Chalukya Dynasty

The Chalukyas were dominant power in the Deccan during 6th to 8th century AD. And again during 10th century AD, they regained their power and ruled till 12 century. The Chalukyas who ruled from Badami were the Western Chalukyas. The one who ruled from Kalyani are referred as Later Western Chalukyas and the Chalukyas of Vengi are known to the historians as the Eastern Chalukyas. The legendary history of the Chalukyas makes their origin very controversial.

They claimed descent from Pulakesin I (reigned 543-566), who established himself at Badami (in Bijapur) and who asserted their independence at the decline of the Satavahana empire and rapidly rose to prominence during the reign of Pulakesin II (reigned 609�642). The Early Chalukyas held power in northern Karnataka from the 6th century until 757, and were rivals to the Pallavas. Vengi (in East Andhra Pradesh) became the centre of the Eastern Chalukya dynasty, which ruled there from 624 until the 11th century, surviving the fall of the Early Chalukyas in Badami. The Late Chalukyas gained ascendancy in the Deccan about 973, centered at Kalyani. The history of the Kalyani Chalukya kingdom was largely one of war with the Cholas and defense against the incursions of the Turks and Arabs who were plundering North India. The kingdom broke up in 1189.


Pulakesin-I: With the modest beginning under Jayasimha and his son Ranaraga, Chalukyas ruled from about 535 to 566 AD. But the real dynasty is known to be founded by the Maharaja Pulakesin-I. Pulakesi-I took up many titles such as Satyasraya and was a scholar too. Though not any conquests are credited to him, he is stated to have ruled from Badami, the present day Bijapur.

Kritivirman - I: Pulakesin - I was succeeded by his son Kritivirman - I. He constructed several temples and buildings in the town of Vatapi. The political influence of Chalukyas spread over a wider region embracing southern part of Maharastra, Mysore and Tamilnadu. He defeated the rulers of Vanga, Anga, Kalinga, Vattura, Magadha ....... He is also stated to have broken up the confederacy of Kadambas.

Mangalesa: Mangalesa, the brother of Kritivirman-I ascended the throne in 598 AD. The Kalachuris were conquered by Mangalesa and the whole of central and northern maratha country was brought into the territory. The eventual civil was between Mangalesa and his nephew Pulakesi-II cost Mangalesa his own life.

Pulakesi-II: Pulakesi ascended the throne in 610 AD and ruled till 642 AD. The reign was not a bed of roses for him, various parts of Chalukyas assumed independence. The internal rebellion and the frequent invasion by Appayika and Govinda were eventually subdued. He made Gangas of south Mysore to submit, Mauryas of Konkan were defeated too. These conquests brought him into contact with Harsha and in 637 AD Harsha was defeated when Harsha had invaded Kathiawad. He defeated Pallava king Mahendra Varman -I, and crossed the Cauvery river and made friends with the Cholas, Keralas and Pandyas. Because Pallavas were not totally crushed, they took revenge and attacked Pulakesi-II. Pulakesi-II appears to have been killed in the battle, and the Chalukya empire began to decline.

Vikramaditya - I: After the death of Pulakesi-II, Badami and some of the southern districts remained in the hand of Pallavas. Though Chalukyas throne remained vacant from 642 AD - 655 AD, Vikramaditya-I managed to ascend the throne in 655 AD. He recovered Badami and brought the whole kingdom under his control.

Vinayaditya: The next successor Vinayaditya ruled from 681 to 696 AD and carried on campaigns against Cholas, Pandyas, Pallavas, Aluvas ..... By defeating the Lord of the entired Uttarapatha, he acquired the banner Palidhvaja. His immediate successor Vijayaditya ruled for nearly fourty years (696 AD - 733 AD). His reign was stated to have been peaceful throughout.

Vikramaditya - II: Vikaramaditya-II was a son of Vijayaditya. He ruled from 734 AD - 745 AD. He defeated the Pallava king thus putting off the continuing hostilities. With this conquest, he took possession of musical instruments, banner, elephants, rubies which belonged to the Pallavas. He destroyed the power of the Chola, Kerala, Pandya.

Kritivarman - II: The son of Vikramaditya-II, Kritivarman - II succeeded to reign for the next eleven years. He was the last and glorious ruler of Chalukyas. For the next fifty years, the Chalukya power was totally eclipsed by the Rashtrakutas. Dantidurga defeated Kritivarman-II to gain the control of Chalukyas once for all. The subsequent attempt by Kritivarman-II to regain the control was futile. The Rashtrakutas remained the supreme power for the next two centuries until the same was destroyed by the later Western Chalukyas of Kalyani.


The founder of the later Western Chalukyas was Taila or Tailapa-II. He consolidated his realm with the help of earlier Chalukya family and with the help of Kadambas and recovered much of the lost territories of earlier Chalukyas. Kadambas were rewarded with the ruling of Banavasi and Goa. Taila succeeded by his son Satyasraya. Satyasraya won a victory against Raja Raja Chola who had invaded Satyasraya's region. Raja Raja's territories were thus conquered by him.

