R Venkataramanan

R Venkataramanan

R Venkat's Blog

R Venkat's Blog
"To be an Inspiring Teacher,one should be a Disciplined Student throughout Life" - Venkataramanan Ramasethu



Monday, June 22, 2009

Mail sent by N R Narayanmurthy to all Infosys staff

It's half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on...
PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing...
And who's at work? Most of them ??? Take a closer look...

All or most specimens are ??
Something male species of the human race...

Look closer... again all or most of them are bachelors...

And why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!!!
Any guesses???
Let's ask one of them...
Here's what he says... 'What's there 2 do after going home...Here we get to surf, AC, phone, food, coffee that is why I am working late...Importantly no bossssssss!!!!!!!!!!!'

This is the scene in most research centers and software companies and other off-shore offices.

Bachelors 'Passing-Time' during late hours in the office just bcoz they say they've nothing else to do...
Now what r the consequences...

'Working' (for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture.

With bosses more than eager to provide support to those 'working' late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback, (oh, he's a hard worker... goes home only to change..!!).
They aren't helping things too...

To hell with bosses who don't understand the difference between 'sitting' late and 'working' late!!!

Very soon, the boss start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours.

So, My dear Bachelors let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family... office is no longer a priority, family is... and
That's when the problem starts... b'coz u start having commitments at home too.

For your boss, the earlier 'hardworking' guy suddenly seems to become a 'early leaver' even if u leave an hour after regular time... after doing the same amount of work.

People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labelled as work-shirkers...

Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays... though) leave on time are labelled as 'not up to it'. All the while, the bachelors pat their own backs and carry on 'working' not realizing that they r spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they would have to regret at one point of time.

So what's the moral of the story??

* Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!!
* Never put in extra time ' unless really needed '
* Don't stay back unnecessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues.

There are hundred other things to do in the evening..

Learn music...

Learn a foreign language...

Try a sport... TT, cricket.........

Importantly,get a girl friend or boy friend, take him/her around town...

* And for heaven's sake, net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low (plus, no fire-walls) and try cooking for a change.

Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad: *'Life's calling, where are you??'*

Please pass on this message to all those colleagues and please do it before leaving time, don't stay back till midnight to forward this!!!



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gangaikonda Cholapuram & The Chola Legacy

Gangaikonda Cholapuram (Tamil: கங்கைகொண்ட சோழபுரம்) was erected as the capital of the Cholas by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola, the great Chola who conquered a large area in South India at the beginning of the 11th century C.E. It occupies an important place in the history of India. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 C.E. for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire south India, from the Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon in the south. The great temple of Siva at this place is next only to the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur in its monumental nature and surpasses it in sculptural quality.

The city was founded by Rajendra Chola to commemorate his victorious march to the Ganges. The name means The town of the chola who captured the Ganges. It is now a small village, its past eminence only remembered by the existence of the great Siva Temple.

Rajendra Chola-I (1012-1044 A.D) son of the Great Rajaraja-I, established this temple after his great victorious march to river Ganges on Northern India. He was originally called Madurantakan. He assumed the title of Rajendra during his coronation and continued to rule along with his father Rajaraja-I for a while. He achieved the supreme title of Cholas called Parakesari .

Rajendra-I, a great warrior and assisted his father, is numerous expeditions to elevate the Cholas to supreme power. The various expeditions, he conducted, were : Gangetic expedition, eastern/western Chalukyas, war against Cheras/Pandyas, Ceylon expedition, Kadaram (currently called as Burma) expedition etc.,

His empire extended the whole of southern India to river Thungabathra in the north India, for administrative and strategic purpose he built another capital and named Gangaikondacholapuram. The Gangaikondacholapuram temple, he constructed consists of 3 stories and surrounded by a huge fort like wall, the outer wall was greatly destructed during the English rule (1896 A.D) to reuse the building material (Granite rocks) for constructing the Lower Anicut (Dam across river Kollidam). He built around 10 temples at various places.

