NCERT Extracts - South India
Category : UPSC
States of the Deccan and South India
- In northern Maharashtra and Vidarbha (Berar) the satavahanas were succeeded by the Vakatakas, a local power.
- The Vakatakas, who were brahmanas themselves are know from a large number copper-plate land grants issued to the branmanas.
- They were great champions of the brahmarica1 religion and performed numerous vedic sacrifices.
- Culturally the Vakataka kingdom became a channel for transmitting brahmanical ideas and social institutions to the south.
- The Vakataka power was followed by that of the chalukyas of badami.
- They were overthrown by their feudatories, the rashtrakutas.
- The Chalukyas set up their kingdom towards the beginning of the sixth century A.D. in the western Deccan
- They established their capital at Vatapi modern badami, in the district of bijapur, which forms a part of amataka.
- On the ruins of the Satavahana power in the eastern part of the peninsula there arose the Ikshvakus in the Krishna-guntur region.
- They started the practice of land grants in the Krishna Guntur region where several of their copper-plate inscriptions have been discovered.
- The Ikshvakus were supplanted by the Pallavas.
- The term pallava means creeper, and is a Sanskrit version of the Tamil word tondai, which also carries the same meaning.
- In Tamil the word pallava is also a synonym of robber.
- The authority of the Pallavas extended over both southern Andhra and northern tamil Nadu. They set up their apital at Kanchi identical with modern kanchipuram .
- Kanchi became a town of temples and vedic learning under them.
- The Kadambas had founded their rule in northern o Karnataka and Konkan in the fourth century. The Kadamba kingdom was founded by mayurasharman.
- It is said that he came to receive education at Kanchi' but he was driven out unceremoniously.smarting under this insult the kadamba chief set up his camp in a forest, and defeated the Pallavas possibly with the help of the forest tribes.
- Eventually the Pallavas avenged the defeat but recognized the Kadamba authority by formally investing mayurasharman with the royal insignia.
- Mayurasharman is said to have performed eighteen ashvamedhas or horse sacrifices and granted numerous villages to brahmanas.
- The kadamba established there capital at vaijayanti or banavasi in north kanara district in Karnataka.
- The gangas were another important contemporary of the pallavas.
- They set up there rule in southern Karnataka around the fourth century.
- Their kingdom lay between that of the pallavas in the east and of the kadambas in the west. They are called western gangas or gangas of mysore in order to demarcate them from the eastern gangas who ruled in kalinga from the fifth century onwords.
- Their earliest capital was located at kolar, wich may have helped the rise of this dynasty because of its gold mines.
- The pallavas, the kadambas, the chalukyas of badami and their other contemporaries were great champions of vedic sacrifices.
- They performed ashvamedha and vajapeya sacrifices, which not only legitimatized their position and enhanced their prestige but also added enormously to the income of the priestly class.
- The Kalabhras are called evil rulers who overthrew innumerable kings and established their hold on the tamil land.
- The Kalabhras held Buddhist persuasions for they patronized Buddhist monasteries.
- The Kalabhras revolt was so widespread that it could be but down only through the joint efforts of the Pandyas, the pallavas and the chalukyas of badami.
Conflict between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas
- The first important event in this long conflict took place in the reign of pulakeshin II (609-642), the most famous Chalukya king.
- He is known to us from his eulogy written by the court poet ravikirti in the Aihole inscription. This inscription is an example of poetic excellence reached in Sanskrit.
- In spite of its exaggeration, it is a valuable source for the biography of pulkeshin.
- He subjugated the Kadamba capital at banavasi and compelled the Gangas of mysore to acknowledge his suzerainty.
- He also defeated Harsha's army on the narmada and checked his advanced towards the Deccan.
- In his conflict with the Pallavas, he almost reached the pallava capital, but the pallavas purchased peace by ceding their northern provinces to pulakeshin II.
- The pallava king Narasimhavarman occupied the chalukya capital at vatapi in about A.D. 642, when pulakesin II was probably killed in fight against the pallavas.
- Narasimhavarman assumed the tittle of vatapikond or the conqueror of vatapi.
- From the seventh century onward the alvar saints, who were great devotees of Vishnu, popularized the worship of this god.
- From the seventh century onwards, the cult of bhakti began to dominate the religious life of the south Indians, and the Alvars and nayanars played a great part in propagating it.
- The Pallava kings constructed a number of stone temples in the seventh and eight centuries for housing these gods.
- The most famous of them are the seven ratha temples found at Mahabalipuram, at a distance of 65 km from Chennai.
- These were built in the seventh century by Narasimhavarman, who founded the port city of Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram. This city is also famous for the Shore Temple.
- In addition to this, the Pallavas constructed several such structural temples at their capital Kanchi. A very good example was the Kailashanath temple built in the eight century.
- The Chalukyas of Badami erected numerous temples at Aihole from about A.D. 610.
- Aihole contains as many as 70 temples. The temple walls are adorned with beautiful pieces of sculpture representing scenes from the Ramayana.
- We have no clear idea how these early temples were maintained.
- After the eight century, land grants to temples became a common phenomenon in south. India and usually they were recorded on the walls of the temples.
- Some temples in Kamataka under the Chalukyas were erected by the Jaina traders.
- Society was dominated by princes and priests. In this phase priests gained in influence and authority because of land grants.
- If the peasant and artisan castes failed to produce and render services and payment it was looked upon as a departure from the established dharma or norm. Such a situation was described as the age of Kali.
- It was the duty of the king to put an end to such a state of affairs and restore peace and order which worked in favour of chiefs and priests.
- The title dharma-maharaja,s therefore, is adopted by the Vakataka, Pallava, Kadamba and Western Ganga kings.