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Indian Heritage & Culture

Chalukyan Rulers

  • 12 Oct 2019
  • 4 min read

Recently, graves of Chalukyan rulers have been unearthed in a village near Pattadakal, Karnataka.

  • The findings are significant since there are no clear details available of the places where Chalukyan rulers lived.
  • Neither they have left behind documents nor evidence of their graves. It is believed that they wanted their death to remain a secret and built their graves in a discreet manner.
  • Chalukyan kings were famous for building gigantic temples with intricate architecture which could be found at places such as Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal.

Historical Background

  • The Chalukyas ruled parts of Southern and Central India between the 6th century and the 12th century.
  • There were three distinct but related Chalukya dynasties.
    • Badami Chalukyas:
      • The earliest Chalukyas with their capital at Badami (Vatapi) in Karnataka.
      • They ruled from mid-6th century and declined after the death of their greatest king, Pulakesin II in 642 AD.
    • Eastern Chalukyas:
      • Emerged after the death of Pulakesin II in Eastern Deccan with capital at Vengi.
      • They ruled till the 11th century.
    • Western Chalukyas:
      • Descendants of the Badami Chalukyas, they emerged in the late 10th century and ruled from Kalyani.
  • The extent of empire:
    • The Chalukya dynasty reached its peak during the reign of Pulakesin II.
    • Pulakesin II subjugated the Kadambas, the Gangas of Mysore, the Mauravas of North Konkan, the Latas of Gujarat, the Malavas and the Gurjars.
      • He also succeeded in getting a submission from the Chola, Chera and Pandya kings.
      • He had also defeated King Harsha of Kannauj and the Pallava king Mahendravarman.
      • He had maintained friendly relations with Khusru II, the king of Persia.
  • Administration and Society:
    • The Chalukyas had great army comprised of infantry, cavalry, elephant unit and a dominant navy.
    • Though the Chalukya kings were Hindus, they were tolerant of Buddhism and Jainism.
    • They contributed to great developments in Kannada and Telugu literature.
    • They imprinted coins were included Nagari and Kannada legends.
      • They minted coins with cryptograms of temples, lion or boar facing right and the lotus.
  • Architecture:
    • They built cave temples depicting both religious and secular themes.
    • The temples also had beautiful mural paintings.
    • The temples under the Chalukyas are a good example of the Vesara style of architecture.
  • Vesara style is a combination of Dravida and Nagara styles.
    • Aihole temples: Lady Khan temple (Surya Temple), Durga temple, Huchimalligudi temple etc.
    • Badami temples
    • Pattadakkal Temples:
      • It is well known for rock-cut temples.
      • It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
      • There are ten temples here – 4 in Nagar style and 6 in Dravida style. Virupaksha temple and Sangameshwara Temple are in Dravida style.

Source: TH

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