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History of The Minor Chalukya Families in Medieval Andhradesa (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAL704
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Author: Kolluru Suryanarayana
Language: English
Edition: 1986
ISBN: 8170183308
Pages: 460 (3 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 640 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

The present study aims at dealing with the history of the Chalukya families that lived either as contemporaries of or in succession to the Chalukyas of Vengi, the builders of the Andhra Culture in the history of Andhradesa.

It can be said that till now no work of relative importance has been done to assess the contribution of the chiefs of those Chalukya families. In this study, an attempt has been made to reconstruct the history of the aforesaid families.

The subject matter is divided into ten chapters (excluding Introduction and Conclusion). The book makes a thorough study of individual achievements of the kings, the geneology and chronology of the Chalukyas of Mudigonda (with reference to the Koravi and the Gudur inscriptions), the reflection of the administrative set-up, taxation, justice, etc. with epigraphical reference, the socio-economic conditions in the light of 'Sasyanandan' and on the basis of the 'Kolanupaka record', Religion and art ( specially the secular and religious sculpture at Vemulabad), Literature under the patronage of those families, etc. A resume of the political and cultural contributions of the Chalukya families is made in the Conclusion. A catalogue of inscriptions of these Chalukya families is appended to the work for easy reference.

About the Author

Dr. Kolluru Suryanarayana, the author of the book is a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar in the Department of History and Archaeology, Andhra University, Waltair. He did his Doctorate in History and there- after did his Senior Post-Graduate Diploma in Sanskrit. He worked as a Research Assistant in the Project "History and Culture of the Telugu Speaking People". He is a life-member of the Andhra Pradesh History Congress. He is also a member of (a) Indian History Congress; and (b) Epigraphical Society of India. He has to his credit more than two dozens of articles duly published in different journals.


Dr. Kolluru Suryanarayana has made a contribution to the history of Andra by attempting a study of the minor Chalukya dynasties that ruled in Mediaeval Andra. He has succeeded in presenting an exhaustive account of these dynasties and their political and cultural contributions. He has discussed the problems pertaining to genealogy and chronology of the dynasties and has came to conclutions which are judicious. The utilization of the literary works, along with the epigraphs, for the reconstruction of the social, economic and religious conditions of the period is noteworthy.

I hope that Dr. Suryanarayana woill follow up the work by attempting a critical study of the suzerain-feudatory relations and the impact of the rule on socio-economic life of Mediaeval Andhra.


In the following pages, an attempt is made to reconstruct the history of the Minor Chalukya families, with the help of available material, and fill-up a gap in the annals of Andhradesa. As these families flourished in different periods in different regions, the scope of the work became very wide; and so it became essential to make the survey comprehensive to give an equally fair account of each of the families. Some parts of Telangana in the present Andhra Pradesh were under the influence of Kannadigas during this period of study, e.g., the Chalukyas of Vemula- vada, For the study of this family, I had to depend upon the discussions of scholars published in various journals, and on the Telugu and English renderings of the relevant Sanskrit and Kannada works.

No connected work has been done till now to assess the contribution of these chiefs. N. Venkataramanayya, no doubt, attempted a study of the Chalukyas of Vemula- vada; but he dealt only with the political history and left the other aspects untouched. The history of the Chalukyas of Mudigonda is known better now with the discovery of the grant of Kusumayudha, The history of the Chalukya families in Coastal Andhra is covered by V. Yasodadevi, but her work is so vast that only a sketch of many a family is found in it rather than a detailed discussion of problems in their study. Great IS my debt to the authors of these works, who enriched the subject.

The subject under study is divided into ten chapters (excluding Introduction and Conclusion). The Introduction gives an account of the sources for the reconstruction of the history of the Minor Chalukya families.

Chapter - I deals with the history of the Chalukyas of Vemulavada, Genealogy and chronology, individual achievements of the kings, identification of some places, and the part played by this family in the Vengi-Malkhed relations are discussed.

Chapter - II is a study of the history of the Chalukyas of Mudigonda, The political details of these kings are thoroughly discussed giving reasonable interpretations to the Koravi and Gudur inscriptions.

Chapter - III deals with the details of the Chalukyas of Jananathapura, who are hitherto termed as 'the Chalu- kyas of Pithapur'. A number of records of Vishnuvardhanas are available at places like Draksharama and Bhimavaram, which are now attributed to the rulers of such names in this family.

