In this article we have compiled a list of top twenty-five rulers of South India. They are: 1. Pulakesin II (610 or 611-642 A.D.) 2. Vikramaditya I (655-681 A.D.) 3. Dantidurga (753-758 A.D.) 4. Krishna I (758-773 A.D.) 5. Govinda II (773-780 A.D.) 6. Dhruva (780-793 A.D.) 7. Govinda III (793-814 A.D.) 8. Sarva or Amoghavarsha I (814-878 A.D.) 9. Krishna II (878-914 A.D.) 10. Sinhavishnu (575-600 A.D.) and a few more.
Ruler # 1. Pulakesin II (610 or 611-642 A.D.):
When Pulakesin II became an adult, he claimed the throne for himself which was resisted by his uncle Mangalesa. This led to a civil war between the two in which Pulakesin emerged victorious, killed his uncle and ascended the throne. Pulakesin started his rule when his kingdom was passing through a great crisis.
While the civil war between the uncle and the nephew had disrupted and divided the kingdom internally, it was also endangered by the attacks of the neighbouring rulers, Appayika and Govinda. But Pulakesin proved equal to the occasion. He befriended Govinda, defeated Appayika and subjugated the disaffected subordinates.
After consolidating his position at home, Pulakesin pursued a policy of conquest, extended the territories of his kingdoms and brought glory to the Chalukyas. He defeated the Kadambas, the Mauryas of Konkan and forced the Gangas of Mysore, the Latas, the Malavas and the Gurjaras to accept his suzerainty. He attacked Kalinga, occupied its capital Pishtapura and handed over its rule to his brother, Vishnu Vardhana who afterwards, established the independent kingdom of the Eastern Chalukyas.
However, his greatest success was against emperor Harsha Vardhan of Kannauj. Harsha, probably, was defeated by Pulakesin and therefore, his advance towards the South was checked. Pulakesin also fought against the Pallavas of the far South which resulted in hereditary enmity between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas.
Pulakesin attacked the territories of Pallava king Mahendra Varman I, defeated him and occupied part of his northern territories. He befriended the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Keralas so that they might be helpful to him against the Pallavas. But the Pallavas took their revenge under the leadership of Narasinha Varman I, the successor of Mahendra Varman.
Narasinha Varman I repeatedly attacked the kingdom of the Chalukyas, defeated them and even occupied their capital Badami. Pulakesin was killed in one of these battles against the Pallavas near- about 642 A.D. Of course, Pulakesin ended his life with defeat against the Pallavas, yet he has been regarded as the greatest king of the Chalukyas.
Even his death could not put an end to the glory of the Chalukyas which was brought about by him. The Chalukyas continued their fight against the Pallavas and revived the glory of their dynasty after Pulakesin.
Ruler # 2. Vikramaditya I (655-681 A.D.):
When Pulakesin II died, Badami and the southern part of the kingdom of the Chalukyas was under occupation of the Pallavas. It encouraged the governors and the feudatory chiefs of the Chalukyas to assert their independence. The sons and successors of Pulakesi, probably, remained occupied in suppressing these revolts or fighting against each other and we find no name of any Chalukya king during the period of 642-655 A.D.
Ultimately, Vikramaditya I, the younger son of Pulakesin II, succeeded in these wars and ascended the throne. He also captured Badami and turned the Pallavas out of the territories of the Chalukyas. Vikramaditya I proved a worthy son of his father.
He took revenge for the defeat and disgrace of his father from the Pallavas, fought against the Pallava rulers Mahendra Varman II and Paramesvar Varman I, defeated them and once even captured their capital Kanchi, though, of course. Parmesvara I defeated him afterwards and recovered not only his capital but all his territories.
After Vikramaditya I, the important rulers of this dynasty were Vinayaditya (681-696 A.D.) and Vikramaditya II (733-744 A.D.). Vinayaditya fought against the Pallavas and also made successful attacks in the North, while Vikramaditya II succeeded in defeating the Pallava king Parmesvar Varman.
Kirti Varman II (743-753 A.D.) was the last ruler of the Chalukyas of Badami. The constant fighting of the Chalukyas against the Pallavas had sapped their strength. Kirti Varman could not pay attention to his governors of northern provinces. Among them, one Rashtrakuta governor Dantidurga, asserted his independence, occupied large portions of the kingdom of Kirti Varman and laid the foundation of the empire of the Rashtrakutas.
