From Kadambas to Hoysalas: contributions in the field of        architecture, sculpture, literature and religion.



The origins of the rise of the Karnataka region as an independent state trace back to the fourth-century A.D.  with the  birth of the Kadamba Dynasty of Banavasi after the disintegration of  Satavahana power in deccan.  The founder of this ancient great dynasty of Karnataka was Mayurasharman, a Brahmin.  The Kadambas was designated an ancient royal dynasty of Karnataka that ruled from Banavasi. They are the earliest of the native rulers to conduct administration in the native language of Kannada in addition to the official Sanskrit as proven by inscriptions. The most powerful ruler was Kakusthavarma who had martial relationship with the families of the Vakatakas and the Guptas during his time. The great poet Kalidasa deems to have visited his court.

They also minted gold coins and contributed to the architectural heritage of Karnataka.

The Kadamba dynasty ruled Karnataka for more than 200 years before Chalukyas overtook their empire. But some minor branches of the Kadamba dynasty continued to rule Hanagal, Goa and some other regions till 14th century.



The contribution of the Kadamba dynasty to the architectural heritage of Karnataka certainly deserves recognition. The Kadamba they have been regarded as one of the foundations upon which the Karnataka architecture is based.  The Kadamba style of architecture  has many distinguishing characteristics, including a few things in common with the Chalukyan and the Pallava styles. They drew from the architectural tradition of the Satavahanas.The Shikara, called Kadamba Shikara, constitutes the most prominent feature of their architecture. The Kadamba Shikara has a pyramid-like shape and rises in steps with a Stupika or Kalasha at the top without any decoration. Later, that style of Shikara had been used in the Doddagaddavalli temple by hoysalas and the Mahakuta temples in Hampi by Chalukyan of Badami. Some of their temples also used perforated screen windows. The Jaina Basadi at Halsi, which have been built by Mrigesavarma, is the earliest monument of the Kadamba period. The structure consists of a Garbhagriha and an Antarala. The Pranavesvara temple, which dedicated to hindu god Shiva,  at Talagunda presents a certain measure of refinement.  The Pillars of the temple are moderately ornamented with geometrical designs and the lintels of the doorways have some floral designs. The temple is said to have been rebuilt by  Prabhavati, the Queen of Mrigesavarma, and her son, Ravivarma . The temples of Madhukesvara at Banavasi and the Adimadhukesvara at Hale-Banavasi belong to the early Kadamba period. The Kadambesvara and Srikantesvara temples in the neighbourhood of the Madhukesvara shrine are also said to be constructed during that period.
The architectural style of Kadamba  is further reflected in the group of temples at Kadaroli in the Belgaum district. The temple of  Sankaradeva which presents a square Garbhagriha surmounted by a pyramidal Vimana, which rises in horizontal stages resembling steps. The Hattikesvara temple at Halsi shows another stage of the development of the Kadamba architectural style. It has perforated screen windows on either side of the doorway. The Pillars in the Kallesvara temple at Halsi as well as in the Somesvara temple  attain greater variety and refinement. The Kadambas introduced additional sophistication in the monuments of Yalavatti, of which a Jaina temple is most important. Similarly, the myriad facets of their architectural tradition can be seen in the Ramesvara temple and the Varanarasimha temple at Halsi.

Scholars believe that the Kadamba style of architecture  has a few things in common with the Hoysala, Chalukyan and the Pallava styles. They also drew from the architectural tradition of the Satavahanas. It has also been believed that the Kadambas contributed to the foundation of the later Chalukya-Hoysala style of architecture and sculpture.


Religion and Education

The Kadambas patronized Vedic Hinduism. The founder, Mayurasharma had been a Brahmin by birth. Later, to indicate their Kshatriya status, his successors changed their surname to Varma . It is believed that some Kadamba kings like Krishna Varman performed the horse sacrifice (Ashwamedha). The Talagunda inscription starts with an invocation of Lord Shiva while the Halmidi and Banavasi inscriptions start with an invocation of Lord Vishnu. They built great temples like the Madhukesvara temple and it was considered their family deity. Many records like the Kudalur, Sirsi speak about  grants made by the rulers  to scholarly Brahmins as well as to Buddhist viharas.

