History Notes on Chalukyas Dynasty and Pallava Dynasty
The history of the Chalukyas, the Karnataka rulers, can be classified into three eras:
1) The early western era (6th - 8th century), the Chalukyas of Badami (vatapi);
2) The later western era (7th - 12th century), the Chalukyas of Kalyani;
3) The eastern Chalukyas era (7th - 12th century), the Chalukyas of Vengi.
- Pulakesin I (543-566) was the first independent ruler of Badami with Vatapi in Bijapur as his capital.
- Kirthivarma I (566-596) succeeded him on the throne. When he died, the heir to the throne, Prince Pulakesin II, was just a baby and so the king‘s brother, Mangalesha (597-610), was crowned the caretaker ruler. Over the years, he made many unsuccessful attempts to kill the prince but was ultimately killed by the prince and his friends.
- Pulakesin II (610-642), the son of Pulakesin I, was a contemporary of Harshavardhana and the most famous of the Chalukyan kings. His reign is remembered as the greatest period in the history of Karnataka. He defeated Harshavardhana on the banks of the Narmada.
4) After conquering the Kosalas and the Kalingas, and eastern Chalukyan dynasty was inaugurated by his(Pulakeshin II) brother Kubja Vishnuvardana.
5) By 631, the Chalukyan empire extended from sea to sea. However, Pulkeshin II was defeated and probably killed in 642, when the Pallavas under Narsimhavarma I attack their capital & captured the Chalukyas capital at Badami.
6) The Chalukyas rose to power once again under the leadership of Vikramaditya I (655-681), who defeated his contemporary Pandya, Pallava, Cholas and Kerala rulers to establish the supremacy of the Chalukyan empire in the region.
7) Vikramaditya II (733-745) defeated the Pallava king Nandivarma II to capture a major portion of the Pallava kingdom.
8) Vikramaditya II‘s son, Kirtivarma II (745), was disposed of by the Rastrakuta ruler, Dhantidurga, who established the Rashtrakuta dynasty.
- The Pallava dynasty emerged in South India at a time when the Satavhana dynasty was on the decline.
- Shivaskandavarman is said to have been the founder of the Pallava dynasty.
- During their reign, the Pallava rulers made Kanchi their capital.
- The noteworthy rulers during this period were:
Simhavarama I Sivaskkandavarma I, Veerakurcha, Shandavarma II, Kumaravishnu I, Simhavarma II, and Vishnugopa.
Note: Vishugopa is said to have been defeated in battle by Samudragupta after which the Pallavas become weaker.
- It was Simhavishnu, the son of Simhavarma II, who eventually crushed the Kalabhras‘ dominance in 575 AD and re-established his kingdom.
- In 670, Parameshwaravarma I came to the throne and restricted the advance of the Chlukyan king Vikramaditya I. However, the Chalukyas joined hands with the Pandya king Arikesari Maravarma, another prominent enemy of the Pallavas, and defeated Parameshwaravarma I.
- Parameshwaravarma I died in 695 and was succeeded by Narasimhavarma II, a peaceful living ruler. He is also remembered for building the famous Kailashanatha temple at Kanchi. He died grieving his elder son‘s accidental death in 722.
- His youngest son, Parameshwaravarma II, came to power in 722. He died in 730 with no heirs to the throne, which left the Pallava kingdom in a state of disarray.
- Nandivarma II came to power after some infighting for the throne among relatives and officials of the kingdom. Nandivarma married the Rashtrakuta princess Reeta Devi and re-established the Pallava kingdom.
- He was succeeded by Dantivarma (796-846) who ruled for 54 long years. Dantivarma was defeated by the Rastrakuta king, Dantidurga, and subsequently by the Pandyas. He was succeeded by Nandivarma III in 846.
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