Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
A medieval dynasty that ruled over areas of present-day Tamil Nadu. The earliest mentions of Chola kings appear in Tamil Sangam literature and on Ashokan pillars around the third century BCE. A dynasty of the same name was formally established by Vijayalaya I when he captured Thanjavur in 850 CE, though the relation between the earlier and later Cholas is unclear. The dynasty began a gradual decline from the eleventh century CE and was disestablished in 1279 CE.