Chalukya Dynasty

Map of Chalukya Dynasty

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Map of Chalukya Dynasty
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*Map showing Chalukya Dynasty with Boundaries and Cities where they ruled.

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A royal Indian dynasty, the Chalukya Dynasty ruled large parts of south and central India. Between the 6th and 8th century AD, the Chalukyas were the visibly dominant rulers in the Deccan. They ruled as three individual dynasties which were yet interrelated.

The Western Chalukyas were the ones which ruled from Vatapi (modern Badami), the Later Western Chalukyas were the ones which ruled from Kalyani and the Eastern Chalukyas were the ones which ruled from Vengi.

Though the origin of the Chalukyas iscontroversial as per the historians, it is believed that claimed descent from Pulakesin I, who established at Badami. Pulakesin I gained independence at the decline of Satavahana Empire. It is also said that in 6th century until 757, northern Karnataka was under the rule of the early Chalukyas who were rivals to the Pallavas.

Western Chalukyas

Chalukyas ruled from 535 to 566 AD. Jayasimha and his son Ranarga were the first modest rulers. The founder of the dynasty is believed to be Maharaja Pulakesin I, who was a scholar. His rule started from Badami (present day Bijapur).

Kritivirman I succeeded his father Pulakesin I. The southern parts of the country were seen under the political influence of the Chalukyas. These areas were Maharashtra, Mysore and Tamil Nadu. He not only built a good number of temples in the town Vatapi but also defeated several rulers of Vanga, Anga, Kalinga, Magadha.

In 598AD, his brother Mangalesa ascended the throne. The whole of central and northern Maratha country was brought into territory by Mangalesa. He even conquere the Kalachuris. Pulakesi II, his nephew took over the throne in 610AD after Mangalesa lost his life in an eventual civil with his nephew. Ruling had been difficult for him because of the internal tiffs that prevailed. Also the frequent invasions of Appayika and Govinda made it tough for him. He became friends with the Cholas, Keralas and Pandyas after defeating the Pallava king Mahendra Varman I. It is believed that Pulakesi II died in a battle.

After his death, the Pallavs ruled over Badami and other Chalukya areas. The Chalukya throne was vacant until Vikramaditya I ascended the throne in 655AD. He recaptured Badami and other Chalukya areas which were under the Pallava control.

The following successor was Vinayaditya, who ruled from 681 to 696 AD. His immediate successor was Vijayaditya who ruled for about forty years and his reign was said to be peaceful throughout. Vikramaditya II succeeded the throne and ruled from 734AD to 745AD. He defeated the Pallava rulers and took over musical instruments, banner, elephants, rubies which belonged to the Pallavas.

For the next eleven year, Kirtivarman II succeeded the throne and was the last glorious ruler of the Chalukya Dynasty.

Later Western Chalukyas

Taila or Tailapa II was the founder of the later western Chalukyas with the help of the earlier Chalukya family and Kadmabas and recovered the lost Chalukya areas. His son Satyasraya succeeded him and defeated Raja Raja Chola who invaded his region. Dasavarman, Vikramaditya V, Jayasimha I and Jagadhekamalla were the following successors.

Jayasimha handled the invasions in the southern parts by the Chola king, from the north. Jagadhakamalla defeated Bhoja, the ruler of the Malava confederacy. Vikramaditya independently ruled the southern part. Vikramaditya married Vira Rajendra Chola's daughter and soon the eastern ruler Jayasimha defeated him and took over the southern part as well.

Eastern Chalukyas

It can be said the the Eastern Chalukyas were a branch of the Badami Chalukyas. In 624AD, Pulakesin II conquered Vengi and placed his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana on the throne. He ruled for nearly four centuries and his dynasty is known as the Eastern Chalukyas. His empire extended till Srikakulam in north and Nellore in south. Jayasimha I succeeded him later and ruled from 641 to 673AD. Vemulavada (presently in Karimnagar District) was the most important among the minor Chalukya parts.

Last Updated on: February 01, 2022