Ceylon under the Cholas:
Upto the middle of the tenth century, Chola military expeditions to Ceylon were in the nature of brief but destructive incursions, and once the immediate objectives of the mission had been achieved, the Chola armies withdrew to the mainland.
Under Rajaraja (983-1014), however, the Cholas
embarked on a more aggressive and ambitious program of conquest which brought
the Sinhalese kingdom under their direct rule. Rajaraja I conquered
Anuradhapura in the last years of the tenth century.
All the country, save the
southern parts which were still in the hands of the Sinhala inhabitants, now
became a province of the Chola empire, which included the Pandya and Kerala
countries as well.
Rajaraja struck base gold
coins in imitation of the then current gold kalanda
(Codrington’s type III ‘jessamine flower and chank’) at
Anuradhapura, except that they have the legend Sri Rajaraja (‘king of
kings’) in the same script as on the kalanda.
The copper coins of Rajaraja are of a curious concave shape and is of a rough and coarse extraction, fine specimens being very scarce.
Rajendra I, his son and successor,
completed the conquest in A.D. 1017 by the capture of Mahinda V, the last
Sinhala king to rule at Anuradhapura, who was exiled to India, where he died in
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