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Chalukya dynasty

Topics Covered:

  1. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Chalukya dynasty


What to study?

For Prelims: Recent findings and their significance, Chalukya- spread, ruling, key features and cultural contributions.


Context: Inscriptions found on an ancient temple at Huligemmana Kolla near Pattadakalu in Karnataka indicate that the place may have once been the royal burial site of the Chalukya dynasty.



There are eleven temples with lingas and a tower developed during the Chalukya dynasty and another linga without the tower, which has an inscription on it stating that it served as the funerary casket-bearing shrine of Vikramaditya-II. This inscription claims the spot served as a royal burial site.

Popular belief was that these temples are a depiction of the holy Jyotirlinga. It is now found that these temples are nothing but the graves of the Chalukyan royal family.


Who are Chalukyas?

Ancient dynasty who ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries.

During this period, they ruled as three related yet individual dynasties:


  1. The earliest dynasty, known as the “Badami Chalukyas”, ruled from Vatapi (modern Badami) from the middle of the 6th century.
  2. After the death of Pulakeshin II, the Eastern Chalukyas became an independent kingdom in the eastern Deccan. They ruled from Vengi until about the 11th century.
  3. The Western Chalukyas, of 10th century ruled from Kalyani (modern Basavakalyan) until the end of the 12th century.


Art and Architecture:

They built cave temples depicting both religious and secular themes. The temples had beautiful mural paintings also.

  1. The temples under the Chalukyas are a good example of the Vesara style of architecture. This is also called the Deccan style or Karnataka Dravida or Chalukyan style. It is a combination of Dravida and Nagara styles.
  2. Pattadakkal: is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are ten temples here – 4 in Nagara style and 6 in Dravida style. Virupaksha temple and Sangameshwara Temple are in Dravida style. Papanatha temple is in Nagara style.


Facts for prelims:

  1. Pattadakal is a complex of 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples in northern Karnataka.
  2. Located on the west bank of the Malaprabha
  3. The monument is a protected site under Indian law and is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
  4. Other names this place was known by were Kisuvolal meaning “valley of red soil”, Raktapura meaning “city of red”, and Pattada-Kisuvolal meaning “red soil valley for coronation”.


Sources: the Hindu.