Top 10 Interesting Facts of Chola Princess Kundavai Pirattiyar

India’s rich history is filled with tales of powerful dynasties and their mighty kings, whose legacies have stood the test of time. However, the role of the queens and princesses of these dynasties is often overlooked. These women, too, have left an indelible mark on India’s history with their bravery, intelligence, and inspiring stories. From Velu Nachiyar, the queen who fought against the British in the 18th century, to Princess Kundavai, the daughter of the great Chola king Rajaraja, these women have been instrumental in shaping India’s past and inspiring future generations. In this article, Top 10s Only delves into the Top 10 Interesting Facts About Princess Kundavai, a remarkable woman from the Chola Dynasty, and uncovers her contributions to India’s rich cultural heritage.

A Remarkable Chola Princess: The Top 10 Interesting Facts Of Princess Kundavai

In the annals of Tamil literature, Kundavai’s history shines brightly as an inspiring tale of resilience and intellectual prowess. Princess Kundavai was a prominent figure in Chola history, known for her intelligence, political acumen, and patronage of the arts. She played a crucial role in the political and cultural landscape of the Chola Empire, leaving a lasting legacy that is still celebrated today. Here are the top 10 interesting facts about this remarkable Chola princess.

Early Life And Family Background Of Ilaiyapirtti Kundavai

Kundavai Pirāttiyār was born in Tirukoilur in 945 CE. She was the daughter of Chola King Parantaka II and Queen Vanavan Mahadevi. She was the younger sister of Crown Prince Aditha Karikalan Cholan and the elder sister of Prince Arulmozhivarman, later known as King Rajaraja Cholan I. Kundavai was officially called Ilaiyapirātti Kundavai Nachiyar. She was also believed to have the title Ālvār Sri Parāntakan Sri Kundavai Nachiyar.

Princess Kundavai’s Marriage And Relationship With Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan

Princess Kundavai’s husband, Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan, was a renowned commander of the Chola Army. Despite marrying the chieftain of another realm, Kundavai’s devotion to her motherland remained steadfast, and she chose to remain in the Chola kingdom throughout her life. There is no historical record of her leaving the Chola kingdom after her marriage, and her husband also chose to stay and serve under Rajendra I. There is no historical record of Kundavai and Vandiyadevan having any children.

Princess Kundavai’s Role As A Mentor

Princess Kundavai’s fame extends beyond her political acumen and intelligence. Her extensive knowledge and exquisite taste garnered admiration and respect throughout the Chola realm. Despite societal norms of her era, Kundavai was granted the freedom to exercise her free will. Her role in mentoring Rajaraja Cholan I was crucial, and she continued to be influential during the reign of her nephew, Rajendra Chola I. Kundavai’s legacy also includes her notable influence as a tutor of art, music, and literature to daughters of other royal clans, cementing her status as a widely influential figure in her time.

Special Brother-Sister Bond Between Kundavai Pirāttiyār And Rajaraja Cholan I

Kundavai, the elder sister of Rajaraja Chola I, shared a special relationship with her younger brother. This bond is evident in the inscriptions found in the Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur, which was built during Rajaraja Cholan’s reign. The emperor’s donations are inscribed on the central walls of the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, along with those of Kundavai, who is the only other person to have her gifts etched on the walls of the central shrine. However, the donations made by Rajaraja’s queens are found engraved on pillars and niches inside the temple. This indicates the respect that Rajaraja had for his elder sister and the important role she played in his life.

Furthermore, Rajaraja Chola I named his eldest daughter after Kundavai, showcasing the deep bond that existed between them. Rajrajan Kundavi Alvar, Rajaraja Cholan’s daughter, played a significant role in strengthening the relationship between the Chola kingdom and the Eastern Chalukyas.

Kundavai’s influence on Rajaraja was significant, and interesting facts about her contributions to the Chola dynasty continue to be remembered and celebrated even today.

