SOCIAL LIFE OF PEOPLE UNDER THE CHOLAS

Chola kings were saivites. They worshiped Lord Siva. They built many Siva temples. Parantaka I, Rajaraja I, Rajendra King Gandraditya and his queen Sembiyan madevi contributed more for the development of Saivism and Bakthi literature. Parantaka I covered the Siva temple with gold at Chidambaram. King Rajaraja I Built Brahadeeswarar temple (big temple) at Tanjore. Rajendra-I Constructed Siva temple at Polonaaruva in Ceylon and Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Lands, Jewels and vessels were donated to these temples.

Chola Kings were tolerant towards other religions. Vishnu worship was also there. Chola rulers supported the spread of Vaishnavisim Saint Ramanujar was the contemporary of Chola Kings. Thiruvalangadu copper plates. Karanthai plates and Anbil plates talk about the religious conditions of the Chola period. Masimaham Mahamaham, Karthigai, Thaipusam Sivarathri, Chithiraivizha, Aipasivizha were important festivals celebrated during the Chola period. Tanjore, Kumbakonam, Avudaiyarkoil, Kalahasti Tirukadaiyur and Kanchipuram were important temple cities. Bakthi songs were sung in all temples. Some people followed Buddhism and Jainism.

Temples acted as centers of learning also. Temples helped the development of painting dance and music. Nambi Andar Nambi compiled the hymns of Saiva saints Nathamunigal compiled the hymns of Vaishnava saints. Scenes of Periyapuranam portraits of Lord Siva were themes of the paintings on the walls of temples. Bharatha natyam and Kathakali dances were performed in temples at the time of festival times.

The economic prosperity and religious contributions increased the standard of life and aloes of the Chola society. By building many temples and mutts, the Chola kings contributed for the development of culture, art and architecture. The royal patronage increased the influence of Hinduism more. The temples and festivals of the Chola period will ever speak about the glory of the Cholas.