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Who killed Aditya Karikalan?

Who killed Raja Raja I's brother Aditya Karikalan? The needle of suspicion pointed to Uthama Chola, according to K.A. Nilakanta Sastri. There were some who felt Raja Raja had a hand in the murder.

Kudavayil Balasubramanian has published a paper, on the basis of the Udayargudi inscriptions, in which he points out that neither Uthama Chola nor Raja Raja had a hand in the murder. The killing of Aditya Karikalan was an act of revenge against him by the Pandyas, for his cutting off the head of the Pandya King and keeping it on public display.

The plot

The assassination plot against Aditya Karikalan was masterminded by three brothers, whose names are mentioned in the Udayargudi inscriptions. The three plotters would not have dared to remain in the Chola territory after committing the murder, argues Balasubramanian. That is why there are no inscriptions that mention what punishment was handed down to them.

But the Udayargudi inscription clearly states that the lands of even their distant relatives were confiscated by the government. This confiscation took place long before Raja Raja's time, ruling out the suggestion that Uthama Chola had deliberately spared the plotters. The Udayargudi inscription says that in Raja Raja's second regnal year, a portion of the confiscated land was sold to Vyazha Gajamallan, and two officials were sent down to supervise the terms of the sale.

The averment that Raja Raja was kind to the plotters because they were Brahmins, is absurd, according to Balasubramanian. Brahmins were not just advisors to kings, but even fought in armies, and would be killed by the enemy forces.

Inscriptions say that Raja Raja killed many Brahmins who were in the Chalukya army. So had Raja Raja or Uthama Chola been able to capture the assassins, they would not have shown them any lenience on account of their caste.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 7:11:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/Who-killed-Aditya-Karikalan/article16366706.ece

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