My letter to this group has been long due since I have been a member for the past 5+ yrs without sending a single mail (probably my request for membership would have been the only mail I had sent till now!!).
Having raised in and around Chidambaram and my grand dad being the VAO of a village near pitchavaram, I grew up hearing stories of how the “chozhanar” zamins of pitchavaram had the sole right of coronation in the ambalam halls of thillai and their claim of imperial Chola descent. (BTW, my granddad was a family friend of theirs).
This coronation and their right, finds a mention in Edgar Thurston and Rangachari’s “Castes and Tribes of south India” This along with movie (AO)’s theory intrigued me and I decided to plough through all the available literature to find any mention of cholas after 13th century AD.
Lucky for me, I stumbled upon number of books which talk about Vijayanagar History mentioning a certain “solaga” ruling from a “theevukotai – Divukottiption we can ascertain that he was an important person and was unwillingly allowed a self rule and how he challenged the Vijayanagar authority from time to time.
What’s more interesting is one of the authors trace this solaga to the “chozhanars” living at pichavaram.
I have given the list of such books and the sources that they quote. I know this discussion has come up now and then and this possibility has been discussed. But now that ample literary evidences are available, we can have full length discussion on this. I am sure this solaga would be one of the last remnants of the chola dynasty because we do not find any other principalities/nobles/chieftains claiming chola name or descent. And the solaga was one of the three major rulers that vijayanagar had to subjugate inorder to conquer
Tamil country. The others being Sambuvarayars and Madurai Sultanate.
Considering their coronation right from the perspective of the below mentioned periyapuranam lines, we can to a significant degree of certainty conclude that they are the rightful descendants of the great cholas.
‘Mallal nyaalam parakkinraar mani maa mavuli punaivatharkku Thillai vaazh anthanar thammai venda avarum sembiyar tham thollai Needum kula sirandhor kkanri mudi soottom enru nalkaaraki cheralathan than malai naatanaya nannuvaar’
“Inorder that he who conquered the world(kootruvar) may not be bereft of a royal crown he requested the crowning services of the ancient three thousand servitor priests at Chidambaram(thillai). Thereupon the priests refused the same saying that they are entitled to perform the ceremony only to the most deserving of the ancient clan of sembiyars(cholas). Having said this , they quit their dwelling to reach the hill country(kerala) of the ancient tamil chera king.”.
Please review these books and the sources they quote and please let me know your feedback. And please forgive me for wasting everyone’s time, if this angle had already been thoroughly discussed!
History of Gingee Chapter1, pg 103 Rao Bahadur & G.S. Srinivasachari MA
(I have attached the pages mentioning solaga as images)
Nayaks of Tanjore by V.Vriddhagirisan pg56,74,75,94
Sources of vijayanagar history – sakkottai Krishnaswami Aiyangar 1919
South India under the Vijayanagara Empire: the Aravidu dynasty, Volume 2 Henry Heras
Sources they quote:
Raghunathabyudoyam by Ramabhadramba
sahityaratnakaram by Yagnanarayana Dikshita
Portugese Jesuit traveler Father Pimenta (1597-1598