They also patronized Jainism and numerous Jain temples had been  built by them in areas around Banavasi, Belgaum, Mangalore and Goa. Kings and Queens of the dynasty have been appriciated for their support of literature, arts and liberal grants to temples and educational institutions. As indicated by his famous quotes on Banavasi,  the kingdom highly praised in the writings of Adikavi Pampa. Many other Jain saints such as Pujyapada, Kumaradatta, Niravadya Pandita are mentioned in the Kadamba records. Several  Jain monasteries had been found  at Belligami, Kuppalur and other places. Buddhism too was a major religion during the  period.  In the 7th century, Hieun-Tsang describes Banavasi as having about 100 Sangharamas wherein lived 10,000 priests of both Mahayana and Hinayana sects. Saivism seemed to have been popular, and the inscriptions refer to the Saiva sects like the Goravas, Kapalikas, Pasupatas or Kalamukhas. Vaishnavism have also enjoyed considerable popularity. In short, the Kadambas ruled over a region which presented an interesting mosaic of religions and religious sects.


Western Gangas of Talakad


 The Western Gangas of Talakad were contemporaries of the Kadambas. Initially, they ruled from Kolar and later moved the  capital to Talakad. This dynasty is referred to as Western Ganga to distinguish them from The Eastern Ganga dynasty that in later centuries which ruled over Kalinga (Odisha). Their territory  extended over Southern Karnataka, parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They laid a strong foundation for the development of Kannada literature.

The Gangas ruled for a very long period and were a sovereign power till the advent of the Chalukyas of Badami. They continued to rule under the Chalukyas of Badami and the Rastrakutas of Manykheta till the end of the 1st millennium.



The period of western Gangas was marked by brisk literary activities  in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Kannada. Many Kings of this period were Scholars and writers of great repute. Madhava II was the author of Dattaka Sutra, a treatise on erotics.  Kavirajamarga of 850 C.E., refers to King Durvinita of the sixth century as the earliest known Kannada writer from that dynasty.  He translated Gunadya’s Vaddakatha into Sanskrit. He also wrote a commentary on the 15th sarga of Bharavi’s Kiratarjuniya and Sabdavatara, a Sanskrit work on grammar. Sripurusha wrote Gajasastra, a treatise on elephants. Shivamara II wrote Gajashtaka, a Kannada work on elephant management, and Sethubandha in Prakrit. Chavundaraya’s writing, Chavundaraya Purana (or Trishashtilakshana mahapurana) of 978 C.E., an early existing work in prose style in Kannada, contains a summary of the Sanskrit writings. Adipurana and Uttarapurana  were written a century earlier by Jinasena and Gunabhadra during the rule of Rashtrakuta Amoghavarsha I. Ranna was a contemporary of Chavundaraya. A number of Scholars of great reputation flourished in the Ganga period. The redoubtable Bharavi is believed to have visited the Court of Durvinita. Pujyapada wrote Sarvathasiddi and Jinendra Vyakarana. Butuga II patronized Hemasena or Vidya Dhananjaya who  wrote Raghavpandaviya. His pupil Vidhibhasimha was the author of Gadyachintamani and Kshatrachudamani. Chavundaraya, the famous Ganga minister, was the author of Chavundarayapurana. He is also believed to have patronized Ranna during his early days and also the Kannada grammarian Gunavarma. Nagavarma wrote Chandombhudhi who is said to have been resided at court of  Rakkasaganga. Nagavarma also wrote one of the earliest available romance classics in Kannada called Karnataka Kadambari in sweet and flowing champu (mixed verse and prose) style. In short, the Gangas were great patron of  literature and patronised many great authors and poets.


Western Ganga style of architecture was influenced by architectural features of Pallava and Chalukyas of Badami additionally with indigenous Jain features. The Ganga pillars with a conventional lion at the base and a circular shaft of the pillar on its head, square pillars and the stepped Vimana of the shrine with horizontal mouldings had been features inherited from the Pallavas. Those features exist in structures built by their subordinates, the Banas and Nolambas.

