Short Notes on the Kalachuris of Trifuri



The Kalachuris were a dynasty of rulers who governed from Tripuri situated immediately to the south of the Central Vindhyas. Their inscriptions are found as early as the 6th century. They claim their descent from the Haihayas mentioned in the puranas. They used the Traikutaka or Chedi ear.

They were powerful even before the advent of the Chalukyas of Vatapi. Their sway extended from Gujarat to Berar. The historical founder of the dynasty in medieval times was Kakkalla I (c.875 to 925).

He was connected matrimonially with the Rashtrakutas and the Guijarapratiharas. His successor Sankaragana I was subordinate to the Rashtrakutas. The next ruler was Balaharsha whose succeassor Yuvaraja I came into conflict with the Rashtrakutas and was defeated about 940. The family was devoted to Siva. Lakshmanaraja ruling in the later half of the 10th century raided Kathiawar and Bengal successfully. Sankaragana II departed from the dynasty's traditional devotion to Siva and became a Vaishnava.

His brother Yuvaraja II was defeated by Munja Paramara who plundered Tripuri. His successor Kokkalla II was perhaps subordinate to Vidyadhara Chandela. He patronised Saivisim too. His son Gangaiya Deva Vikramaditya (c.1030-1041) was a great conqueror. He raided the Punjab, Bengal, Orissa and the Deccan. He was however defeated by Bhoja I Paramara. He built temples to Siva and issued coins in gold, silver and copper. Lakshmikarna Kalachuri Gangaiyadeva was succeeded by his son Lakshmikarna Kalachuri (c, 1041-1073).

The extent and thoroughness of his conquests were such that he has been considered to be one of the greatest Indian conquerors. He avenged his father's defeat at the hands of Bhoja Paramara. He assumed the title of Lord of the three Kalingas. The last years of his reign were not happy so that the comparison with Napoleon is party justified. His son and successor was Yasahkarna (1073-1125).

Though in the initial part of his reign he like his father was a great raider, like his father again he sustained defeat in the evening of his career. Yasahkarna was succeeded by Gajakarna, Narasimha, Jayasimha, Vijayasimha and Ajayasimha. These last rulers are merely names in the history of Tripuri. Under the Delhi Sultanate from 1251 to 1309 they were subordinate chieftains. By the beginning of the 15th century, they were superseded by the Gonds and were ultimately absorbed in the Mughul Empire.