Chalukyas of Kalyani (kalyANiya cAlukyaru) (ಕಲ್ಯಾಣಿಯ ಚಾಳುಕ್ಯರು) constitute the last phase of the celebrated dynasty. The kings of this segment established themselves after the fading away of the Rashtrakutas and they had their capital in Kalyana (kalyANa) which is now known as Basavakalyana.  The Chalukya dynasty which was dormant for quite some time after the cessation of the Badami Chalukyas and holding its own in small pockets of power reinstated itself when Karka-2 (Kakka) the rashtrakUTa king was defeated by Tailapa-2 in 973 A.D. He established himself in Manyakheta (Malkhed) the traditional capital of Rashtrakootas. However some historians have claimed that Kalyani Chalukyas were not related to the Badami Chaliukyas and that, they belonged to a different lineage. A list of kings who ruled in these small provinces is given by Ranna the famous Kannada poet in his ‘Gadayuddha’. Kalyani Chalukyas ruled a powerful empire for almost two centuries till they were subjugated by the kaLacuri dynasty.  

            A list of important kings belonging to this dynasty is provided here and that is followed by a brief account of their political history.

1.      Tailapa-2                                                        973-997 A.D.

2.      Satyashraya Iriva Bedanga              997-1008 A.D.

3.      Vikramaditya-5                                              1008-1015 A.D.

4.      Jayasimha-2                                                  1015-1044 A.D.

5.      Someshvara                                                  1044-1068 A.D.

6.      Someshvara-2                                               1068-1076 A.D.

7.      Vikramaditya-6                                              1076-1127 A.D.

8.      Someshvara-3                                               1127-1139 A.D.

9.      Jagadekamalla-2                                          1139-1149 A.D.

10. Tailapa-3                                                        1149-1162 A.D.

11. Someshvara-4                                               1182-1189 A.D.

Chalukya Kingdom was completely under the control of Kalachuris during 1162-1182 A.D. till Someshvara-4 regained control temporarily. Chalukya kingdom was virtually dissolved by 1190 A.D. by the onslaught of Hoysalas, Kakateeyas and Sevunaas.

Kalyani Chalukyas were in constant strife with Chola kings almost throughout their existence. Tailapa-2 had to contend with Gangas, Nolambas and Cholas. Tailapa defeated Rajaraja Chola and his son Satyashraya fought with Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola. Satyashraya moved towards the north after Rajendra Chola usurped GangavaaDi and NoLambavaaDi. His victories over shilAhAra aparAjita and the kings of Gujarat were in a way compensatory. Jayasimha had to contend with enemies from all directions. ParamAras, KaLcuris and cOLas were his major adversaries. Jayasimha moved slowly but wisely and he was successful in controlling most of his enemies with the exception of Rajendra Chola who continued to be a thorn in the flesh. The reign of Someshvara-1 and Someshvara-2 was no different and indecisve battles with the Chola kings continued unabatedly. The politics related to the Chalukyas of Vengi added fuel to the fire and entire South India was converted in a battle field. Vikramaditya-6 who came to power after ousting his elder brother Someshvara is one of the more renowned emperors of Karnataka. He ruled over the kingdom for more than fifty years and he had some kind of understanding with Kulottunga Chola his counter part in the Chola dynasty. There was a temporary cessation of warfare between these two kingdoms. Consequently, Vikramaditya could indulge in efforts to bring about all round development in the affairs of the state. However he did have minor skirmishes with other kingdoms such as shilaahaara, paramaara, gurjara, kalacuri and tripuri and he emerged victorious almost invariably. Many parts of Vengimandala in Andhra were under his total control. He did phase stiff opposition from Hoysala ballaaLa-1 and vishNuvardhana during the fag end of his rule. He held his own after early setbacks. The period after the demise of Vikramaditya-6 is characterized by continuous erosion of Chalukya power. Hoysala Vishnuvardhana and Kalacuri Bijjala posed constant threats and ultimately Bijjala declared himself as the emperor in 1153 A.D. The return to power of Someshvara was short-lived.  Thus came to end, an important dynasty which made its presence felt for almost seven centuries and which contributed hugely to the art and culture of Karnataka.

The bulk of information that we have about the civic life and the administrative patterns of this period is gleaned from inscriptions. Kalayani Chalukya Empire was a huge kingdom stretching from Kaveri to Narmada River. It consisted of many parts of Karnataka, Andhrapradesh and Maharashtra. The state was divided in to a number of ‘mandalas with appropriate subdivisions. Names like banavaasi-12000, noLambavaaDi- 32000, and gangavaaDi-96000 indicate such divisions. These regions were ruled by the representatives of the Emperor who enjoyed hereditary powers or were appointed by the king. Village was the smallest unit and it was looked after by a community of elders called ‘mahAjana’s and representatives of various trades. ‘gAvunDa’ and ‘karaNa’ were the head official and accountant respectively.