Chapter - IV is a study of the history of the Chalukyas of Elamanchili, The fortunes of this family fluctuated with the varying vicissitudes of the Reddi, the Velama and the Gajapati powers. The Kavyalankarachudamani is used for the first time as a source of family history.

Chapter - V deals with the history of the Nidadavolu family. New light has been focussed on the genealogy and chronology, on the identification of some kings and about the migration of the later rulers to the areas of Telangana.

Chapter - VI refers to the individual Chalukya rulers known from the records from various districts, and from literature.

Chapter - VII deals with the administrative set-up, taxation, justice, etc. The works of Somadevasiuri on polity have been utilised here to the extent possible, in addition to the epigraphical references.

Chapter - VIII is a study on the socio-economic conditions. This is studied against the background of contemporary literary works and inscriptions.

Chapter - IX deals with religion and art. This long period witnessed various changes in religion, of which a detailed study is made in this chapter. The secular and religious sculptural remains at places like Vemulavada, which are now in decay, have also been brought under study.

Chapter - X is a study of literature produced under the patronage of these families. A detailed study has been made of Sanskrit writers like Somadevasuri, Kannada writers like Pampa and Telugu writers like Donayamatya and Vinnakota Peddaya who flourished under the patronage of different families. A resume of the political and cultural contributions of the above-mentioned Chalukya families is made in the 'Conclusion'

I wish to express my deep sense of gratitude to my teacher and Research Supervisor Dr. C. Somasundara Rao, Professor, Department of History &. Archaeology, whose constant encouragement, useful suggestions and guidance played the most important role in the completion of the present work. He has kindly placed at my disposal his personal library for my use. I am grateful to Dr. Y. Srirama Murty. Professor of History, Andhra University for the encouragement and parental care he has taken in providing various facilities during the period of my research. I am thankful to Dr. K. Sundaram, Professor of History, Andhra University, for helping me in finalising the Chapter on Religion and Art. I am also obliged to Dr. P. Viswanatham, Department of Geography, Andhra University for kindly preparing the map.

I am grateful to Dr. C.S. Dikshit, Dr. A.L. Basham and Dr. K.V. Raman who adjudicated my thesis and re- commended the award of the Ph.D. degree. I am thankful to them for their suggestions.

I also express my earnest thanks to Sri C. Sitarama Murty for his valuable help and suggestions at various stages of this work. I am obliged to the University autho- rities for providing all facilities for my research work. I am thankful to many institutions for permitting me to consult their libraries: the Librarian, Dr. V.S. Krishna Memorial Library, Andhra University, Waltair; Chief- Epigraphist, Archaeological Survey of India, Mysore; Director, Department of Archaeology &. Museums, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad; Librarians, R.S. Museum Library, and Gautami Library, Rajahmundry; Curator, A.S.P. Museum and Library, Kakinada. My thanks are due to the Executive Officers of the temples at Vemulavada, and Panchadharala who provided me facilities during my stay at those places. I thank my cousin, Bhanu who drew the sketch of the royal emblem and helped me at the typing stage of the work and Mr. M. Appa Rao, Steno-typist who neatly typed this work.

I am thankful to B.R. Publishing Corporation for under- taking the publication of the work and its neat and speedy execution.


In the history of Andhradesa, the advent of the Eastern- Chalukyas or the Chalukyas of Yengi (A.D.624-A.D.1075) is significant as marking the inauguration of a glorious period under which the culture of the Telugu people took its real shape. It was owing to their efforts that a major portion of the Telugu country was united politically and culturally. Telugu literature found its beginning practically in their' period. It was due to their encouragement that the Andhras developed their own styles in the spheres of art and architecture. The period also witnessed Brahmanism displacing gradually the non-Vedic religions. A majority of the famous Saivite temples in Andhra were their constructions. For these reasons, they can rightly be called as the builders of Andhra culture. They came from Karnataka; but their deeds prove the developments they brought about in the area of their domicile.

