Medieval Indian History Part – 2 The Kingdom of the Deccan

The Kingdom of the Deccan

  • The southern part of India is called the Deccan or the Dakshinapatha
  • The Deccan was separated from Northern India by the Vindhya and Satpura mountains, the Narmada and Tapti and the dense forests
  • The Deccan was separated from Northern India by the Vindhya and Satpura mountains, the Narmada and Tapti and the dense forests
  • The medieval period witnessed the rise of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas in the Deccan
  • This period also saw the extension of the Delhi Sultanate namely the Khiljis and the Tughluqs into South India.

The Chalukyas (6th -12th century A.D.)

  • The Early Western Chalukyas -6th-8th century A.D.
  • The Later Western Chalukyas 10th-12th century A.D.
  • The Eastern Chalukyas-7th-12th century.A.D

Early Western Chalukyas (6th-8thcentury A.D.)

  • The Chalukyas rose to power in Karnataka in the 6th century A.D
  • Their capital was Vatapi, (modern Badami) in the Bijapur district
  • Had a humble beginning under Jayasimha and Ramaraya. Pulakesin-I (543-566.A.D)

Real founder

  • Pulakesin II (610-642 A.D.)
  • Greatest ruler of this dynasty
  • He defeated Gangas, Malavas and Gurjaras.
  • He successfully opposed Harsha’s attack in the north and defeated him in 637 A.D.
  • In the south he was constantly struggling with the Pallavas.
  • Pulakesin II defeated the Pallava King Mahendravarma I after which he crossed the Cauvery
  • Made friendly alliances with the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas
  • Made friendly alliances with the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas
  • Pulakesin II lost his life during the war.
  • Vikramaditya-I, Vijayaditya and Vikramaditya-ll were the other important rulers of this dynasty
  • The last of the Chalukya Kings of Badami.

Later Western Chalukyas of Kalyani (10th  -12th century A.D)

  • The founder of this dynasty brought the Rashtrakuta rule to an end.

The important rulers 

  • Someshwara-ll
  • Vikramaditya-VI
  • Vikramaditya-VI
  • Someswara IV was the last ruler

Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi (7th -12th century A.D)

  • Vishnu Vardhana, a brother of Pulakesin-ll, was the founder of the Eastern Chalukya Empire of Vengi.
  • One of their descendants namely Kulothunga Chola (1071-1122 A.D.)
  • He was enthroned as a Chola ruler.

Contributions of the Chalukyas

  • The Chalukya kings were the followers of Hinduism.
  • Ravikirti, the court poet of Pulakesin-ll who composed the Aihole Inscription was a Jain
  • Great patrons of architecture
  • Built around 70 Vishnu temples in Aihole.
  • Hence Aihole has been called the ‘Cradle of Indian Temple architecture
  • Virupaksha temple at Pattadakal
  • Telugu literature developed during this period.

The Virupaksha temple: 

  • This temple was built by the Lokamahadevi the queen of Vikramaditya 11. In front of the Hall of the Priests or Antarala, there is a pillared Mandapam or a meeting place for the people.
  • The Virupaksha temple is built on the model of the Kailasanatha temple at Kancheepuram.

The Rashtrakutas (8th -10th century A.D.)

  • The period of the Rashtrakuta ascendancy (753-975A.D.) constitutes perhaps the most brilliant chapter in the history of the Deccan.
  • The Rashtrakutas were the descendants of the Rathors of the North.
  • Kannada was the mother tongue of the Rashtrakutas

Rashtrakutas (background)

  • Means designated officers-in-charge of territorial divisions called Rashtra
  • The members of the family were district officers under the early Chalukyas of Badami.


  • He occupied Ellora in 742 AD and became a feudatory of Kirtivarman of Badami
  • He captured Maharastra, Gujarat and most of the districts of central and northern Madhya Pradesh.
  • Rashtrakuta territory extended around Nasik in the Northern Deccan with Malkhed as its capital
  • Dantidurga died in 756 A.D. and was succeeded by his uncle Krishna-I (756-775 A.D.).


  • Govinda-ll (775- 780 A.D.), the son of Krishna I invaded the kingdom of Vengi and entered into alliances with the rulers of Gangavadi, Kanchi, Vengi and Malwa


  • Dhurva (780-792 A.D.) who succeeded Govinda-ll, was an able ruler


  • Govinda-lll (792 -81 4 A.D.) was succeeded by his fourteen-year-old son Amoghavarsha-I (814-880 A.D).

Krishna lll 

  • Krishna lll (936-968 A.D.) was the next famous ruler. He defeated the Cholas at Takkolam and captured Tanjore.
  • He went as far as Rameshwaram


  • Karka-ll (972-973.A.D.), the last ruler of the Rashtrakutas was defeated by Tailapa-ll, the Chalukya ruler of Kalyani.


  • Kailasanatha temple at Ellora.
  • The Elephanta caves near Mumbai were completed by the Rashtrakutas


  • The great patron of literature.
  • He wrote Marga in the Kannada language

Jinasena (teacher of Amoghavarsha)

  • Wrote Parsavaudaya, a biography of Parsava

The Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra (11th -14th Century A.D.)


  • Vinayaditya (1006 -1022 A.D.) carved out a petty principality of Mysore and ruled over it with Sosavir as his capital.
  • Vishnuvardhana was the first distinguished ruler of Vinayaditya’s family. He shifted his capital to Dwarasamudra.
  • He captured Gangavadi from Kulothunga Chola.
  • Gangavadi served as a buffer state between the Chalukyas and the Chola Empire.

