Chalukya Dynasty - Informative & researched article on Chalukya Dynasty
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Home > Reference > History of India > Indian Historical Dynasties > Chalukya Dynasty
Chalukya Dynasty
Chalukya Dynasty ruled to a larger extent Southern and central India. Especially the rule of Chalukyas was a golden age in the history of Karnataka.
 Chalukya dynasty had set up their empire in Gujarat in the start of the eleventh century. They had ruled their dominions as three individual dynasties. The first one was Badami dynasty who ruled from Vatapi. Then came the Eastern Chalukyas who ruled over Deccan. The Western Chalukyas ruled from Kalyani. The Badami or eastern Chalukyas became prominent during the rule of Pulakesi II. After his death they were independent and ruled Eastern Deccan. In the West the Chalukyas of Badami were declining due to the rise of Rashtrakutas. Nevertheless, the Western Chalukyas asserted their independence and ruled from the present day Basavakalyan.

Origin of Chalukyas
Origin of Chalukya dynasty has had various theories attributed to it. The consensus is that the founders of the empire at Badami were native to the Karnataka region. According to one theory, they are descendants of the "Seleukia" tribe of Iraq. Their clash with the Pallavas was an extension of the fight between Seleukia and Parthians. This theory failed to get acceptance. A different theory states that they were descendants of a chieftain called Kandachaliki Remmanaka, a feudatory of the Andhra Ikshvaku. The Chalukyas claim themselves as Harithiputras of Manavyasagotra in their inscriptions, whose lineage is same as their early overlords, the Kadambas of Banavasi. They took control of the territory formerly ruled by the Kadambas. A later record of Eastern Chalukyas claims that one ruler of Ayodhya came from south, defeated the Pallavas and married a Pallava princess. She had a child called Vijayaditya who is considered to be father of Pulakesi I. father. However it was a common practice in to link South Indian royal family ancestry to a Northern kingdom. The caste of the Chalukya dynasty has also been in controversies. Kashmiri poet, Bilhana suggests that were Shudras while others assert they are Kshatriyas.

Chalukyas of Badami
Chalukya dynasty was established by Pulakesi I in the sixth century. Vatapi was the capital and their domain consisted of entire of Karnataka and larger extent of Andhra Pradesh in the Deccan. He is the most popular ruler of Badami dynasty. He was succeeded by Pulakesi II and extended empire to Northern kingdoms of the Pallavas. The dynasty was on the verge of decline and Vikramaditya I recovered its glory partially. He was succeeded by Vijayaditya and consequently by Vikramaditya`s rule. He is known for various victories over major southern states. The last ruler was Kirtivarman II, who was overpowered by the Rashtrakutas. The Chalukyas ruled an empire stretching from the River Kaveri in the south to the River Narmada in the north.

Chalukyas of Kalyani
Vikramaditya IV is considered as one of the best ruler of this dynasty. Under his leadership the Western Chalukyas were ended the Chola influence over Vengi and become the dominant power in the Deccan. Sanskrit and Kannada literature gained immense development during this time. Their decline started with the rise of Hoysalas, Pandyas and few other dynasties.

Chalukyas of Vengi
After the death of Pulakesi II, Vengi developed into and independent territory. For many years the Chalukyas had to accept the suzerainty of the Rashtrakutas. It was during the rule of Bhima I that they ruled independently. Darnarnava, the Chalukya king was killed. His two sons had taken refuge in Chola kingdom. Saktivarman I, his elder son was crowned as ruler of Vengi but it was overseen by Chola king Rajaraja Chola. The Eastern Chalukyas had encouraged Kannada language and literature, though, after a period of time, importance was given to Telugu language.

Chalukyan Architecture
The Badami Chalukyas had developed the South Indian Architecture. Their monuments are found in Malaprabha Basin. The temples are mainly concentrated in modern state of Karnataka. There are temples in northern Nagara style and southern Dravidian style. The rule of western chalukyas was significant in the development of the Deccan architecture. This structural design was a conceptual link between Badami chalukyas and Hoysala architecture. Several monuments and notable temples were built.

Chalukyan Literature
An encyclopedia of all arts and sciences called Manasollasa was written during the rule of Western chalukyas. The rule of the Western and Eastern Chalukyas was a major event in the history of Kannada and Telugu literatures respectively. Many notable writers and their creations flourished during this period. Karnateshwara Katha is believed to be a eulogy of Pulakesi II and to have belonged to this period.

In a broad spectrum it can be said that the rule of the Chalukyas was a milestone in history of South India. The political atmosphere changed from small empires to large one with coming of Badami Chalukyas. Efficient administration, overseas trade and commerce and the development of new style of architecture, all these were witnessed during the rule of the Chalukya Dynasty. Kannada and Telegu literature received patronage from Western and Eastern Chalukyas respectively.

(Last Updated on : 18/04/2014)
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