History of Indonesia

Chola invasion of Srivijaya
Chola invasion of Srivijaya ©Anonymous
1025 Jan 1 - 1030

Chola invasion of Srivijaya

Palembang, Palembang City, Sou

Throughout most of their shared history, ancient India and Indonesia enjoyed friendly and peaceful relations, thus making this Indian invasion a unique event in Asian history. In the 9th and 10th centuries, Srivijaya maintained close relations with the Pala Empire in Bengal, and an 860 CE Nalanda inscription records that Maharaja Balaputra of Srivijaya dedicated a monastery at the Nalanda Mahavihara in Pala territory. The relation between Srivijaya and the Chola dynasty of southern India was friendly during the reign of Raja Raja Chola I. However, during the reign of Rajendra Chola I the relations deteriorated, as the Cholas naval raids on Srivijayan cities.

The Cholas are known to have benefitted from both piracy and foreign trade. Sometimes Chola seafaring led to outright plunder and conquest as far as Southeast Asia.[16] Srivijaya controlled two major naval choke points (Malacca and the Sunda Strait) and was at that time a major trading empire that possess formidable naval forces. The Malacca Strait's northwest opening was controlled from Kedah on the Malay Peninsula side and from Pannai on the Sumatran side, while Malayu (Jambi) and Palembang controlled its southeast opening and also Sunda Strait. They practiced naval trade monopoly that forced any trade vessels that passed through their waters to call on their ports or otherwise be plundered.

The reasons of this naval expedition are unclear, the historian Nilakanta Sastri suggested that the attack was probably caused by Srivijayan attempts to throw obstacles in the way of the Chola trade with the East (especially China), or more probably, a simple desire on the part of Rajendra to extend his digvijaya to the countries across the sea so well known to his subject at home, and therefore add luster to his crown. The Cholan invasion led to the fall of the Sailendra Dynasty of Srivijaya.

Last Updated: Tue Oct 10 2023

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