Kirti Varman tried to recapture the lost part of his kingdom after the death of Dantidurga but failed. Instead, Krishna I, the successor of Dantidurga, snatched away even the rest of his kingdom from him and, thus, destroyed the empire of the Chalukyas of Badami forever.
Ruler # 3. Dantidurga (753-758 A.D.):
Dantidurga became the ruler of the principality of his father in 733 A.D. He was able, ambitious and sagacious and managed to become the master of the Deccan in about twenty years. When he had ascended the throne, he was a feudatory of the Chalukyas and accepted Chalukya Vikramaditya II as his overlord. He fought from his side against the Pallavas and Arabs and won glory for himself. After the death of Vikramaditya II in 744 A.D ., he tried to extend his power and territories but not at the cost of the Chalukyas.
He annexed the Gurjara kingdom of Nandipuri, led an expedition into Malwa and brought eastern Madhya Pradesh under his influence. Thus, by 750 A.D., he became the master of central and southern Gujarat and whole of Madhya Pradesh and Berar.
The Chalukya king Kirti Varman II became jealous of his power and tried to crush him. This resulted in a battle between the two in 753 A.D. in which Dantidurga emerged victorious. Kirti Varman II fled after this battle and Maharashtra was occupied by Dantidurga. Thus, Dantidurga destroyed the empire of the Chalukyas and laid the foundation of the empire of the Rashtrakutas.
Ruler # 4. Krishna I (758-773 A.D.):
During the reign of Krishna I, the successor of Dantidurga, the Chalukya king Kirti Varman tried to reconquer his lost empire. Krishna I met the challenge, defeated Kirti Varman and. thus, finally finished he power of the Chalukyas. Krishna I extended his empire further. He attacked he Gangas of Mysore, defeated the Chalukyas of Vengi and snatched away -Hyderabad state from them and included Konkan in his empire. Krishna was not only a great fighter but also a great builder. The famous rock-cut Siva temple at Ellora was constructed under his patronage.
Ruler # 5. Govinda II (773-780 A.D.):
Govinda I, the son and successor of Krishna I. was a pleasure-loving king who engaged himself in debauchery. He left the entire administrative work to his younger brother, Dhruva. Dhruva took advantage of it, revolted and succeeded in dethroning his brother.
Ruler # 6. Dhruva (780-793 A.D.):
Dhruva captured the throne near about 780 A.D. He proved a capable king and extended his kingdom and influence. He defeated the Pallava ruler Danti Varman and the Chalukya ruler. Vishnu Vardhana IV, and. thus, established his supremacy in south India. Not being satisfied with his successes in the south, he attacked north India with a view to capturing Kannauj, the prestigious city and capital of north India.
He defeated the Pratihara ruler, Vatsaraja and also the Pala ruler. Dharmapala who were contesting among themselves for the sovereignty of the North. Dhruva occupied Kannauj. But he could not consolidate his conquest of the North and had to return to the South to settle the affairs of his empire, particularly, to settle the problems of succession.
However, he made the Rashtrakuta power as the greatest power of India at that time. While the Gangas and the Pallavas in the South acknowledged his suzerainty, the mighty Palas and the Pratiharas of the North were defeated and left humiliated. At that time, there was no power in India to challenge the supremacy of the Rashtrakutas.
Ruler # 7. Govinda III (793-814 A.D.):
Dhruva had several sons. He abdicated his throne in favour of his son Govinda III in 793 A.D. in his old age. Govinda III was challenged by his elder brother Stambha but was defeated and sent as viceroy to the territories of the Gangas. Afterwards, he remained loyal to the throne. Govinda, then, proceeded on his conquests. He was a great commander and extended further the power and prestige of the Rashtrakutas.
Govinda III also decided to establish the glory of the Rashtrakutas in the North and occupy Kannauj. After the return of Dhruva to the south India, the Pratihara ruler, Nagabhatta II, the son of Vatsaraja, had extended his empire and the Pala ruler Dharmapala had placed Chakrayudha on the throne of Kannauj under his tutelage after defeating the previous ruler Indrayudha. Thus, the influence of the Rashtrakutas was wiped away from the North after the return of Dhruva. Govinda was determined to establish it once again.
