The Kingdoms of the South India
During the Sangam Age, there were three Tamil Kingdoms, namely, the Cheras, Cholas and Pallavas. The most famous were the Pallavas of Kanchipuram. The first great Pallava king was Mahendravarman I. Mahendravarman’s son and successor, Narasimhavarman I, was the greatest ruler of the Pallava dynasty. He built a number of fine rock-cut temples in Mahabalipuram. The kingdom of Cholas consisted of modern day Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur regions in Tamil Nadu. Aditya I laid the foundation of the Chola kingdom after defeating the Pallavas. One of the greatest rulers of the Chola kingdom was Rajaraja I. One of the unique features of the Chola administration was the growth of local self-administration. Rajaraja l built the Brihadeshwara Temple at Thanjavur or Tanjore. A Nandi is a bull which is 13 feet high and 16 feet long. Rajaraja I was succeeded by his son, Rajendra Chola.He invaded the Ganges and assumed the title of ‘Gangaikondan’ and built a new capital ‘Gangaikondacholapuram’ to commemorate his great victory. His reign is glorified as the ‘Golden Age of the Cholas’. ‘Sangam’ Literature was published in eight volumes. The third assembly was attended by renowned Tamil Poet, Thiruvalluvar, the author of the sacred book, the Kural or Thirukkural. The great Sanskrit poet Bharavi received royal patronage. Dandin, the greatest Sanskrit writer wrote Kavyadarsha. The most famous work of Tamil literature was the KambaRamayana written by Kamban. Bronze sculpture flourished under the Chola dynasty. Brilliant specimens of Chola art include the bronze statue of the Nataraj.
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