Raja Raja Chola
Raja Raja Chola. oday’s warships are very different from those of the old days. A thousand years ago, Indian kings fought battles on the high seas on board warships.
Have you seen a warship?
Today’s warships are very different from those of the old days. A thousand years ago, Indian kings fought battles on the high seas on board warships.
The first Indian king to build a navy for fighting wars on the sea was Raja Raja. He ruled over Chola desa from his capital Tanjore in Tamil Nadu.
Chera, Chola and Pandya were three famous kingdoms in the south in ancient India.
Raja Raja wanted to expand his kingdom. He first defeated the Pandya ruler and annexed his kingdom. Chera desa was on the western sea coast and Chola desa on the eastern sea coast. The two were thus far away from each other. So the Chera king was not afraid of Raja Raja.
For ten years Raja Raja secretly made preparations for war by sea against Chera. He built strong and elegant ships out of teak wood and fitted them with strong sails. He trained warriors to man them. For several days he tried them on the high seas.
One dark night, Raja Raja secretly set out with a fleet of these warships to fight the Chera kingdom. The fleet went round Kanyakumari. Thus the ships suddenly entered the Chera harbour without the defenders knowing about the upcoming attack.
The Cheras were not ready. So they could not fight back. They surrendered. Thus Raja Raja captured Chera desa, too. Raja Raja sent another fleet of warships to fight Lanka. These ships carried elephants along with the soldiers to fight.
Chola’s warships entered Anuradhapura in Lanka. Nobody came out to fight them. So he captured the king and queen of Lanka, but treated them well.
Raja Raja sent his ships to other countries, not only to fight but also to trade. Raja Raja was a great patron of art and a pious king, too.
In his old age, he built the famous temple of Brihadiswara at Tanjore.