He attacked the North. The Pala ruler, Dharmapala, and Chakrayudha of Kannauj accepted his suzerainty and the Pratihara ruler, Nagabhatta II was defeated somewhere in Bundelkhand. Thus, the glory and influence of the Rashtrakutas was once again established in the North by Govinda III. However, Govinda III, too, could not consolidate his success in the North and once he was back to the South, Nagabhatta II again increased his power and even occupied Kannauj.
Yet, Gujarat and Malwa remained with the Rashtrakutas. In the South too, Govinda III had to fight to assert his supremacy. He placed Bhima on the throne of Vengi under his tutelage, defeated the confederacy of the Pallavas, the Pandyas and the Gangas against him and extended his empire up to Kanchi in the South. The ruler of Sri Lanka was so terrorised by the success of Govinda III that he sought his favour.
Thus, Govinda III was decidedly the greatest emperor of the Rashtrakutas unrivalled in courage, generalship, statesmanship, and martial exploits. Wherever he attacked, he succeeded and his power remained unchallenged from Kannauj in the North to Cape Comorin in the South.
Ruler # 8. Sarva or Amoghavarsha I (814-878 A.D.):
Amoghavarsha was 110 born military leader. Moreover, he was a boy of 13 or 14 years of age when he ascended the throne of his father. Therefore, he had to face many rebellions during his reign. Yet, he succeeded in defeating the Chalukyas of Vengi and in suppressing most of the revolts. But the Gangas could drive the Rashtrakutas out of the major part of their country.
Amoghavarsha, however, succeeded more in peace than in war. He was a good administrator, built the capital city of Manvakheta, patronised scholars like Jinasena and Mahaviracharva and remained tolerant towards all religious faiths. He himself was a scholar and wrote the Kavirajamarga, the earliest Kanarese work on poetics.
Ruler # 9. Krishna II (878-914 A.D.):
Krishna II, who succeeded his father, fought many battles. He won against the Chalukyas of Vengi but was defeated by the Pratihara ruler. Bhoja who snatched away Malwa and Kathiawar from him. He was defeated by the Cholas as well.
Krishna II was succeeded by Indra III (914-927 A.D.), Govinda IV (927-936 A.D.), and Amoghavarsha III (936-939 A.D.) respectively. They succeeded only marginally. However, Kannauj was once more occupied during the period of Indra III, though it was lost again afterwards.
Then Krishna III, who ascended the throne in 939 A.D., revived the lost glory of the Rashtrakutas. He sought the help of the Gangas, attacked the kingdom of the Cholas and conquered Kanchi and Tanjore. He annexed Vengi, defeated the Parmara king Sivaka and occupied Ujjayani. However, his campaign in the North was not as successful as the campaigns of Dhruva. Govinda III, or even Indra III. However, he extended his empire up to Rameswaram towards the South.
But the period of the rule of Krishna III was the last period of the success of the Rashtrakutas. He was succeeded by his brother Khottiga (965-972 A.D.). The Parmara ruler Siyaka attacked Manyakheta and plundered it during his time. Khottiga was succeeded by his nephew Karkka II. He proved an incapable ruler. His feudatory chief, Chalukya Taila II took advantage of it, deposed Karkka II after defeating him, occupied the kingdom of the Rashtrakutas and laid the foundation of the empire of the Chalukyas of Kalyan.
Ruler # 10. Sinhavishnu (575-600 A.D.):
The foundation of the greatness of the Pallavas was laid by Sinhavishnu. He was a capable commander as well as a patron of learning and fine arts. He defeated a number of enemies including the Kalabhras who were the enemies of the Brahmanas and had attacked Tamil Pradesh.
He conquered Cholamandlam as well. His empire extended to the territories between the rivers Kaveri and Krishna. The great Sanskrit poet, Bharavi, author of the Kirtiarjuniyam was at his court and he took the first step in making Mahabalipuram a centre of fine arts.
Ruler # 11. Mahendra Varman I (600-630 A.D.):
Mahendra Varman, who succeeded his father Sinhavishnu, was one of the great kings of the Pallavas. During his reign, the Chalukvas attempted to crush the power of the Pallavas as they could not tolerate the emergence of a rival power in the South. The aggressive policy of the Chalukyas resulted in a longdrawn battle between the two dynasties.
