The Chalukya dynasty has a vast history behind
it. Read about the empire and kingdom of Chalukyas.
During the 6th and the 8th century, the empire that
ruled the Deccan region of India was the Chalukya dynasty. After fading
away for some time, they came back to power during the 10th century and
ruled till 12th century. The Chalukyas are essentially divided into
three broad categories:
- Eastern Chalukyas: Ruled from the Vengi region
- Western Chalukyas: Ruled from the Badami region
- Later Western Chalukyas: Ruled from Kalyani region
The most famous rulers in the empire of the Chalukyas
were Pulakesin I and Pulakesin II. The ruler Pulakesin II is said to
have defeated emperor Harshavardhana in a battle on the banks of the
River Narmada. He also waged a battle against Mahendravarman, the
Pallava ruler and conquered him and his kingdom.
The Chalukya dynasty is famous for developing and encouraging art and
architecture during its era. The rulers of the Chalukya dynasty were
great enthusiasts of art. This is evident from the fact that they built
many temples near the region of Badami. A famous example of their
architecture is the Virupaksha Temple in Karnataka. The sculptures that
adorn the temples are beautifully carved and sculpted and represent
scenes from the famous epic Ramayana. Some of the paintings at Ajanta
and Ellora cave temples are considered to belong to this period.
Pulakesin II was an admirer of art and always encouraged any art form
to flourish in his kingdom. He was also fond of literature and
encouraged poetry to flourish in his kingdom. The three famous poets of
Kannada literature Adikavi Pampa, Sri Ponna and Ranna were from this
era. Pulakesin was an able administrator and his subjects were devoted
to him. Though he was Hindu by religion Pulakesin was tolerant towards
Buddhism as well as Jainism. He built many monasteries in his kingdom
that provided shelter to almost 5000 monks. The Chalukya kingdom was
truly flourishing till it declined after the 12th century.
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