The successors of Satyasraya were Dasavarman, Vikramaditya-V, Jayasimha-I and Jagadhekamalla. Jayasimha repelled invasions from the North and the southern invasion from the Chola King Rajendra. He moved his capital from Malkhed to Kalyana (in Bidar). Jagadekamalla is stated to have defeated Bhoja the ruler of Malava confederacy and Chedi King.

The successor Somesvara-I (1043 - 1068), the son of Jayasimha expelled Rajadhiraja Chola, but the capital was already plundered by the Cholas prior to it. Inscription states that he broke the succession of Rajendra Chola by killing him. Somesvara-I preferred his second son Vikramaditya as his successor, but the latter declined the honour in favour of the elder Somesvara-II. Vikramaditya conquered Cholas, Keralas, Ceylon, ... as a army leader of his brother. Somesvara-II soon fell into evil ways and soon lost the loyalty of his brother towards him. Vikramaditya ruled the southern part of the kingdom independently.

Vikramaditya also received submission from the ruler of konkan, and soon marched against Vira Rajendra Chola, the latter sued for peace by giving his daughter to marry Vikramaditya. When Vira Rajendra died, Vikramaditya placed his brother-in-law named Adhi-Rajendra on the throne of Cholas. After his brother-in-law got killed, Vikramaditya was defeated by the Eastern Chalukya king Jayasimha and was given with the governship of Bellary.

Again in 1076, Vikramaditya took the help of Hoysala and ascended the throne as Vikramaditya-VI. The two great writers, named Bhilhana and Vijnaneswara flourished in the court of Vikramaditya-VI. The next successor Somesvara-III was more interested in literary matters and allowed Vishnuvardhana Hoysala to take an opportunity to declare independence. Someswara-III was succeeded by Jagadhekamalla-II who reigned from 1135 - 1151 AD. Hoysalas invaded the Chalukya territory. Taila-III appeared on the throne to rule for the next thirteen years. He was captured by the Kakatiya invader Prola-I and the commander-in-chief of Taila-III, Bijjala Kalachuri captured the throne

Bijjala Kalachuri strengthened the position of his kingdom. The kingdom saw rapid succession after his reign. Somesvara (1168 - 1177 AD), Sankama-II (1177- 1180 AD), Ahavamalla (1180 - 1183 AD) and Singhana (1183 - 1184 AD) ruled peacefully in succession. However, the Chalukyas were able to recover their territory under the leadership of Somesvara-IV, the son of Taila-III. His suzerainty was acknowledged by the last Kalachuri ruler Singhana. He soon gained allegiance of Kadambas of both Goa and Banavasi, and Pandyas of Uchchangi. With the attack from the Hoysalas under Vira Ballala-I and the Yadavas of Devagiri, the later Western Chalukya dynasty came to and end in about 1190 AD.


This dynasty was a branch of the Chalukyas of Badami. Pulakesin II, the renowned ruler of Chalukyas conquered Vengi (near Eluru) in A.D.624 and installed his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana (A.D.624--641) as its ruler. His dynasty, known as the Eastern Chalukyas, ruled for nearly four centuries. Vishnuvardhana extended his dominions up to Srikakulam in the north and Nellore in the south. He was succeeded by his son Jayasimha I (A.D.641--673). Between A.D.641 and A.D.705 some kings, except Jayasimha I and Mangi Yuvaraju, (A.D.681--705) ruled for short duration. Then followed a period of unrest characterised by family feuds and weak rulers. In the meanwhile, the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed ousted 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 came to power in A.D.848. He also failed to face the Rashtrakutas, and the then Rashtrakuta ruler Amoghavarsha treated him as his ally. After Amoghavarsha's death, Vijayaditya proclaimed independence. He started on a campaign to the south and achieved some notable success. He ruled for 44 years and passed away in A.D.892. He was succeeded by his brother's son, Chalukya Bhima (A.D.892--921). Rashtrakutas again attacked the Vengi kingdom during this period but were repulsed effectively by Vengi and came to an understanding with Rashtrakutas and treated them as his allies. They were able to maintain their independence till the Chalukyas of Kalyani in A.D.973 overthrew the Rashtrakutas. Contemporaries to the Eastern Chalukyas were the Eastern Gangas in the northeast and the Pallavas in the south.

Among the minor Chalukya families that ruled parts of Andhra, those of Vemulavada (presently in Karimnagar district) are the most important. Their rule extended over the present-day Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts. As subordinate rulers loyal to the Rashtrakutas, they ruled with semi-independent status for about two centuries (A.D.755--968). The rule of the Vemulavada Chalukyas coincided with that of the Rashtrakutas.