political ingenuity and well streamlined administrative system backed by a powerful army and naval power which made it to grow steadily into an overseas empire, with the northern half of Sri Lanka, Maldive Islands and Laccadive Islands already within the fold of this empire.

The above are confirmed by the following References:

The Kannada Inscription of the region Balmuri in Mysore District refers to conquests made by the Chola general Panchavan Marayan alias Mummudi Chola-Nagandavaranam. This inscription is dated the 28th year of Rajaraja Chola - 1 being Saka year 934. Hence the year of accession of Rajaraja - 1 on Chola throne = (934-[28-1]) = Saka Year 907.
Epigraphica Carnatica - Vol 3, Sr 140

This is further confirmed by another Inscription of the region Kallahalli in Mysore District dated 27th year of Rajaraja Chola - 1 being Saka year 933. That is (933-[27-1]) = Saka Year 907.
Epigraphica Carnatica - Vol 10, Ct 118

It has been determined by the Historians of India that any Saka year + 78 =Christian Year expressed in terms of A.D. Hence Saka year 907 = 907 + 78 =A.D.985. We are aware Saka year 907 covers the period of last 9 months from April A.D.984, and the period of first 3 months up to March A.D.985. Thus it is confirmed that the Rajaraja Chola - 1 accession on the Chola throne took place between A.D.985 January and A.D.985 March. If we take the mean of this period we could conclude that the year of accession Rajaraja Chola - 1 on the Chola throne was in A.D.985 'accurately', and in the month of mid February 'approximately'.


The Kingdom of Sri Vijaya in Sumatra

During this period in South-East Asia there existed the mighty kingdom of Sri Vijaya ruled by a dynasty by name of Sailendras. This kingdom was located in the southern region of Suvarnadvipa alias Suvarnapura the present Sumatra of Indonesia, and encompassed "approximately" the South Sumatra, Lampung, and Bengkulu provinces. It's capital city (Sri) Vijayanagara was in the vicinity of the present Palembang situated at Malayagiri the present Bukit (hill) Segungtang adjacent to the Musi river. The Arab merchants referred Suvarnadvipa as Zabag and Sri Vijaya as Sri Busa. The Chinese traders referred Sri Vijaya as San-fo-tsi.

Sri Vijaya(nagara) seaport at the estuary of this river on the east coast of Sumatra became well known to countries of South-East Asia, China, Tamil Nadu, other parts of India, and Arab Countries. Traders from these regions flocked to the seaport city of Sri Vijaya with their commodities, and thus it became an important centre of Trade in this region.

At the time Rajaraja Chola - 1 was on the Chola throne, King Chulaamanivarman (A.D.998-1008) of the Sailendra dynasty was ruling the kingdom of Sri Vijaya, which gradually gained control over whole of - Sumatra and Malaysia, the southern regions of Thailand, and became an empire.

The Emperor Chulamanivarman of Sri Vijaya had a brother known as Srimat Suvarnadvipa Raja (a Sri Vijaya prince) who became a great devotee of Buddhism and went to North India where he studied and practiced Buddhism under various High Priests and worshiped at the holy centres of Buddhism including Lumbini at Kapilavastu, in present Nepal. He was given the religious title as 'Dharmakeerthi' by a High Priest, and after seven years in north India on his return to Sri Vijaya he preached and propagated Buddhism among monks in Sumatra and other countries under Sri Vijaya. He was well known as Acharya Dharmakeerthi and also as Acharya Dharmapala, and was a highly respected Buddhist High Priest of South-East Asia.

In the tenth year of Emperor Chulaamanivarman being A.D.1008, on his request Acharya Dharmakeerthi (his brother and a former prince of Sri Vijaya) wrote a great Buddhist treatise known as Abhisamaya-lankara-nama-prajnaparamita-upadsa-sastra-vrtti-durbodha-aloka-nama-tika.

During this period Dipankara from the royal family of Bengal in India desirous of learning Buddhism under this great scholarly monk Acharya Dharmakirthi in the year A.D.1012 left for Sri Vijaya. Dipankara became his deciple and learnt Buddhism and mastered especially the 'Buddhacitta' under him. He remained with Achariya Dharmakirthi at Sri Vijaya even after completion of his studies, and was ordained as Dipankara Sri Janana. He along with Achariya Dharmakeethi and other scholar monks preached Buddhism from Sri Vijayanagara which gradually became a great centre of Buddhist learning in South-East Asia of this period. At this capital city there had been a famous Buddhist temple enshrined with an image of Lord Buddha, which was well known in South-East Asia and India of this period as "Suvarnapure Sri Vijayapure Lokanatha".