This is deemed to be a period during which the rise of rich people took place. Apparently land ownership was conspicuous by its absence but for a few exceptions where in lands were granted by the kings to Brahmins and warriors. However, they did have many other sources of income. Different professions had their own guilds. The economic condition of the state was very good and people had to pay varieties of taxes. Agriculturists as well as merchants had to bear the brunt of these taxes. The state also collected fees from customs, professional licenses, and judicial fines. Records show horses and salt were taxed as well as commodities (gold, textiles, perfumes) and agricultural produce (black pepper, paddy, spices, betel leaves, palm leaves, coconuts and sugar) Taxes were to be paid even when weddings took place in a given family. Even drawing a sword in a personal feud was considered a crime and it was heavily penalized. Many temples were also educational institutions. Brahmins held the upper hand in the system and rose to high places.

Arts were patronized by the state and the people in large proportions. Some of the kings like Someshvara-3 and Jagadeka Malla were writers on their own merit. “Manasollasa’ or ‘Abhilashitartha Chintamani’  by king Somesvara III (1129) was a Sanskrit work intended for all sections of society. This is an example of an early encyclopedia in Sanskrit covering many subjects including medicine, magic, veterinary science, valuing of precious stones and pearls, fortifications, painting, music, games, amusements etc.” ‘Jagadekamalla has written a book named ‘Sangeeta Chuudaamani’ on music. Bilhana, (‘Vikramankadevacharita’) Vijnaneshvara,(‘Mitaaksharaa’) Dayapala (Rupasiddhi) and Vadiraja (‘Yashodharacharita’)  are some of the important writers who wrote in Sanskrit during the regime of Kalyani Chalukyas. Ranna, Nagavarma, Nagavarma-2, Durgasimha, Nagachandra and Nayasena are the major Kannada poets who flourished during this period.

Architecure and sculpture during this period was not confined to any particular region as was the case with Badami Chalukyas. It was spread all over Karnataka and beyond. Kalyani Chalukyas imbibed many elements from the Badami style. However they did make a few innovations. Independent buildings were preferred to earlier cave temples. Sand stone was gradually replaced by soap stone.(Chloritic Schist) Star shaped foundations gave way to rectangular structures and the architects had a liking for right angles. With the exception of the Basappa temple of DambaLa, all these temples have rectangular base. These and many more innovations which lead to a distinct style which is often called ‘vEsara’. This style is a combination of the ‘nAgara’ and ‘drAviDa’ styles  Mukteshvara temple at Chaudadaanapura, the Kasivisvesvara Temple at Lakkundi (Gadag district), the Dodda Basappa Temple at Dambal (Gadag district), the Mallikarjuna Temple at Kuruvatii the Kallesvara Temple at Bagali the Siddhesvara Temple at Haveri (Haveri district), the Amrtesvara Temple at Annigeri (Dharwad district) and the Mahadeva Temple at Itagi (Koppal district)  are among the best examples of Kalyani Chalukya architecture.  Mahadeva temple in Itagi is called ‘dEvAlaya cakravarti’ (The emperor among temples.) The sculpture of this period is not very distinguished and they show a greater degree of craftsmanship than artistry

Greater number of stone inscriptions were installed during this period as compared to copper plates. Most of them are in Kannada. Combination of prose and poetry is preferred. There is a literary flair in many of them. Vikramaditya heralded a new era called ‘Vikrama Shaka’ as indicated in these epigraphs. The numismatic output of the Kalyani Chalukyas is quite profuse. ‘GadyANa’ was a gold coin. The name of the place where it was minted was prefixed to this name. Hence names such as lokki gadyaaNa, kataka gadyaaNa etc. have come in to vogue. Mints were located at places such as ‘sUDi’ and ‘lokkigunDi’. Each design or symbol on the Chalukya coin has been impressed by a separate punch. Many coins with a punch mark are found to be made of gold as well as silver. Other coins mentioned in the inscriptions are paNa, honnu, hAga, kAagiNi, vIsa, guLike and bELe.

            To sum up, the reign of Kalyani Chalukyas represents a very important watershed in the history of Karnataka.





Further Reading and Links:

1.      Kannikeswaran, K. "Kalyani Chalukyan temples". TempleNet.

2. (Mahadeva temple, Itagi)

3. (An article on Mahadeva temple)

4. at




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