Chalukya dynasty (cALukya dynasty) (ಚಾಳುಕ್ಯ ರಾಜವಂಶ) is usually dealt with under three headings namely, the Chalukyas of Badami, the Chalukyas of Kalyani and the Chalukyas of Vengi. The Chalukyas of Vemulavada are also considered separately for non-political reasons. Vengi Chalukya dynasty is chronologically juxtaposed between the powerful dynasties of Badami and Kalyani. This branch of the Chalukyas is also referred to as the Eastern Chalukyas. These kings were based at Vengi a town in present day Andhrapradesh and ruled for almost five centuries from the seventh century to 1130 A.D. They were subjugated by the Chola kings and were their feudatories till 1189 A.D. After that they were amalgamated with the Hoysalas and the Yadavas. (sEvuNa) Their capital was later shifted from Vengi in the West Godavari district to Rajamahendravaram (rajamunDri)

            Eastern Chalukyas came to power after the invasion of Pulikeshi-2 on the Deccan region which consisted of the coastal districts of Andhrapradesh. The VishnukunDina kingdom which was in the last leg of its glory was defeated and Pulikeshi appointed his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana as the Viceroy before his return. However, gradually the successors of Kubja Vishnuvardhana severed their relations with the Chalukyas of Badami and became autonomous. Chalukyas of Vengi continued their tenure even after the Badami dynasty became extinct. They consolidated their kingdom over a period of time and that was an important period in the history of Andhrapradesh or the Telugu speaking community. This dynasty extended from Kubja Vishnuvardhana (624-641 A.D.) up to Vijayaditya-7 who ruled in two stints (1063-68, 1072-75)

            Jayasimha-1, (641-673 A.D.) Mangi Yuvaraja, (682-706A.D.) Vishnuvardhana-3, (719-755 A.D.) Vishnuvardhana-4, (772-808 A.D.) Vijayaditya-2, (806-847 A.D.) Gunaga Vijayaditya-3 (848-892 A.D.) Amma-2 (947-970 A.D.) Jata Choda Bhima (973-1000 A.D.) and Rajaraja Narendra (1018-1061 A.D.) are among the more important kings of this dynasty at least in terms of longevity. Most of their rule was spent in altercations with more powerful kingdoms such as Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas of Kalyani and Cholas. Gunaga Vijayaditya-3 was treated as a friend and supporter by the Rashtrakuta king Amoghavarsha-2.  

            The Eastern Chalukya kingdom was a typical Hindu state. They did follow the administrative patterns of the Badami Chalukyas. However they developed some unique characteristics later. Raja, Mantri, Purohita, Senapati, Yuvaraja, Pradhana and Adhyaksha were among the persons who wielded a lot of power. The state was divided in to Vishayas and kottams. Inscriptions provide some information about the modes of administration. “The society was based on hereditary caste system. Even the Buddhists and Jains who originally disregarded caste, adopted it. Besides the four traditional castes, minor communities like Boyas and Savaras (Tribal groups) also existed.” (Wikipedia) However one witnesses the gradual decline of Buddhism and the rise of Jainism and Hinduism in that chronological order. This period witnessed the birth of Telugu literature. Some important inscriptions with literary qualities made their appearance. Nanayya the first major poet of Telugu was the poet laureate in the court of Rajaraja Narendra. There was a distinct effort by these kings to develop a unique style of architecture. This is visible in the shrines at ‘draksharama’ and ‘biccavolu’.

            It is to be conceded that this branch of the Chalukya dynasty is not of much relevance to Karnataka and its culture.


Further Readings and links:

1.      ‘Social and Cultural Life of the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi’ by N.V.Ramanayya, 1957, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Oriental Research Institute

2.      The Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi’, N. Ramesan, 1975, Andhrapradesh Sahitya Academy

3.       ‘Early Eastern Chalukya Sculpture’, C. Shivaramamurthi, 1957, Government Press, Mysore.

4. (Biccavolu Temple: Essay and photographs)


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