The above are confirmed by the following References:

"Suvarnapure Sri Vijithapure Lokanatha"

Etude Sur L'Iconographic Bouddhique De I'Inde - by Foucher, Page 193 - Notes & Page 105 Miniature Paitings. (Nepalese Manuscript with miniature paintings dating 11th century)

".....Author: Acharya Dharmakirti-Sri of Suvarnadvipa, The work was compsed during the reign of Deva-Sri-varma-raja Chudamani alias Chulamanimamdapa in Malayagiri in Vijayanagara of Suvarnadvipa. Translator: Upadhyaya panditha Dipamkara-Sri-Jana of India and the grand Lo-tsa-ba bhiksu Ratnabhadra...."

Colophon-T in the Tibetian Translation of Abisamaya-Alamkara known as Durbodha-aloka-tika (In Cordiers's catalogue)
Atisa and Tibet - by Alaka Chatapodaya - page 475


".....Written by Dharmakeerththi on the request of king Sri Chudamanivarma during the tenth year of the reign of Sri Chudamanivarma at Vijayanagara of Suvarnadvipa. The work was completed on the second day of the middle spring month. Durboda-aloka ends. Translated and revised by Indian Upadhyaya Dipamkara - Sri Jnana and the translator the great Lo-tsa-ba bhiksu Ratnabhadra....."

Colophon-K in the Tibetian Translation of Abhisamaya-Alamkara known as Durbodha-aloka-nama-tika (In Peking Edition)
Atisa and Tibet - by Alaka Chatapodaya - page 475


"......Author: Suvarnadvipa-raja srimat Dharmapala. Translator: Sri-Dipamkara-janana and bhiksu Jayasila....."

Colophon-T in the Tibetian Translation of Siksa-samuccaya-abhisamaya-nama (In Cordiers's catalogue)
Atisa and Tibet - by Alaka Chatapodaya - page 491


".......Translated by Sri-Dipamkara-jnanna and bhiksu Jayasila. The text was expounded by Suvarnadvipa-raja srimat Dharmapala to Kamala and Dipamkara.....'

Colophon-K in the Tibetian Translation of Siksa-samuccaya-abhisamaya-nama (In Peking Edition)
Atisa and Tibet - by Alaka Chatapodaya - page 491


".......Author: Dharmapala the guru of Suvarnadvipa. Text expounded at the request of his disciples Kamalaraksita and Dipankara-Sri-jnana. Translater: upadhyaya Dipankara of india and lo-tsa-ba Jayasila....."

Colophon-T in the Tibetian Translation of Bodhisattva-caryavatara-pindartha (In Cordiers's catalogue)
Atisa and Tibet - by Alaka Chatapodaya - page 484/5


".......Written by guru Dharmapala of Suvarnadvipa on the request of the respectful students Kamalaraksita and Dipankara-sri-jnana. Translated by Indian upadhyaya Dipankara and Tibetan lo-tsa-ba Jayasila

Colophon-K in the Tibetian Translation of Bodhisattva-caryavatara-pindartha (In Peking Edition)
Atisa and Tibet - by Alaka Chatapodaya - page 484/5


"...The eastern islands in this ocean which are nearer to China than to India, are the islands of the Zabaj called by the Hindus as Suvarnadvipa that is gold Islands....."

India - by AL-Biruni, translated by Edward C Sachau.

"....Sailenthira kulaththil piranthavanum, 'Sri Vijaya naattin thalaivanum, Kadaahaa thesaththai aatchi seibavanum' (In Sanskrit - '....Sri Vishaya adhipati na Kataka adhipatyam itanvati....'), makara muththirai udaiyavanum arasa thanthiram ellaam arintha Chulamanivarmanin kumaaranum aana puhal pettra Maara Vijayothungavarman ennum arasan...."

Bouththamum Thamilum - by Mayilai Seeni Venkatasamy - Periya Cheppedukal of Rajendra Chola - 1. Translation of Sanskrit section of the Cheppedukal of Rajendra Chola - 1(see Appendix)
Epigraphia Indica - Larger Leiden Plates of Vol XXII Page 213-266. - Translation of the Sanskrit portion of the Cheppedukal of Rajendra Chola - 1.

".......Sri Sailenthira Chudamanivarma......."

Bouththamum Thamilum - by Mayilai Seeni Venkatasamy - Siriya Cheppedukal of Kulothunga Chola - 1. Translation of Tamil section of the Cheppedukal of Kulothunga Chola - 1(see Appendix)
Epigraphia Indica - Larger Leiden Plates of Vol XXII Page 213-266. - Translation of the Tamil section of the Cheppedukal of Kulothunga Chola - 1.

"......chief of Sailendra dynasty......victorious is this king the lord of Sri Vijaya......"