He assumed the title of Gangaikonda Cholan and named his new capital as Gangaikondacholapuram and he also constructed a huge Lake known as Chola Gangam that spreads 22 km mainly used for drinking and irrigation. A statue of Rajendra-I is found in Kolaram temple at Kolar of Karnataka state in India.

C. 1022 C.E. Rajendra undertook an expedition to the Ganges along the east coast of peninsular India. The emperor himself accompanying the army up to the banks of the Godavari river. The Chola armies conquered all the countries north of Vengi, which included Kalinga, Odda, Southern Kosala, the lower and upper Lada and finally the Vangaladesa (Bengal). The triumphant Chola armies brought back waters from the river Ganges in golden vessels. Around the same time, the Cholas under the illustrious Rajendra Chola I also vanquished the Chalukyas of Manyakheta when the Chola protectorate of Vengi was threatened by Chalukyas Jayasimha II. Rajendra Chola I defeated Jayasimha-II Chalukya at Maski (Muyangi in Chola anals) between Eluru and Visayavadai (modern Vijayawada) and subsequently engaged the Chalukya in Kannada country itself i.e. in the Chalukyan capital of Mannaikadakkam (Manyakheta) "the war in which the Chalukya Jayasimha-II, full of fear, hid like a mouse and fleed the battlefield" (***). In scoring victories such as these, when the Chola armies seized the Chalukya flag, decapitated or slew various generals of the Chalukyas, with the Chalukyan king fleeing the battlefield, surrendering his wife to the victorious Chola monarch, with the Chola coffers filling up with riches from the Chalukya country, thus establishing their hold of the region between the Vaigai/Kaveri delta in Tamil country up to the Tungabhadra-Krishna basins in the Maharashtra-Andhra region (***) To commemorate this celebrated victory, Rajendra assumed the title of Gangaikonda Cholan, "Irattapadi-konda Cholan", "Mannai-kondan" (the king who possessed Irattapadi (erstwhile land of the Rashtrakutas usurped by the Salukkis (Chalukyas) and the king who possessed (the Chalukyan capital) Manyakheta (Mannaikadakkam in Chola annals) and had the Siva Temple Gangakkondacholeswaram built(***). Soon after the capital was moved from Thanjavur to Gangaikondacholapuram. The city of Gangaikondacholapuram was probably founded by Rajendra before his 17th year.

Most of the Chola kings who succeeded Rajendra were crowned here. They retained it as their capital, reoriented and trained the efficient Chola army.

Chola Dravidian Culture

Chola rulers were active patrons of the during their regions architectures,education, science, arts, ship construction, poetry, drama, music, ,business trading,dance and lost wax technique are flourished. The beautiful Nataraja figure was first conceived during the Chola empire. They also constructed enormous stone temple complexes decorated inside and out with painted. While the stone sculptures and the inner sanctum image empowering the temple remained immovable, changing religious concepts during the 10th century demanded that the deities take part in a variety of public roles similar to those of a human monarch. As a result, large bronze images were created to be carried outside the temple to participate in daily rituals, processions, and temple festivals. The round lugs and holes found on the bases of many of these sculptures are for the poles that were used to carry the heavy images. Admired for the sensuous depiction of the figure and the detailed treatment of their clothing and jewelry, Chola-period bronzes.


Judging from the available literature and the remains we may conclude that it was an extensive city, carefully planned and laid in accordance with the architectural treatises to suit the needs of a capital.

The city seems to have had two fortifications, one inner and the other outer. The outer was probably wider. The remains of the outer fortification can be seen as a mound running all around the palace.

The outer fortification built of burnt bricks, was about six to eight feet wide. It consisted of two walls, the intervening space (the core) being filled with sand. The bricks are fairly large in size and are made of well-burnt clay. Systematic brick robbing by the local inhabitants has reduced this structure to its current state.

The outer fortification was known as Rajendra Chola Madil and is mentioned in inscriptions. The inner fortification was around the royal palace, probably identical with the Utpadi vittu madil of the inscriptions.

