Taking advantage of a civil war which had caused the Sinhalese monarch Mahinda V to flee to the south-east province of Anuradhapura known as Ruhuna, Raja Raja Chola invaded Anuradhapura sometime between 991 and 993 AD and conquered the northern part of the country and incorporated it into his kingdom as a province.
The Tamil country was divided between the Pallavas in the north with Kanchipuram as their capital, and Pandyas in the south with Madurai as their capital. It is also known as "the city of Thousand Temples."
After defeating the Pala kingdom, King Rajendra Chola came back south, bringing with him water from the Ganges. He built a new city and called it ‘Gangaikonda Cholapuram’ – The city of the Chola who brought the Ganges. He built a Shiva temple in the city, rivaling the one his father built in Thanjavur. He built a 22 km wide artificial lake near the city. He shifted the Chola capital from Thanjavur.
Narasimha ruled between 645 and 670 AD. During his rule he was able to establish the dominance of the Pallava Empire in the South. He was an excellent war strategist. He defeated Pulakesin II and destroyed the Chalukyan capital, Vatapi.