Inscription of Sri Maharaja of Sri Vijaya from Vieng-Sa, north Nakhon -Si(Sri) Thammarat in Thailand.
Expansion of Indo-Aryan Culture - by Chhabra, page 28


".....The kingdom of San-bot-sai (San-fo-tsai - medieval period Chinese name for Sri Vijaya) is one of the southern babarians. It is situated between cambodia and Java and rules over fifteen countries.....In the year A.D.1003 the king Se-li-chu-lawu-ni-fu-ma-tiau-hwa (Sri Chulamanivarmandeva) sent two envoys to bring tribute (from China). They told that in their country (San-fo-tsi) a Buddhist temple had been erected in order to pray for the long life of the emperor and that they wanted a name and bells for it.....'

"In the year A.D.1008 the king Se-ri-ma-la-pi (Sri Mara [Vijayotungavarman]) sent three envoys to present tribute. They were permitted to go to the Tai-shan and to be with the emperor in the audience hall...."

Sung Shih (History of Sung Dynasty) - ToTo, Book 489.
Historical Notes of Indonesia & Malaysia complied from Chinese Sources - by W.P.Groeneveldt, Page 65


The Kingdom of Mevilimbangam adjacent to Sumatra

The kingdom of Mevilimbangkam with protective walls (kaavalam purisai) was the present Bangka Island adjacent to island Sumatra of Indonesia. Mevilimbangkam during this period came under th sw ay of the Sri Vijaya empire.

The Kingdom of Malaiyur in Sumatra

The ancient kingdom of Malaiyur (Melayu) (thon Malaiyur) in the island of Sumatra, was a mountainous region which served as its fortress (van Malai uur eaiyit), "approximately" comprised the present Jambi and Riau provinces of island Sumatra. The capital city of Malaiyur also of the same name Malaiyur had a fortress located at the present Jambi proper adjacent to the river Batanghari. There had been a seaport city of Malaiyur at the estuary of the Batanghari river on the east of present Sumatra. On the hinterland of river Batanghari gold deposits were found at that time. Traders from other countries flocked to Malaiyur especially for gold, spices, and wares. In Malaiyur too the Buddhist religion prevailed along with Hinduism, and there existed a Buddhist temple at the present Muara Jambi known as Candi Gumpung (Candi - temple), and possibly it was at this temple a golden statue of Avalokitesvara had been consecrated. The kingdom of Malaiyur (Malaiur) of this period too came under th sway of the Sri Vijaya empire.

The Kingdom of Pannai in Sumatra

The kingdom of Pannai (Pane) "approximately" covered the present North Sumatra province of island Sumatra. The Baruman river and it's upper tributory the Pane river watered this region of Pannai. The city of Pannai the Kuala Pane was north of the estuary of the Baruman river (thurai neer Pannai) namely at the present Labuhanbilik on the east coast of Sumatra which was the main seaport of this kingdom.

On the west coast of the Pannai kingdom there was another seaport at the present Barus region. This region of Pannai was well known for it's high quality camphor (Karpura) from camphor trees. This made the Indians of the early and pre-medieval period to refer this kingdom of Pannai as Karpuradvipa, and attracted many Tamil traders who clustered especially around Velapuram of the Barus (Varosu) region, and along Lobe-Tua in the upper reaches of the Pannai river. During the medieval period many traders from the Nanaathesi trading guild of Tamil Nadu settled at Velapuram forming a trading colony known as Matankarivallava Thesi-uyyakonda pattinam.

The traders from Tamil Nadu also built Hindu and Buddhist temples alongside the river Pannai. At Gunung Tua in the upper reaches of the river Pannai there had been a Buddhist temple enshrined with a bronze statue of Lokanatha made by a mastersmith named Surya in the year A.D.1024. This colony of Tamil traders were from Pallava, Chola, Chera and Pandiya countires.

The main item of trade among the traders from Tamil Nadu was the camphor which found a most important place in the Hindu rituals both in Saivite and Vaishnavite temples of Tamil Nadu, and gained a foremost place among the exports to Tamil Nadu from the kingdom of Pannai.

During the medieval period the kingdom of Pannai too came under the sway of the Sri Vijaya empire, and in all possibility it's native king ruled this kingdom accepting the suzerainty and paying tributes to Sri Vijaya.

The Kingdom of Ilamuridesam in Sumatra

The kingdom of Ilamuridesam (Lemuri) also known as Lambri "approximately" covered the present Aceh province of the island Sumatra.

The Kingdom of Maayirudingam in Malaysia

The kingdom of Maayirudingam, surrounded by deep sea as moat (aal kadal ahalsool), "approximately" covered the present southern Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, and Johore provinces, with it's great capital city Glanggui (Lenggui) with granite fortress in the vicinity of the present Johore and on the west side of the ... river.

