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EASTERN CHALUKYAS, also known as the CHALUKYAS OF VENGI, were a dynasty that ruled parts of South India
South India
between the 7th and 12th centuries. They started out as governors of the Chalukyas of Badami in the Deccan
Deccan
region. Subsequently, they became a sovereign power, and ruled the Vengi region of present-day Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
until c. 1130 CE. They continued ruling the region as feudatories of the Cholas until 1189 CE. Their kingdom ultimately succumbed to the Hoysalas and the Yadavas .

Originally, the capital of the Eastern Chalukyas was located at the Vengi city (modern Pedavegi near Eluru ). It was subsequently moved to Rajamahendravaram (modern Rajahmundry ). Throughout their history the Eastern Chalukyas were the cause of many wars between the more powerful Cholas
Cholas
and Western Chalukyas over the control of the strategic Vengi country. The five centuries of the Eastern Chalukya rule of Vengi saw not only the consolidation of this region into a unified whole, but also saw the efflorescence of Telugu culture, literature, poetry and art during the later half of their rule.

CONTENTS

* 1 Origin * 2 History

* 3 Administration

* 3.1 Type of Government

* 4 Society * 5 Religion

* 6 Literature

* 6.1 Connection between Kannada and Telugu literature

* 7 Architecture * 8 Rulers

* 9 References

* 9.1 Bibliography

* 10 External links

ORIGIN

The Chalukyas of Vengi branched off from the Chalukyas of Badami . The Badami
Badami
ruler Pulakeshin II (608–644 C.E) conquered the Vengi region in eastern Deccan
Deccan
, after defeating the remnants of the Vishnukundina dynasty. He appointed his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana the governor of this newly acquired territory in 624 CE. Vishnuvardhana's viceroyalty subsequently developed into an independent kingdom, possibly after Pulakeshin died fighting the Pallavas
Pallavas
in the Battle of Vatapi .

From the 11th century onward, the dynasty started claiming legendary lunar dynasty origins. According to this legend, the dynasty descended from the Moon , via Budha , Pururava , the Pandavas , Satanika and Udayana. 59 unnamed descendants of Udayana ruled at Ayodhya
Ayodhya
. Their descendant Vijayaditya was killed in a battle with Trilochana Pallava , during an expedition in Dakshinapatha (Deccan). His pregnant widow was given shelter by Vishnubhatta Somayaji of Mudivemu (modern Jammalamadugu
Jammalamadugu
). She named her son Vishnuvardhana after her benefactor. When the boy grew up, he became the ruler of Dakshinapatha by the grace of the goddess Nanda Bhagavati.

HISTORY

Between 641 CE and 705 CE some kings, except Jayasimha I and Mangi Yuvaraja, ruled for very short durations. Then followed a period of unrest characterised by family feuds and weak rulers. Meanwhile, the Rashtrakutas
Rashtrakutas
of Malkhed ousted Western Chalukyas of Badami . The weak rulers of Vengi had to meet the challenge of the Rashtrakutas, who overran their kingdom more than once. There was no Eastern Chalukya ruler who could check them until Gunaga Vijayaditya III came to power in 848 CE. The then Rashtrakuta ruler Amoghavarsha treated him as his ally and after Amoghavarsha's death, Vijayaditya proclaimed independence.

ADMINISTRATION

In its early life, the Eastern Chalukya court was essentially a republic of Badami
Badami
, and as generations passed, local factors gained in strength and the Vengi monarchy developed features of its own. External influences still continued to be present as the Eastern Chalukyas had long and intimate contact, either friendly or hostile, with the Pallavas
Pallavas
, the Rashtrakutas
Rashtrakutas
, the Cholas
Cholas
and the Chalukyas of Kalyani.

TYPE OF GOVERNMENT

The Eastern Chalukyan government was a monarchy based on the Hindu philosophy. The inscriptions refer to the traditional seven components of the state (Saptanga), and the eighteen Tirthas (Offices), such as:

* Mantri (Minister) * Purohita (Chaplain) * Senapati (Commander) * Yuvaraja (Heir-apparent) * Dauvarika (Door keeper) * Pradhana (Chief) * Adhyaksha (Head of department) and so on.

No information is available as to how the work of administration was carried out. The Vishaya and Kottam were the administrative subdivisions known from records. The Karmarashtra and the Boya-Kottams are examples of these. The royal edicts (recording gifts of lands or villages) are addressed to all Naiyogi Kavallabhas, a general term containing no indication of their duties, as well as to the Grameyakas, the residents of the village granted. The Manneyas are also occasionally referred in inscriptions. They held assignments of land or revenue in different villages.

