Mr. Fergusson's Indian and Eastern Architecture pp. 343-5] Although it was actually built about nine centuries ago, it appears to this day, as new and perfect as if it had been completed hardly nine years ago. Neither in the great tower, nor in the massive gateways and turrets which line the quadrangle surrounding it, is there a single stone broken or out of its place. So carefully has it been attended to by the royal dynasties who successively ruled at Tanjore, that the alternate seasons of rain and sunshine for nine hundred years have left little or no trace of their destructive effects on the building, and it bids fair to remain intact for many centuries to come, as a permanent monument of the piety and prowess of its founder Rajaraja Chola, alias Ko-raja-kesari-varmman.
Those who take an interest in the history of Southern India but are unable to read the original inscriptions on the temples, may study with advantage the text and translation of the inscriptions, which have been edited with great care and ability by Dr. Hultzsch, the Government Epigraphist. See South Indian inscriptions. Vol. II.] (Tamil) on the twentieth day of the twenty sixth year! (of the reign) of Ko-raja-kesari-varmman alias Sri Raja-raja-Deva who to make it known (in all) that the goddess of the great earth had, like the goddess of wealth, become his consort – quelled the rebellion at Kandalur Salai, and by his valiant and victorious army, conquered Vengai Nadu, Gangai-padi, Tadikai-padi, Nulamba-padi the western Malai Nadu, Kollam Kalingam, and applauded by the eight directions, (i.e., all surrounding nations) Ila-mandalam, and the seven and a half lakhs of Irattappadi; who deprived the Pandyas of their splendor and has so distinguished himself that he is worthy of worship everywhere, (he) the Udaiyar Sr-Raja-raja-deva, while seated in the eastern bath-room in the place of Iru-mudi-Chola having bestowed (the usual) gifts, was pleased to command "Let all the gifts made by us, the gifts made by our elder sister, the donors to the Lord of the sacred stone temple erected by us at Tanjavur in the Tanjavur Kurram in the Pandya-kulasini-vala-nadu, be engraved on stone on the sacred central tower."
Mr. Rice's Epigraphia Karnataka No. 140. Kanarese inscription at Balmuri.] Calculating from this year, it follows that the King's order, directing that a record of his gifts be engraved on the temple, was issued in the year 1010-11 A. D. shortly before which the construction of the temple appears to have been completed.
Archeological Survey of Southern India, Vol. IV. P. 216] that he was the son of Parantaka II, and great grandson of Parantaka I or Vira Narayana, who defeated the Pandya and Sinhalese armies, and built the Kanaka-Sabha (Golden Hall) at Chidambaram. In describing the genealogy of the Cholas, the Kalingattu-Parani mentions him after the Chola King who vanquished the Pandya and Sinhalese forms, and states that he captured Udakai in the Uthia (or Chera) kingdom. 5 [5
Kalingattup-parani. Canto viii, verse 24.] The Vikrama-Cholan Ula similarly alludes to him, after the Chola who built the Kanaka-Sabha and praises him for having cut off the heads of eighteen princes and conquered Malai-Nadu, in retaliation for the insult offered to his envoy. 6 [6
Vikrama-Cholan-Ula. See Indian Antiquary Vol. xxii, p. 142.] He is referred to in the Kulottunga Cholan Ula and Raja raja Cholan Ula
These poems have not yet been published in print.] also as the king who destroyed Udakai. It is evident therefore that Rajaraja commenced his career of conquests by chastising the princes at Udakai, in the Chera kingdom, who had insulted his envoy.
Dr. Hultzsch's South Indian Inscriptions Vol. II. p. 43 and ff.] All higher castes resided in towns. It appears therefore that the Tamils did not follow the Aryan system of caste for, according to that system, Kammalar that is blacksmiths, carpenters and goldsmiths would have been treated as Vaisyas, and not as a low caste whom the Higher castes could not touch without pollution. Brahmins learned in the four Vedas received grants of land from pious kings, and resided on the lands allotted to them. Whole villages were sometimes granted to Vedic Brahmins, and were henceforth known as Chatur-veda-mangalam. They were distinguished by the donor's name as follows:-
Oddakkoottar's Kulottunga-chola-kovai. Stanzas, 2, 253, 19, 40, 239, 328, 343, 365.] Rajaraja was a devout Saiva, and although he assumed many titles, such as Arumoli (one whose words are precious) Rajasraya (the Asylum of Kings), Jayankonda-Chola (the Chola conqueror) and Mummudi-Chola (the Chola who wore three crowns, i.e., those of the Chera, Chola and Pandya), none was more appropriate or more truly expressive of his high purpose and sincere piety than the epithet Sivapada Sekhara (He whose crown is the feet of Siva).