However during the period of Rajaraja Chola the Mayirudingham too came under the sway of the Sri Vijaya empire of Sumatra, with Emperor Chulaamanivarman being the overlord of this kingdom.

The Kingdom of Valaipanthuur in Malaysia

The kingdom of Valaipanthuur (Valai Penjuru) "approximately" covered the present Kelantan, Terengganu and northern Pahang provinces of Malaysia.

The Kingdom of Kadaarem in Malaysia

In the peninsular Malaysia of this period there existed the famed kingdom of Kadaarem (Katakadvipa) (seldom also referred to as Kidaarem) covering "approximately" the present Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Prelis provinces adjoining the sea in it's north-west coastal region. The capital city of the kingdom of Kadaarem the Ganga Nagara (Katakanagara) was situated on a hill in the region of the present Dinding adjacent to the Perak river of Perak province of Malaysia.

Kadaarem was a kingdom with heavy settlements of Indian Traders both Hindus and Buddhists - initially from North India travelling from Tamiralipti port, and later from South India travelling from Mamallapuram port during the period of Pallavas, and from Nagapattinam port during period of the Chola empire of Tamil Nadu.

These settlements were mostly concentrated around the region of Pengalan Bujang in the present Kedah province adjacent to the river Sungai Bujang (river Bujang) originating form Bukit Gunung Jerai (Kedah Peak) and flowing through the Bujang valley and joining the main river Sunghai Merbok which eventually drains in the western sea. This Bujang valley region was essentially an Indian colony of Hindu and Buddhist traders from India. The Kadarem seaport was at the estuary of the Sunghai Merbok of the Kedah province of Malaysia and the Bukit Gunung Jerai was visible from the sea to the traders coming to the port of Kadaram.

There had been many Hindu temples - both Saivite and Vaisnavite, and Buddhist temples, all being around fifty that had been built by these traders along the upper reaches of the Sunghai Bujang (river Bujang) tracing to Bukit Gunung Jerai (mountain Gunung Jerai) beyond the region Pengalan Bujang. On the top of the Gunung Jerai too there had been a Hindu temple. The mountain Gunung Jerai during the medieval period and earlier was known by the Indianised name "Valavathi Parvatham" (the Valavathi mountain). There had also been a famous Buddhist temple of Lokanatha on this mountain well known to the Indian traders of this period and was called as the "Katakadvipe Valavathi parvathe Lokanatha".

In the kingdom of Kadarem of this period there had been tin mines in the Perak region and bamboo plantations in Kedah region, and it also produced many other commodities namely aloe wood, sandal wood, ebony wood, logwood, excellent camphor, ivory and rattan from bamboo. There was a rich tin mine in the kingdom of Kadaram in Kinta valley at the present Ipoh of the Perak region The tin metal from this region was soft and workable, very pure and very bright - known a as 'Kalahi', but the traders fraudulently mixed it after extraction from the mines and sold it to market.

From the begining of the Chola Empire there had been a heavy flow of Tamil Traders from the Chola country along with their garrison of Chola forces (Senamuhaththaar) to safeguard their trading interests in Kadaarem, and mainly clustered around the Bujang valley region of the present Kedah state of Malaysia.

The kingdom of Kadarem of this period was known as Kalah to the Arab traders and as Kulo-lo-kua (Kulo-lo country) to the Chinese traders. However during this period the kingdom of Kadaram was under the sway of the Sri Vijaya empire of Sumatra.

The above are confirmed by the following References:

"Katakadvipe Valavathi Parvathe Lokanatha"

ETUDE SUR L'ICONOGRAPHIC BOUDDHIQUE DE I'INDE - by FOUCHER, Page 193 - Notes & Page 105 Miniature Paitings. (Nepalese Manuscript with miniature paintings dating 11th century)


The Kingdom of Ilangaasokam in Thailand

The Kingdom of Thalaithakkolam in Thailand

Thalaithakkolam in Tamil could be read as Thalai-Thakkolam meaning capital (of the region) Thakkolam. It appears the Tamil Traders of the pre-Pallava period from the Thakkolam region (near Arakonam) in Tamil Nadu settled in the western coast of the southern Thailand the present province Phang Nga suitable for anchoring ships, and developed into a colony of Tamil Traders and gave the name of their own town in Tamil Nadu as Thakkolam (the present Takua-pa). It finally developed into a seaport city patronised not only by the Traders from Tamil Nadu, but also from other regions of India and elsewhere. Thakkolam in Tamil was known as Takkola both in Sanskrit and Pali languages.