Vira Ballala – ll

  • Vira Ballala – ll (1173-1220 A.D.)the next important ruler, he defeated Billama V of Yadava Dynasty.
  • He arrested the independence of the Hoysalas.


  • Narasimhan-ll (1220-1235 A.D.) lost the territory between Krishna and Tungabhadra to Singhana, a Yadava ruler.
  • He defeated Maravarman Sundara Pandya and restored Rajaraja-lll to the Chola throne and he erected the pillar of victory at Rameshwaram.

Ballala III

  • Ballala III (1291-1342 A.D) was the last great ruler of this dynasty. In 1310A.D. he was defeated by Malik Kafur.
  • He fell a victim to the Sultans of Madurai in 1342 A.D.

Ballala IV

  • His son Ballala IV continued his struggle with the Muslims. With his death, the Hoysala Kingdom came to end.


  • Hoysalas paved the way for the rise of Mysore into a big Kingdom.
  • Great patrons of art, architecture and literature.
  • Hoysalas encouraged Kannada literature.

The Kakatiyas of Warangal (12th -14th Century A.D.)

  • Prola-ll (1110 -1158 A.D.) the Kakatiya ruler captured the territory between the Krishna and the Godavari from the Chalukyas and ruled over it with Hanumakonda as his capital.
  • His son Prataparudra-I (1158-1196.A.D.) shifted the capital to Warangal.
  • The next remarkable ruler was Ganapathi (1199-1261. A.D.).
  • He captured territories up to Kanchi from the Cholas.
  • He invaded Kalinga and Western Andhra.

Daughter of Ganapati (Rudrambha) (1261 -1291 .A.D.)

  • She abdicated the throne in favour of her grandson Prataparudhra-ll (1291-1326 A.D.).
  • During his rule Malik Kafur invaded Warangal in 1309 A.D.
  • Prataprudra – ll yielded and paid him an immense booty.

Ulugh Khan

  • Ulugh Khan, the son of Ghiasud-din Tughluq captured Warangal in 1323 A.D. and sent Prataparudra II to Delhi
  • His successors continued their struggle with the rulers of the Tughluq dynasty
  • Vinayakadeva the last nominal ruler of this dynasty was put to death by Muhammad Shah I

KOHINOOR (the famous diamond belonged to Kakatiyas)

  • Which was unearthed in Kollur on the banks of the Krishna River belonged to the Kakatiyas.


  • The Kakatiyas encouraged literature, art and architecture.
  • The Thousand Pillar temple at Hanumakonda stands as an everlasting contribution

THE YADAVAS OF DEVAGIRI (12ÿ -14* Century A.D.)

  • The Yadavas of Devagiri claimed their descent from the epic hero Lord Krishna.
  • They were known as Sevunas because they ruled over Sevuna, the region from Nasik to Devagiri (Daulatabad).

BhjUama-V (1 1 75-11 90 A.D.) 

  • The Yadava ruler took advantage of the declining power of the Later Western Chalukyas of Kalyani,
  • Defeated Someswara-IV and declared his independence.
  • Came into conflict with Vira Balalla-ll (1173-1220A.D.), a Hoysala ruler. In the battle of Lakkundi, Bhillama V lost his life.


  • Bhillama V was succeeded by his son Jaitrapala (1191-1210 A.D.)
  • He defeated Kalachuris, Gurjaras and Kakatiyas.
  • Jaitrapala was succeeded by his son Singhana (1210-1247A.D.)


  • He defeated Mahadeva, a Kakatiya ruler.
  • Singhana was the most distinguished ruler of this dynasty.
  • He defeated Vira Ballala-ll the Hoysala ruler and extended his dominion beyond the River Krishna.
  • He invaded Gujarat many times and annexed Kolhapur which belonged to Silhara dynasty.
  • Singhana was succeeded by his grandson Krishna (1247-1260 A. D). He was succeeded by his brother Mahadeva (1260-1271 A.D) who annexed north Konkan and put an end to the Silhara dynasty.
  • Ramachandra Deva (1271-1 309 A.D.) was the last great ruler of this dynasty.
  • Ala-ud-din-Khilji defeated him and made him as a vassal of the Delhi Sultanate.

Sankara Deva (1309 – 1312 A.D.) the son and successor of Ramachandra Deva

  • Malik Kafur defeated and killed him in 1312 A.D.
  • Harapala, brother-in-law of Sankara Deva raised the flag against the Khiljis.
  • Mubarak, son of Ala-ud-din Khilji defeated and killed Harapala. Thus the Yadava dynasty came to an end.

The Elephanta Caves

  • The Elephanta Caves were hewn out of rocks by the Rashtrakuta Kings. They are located on a small island near Mumbai
  • The Portuguese named it so as they discovered a huge elephant sculpture here. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and contains many sculptures of gods and goddesses

 The contribution of the Yadavas

Devagiri fort

  • Built during the reign of the Yadavas.
  • It was one of the strongest forts in India
  • The Delhi Sultans later added a Juma Masjid and Chand Minar inside it.

End of the Deccan Kingdoms

  • Further the attacks on them by the Sultans of Delhi ever since the rule of Alauddin Khilji led to their decline

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