Ancient India Simplified: Chalukya dynasty: The early Chalukyas of Badami (543-753 A.D.)

Founded by Pulakesin I, Chalukyas ruled the extensive Deccan region between 6th and 12th century CE with the capital at Badami (Vatapi).
The greatest ruler of this dynasty was Pulakesin II who was exactly the contemporary of Harsha of Kannauj (606-647 A.D.)

About Pulakesin II

Pulakesin II1. Aihole inscription (praises the rule of Pulakesin II) composed by Ravikirti, the court poet of Pulakesin II.
2. His greatest achievement was his victory against Harshavardhana of Kannauj in 620 A.D. This limited the southward expansion of Harsha. 
3. He also defeated Kadambas of Banavasi and the Gangas of Mysore. 
4. Pulakeshin established diplomatic relations with Persian King Khusrau.
5. Pulakesin II emerged victorious in the first struggle with Pallavas but he was defeated by Narasimhavarman I (Vatapikonda) of Pallavas (Kanchi) who captured the capital Vatapi (Badami).
6. After the death of Pulakesin II, in Eastern Deccan, a branch of Chalukyas appeared with capital at Vengi.
7. They ruled till the 11th century.
8. Dantidurga defeated the last ruler of Chalukyas of Badami, KIRTIVARMAN II and established the rule of the Rashtrakutas Dynasty. 
9. During the late 10th century, the descendants of the Chalukyas of Badami, re-appeared and ruled with Kalyani as their capital (Basavakalyana, Karnataka)

Chalukyas Administration and Socio-economic and cultural conditions

Administration1. Chalukyas were highly centralised unlike Chola and pallava. Units (villages) were in direct control of central authorities.
2. Chalukyas maintained a great naval force and small but well organised standing army that too was contributed by feudal chiefs.
Economy1. Arab traders were given patronage at the west coast under Chalukyas.
2. Overall decline of trade and commerce in India during this period, therefore the Chalukyas conducted invasions and plunder of the neighbouring regions.
Religion1. Chalukyas of Badami practised Brahmanism but were tolerant towards other sects too.
2. Expansion of Brahmanism is reflected by building of temples in honour of Vishnu, Shiva and other gods.
3. While Jainism witnessed expansion, Buddhism declined in Chalukya’s reign and region.
LiteratureChalukyas contributed to the growth of Prakrit language and literature.
Art and Architecture 1. Chalukya rulers were great builders and patrons of art. 
2. The fusion of Nagara and Dravidian style i.e. Vesara Style of temples started to appear during Chalukyas time but they distinctively developed under Rashtrakutas and Hoysalas. 
3. Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal are important centres of structural temples of the Chalukyas.
4. Ajanta (Cave paintings too), Ellora and Nasik have some of the Cave temples of Chalukyas times.
5. A number of rock-cut halls (Chaityas) were constructed and granted to Jain monks.

Chalukyas : Cradle of temple architecture.

Elaborately explained in the next unit.

Ancient India Simplified: Chalukyas-Cradle of Temple Arhitecture

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