The construction of the monolith of Gomateshwara was commissioned by Chavundaraya constitutes the climax of the Ganga sculptural contribution in ancient Karnataka. Carved from fine-grained white granite, the image stands on a lotus. The 60 feet tall statue lacks support up to the thighs.  The face measuring of the statue is 6.5 feet. With the monolith size, its curled hair with graceful locks, its proportional anatomy, the serene expression on the face of the image , and the combination of its artistry and craftsmanship have been declared the greatest achievement in sculptural art in medieval Karnataka. It is the largest monolithic statue in the world. The free standing pillars, called Mahasthambha or Bhrahmasthambha, also considered unique in their architectural style, provide examples of the Brahmadeva and Tyaga Brahma pillars. The highest point  of the pillar is  the shaft (cylindrical or octagonal) which decorated with creepers and other floral motifs, sits the Brahma and the base of the pillar normally has engravings of important Jain personalities and inscriptions. Other important contributions include the Jain basadis’ whose towers have gradually receding stories (talas )ornamented with small models of temples. Those tiny shrines have in them engravings of tirthankars (Jain saints). Semicircular windows connect the shrines and decorative Kirthimukha (demon faces) ornament the top. The Chavundaraya basadi built in the tenth or eleventh century, Chandragupta basadi built in the sixth century and the monolithic of Gomateshwara represent the most important monuments at Shravanabelagola. The famous Hoysala sculptor Dasoja added some features to the Chandragupta basadi in the twelfth century. The decorative door jambs and perforated screen windows depict scenes from the life of King Chandragupta Maurya, which he created. The Panchakuta basadi ( five towered temple) at Kambadahalli of 900 with a Brahmadeva pillar provides an excellent example of Dravidian art. Torana (lintel) with carvings of floral motifs, flying divine creatures (gandharva) and imaginary monsters (makara) ridden by Yaksas (attendants of saints) surmount the wall niches while images of tirthankars themselves occupy the niches.

The Gangas build several  Hindu temples with splendid Dravidian gopuras containing stucco figures from the Hindu pantheon and  decorated pierced screen windows faceted in the mantapa (hall) along with saptamatrika carvings (seven heavenly mothers). Some popular examples include the Kapileswara temple at Manne, Kolaramma temple at Kolar and the Kallesvara temple at Aralaguppe. They built many finest temples at Talakad  such as the Maralesvara temple, the Arakesvara temple and the Patalesvara temple. Unlike the Jain temples, with floral frieze decoration common, friezes (slab of stone with decorative sculptures) illustrating episodes from the epics and puranas distinguish Hindu temples.[99] The number of virgal (hero stones) they have left behind represents another unique legacy of the Gangas; memorials containing sculptural details of war scenes, Hindu deities, saptamatrikas and Jain tirthankars.



The Western Gangas offered full support to all the major religions of the time; Jainism and the Hindu groups of Shaivism, Vedic Brahminism and Vaishnavism. Researchers have contended that some Gangas lords may have been preferential. A few historians trust that the Gangas had been vigorous Jains. Inscriptions negate that by giving references to kalamukhas (staunch Shaiva monkish life), pasupatas and lokayatas (supporters of Pasupatha tenet) who prospered in Gangavadi, demonstrating that Shaivism had also been mainstream religion. Lord Madhava and Harivarman had been given to dairy animals and brahmins, King Vishnugopa honed as a passionate Vaishnava, Madhava III’s and Avinita’s engravings portray luxurious enrichments to Jain requests and temples and King Durvinita performed Vedic penances inciting history specialists to guarantee he had been a Hindu.


Jainism wound up noticeably prominent in the administration in the eighth century when the ruler King Shivamara I developed various Jain basadis. King Butuga II and clergyman Chavundaraya had been staunch Jains and this statement had been proved by the development of the Gomateshwara monolith. The monolith had been commissioned by a minister of the western Gangas, Chavundaraya. Jains venerated the 24 tirthankars (Jinas) whose pictures had been sanctified in their sanctuaries. They believed  that the tirthankars had inventive and ruinous forces, like the convictions of Hindus who relegated those forces to the heavenly trinity (Trimurti); Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The love of the impression of otherworldly pioneers, for example, those of Bhadrabahu in Shravanabelagola from the tenth century parallels Buddhism. The sanctification of the Gomateshwara stone monument, the statue of Bahubali, the child of tirthankar Adinatha (similarly as Hindus loved the children of Shiva) shows some brahminical influences. The love of subordinate gods, for example, Yaksa and Yaksi, prior considered as unimportant chaperons of the tirthankars had been seen from the seventh century to the twelfth century.


