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The Chalukyas of Kalyani
Part 2
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Click here to go to the main page of History of Karnataka.

The Chalukyas of Kalyani had an elaborate system of administration. The King was at the apex of the administrative pyramid and guided the destinies of the people in empire. In spite of almost incessant wars the life of the common man in general ran smoothly and the subjects enjoyed the benefits of peace and prosperity.

There were the Mahamatyas who administered the affairs of the Kingdom as directed by the ruler.

The empire was divided into a number of provinces. The Governors and vassals were allowed to have autonomy within their own circles. The government was not rigidly centralized. The people had developed a solvatory sense of democratic behaviour.

The learned and the elders had the privilege of functioning as spokesman in villages and communities. The spirit of democracy resulted in the formation of a number of corporate institutions embracing the shores of agriculture, trade and industries.

Ranna was the first poet to write under the Chalukyas of Kalyani. He was patronized by Sathyashraya. Ajitapurana and Sahasabhimavijaya are his famous works. Chavundaraya II wrote Lokopakara, a collection of useful knowledge. Chandraraja composed Madanatilaka, a work on erotics Shridharacharya's Jatakatilaka is a work on astrology.

Kirtivarma wrote Govaidya on veterinary science. Durgasimha, a minister of Jayasimha II, wrote panchatantra, Nayasena's Dharmamritha, Nagavarma's Kavyavalokana and Brahmashiva's Samayaparikshe were the other famous works in Kannada. Devara Dasimayya, the Vachanakara, belonged to this period.

The Chalukya rulers of Kalyani gave encouragement to Sanskrit literature also. Vadiraja wrote Yashodharacharitam and Parshvanatha Charitam.

The Kashmiri poet Bilhana immortalized the name of his patron Vikramaditya VI through his Vikramankadeva Charitha. Vijananeshvara became famous by writing Mitakshara, a commentary on Yajnavalkya Smriti. Someshwara III complied an encyclopedia of all arts and sciences known as Abhilashithartha Chinthamani or Manasollasa. Jagadekamalla wrote Sangithachudamani.

Art and Architecture:
According to Percy Brown the buildings of later Chalukya style in Bellary, Dharwad and Hyderabad Karnataka areas constitute a link between the early Chalukyan and the Hoysala temples. None of them is stellate.

These temples often had their principal entrances not at the front but at the sides and the decoration of their external walls with architectural motifs dividing the wall into well-proportioned areas tended to be singularly graceful and restrained. Their Vimanas were a compromise between the plain, stepped storeys of the early Chalukyas and the closely moulded tiers of the Hoysala style. The doorways were very elaborately carved with fine detail the finish.

The earliest examples of the Kalyani Chalukya style are found at Kukkanur. The Kalleshvara and Navalinga temples here bear "resemblances to early Chalukyan group of Aihole and Pattadkal". The Jaina temple at Lakkundi near Gadag forms the nest step in the improvement of this style introducing a greater ornamental effect in the treatment of the surface.

The Kalyani style of architecture reaches its maturity and culmination in the 12th century. Kasi Vishveshvara at Lakkundi, Mallikarjuna at Kuruvatii and Mahadeva at Itagi are the finest examples produced by the later Chalukya architects.

The Saraswathi and Someshwara temples at Gadag are in a mutilated condition. There are nearly one hundred monuments of the period, scattered all over the Deccan, giving us information about the artistic excellence attained by the later Chalukyas of Kalyani.

Next Edition:
The Kalachuris and the emergence of Basaveshvara


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