Rajaraja Chozha Killed Elder Brother Aditha Karikala? Epigraphy Evidence

One of the intriguing aspects of Rajaraja Chozha, who is one of the greatest emperors India had seen, is the mystery surrounding the murder of his Elder Brother Aditha Karikala. Aditha Karikala is reported to have been killed by the Personal Bodyguards of Veerapandya, the Pandya King who fought relentlessly against the Cholas. In the battle that ensued, Veera Pandya was seriously injured, escaped from the battlefield and was hiding in a forest,tending his injuries. Aditha Karikala, who led the Cholas in the battle,hunted Veerapandya in his hideout and Cut his head. He did not stop at that that. He hung the lifeless head Thanjavur Fort,which was the capital of Chozhas then. At that time,his father Sundara Chozha was alive. Adithya Karikala added the title,’One who cut the Head of Veerapandya’ ‘before his name. This was not taken kindly by the Pandyas.From here the narratives become hazy .The Bodyguards,called ‘Abathuthavis’ in Tamil,which is equivalent to the Z Group Security Guards, infiltrated into Chozha kingdom,plotted to avenge the death of Adhita Karikala by murdering Sundara Chozha,Rajaraja Chozha ( he had not ascended the the throne yet and was known as Arunmizhi Thevan) and Madurantaka Chozha was called as Uthama Chozha during later days..Madurantaka Chozha was the paternal uncle of Rajaraja Chozha. Madurantaka Chozha ruled ,after the death of Sundara Chozha,for a few years.After he was thrown out/killed, Rajaraja Chozha came to power.)

The question of who killed Aditha Karikala remains a mystery.The narrative that the Guards of Veerapandya murdered Aditha Karikala and the conspirators were punished by Rajaraja Chozha after he came to power is recorded in the Udayarkudi Epigraph. Udayarkudi has a Siva temple built by Rajaraja Chozha The Epigraph states that the conspirators who murdered Aditya Karikala known as the one who cut the head of Pandya, Doman,Panchavan Brahmadhirayan Ravidasam Irumudi Chozha Brahmadhirayan Parameswaran,their brother Malayanur Revadasavithan’s portions of the properties: and from the properties of the Ravidasan’s mother Nangaichanai,his son, Ravidasan’s brother’s,relatives,uncle’s,and those who are married to these; Six house groups measuring two and three fourth veli and oNe Square Ma( a measurement of Ancient Tamil People) is to bought by Vyaazha Gajamallan from the Town Officials by paying 112 Gold Kazhanju,( medium of payment)

Udayarkudi Epigraph.

வீரநாராயண சதுர்வேதி மங்கலத்து ஊர் சபையின்  பொறுப்பில் இருக்கும்  ‘பாண்டியன் தலை கொண்ட’ ஆதித்த சோழனை கொன்று துரோகிகளான சோமன்பஞ்சவன் பிரமாதிராயரான ரவிதாசன்இருமுடி சோழ பிரமாதிராயனான பரமேஸ்வரன், இவர்கள் தம்பி மலையானூரனான ரேவதாசவித்தன் ஆகியோரது உடைமைகளில் இருந்தும், இவர்கள் உடன்பிறந்தார், இவர்கள் மாமன்மார், இவர்களிடம் பெண்ணெடுத்தவர்கள், இவர்களுக்கு பெண் குடுத்தவர்கள் ஆகியோரது உடமைகளில் இருந்தும், ரேவதாசவித்தன்அவன் மகன், அவன் தாய் நங்கை சாணி ஆகியோரின் இரண்டே முக்கால் வெளி ஒரு மா பரப்பளவு நிலத்துடன் கூடிய ஆறு வீட்டுத் தொகுதிகளை, வியாழ கஜமல்லன் என்பவர் ஊரார் சபையிடம் இருந்து 112 பொன் கழஞ்சு


The inscription from Udaiyargudi dated in the second regnal year of Rajaraja Chola states that the government confiscated the lands of a few people and their relatives, namely Soman, Ravidasan alias Panchavan Brahmadhirajan, Parameswaran alias Irumudichola Brahmadhirajan and Malaiyanur Revadasa Kramavittan and the properties of his son and mother for treason and for their hand in the murder of Karikala chola who took the head of the Pandya. Among these Ravidasan and Parameswaran were government officials. We can safely gather that although Aditya II was killed in 969 C.E., no action had been taken by Uttama during his reign to bring justice to the perpetrators. K.A.N. Sastry in his authoritative Colas says that based on an inscription at the temple at Udayarkudi, circumstantial evidence pointed to Uttama’s culpability in the assassination. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttama_Chola#cite_ref-udaiyargudi1_7-0. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttama_Chola#cite_ref-udaiyargudi2_8-1. South Indian History Congress (1999). Proceedings of the Annual Conference, Volume 18. p. 157.

Doubt on the Epigraph is due to the fact

  • Why it took Rajaraja Chozha twenty years to punish the perpetrators?
  • Why his uncle , Madurantaka Chozha did not punish ?
  • Two of the perpetrators were Government officials.Dies it mean they had a hand in the assassination?
  • Even the punishment is not Death Penalty. The perpetrators were sent away from the country.Why?

The argument that they were not given death penalty is due to the practice of the then kings did not execute Brahmins because the kings were following Manu Dharma Shastra which forbids Kings from killing Brahmins This is not supported by evidence anywhere.

If one were to by motives behind a crime, only Madhurantaka Chozha and Rajaraja Chozha fit the bill. Madurantaka can be ruled out because because Rajaraja Chozha and his all powerful Sister Kundavai and her husband Vandhitath Thevan and Rajaraja Chozha’s close friend Aniruddha Brahmaraya( a Brahmin,who later became Rajaraja Chozha’s all powerful Prime Minister ,would not have allowed Madurantaka to ascend the throne By the same logic, Aniruddha Brahmaraya who was the Prime Minister at the time when the punishment was meted out, would not have done so as not only was he a Prime Minister but an astute politician as well not to allow the Brahmins to escape punishment as it would tar his image as a Brahmin and also endanger the King.

Yet the order was passed on, as in the Epigraph,not as an Order of the King with Chozha insignia but only as a Sri Mukha, a letter from the King, which does not carry the force of an order with Insignia.

So, it is probably, by the process of elimination,that Rajaraja Chozha was behind the conspiracy to kill Adhitya Karikala with the help of Kundavai,Vandhyath Thevan and planning by Aniruddha Brahmaraya. This would account for the meek acquiescence of Rajaraja Chozha to the Coronation of Madhurantaka and leaving for Lanka expedition, exposing Sundara Chozha too , to manage any fallout of the assassination,along with Madhurantaka. Events were stage managed that resulted in Madhurantaka sidelined and Rajaraja Chozha ascending the throne..


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