Vedic Brahminism was prevalent in the 6th and seventh centuries when inscriptions refer to grants made to Srotriya Brahmins. Those inscriptions  describe the gotra (heredity) association to imperial families and their adherence of such Vedic ceremonies as asvamedha(horse sacrifice) and hiranyagarbha. Brahmins and rulers enjoyed  a common benefitial  relationship; customs performed by the brahmins offered authenticity to rulers and the land grants  made by rulers to brahmins raised them in the public arena to the level of well off landowners. Vaishnavism kept up a position of safety, couple of engravings depict awards towards its cause. The western Gangas built some Vaishnava temples like the Narayanaswami temple  at Nanjangud, Sattur and Hangala in present day Mysore district. The divinity Vishnu has been delineated with four arms holding a conch (sanka), disk (cakra), mace (gada) and lotus (padma).


From the starting point of the eighth century, support to Shaivism expanded in each segment of the general public; the the landed elite, landlords, assemblies (samaya), schools of learning (aghraharas) and minor ruling families such as the Bana, Nolamba and Chalukya clans. The Shaiva temples contained a Shiva linga (phallus) in the sanctum sanctorum alongside pictures of the mother goddess, Surya (Sun god) and Nandi (a bull and chaperon of Shiva) regularly revered in a different structure confronting the sanctum. The linga had been man made and now and again had etchings of Ganapati (child of Shiva) and Parvati (associate and spouse of Shiva) on it.  Due to the vivacious endeavors of ministers and ascetics, Shaiva monastic order flourished  in many places, for example, Nandi Hills, Avani and Hebbata in present day Kolar district.


The Chalukyas

The Chalukyas were powerful force in the Deccan during sixth to eighth century AD.  And in the tenth century AD, they re-established themselves in deccan and ruled till 12 century. The Western Chalukyas ruled from Badami. The later Chalukyas who ruled from Kalyani were known as Chalukyas of Kalyani and the Chalukyas of Vengi are referred to the historians as the Eastern Chalukyas.



The time of Chalukyas of Badami line saw craftsmanship prosper in South India. It realized some essential advancements in the domain of culture, especially in the evolution and development  of another style of architecture known as Vesara, a mix of the South and the North Indian architectural  styles. This style is also  known as the “Chalukyan style”. One of the wealthiest customs in Indian architecture  came to fruition in the Deccan during that time, called Karnata Dravida style instead of customary Dravida style. The eastern Chalukyas was influenced by that style. The Chalukyas of Kalyani refined the Vesara style with a slant towards Dravidian ideas, particularly in the sculptures. They constructed great monuments  in the Tungabhadra – Krishna river  doab.

The art and craftsmanship, that they developed, offer the most persevering heritage of the Chalukya line. More than 150 monuments ascribed to the Chalukyas of Badami. These monuments had been built between   450 and 700 A.D. and  unearthed in the Malaprabha region of Karnataka.

The Chalukyan monuments are extensively assembled into two classes: (a) the rock – cut halls, and (b) the structural temples. The unearthed rock-cut halls  are found at Badami and Aihole. There are four such cave temples at Badami. Of them the soonest and the biggest is cave  No. III excavated during the rule of Mangalesa and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Othe caves are of littler measurements, and the Cave No. IV is a Jaina temple. The Badami caves have three normal features, specifically, a pillared verandah, an ordered corridor and a little square cella or Garbhagriha, cut deep  into the rock.

The rock-cut temples of Pattadakal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Badami and Aihole constitute their greatest buildings. That denotes the start of Chalukya style of architecture and a consolidation of South Indian style. Chalukyas of Badami crowned and beautified the city of Pattadakal with grand temples such as Kadasiddheswara, Jambulingeswara, Galaganatha, Chandrashekhara, Sangameswara, Kasivisweswara, Mallikarjuna, Virupaksha and Papanatha Temples.