Contemporaneous with the Chalukyas of Yengi, flourished two Chalukya families in Telangana with Vemula- vada and Koravi as their headquarters. Occupying border areas between the Eastern Chalukyas and the Rashtra-kutas, they had to depend upon either of those big powers for their security, but this does not mean that they were incapable as rulers. Their military powers helped their overlords to become emperors; and on some occasions, it was practically their support that decided the fate of either Malkhed or Vengi. The kingdom of Vemu- Iavada sided with the Rashtrakutas, whereas the rulers of Koravi defended the rulers of Vengi. In fact, the history of Telangana in those centuries would have remained a big blank, if the rule of these two Chalukya families were not known.

The picture is different in Coastal Andhra. With the Chalukyas of Vengi in power, no off shoot of the Chalukyas could hold its rule contemporaneously. No doubt, kings like Kokkili Vikrameditya established kingdoms of their own, at places like Elamanchili, by deviating from the main line. But their existence is very short. They were cases of mere struggles for succession to the Vengi throne; and of the dissidents occupying small area which was allowed by the rulers of Vengi, Vengi fell as an independent power in 1075. The clubbing of the Chola and Chalukya crowns by Kulottunga lasted till his life-time, upto 1118. Later, descendants of the Chalukya family established kingdoms at places like Jananathapura, Elamanchili and Nidadavolu during this period and continued their rule until Muslim in- roads into their areas shook them. Even though they were not powerful enough to establish an empire once again like their ancestors, their political prominence cannot be denied. They maintained relations with all the ruling powers in Andhra. They also patronized literary works in Telungu and made headway in cultural achievements.


The main source of information regarding the history of these Chalukya families is epigraphy. They left behind abundant epigraphical material which provides elaborate and varied information. In addition, there were numerous literary works written under their patronage. As these families ruled from the eighth, century to the sixteenth century in different areas in Andhradesa. we can notice a remarkable change in the nature of the contents of the inscriptions. A major part of Telangana was under the domination of the Rashtrakutas: and hence there is no wonder that Kannada inscriptions were issued by the Chalukyas of Vemulaveda. But this influence is comparatively less felt in the records of the Chalukya family of Mudigonda, who also ruled the areas of Telangana in the contemporary period. Moreover, the gradual development of the Telugu language, which is traceable in the early records of the Chalukyas of Vengi, had its influence on inscriptions like the Koravi inscription of the Mudigonda family.

So far, only nine copper-plate grants of these families are available. The kings at Vemulavada Mudigonda and Nidadavolu issued two copper plate records each, whereas the family at Jananathapura issued only one. Besides these seven, there are two more records, the Ikshugrama grant of Vlshnuvardhana dated to A.D.1328 and the Puri plates of Purushottama dated to A.D.1312, which reveal the where abouts of some of the individual families. In these nine records, there are undated; but are assigned by scholars to those particular reigns on paleographic grounds and other chronological details mentioned in those charters. These records provide us with the lists of successive rulers, their achievements, their constructions and their various grants.

The Kollipara plates* 1 and the Parabhani plates, *2 the two sets lseued by the Vemulavada line, state the genealogy of the family, their religious patronage and the gifts made by Arikesari -I and Ar ikesari-Ill respectively to the religious pontiffs Mugdhasivacharya and Somadeva- suri. In the Kollipara plates, Arikesari-I's gift is mentioned as Vidyadana. These plates are assigned to the ninth century and they are the only source to know the early generations before Arikesari-I, In the Parabhani plates dated A.D.966, Arikesari-Ill registered his gift of land to Somadeva the 'Sthanadhipati' of the Jinalaya built by his fathe Baddega at Vemulavada. The spread of Jainism in those areas during the tenth century is well attested to by this record.

The Mogaiucheruvula grant*3 and the Krivvaka grant*4 are the two records issued by the Chalukya of Mudigonda,. They record the grant of villages Mogalucheruvula and Krivvaka by Kusumayudha-Iv and Kusumaditya respectively. The Mogalucheruvula grant which is assigned to the eleventh Century discloses the emergence of the early rulers of this family, whereas the Krivvaka grant which is assigned to the twelfth century refers to the troubles faced by some of the rulers of this family to resume their authority from the aggressions of the mighty Kakatiyas.

