Raja Raja Chola SAMADHI Deserves to be BETTER

  • Visit the Samadhi of Raja Raja Chola to see its state! Surely, his karmas deserve a monument at his Samadhi sthal

On December 25 2022 we were blessed to pay our respects to probably one of the greatest emperors of all time-Raja Raja Chola or as he is fondly called Ponniyin Selvan (Cauvery's beloved son). 

Raja Raja Chola image at Maratha Palace Art Gallery, Thanjavur.

Ponniyin Selvan's samadhi is in a nondescript village called Udayalur near Kumbakonam (99kms from Trichy and about 284 kms from Chennai). 

Excerpts from Sanjeev Nayyar article on Chola Kings tells you about Raja Raja Chola, “He won and lost against the Western Chalukyas. King Satyasraya confined the Cholas to the South of the Tungabhadra. Marriage of his daughter to the king’s brother paved the way for the union of the Eastern Chalukyas and the Cholas. Rajaraja conquered Kalinga too. Lastly, he conquered the Maldive islands. His empire included the whole of South India up to the Tungabhadra, the Maldives and a part of Ceyon, the Andhradesa was in a feudatory alliance with him.” 

We were in Trichy and went to Kumbakonam to visit some of the temples and Raja Raja Chola's samadhi. Our taxi driver was quite amused with our request as no other tourist has ever asked to visit this place. 

Brihadesvara Mandir, Tanjore. 

The Chola dynasty ruled for nearly 1400 years, the longest ruling dynasty anywhere in the world. Not just that, they built some of the most amazing temples, had a naval fleet that was 3000 vessels strong and were just rulers, not barbarians. The Brihadeeswara temple at Tanjore, built by Raja Raja Chola has the statue of the main sculptor of the temple and 600 names of all those who worked to build the temple. 

In contrast, Shah Jahan cut off the hands of those who built the Taj Mahal and the Britishers cut off the thumbs of Muslin weavers.

Overview of Samadhi

The pandit told us that Raja Raja Chola is buried underneath the platform and the Shiva Linga on top is worshipped daily. Ponniyin Selvan was a Shaivite and built several temples for Bhagwan Shiva. 

Panditji with hubby. See Shiva Linga in centre.

It's sad to see one of the greatest emperors of all times to lie in this asbestos roofed shed :(:(. India has never been the culture that forgets its heroes but we seem to have changed in the two hundred years of colonial rule. 

From being the richest country in the world to being partitioned and looted blind and reduced to one of the poorest countries has not been a happy story. That we are resilient and back on our way to being a prosperous nation is the silver lining.

I just hope we bring back all that was good in our culture and get back that pride in our history and civilisation. 

A request to Prime Minister Modi – kindly build a monument befitting Raja Raja Chola in this place. We would not like this great man to be forgotten ever.

Do read - Book Review – Ponniyin Selvan #1 and all the subsequent book reviews by me. Kalki Krishnamurthy deserves a Padma Vibhushan for writing the Chola history as a historical fiction so that everyone could enjoy reading about them.

Author Bindu is an Executive Coach, Co-founder www.Shikshadaan.com and blogs at www.90rollsroyces.com Samadhi pictures by author. 

To read all articles author

To read About Chola Kings and their Political organization 

Receive Site Updates