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Statue of King Rajaraja Narendra founder of Rajahmundry city
Rajaraja Narendra (1022–1061 CE) was the Eastern Chalukya king of the Vengi or Vengai Nadu (as recorded in inscriptions) kingdom in South India. Rajaraja was related to the Cholas of Tanjavur by marital and political links. Rajaraja Narendra established the city Rajahmahendravaram (Rajahmundry). His period was famous for Social and Cultural heritage. During the time of Rajaraja Chola I, Rajahmundry was sacked by Western Chalukya. The region witnessed the war between Western Chalukya and other neighbouring dynasties and political support by Chola dynasty.
Cholas already related to Chalukya, where the daughter of Chalukya king Viman II, Viman kundavai (Chalukya princess) is married to Arinjaya Chola who is the grandfather of Rajaraja Chola I and father of 'Sundara Chola' Parantaka Chola II. In the memory of Viman kundavai, Sundara Chola named his daughter as kundavai. To differentiate from Viman kundavai, he kept as Alwar paranthakan kundavai who is the sister of Rajaraja Chola I.
In the memory of his sister, Rajaraja Chola I named his daughter kundavai (kundavai piratiyar). She was married to Chalukya prince Vimaladitya Chalukya.
Daughter of Rajendra Chola I, Amangai Devi married to Rajaraja Narendra Chalukya, who is the son of Vimaladitya Chalukya. The feudatorial relationship with the powerful Cholas and Powerful Chalukya continued for three centuries from Arinjaya Chola.
The son of Rajaraja Narendra Chalukya, Rajiga Chalukya who also called Kulottunga Chola I went for raid up to Kedah (Indonesia) for his maternal uncle. He became the king of the Chola empire in Gangaikondacholapuram when political vacuum occurred. He then merged the chola and Chalukya dynasty.
He is the first emperor of Chalukya Cholas. He was a liberal ruler as several land grants were given to the members of the Shudra community who were generals and royal officials during his reign. As he relaxed tax, he also called 'sungam thavirtha cholan'.
Kubja Vishnuvardhana, the progenitor of Eastern Chalukyas, in his Timmapuram plates claimed to belong to the Manavya gotra. The Aravidu dynasty of Vijayanagara empire claimed descent from Rajaraja Narendra, however, they belonged to the Atreya gotra, unlike their claimed ancestor.
Literary works during his time
At the time of Rajaraja Narendra, two literary works in Kannada language, viz., Vikramarjuna Vijayam and Gadayuddam already popularized the story of Sanskrit Mahabharata in Karnataka. Tamil translations of Mahabharata were available by the Seventh and Eighth centuries. But, Puranas were not available in Telugu. brahmins used to recite Puranaas such as Sanskrit Mahabharata in Temples and courts.
Eastern Chalukya Dynasty supported Jainism and Shaivism. Rajaraja Narendra was a Shaivite. He respected Brahmin priests, Sanskrit language and religion. He learned from the success of Jains and Buddhists that a good way to popularize religion and Puranas was to translate them into Telugu. Even a thousand years before, Buddhism and Jainism became very popular using local languages for their sermons and teachings. So, Rajaraja Narendra requested his teacher, adviser and court poet Nannayya Bhattaraka to translate Sanskrit Mahabharata into Telugu for his subjects.
Nannaya made Telugu versions of 2 and half parvas of Mahabharatha during the times of Raja Narendra. After more than 200 years Tikkana & Errapragada resumed the same. Raja Raja Narendra's major contribution to Telugu community is mainly the support he gave to Nannaya to make the first & detailed grapheme script for Telugu Language with all grammar, punctuations and on. Which is itself far bigger achievement in the perspective of the evolution of the Telugu Language which is now ranking as 16th most spoken language in the world (93+ Million / 9.3 Crores of Speakers).Telugu community owe great visionary for his decision to make a script to Telugu so that its community can one day stand tall having a great language with a perfect grapheme that can write better than ENGLISH itself. Ex: Telugu can write "BUT" and "PUT" with perfect phoneme output without the need to remember the knowledge about how to pronounce them. Credit goes to Raja Raja Narendra and Nannaya Bhttaraka.
- A. Murali. Rattan Lal Hangloo, A. Murali (ed.). New themes in Indian history: art, politics, gender, environment, and culture. Black & White, 2007. p. 24.
- M. S. Nagaraja Rao, Mythic Society (Bangalore, India). The Chālukyas of Kalyāṇ̄a: seminar papers. Mythic Society, 1983 - History - 236 pages. p. 63.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)