Ponniyin Selvan: I- How Tamil film puts focus on Cholas; Know what happened during their rule?
Ponniyin Selvan Tamil: Tamil Film Ponniyin Selvan: 1 has been receiving all the love and praise from the critics as well as the audience. A fictional period drama which is directed by Mani Ratnam has grossed around Rs. 250 crores worldwide since its release and has garnered all the praise for its screenplay and acting. Ponniyin Selvan: 1, however, has put focus on the Chola dynasty on which the storyline of the movie is based. Those related to the project have been speaking about the progressiveness of Cholas and the impact it had on the later kingdoms.
Read below to know more about Ponniyin Selvan: I and how the movie puts brings the Chola dynasty into focus.
Ponniyin Selvan: 1: How the movie is related to Cholas?
Ponniyin Selvan: I is the first of two cinematic parts which is based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s 1955 novel, Ponniyin Selvan. The movie dramatizes the early life of Chola prince Arulmozhi Varman, who would become the renowned emperor Rajaraja (947-1014).
Chola Dynasty: What do we know about the era of Cholas?
The vast Chola Kingdom was expanded across present-day Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. During the period of Cholas, around the 9th century to the 12th century AD), there were also other powerful dynasties such as Rashtrakutas of the Deccan and Chalukyas from the Andhra Pradesh region.
Chola Dynasty was founded by King Vijaylaya. Despite being a minor player in the region among giants, he is known to lay the foundation for a dynasty that would rule a major part of Southern India.
Chola Dynasty: How was the society under Cholas?
Chola dynasty’s biggest achievement was its naval power which allowed them to go as far as Malaysia and the Sumatra Islands of Indonesia for the conquests. The domination of the Chola Dynasty was such that the Bay of Bengal was also converted into a Chola Lake for some time.
As per the historians, a strong army and naval resources also made sense for Cholas as the period from 9th century to the 10th century was a violent time, where the kingdoms would go to war with each other frequently.
Another feature that defined the way society was under Cholas was the practice of building grand temples which were common for the dynasties of the region around this time. The grand Brihadeeswara temple of Thanjavur which was built by the Cholas was the largest building in India at that time.
The artworks and the sculptures were also commissioned by the Chola Kings and queens during the Chola rule, including the famous bronze Natraj idols.
Chola Dynasty: What was the impact of Cholas?
Chola Dynasty undoubtedly was instrumental in ushering in a new period in Indian history, however, their ruling faced both achievements and failings.
Chola Dynasty has also been compared with other Medieval-era Indian dynasties such as the Mughals with the claims that Cholas expanded their empire in a much more peaceful manner. However, various historians have contradicted the claim saying that the idea that Cholas took over the territories peacefully is untrue. The Chola rulers sacked and plundered Chalukyan cities including Kalyani and massacred the people, including the children and Brahmins.
Such violence was also not new to Cholas given the political climate of that period. However, it was remarkable how a once-minor polity was able to completely transform the political trajectory of Southern India.