Stolen Chola-era Hanuman idol brought back to India

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Source: The post is based on the article “Stolen Chola-era Hanuman idol brought back to India” published in The Hindu on 24th March 2023

What is the News?

A rare variety bronze idol of Hanuman which was stolen from a Chola-era temple in Ariyalur district a decade ago and auctioned in Australia was finally retrieved by Tamilnadu Police.

About the Chola era

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Sources of Chola Kingdom

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Who are the important rulers of Chola empire?

Vijayalaya: The Chola Empire was founded by Vijayalaya. He took over the Tanjore kingdom in the 8th century and led to the rise of the mighty Cholas by defeating the Pallavas. Tanjore was hence made the first capital of the eminent Chola Empire.

Aditya I: He succeeded Vijayalaya to become the ruler of the empire. He defeated king Aparajita and the empire gained massive power under his reign. He conquered the Pandya Kings along with the Vadumbas and establishes control over the Pallavas’ power in the region.

Rajendra Chola: He succeeded the mighty Rajaraja Chola. Rajendra I was the first to venture to the banks of the Ganges. He was popularly called the Victor of the Ganges. His new empire capital was called the Gangaikondacholapuram where he received the title of ‘Gangaikonda’. This period is referred to as the golden age of the Cholas. After his rule, the kingdom witnessed a widespread downfall.

Administration and Governance

The massive kingdom was divided into provinces which were known as mandalams.

Separate governors were held in charge for each mandalam. These were further divided into districts called nadus which consisted of tehsils. 

The system of rule was such that each village acted as a self-governing unit during the era of the Cholas. 

The Cholas were ardent patrons of art, poetry, literature and drama; the administration was seen investing in the construction of several temples and complexes with sculptures and paintings. 

The king remained the central authority who would make the major decisions and carry out the governance.  

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