(Last Updated on : 04/05/2015)
Various theories have been associated with the history of Kadambas. According to a version the dynasty was founded by Trilochana Kadamba. There is a myth that he was born out of the sweat of Shiva, which had fallen under a Kadamba tree thereby his name being Kadamba. According to another myth, Mayurasharma was born to Lord Shiva
and mother earth and possessed three eyes. According to an inscription the lineage of the Kadamba dynasty is traced back to the Nandas.
Again there are two theories regarding the origin of the Kadamba dynasty
. The inscriptions of Harikesari Deva describe Mayurasharma as the ancestor of the kingdom who established his power on Mount Himavat. The other theory is that the family derives its name from the Kadamba tree that is common in South India only.
As far as caste is concerned historians are divided on whether the founders of the kingdom belonged to the Brahmin caste or were they of tribal origin. It has also been claimed that the Kadambas were a tribe called the Kadambu who were at loggerheads with the Chera kingdom. 'Kadambus' are also mentioned in the Tamil Sangam literature as totemic worshippers of the Kadambu tree and the Hindu god Lord Subramanya. As they were natives of Karnataka
the Kadambas gave administrative and political importance to their language, Kannada, after they wielded power.
The mains sources of Kadamba history are the Sanskrit ad Kannada inscriptions. The Talagunda, Gundanur, Chandravalli, Halasi and Halmidi inscription are some of the important inscriptions that throw light Kadamba dynasty. They belonged to the Manavya Gotra and they are connected to the native Chutus of Banavasi, a feudatory of the Satavahana Empire.
Several coins of Kadamba dynasty that bear the Kannada inscription Vira and Skandha was found in Satara collectorate. A 5th century Kadamba copper coin in Banavasi with Kannada script inscription on it proves that Kannada language
was used at the administrative level.
The Talagunda inscription of Santivarma gives the most possible cause for the emergence of the Kadamba kingdom. According to that inscription Mayurasharma was a native of Talagunda and his family got its name from the Kadamba tree that grew near his home. The Gudnapur inscription that was discovered recently and it states that Mauryasharma's grandfather and preceptor was Virasarma and his father Bandhushena was a Kshatriya
Mayurasharma's successor was his son Kangavarma who had to fight the Vakataka might to protect Kuntala. Vakataka Prithvisena defeated him but managed to maintain his freedom.
Kadambas ruled during 345-525 CE. Banavasi was the capital of the dyansty. Several temples were built in Banavasi, Belgaum, Halsi and Goa. However they ruled later on as a feudatory from 525 CE as the Chalukyas rose to power.