In Aihole, the Durga temple (6th century), Ladh Khan temple, Meguti temple, Hucchimalli and Huccappayya temples (fifth century), Badami Cave Temples provide examples  of early Chalukyan craftmanship. Vikramaditya II commissioned  the grand temples  at Pattadakal. Here the Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna , Sangameswara (and a Jain temple) show the Dravidian style while Jambulinga, Kasivisweswara, and Galaganatha demonstrate the Northern nagara style. The Papanatha temple displays the combination of the Northern and Southern styles.  As indicated by some features, the style Chalukyas of Badami constitutes a “prayaga” or intersection of formal patterns of architecture, the dravida and nagara. The temples emerged from religious zeal and intensity of the purpose. Aihole has been considered as ” one of the cradles of Indian temple architecture ”

The most important style of the Chalukyas of Kalyani are found at Kukkanur. Here, the Kalleshvara and Navalinga temples bear “resemblances to early Chalukyan style of art and craft at Aihole and Pattadkal”. The Kalyani style of architecture achieved its development and climax in the twelfth century. Kasi Vishveshvara at Lakkundi, Mallikarjuna at Kuruvatii and Mahadeva at Itagi are the finest cases delivered by the later Chalukya draftsmen.



The Chalukyas were the supporters of Vedic religion: Their family God was Vishnu, their insignia Varaha; and some of their rulers accepted the title “Paramabhagavat”. However, the Chalukyas of Badami followed the policy of religious toleration. A large number of temples had been built during this period were devoted to Shiva. Worship of Shakti was common during the time, as were Shaiva factions like Pashupata, Kapalikas and Kalamukhas. Jainsim excessively got the illustrious support. Ravikirti, the writer of the Aihole inscription was a Jaina, and he constructed a Jinalaya at Aihole. Lord Vinayaditya made a grant to a Jaina cleric who had a place with Mulasangha and Devagana. Buddhism was declining during the period but had not extinct.  Hieun-tsang revealed that the Kingdom had 100 Sangharamas and 10,000 bhikkus. Actually, the liberal religious viewpoint of the Chalukyas of Badami rulers was one of the glories of the empire.



The Chalukyan period epitomizes a noteworthy occasion in the historical backdrop of Kannada and Telugu languages. During the time, composing epic accounts and poetry in Sanskrit was very popular. During the ninth – tenth century, Kannada language had just observed some of its most noteworthy scholars. The three pearls of Kannada writing, Adikavi Pampa, Sri Ponna and Ranna belonged to that period. In the eleventh century, the support of the Eastern Chalukyas, with Nannaya Bhatta as its first writer gave birth to Telugu literature. Celebrated scholars in Sanskrit from that period incorporate Vijnaneshwara who accomplished distinction by composing Mitakshara, a book on Hindu law. Somesvara III was an extraordinary scholar and ruler, compiled a book of all arts and sciences called Manasollasa.


From the period of Chalukyas of Badami no major Kannada work has been recuperated, however many works have been referenced in later centuries by many writers. The surviving Kappe Arabhatta record of 700 in tripadi (three line) meter is said to have been the earliest work in Kannada poetics. The scholarly work Karnateshwara Katha, cited later by Jayakirti, belonged to the reign of Pulakesi II with the ruler himself as the hero. Other Kannada authors of that time included Syamakundacharya of 650 who composed Prabhrita, the well known Srivaradhadeva also called Tumubuluracharya of 650 (who composed Chudamani, an commentary on Tattvartha-mahashastra in 96,000 verses), King Durvinita, and others. Scholars consider the Aihole inscription of Pulakesi II an excellent work on poetry which was  composed by court poet Ravi Kirti in old Kannada script and Sanskrit languaget. In Sanskrit, a couple of verses of a poetess called Vijayanaka has been preserved.

Ranna was the greates poet to compose under the Chalukyas of Kalyani. He was patronized by Sathyashraya. Ajitapurana and Sahasabhimavijaya are his well known works. Chavundaraya II composed Lokopakara. Chandraraja composed Madanatilaka, a work on erotics Shridharacharya’s Jatakatilaka is a work on astrology. Kirtivarma composed Govaidya on veterinary science. Durgasimha, a pastor of Jayasimha II, composed panchatantra, Nayasena’s Dharmamritha, Nagavarma’s Kavyavalokana and Brahmashiva’s Samayaparikshe were other renowned works in Kannada. Devara Dasimayya, the Vachanakarabelonged to this period.  The Chalukya leaders of Kalyani also encouraged Sanskrit literature. Vadiraja composed Yashodharacharitam and Parshvanatha Charitam.  The Kashmiri writer Bilhana devinized the name of his patron Vikramaditya VI in his famous  work Vikramankadeva Charitha. Vijananeshvara became well known by composing Mitakshara, a critique on Yajnavalkya Smriti.