Mahendra Varman I allied himself with the Kadambas and tried to check the power of Chalukyas under Pulakesin II. But, Pulakesin II succeeded in penetrating deep into the territory of the Pallavas. Mahendra Varman gave him a battle fifteen miles away from his capital, Kanchi. He was successful in defending his capital but Pulakesin II captured his northernmost territory including Vengi where arose the independent empire of the Eastern Chalukyas.
Mahendra Varman was a poet and a musician himself and patronised learning and fine arts. He wrote the Mattavilasa-Prahasana in Sanskrit and, probably, a book on music also. In the beginning, he was a Jaina but afterwards became a Saiva. He constructed many temples in honour of Vishnu and Siva at Trichinopoly, Vallam, Mahendravadi and Arcot and excavated a famous tank at Mahendravadi. Mahendra Varman also patronised painting.
Ruler # 12. Narasinha Varman 1 (630-668 A.D.):
Mahendra Varman was succeeded by his son Narasinha Varman I who proved to be the greatest Pallava ruler and made the power of the Pallavas supreme in south India. The contest between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas for the supremacy of the South continued during his reign. Pulakesin II, the mighty ruler of the Chalukyas, again took the offensive but Narasinha Varman I defeated him in three battles and forced him to retire back to his kingdom.
Now, Narasinha Varman took the offensive, attacked the Chalukyas and even occupied their capital Badami in 642 A.D. Pulakesin died during the course of this conflict and his death was followed by political confusion for thirteen years in the dominions of the Chalukyas. Narasinha Varman I took advantage of it and occupied the southern part of the empire of the Chaluky as.
Afterwards, he defeated Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas of the South and extended his empire. He sent two naval expeditions to Ceylon to reinstate the Sinhalese prince Mavavarma and finally succeeded. In 665 A.D. however, he was defeated by the Chalukya Vikramaditya I, who succeeded in recovering from him the lost territories of his empire.
Yet, Narasinha Varman established an extensive empire of the Pallavas. He constructed many temples at Trichinopoly. The Rath-temples, constructed by him at Mahabalipuram, are unique pieces of the art of architecture. The Chinese traveller, Hiuen Tsang, visited Kanchi during his reign and described it as a beautiful and prosperous city.
Ruler # 13. Mahendra Varman II:
Mahendra Varman II, son of Narasinha Varman, ruled only for two years (668-670 A.D ). He was succeeded by his son Paramesvara Varman I, who ruled between 670-695 A.D. During his reign the Chalukya Vikramaditya I occupied Kanchi and proceeded towards Trichinopoly. But Paramesvara Varman I faced him at Peruvalanallur and forced him to retire to his kingdom. Thus, Paramesvara Varman succeeded in safeguarding his empire.
Ruler # 14. Narasinha Varman II (695-722 A.D.):
The reign of Narasinha Varman II, son and successor of Paramesvara Varman, was that of peace and order. The empire grew prosperous during his reign, a situation which he fruitfully utilised for the purpose of the cultural progress of his empire.
He constructed the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchi and the Sun temple at Mahabalipuram. He patronised scholars. Some scholars have suggested that Dandin, the great prose- writer and the author of the Dasakumarcharita, flourished at his court. He also sent an ambassador to China.
He was succeeded by his son Paramesvara Varman II (722-730 A.D.). During the later part of his reign, his empire was attacked by Chalukya emperor, Vikramaditya II. Paramesvara Varman bought the peace of his empire by giving money and presents to Vikramaditya II.
Ruler # 15. Nandi Varman II (730-795 A.D.):
Nandi Varman was not the son of Paramesvara Varman II but a member of the junior branch of the family. He was elected emperor by the assembly of ministers and nobles at the age of twelve. Certain members of the royal family opposed his succession but failed in their attempts. He was attacked by the neighbouring rulers as well. The Pandya ruler, Rajasinha I, attacked him, fought many battles, but was, ultimately, forced to retire.
The struggle between the Pandyas and Pallavas persisted and it resulted in the conquest of Kongu by the Pandya ruler Parantaka, successor of Rajasinha. The Chalukya king, Vikramaditya II also attacked Nandi Varman and kept Kanchi under his occupation for some time. His successor, the Chalukya Kirti Varman also succeeded in plundering the territories of the Pallavas.
Near about 750 A.D., the Rashtrakuta ruler Dantidurga also captured Kanchi, though afterwards decided to keep good relations with the Pallavas, returned Kanchi to Nandi Varman and also married his daughter to him. The Rashtrakuta ruler, Dhrava, also defeated Nandi Varman and received large sum as booty.
