KALACHURI DYNASTY

 

Kalachuri (kaLcuri) or kaTTacuri is a minor royal dynasty that flourished during the twelfth century in the region which is now known as Hyderabad Karnataka. Later the kings shifted their capital from Mangalavedhe (mangaLavEDhe) in Sholapur district of Maharashtra to Kalyana in Bidar district. Its only claim to fame is that Basaveshvara the great saint-poet of Kannada launched his movement and literature from Kalyana when it was being ruled by Kalachuri Bijjala.

Kalachiris or kaTTacUris have had a long and chequered history from the sixth century A.D. right up to tenth century. It was an offshoot of the Haihaya clan and it ruled in various parts of Central India and Western India. Kalanjarapura (kALanjarapura) was their native place and they were Shaivas. Some persons belonging to the royal family moved all the way to south India and settled down in Mangalavedhe. The Karnataka connection of this dynasty began in 925 A.D.

Uchita (ucita) (925 A.D. approx.) is credited with beginning of the Karnataka chapter of Kalachuri dynasty. Most of the kings who succeeded him such as asaga, kaNNama, asaga-2, rAja, bijja, kannama-2, jOGama and permADi had undistinguished careers and their relationships with the Kalyani Chalukya dynasty was always one of subservience. Marital relations were arranged between these two kingdoms and they resulted in some increase in the wealth and fame of Kalachuris.

However, Permadi (permADi) (1118-30) and Bijjala-2 (1130-1167) were quite powerful and they could afford to neglect Someshvara-3, the Chalukyan monarch at that point of time. Someshvara-3 bestowed the title mahAmaMDlEshvara to bijjaLa-2. Bijjala fostered a mini rebellion in 1162 A.D. and declared his independence from the Chalukyan Empire. His rule too was beset with problems of various kinds. He had to contend with the religious strife among Jainas, Veeashaivas and the vaidic religion. His relationship with Basaveshvara an important leader and visionary was quite complex and the details are hazy. However he had to preside over the dissolution of his short lived kingdom. His sons and nephews who ruled after him right up to Veerabijjala-3 (1193 A.D.) could add little to either the political history of the dynasty or contribute something significant in the cultural domain.

The kings of this dynasty were too preoccupied with warfare and internal strife to make any lasting contribution to culture. The launching of the Veerashaiva movement also did not meet with whole hearted approval of Bijjala. The administrative and economic practices followed by the Chalukyas were continued. A gold coin minted by Raya Murari Sovideva was found in Sataara district of Maharashtra. It contains three lines written in the Kannada script. Another coin minted with the word kaLacuri inscribed on it, purportedly belongs to the regime of Immadi Bijjala. A coin with the name of Basavanna inscribed on it (basavanavara baTTaru) was unearthed by Girijapathi and Sri Ganesh. It is surmised that this coin was minted by SOvidEva.

 

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