The traders & pilgrims from China, Cambodia & Champa who chose only to travel to Tamil Nadu and India, and those from Tamil Nadu too who chose to travel only to the foregoing countries, went for the shortest cut being crossing the narrow strip of South Thailand from the port of Thakkolam (present Takua-pa) on the west coast, by an overland journey to the port of Songla the seaport city of the kingdom of Ma-thamaalingam the present region of Nakkon Sri Thamamarat adjacent to and on the east coast, and then continuing to these countries by ship avoiding an extra sea travel.

A straight sail around the Malay Peninsula would be a longer distance which would take them across the Bay of Bengal, Gulf of Siam, Straits of Malacca, and then to South China Sea. This would have increased their journey by more than a thousand miles and taken up several days to reach China.During the Pallava period (A.D.575-882)of Tamil Nadu there had been heavy traffic of traders flocking in the South East Asian countries from Pallava seaport cities of Mamallapuram and Nagapattinam. Many Tamil Buddhist religious dignitaries from Kanchipuram in the Tamil Nadu too travelled to South-East Asian countries and China, and likewise Chinese Buddhist pilgrims too travelled from China to Tamil Nadu especially to Kanchipuram which was an important centre of Buddhist learning at that time.

Thus during th Pallava period the Thalai-Thakkolam of South Thailand became a very important seaport city for traders and religious dignitories travelling to and fro between Tamil Nadu in India and China, Cambodia and Champa. At Thakkolam there had been a settlement of Tamil traders on the hill known as Khao Pra Narai (Brah Narayana) ten miles up along the stream of the Takuapa river with a Vishnu temple belonging to the trading guild named Manigramam (Manikkramattar) with their warriors (Senamukaththar) to safeguard their trading interests in the region. A trader of this guild name Nangur Udaiyaan got a water tank dug named 'Sri Avaninaaranam' - after then ruling Pallava king of Tamil Nadu the Nanthivarman - 3 (A.D.825-850) who bore a title as "Avaninaaranan" - for use in the Vishnu temple in this region and left it under the guard of the Manikramaththaar, Senamukaththaar and the Pattarkal (temple priests).

During the period of Cholas the traffic through the regions Ta-kuapa and Songlla increased very heavily and more Tamil traders settled in these regions. There would have also been Hindu and Buddhist religious centres serving the spirtual needs of the Tamil and Indian Traders in this seaport city, which made Cholas to refer to this region as "kalai thakkoar pukalum Thalaithakkolam - meaning the Thalai thakkolam praised by great men of arts"

This heavy traffic of Tamil - Traders and religious dignitaries to and fro through Takua-pa and Songkla necessiated a stone slab with an Inscription in Tamil Language to be erected at Songkla during this period, giving guidance on the direction of overland route to be taken between these two seaports while crossing South Thailand.

The above are confirmed by the following References:

".....as a wealthy ship-owner scrupulously discharges his port dues and putting forth on to the high seas voyages to Vanga to Takkola, Cina, Sovira, Surattha, Alasanda Kolapattana, Suvarnabhumi or some other port where shippin congregates.....'
Milindapanha - Translated by T.W,Rhy Davids (extracted from Sacred Books of the East Series

"......he puts forth on to the high seas the enduring frost and heat, mosquitoes, and stinging insects, wind and sun and hunger and thirst, he voyages to Takkolam, Takkasilam......Javam, Tamalim, Suvarnabumim....."
Mahaniddesa - edited by Vallee Poussin and E.J.Thomas (extracted from The Golden Khersonese - by Paul Wheatly, Part 3, Page 181


".....ravarma(k)ku (m)an tan Nan-gur[udaiy]ai totta kulam per
Sri Naaranam Manikkiramattar[k] [k]um senamugattarkkum
(pat)tarkkum adaikkalam......'
Inscription on stone slab in the former bed of a river at Takua-pa within the precincts of Wat-Na-Muang.
Note on a Tamil Inscription in Siam - by Hultzsch, Journal of Royal Asiatic Socirty - 1913.


".......alai katir vetpadai Nanthi Avaninaaranan iv ulakudaiyaan thirumudiyum ullamum uvanthanaiye....."
Nanthik Kalambakam - unknown author, Kalippa verse-1


The Kingdom of Thamalingam in Thailand

The kingdom of Thamalingam "approximtely" covered the present province of Nakkon Si (Sri) Thamaraat on the east of South Thailand, which was also known as Tambaralinga duing this period. In the year A.D.1002 Suriyavarman - 1 (A.D.1002-1007) became the king of Thamalingam and ruled this kingdom from it's capital city the Sri Dharmaraja.

After the abdiction of the throne at the Angkor - capital of the Kamboja (Cambodian) kingdom by the king Uthaythithavarman - 2 in the year A.D.1007, Suriyavrman - 1 from th kingdom of Thamalingam succeeded to this throne with his legitimate claim to same through his maternal side.

