Rajadhitya was the crown prince of the later Cholas kingdom under the King Parandhaka I. King Kannaradevan alias King Krishna III was his contemporary in the Rashtrakuda kingdom. As there was political enmity between the Cholas and the Rashtrakudas those days, a war between them became imminent. While the Chera king came in support of the Cholas, the Ganga king was in support of the Rashtrakudas.
A combined army of the Cholas and Cheras was led by the Chola Crown prince Rajadhitya and the army of the Rashtrakudas and Gangas was led by the Rashtrakuda king Kannaradevan. Both the army met at the battlefield of Thakkolam in 949 AD and fought fiercely. In the war, the Chola prince Rajadhitya was killed by the Gangan king Boodhuka II (who was also the brother-in-law of the Rashtrakuda king Kannara Devan) by a poison-coated arrow in the battle field. Consequently, the Cholas were defeated.
The defeat of the Cholas at the battle field of Thakkolam, nevertheless, gave a new impetus in the Cholas regime and inspired the later Cholas to make a big army and a great naval armada and expand their kingdom beyond the Indian Territory. This ultimately resulted in the glorious blossoming of the Cholas kingdom initially during the regime of King Rajaraja I and later during the regime of his son Rajendra I.
Modern utility of the ancient battlefield
A great patch of vast dry land with occasional bushes lying to the north of the town is believed to be the place where the war took place. Two decades ago, this area was handed over to the Union Home Ministry by the Government of Tamil Nadu for setting up a Regional Training Centre for the Central Industrial Security Forces.
It is perhaps fitting fate that the place where a great war had taken place many centuries ago subsequently became a Centre for training the soldiers and marshals for the internal security of the nation.
It is a popular belief that 'Takola' indicated in the book written by the Greek historian Tolemy in second century A.D. refers to Thakkolam. Similarly, there is another reference in the stone inscription of the Chola king Rajendra I as 'Kalai thakkor pugazh thalai thakkolam'. However, the historians contradict this view and claim that the reference of Tolemy actually indicates another place called 'Thalai-Thakkolam' located in Malasia, previously known as Gadaram.
There is one more reference about the town in the Bhuddhist book called 'Milidha Banca' written in V century A.D. It, however, remains unclear whether this reference also pertains to Thakkolam or Thalai Thakkolam located in Malaysia.
* Books reference:
(1) 'Battle fields of South India' by K.N.Appadurai
(2) 'History of South India' by K.A.Neelakanda Sasthri
(3) 'History of South India' by A.Swaminathan