Middle Kingdoms of India, Part 68


Chalukya Temple monuments at Pattadakal

Aug 06, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of India's great history, religious movements and temple architecture.

The Badami Chalukyas

'Around 634 A.D., the Chinese traveller Hiuen-Tsiang visited the court of the Badami Chalukyas king, Pulakesi II. Around this time the Persian emperor Khosrau II also exchanged ambassadors with the Chalukyas.[80]

The continuous wars with the Pallavas took a turn for the worse in 642 A.D., when the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I avenged his father's defeat[81] conquered and plundered the capital city of Pulakesi II. It is thought that King Pulakesi died in this battle.[81-82]

Chalukya temple at Aihole

A century later, Chalukya Vikramaditya II marched victoriously into Kanchipuram, the great capital city of the Pallavas, and occupied it on three separate occasions. The third time he did so under the leadership of his son and crown prince Kirtivarman II. He thus avenged the earlier humiliation of the Chalukyas by the Pallavas, and had an engraved Kannada inscription placed on the victory pillar at the Kailasanatha Temple.[83-86] He later overran the other traditional kingdoms in Tamil country -- the Pandyas, Cholas and Keralas -- in addition to subduing the Kalabhra ruler.[87] A record from Kappe Arabhatta during this period (700 A.D.) in tripadi (three line) metre is considered to be the earliest available record in Kannada poetics.

Vishnu temple at Mahakuta

The most enduring legacy of the Chalukya dynasty is the temple architecture and art they left behind.[88] More than 150 monuments attributed to the them, built between 450 and 700 A.D., have survived in the Malaprabha basin of Karnataka.[89] The constructions are centred in a relatively small area within the Chalukyan heartland. Among these relics are some of the most magnificent Vaisnava images to be found in South India.

The structural temples at Pattadakal, the cave temples of Badami, the temples at Mahakuta and early experiments in temple building at Aihole are their most celebrated monuments.[88] Two of the famous paintings at Ajanta cave no. 1, "The Temptation of the Buddha" and "The Persian Embassy" are also credited to the Badami Chalukyas. [90-91] They also influenced the architecture in far off places like Gujarat and Vengi, as evidenced by the Nava Brahma temples at Alampur.[92]

Badami Temple


[80] From the notes of Arab traveller Tabari (Kamath 2001, p60)
[81] a b Smith, Vincent Arthur (1904). The Early History of India. The Clarendon press. pp. 325–327.
[82] Sen (1999), p362
[83] Thapar (2003), p331, p345
[84] Sastri (1955) p140
[85] Ramesh (1984), pp159–160
[86] Sen (1999), p364
[87] Ramesh (1984), p159
[88] a b Hardy (1995), p65–66
[89] Over 125 temples exist in Aihole alone, Michael D. Gunther, 2002. "Monuments of India". Retrieved 2006-11-10
[90] Arthikaje, Mangalore. "History of Karnataka—Chalukyas of Badami". © 1998–2000 OurKarnataka.Com, Inc. Archived from the original on 2006-11-04. Retrieved 2006-11-10
[91] The Badami Chalukya introduced in the western Deccan a glorious chapter alike in heroism in battle and cultural magnificence in peace (K.V. Sounderrajan in Kamath 2001, p68
[92] Kamath (2001), p68


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