Rajaraja Narendra

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Statue of King Rajaraja Narendra founder of Rajahmundry city

Rajaraja Narendra Chalukya (1022–1061 CE) was the Eastern Chalukya king of the Vengi or Vengai Nadu (as recorded in inscriptions) kingdom in South India. He belongs to Kshatriya Raju clan. 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 the Social and Cultural heritage. During the time of Rajaraja Chola I, Rajahmundry got sacked Western Chalukya. The region witnessed war between Western Chalukya and other neighbouring dynasties and political support by chola dynasty.

Cholas already related to Chalukya, where 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 as 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, Rajendra Chalukya who also called Kulottunga Chola I went for raid up to Kedah (Indonesia) for his maternal uncle. He became the king of Chola empire in Gangaikondacholapuram when political vacuum occurred. He then merged the chola and Chalukya dynasty.

He is 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'.

Literary works during his time[edit]

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.

He almost created his own version of Andhra Mahabharatamu by modification, addition and deletion, while maintaining the story line. His language was very sanskritized and was pleasurable to the reader.

See also[edit]