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Ancient History / Post-Guptan Era

Badami Chalukya Dynasty


    Badami Chalukya dynasty is also called Vatapi Chalukya dynasty. There were more than 20 Chalukya dynasties ruling over India but were not connected to one another. So, we call different Chalukyas with their capital name. Pulakesi I is the founder of Badami Chalukya dynasty. He performed Aswamedha Yaga. Pulakesi II was the third king of this dynasty and he was contemporary to Harshavardhana of Pushyabhuti dynasty. He is the greatest king of this dynasty.

    Pulakesi II or Pulakeshin II

    • The Prasasti found at Aihole in Karnataka was written by Ravikirti, an officer of Pulakesin II. It is written on the walls of a Jain temple. In this inscription, it is written that Sakalottara Padeeshwara ( Harshavardhana ) was defeated. It also mentioned about the shifting of the capital of Chalukya dynasty to Badami from Aihole by Pulakesi II.

    • Pulakesi II conquered entire coastal Andhra Pradesh which included Vishnukundin and Rana Durjaya dynasties. He created a new province with Vengi as its capital. His own brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana was made the Governor there. After some time, Kubja Vishnuvardhana cut off from Badami Chalukyas and declared an independent kingdom, named Vengi Chalukyas (Eastern Chalukyas). They ruled for 4 and half centuries.

    • Pulakesi II invaded Pallava kingdom twice. He invaded for the first time in 617-18 AD at Pullalur. At this time, Pallava king Mahendravarman I was defeated. Many northern parts of Pallava kingdom was annexed to Chalukya kingdom. In 642 AD, for the second time he invaded the Pallava kingdom at Manimangala.

      In the battle of Manimangala, Narasimhavarman I, the most powerful king of Pallavas defeated Pulakeshin II. He escaped from the battle and ran away to Vatapi. Narasimhavarman I chased up to Vatapi and captured and killed Pulakesin II. Manimangala battle gave a title Vatapikonda to Narasimhavarman I.

    • After that Vikramaditya I, Pulakesi II's son came to power. During his reign Kanchi was destroyed thrice.

    When the last king, Kirtivarman II ascended the throne, around 755 AD one of the governor Dantidurga killed Kirtivarman II and founded a new dynasty called Rashtrakuta dynasty.

    Temple Architecture of Badami Chalukyas

    • They built temples in Dravidian style, Nagara style and developed a new style called Vesara style (Deccan style).

    • Cave Temples - Badami Chalukyas built cave temples at Badami. There are 3 Shaiva cave temples and one Jain cave temple.

    • Structural Temples -

      • 70 temples are found at Aihole, which is called town of temples. Some of these temples are (i) Lad Khan temple ( Shiva temple ), (ii) Huchimalligudi temple, (iii) Meguti Jain temple, (iv) Durga temple, etc.

      • At Pattadakal, we can see the most beautiful temple named Virupaksha or Lokeshwara temple. It was being built in Dravidian style. It was an imitation of Kailasanatha temple of Kanchi.

      • At Alampur in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana, they built 9 famous temples called Navabrahma temples (Shaiva temples). These temples were being built in Nagara style. There is one more temple that was built at Alampur is Jogulamba temple.

      • Near to Alampur, at a village named Sangameshwar (where Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers confluence together), they built Sangameshwara temple. The entire temple has been shifted to Alampur (when Srisailam Project was started) by Archeological Department.

      • Nava Nandi temples at Nandyal, were built by them of which Mahanandi is important.