Remembering Rajendra Chola I, greater of the greats

With the help of his three sons, Rajendra Chola was able to spread his kingdom far and wide | Illustration - Eunice Dhivya

An inscription found in 1923 in an old Uruni Alwar temple in Kalakkattur hamlet in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram describes a meeting between a local chieftain named Kadan Mayindan and the Chola king Rajaraja. Kadan Mayindan wanted Rajaraja’s permission for an endowment for setting up a perpetual lamp for the welfare of the king.

"In those days, it was impossible for a chieftain to meet an emperor. But being a magnanimous king, Rajaraja invited him to his place Thanjavur, then capital of Cholas, and spent a whole day with him," says well-known archaeologist Kudavayil Balasubramanian.

When the chieftain put forth his request, Rajaraja thought for a while and said instead of one, he would give grants for two lamps. One, for the welfare of the village and two, for the prosperity of all kings and the world at large.

A note published in the Annual Report of Epigraphy published in 1923, describes further about the inscription: “The inscription records the setting up of a lamp in the temple at Kalakkattur by a certain chief called Kadan Mayindan for the welfare of the king and of the whole earth, at the instance of no less a person than the king himself. The chief says that as his royal master himself was so pleased to order the grant of one lamp that he would give two instead of one.”

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