The Rastrakutas


The Rastrakuta administration was established by Dantivarman or Dantidurga II. The Elichpur faction owed medieval dependability to the Badami Chalukyas. Amid the domain of Dantidurga, the family toppled Chalukya Kirtivarman II and manufactured a realm keeping the Gulbarga locale in introduce day Karnataka as their base. This faction was later known as the Rastrakutas of Manyakheta.

As indicated by an Arabic content, Silsilat al-Tawarikh (851), the Rastrakutas were viewed as one of the four primary realms of the world. This tradition managed over all of Karnataka and Maharashtra and extensive parts of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. During their reign art and sculpture flourished. The world celebrated Kailash Temple at Ellora was constructed by the Rastrakutas. The period of the Chalukyas of Badami and Rastrakutas is considered as the “Time of Imperial Karnataka”.



The Rashtrakuta rulers were the patron of Vedic religion, and they worshiped Vishnu and Siva. Jainsim also gained illustrious support of Rashtrakutas. Amoghavarsha I is said to have had his leanings towards Jainsim, and Jinasena was his preceptor. The great Jaina scholar, Gunabhadra, was an instructor of Krishna II. Be that as it may, Buddhism had been on a decrease. Its only essential centre was Kanheri.


The Rashtrakura period was one of energetic and innovative artistic activity, both in Sanskrit and Kannada. Trivikrama, the writer of Nalachampu was a great poet of  Sanskrit during the period. Halayudha, who was patronized by Krishna III, composed Kavirahasya and Mritasanjivini. The Rashtrakuta feudatory, Arikesari of Vemulavada, patronized Somadevasuri, who composed Nitikavyamrita. The period witnessed numerous advaita scholars lsuch as Padma pada and Visvarupa and Jain scholars like Virasena, Jinasena, Gunabhadra, Pushpadanta, Akalanka and other people who improved artistic custom also. Kannada language, script and litrary work showed amazing development during the  period.  Several inscriptions mentioned a large number of Kannada poets and writers. The first great work in Kannada is Kavirajamarga, a treatise on Kannada poetics. It is attributed to the Rashtrakuta ruler Amoghavarsha I Nripatunga. Albeit a few scholars argued that it was composed by his court – artist, Sri Vijaya Ponna, the well known Kannada writer, who was patronized by Krishna III, and was regarded with the title, Kavichakravarthi. The most famous Kannada poett, Pampa who composed Adipurana and Vikramarjuna Vijaya, was patronized by Arikesari of Vemulavada (a feudatory of the Rashtrakutas). The inscription at Jura, belonged to  Krishna III, is viewed as an epigraphical climax of classical Kannada litrary composition, with beautiful poetic compilation in finest Kanda meter.



The contribution of Rashtrakutain field of art and architecture are reflected in the magnificent rock-cut shrines at Ellora and Elephanta. It is believed that they constructed 34 rock cut shrines and the Kailasanatha temple is considered as the greatest of all of them. It is conceivable that the supplementary places of worship were uncovered at a later date. The temple is a superb accomplishment of craftmanship, and Vincent Smith lauds it as one of the miracles of the world.

The Dashavatara stemple is substantial and simple. There are figure models of extraordinary size, which portray both the Vaishnava and Siva subjects. The Hiranyakashipu alleviation is an exceptional figure. There are other cave temples at Ellora like Ravana – ka – khai, Rameshvara and Dhumar Lena. Of the Jaina places of worship the extraordinary are the Chota Kailasa, Indra Sabha and Jagannath Sabha.

The sculptural craftmanship of Elephanta have been broadly acclaimed. It is claimed that the the sculptured reliefs of Nataraja and Sadashiva at Elephanta are better executed than the Bhairava relief at Ellora. There are incredible structures of Ardhanarishvara and Maheshamurthy at Elephanta. The last is a three-colored bust of Siva, which is more than 25 feet high, and is viewed as “one of the finest structure in all India.”


The Chalukyas of Kalyani:- The Chalukyas of Kalyani came to control after they toppled the Rastrakutas in 973 AD. Their ruler, Someshwara I constructed his capital at Kalyana (show day Basava Kaluyana in Bidar area). The Kalyana Chalukya line is otherwise called the Western Chalukya line to separate them from the Eastern Chalukya administration of Vengi. This line managed over whole Karnataka and Maharashtra and parts of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

During the rule of eastern Chalukyas, literature prospered in Karnataka. The eastern Chalukyas were great patron of art and sculpture. The Mahadeva temple at Itagi is thought to be the finest Chalukyan landmark.


