The Chalukyas (543-755 A.D.)

Chalukyas ruled from Raichur Doab which was situated between the rivers of Krishna and Tungabhadra. Aihole (city of temples) was the first capital of Chalukyas
Created On: Apr 22, 2014 14:46 IST
Modified On: Apr 22, 2014 18:15 IST

Chalukyas ruled from Raichur Doab which was situated between the rivers of Krishna and Tungabhadra. Aihole (city of temples) was the first capital of Chalukyas and it was centre of trade which was later developed into religious centre having number of temples around. The capital of Chlukyas was later moved to Badami during Pulakesin I. Badami is also known as Vatapi.

Rulers of Chalukya dynasty
Jayasimha was the first ruler of this dynasty.
Pulakeshin I: He was the actual founder of Chalukya kingdom with his capital as Badami (Vatapi).
Kirtivarman:  he was son of Pulakeshin I. He came to throne in 566 A.D. He fought wars against the Kadambas of Banavasi and Nalas of Baster.
PulakeshinII: He came to throne in 608 A.D. after waging a war against his uncle Mangalesa (brother of Kirtivarman). Kirtivarman’s son PulakeshinII was the most famous Chalukya ruler. He was the contemporary of Harshavardhan (ruler of Pushyabhutis dynasty).  We know about PulakeshinII from a prashasti named Aihole, composed by his court poet Ravikirti in Prakrit language. PulakeshinII defeated Harshavardhan on the banks of Narmada and also got the voluntary submission of Latas, Malwas and Gujaras. Initially he won against Pallavas, but later Pallava ruler Nirsimhavarman I who not only defeated him but also captured Badami. Nirsimhavarman I assumed title of Vatapikonda. PulakeshinII‘s fame was extended upto Persia, with whom he exchanged embassies. Hiuen Tsang (Chinese traveller) visited PulakeshinII‘s court.

Vikramaditya I: In 674, one of the Pulakeshin's sons took vengeance of his father’s death and captured Kanchi.
Vinayaditya: led a peaceful and prosperous kingdom.
Vijayaditya: the longest reign.
Vikramaditya II: He was famous for his successful three times invasion against Pallava .
Kirtivarman II: The last chalukya ruler. He was defeated by Dantidurga (founder of Rashtrakuta dynasty).
Aihole Inscription: It deals about the ancestors of Pulakeshin II tracing four generations from father to son. In this prashasti Ravikriti tells that Pulakeshin II led his expeditions along the coasts of west and east both.

The Pallavas(560-903 A.D.)
Capital of this kingdom was Kanchipuram and which was spread around Kaveri delta. The Pallavas established a powerful kingdom in South India after the fall of Satvahans and ruled from sixth century to late eighth century. They moved into Andhra and then to Kanchi where they established the mighty Pallava empire.

Origin of Pallavas
There are controversies with regard to the origin of the Pallavas. Important among them are as follows
• Possibly they were the descendents of the Greek Parthians who came to India after Alexander's invasion.  
• Might be they belonged to a local tribal clan who established their authority in Tondainnadu or the land of creepers.
• They originated from Chola –Naga’s marriage
• They were orthodox Brahmans of the North and their capital was Kanchi.
Important Rulers of Pallava dynasty

Simhavishnu: was the first important ruler of this dynasty. Simhavishnu captured the territory of the Cholas and later humiliated other southern regions including Ceylone.  

Mahendravarman I: Pulakeshin II defeated him. Saint Appar and scholar Bharavi was patronised by him. Mahendravarman I composed ‘Mattavilasaprahasan’ a satirical play.

Narasimhavarman I: He was famous for his victory over Pulakeshin II and also killing and capturing Pulakeshin II’s empire. he assumed the title of Vatapikonda (the conquerer of Vatapi). Later Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas were defated by Narasimhavarman I. Hiuen Tsang visited Kanchipuram during his rule. Narasimhavarman I established the city of Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) and famous monolithic (tomb made up of single stone) rock-cut temples.  Two naval expeditions were sent to Ceylon.

Mahendravarman II: He was killed by Vikramaditya I.

Other Pallava kings included Paramesvaravarman I, Narasimhavarman II, Paramesvaravarman II and Nandivarman II.

Conflict between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas
The main reason for the conflict between the Pallavas and Chalukyas of Badami was supremacy over throne, prestige and territorial resources. This struggle continued from 6th century to 8th century.  Later the Pandyas under control of Madurai and Tinnevelly also joined this conflict. Both kingdoms put their efforts to establish supremacy over the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra.

Important events during this conflict

  • Pulakeshin-II (609-642) reached the capital of Pallava during this conflict.
  • His second invention for Pallava territory was a failure.
  • Vatapi was captured by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman (A.D. 630-668) around 642 A.D.
  • Pulakeshin II was killed around 642 A.D.
  • The Chalukya king Vikramaditya II (A.D. 733-745) is said to have overrun Kanchi three times. In 740 A.D. he completely routed the Pallavas.
  • The Chalukyan king performed asvamedha (a horse sacrifice): Pulakesin I
  • The great scholars like Bilhana and Vijnanesvara were adorned by the kings: Later Chalukyan Kings.
  • Hiuen Tsang visited in the court of: Pulakesin II

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