Suriyavarman - 1 (A.D.1007-1050) appointed a viceroy at Sri Dharmaraja to rule the kingdom of Thamalingam as from A.D.1007 under the suzerainty of his Kamboja kingdom. But immediately after this event Emperor Chulamanivarman of Sri Vijaya invaded Thamalingam and brought it too under th sway of his Sri Vijaya empire.

Tamil Nadu trade with Sumatra, peninsular Malaysia and Thailand

The trade of Tamil Nadu with Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia increased during the regin of Rajaraja Chola - 1. Many traders from Tamil Nadu flocked to these countries and found settlement and established units of their trading guilds in these regions, with garrisons of Chola forces to protect their trading interests. They traded with their commodoties and the cloth material from the Chola country was known as Cholar Chelai in Malaysia. A large fruit of the species of orange with sour taste brought in from Kadaarem by Tamils were known as the Kadaaramkai. The iron imported from this region was known as Kadaaraththu irumbu, and Teak wood as Kidaaravan (Kadaaravan). During this period Tamil language was known and spoken in Kadarem in Malaysia, and in Java and Sumatra of Indonesia.

Sumatra, Malaysia and Thailand trade with Tamil Nadu

Traders from Kadarem and Sri Vijaya too crossed seas to the Chola cuntry with their commodities of trade. The iron ore and teakwood fom Kadaraem being two of the these commodities were known as Kadaraththu Irumbu and Kidaravan in the Chola country. The good trade relations thus established paved way for better diplomatic understanding between these countries.

Lost kingdom of Kadaarem recaptured by Chola forces on behalf of Sri Vijaya

Within the years A.D.1002 and A.D.1005 the viceroy (king) of Kadaaram under the Emperor Chulaamanivarman of Sri Vijaya temporarily lost his kingdom of Kadaarem in an internal revolt by a native claiment to this Kingdom. The viceroy in his efforts in regaining the lost kingdom 'was greatly assisted' by a garrison of Chola Forces (Senaamuhaththaar) already stationed at the Bujang valley region of Kadarem. This possibly made Rajaraja Chola - 1 to claim his victory over Kadarem (Kataka), and in the culmination of new - trade and political relations between the Chola and Sri Vijaya empires.

The above are confirmed by the following References:

".....Thirumaale ulakai kaakka avatharithathu pontravanum, Gangai nadu, Vanga nadu, Vanga nadu, Kalingham Mathatham, Maalava nadu, Singhala nadu Aanthiram, Kadaaram, Keralam, Paandi nadu ivakalai poril ventru ingirunthellaam konarnththa porulkalaik kondu Thanjai nagaril Sivaperumaanukku Periya Koyil kattiyavanam, Rasaraasan ennum peyarudaiya arasan thontrinaar......"

Esaalam Varalaattru Puthaiyal - by M Chandramoorththi & S.Krishnamoorththi, page 118. Tamil Translation of the Sanskrit portion of the Esaalam Copper Plates of Rajendra Chola - 1

".....To him was born Arumolivarma who with his long and beautiful arms bore the marks of sanka and chakkarain his palms. He conquered the Gangas, Vangas, Kalingas, Magadhas, Malavas, Sinhalas, Andhra, Rattas (Rastrakuttas), Oddas, Katakas, Keralas, Gaudas, and Pandiyas. By the wealth obtained through his conquestes he erected at Thanjanagari (Tanjore) a very great temple (atyuttamam) named Rajarajeswarem......'

Archaelogical Finds in South india : Esaalam Bronzes and Copper Plates - by Dr R.Nagaswamy, Bullentin de IEcole Francaise d'extreme Orient - Tome LXXVI. English Transalation of the Sanskrit portion of Essalam Copper Plates of Rajendra Chola - 1.


Emperor of Sri Vijaya makes donations to Hindu Temple in Tamil Nadu

With the development of the new relations, in the year A.D.1005 being the 8th year of Emperor Chulamanivarman of Sri Vijaya (Sri Vijaya Maharajah) a Trader named Kulappaakka Kilaan Nathan residing at Nagapattinam seaport city, 'possibly' on behalf of the Emperor of Sri Vijaya, donated 250 kuli land for providing thiruamuthu offering at the religious ceremony held daily in the noon, to the deity of the Thiru Ahatheeswarem Mahathevar temple at Sri Perumputhuur in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.

The above are confirmed by the following References:

"........Swasthi Sri Sri Vijaya Maharajah in his eighth year, Kulappaakka Kilaan Naathan of Puliyur kottam of Perur Nadu donated land in the west jungle tank boundry of Thuumpenapatti of 250 kuli, to the Thiru Akastheesvaram Mahadevar of this village for supply of thiruvamuthu during 'aachanthira kaalam' and daily in the noon. May this donation be guarded by the people of his village. The village guarded by Panmahesvarer. Those who guard this donation ......be appreciated....'

