Raja Raja Chola I (ராஜ ராஜ சோழன்) born Arunmozhi Thevar(also called as Raja Kesari Varman Raja Raja Devar and respectfully as Peruvudaiyar), popularly known as Raja Raja the Great, is one of the greatest emperors of the Tamil Chola Empire of India who ruled between 985 and 1014 CE.
Rajaraja was born Arulmozhi Vendar and was the third child of Parantaka Sundara Chola. Rajaraja Chola's mother, Vaanavan Maadevi, was the daughter of Thirukkovilur king, Malayamaan Thirumudi Kaari. His elder brother Aditya II was assassinated c. 969 CE. He had great respect for his elder sister Ālvār Sri Parāntakan Sri Kundavai Pirāttiyār or more popularly referred to as Kundavai Pirāttiyār. We also know of at least one daughter of Rajaraja called Rajaraja Kundavai Alvar who he named after his sister. Rajaraja had a number of wives.The mother of Rajendra I, the only known son of Rajaraja, was Vaanathi, Princess of Kodumbaalur. Rajaraja must have had at least three daughters of whom the names of two are said to be Kundavi. Rajaraja was succeeded by Rajendra Chola I. His natal star was Sadhayam. It was celebrated as Sadhaya-nal vizha, a 7 day festival culminating on his star birthday during the king and his son's reign. Rajaraja also bore the title Telungana Kula Kala. He was also known as Rajaraja Sivapada Sekhara (he who had the feet of Lord Shiva as his crown)
Raja Raja Cholan established the Chola empire by conquering the kingdoms of southern India expanding the Chola Empire as far as Sri Lanka in the south, and Kalinga (Orissa) in the northeast. He fought many battles with the Chalukyas in the north and the Pandyas in the south. By conquering Vengi, Rajaraja laid the foundations for the Later Chola dynasty. He invaded Sri Lanka and started a century-long Chola occupation of the island. He streamlined the administrative system with the division of the country into various districts and by standardising revenue collection through systematic land surveys. Being an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, he built the magnificent Peruvudaiyar Temple (also known as the Brihadeeswarar Temple) in Thanjavur and through it enabled wealth distribution amongst his subjects. His successes enabled his son Rajendra Chola I to extend the empire even further.
Rajaraja’s reign is commemorated by the Siva temple in Thanjavur, called Raajarajeswaram. The temple is now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, forming part of the Great Living Chola Temples site. The construction of the temple is said to have been completed on the 275th day of the 25th year of his reign.After its commemoration the temple and the capital had close business relations with the rest of the country and acted as a centre of both religious and economic activity. Year after year villages from all over the country had to supply men and material for the temple maintenance