CHALUKYA DYNASTY (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – History)

News-CRUX-10     24th February 2024        

Context: Two Badami Chalukya temples, at least 1,300-1,500 years old and a 1,200-year-old label inscription were recently discovered in Mudimanikyam village along the banks of Krishna.

Chalukya Dynasty

  • About: The Chalukya dynasty governed significant regions of southern and central India from the 6th to the 12th centuries, comprising three distinct but interconnected dynasties.
  • Founder: Pulakeshin I in 543.
  • Sources of Chalukyan History: Cave inscriptions and temple records.

oAccounts by travelers like Hiuen-Tsiang offer insights into the Chalukyan realm's extent and influence.

  • Literary works: Vikramankadeva Charita provide cultural and historical perspectives.
  • Architecture: The architecture includes cave temples featuring religious and secular themes adorned with exquisite mural paintings, exemplifying the Vesara style, as seen in the Chalukya temples.
  • Administration: Chalukyas boasted a formidable military and embraced religious tolerance, fostering literary advancements in Kannada and Telugu while imprinting coins with Nagari and Kannada legends, featuring temple cryptograms, lions, boars, and lotus symbols.
  • Last King: Kirtivarman II
  • Chalukyas of Badami: The earliest among the Chalukyan dynasties, ruling from Vatapi (modern Badami) from the mid-6th century.

oTheir ascent to power coincided with the decline of the Kadamba kingdom, particularly thriving under Pulakeshin II's reign.

oThe dynasty's dominance lasted nearly two centuries, from the 6th to the 8th century, until the emergence of the Rashtrakutas.

  • Chalukyas of Vengi: Originated from the Chalukyas of Badami, with Pulakeshin II's conquest of the Vengi region.

oEstablished as an independent kingdom in eastern Deccan, ruling until the 12th century.

oInitially under Chola suzerainty, they later asserted independence, playing a significant role in Andhra Pradesh's history.

  • Chalukyas of Kalyani: Evolved from the decline of the Chalukyas of Badami, flourishing under the Rashtrakuta eclipse.

oAchieved prominence in the late 10th century under Someshvara I, relocating the capital to Kalyani.

oThis Western Chalukya dynasty governed until the late 12th century, distinct from the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi.

Significance of Chalukya Dynasty

  • Marked a pivotal era in South Indian history, ushering a golden age in Karnataka.
  • Transitioned South India from fragmented kingdoms to expansive empires.
  • Witnessed territorial consolidation, economic prosperity, and architectural innovation, notably Vesara style.
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