|Original title||Cherar Kottai|
|Genre||Tamil historical novels|
|21 July 2012|
Published in English
|Pages||1100 (2 Volumes)|
Cherar Kottai (Tamil:சேரர் கோட்டை), meaning "Fortress of Chera Kings" is a Tamil language historical novel in two volumes written by Gokul Seshadri. The story is based on the first military conquest of the great Chola King Rajaraja Chola in Kerala at a place known as Kanthalur Sala. Though it is a work of fiction, it is based on extensive historic research and delves deep into present day Kalaripayattu and Varma Sastra.
988 AD. King Rajaraja Chola is contemplating on a military raid over Kanthalur Sala - a martial arts academy in the Chera Country (present day Kerala). Circumstantial evidences are pointing to the fact that the current head of this Sala, Thirunarayana Bhattadhiri, might have played a crucial role in the brutal killing of his elder brother, crown prince Aditya Karikala - 20 years back. However, the King (Rajaraja Chola) is hesitant to undertake a regular military raid - given the fact that Sala is a well respected university and is attached to a Shiva temple.
Unable to move forward, the king and his royal companions seek the help of a Buddhist Monk by name Mahakasyapa Thera, the head of Bhadaratitta Monastery at Nagappattinam, the erstwhile seaport of Cholas. Upon his instructions, an innovative plan hitherto not adopted by any other Chola king, is considered. Thereafter, the story proceeds at breakneck speed in which the readers travel through the ancient Pandiya and Kerala territories with two young Chola warriors - cherry picked to execute the plan. Unaware of their fate and why they were selected for the task, the two young warriors - Kamban Araiyan and Paraman Malapadi proceed with immense trust in their king and the almighty.
As the heroes reach their destination, the southern tip of erstwhile Tamil Nadu viz Kanniyakumari, they realize that their fates are intertwined and their selection is not arbitrarily as originally thought. Trying to equip themselves for a seemingly impossible task, they have to discover their true self and identity in order to win a competition that will alter their lives - and that of Chola country - forever.
- Rajaraja Chola(Historical)
- Rajaraja Pallavarayar(Historical)
- Maha Kashyapa Thera(Fictional)
- Paraman Malapadiyar(Historical)
- Kamban Maniyan alias Vikrama Singa Moovenda Velar(Historical)
- Amarabhujanga Deva(Historical)
- Sadaya Mara Pandiya(Historical)
- Arayan Manabharana(Historical)
- Renuka Devi (Fictional)(Historical)
- Thirunarayana Battadhiri (Fictional)
- Vamanan Namboodhiri (Fictional)
- Ravidasan Panchavan Brahmadhirajan(Historical)
The story was originally serialized in Varalaaru.com a monthly web magazine from 2007 onwards. It was stopped in 2010 and was published as a two volume book by Kamalam books in July 2012.
- Rajaraja's first military raid was in the Southern Direction, as per Tiruvalangadu Copper Plates
- The earliest epigraphical reference to Kanthalur occurs in an inscription dated 988 AD, which is the third regnal year of the King.
- M.G.S.Narayanan, Bachelor of Science, Aspects of Aryanization in Kerala
- T.N.Subramaniyam, Pandiyar Cheppedugal Pathu, Ulaga Tamil Araichi Niruvanam
- Gokul Seshadri, New Perspectives on Nagappattinam, Nagappattinam to Suvarnadweepa, ISEAS, Singapore
- An inscription at Tiruppalanam Apathsahayeswara Temple talks of a Chola general by name Kamban Araiyan and his military achievements in Chera Country
- An inscription inscribed in the South Wall of Durga Shrine at Kachapeswara temple, Kanchipuram talks of a Chola General by name Paraman Malapadi - South Indian Inscriptions