Probably in the reign of Kulothunga Chola I, the fortifications were renewed and the city underwent some alteration and additions. An epigraph refers to the fort wall of Kulothunga Chola (Kulottunga Cholan Thirumadil). The strengthening of the fortification and additions to the city in the reign of Kulothunga I were probably necessitated by the uprising which led to the murder of Chola king Athirajendra Chola, Kulothunga's predecessor.

By the 13th century, the Chola kingdom had exhausted its resources and was on the decline. It succumbed to an attack by the Hoysalas from the west and the Pandyas from the south. The last king of the Medieval Cholas was Rajendra Chola-III.

The Chola Administration

The Chola administration served as a model for all the other kingdoms of the South. The king had a council of ministers. The kingdom was divided into a number of provinces known as mandalams, The mandalams in turn were divided into valanadu and nadus. The next administrative sub divisions were kurrams and kottams. The special feature of the Chola administration was the Local Self Government or the autonomous administration. The villagers themselves carried out village administration. It was more or less like the modern Panchayat Raj. Each village had a village assembly known as the ur or the sabha. The members of the sabha were elected by lot, known as kudavolai system. There was a committee to look after the specified departments, such as justice, law and order, irrigation etc., which were called as variyams.


The temple of Gangaikondacholisvara is approached through the northern entrance from the road. The passage passes through the enclosure wall and leads on to the inner court.

As one steps in, the great Vimana arrests the visitor's sight. The Vimana with its recessed corners and upward movement presents a striking contrast to the straight-sided pyramidal tower of Thanjavur. As it rises to a height of 160 feet (49 m) and is shorter than the Thanjavur tower, it is often described as the feminine counterpart of the Thanjavur temple.

The Vimana is flanked on either side by small temples; the one in the north now housing the Goddess is fairly well preserved. The small shire of Chandikesvara is near the steps in the north. In the north-east are a shire housing Durga, a well called lion-well (simhakeni) with a lion figure guarding its steps and a late mandapa housing the office. Nandi is in the east facing the main shrine. In the same direction is the ruined gopura, the entrance tower. The main tower surrounded by little shrines truly presents the appearance of a great Chakravarti (emperor) surrounded by chieftains and vassals. The Gangaikondacholapuram Vimana is undoubtedly a devalaya chakravarti, an emperor among temples of South India.

Royal Palace

The royal palace also was built of burnt brick. The ceilings were covered with flat tiles of small size, laid in a number of courses, in fine lime mortar. The pillars were probably made of polished wood, supported on granite bases; a few pillar bases have survived to this day. Iron nails and clamps have been recovered from this palace site.

In the reign of Virarajendra Chola, Rajendra's third son, the palace at Gangaikondacholapuram is referred to as Chola-Keralan Thirumaligai (Chola Keralan palace) evidently after one of the titles of Rajendra I. The same inscription mentions a few parts of the palace as adibhumi (the ground floor), Kilaisopana (the eastern portico), and a seat named Mavali vanadhirajan. Evidently the palace was multistoried. In an inscription dated in the 49th year of Kulothunga I (1119 C.E.) reference is made to Gangaikondacholamaligai at this place. It is likely that there were more than one royals building each having their own name,and thus it was splendid site.

Expedition to the Ganges

With both the Western and Eastern Chalukya fronts subdued, Rajendra’s armies undertook an extraordinary expedition. C. 1019 CE Rajendra’s forces continued to march through Kalinga Kalinga (India).

Kalinga was a kingdom in central-eastern India, which comprised most of the modern state of Orissa, as well as some northern areas of the bordering state of Andhra Pradesh to the river Ganges. The Emperor himself advanced up to the river Godavari Godavari River

This article is about the river Godavari in India. For other uses, see Godavari The Godavari is a river that runs from western to south India and is considered to be one of big river basins in India to protect the rear of the expeditionary force. The Chola army eventually reach the Pala.The word Pala can refer to many different things: kingdom of Bengal where they met Mahipala. I is considered the second founder of the Pala Empire dynasty. Gopala I established the dynastic rule of the Palas in the middle of the 8th century C.E and defeated him.