Kalachuri :- The rulers of the Kalachuri dynasty surpassed eastern Chalukyas and ruled for around 20 years yet couldn’t maintain the respectability of the realm. This prompted the realm getting to be plainly feeble lastly it separated and was shared by Sevunas in the north and Hoysalas in the south.


Sevuna Dynasty (1198 AD– 1312 AD) :- The Sevuna or Yadavas of Devagiri established themselves when the Chalukyas of Kalyani’s power melted away. The Sevunas were previously the feudatories of the Rashtrakutas and after that of the Western Chalukyas before they proclaimed independence. The founder of the dynasty was Dridhaprahara. This tradition is otherwise called Seuna or Yadavas of Devagiri as they had their capital at Devagiri. They controlled over northern Karnataka, parts of Andhra Pradesh and the majority of Maharashtra.

The line was devinized in history by the works of the praised mathematician Baskarasharya, the well known rscholar Hemadri and the great author on music, Sharngadeva. The leaders of this line were always in battle with the leaders of the Hoysala line. The tradition at long last tumbled to the sultan of Delhi, Allah-ud-din Khilji and his general Mallikaffar.


The Hoysalas:-


Hoysala dynasty was a prominent south indian empire that ruled a large part of modern day Karnataka and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They ruled from 10th century to 14th century.  Historians believed that the Hoysalas were the natives of Malnad region of Karnataka. The founder of the dynasty was King Nripa Kama II. They are well known primarily for their architectural developments and several magnificent temples can be founded across Karnataka.



The Hoysala claim to everlasting status is based on the wonderful architectural development, which they undertook in large scale in Karnataka. There are many common features between the Hoysalas and those of the later Chalukyas. Both have the carved doorways, lathe – turned columns and pierced window – screens. The advancement of the Hoysala style occurred in the old Mysore region to a great extent due to the accessibility of the chloritic schist, a kind of green soapstone, usually found in this zone. It is a nearby – grained stone, simple to work however in the meantime strong and can be quarried in genuinely substantial sizes. The appropriation of this stone encouraged the art of decorative cutting for which the Hoysala School of architecture is mainly well known. These features can be perceived as particular and unique to the Hoysala style. By and large the templey has a star – shaped ground plan. Thus Hoysala rulers introduced an innovative and unique style of architecture. The setting up of a Jagati or stage in similarity with the star molded ground plan is of much architectural significance.


The stage is significantly more extensive than the temple, leaving a level surface all round to serve as Pradakshinapatha, so the worshipper or admirer can go round the temple wall sculpture, which constituted a wellspring of mainstream instruction. Furthermore, the Jagati gave a stature to the temple, as the Hoysala temples are by and large not tall. The zig – zag character of the wall is another component of the Hoysala style. This empowers the figures to be seen both in daylight and shades. The entryway is set apart by an extravagance of cutting. This empowers the stone workers especially showered their evidently unlimited aptitude on its execution. The profound and domical roof is by and large embellished with an abundance of sensitive carvings and wonderful figures. The Navaranga roof of the Chennakeshava temple at Belur is recognized as an artful culmination.

