Rajadhiraja Chola I was made joint ruler of the Chola Kingdom with his father as early as 1018 AD. He upheld the authority of the Cholas in Sri Lanka, Kalinga and Vengi despite a number of uprisings in those regions. Rajadhiraja was at the forefront of most of his father`s military campaigns. He was keen to subdue the rising power of the Western Chalukyas. He wanted to restore Chola influence with the Eastern Chalukyas in Vengi. He personally led an expedition into the Telugu country. He defeated the Western Chalukyas and set fire to their fort. This was followed by number of raids into the Chalukya country by the Chola army in which they captured several generals, feudatories of Chalukya and destroyed the Chalukya palace at Kampali.
Conquests of Rajadhiraja Chola I
The Chola forces crossed the Krishna River
and raised a pillar of triumph in Yetagiri. Kalyani, the capital of Chalukya, was dismissed after continuous fight. Rajadhiraja vanquished the Chalukyas and his coronation was performed subsequently to which he assumed the title Vijayarajendra. Somesvara did try to destabilize Vengi by displacing the feudatories of the Cholas. However, in 1054 AD Rajadhiraja invaded the Chalukyan territory.
Rajadhiraja employed his father`s brother, his own elder and younger brothers in important offices of state and constituted them into subordinate rulers of regions of his empire. Apart from Virarajendra, he took the titles of Virarajendra Varman, Ahavamally Kulantaka and Kalyanapurangondachola. Rajadhiraja Chola I invaded southern Karnataka
and seized many of the southern parts, like, Nulambavadi, Uchangi, Kadambalige, Kogali and so on. These developments shook Somesvara I
. The two armies met at a place called Koppam on the banks of the Krishna River. The battle of Koppam was a long and hard-fought one for both sides. In the early stages of the Koppam battle Rajadhiraja himself led the armies with his brother Rajendra Chola II holding himself in reserve. Rajadhiraja was wounded and eventually died.
Rajadhiraja possessed a great military talent. From the time he was chosen the heir by his father till the day he laid down his life on the battlefield, he led the life of a warrior king.