According to the Tiruvalangadu Plates, the campaign lasted less than two years in which many kingdoms of the north felt the might of the Chola army. The inscriptions further claim that Rajendra defeated the armies of Ranasura and entered the land of Dharmapala and subdued him and thereby he reached the Ganges and caused the water river to be brought by the conquered kings’ back to the Chola country. The new conquests opened up new roots for the Cholas to head for distant lands like Burma by land (through what are now modern Orissa, West Bengal, Assam and Bangladesh).

It is true that Rajendra's army defeated the kings of Sakkarakottam and Dhandabhukti and Mahipala. These territories were initially added to the kingdom, while later they had the status of tribute paying subordinates and trade partners with the Chola Kingdom, an arrangement that lasted till the times of Kulothunga-III and to a limited extent, of Raja Raja-III too. It was undoubtedly an exhibition of the power and might of the Chola empire to the northern kingdoms. But the benevolent leadership of the Cholas treated them in a benevolent manner and did not permanently annexe them to the Chola dominions.

Overseas conquests

Before the fourteenth year of Rajendra’s reign c. 1025, the Chola Navy crossed the ocean and attacked the Srivijaya kingdom of Sangrama Vijayatungavarman. Kadaram, the capital of the powerful maritime kingdom, was sacked and the king taken captive. Along with Kadaram, Pannai in present day Sumatra and Malaiyur in the Malayan Peninsula

The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a major peninsula located in Southeast Asia. It is also known as the Kra Peninsula and runs approximately north-south through the Kra Isthmus peninsula were attacked. Kedah (now in modern Malaysia) too was occupied.

Sangarama Vijayatungavarman was the son of Mara Vijayatungavarman of the Sailendra dynasty. Srivijaya kingdom was located near Palembang.Palembang is a city of 1,286,000 in the south of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is the capital of the Provinces of Indonesia of South Sumatra and its metropolitan area includes more than 1,730,000 people in Sumatra.

There are no records to explain the nature of and the reason for this naval expedition. The Sailendra dynasty had been in good relations with the Chola Empire during the period of Rajaraja Chola I. Rajaraja encouraged Mara Vijayatungavarman to build the Chudamani Vihara at Nagapattinam. Rajendra confirmed this grant in the Anaimangalam grants showing that the relationship with Srivijaya was still continued be friendly. The exact cause of the quarrel that caused the naval war between Cholas and Srivijaya remains unknown.

The Cholas had an active trade relationship with the eastern island. Moreover the Srivijaya kingdom and the South Indian empires were the intermediaries in the trade between China.China is a Culture of China, an ancient civilization, and, depending on perspective, a national or multinational entity extending over a large area in East Asia and the countries of the Western world. Both the Srivijaya and Cholas had active dialog with the Chinese and sent diplomatic missions to China.

The Chinese records of the Song Dynasty Song Dynasty.The Song Dynasty was a ruling Chinese dynasty in China between 960–1279 AD; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty show that first mission to China from Chu-lien (Chola) reached that country in 1015 C.E. and the king of their country was Lo-ts’a-lo-ts’a (Rajaraja). Another embassy from Shi-lo-cha Yin-to-loChu-lo (Sri Raja Indra Chola) reached China in 1033 C.E. and a third in 1077 C.E. during Kulothunga Chola I Kulothunga Chola reigned from 1070 until 1120 C.E. over the vast Chola Empire. The commercial intercourse between Cholas and the Chinese were continuous and extensive. Rajendra Coin.

One reason could be a trade dispute stemming from some attempts by Srivijaya to throw some obstacle between the flourishing trade between China and the Cholas. Whatever the actual cause of this expedition, it is difficult to believe that, even if we take all the achievements narrated in Rajendra’s inscriptions are accepted as literally true, the campaign led to any permanent territories rather than a vague acceptance of the Chola suzerainty by Srivijaya. Sangaram Vijayatungavarman was restored to the throne at his agreement to pay periodic tribute to Rajendra.

