Uk Study Notes: Chalukyas and Pallavas

By Abhishek Jain |Updated : May 11th, 2022

Chalukya Dynasty and Pallava Dynasty: The Chalukyas ruled from 543 to 755 A.D. in the area of Western Deccan. Pulakeshin I was the founder of the Chalukya dynasty. They remained a dominant power in the Deccan during sixth to eighth century AD. The Pallavas emerged as a formidable power in the South around the 4th century AD and were at the height of their power in the seventh century AD. They were able to sustain their rule for about 500 years. They built great cities, centres of learning, temples, and sculptures and influenced a large part of Southeast Asia in culture.

Chalukyas and Pallava Dynasty


  • Chalukyas were the Karnataka rulers and their History can be classified into three eras:
  1. The early western era (6th - 8th century), the era which belonged to Chalukyas of Badami (Vatapi);
  2. The later western era (7th - 12th century), the era which belonged to Chalukyas of Kalyani;
  3. The eastern Chalukya era (7th - 12th century), the era which belonged to Chalukyas of Vengi.
    Pulakeshin I (543-566) was the first independent ruler of Badami dynasty. The capital of his kingdom was Vatapi in Bijapur.
    Pulakeshin I was succeeded by Kirthivarma I (566-596). After his untimely death, his brother Mangalesha (597-610) was made the caretaker ruler as the son of Kirthivarma I  - Prince Pulakesin II  was a baby. Mangalesha made several failed attempts to kill the prince but was killed himself by the prince and his friends.
    The most famous king of the Chalukyan dynasty was Pulakeshin II (610-642), the son of Pulakeshin I. Pulakeshin II was a contemporary of Harshavardhana. He defeated Harshavardhana on the banks of the Narmada and his reign is remembered as the greatest period in the history of Karnataka.
  4. The rise of the Eastern Chalukyan Era was started by Pulakeshin II brother Kubja Vishnuvardana after conquering the Kosalas and the Kalingas.
  5. By 631, the Chalukyan Empire was at its peak. It extended from sea to sea. Their fall began when Pulkeshin II was defeated and killed by the Pallavas under the able leadership of Narsimhavarma I. The Pallavas attacked their capital Badami & captured it.
  6. Under the leadership Of Vikramaditya I (655-681) the Chalukyas rose to power once again. Vikramaditya I defeated his contemporaries Pandya, Pallava, Cholas and Kerala rulers to establish his supremacy over the Chalukyan Empire in the southern region.
  7. Vikramaditya I was succeeded by Vikramaditya II (733-745) who also defeated the Pallava king Nandivarma II to capture a major portion of the Pallava kingdom.
  8. The fall of the Chalukyan Empire started with Vikramaditya II‘s son, Kirtivarma II (745), who was defeated by the Rashtrakuta ruler, Dhantidurga, who went on to establish the Rashtrakuta dynasty.


  1. After the decline of the Satavahana dynasty, the Pallava dynasty, founded by Shivaskandavarman emerged in South India.
  2. Kanchi was the capital of the Pallava dynasty.
  3. Some of the leaders who are worth mentioning are Simhavarama I Sivaskandavarma I, Veerakurcha, Shandavarma II, Kumaravishnu I, Simhavarma II, and Vishnugopa.
  4. The decline of the Pallavas started after Samudragupta defeated Vishugopa.
  5. The Pallavas kingdom was re-established by Simhavishnu, the son of Simhavarma II, who ended the Kalabhras‘ dominance in 575 AD and re-established his kingdom.
  6. Vikramaditya I was defeated by Parameshwaravarma I in 670 and restricted the advance of the Chlukyan king. Eventually, Parameshwaravarma I was defeated by the combined armies of the Chalukyas, the Pandyas ( lead by their ruler Arikesari Maravarma) and another prominent enemy of the Pallavas.
  7. Narasimhavarma II, a peace-loving ruler, succeeded Parameshwaravarma I after he died in 695. The famous Kailashanatha temple at Kanchi is built by Narasimhavarma II. After the accidental death of his elder sons in 722, Narasimhavarma II too died grieving.
  8. Parameshwaravarma II the youngest son of Narasimhavarma II, came to power in 722 after the death of his father. The Pallava kingdom was in a state of disarray after the death of Parameshwaravarma II in 730 as he had no heirs to the throne.
  9. After some brief infighting for the throne among the family, Nandivarma II came to power. Nandivarma then went on to marry the Rashtrakuta princess Reeta Devi and re-established the Pallava kingdom.
  10. Dantivarma (796-846) succeeded Nandivarma II who ruled for 54 long years. Rastrakuta king Dantidurga defeated Dantvarma and was succeeded by Nandivarma III in 846.

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