CHENNAI: Cultural ties between Odisha and Tamil Nadu date back a thousand years when the Cholas invaded Kalinga. Interestingly, there were two Tamil invasions of Kalinga, the first by Kulotunga I in 1093-94 being more prominent.
Kulotunga’s conquest of Kalinga is celeberated in a historic Tamil poem Kalingattuparani written by court poet Jayamkondar. It is still preserved in full and has been adapted as a novel.
An epic ballad, it depicts Kulotunga as a hero and tells of his childhood, his rule and his territorial conquests. It also celebrates the greatness of his general Karunakara Tondaiman, who headed the victorious Chola army during the invasion of Kalinga.
The Cholas left behind a twin legacy in Tamil Nadu and Odisha. Marrying into the Ganga dynasty, Odisha flourished under the rule of the resultant Chodaganga dynasty.
Anantavarman Chodagangadeva, founder of this dynasty which ruled Kalinga, was the son of Rajarajadeva and Chola princess, Rajasundari, niece of Kulothunga I. The dynasty’s patronage of art, architecture and literature extended as far away as Cambodia and Indonesia.
Odisha has maintained her political vigour seen in successive powerful ruling dynasties and has achieved a distinction of her own, within the wider intricacies of Indian civilisation.