The Rajas of Thanjavur – For Class 4
Thousands of year ago, the Chola kings ruled in southern India. Their kingdom covered a large part of southern India. Rajaraja I (Rajaraja the First) and his son Rejendra Chola I were the most powerful Chola kings. Thanjavur was their capital in present day Tamil Nadu.
The Chola kings had a strong army. Their army consists of foot soldiers, horsemen and war elephants. The Chola kings conquered many lands. They were the first Indian rulers to have a navy which allowed them to fight wars at sea. Due to strong navy they were able to conquer parts of Sri Lanka, Maldives and south-eastern Asia. They also used their navy to control the sea routes which were important for trading across the seas.
The Chola kings were remembered for their beautiful stone temples that they built for their gods. The wall of the temples are decorated with beautiful paintings and carvings. People still offer prayers at these temples like they did a thousand years ago. These are called the Great Living Chola Temples. One of these temples is Brihadeshwara Temple at Thanjavur. This temple was built by Rajaraja I.
In the Chola kingdom, the temple was the centre of daily life of the people. Dance and music were performed in the temple as forms of worship. The temple was not only a place of worship but also a place where people met and discussed important matters. There were many shops on the street leading to the temple. Occasionally fairs were also held on the temple grounds. The temple served as a school where students were taught by the priests.
The Chola kings supported many forms of art such as music, dance, etc. They hired musicians and dancers to perform in their temples. The Chola kingdom had excellent metal workers who made beautiful bronze sculptures. The Nataraja sculpture is one such example.
A. ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.
- The Chola kings had a strong navy. How did it help them?
- What kind of temples did the Cholas build?
- Why is the Brihadeshwara Temple called a ‘living temple’?
- What was the role of the South Indian temple in daily life?
- Give a few examples of arts and crafts that the Cholas supported.
B. TRUE OR FALSE.
- The Cholas were a family of kings of South India.
- Rajaraja I was the son of Rajendra Chola I.
- The Chola kings controlled sea routes used for trade with the help of their navy.
- In the Chola kingdom, a temple was a place of worship, trade and education.
- Music and dance were not allowed in the Chola temples.
C. FILL IN THE BLANKS.
- The Chola army had foot soldiers, _________ and soldiers on war elephants.
- The walls of the Chola temples were decorated with __________ and ___________.
- The Brihadeshwar Temple at Thanjavur was built by _________.
- Many of the Nataraj sculptures from the Chola kingdom are made of __________.
- Students at the Chola temples were taught by the __________.