(Last Updated on : 25/09/2010)
Somesvara I ruled from 1043 AD to 1068 AD. He was the ruler of Western Chalukya Empire. He succeeded his father Jayasimha II. He is considered as one of the greatest rulers of this dynasty. Despite many defeats he was successful in guarding the honour of the Chalukyas. Somesvara I also founded the city of Kalyani.
Invasions on Chalukya Empire
Somesvara I, immediately after his accession, was involved in a war with the Cholas. The Chola Rajadhiraja invaded the Chalukya kingdom with a big army. He was opposed at Pundi by a feudatory of the Chalukyas in the Rayadurg Taluk in the Bellary District
. However, the feudatory fled away subsequently. The northward march of the Cholas was opposed by the Chalukya generals. The next resistance was given by Somesvara I at Koluru in the Shorapur District, Hyderabad
. Somesvara I was forced to withdraw despite the Cholas suffering a heavy loss. Rajadhiraja then marched to the Chalukya capital Kalyana and burnt the royal palace.
Throughout his rule, Somesvara I was involved in clashes with the Cholas. Rajadhiraja led another campaign against Somesvara I before 1047 AD. He defeated the Chalukya generals Gandar-Dinakara, Narayana, Ganapati, and Kalidasa's son Madhusudana, and captured Kampili. Again in 1051-52 AD, Rajadhiraja invaded the kingdom of Somesvara I for the third time, and was accompanied by his brother Rajendra. Rajadhiraja plundered Jain temples and sanctuaries. However, he faced strong resistance from Somesvara I and the Chola army were pushed out of the territory.
The Chalukyas and the Cholas once again confronted each other in the battle of Koppam. When the battle was in progress Rajadhiraja was mortally wounded by Somesvara's feudatory Permala Madarasa. With the death of Rajadhiraja, the Chola army was stranded amidst confusion and they were in the process of retreating. However the reins of the Chola army were immediately taken up by Rajendra II, brother of Rajadhiraja. Though the Cholas won the battle yet they failed to annex any Chalukya territory to their kingdom.
Conquests of Somesvara I
Major conquests of Somesvara I included small kingdoms. Besides the Cholas Somesvara I had to fight with many other ruling dynasties of his time. Somesvara I raided Lata and Gujarat
. His enemy in Gujarat was Bhima I, another Chalukyan king; and in Lata the Chalukya Vatsaraja and his successor Trilochanapala. He also invaded Malwa with the assistance of his generals and plundered Mandapa, Ujjain and Dhara.
Somesvara I and his feudatory, the Kakatiya Prola, raided Kosala and conquered Chakrakota in the Bastar State after defeating a king of the Naga dynasty. Vajrahasta V, king of Kalinga, suffered defeat at the hands of Somesvara I. Some time before 1047 AD, Somesvara I, assisted by his son Vikramaditya and his feudatory Chamundaraja, invaded Malabar Coast and defeated and killed the ruler.
Somesvara I had four sons, Somesvara II, Vikramaditya VI, Vishnuvardhana-Vijayaditya, and Jayasimha, all of whom occupied administrative posts under him. His kingdom extended up to the south including Chitaldurg, Shimoga
, and Kurnool districts. Somesvara II was appointed as his successor.