Saturday 1 July 2017

Badami Chalukya Dynasty of India

The Chalukya dynasty was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. The rule of the Chalukyas marks an important milestone in the history of South India and a golden age in the history of Indian State Karnataka. The political atmosphere in South India shifted from smaller kingdoms to large empires with the ascendancy of Chalukyas.

Keshava Temple, Somanathapura, Karnataka

The Chalukya dynasty was established by Pulakeshin I in 543. He earned the distinction of being the first independent King and the real founder of the Chalukya dynasty. He successfully defied the waning power of the Kadamba Empire and proclaimed the Chalukyan independence. He chose Badami (Vatapi) as his capital and constructed a strong hill fortress there. The new fortress stood on the indefensible location surrounded by rivers and steep mountains.

Bhutanatha temple complex, Badami

Kirtivarma I (566–597 CE) succeeded Pulakeshin I as the ruler of the Chalukya Dynasty. Kirtivarma I consolidated the newly founded Chalukya Kingdom. He completed the subjugation of the Kadambas, and he secured the extension of the Chalukya Kingdom by subduing the Nalas of Nalavadi, the Alupas of South Kanara and the Maurya chiefs of Konkan. He also annexed the port of Goa, then known as Revatidvipa.

Vijayadurg Fort, Konkan Region

Mangalesha (C. 596 – 610 CE) succeeded Kirtivarman I to the Chalukya throne. He ruled as regent as the heir to the throne Pulakeshin II was considered too young to rule. When he sought to prolong his reign with the view of handing the throne to his own son Sundaravarma, Pulakeshin II rebelled against his uncle and was made king in 610 CE. During his reign, the Chalukyas of Badami saw their kingdom extend over most of the Deccan.

Artistic depiction of Pulakeshin II

Pulakeshin II extended the Chalukya Empire up to the northern extents of the Pallava kingdom and halted the southward march of Harsha by defeating him on the banks of the river Narmada.The Badami Chalukya dynasty went into a brief decline following the death of Pulakeshin II due to internal feuds when Badami was occupied by the Pallavas for a period of thirteen years.

Defeat of Pulakeshin II

Vikramaditya I (655–680 CE) was the third son of Pulakeshin II. He restored order in the fractured kingdom and made the Pallavas retreat from the capital Vatapi. Vikramaditya continued his enmity with Pallava Narasimhavarman's son and successor Mahendravarman II, and later with his son Paramesvaravarman I. Early in the reign of Paramesvaravarman, Vikramaditya advanced to the neighbourhood of the Pallava capital Kanchipuram. Vikramaditya died in 680 and his son Vinayaditya succeeded him on the Chalukya throne.

Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram

Vinayaditya (680–696 CE) followed his father, Vikramaditya I on to the Chalukya throne. His reign was marked by general peace and harmony. Vinayaditya sent an ambassador to the Chinese court in 692. He was succeeded by Vijayaditya(696–733 CE). The thirty-seven year rule of Vijayaditya was a prosperous one and is known for prolific temple building activity.

Sangameshwara Temple built by Vijayaditya

The empire was its peak again during the rule of the Vikramaditya II (733–744) who is known not only for his repeated invasions of the territory of Tondaimandalam and his subsequent victories over Pallava Nandivarman II, but also for his benevolence towards the people and the monuments of Kanchipuram, the Pallava capital. During his reign Arab intruders of the Umayyad Caliphate invaded southern Gujarat in 739 CE, which was under Chalukya rule but the Arabs were defeated and driven out by Pulakeshin, a Chalukya governor.

Virupaksha temple, Pattadakal built by Lokhamahadevi, the queen of Vikramaditya II

Kirtivarman II (746 – 753 CE) was the last ruler in the Badami Chalukya dynasty.  He succeeded his father Vikramaditya II. He was the last king of the Badami dynasty. There was a period of 220 years in which the western branch of the Chalukyas were in eclipse. Tailapa II revived the dynasty in 973. At their peak, the Chalukyas ruled a vast empire stretching from the Kaveri in the south to the Narmada in the north.

Extent of Badami Chalukya Empire, 636 CE - 740 CE

Under Badami Chalukya kindom, the army was well organised. It consisted of an infantry, a cavalry, an elephant corps and a powerful navy. The Chinese traveller Hiuen-Tsiang wrote that the Chalukyan army had hundreds of elephants which were intoxicated with liquor prior to battle. It was with their navy that they conquered Revatidvipa (Goa), and Puri on east coast of India.

A portrait of Hiuen-Tsiang

No comments:

Post a Comment

Follow me on Blogarama