Tanjavur inscriptions also state that the king of Kambhoja (Kampuchea) requesting Rajendra’s help in defeating enemies of his Angkor.Angkor is a name conventionally applied to the region of Cambodia serving as the seat of the Khmer empire that flourished from approximately the ninth century to the fifteenth century A.D kingdom.

Roads and City gates

Besides the names of the palace and fort walls, the names of a few roads and streets are preserved in the epigraphs. The entryways named Thiruvasal, the eastern gate and the Vembugudi gate, evidently the south gate leading to the village Vembugudi situated in that direction are mentioned. Reference is also found to highways named after Rajaraja and Rajendra as Rajarajan Peruvali and Rajendran Peruvali. Other streets mentioned in epigraphs are the ten streets (Pattu teru), the gateway lane (Thiruvasal Narasam) and the Suddhamali lane. The inscription also refers to the highways, Kulottungacholan Thirumadil peruvali, Vilangudaiyan Peruvali and Kulaiyanai pona Peruvali (the highway through which a short elephant passed by.

City layout

The epigraphs also refer to the Madhurantaka Vadavaru, now called the Vadavaru, running about six kilometers east of the ruined capital. Madhurantaka Vedavaru, named after one of the titles of Rajendra I, was a source of irrigation to a vast stretch of land bordering the capital. An irrigation channel called Anaivettuvan (destroyer of elephants) is also mentioned.

There were both wet and dry lands inside the Fort, used for cultivation and other purposes. The present positions of the existing temples throw some light on the lay out of the city. With the palace as the centre to the city, the great temple, and the other temples in the city seem to have been erected. Towards the northeast (Isanya) of the palace is the great temple of Siva. The Siva temple according to Vastu and traditional texts should be in the northeast of the city or village and should face east. The temple of Vishnu should be in the west.

A number of small tanks and ponds mentioned in inscriptions and a number of wells, supplied drinking water to the residents.

Destruction of the city

This capital of the most powerful empire in Asia at one time is now desolate; only the temple of Gangaikondachola survives.

What caused the destruction of this city? The Pandyas who put an end to the Chola empire late in the 13th century, avenging their earlier defeats, should have razed the city to the ground, a misfortune that befell on capitals in early times. It should have remained a heap of brick debris, the inhabitants of the nearby villages pilfering the bricks for their constructions. The people have also dug systematically deep into the ground and extracted cartloads of ancient bricks.

The emblem of the Chola empire was the tiger, which was featured on the Chola flag, coins and in other contexts of political significance.


  • Nagasamy R, Gangaikondacholapuram (1970), State Department of Archaeology, Government of Tamilnadu

  • Nilakanta Sastri, K. A., The Cholas (1955), University of Madras, Reprinted 1984

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Eye+ by Titan Industries is a new range of stylish eyewear.The brand offers over a thousand styles of eyeglasses, as well as a large collection of sunglasses and contact lenses.Eye+ is aimed at the fashion and style conscious customer.It is backed by the Titan guarantee of quality and promotes the concept of eyewear as fashion accessory. The Eye+ brand offers a wide array of products that coordinate eye gear with day wear, night wear, youth and children styles, etc.The appeal of Eye+ lies in its attractive retail format.Customers are free to browse and try on as many frames as they please. Style consultants are present to guide buyers on shapes and colours that suit each individual’s facial structure.Each Eye+ outlet has a choose-your-style section where customer preferences are captured by a web camera. These images are then used by customers under the guidance ofexperts present in the store, to choose the best option.The brand is expected to revolutionise the eye accessory market in the same way Tanishq revolutionised the jewellery market.The brand inherits the values of trust, reliability and quality that customers associate with the Tata group. This association has helped it build a strong and loyal customer base among all customer segments.