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Chalukyas of Kalyana (973- 1198 CE)

by Dr. Jyotsna Kamat
First Online: August 28, 2005
Page Last Updated: January 04, 2018

Chalukyas in Karnataka had their sway twice. The Chalukyas of Badami who ruled from 500 CE to 757 CE, had vast area under their control. It extended to Navsari (Gujarat) in north, included Kurnool, Guntur and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh in the East, the entire Karnataka and southern Maharashtra of present day, and some more areas in southern coast. Pulikeshi II had made his younger brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana practically an independent ruler of the eastern region. When the Rastrakutas took over by the middle of the eighth century, Chalukyan family had already branched out into smaller kingdoms. Chief among them were those of Vemulavada and Vengi. They were also great patrons of arts and literature and all religions. Pampa was a friend and protégé of the Chalukya Arikesari of Vemulavada.

The main descendents of Badami Chalukyas who were conquered by the Rastrakutas, lay dormant for more than two centuries. In 973 CE when the downfall of Rashtrakutas was complete, their feudatory Tailapa II of Chalukya lineage emerged and competently overthrew the last King Karka. To distinguish these Chalukyas from the earlier Chalukyas of Badami, they are associated with Kalyana or Kalyani in Bidar District which was their capital.

After Tailapa declared himself the sovereign king, he had hard time fighting the Cholas from south and Paramars in north, who both were eyeing Rashtrakuta throne. Other feudatories also were trying to become independent. Tailapa was busy keeping enemies at bay and maintaining internal peace and order during his twenty four-year-old reign.

Eleven kings ruled after Tailapa. They were Satyashraya Iriva Bedanga (997-1008 CE) Vikramaditya V (1008-1015 CE), Jayasimha II (1015-1044 CE), Someshwara I (1044-1068) and Someshwara II(1068-1076 CE), Vikramaditya VI (1076-127 CE), Someshwara III (1127-1139 CE), Jagadekamalla (1139-49 CE), Tailapa III (1149-1162 CE) and finally Someshwara IV (1158-98 CE). Kalachuris, Hoysalas and Sevunas who were all biding their time were just waiting for a weakling to become a successor to Chalukyan throne. Kalachuris won, but then, Chalukyan Empire had disintegrated enough for all aspirants to have independent kingdoms.

R. Seshasastry/Kamat's Potpourri
Romance of Shiva and Parvati
Romance of Shiva and Parvati
Alampur temple sculpture in Andhra Pradesh

In the history of Karnataka, Chalukyan period is considered as golden age. Besides political expansion it represented efficient administration, social security, spread in education and other cultural activities increase in trade and commerce, growth in literature, art and architecture. It also brought in unique religio-social reformation of Basaveswara which gave birth to Veerashaivism.

Among the Chalukyas of Kalyan Vikramaditya VI also called Tribhuvanamalla (lord of three worlds), was considered greatest. His fifty-year rule (1076-1127) though politically active, did not affect internal peace and security. He defeated Paramars of North who were always at war with Chalukyas. He also defeated Hoysala Vishnuvardhana, who wanted to become independent. The Cholas were eternal competitors for supremacy, but both the reigning monarchs cautiously avoided war.

Highest number of Kannada inscriptions discovered so far, are in Vikramaditya's name. He had taken a vow to give land in charity everyday (nityadana). Since the inscriptions are or were permanent records of land grant, Vikramaditya's grants run into thousands, charity being a daily affair. He had many queens, some of whom are named as administrators of towns, agraharas and provinces. Bilhana, the Kashmiri poet who was his protege wrote Vikramankadevacharita, a kavya dealing with life, exploits and adventures of his patron king. Vijnaneshwara wrote his famous commentary Mitakshara on Yajnavalkya Smriti, during Vikramaditya's reign.

Manasollasa, an encyclopedia in Sanskrit is ascribed to Someshwara III, Bhulokamalla, Vikramaditya's son. All the three classics throw light on socio-political life of the period.

See Also:


The Chalukyas

Chalukyan Art
A Pattadkal sculptureRomance of Shiva and ParvatiMan Offers Ring to GirlfriendRomance of Shiva and Parvati
Lad Khan Temple, AiholeUnique Temple of Aihole, 7th Century A.D.Shiva and his bull vehicle NandiA Chalukyan Miniature Painting
Shiva with his bullShiva Killing an Asura, Badami SculptureDesigns from a Pattadakal TempleA rural couple sitting on a cot caress each other

Kamat's Potpourri Timeless Theater Chalukyas

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