The only success of Nandi Varman was against the Gangas from whom he snatched away a part of their territories. But the attacks of the Pandyas, the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas weakened very much the power of Pallavas during the reign of Nandi Varman. But, Nandi Varman helped in the growth of learning and fine arts. He constructed the temple of Muktesvara and, probably, the Vaikuntha temple at Kanchi. Nandi Varman was himself a scholar and patronised scholars. Tirumangai Alwar, saint and scholar, flourished during his reign.
Nandi Varman was succeeded by his son, Dandi Varman. The Rashtrakutas and the Pandyas attacked his empire and the Pandyas succeeded in capturing the Kaveri region from him. Nandi Varman II was succeeded by Nandi Varman III, Nripatunga and Aparajita respectively. In 880 A.D. Aparajita succeeded in defeating the Pandyas.
This was, however, the last successful battle of the Pallavas. Aparajita was immensely helped in the battle against the Pandyas by his Chola feudatory ruler, Aditya I. However, Aditya I himself, ultimately, killed Aparajita, occupied the kingdom of the Pallavas in 893 A.D., and, thus, laid the foundation of the mighty Chola empire in the South.
Ruler # 16. Vijayalaya (850-871 A.D.):
The founder of the Chola dynasty of Tanjore was Vijayalaya, a feudatory of the Pallavas. There was rivalry between the Pandyas and the Pallavas, his overlords, at that time. He took advantage of it and attacked Tanjore, which was in the hands of feudatory chief of the Pandyas and occupied it. He also conquered the valley of Kolsana and the lower valley of Kaveri.
Ruler # 17. Aditya I (871-907 A.D.):
The independent kingdom of the Cholas was created by Aditya I, the son and successor of Vijayalaya. Aditya helped his overlord, the Pallava king Aparajita against the Pandyas but did not remain loyal to him for long. Near about 893 A.D., he fought against Aparajita and killed him in a battle. He then occupied the entire territory of Tondamandalam and became a sovereign ruler. He also occupied most of the territories of the Pandyas and the Western Gangas. He made Tanjore his capital, beautified it, and built several temples of Siva there. Thus, the foundation of the greatness of the Cholas was laid by Aditya I.
Ruler # 18. Parantaka I (907-953 A.D.):
Parantaka I was an ambitious ruler and engaged himself in wars of conquest from the beginning of his reign. His main conquest was that of Madura. The Pandya ruler, Rajasinha II sought the help of Ceylone king. Yet, he could not defend his kingdom against the attacks of Parantaka.
It was a difficult task but Parantaka succeeded in capturing Madura and reduced it to obedience and order though the task kept him busy for many years. Parantaka also defeated the Banas and the Vaidumbas of the Revadu country with the help of his ally Prithvipati II, the Western Ganga ruler. Thus, by his successive victories, he established an extensive empire.
The Rashtrakutas could not tolerate the new rising power of the Cholas in their neighbourhood. The Rashtrakuta king Krishna III attacked Parantaka I and defeated the Cholas in a decisive battle at Takkolam in 949 A D. This defeat gave a rude shock to the imperialist ambitions of the Cholas. Rather, for the next thirty-two years they remained an insignificant power in the politics of the south, though sometime during the reign of Sundara Chola or Parantaka II, the successors of Parantaka I, the Cholas, probably, succeeded in recovering Tondamandalam from the Rashtrakutas.
Ruler # 19. Rajaraja the Great (985-1014 A.D.):
The credit for reviving the lost glory of the Cholas went to Rajaraja who had been truly the Great ruler of the Cholas. He pursued a policy of war and conquest, defeated the Western Gangas, the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi, the Pandyas of Madura, the Gangas of Kalinga, and the Cheras of Kerala and, thus, extended his empire and influence to the far south. Rajaraja also laid the foundation of the greatness of the navy of the Cholas He conquered Kurga, the entire Malabar coast and part of Ceylon, with the support of his navy.
He also conquered the Maldive islands and attacked the islands of the south-east. He befriended King Tungavamana of Srivijaya empire of South-East Asia. He placed Vimladitya, the younger brother of Sakti Varmana I, on the throne of Vengi and married his daughter to him which, ultimately, prepared the way for the union of the Eastern Chalukyas and the Cholas. Thus, Rajaraja succeeded in establishing a fairly extensive empire in the far south.