Fratricidal wars and foreign invasions frequently disturbed the land. The territory was parcelled out into many small principalities (estates) held by the nobility consisting of collateral branches of the ruling house such as those of Elamanchili, Pithapuram
Pithapuram
and Mudigonda, and a few other families such as the Kona Haihayas (Heheya , Kalachuris, Kolanu Saronathas, Chagis , Parichedas , Kota Vamsas , Velanadus and Kondapadamatis, closely connected by marriage ties with the Eastern Chalukyas and families who were raised to high position for their loyal services. When the Vengi ruler was strong, the nobility paid allegiance and tribute to him, but when the weakness was apparent, they were ready to join hands with the enemies against the royal house.

SOCIETY

The population in the Vengi country was heterogeneous in character. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
, who travelled in the Andhra country after the establishment of the Eastern Chalukya kingdom, noted that the people were of a violent character, were of a dark complexion and were fond of arts. The society was based on hereditary caste system . Even the Buddhists and Jains who originally disregarded caste, adopted it. Besides the four traditional castes, minor communities like Boyas and Savaras (Tribal groups) also existed.

The Brahmins
Brahmins
were held in high esteem in the society. They were proficient in Vedas and Shastras and were given gifts of land and money. They held lucrative posts such as councillors, ministers and members of civil service. They even entered the army and some of them rose to positions of high command. The Kshatriyas were the ruling class. Their love of intrigue and fighting was responsible for civil war for two centuries. The Komatis ( Vaishyas ) were a flourishing trading community. Their organisation into a powerful guild (Nakaram) which had its headquarters in Penugonda
Penugonda
( West Godavari ) and branches in seventeen other centres had its beginnings in this period. It seems there used to be a minister for communal affairs (Samaya Mantri) in the government. The Shudras
Shudras
constituted the bulk of the population and there were several sub-castes among them. The army furnished a career for most of them and some of them acquired the status of Samanta Raju and Mandalika.

RELIGION

Hinduism
Hinduism
was the prominent religion of the Eastern Chalukya kingdom, with Shaivism
Shaivism
being more popular than Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
. The Mahasena temple at Chebrolu became famous for its annual Jatra , which involved a procession of the deity's idol from Chebrolu to Vijayawada
Vijayawada
and back. Some of the rulers, declared themselves as Parama Maheswaras (Emperors). The Buddhist religious centres eventually attained great celebrity as Siva pilgrim centres. Eastern Chalukya rulers like Vijayaditya II, Yuddhamalla I, Vijayaditya III and Bhima I took active interest in the construction of many temples. The temple establishments like dancers and musicians show that during this period, temples were not only a centre of religious worship but a fostering ground for fine arts.

Buddhism
Buddhism
, which was dominant during the Satavahanas was in decline. Its monasteries were practically deserted. Due to their love of sacred relics in stupas, a few might have lingered on, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
noticed some twenty or more Buddhist monasteries in which more than three thousand monks lived.

Jainism
Jainism
, unlike Buddhism, continued to enjoy some support from the people. This is evident from the several deserted images in ruined villages all over Andhra . The inscriptions also record the construction of Jain temples and grants of land for their support from the monarchs and the people. The rulers like Kubja Vishnuvardhana, Vishnuvardhana III and Amma II patronised Jainism. Vimaladitya even became a declared follower of the doctrine of Mahavira . Vijayawada
Vijayawada
, Jenupadu, Penugonda
Penugonda
(West Godavari) and Munugodu were the famous Jain centres of the period.

LITERATURE

c. 10th century Sanskrit copper plates of Amma II written in Telugu-Kannada script.

Telugu literature owes its origin to the Eastern Chalukyas. Poetry makes its first appearance in the Addanki and Kandukur inscriptions of Panduranga in the time of Vijayaditya II in the later half of the 9th century. However, literary compositions dating earlier than 11th century CE are not clearly known. Nannaya was the poet-laureate of Rajaraja Narendra in the middle of the 11th century. An erudite scholar, he was well-versed in the Vedas , Shastras and the ancient epics, and undertook the translation of the Mahabharata into Telugu. Narayana Bhatta who was proficient in eight languages assisted him in his endeavour. Though incomplete, his work is acclaimed as a masterpiece of Telugu literature.

