The Chola dynasty was one of the most popular dynasties of south India which ruled over Tamil Nadu & parts of Karnataka with Tanjore as its capital.
Early Chola rulers were the Karikala Cholas who ruled in the 2nd century.
In 850, Vijayalaya captured Tanjore during the Pandya- Pallava wars. To commemorate his accession, he built a temple at Tanjore. The giant statue of Gomateswara at Shravanbelagola was also built during this period.
Vijayalaya’s son Aditya I (871-901) succeeded him to throne.
It was Rajaraj I (985-1014) during which the CHOLAS reached its zenith. He snatched back lost territories from the Rashtrakutas & become the most powerful of the Chola rulers. Rajaraja is also famous for the beautiful Shiva temple which he constructed at Thanjavur(TN). It is called Rajarajeswara after his name.
Rajendra Chola (1014-1044), son of Rajaraja I, was an important ruler of this dynasty who conquered Orissa, Bengal, Burma & the Andaman & Nicobar Island. The Cholas dynasty was at its zenith also during his reign. He also conquered Sri Lanka.
Kulottunga I (1070-1122) was another significant Chola ruler. Kulottunga I united the two kingdoms of the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi & the Cholas of Thanjavur. After a long reign of about half a century, Kulottunga I passed away sometime in 1122 & was succeeded by his son, Vikrama Chola, surnamed Tyagasamudra.
The last ruler of the Chola Dynasty was Rajendra III (1246-79). He was a weak ruler who surrendered to the pandyas. Later, Malik Kafur invaded this Tamil state in 1310 & extinguished the Chola empire.