Inscription on stone slab, Kolapaakkam Agatheesvarer temple, Sri Perumputhuur, Kaanchipuram Maavattam, Tamil Nadu.
Kolappaakkam New Kalvettukal by Dr.S.Rajavel, page 125, Avanam Journal Ithal 17, 2006.


Emperor of Sri Vijaya constructs Buddhist temple in Tamil Nadu

The traders from Kadarem mainly Buddhists by religion, sought the assistance of their overlord Emperor Chulamanivarman of Sri Vijaya to construct a Buddhist temple at Nagapattinam the seaport city of Chola country. Rajaraja Chola - 1 on the request of Chulamanivarman granted land at Shythiriya Sihamni valanadu at Nagapattinam to build a Buddhist temple under the name Chulamanipanma vihare.

In A.D.1006 a village callled Aanaimangalam closer to this site was surveyed and donated to upkeep this temple from its revenues and were exempted from taxes. The following year in A.D.1008 Rajaraja confirmed on copper plates the earlier grants made by him to the Chulaamanipanma vihare at Nagapattinam.

The above are confirmed by the following References:

In the 21 st year Rajaraja verbally granted Lands at Anaimangalam in A.D.1006 and confirmed in copper plates in the 23rd year 1008. Rajaraja confirmed the grants in 23rd year and Chulamanivarman was alive.

Emperor Maara Vijayotungavarman ascends the Sri Vijaya throne (A.D.1008-1022)

The Emperor Chulaamanivarman of Sri Vijaya empire demised in A.D.1008 and was succeeded by his son Mara Vijayotungavrman (A.D.1008-1020). The good trade and diplomatic relations between the Chola empire and the Sri Vijaya empire continued.

The above are confirmed by the following References:

".....The kingdom of San-bot-sai (San-fo-tsai - medieval period Chinese name for Sri Vijaya) is one of the southern babarians. It is situated between cambodia and Java and rules over fifteen countries.....In the year A.D.1003 the king Se-li-chu-lawu-ni-fu-ma-tiau-hwa (Sri Chulamanivarmandeva) sent two envoys to bring tribute (from China). They told that in their country (San-fo-tsi) a Buddhist temple had been erected in order to pray for the long life of the emperor and that they wanted a name and bells for it.....'

"In the year A.D.1008 the king Se-ri-ma-la-pi (Sri Mara [Vijayotungavarman]) sent three envoys to present tribute. They were permitted to go to the Tai-shan and to be with the emperor in the audience hall...."

Sung Shih (History of Sung Dynasty) - ToTo, Book 489.
Historical Notes of Indonesia & Malaysia complied from Chinese Sources - by W.P.Groeneveldt, Page 65


Discussion


(2) The period of Rajendra Chola - 1 (A.D.1012-1044)

Emperor Rajaraja Chola - 1 demised in th year A.D.1014 and his son Emperor Rajendra Chola - 1 (A.D.1012-1044) ascended the throne of the Chola empire.

Re-confirmaion of Grants made to Nagapatinam Buddhist temple

After th ascension of Rajendra Chola - 1 Emperor Mara Vijayotungavarman of Sri Vijaya requested him to re-confirm the grants made to the Buddhist temple Chulaamanipanma vihare earlier during the period of rule of his father. This request was granted and Thuvavran Annukkan the agent of the ruler of Kadaram arranged the record of the history relating to the construction of the vihare and the grant of Anaimangalam village by Rajaraja Chola - 1 on copper plates.

The completion of construction of Nagapatinam Buddhist temple

The construction of the Nagapattinam Buddhist temple commenced during the period of Emperor Chulaamanivarman of Sri Vijaya, was completed by his son Maara Vijayotungavarman and was named after his father as [u]Chulaamanipanma vihare/u]. Subsequently it also came to be known as the Rajaraja Perumpalli in Chola country. This Buddhist temple was located at that time on the east of the Veerataanam Mahadevar Siva temple of Nagapattinam.

Rajaraja Chola sends the first trade delegation to Kadarem, Sri Vijaya and China

In the year A.D.1012 Rajaraja Chola - 1 sent for the first time a delegation of fifty two envoys with four great officers headed by his Vice Minister Chola Samudran (Choli-San-ouen), his deputy Pou-kia-sin a Judge Weng Wu and guards lead by Ya-kin-kia travelled from Thanjavur (the Chola interior capital city) to Nagapattinam (Na Wu Tan Shan) seaport city on the west coast (of present India) and embarked to China.