Princess Kundavai’s Contribution to Public Welfare through Healthcare

Princess Kundavai, the only daughter of Rajakesari Sundara Cholan, was an accomplished woman with a passion for public welfare. Among her many accomplishments was the establishment of a hospital in Tanjavur, for which she provided both land and perpetual maintenance. The hospital was named Sundarachola Vinnagar Atulasalai in honour of her father, and the land given for the hospital was known as maruttuvakkani. This act is truly a very interesting fact about the Chola princess, as it demonstrates Kundavai’s commitment to the well-being of her people, as well as her dedication to religious pursuits. Kundavai’s legacy is one of leadership and generosity, making her a notable figure in Indian history.

Temples Commissioned By Ilaiyapirātti Kundavai Of The Chola Dynasty

Ilaiyapirātti Kundavai Nachiyar was known for her patronage of temples and was a significant contributor to the religious and cultural development of the Chola Empire. The temple-building activities of Kundavai were an important part of her legacy and played a significant role in the cultural and religious life of the Chola kingdom. It is believed that she was greatly influenced by the activities of Queen Sembiyan Mahadevi, the mother of King Uttama Cholan, who was known for her deep devotion to religion and the renovation of existing temples. Following in her footsteps, Princess Kundavai built two Hindu temples in a place called Rajarajapuram, which is now known as Dadapuram, located near Tindivanam.

The Shiva temple that Princess Kundavai built was called the Iravikula Manikka Isvaram Temple and is known today as Shri Maikanteshwara Manikyavalli Temple. This temple is believed to have been a significant place of worship during the Chola period.

Princess Kundavai built a Vishnu temple called Kundavai Vinnagaram, located 1.5 km southwest of the Sri Manikantesvaram Shiva Temple. The Sri Kari Varadharaja Perumal Temple’s inscriptions suggest it is the Kundavai Vinnagar Alvar Temple that she built, revealing insights into the Chola dynasty’s history and culture. It was a popular place of worship for Vishnu devotees during the Chola period.

Princess Kundavai: Epitome Of Religious Tolerance In The Chola Dynasty

Princess Kundavai was highly regarded for her religious tolerance. In addition to donating generously to Shaiva temples, she also oversaw the building of Jain temples in different regions of the Chola realm. The Kundavai Jinalaya is a prime example of this. The Kundavai Jinalaya is a Jain temple dating back to the 10th century that sits atop Tirumalai Hill, in Tamil Nadu. Several inscriptions, dated to the Chola Period, adorn the walls of the sanctum within this temple.

Princess Kundavai’s Generous Contributions To Temples And Charitable Causes

Princess Kundavai of the Chola dynasty was a woman of great generosity and piety. Her legacy of philanthropy is immortalized in historical records and temple inscriptions, which detail her lavish donations of gold coins, jewellery, and precious gemstones to charitable causes and temple construction. Her devotion to the Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur was particularly noteworthy, as she commissioned skilled artisans to create metal icons of the Goddess Parvati as well as images of her own parents, King Paranthaka Cholan II and Queen Vanavan Maadevi. Her offerings to these idols, including jewellery, garments, and food, were truly astounding.

Depiction Of Ilaiyapirātti Kundavai In Popular Culture

Ilaiyapirātti Kundavai’s life and legacy have been a source of fascination and wonder for countless generations. Her extraordinary political acumen and intelligence were far ahead of her time, and her story has been immortalised through a variety of artistic expressions. From exquisite paintings to captivating books and movies, her legacy has been preserved through the ages. With each new retelling of her story, her legend only grows stronger, inspiring awe and admiration in all those who hear it. 

Princess Kundavai’s portrayal in the Ponniyin Selvan book series written by Kalki Krishnamurthy is nothing short of awe-inspiring. She shines as a beacon of strength and unwavering dedication, fiercely guarding her family against the treacherous enemies of the Cholas. It is impossible not to feel a deep admiration for this remarkable woman, who commanded respect from her father, his ministers, and her people alike, all thanks to her sharp intelligence and razor-sharp wit.

