Vikrama Chola

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Vikrama Chola
விக்கிரம சோழன்
Vikrama territories.png
Chola Territories c. 1126 CE
Reign c. 1118 – c. 1135 CE
Predecessor Kulothunga Chola I
Successor Kulothunga Chola II
Died 1135 CE
Queen Mukkōkilānadigal
Issue Kulothunga Chola II
Father Kulothunga Chola I

Kōpparakēsarivarman Vikrama Chola was a 12th-century king of the Chola empire. He succeeded his father Kulothunga Chola I to the throne in 1120 CE.[1] An inscription of his (beginning with Pumagal Punara, etc.-) from Sidlaghatta in Karnataka mentions the Saka date 1042.[2] Another from the same location also mentions the Saka date and also gives him the title Rajaraja.[3]

Early life[edit]

Vikrama Chola was the fourth son of Kulothunga Chola I. He was a younger brother of Vira Chola who was the third son of Kulothunga I. The Tamil inscriptions of Vikrama Chola confirm that he left the north for the south before he was crowned king.[4]


Vikrama Chola was crowned as the heir-apparent by his father early in his life. He was appointed as viceroy of the Vengi province in 1089 C.E., succeeding his brother Rajaraja Chodaganga. Vikrama during his tenure successfully managed to check the ambitions of the Western Chalukya Vikramaditya VI on the Vengi kingdom.

In 1118 C.E., the aging Kulothunga recalled Vikrama Chola from Vengi to appoint him as his co-regent. He assumed many of the titles of his father including Rajakesari when he was a co-regent. He seubsequently switched to Parakesari when he ascended the throne.[5][6] This apparently took place on 29 June 1118 C.E. Vikrama continued to rule alongside his father until the latter's death in 1122 C.E. However the Western Chalukyas, utilising the opportunity of proper leadership in Vengi, invaded and captured the Eastern Chalukyan provinces.

Military campaigns[edit]

Kalinga Expedition[edit]

While he was still a crown prince, Vikrama led an expedition to the Kalinga country on behalf of his father (1110 C.E.). The Kalinga war is also referred to in the inscriptions and in the epic Vikkiramacholan Ula. Here is an excerpt of his inscription (Grantha and Tamil) from Chintamani, Karnataka mentioning the decimation of Kalinga while he was still a co-regent of his father. The same inscription also mentions the conquest of Kadal Malai, the seaport at the very edge of Mahabalipuram. Generally his inscription begin with-svasti sri Pū-mādu Punara Puvi-mādu valara Nā-mādu vilanga..:

He seems to have ascended the throne sometime prior to his 10th year for we have a similar Tamil inscription of his from Srinivaspur, Karnataka that gives him the title Parakesari. The title of his chief queen Mukkōkilānadigal (Queen of the three worlds) is also mentioned. We also have the Saka date 1049:

Recovery of Vengi[edit]

The Western Chalukya Vikramaditya VI occupied the Eastern Chalukya provinces in 1118 C.E. When Vikramaditya died in 1126 C.E, Vikrama Chola re-conquered the lost territories. We do not have much information or the details on this campaign, however it seems likely that the local Telugu chieftains were ready to prefer the Chola overlordship to the Western Chalukyan dominance. On the request of the local chieftains in Vengi, Vikrama sent his son Kulothunga Chola II at the head of a powerful army on an expedition against Vengi. The Velanadu Chodas, Giripaschima and Konakandravada also joined hands with the Chola army. The Chola supremacy over Vengi and consequently to Kalinga was firmly re-established with the Western Chalukyas who had occupied Vengi taking advantage of his travel to Gangaikonda Cholapuram for his coronation, were crushed in the battle of Mannery, which resulted in their being confined to Manyakheta for the rest of their existence. He also defeated the Telungana Bhima of Kulam.

Personal life[edit]

Vikrama Chola was a great devotee of Siva and greatly patronised the temple at Chidambaram. In 1128 C.E. he signalled his devotion by allocating the entire revenue of the year to the upgrade and extension of the temple. He had the main Vimana of the temple and the roofs of the passages around the main deity covered with gold. He had a palace built near the temple and spent much of his time there. We have many important people making donations to various temples during his reign. The most characteristic title of Vikrama Chola was Tyagasamudra – the ocean of sacrifice, which is found in his inscriptions and in Vikramacholan Ula. We know the titles of three of his queens: Mukkōkilānadigal, Tyagapataka and Neriyan Madeviyar. Of his sons we only know of Kulothunga Chola II who succeeded him on the throne.


  1. ^ The History and Culture of the Indian People: The struggle for empire, page 245
  2. ^ Epigraphia Carnatica, Volume 10, Part 1, page 218
  3. ^ Epigraphia Carnatica, Volume 10, Part 1, page 179
  4. ^ Epigraphy By Archaeological Survey of India. Southern Circle, page 4
  5. ^ History of Indian administration: Volume 2
  6. ^ The Cōḷas
  7. ^ Epigraphia Carnatica, Volume 10, Part 1, page 270
  8. ^ Epigraphia Carnatica, Volume 10, Part 1, page 280
Preceded by
Kulothunga Chola I
1118–1135 CE
Succeeded by
Kulothunga Chola II

Vikrama chola built a sivan temple at ulagalanda chola mangalam(now renamed as kalavai in vellore district),this temple sivan is suyambu, A natarajar statue made by a panchalogam, this is similar to chithambaram natarajar statue, kovil constructed using green stones(patchai kal),


  • Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1935). The CōĻas, University of Madras, Madras (Reprinted 1984).
  • Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1955). A History of South India, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002).
  • The History and Culture of the Indian People: The struggle for empire By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Bhāratīya Itihāsa Samiti
  • Epigraphia Carnatica, Volume 10, Part 1 by Benjamin Lewis Rice, Mysore (India : State). Archaeological Dept, Mysore Archaeological Survey
  • Epigraphy By Archaeological Survey of India. Southern Circle
  • History of Indian administration: Volume 2 By Baij Nath Puri