On their way visiting other countries they reached the kingdom of Kadarem (Ku Lo Kuo = Kedah country) of the present north Malaysia adjacent to sea having a mountain named the Sunghai Bujang (also known as Ku Lo = Kedah Peak).

After some months stay they set sail from Kadarem for seventy one days on the way called at Chia Pa Island, Chan Pu Lao Island, and Chou Pao Lung Island, and reached the kingdom of Sri Vijaya (San Fo Chi Kuo - Palembang country) of the Sri Vijaya Empire on the lower east Sumatra of present Indonesia, ruled by the Buddhist Emperor Mara Vijayotungavarman (A.D.1008-1020). Here after spending many months with Emperor Mara Vijayotungavarman set sail to China.

Three seperate donations to the Nagapattinam Hindu temple by Emperor of Sri Vijaya

The good relations of the Chola empire with Sri Vijaya continued during the rule of Rajendra Chola - 1. In the year A.D.1014 a Trader named Pahavan Pathinaaman a native of Mentrontri Pattinam of Keetsembinadu in Rajaraja Mandalam, an Agent of the Emperor Maara Vijayotungavarman of Sri Vijaya gifted endowments and 30 kasu to the Thirikaaronam Udaiyaar Siva temple at Nagapattinam in Pattinakkuutram of Shythiriya Sihamani valanadu. This endowments was recorded by Pattaarahan Theendan and Kooththan Muuvayiravan.

In the year A.D.1015 this same Agent of the Emperor Maara Vijayoungavarman of Sri Vijaya gifted jewellery namely a Veerapattam made of 14.5 kalanju gold studded with 14 kalanju precious stones the ruby and emerald, to the deity Naagaiyalahar portrayed in silver image at the Thirukaaronam Udaiyar temple of Nagapattinam. This gift was recorded on the instructions of the temple administrator of that period the Kandiyuurudaiyaan Senthan of Arumolikuuttram.

In the year A.D.1019 an Agent of the Emperor Maara Vijayotungavarman of Sri Vijaya named Nimalam Ahatheeswaren (Keethibhavan) gifted to this temple of Thirukkaronamudaiya Mahadevar temple with a "gateway" to the Thiruchchuttru Maalikai of this temple and he temple Administrator Puththamangalammudaiyaan Naahan Kumaran of Ala Nadu instructed the donation be recorded. This Agent further arranged the donation of two Matta Vilaakuhal, two Paavai Villakuhal, a Kurakku Villaku and five other type Vilakkuhal (lamps) to this temple.

The above are confirmed by the following References:

"......Hail prosperity. In the secondth year of Koparakesaripanma alias Sri Rajendra Choladeva the trader Pahavan Pathinaman of Mentontri pattinam of Kitsembinadu in (Rajaraja mandalam) agent of the king of Sri Vijaya (gifted endowments) to the Lord Thirukkaronam Udaiyaar in Nagapattinam in Pattinakkuttram in Shythiriya Shihamani valanadu......"

(The above test is the personal eye-copy of the Inscription read at Site by Dr S.Rajagopal - Retired Senior Epigraphist of Tamil Nadu Archaelogical Department)
Inscription of Rajendra Chola - 1 at Karonaswami temple, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India.
Annual Report on Epigrapy - 1956/57 No 163


"........Hail prosperity. In the 3rd year of Sri Ko Parakesaripanmar alias Sri Rajendra Choladeva, the agent of the king of Sri Vijaya of Mentrontri pattinam of Kitsembinadu in Rajarajamandalam gifted to the (lord) Nagaiyalagar in silver image at (Thiru)laronam in Shythiriya Shihamani valanadu gifted gold jewels set with ....ruby and emerald......"

(The above test is the personal eye-copy of the Inscription read at Site by Dr S.Rajagopal - Retired Senior Epigraphist of Tamil Nadu Archaelogical Department)
Inscription of Rajendra Chola - 1 at Karonaswami temple, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India.
Annual Report on Epigrapy - 1956/57 No 164


".......Hail prosperity. In the........y(ear) of Sri Ko Parakesaripanmar alias Sri Rajendra Chola, Nimalan Keethi Bavan the agent of the king of Sri Vijaya gifted (for instaling at the) entrance to the surrounding cloister of (the temple of) Thirukaronamudaiya Mahadevar at Nagapattinam......Mathuvillakku, pavaivillakku, Kurrakuvillaku.....'

(The above test is the personal eye-copy of the Inscription read at Site by Dr S.Rajagopal - Retired Senior Epigraphist of Tamil Nadu Archaelogical Department)
Inscription of Rajendra Chola - 1 at Karonaswami temple, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India.
Annual Report on Epigrapy - 1956/57 No 161



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