The pillars are regularly lathe – turned, and they are differently outlined. Some of them are 16, 32, and 64 – pointed. Some of them are bell – shaped. They can take high clean. The pillerss of the Parsvanatha Basadi at Halebid show exceptional properties associated with the impression of light. The Narasimha Pillar of the Belur sanctuary is a wonder of moment carvings and sculptures. The later Chalukyan style is feeble in figure sculptures. Be that as it may, this is a solid purpose of the Hoysala style. The general treatment of wall surfaces is set apart by a substantial number of flat friezes forced upon each other. The lowest band is typically a parade of elephants; the following, of horsemen. At that point, after another band of winding foliage, and on a level with the eye, is a more extensive frieze delineating a progression of Puranic subjects – “a photo exhibition in stone executed with stamped emotional impact and abundance of detail” (Percy Brown). Above them assemble divine beings and goddesses of each portrayal and inclination, some blessing the devout, others glaring at the insidious, however everybody a model of sculptural craftsmanship. Some of the Hoysala temples have the beautiful alluring images of Madanikas, also called Salabhanjikas.The Salabhanjikas typify the physical and mental elements of an adolescent female. Archeological Survey of Mysore unearthed around ninety Hoysala temples. They can be extensively grouped by the number of Vimana or tower they have – Ekakuta, Dwikuta, Thrikuta, Chatushkuta and Panchakuta. The Chennakeshava Temple has one Vimana (Ekakuta), the Hoysaleshwara Temple of Halebid has two Vimanas (Dwikuta), the Keshava Temple of Somanathapur has three towers (Thrikuta), the Lakshmi Temple of Doddagaddavalli has a four-transcend temples (Chatushkuta), and the Panchalingeshwara Temple of Govindanahalli has five Vimanas (Panchakuta). Nonetheless, the temples of Somanathapur, Belur and Halebid are by and large recognized as the incredible structures of the Hoysala tradition and architecture. The Keshava Temple at Somanathapur is a triple shrine or thrikutachala. Attributable to its blend of three hallowed places the temple-plan is in the state of a cross, its  length being 87 feet and its width 83 feet, with its sole entrance on the east. A bigger and prior earlier example is outfitted by a group of temples at Belur, of which the Chennakeshava temple is the centre.

The ceiling is the most magnificent work of art; the pillers are unique in their assortments and plans. The Madanika images in the temple are greatest. The Hoysaleshwara Temple at Halebid is maybe the most adorable example of the Hoysala architecture. The external walls of the temples have suited a confounding cluster of great figures of uncommon excellence and elegance. And again, “It is one of the most marvelous exhibitions of craftmanship to be found even in the patient east”.



The Hoysalas patronized Jainism. The legend has it that Sudatta Muni a Jaina Teacher blessed the founder of the kingdom, Sala. Vinayaditya and Ereyanga were devout Jains; so was Vishnuvardhana’s ruler Santaladevi who was a supporter of Prabhachanda Siddantadeva.

The commanders of Vishnuvardhana like Gangaraja Mariyane, Bharata and Punisa were all jains. The coming of Ramanuja into Karnataka initiated a period of ubiquity for Srivaishnavism. As per custom, Ramanujacharya, who was mistreated by the Chola King Kulothunga, fled to the Hoysala nation, changed over Vishnuvardhana to his confidence and advanced Srivaishnavism. Numerous Vaishnava temples were constructed at Melkote, Tonnur, Belur, Talkad and Hardanahalli.

Actually Vishnuvardhana has been portrayed as the Constantine of Srivaishnavism.  Ballala II and Vira Somesvara patronized Shaivism. This period saw the advancement of the Virashaiva cult in the Kalachuri regions. Religious toleration was never a disparaged guideline in the Hoysala empire.



Education was encouraged in the agraharas, which formed into focuses of learning. The resurrection of learning brought to surface a great number of writers whose works are still viewed as masterpiece of Kannada literature. The most popular writer at the court of Ballala I was Nagachandra who was known as “Abhinava Pampa”. His two essential works are “Ramachandra Charita Purana”, and “Mallinathapurana”. Ballala additionally is said to have patronized the poetess Kanti, however scholars are not settled upon her trustworthiness.

Among the great literary figures of the time of Vishnuvardhana, mention might be made of Vishnudandadipa, Santa Mahanta and the redoubtable Rajaditya. Harihara, the author of Girija Kalyana and his nephew Raghavanka, the renowned writer of “Harischandra Kavya” prospered during the rule of Narasimha I. The later is said to visited to the court of Hoysala after influenced by the clergyman Kereya Padmarasa. Janna was the poet laureate of the court of Ballala II and Narasimha II. He acquired the title of “Kavichakravarti” from Ballala, and stated “Yashodhara Charite” and “Ananthanatha Purana”. Nemichandra, the writer of “Leelavati” thrived during this period.

Rudra Bhatta wrote “Jagannatha Vijaya”during the reign Ballala II. The rule of Vira Someshwara saw the generation of two awesome works to be specific Sukti – Sudharnava by Mallikarjuna and Shabdamanidarpana of Kesiraja. In short, the Hoysala period was gigantically fruitful in the generation of scholarly works of extraordinary legitimacy and assortment.



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