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.
Even after her husband Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan became the king of the Banas. she chose to remain in the Chola kingdom throughout her life. she remained the princess of Tanjore.
Even though her gender prevented her from becoming the king, Kundavai decided to become king maker. She was such a wise strategist that she became the adviser and mentor to her younger brother, the great king raja raja chola.
Her intelligence and grooming skills were so legendary that she literally groomed and brought up her nephew and Raja Raja Chola’s son Rajendra Chola, the future king of the cholas.
Though the cholas staunch siva devotees, Kundavai constructed siva and vishnu temples as well as Buddist and Jain temples. But, her most well known construction was a free public hospital for her people.
Kundavai’s life was not without controversies. she was accused of getting her elder brother Aditha Karikalan killed, so that she can place her younger brother on the throne. But to dispel this rumour and avoid a political unrest, she made her younger brother crown their uncle Uthama Cholan as the king. And only years later did her brother Raja Raja Chola ascend the throne.
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.