Chola Empire (from the 9th century AD to the 12th century AD): Medieval Cholas
The first medieval Chola ruler was Vijayalaya Chola who is credited with re-establishing the Chola rule. He had his capital in Thanjaur. He was a feudatory of Pallavas. He built solesvara temple at Padukottai.
Aditya Chola I
The son of Vijayalaya, Aditya Chola succeeded him after death. He built several Shiva temples on the banks of river Cauvery since he was a great Shiva devotee.
Parantaka Chola I
He had defeated the Pandya king and he had assumed the title of Madurakonda.
Rajaraja Chola I
After a gap of some lesser known Kings, Rajaraja Chola I ascended the throne. His name at his birth was Arulmozhi varman. He is also known as Arunmozhi udayar Periya Udayar. During his time Chola Empire covered whole of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, parts of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh and whole of Kerala and Sri Lanka.
Rajaraja Chola I built the Rajrajeshwaram temple at Thanjaur (Tamil Nadu), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site now. The temple is known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Brihadeeswarar Temple.
Rajaraja Chola I was succeeded by his son Rajendra Chola I in 1014 AD who ruled over till 1044 AD.
He was even more ambitious than Rajendra Chola. His major conquests and victories are as following:
• He conquered the whole of Sri Lanka and held its king captive for 12 years.
• Defeated Western Chalukyan Emperor Jayasimha in the battle of Maski. Also forced eastern chalukyas into submission.
• His forces gained victory over Kalinga, Pal and Gangas and this earned him the title Gangaikonda.
• Significantly, the naval forces of Rajendra-I defeated the Malaya and Sumatra Kingdoms and occupied Kedah.
Rajendra Chola-I also constructed new capital for Chola empire, called Gangaikonda Cholapuram to commemorate his victories over Kalinga, Pal and Gangas.
Rajendra Chola-I was succeeded by Rajadhiraja Chola. He was killed in the battle of Koppam near Mysore.
A great patron of poetry and dance, he extended support to a musical dance drama Rajarajeswara Natakam.
An illustrious ruler, he ruled from 1063-1070 AD. He was the younger brother of Rajendra Chola II. He was a brave warrior as well as a great patron of arts.
He was succeeded by Athirajendra Chola who was not strong enough to defend the kingdom. There was a civil rebellion during his reign in which he was killed. With his death, the dynasty of Middle Chola came to an end.