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Around the mid-ninth century, Vijayalaya, a Pallava vassal, conquered Tanjore and rose from obscurity.He and his people had Tamil origins but some of their ancestry reveals traces of Indo-European influence, such as the name Aryaman in the Chola genealogy.Poigaiyar, the Chera court poet, sings Kalavali Narpattu in praise of Kocengannan to secure his release, but the Chera king, feeling insulted when he is not given water to quench his thirst, breathes his last before his release can be ordered.References to Chola kings in this period occur only in poetry and some literary texts.
After suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Chola ruler in the Battle of Venni, Perumchottu commits suicide.Their trading sphere included their colonies and also China and the Middle East, and they played a major role in the history of southern India, mainly in the Sangam Age before the invasion of the Kalabhras and later the Pallavas.The Chola kings were great patrons of the arts, literature, and poetry, and constructed several magnificent temples, the most famous being the Brihadeswara Temple of Thanjavur/Tanjore.Their pantheon of gods were led by Shiva the supreme god, Aiyai or Uma the Kotravai (Kullabai), Sevvel or Muruga the Kurinci-Marudakkadavul, Thiru Maal or Maayoan the Mullaikkadavul, Vanci-Irai (Indra), Neitharman (Varuna or Warunaz - the latter is based on the Indo-European root word for 'ward' or 'guard'), El the Uthi (the sun) and Nanna the Mathi (the moon).
The following list of early Sangam Cholas has been built from the various poems of Purananuru.The Thiruvalangadu Plate names forty-four, and the Kanyakumari Plate almost fifty-two kings (many of these are listed under Prehistoric Cholas).(Information by Stephen Barr, with additional information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha and from Chronology of the Tamils, K N Sivaraja Pillai, from A History of South India: From Prehistoric Times to the Fall of Vijayanagar, K A Nilakanta Sastri, and from Regents of Nations, Part 1, Peter Truhart (Antiquity Worldwide).) Perumchottu is a contemporary of the great Chola, King Karikala, but the dating for him conflicts badly with the apparent early years AD dating for the Cheras (circa 270 BC).Many royal chroniclers have a habit of tracing lineages to mythical characters which have no historical testimonials in order to establish a rich pedigree.