Short notes on the Importance of Takkolam

It was now that Rashtrakuta Krishna II started interesting himself in securing the Chola throne to his grandson Kannardeva. In 910 he tried with Bana help to force Parantaka to abdicate but the latter assisted by the Ganga Prithvipathi II, defeated the Rashtrakuta in the battle of Vallam.

Thereafter Parantaka punished the Banas, Vikramaditya II and Vijayaditya III for helping the Rashtrakuta. The conquered Bana territory was transferred to the Ganga Prithvipathi who then styled himself Banadhiraja.

The next target of Chola attack were the Vaidumbas. Now Prithvipathi died in c. AD 940 and was succeeded by Butuga II. The latter was a friend of the contemporary Rashtrakuta Krishna III. The Banas and the Vaidumbas were willing once again to help the Rashtrakuta against the Chola.

Krishna III had two grievances against Parantaka; primarily he wished to avenge the Rashtrakuta defeat at Vallam, secondly he wished to punish the Chola for the help the latter gave to Govinda IV who was incidentally a son-in-law of Parantaka I.

Knowing these designs of the Rashtrakuta, the Chola had stationed his able crown prince Rajaditya in the north-western part of the Kingdom to guard the realm; in this Rajaditya was assisted by his younger brother Arikulakesai.

Krishna III entered the Chola kingdom supported by the confederacy of the Banas, the Vaidumbas and the Gangas. The fateful battle was fought at Takkolam. In this battle Rajaditya, the crown prince, was killed by Butuga.

When the leader was lost, the battle too was lost. The Rashtrakuta victory was complete but did not result in the ruin of the Chola family. The victor marched freely and easily right down to Ramesvararn. Al-Biruni says that after Takkolam, Tanjore lay in ruins and a new capital was needed.