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Chalukya

CHALUKYA, the name of an Indian dynasty which ruled in the Deccan from A.D. 550 to 750, and again from 973 to 1190. The Chalukyas themselves claimed to be Rajputs from the north who imposed their rule on the Dravidian inhabitants of the Deccan tableland, and there is some evidence for connecting them with the Chapas, a branch of the foreign Gurjaras. The dynasty was founded by a chief named Pulakesin I., who mastered the town of Vatapi (now Badami, in the Bijapur district) about 550. His sons extended their principality east and west; but the founder of the Chalukya greatness was his grandson Pulakesin II., who succeeded in 608 and proceeded to extend his rule at the expense of his neighbours. In 609 he established as his viceroy in Vengi his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana, who in 615 declared his independence and established the dynasty of Eastern Chalukyas, which lasted till 1070. In 620 Pulakesin defeated Harsha (q.v.), the powerful overlord of northern India, and established the Nerbudda as the boundary between the South and North. He also defeated in turn the Chola, Pandya and Kerala kings, and by 630 was beyond dispute the most powerful sovereign in the Deccan. In 642, however, his capital was taken and he himself killed by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman. In 655 the Chalukya power was restored by Pulakesin's son Vikramaditya I.; but the struggle with the Pallavas continued until, in 740, Vikramaditya II. destroyed the Pallava capital. In 750 Vikramaditya's son, Kirtivarman Chalukya, was overthrown by the Rashtrakutas.

In 973, Taila or Tailapa II. (d. 995), a scion of the royal Chalukya race, succeeded in overthrowing the Rashtrakuta king Kakka II., and in recovering all the ancient territory of the Chalukyas with the exception of Gujarat. He was the founder of the dynasty known as the Chalukyas of Kalyani. About A.D. 1000 a formidable invasion by the Chola king Rajaraja the Great was defeated, and in 1052 Somesvara I., or Ahamavalla (d. 1068), the founder of Kalyani, defeated and slew the Chola Rajadhiraja. The reign of Vikramaditya VI., or Vikramanka, which lasted from 1076 to 1126, formed another period of Chalukya greatness. Vikramanka's exploits against the Hoysala kings and others, celebrated by the poet Bilhana, were held to justify him in establishing a new era dating from his accession. With his death, however, the Chalukya power began to decline. In 1156 the commander-in-chief Bijjala (or Vijjana) Kalachurya revolted, and he and his sons held the kingdom till 1183. In this year Somesvara IV. Chalukya recovered part of his patrimony, only to succumb, about 1190, to the Yadavas of Devagiri and the Hoysalas of Dorasamudra. Henceforth the Chalukya rajas ranked only as petty chiefs.

See J.F. Fleet, Dynasties of the Kanarese Districts; Prof. R.G. Bhandarker, "Early History of the Deccan," in the Bombay Gazetteer (1896), vol. i. part ii.; Vincent A. Smith, Early Hist. of India (Oxford, 1908), pp. 382 ff.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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