Top Ten Chola Empire Artifacts

Top Ten Chola Empire  Artifacts

       Chola dynasty was a Tamil dynasty which was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in southern India. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Asoka, of Maurya Empire; as one of the Three Crowned Kings, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century AD. The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River, but they ruled a significantly larger area at the height of their power from the later half of the 9th century till the beginning of the 13th century. The whole country south of the Tungabhadra was united and held as one state for a period of two centuries and more. Under Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in South Asia and South-east Asia. The power of the new empire was proclaimed to the eastern world by the expedition to the Ganges which Rajendra Chola I undertook and by the occupation of the maritime empire of Srivijaya, as well as by the repeated embassies to China. During the period 1010–1200, the Chola territories stretched from the islands of the Maldives in the south to as far north as the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh. Rajaraja Chola conquered peninsular South India, annexed parts of what is now Sri Lanka and occupied the islands of the Maldives. Rajendra Chola sent a victorious expedition to North India that touched the river Ganges and defeated the Pala ruler of Pataliputra, Mahipala. He also successfully invaded kingdoms of the Malay Archipelago. The Chola dynasty went into decline at the beginning of the 13th century with the rise of the Pandyas, who ultimately caused their downfall. The Cholas left a lasting legacy. Their patronage of Tamil literature and their zeal in building temples has resulted in some great works of Tamil literature and architecture. The Chola kings were avid builders and envisioned the temples in their kingdoms not only as places of worship but also as centers of economic activity. They pioneered a centralized form of government and established a disciplined bureaucracy.

  1. Bronze Chola Statue of Nataraja

    This is a bronze statue of Nataraja, which resides at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures,
  2. Standing Hanuman (11th Century AD)

           This is an 11th century standing Hanuman, who is a Hindu deity and ardent devotee of Rama according to the Hindu legends. He is a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana and its various versions. He also finds mentions in several other texts, including Mahabharata, the various Puranas and some Jain texts. A vanara (ape-like humanoid), Hanuman participated in Rama’s war against the demon king Ravana. He is son of Lord Vayu and incarnation of Lord Shiva.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, Top Ten Hindu Deities, Top 100 Books, Top 100 Spiritual Texts, Top Ten Indian Texts,
  3. Bronze Statues of Lord Shiva and Parvati (11th Century AD)

    These statues are of Lord Shiva as a cowherd and Parvati. They currently reside at the Ulster Museum.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, Top Ten Hindu Deities,
  4. Statue

    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures,
  5. Pillar

    With heavily ornamented pillars accurate in detail and richly sculpted walls, the Airavateswara temple at Darasuram is a classic example of Chola art and architecture.
    Links: Top Ten Pillars/Columns,
  6. Coin

    An early silver coin of  Uttama Chola found in Sri Lanka showing the Tiger emblem of the Cholas.
    Links: Coins, Top 100 Asian Coins,
  7. Links: Artifacts, Top 100 Asian Artifacts, Top Ten Empires, Top Ten Emperors,