Vijayalaya Chola (The founder of the imperial Chola empire)

Vijayalaya Chola

Vijayalaya Chola was the founder of the imperial Chola empire. He started the empire by ruling over a small region to the north bank of the river Kaveri.

Cholas under Pandyas and Pallavas.
There is very little of the fate of the Cholas in the long interval when the Chola power fell to the lowest of all time after 300CE and that of the Pandyas and Pallavas rose to the power in north and south of them respectively. These two dynasties fought for the lands of each other. The Cholas though not in prominent or powerful at that time as they were earlier, were not completely in danger of extinction and continued to rule over small regions which included today's districts of Mayiladutural, Chidambaram, Thanjavur, Tiruchy and Pudukkattai in modern Tamil Nadu.

Rise of vijayalaya Chola.
Vijayalaya saw an opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallava. Vijayalaya rose out of all obscurity and captured Thanjavur from Elanga Mutharaiyar, who was the last ruler of Mutharaiyar dynasty. At this time there was a great struggle going on for supremacy over south India between Pallavas and Pandya. Vijayalaya seems too have great opportunity to defeat Pandyas and make himself king of Thanjavur and Chola dynasty, he later defeated Pallavas also. Making complete use of opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, he rose to power and re-established Chola power at Thanjavur with the help of Muttaraiyar king Sattan Palliylli. Further Cholas become so powerful that they wiped out Pallavas from Thanjavur region.

After Vijayalaya captured Thanjavur, the Pandya king Vragunavarman 3rd (c. 862-885 C.E) become a subordinate ally of the Pallava king Nandivarman 3rd (c846-869C.E). Nandivarman wished to check the growing influence of Cholas power under Vijayalaya and called upon Varangunavarman to suppress Vijayalaya. Varaguna led the army expedition into Chola country. Pandya army reached to the northern bank of river Kaveri near Thanjavur. By this time Vijayalaya had gained good experience from many battles he fought, but he was ageing and was invalid. So the prince Aditya 1st took control of the army in the defence of Chola kingdom. Vijayalaya was succeeded by Aditya 1st after his death in c 871 CE


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