The mesmerizing tale of the Kundavai-Vandiyadevan love story is one of the plot lines explored in the 2022 epic film “Ponniyin Selvan”. Trisha Krishnan’s depiction of Kundavai has received critical acclaim for her nuanced portrayal of the character. Trisha has effortlessly captured the essence of Kundavai, portraying her as a powerful and compassionate character with a mind of her own. Her calm composure while facing her greatest nemesis, the fictional character Nandhini (portrayed brilliantly by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), added depth to the character and made her stand out in the movie. Princess Kundavai’s chemistry with Vallavaraiyan Vanthiyadevan and her unwavering loyalty to the Chola Kingdom have been depicted with finesse. Kundavai’s dedication to the welfare of her brothers, played by Jayam Ravi and Chiyaan Vikram, was also highlighted.

All in all, the various depictions of Princess Kundavai of the Cholas in various books and films serve to remind us of the enduring legacy of this remarkable princess and her family’s dynasty. Her character’s portrayal in books and films highlights her intelligence, strength, and loyalty, as well as the rich cultural heritage of the Chola kingdom.

Palaiyarai: Chola Princess Kundavai’s Final Abode

Ilaiyapirātti Kundavai devoted her later years to Palaiyarai, the ancient capital of her people. She held court in her palace, issuing orders and grants to support her subjects, as evidenced by inscriptions etched in stone. Palaiyarai was a city of immense importance to the Chola dynasty, serving as their second capital after Tanjore, and it was in this city that Kundavai’s generous heart shone through as she gave freely to the Saiva temple. She is believed to have resided in this city with her beloved nephew, King Rajendra Cholan I. As time passed, Kundavai breathed her last breath in Pazhaiyarai. It was a fitting end for a woman who had dedicated her entire life to the service of her motherland.


The life and legacy of Chola Princess Kundavai Pirattiyar is a testament to the strength and influence of women throughout history. She was a remarkable woman whose life and legacy continue to captivate us even today. Her intelligence, generosity, and unwavering devotion to her people made her a beloved figure in the Chola dynasty, and her contributions to their history are immeasurable. From her role as an advisor to her brother, King Rajaraja I, to her patronage of the arts and religious institutions, Kundavai left an indelible mark on her society. We hope these top 10 interesting facts about Chola princess Kundavai Pirāttiyār have shed light on her incredible life and inspired you to learn more about this fascinating figure in Indian history.

For those with a passion for history, rest assured that there are plenty of other intriguing articles to be discovered here! Check out our Top 10 Greatest Chola Kings of Ancient India article, which highlights the achievements and contributions of some of the most renowned rulers of the Chola dynasty.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chola Princess Kundavai Pirattiyar

1. Who is Kundavai?

Kundavai, also known as Ilaiyapirātti Kundavai Nachiyar, was a significant historical figure and a central character in the Chola dynasty. As the daughter of Chola King Parantaka II and Queen Vanavan Mahadevi, Kundavai held a prominent position within the royal family. She was the younger sister of Crown Prince Aditha Karikalan Cholan and the elder sister of Prince Arulmozhivarman, who later ascended the throne as King Rajaraja Cholan I. Kundavai’s life and actions played a vital role in the political and cultural landscape of the Chola kingdom during that era.

2. Who is the husband of Kundavai?

Princess Kundavai was married to Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan, a distinguished commander of the Chola Army. Their love story and the portrayal of their relationship have been depicted with exceptional skill in the Ponniyin Selvan book and film series. Through the narrative, the audience witnesses the chemistry between Kundavai and Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan, and also observe Kundavai’s unshakable commitment to the Chola Kingdom.

3. Does Kundavai marry Vandhiyathevan?

Yes, the Chola princess Kundavai does marry Vandhiyathevan. This fact is stated in a few Chola-era inscriptions that mention the several donations she made to various temples.

4. Did Kundavai Pirattiyar and Vallavaraiyan Vandhiyathevan have children?

There is no historical record of Kundavai and Vandiyadevan having any children.

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