CONNECTION BETWEEN KANNADA AND TELUGU LITERATURE

Kubja Vishnuvardhana, the founder of the Eastern Chalukya dynasty, was the brother of the Chalukya king, Pulakeshin II. The Chalukyas therefore governed both the Karnata and Andhra countries and patronised Kannada as well as Telugu. This very likely led to a close connection between Telugu and Kannada literature. A number of Telugu authors of the age also wrote in Kannada and vice versa. Nannaya-Bhatta's Bharata in Telugu includes the Akkara, a metre considered unique to Kannada works. The same metre is also found in Yudhamalla's Bezwada
Bezwada
inscription. Another inscription notes that Narayana-Bhatta, who assisted Nannaya-Bhatta in composing the Bharata, was also a Kannada poet and was granted a village by Rajaraja Narendra in 1053 for his contribution. Later Kannada poets, Pampa I and Nagavarma I , also hailed from families originally from Vengi.

ARCHITECTURE

The Bhimeshvara temple at Draksharama

Due to the widely spread Shiva
Shiva
devotional cult in the kingdom, the Eastern Chalukyan kings undertook construction of temples on a large scale. Vijayaditya II is credited with the construction of 108 temples. Yuddhamalla I erected a temple to Kartikeya
Kartikeya
at Vijayawada
Vijayawada
. Bhima I constructed the famous Draksharama and Chalukya Bhimavaram ( Samalkot ) temples. Rajaraja Narendra erected three memorial shrines at Kalidindi (West Godavari). The Eastern Chalukyas, following the Pallava
Pallava
and Chalukya traditions, developed their own independent style of architecture, which is visible in the Pancharama shrines (especially the Draksharama temple) and Biccavolu
Biccavolu
temples. The Golingeshvara temple at Biccavolu
Biccavolu
contains some richly carved out sculptures of deities like Ardhanarishvara , Shiva, Vishnu
Vishnu
, Agni
Agni
, Chamundi
Chamundi
and Surya
Surya
.

RULERS

* Kubja Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana I (624 – 641 CE) * Jayasimha I (641 – 673 CE) * Indra Bhattaraka (673 CE,seven days) * Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana II (673 – 682 CE) * Mangey Yuvaraja (682 – 706 CE) * Jayasimha II (706 – 718 CE) * Kokkili (718–719 CE, six months) * Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana III (719 – 755 CE) * Vijaya Aditya I (755 – 772 CE) * Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana IV (772 – 808 CE) * Vijay Aditya II (808 – 847 CE) * Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana V (847– 849 CE) * Vijay Aditya III (849 – 892 CE) with his two brothers : Vikram Aditya I and Yuddha Malla I * Chalukya Bhima I (892 – 921 CE) * Vijay Aditya IV (921 CE, six months) * Amma I and Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana VI (921 – 927 CE) * Vijay Aditya V (927 CE, fifteen days) * Tadapa (927 CE, one month) * Vikram Aditya II (927 – 928 CE) * Chalukya Bhima II (928 – 929 CE) * Yuddha Malla II (929 – 935 CE) * Chalukya Bhima III and Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana VII (935 – 947 CE) * Amma II (947 – 970 CE) * Danarnava (970 – 973 CE) * Jata Choda Bhima (973 – 999 CE) * Sakti Varman I (999 – 1011 CE) * Vimaladitya (1011–1018 CE) * Raja Raja I Narendra Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana VIII (1018–1061 CE) * Sakti Varman II (1062 CE) * Vijay Aditya VI (1063–1068 CE, 1072–1075 CE) * Raja Raja II (1075–1079) * Vira Chola Vishnu
Vishnu
Vardhana IX (1079–1102)

REFERENCES

* ^ K. A. Nilakanta Sastri & N Venkataramanayya 1960 , p. 471. * ^ N. Ramesan 1975 , p. 7. * ^ N. Ramesan 1975 , pp. 4-5. * ^ A B C N. Ramesan 1975 , p. 2. * ^ Narasimhacharya, Ramanujapuram (1988) . History of Kannada Literature: Readership Lectures. Asian Educational Services. pp. 27, 68. ISBN 9788120603035 . Retrieved 13 September 2016.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* K. A. Nilakanta Sastri; N Venkataramanayya (1960). Ghulam Yazdani, ed. The Early History of the Deccan
Deccan
Parts. VII: The Eastern Chāḷukyas. Oxford University Press. OCLC
OCLC
59001459 . * N. Ramesan (1975). The Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi. Andhra Pradesh Sahithya Akademi. OCLC
OCLC
4885004 . * Durga Prasad, History of the Andhras up to 1565 A. D., P. G. Publishers, Guntur (1988) * Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1955). A History of South India, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002).

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Media related to Eastern Chalukyas at

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