Rajaraja was one of the greatest rulers of South India. He was a conqueror, an empire builder, a good administrator and a patron of art and literature. He laid the foundation of the greatness of the navy of the Cholas who, afterwards, became one of the foremost naval power in South-East Asia.
He also laid the foundation of the local self-government in the administration of the Cholas. Thus, the two unique features of the Cholas administration, viz., the navy and the local self- government, were primarily the contributions of Rajaraja to the Chola dynasty. Rajaraja was a Saiva. He constructed the Saiva-temple of Rajarajeshvara, which has been regarded as a remarkable specimen of Tamil architecture. But he was a pious and tolerant ruler. He also patronised Buddhist Viharas and monasteries.
Ruler # 20. Rajendra 1 (1014-1044 A.D.):
Rajendra pursued further the policy of conquest and annexation adopted by his father and raised the power and prestige of the Cholas to its zenith. His period was the period of zenith of the glory of the Cholas. He defeated and annexed the kingdoms of the Pandyas and Cheras of the extreme south He conquered Ceylon, though, in 1029 A.D. south Ceylon became free from his control.
He foiled the attempt of the Chalukya Jayasingha to conquer Vengi and, during his later years, attacked and plundered the kingdom of the Chalukya king, Somesvara I. The Western Chalukyas accepted the river Tungabhadra as the dividing line between their boundary and the boundary of the Chola kingdom. Proceeding through Kalinga, Orissa and Bastara, Rajendra attacked West Bengal and defeated the Pala ruler, Mahipala. But he annexed no territory in north India. Its main purpose in attacking the North was to get fame.
His navy attacked the Srivijaya empire which was a great naval power in South- East Asia at that time. He forced it to accept his suzerainty. Thus, he increased the prestige of his naval power in the Arabian sea and succeeded in safeguarding the trade of his empire on high seas.
Rajendra, thus, was a great conqueror. He was the first Indian ruler who established the supremacy of Indian navy in the Arabian Sea. Besides, he was a capable ruler and a good administrator. He patronised art and learning. He gave liberal grants to educational institutions.
He founded the city of Ganghikondacholapurama and made it his capital. Therein he built beautiful palaces and temples and a lake named Cholagangam, which was sixteen miles in length. Rajendra proved even greater than his father, Rajaraja the Great and expanded the glory of Cholas which was established by his father.
Ruler # 21. Rajadhiraja I (1044-1052 A.D.):
Rajendra was succeeded by his son Rajadhiraja I. Mostly, he remained busy in suppressing the revolts in Ceylon and the Pandya territory. In 1052 A.D., he succeeded in defeating the Chalukya Somesvara but was himself killed during the course of the battle. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Rajendra II.
Ruler # 22. Rajendra II (1052-1063 A.D.):
Rajendera fought against the kings of Ceylon and the Western Chalukyas and succeeded in defending the frontiers of his empire.
Ruler # 23. Vira Rajendra I (1063-1070 A.D.):
Rajendra II was succeeded by his younger brother Vira Rajendra I. He kept his suzerainty over Ceylon and Srivijaya empire and defeated the Chalukya rulers, Somesvara I and Somesvara II.
Ruler # 24. Adhirajendra:
Adhirajendra succeeded his father Vira Rajendra but he was soon killed in a rebellion. The main dynasty of the Cholas ended with the death of Adhirajendra. After him, Kulottunga I (1070-1118 A.D.), the great-grandson of Rajaraja I, ascended the throne. Kulottunga I defeated the ruler of the Pandya kingdom and that of Kerala. He married his daughter to a Ceylonese Prince and kept diplomatic relations with Kannauj, Kamboja, China and Burma. He also brought prosperity to his empire.
Ruler # 25. Kulottunga:
Kulottunga I was succeeded by Vikram Chola, Kulottunga II. Rajaraja II, Rajadhiraja II, Kulottunga III, Rajaraja III and Rajendra III respectively, who, put together, ruled for more than a century. But the powers of the Cholas gradually declined during their reign.
The neighbouring rulers of Pandya, Hoysala, Kakatia and Eastern Gangas constantly threatened their territory and went on occupying parts of it. Ultimately, in 1258 A.D., the Pandya ruler, Sundara forced the Chola Rajendra III to accept his suzerainty and that finished the independent status of the Cholas.