Virarajendra Chola

Virarajendra Chola was a significant Chola ruler who reigned from 1063-1070 AD. He was younger brother of Rajendra Chola II and Rajadhiraja Chola. We see that in a span of around 18-20 years, there was a rapid succession in the Chola Kings as three brothers ruled one after another. This gave an opportunity to Someshwara-I to launch a campaign against them. They conflicted in 1066 but the Chalukyas led by Someshwara I were again defeated.

In 1067, Someshwara wrote Virarajendra Chola to meet at a place called Kudal Sangamam for war. Virarajendra waited for him, but Someshwara -I did not turn up. Miffed by this Virarajendra overran Chalukya Kingdom and planted a pillar of victory at Tungbhadra. In 1067, he conquered Vengi. Virarajendra also carried out some successful conquests in Sri Lanka and Kadaram (Malaya). We know from some sources that Someshwara-I drowned himself in River Tungabhadra due to a fever. After this, there was a civil war in Western Chalukyas for succession.

After death of Someshwara I, his son Someshwara II succeeded him in 1068. But a dispute broke between him and his younger brother Vikramaditya VI. Vikramaditya VI approached Virarajendra Chola and begged him to be nominated for the Chalukya Throne. Virarajendra accepted his prayer and made him heir to the Chalukya throne. Thus Vikramaditya VI became a tributary subordinate to Virarajendra Chola. Virarajendra Chola gave his daughter in marriage to Vikramaditya VI and this was a significant marital alliance between the Cholas and Chalukyas.

In Virarajendra Chola we find a brave, able, wise and strong King who not only maintained the status of the Cholas but also was able to increase the in Chola strength. He died in 1070 AD. In his life he patronized arts and cared for temples of all deities specially Lord Vishnu. Virarajendra Chola was succeeded by Athirajendra Chola who reigned only for few months of 1070 AD. There was a civil unrest in the Chola kingdom and he was killed in this unrest.

With the death of Athirajendra Chola, the dynasty of the Vijayalaya Chola came to an end. The next Cholas (Later Cholas) were actually a fresh blood arising out of the Chola-Chalukya marital alliances.