The name Kalachuri is comprised of two words “Kali” which means long moustache and “Churi” means sharp knife. The Kalachuri dynasty consists of two kingdoms, one ruling over the Central India (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Malwa, and Maharashtra) called “Chedi”, and the other Haihaya ruled over Southern India (Karnataka).The time period was from 10-12th century. The Kalachuri’s of Chedi are also known as Kings of Dahalas, capital of Tripura, 6 kilometres away from Jubbulpore. Gangeyadeva was one of the most important rulers of Kalachuri dynasty as his policies aimed to make the Chedis the paramount power of North India.
Northern Kalachuri kingdom
- The rule was mainly centred in central India. Tripuri (Tewar) as its capital was originated in 8th century expanded till 11th century. The kingdom declined in 12th century.
- The areas of this dynasty include Gorakhpur, Ratnapur, Rajpur (eastern Gujarat).
Rulers of the Kalachuri Dynasty
- Kokalla I (850-885 AD): He was the founder of this dynasty; Kokalla won Konkan area and helped Rashtrakuta King Krishna II against Chalukyas and Pratiharas. He was married to a Chandella princess and had 18 sons. The eldest son sat upon the throne and other sons were unhappy with this decision, as a result they formed different dynasties.
- Samkaragana (878-888AD): He was the eldest son and the successor of Kokalla. He won in fierce battle between a Somavansi rulers of South Kosala. He extended his territory near Ratnapur in Bilaspur District. During his time, there were many matrimony alliances between the Kalachuri’s and the Rashtrakuta’s.
- Balaharsha: After Samkaragana the throne was ascended by his two sons Balaharsha and Yuvraja in about the middle of the 10th century AD. Yuvraja defeated and drove out the Rashtrakuta forces. The famous poet Rajasekara staged his drama Viddhasalabhanjika to celebrate this victory. The Kalachuri inscription credit Yuvraja for battles against Kashmir and the Himalayan region.
- Yuvaraja I (reigned 915–945): The Kalachuri’s occasionally took part in Rashtrakuta politics, in the period of Yuvaraja I. Between the mid-9th and the early 11th centuries, toward the kingdoms of south Kosala, Kalinga, Gauda, and Vanga; Kalachuri’s practiced the policy of traditional hostility. There were occasional clashes with the Gurjaras, the Chandela’s, the Eastern Chalukyas, and the Gujarat Chalukyas etc.
- Lakshmanaraja: Yuvraja’s son Lakshmanaraja, who ruled in second half of the 10th century A.D., was also a great conqueror. He invaded Vangala, south Bengal, and the king of South Kosala; Somavansi was also defeated by him. In the west he invaded Lata, ruled by a feudatory of the Rashtrakuta’s, and defeated the king of Gurjara, the founder of the Chalukya Dynasty.
- Samkaragana II and Yuvraja II: Laxmanraja’s two sons, Samkaragana II and Yuvraja II, proved to be unworthy sons of a worthy father. The kingdom experienced various revolts during the reign of last quarter of the 10th century A.D. His uncle Taila II carried on raids into his dominions and defeated him. Talia II was successful in carrying out the power and the prestige of the dynasty by his brilliant military career and became a great power. During the period between Kokalla I and Kokalla II (reigned c. 990–1015) the dynasty again was strong and made stronger relations with other dynasties. Kokalla I was successful against the Pratiharas, the Kalachuri’s of Uttar Pradesh, the Guhilas of Marwar, the Chauhans of Shakambhari, and the kings of Vanga and Konkan.
- Gangeyadeva (reigned 1015–41AD): An important factor contributing to the success of his kingdom was that, under him the kingdom eluded the raids of Sultan Mahmud which affected most of the other powerful dynasties in north and north-west. In the token of his great victory he assumed the proud title of ‘Trikalingadhipati’ which meant ‘Lord of Trikalinga’. He got the title of Vikramaditya. He issued coins of different metals, sizes, weights which were made of different metals like gold, silver and copper. Probably he ascended the throne before 1019 AD and died about 1040 AD.
- Karna (reigned 1041–73): He was the son and successor of Gangeyadeva. He had the city Allahabad in his territory which was conquered by his father. He carried his victorious arms alone in the eastern coast as far as the country round Kanchi. A number of dynasties in the south such as the Pallavas, Kungas, Muralas, Pandyas (South) and Kuntalas, (probably the Chalukya King), Somesvara I, got defeated by him during 1048 AD. He proved to be a better ruler than his father. In 1072 AD, he abdicated the throne for his son Yasahkarna.
The founder of Kalachuri dynasty was Kokalla I. The Chedis had to defend their territory against the Palas and rulers of Kalinga. Gangeyadeva was one of the most important rulers of Kalachuri dynasty as his policies aimed to make the Chedis the paramount power of North India. The Kalachuris of Dahala reached to the summit of their political power in India during the 11th century AD. Its credit can be given to king Gangadeva. He died at the sacred city of Prayag (Allahabad). This dynasty had many capable rulers, yet The Kalachuris dynasty declined by 1181 AD.