Kadamba Dynasty - Informative & researched article on Kadamba Dynasty
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Kadamba Dynasty
Originated during 345 - 525 CE Kadamba dynasty stood apart as a significant primeval dynasty of the state of Karnataka.
 
More on Kadamba Dynasty (7 Articles)
 To all the eminent historians of India, the name of Kadamba dynasty is quite renowned. During 345 - 525 CE, Kadamba was a primeval majestic dynasty of the Karnataka state that ruled from Banavasi of the contemporary district of Uttara Kannada. Much later, the Kadamba ruled as a liege of huge kingdoms like that of Kannada, Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta for more than 5 hundred years. At that time, many of the Kadamba people were divided into Goa and Hanagal. Under king Kakushtavarma reign; the Kadamba clan reached its zenith. At that time, the Kadamba people dominated in large parts of the state of Karnataka. The era of Kadamba has been earmarked as being quite significant. Development in the geo- political scenario has occurred during this time. Another milestone of the Kadamba is the bestowal upon the regional Kannada language, the prestige of being the language, used for administrative matter. In fact as per the opinion of historians, the Kadamba people were the first amongst the local dynasties to have taken such a venture.

About the origination of the Kadamba dynasty, the experts have gathered relevant information after a rigorous research. According to them, Mayurasharma founded the dynasty in 345.The lineage of the descendants only highlighted the power and military acumen of the Kadamba people. For example, Kakusthavarma, an heir of Mayurasharma, was really an influential ruler. So much so, that the Gupta kings of North India established conjugal relationships with this Kadamba family, only to point out the `sovereign` character of their monarchy. The common belief of the experts is that Kadamba people were `contemporaries` of the `Western Ganga Dynasty of Talakad`. Together with them, the Kadamba had established the most primitive local kingdoms for ruling the land with complete independence.

Administrative system of the Kadamba people is also significant to make note of. Just like Satavahana rulers, the Kadamba rulers identified themselves as Dharma maharajas. From the `inscriptions`, the eminent person namely Dr. Mores has recognized several `cabinet` and other positions that are prevalent in the system. To take for example , Steward (Manevergade), the prime minister (Pradhana), secretary of council (Tantrapala or Sabhakarya Sachiva), scholarly elders (Vidyavriddhas), physician (Deshamatya), private secretary (Rahasyadhikritha), chief secretary (Sarvakaryakarta), chief justice (Dharmadhyaksha) . In the Kadamba administrative system, there are officials (Bhojaka and Ayukta). Jagadala, Dandanayaka and Senapathi are some of the officials of their army.

In order to manage the administration, the whole of the Kadamba kingdom has been divided into several provinces. They are called Mandalas or Desha. The districts, better known as Vishayas fall under the Mandala . Under a Vishaya, different taluks or Mahagrams and Dashagramas (Hobli) are formed.

In the administrative system, a total of 9 Vishaya has been recognized. Taxation also was in vogue in this Kadamba kingdom. 1/6th of the products of land used to be collected as tax. Types of taxes that were gathered include Vaddaravula (social security tax for royal family), Perjunka (levy on load), Bilkoda (salex tax), Pannaya (betel tax) ,Kirukula (land tax), and many specialized taxes on traders etc.

That the culture and tradition of Kadamba people is quite enriched is evident from its rich treasure of religious practices, architectural buildings, festivals, fairs etc. The Kadamba ardently followed the religion of Vedic Hinduism. From the popular finding it has been enumerated that the originator of Kadamba was a Brahmin by birth. Afterwards, his descendants altered their surname to Varma in order to designate themselves the status of Kshatriya. Evidences are found where the Kadamba kings like Krishna Varman executed the horse sacrifice, popularly known as Ashwamedha. Kadamba kings worship deities like Shiva, Vishnu. From several documents of the then period, it has been proved that Kadamba kings provide grants to erudite Brahmins.

The patronage of Kadamba kings to Jainism is highlighted from the fact that several Jain temples were built on their initiatives. These temples are being found in several places like Belgaum, Banavasi, Mangalore and Goa. In other field of culture also viz art , literature, education , the Kadamba kings had shown ample interests and also initiated them wholeheartedly.

The Kadamba architecture has been able to carve out an individual style, which has largely contributed to the rich heritage of Karnataka as a whole. The Kadamba style can be identified, that it has a few things in common with the Chalukyan and the Pallava styles. Influence from the architecture of the Satavahanas too is explicit.


Kadamba Shikara has become the style mark of the region. This pyramid shaped Shikara has got raising steps. With only a Stupika or Kalasha atop, this structure of Kadamba is devoid of any decoration. The nobility and richness of the Kadamba dynasty had largely contributed in founding Chalukya-Hoysala style of the later period. Remnants of the architectural fervor too can be witnessed in various temples that existed in the soils of India till date. Doddagaddavalli Hoysala temple , the Mahakuta temples in Hampi The Madhukeshwara (Lord Shiva) temple in Banavasi are noteworthy.

In salutation of a dynasty like Kadamba , special remembrances have been done by the people of the present society. For example, Kadambotsava is "The festival of Kadamba` feted every year by the Karnataka Government in remembrance of Kadamba empire. Even recently, on 31st of May of the year 2005, Honorable Defense minister of India Mr Pranab Mukherjee accredited most sophisticated and also first `dedicated military naval base` in Karwar , to be named as INS Kadamba

(Last Updated on : 02/02/2009)
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