The CHOLA DYNASTY (Tamil: சோழர்) was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of southern India. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE left by Asoka, of the Maurya Empire. As one of the Three Crowned Kings, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century CE.
Trident with Shiva as Ardhanari (Half-Woman) ca. 1050, Chola dynasty, South India. A Shiva sculpture almost a thousand years old can easily be mistaken for the Sikh Khanda emblem. To learn more see the SikhMuseum.com Exhibit - Nishan Sahib, History of the Sacred Banner and its Symbols