(Last Updated on : 18/04/2014)
The Kalachuris are usually referred as, Prachin Haihaya Kshatriya. This is why this dynasty is called Haihaya of Cheri dynasty. It is said that Kshatriya warrior, Sahsatrarjuna was the first man of this dynasty. According to Puranas and other epics, Haihaya dynasty ruled in the valley of Narmada. This empire was situated near Tripuri or Jabalpur i.e. in the south of the empire of Chandellas. They are called the Kalachuris of Tripuri.
Villahi inscription indicates that Kokkala I was the son of Arjuna of Haihaya dynasty. This inscription refers to Chalukyas as Kshatriya of Chandra Vamsa.
Villabhi inscription states
According to the grant of Banaras, the above two inscriptions give sufficient information about Kokkala I. Bhoja II was the Pratihara kings and has ascended the throne after the death of his father, Mahendrapala. He has to fight against his brother Mahipala. Banaras inscription clearly indicates that Kokkala I had helped Bhoja II in this war.
Harshadeva was the Chandela king. Khajuraho inscription states that Kokaua I had helped Chhitipatadev or Mahipala I in the war of succession and helped him to ascend the throne. Rashtrakuta king Krishnaraja II was the son-in-law of Kokaua I. Kokalla I had helped him when he was fighting against the Chalukya king Vijayaditya III. In Bengal, his contemporary was king Kantideva. Some scholars are of the view that Kokaua I had also defeated him.
Some of the scholars are of the opinion that kokalla I had defeated the Chahamana king, Gurvaka II. An inscription indicates that Kokalla I had also fought against the Turks.
Amoda inscription gives us information about the conquests of Kokalla I. This inscription indicates that Kokalla I had attacked the king of Karnataka. Karnataka king was probably the Krishna II, who was the son-in-law of Kokalla I. Kokaua I had conquered the region of Kokan from him. Kokaua I had also defeated Karnadeva II of Silahara dynasty who was the Samanta of the Rashtrakuta king.
Many scholars doubt the conquests of Kokaua I. There is also a controversy regarding the time of the reign of Kokalla I. According to some scholars, he was the contemporary of Bhoja II. According to Ratanpur inscription, Kokalla had 18 sons and the eldest of them was Shankargana.
Nothing definite can be said as to the time of his accession. According to Dr. Pande, he ascended the throne in 888 A.D. Shankargana is also known as Sankali or Sankala. It is said that when Vijayaditya attacked Kokaua II, then Shankargana helped Kokalla II who was his brother-in-law. Ultimately both of them were defeated.
Shankargana has established his authority over Pala kingdom after defeating Kaushalraja. According to Villabhi inscription, he had also attacked Malayadesh. He had established friendly relations with the Rashtrakuta dynasty. He married his daughter named Lakshmi with the Rashtrakuta prince Jagatiinga. Their son, Iudra III, was a powerful king.
Shankargana was succeeded by his son, Balaharsha who ruled only for some time and was succeeded by Yuvaraja I. Rashtrakuta king Krishnapala II, attacked Yuvaraja and conquered a large portion of his kingdom after defeating him. To celebrate this victory, Rajashekhar's drama 'Viddhshala-manjka' was staged in the court of Krishna III.
It is said that Yuvaraja had defeated king Rajyapala of Pala dynasty and had also attacked Kalinga. He was successful in this war. It can be learnt from Khajuraho inscription that he was defeated by Chandela king, Yasovarman.
Yuvaraja I was a brave warrior and was also a great lover of education and literature. Rajashekhar, the famous dramatist of Sanskrit language was in his court. Yuvaraja I was a worshipper of Siva and had built many temples of Siva during his reign.
Yuvaraja I was succeeded by his son, Lakshamanaraja. He conquered king Trailokya Chandra of Bengal. Thereafter he attacked and defeated king of Orissa. He had also defeated Kosala king of soma dynasty.
After these conquests, he turned his attention to western India. He eventually defeated the kings of Lata of Gujarat and king Graharipu of Junagarh. After defeating Graharipu he entered the temple of Somanath and established a statue of Kali.
Lakshamanaraja had married his daughter Bonthadevi with Chalukya king Vikramaditya IV. Their son, Taila II, was the greatest king of the Chalukyas.
He was the worshipper of Siva and Vishnu. His queen donated a lot of money to the temple of Vishnu. He appointed the famous Acharya Hirdeva Siva as the head Siva Matha Vaidyanath.
Laksharuanraja died in 975 A.D. He was succeeded by his son, Shankargana. After some time Shankargana was succeeded by his younger brother Yuvaraja II. During his reign, Parmara king Munja attacked Tripuri and established his authority over there. His ministers were dissatisfied with him and removed him from the throne in 1000 A.D. With their mutual decision they made Kokalla II as their king.
He was a brave king and defeated the Parmaras. Thereafter he defeated Chalukya king Chamundaraja of Gujarat. Some scholars are of the view that he had also defeated Chalukya king Satyaraja and Ganda king Mahipala I.
After the death of Kokalla II in 1019 A.D. his son Gangeyadeva succeeded him as a king. He was a very powerful king. On account of his conquests, he had adopted the title of Vikramditya III. He had defeated many kings.
After the decline of the Pratiharas, he led military campaigns even to far off provinces and conquered Varanasi and Prayaga. He had also conquered some portion of Punjab. He had established his authority over Utakal and also conquered Bundelkhand but later on was defeated Chandela king Vijayapala. The king of Karnataka was defeated by him. On the basis of a Sanskrit manuscript named 'Ramayana' it is said that he had brought Tirhuta under his control. He had also defeated the Muslim of Punjab.
Dhara Prasasti indicates that the greatest defeat of Gangeyadeva was at the hands of king Bhoja of Parmara dynasty. He died in about 1041 A.D.
Gangeyadeva died in 1041 A.D. He was succeeded by his son Lakshmi Karna. He ruled from 1041 to 1072 A.D. He was a powerful king and the power of his dynasty increased enormously during his reign. Some of the main events of his reign can be mentioned as follows.
The reign of Yasha Karna was the period of the decline of Kalachuris. He tried to avenge the defeat of his father but was not successful. He attacked Champaran in north Bihar and defeated Bengi Chalukya king Vikramaditya VII. The attacks of different kings had started during his reign. The Paramara king Lakshamana II attacked Tripuri. The Gahadvalas started conquering eastern and northern provinces of the Kalachuris. It can be learnt from Ajaigarh inscription that Chandela king Sallakashamanvarman had also defeated Yasha Karna.
The decline of Kalachuri
Yasha Kama was succeeded by his son, Gaya kama. He was defeated by Chandela king Madanvarman. Gaya Karna died in an accident and was succeeded by his Nara Singh. In the reign of Nara Singh the empire of Kalachuris further split into several parts and moved towards its decline.
Nara Singh was succeeded by Jaya Singh who defeated Khusaro Malik. After Jaya sing, Vijaya Singh became the king. Chandella king Trailokyavarman defeated him in 1211 A.D. And put an end to the rule of Kalachuri dynasty.