Rajendra Chola I: A Great Conqueror

16 Nov 2017  Thu

Chola dynasty was one of the longest ruling dynasties in the history of South India. Many Chola rulers came to the throne and contributed to the development of this Empire. But during the reign of Rajendra Chola I (1014-1044 CE), he changed the map of India by conquering the lands of Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, and Malaysia. He extended his influence to the banks of river Ganga and across the Indian Ocean to the west. He exacted tribute from Thailand and the Khmer kingdom of Cambodia. He defeated the Pandyas, the Cheras, the Chalukyas, and several minor kings of Bengal and even humbled the mighty Pala king Mahipala. To commemorate his victory he built a new capital city called ‘Gangaikonda Cholapuram’ meaning the town of the Chola who took over Ganga (water from Ganga) or who defeated (the kings near) Ganga. So it won't be wrong to say, 'Rajendra Chola was a Great Conqueror'.

The given coin in the image was a commemorative issue of Rajendra Chola I’s victory. The obverse and reverse depict Chola's dynastic emblem composed of a tiger, an umbrella and a pair of fish with proto Nagari legend 'Ganagaikonda Chola' (Conqueror of the Ganga Valley). This is one of the few coins of the Chola where the obverse and the reverse have the same devices and legends.

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