The Edarupalli re-issued grant*5 dated to A.D.1179 of Vishnuvardhana is an imporant document to trace the genealogical as well as chronological details of the Chalukyas of Jananathapur; and it gets confirmation from the Madras plates*6 of Mahadeva of Malayavani dated to A.D.1205. The date of this record itself forms the best evidence to identify correctly the donor king Vishnuvardhana. It gives information about a number of communities of the lower strata in the society along with Brahmanas in connection with the allotment of different 'Vrittis'.

The Uttaresvara grant*7 dated to A.D.1290 and the Onapalli grant*8 dated to A.D.1292 are the two copper- plate records that belong to the Chalukyas of Nidadavolu, The former mentions that Indusekhara granted the village of Uttaresvara to a scholar Rudradeva, who, in turn, made it over to his teacher Viddana-dikshita. That donee Viddana is said to have distributed the 'Vrittis' in that village to some Brahmanas, whose qualifications and shares are mentioned in detail. Next, it is interesting to state that the same donee Viddana received the village of Onapalli, (which fact is known also from the Onapalli grant) and gifted it also to Brahmanas, (which fact is again referred to in the Uttaresvara grant). Thus the details of both these records are interconnected with and embedded in cultural and religious affinities of those rulers.

The information from these copper-plate records is supplemented by the details provided by a number of stone inscriptions (which come to one hundred and fifty) engraved during the regime of these kings in various temples of Andhra. The information given by some of these inscriptions is in no way inferior to that of the copper-plate grants. The Vemulavada inscription of Arike- sari-II,*9 Koravi inscription of Niravadya,*l0 Pithapuram inscription of Mallapadeva III,* 11 Panchadharala inscription of Visvesvara,*12 Kolanupaka inscription of Indusekhara* 13 etc. either yield new information or confirm known facts about those particular families. The inscriptions of other contemporary families like the Gudur inscription of Viriyala Mella,*14 and private records like that of the Kurkyala rock inscription of Jinavalla- bha* 15 add to the material already available. In general, these inscriptions register grants to the deities installed in the temples in the vicinity of which they lie now. These grants were made by the king himself or by his family or by the subordinate officers of the State or by private individuals. Even though a few of them were undated, quite a number of them furnish the regnal year and other astronomical details. Besides mentioning the names of the donor kings and their deeds, these inscriptions throw much light on the social, economical and cultural conditions of this period. The Koravi inscription throws light on the judicial procedure adopted by the Mudigondas, and the Kolanupaka inscription on the irrigation projects undertaken by the Chalukyas of Nidadavolu.

Next to inscriptions, literature forms the main source for the reconstruction of the history of these kings. The earlier works which were written under the Chalukyas of Vemulavada are in Kannada, whereas the works of the later period, that were written under the Chalukyas of Elamanchili are in Telugu. Though the original purpose of these works was not historical, it must, however, be admitted that they yield much valuable information about the period, which is not known from inscriptions.

A number of the Chalukya kings were themselves either scholars or patrons of scholars; and hence much literature was produced during their rule. Those works shed light on the history of their patrons. The Vikramar- junavijayam of Pampa and the Kavyalankarachudamani of Peddaya present the political history of their times, besides their religious outlook and the social conditions. Somadevasuri's work, Yasastilaka and Donayamatya's Sasyanandam are the best sources to study the prevailing polity and the agricultural science obtaining in those times. Velugotivaria Vamsavali, gives a clue to the later rule of the Chalukyas in Telangana, who are comtemporaries of the Recherlas. Thus literature is very us I for a study of this history.

Besides the above sources, the vestiges of structures at places Iike Vemulavada in Telangana and Panchadharala in Coastal Andhra bear testimony to the construction activity of the times. Even though many of them are renovated, the temple of Baddepesvara at Vemulavada and the temple of Dharmalingesvara at Panchadharala still remain in a state of decay. They remind us of the sculptural skill, the decorative features and the architectural traditions of the bygone times.

Thus the available source material offers ample information for the reconstruction of the history of the Chaulkya families. The material has been discussed and presented in different sections of the present work. An attempt is made to sift and interpret the material in a cautious manner so as to draw fairly reasonable conclusions.


1The Chalukyas of Vemulavada1
2The Chalukyas of Mudigonda41
3The Chalukyas of Jananathapura73
4The Chalukyas of Elamanchili117
5The Chalukyas of Nidadavolu147
6Chalukya Kings Inscriptions and Literature177
8Socio-Economic Conditios241
9Religion and Art301
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