One of the three Great Tamil Dynasties of Dravida Desa was Chera Dynasty .They trace their origins to Suryavansha and also Chandravansha,ie Solar and Lunar dynasty.Reason is that Manu’s son Ikshvaku, founded the Solar/ Suryavansha).Manu had a daughter Ila and she founded the Lunar dynasty, Chandravansha by marrying Chandra and begetting Budha. There were intermarriages between the two dynasties as well.Therefore not only Cholas but Chera s and Pandyas may be traced back to these two dynasties.Surya Vamsa, the Solar Dynasty .
Karikal Chola was an early Chola and he undertook an expedition to North India and was victorious.Chera King Cheralaathan was a Chera King who was successful in his expedition to North India. Cheralaathan’s Father Udhiyan Cheralaathan was contemporary of Karikal chola and Udhiyan Cheralaathan fed both armies of Kaurava and Pandava armies during Kurukshetra war , during Mahabharata period.Exploits of these kings are mentioned in Tamil Sangam Literature.
Karikal Valavan,aka Karikalan conquered the kings of Magadha, Avanti,and other Kings including Maya.Maya refers to The architect of Asuras .Asura does not mean nether beings but people who were at loggerheads with Devas and are generally considered as with more bad qualities than good .This is a question of perception. ‘the Asuras are any spiritual, divine beings including those with good or bad intentions, and constructive or destructive inclinations or nature. ‘ He built Mayssabha, Palace of Illusion for Pandavas.He was a historical figure.
‘According to Nilakanta Sastri Karikala reigned in 90 CE.(A History of South India: From Prehistoric Times to the Fall of Vijayanagar, page 119) I differ from this date. I shall be justifying the date of Karikalan in my next article.
After subduing the south Karikala went on an expedition to the north and engraved his tiger emblem in the Himalayas. The king of the great Vajra whose sway extended as far as the roaring sea (in the east), gave him a pearl canopy as a tribute while the king of Magadha famous for his sword-play, and his enemy a while ago, presented to him an audience hall (pattimandapam). The king of Avanti gave him a friendly present of a tall and beautiful arch on the gateway. Though all these were made of gold and gems, their technique was not known to human artists even of exceptional skill; they were long ago given to the ancestors of these three monarchs by the divine Maya in return for some valuable service rendered to him. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karikala
Silapthikaram : Chapter 5 : Versus 86–110
நற்பலி பீடிகை நலம் கொள வைத்து
உயிர்பலி உண்ணும் உருமுக்குரல் முழக்கத்து
மயிர்கண் முரசொடு வான்பலி ஊட்டி
இருநில மருங்கின் பொருநரை பெறாஅச்
செறுவெங் காதலின் திருமா வளவன்
வாளும் குடையும் மயிர்கண் முரசும்
நாளொடு பெயர்த்து நண்ணார்ப் பெறுகஇம்
மண்ணக மருங்கின்என் வலிகெழு தோள் எனப்
புண்ணிய திசை முகம் போகிய அந்நாள்
அசைவுஇல் ஊக்கத்து நசைபிறக்கு ஒழியப்
பகைவிலக் கியதுஇப் பயம்கெழு மலைஎன
இமையவர் உறையும் சிமையப் பிடர்த்தலைக்
கொடுவரி ஒற்றிக் கொள்கையின் பெயர்வோர்க்கு
மாநீர் வேலி வச்சிர நன்னாட்டுக்
கோன் இறை கொடுத்த கொற்றப் பந்தரும்
மகதநன் நாட்டு வாள்வாய் வேந்தன்
பகைபுறத்துக் கொடுத்த பட்டிமண் டபமும்,
அவந்தி வேந்தன் உவந்தனன் கொடுத்த
நிவந்துஓங்கு மரபின் தோரண வாயிலும்
பொன்னினும் மணியினும் புனைந்தன ஆயினும்
நுண்வினைக் கம்மியர் காணா மரபின
துயர்நீங்கு சிறப்பின் அவர் தொல்லோர் உதவிக்கு
மயன்வி தித்துக் கொடுத்த மரபின , இவை தாம்
ஒருங்குடன் புணர்ந்துஆங்கு உயர்ந்தோர் ஏத்தும்
The above verse says that Thirumavalavan (karikala cholan) who after winning over North Vengadam to Kanyakumari and after defeating the mightier Pandya and Chera Kings ,
Karikalan , the chola king who is also a lover of wars went in search of New enemies towards North until Himalayas (it mentions about his Himalayan expedition and conquest) , who could match his shoulder strength in fight , Started Conquest after praying to his god Kotravai , along with his soldiers , Carrying White umbrella and Murasu (Drums)
[ Note : Mayir Kann Murasu mentioned here means the special Drum that is made out of tough Buffalo’s skin that had actually killed a Tiger in a fight when it was alive ]……இரும்பனம் போந்தைத் தோடும் கருஞ்சினை
அரவாய் வேம்பின் அங்குழைத் தெரியலும்
ஓங்கிருஞ் சென்னி மேம்பட மிலைந்த
இருபெரு வேந்தரும் ஒருகளத்(து) அவிய
வெண்ணித் தாக்கிய வெருவரு நோன்றாள்
கண்ணார் கண்ணிக் கரிகால் வளவன்.”
In the Battle of Venni, Karikala crushed the Pandya and Chera forces along with their 11 chieftains, leading to the unifying of the three kingdoms into one under Karikala’s rule. Chera King Peruncheralathan was fatally wounded by the arrow throwed by Karikalan that pierced his chest and wounded his back , Since he got wounded his back , the chera king out of shame had commited self sacrifice by starving himself to death facing North (vadakkiruthal).
Thiruvaalangaadu copper plate inscriptions :
He defeated the confederacy of nine minor chieftains in the battle of Vaagaipperundalai. Paranar, a contemporary of Karikala, mentions this in his poem from Agananuru.
Pattinappaalai also describes the destruction caused by Karikala’s armies in the territories of his enemies and adds that as the result of those conflicts, the “Northerners and Westerners were depressed… and his flushed look of anger caused the Pandya’s strength gave way.
He expanded his kingdom from Vengadam (Tirupati) to Kanyakumari after defeating other smaller kingdoms such as Thondai Naadu , Naagar Naadu , Pothuvar naadu , Malaiyamaan Naadu and vaduga Naadu in the extreme North of Tamil land(tirupati). After returning back from his Himalayan Expedition he raided Eelam and brought its kingdoms under his rule.https://www.quora.com/Which-Tamil-kings-went-on-Himalayan-expeditions-and-engraved-or-planted-the-victorious-symbols-of-their-flag-on-Himalayan-mountains?top_ans=102753057