Shalabhanjika: The Tree Deity

The Śālabhañjikā (शालभंजिका) is a recurring sculptural motif in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist sacred spaces. The Shalabhanjika is a stylised sculpture that usually exaggerates feminine features, of a standing woman, holding a branch of a tree.

Shalabhanjika sculptures often adorn the pillars of a temple, or are placed along the circumambulation path (pradakshina path) of the deity, or in the temple’s architecture as bracket figures. It is assumed to be a symbol of fertility and auspiciousness.

Shalabhanjika: Etymology

Literally, the word Shala-bhanjika means, “the breaking/bending of a branch of the Shala tree” (Shorea robusta).  The word has been in use in ancient Indian literature since the 5th century BCE. The earliest carvings of this sculpture form emerged during the Maurya period (4th Century BCE) and continued to appear in various places during the Sunga and Satavahana periods. (2nd Century BCE to 1st Century AD).

Origin: Shalabhanjika

Shalabhanjika: Lepakshi (Image Copyright: The Custodians)
Shalabhanjika: Lepakshi (Image Copyright: The Custodians)

A “pastime” or a “garden game” in folk tradition is suggested in the Ashtdhyayi of Panini, and is limited to the eastern parts of the country where Shala trees were in abundance. The connotation of the terms Shalabhanjika is such a game, where ladies used bend branches of the Shala tree, pluck the flowers and throw them on each other.

According to Buddhist texts, when Mayadevi, the mother of Lord Buddha, was on her way to her father’s city, she stopped on the way when she saw the Lumbini grove, full of Shala trees, in full bloom. She, with her escorts entered the grove to entertain themselves. At the time, Lord Buddha was in her womb. As the Queen gracefully stood along a Shala tree, her labour pains commenced, and Lord Buddha was born there. The Queen stood in the classical tribhanga pose, and this scene, therefore is considered auspicious by the Buddhists.

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Birth of Buddha. Mayadevi, in the Shalabhanjika pose. Via, The Freer Indian Sculptures, by Aschwin Lippe (Smithsonian Institute)

Over time, the motif took on two forms, one representing the “nativity” scene, which was essentially sacred, and the other in which a charming beauty was depicted with the branch clasped in her hands, which was secular.

Shalabhanjika: In Sculpture

A typical Shalabhanjika sculpture depicts a woman standing in a tribhanga pose (the body is ‘broken’ at two points to give three bends in the body — one at the neck and the other at the hip) holding a branch of a tree. More often than not, the sculpture is adorned with heavy jewellery and complex hairstyles. In later sculptures, other trees found their way as a part of this motif — the Ashok tree, the Mango tree also feature in some Shalabhanjika sculptures.

Shalabhanjika: Lepakshi (Image Copyright: The Custodians)
Shalabhanjika: Lepakshi (Image Copyright: The Custodians)

Shalabhanjika in Literature

The term Shalabhanjika has been used in many literary works including:

  • Harshacharita and Kadambari, by Bana
  • Viddha-shalabhanjika by Rajashekhara
  • Arya-saptashati, by Givardhanacharya
  • Naishadhiyacharita, by Sriharsha

Locations well-known for beautiful Shalabhanjika sculptures between the 2nd Century BCE to the 1st Century CE) include the art at Sanchi (see featured image), Bharhut, Kaushambi, Mehrauli, and Amravati. Mathura has a few masterpieces from the Kushana period (1st – 3rd Century CE). Later masterpieces include the 12th century Hoysala temples of Belur and Halebidu.

Featured image: Shalabhanjika at Sanchi Stupa (Image Copyright: The Custodians)

References

  1. Karnataka’s Rich Heritage – Temple Sculptures & Dancing Apsaras: An Amalgam of Hindu Mythology, Natyasastra and Silpasastra, by Lalit Chugh
  2. Salabhanjika Motif in Sanskrit Literature, by U. N. Roy
  3. Woman in Indian sculpture, by M. L. Varadpande
  4. Sacred Plants of India, by Nanditha Krishna
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शिवा-बावनी – ४ / Shiva Baavni – 4

The fourth of the 52; (बावनी)। We have an English and a हिन्दी translation. Scroll to the language of your choice.

We are very grateful to Shree Rajendra Chandrakant Rai, our Mentor & Advisor for teaching us the wonderful nuances, and helping us discover the beauty of Mahakavi Bhushan’s poetry.


बद्दल न होंहिं दल दच्छिन घमंड माँहिं,
घटा हू न होहि दल सिवाजी हँकारी के ।
दामिनी दमंक नाहि खुले खग्ग विरन के,
वीर सिर छाप लखु तीजा असवारी के ।।
देखि देखि मुगलों की हरमैं भवन त्यागैं,
उझकि उझकि उठैं बहत बयारी के ।
दिल्ली मति भूली कहैं बात घन घोर घोर,
बाजत नगारे जे सितारे गढ़ धारी के ।।


शब्दार्थ

बद्दल = बादल। हँकारी = घमण्डी, अहंकारी। दामिनी = बिजली। दमंक = दमाक, चमक। खग्ग = खङ्ग, खांड़ा (तलवार)। सिर छाप = साफ़े के ऊपर, सामने की ओर वीर सिपाही भाँति-भाँति के सुन्दर चमकदार चिन्ह (छाप) लगा लेते थे। तीजा असवारी = हरितालिका तीज। हरमैं = परदे में रहनेवाली स्त्रियाँ, बेगमें। उझकि उठना = चौंक जाना। बयारी = वायु। मति भूली = भ्रम में पड़ी। सितारे गढ़ धारी = सितारे के किले का स्वामी, शिवाजी।

भावार्थ

कवि भूषण कहते हैं कि शिवाजी के पराक्रम का ऐसा प्रभाव है कि उनके शत्रुओं में आशंकाओं के कारण सदैव ही, संदेह और भ्रम का वातावरण बना रहता है। आकाश में जब बादल गर्जना करते हैं तो उन्हें लगता है कि शिवाजी की सेना अपनी वीरता के अभिमान में गर्जना कर रही है। काले-काले बादलों से युक्त घटाएं जब उमड़ती हैं तो, उन्हें ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि शिवाजी की सेना के चलने के कारण आकाष में धूल के बादल उमड़ पड़े हैं। आकाष में बिजली की चमक को शत्रुदल, शिवाजी के सैनिकों की खुली हुई तलवारें ही समझ लेते हैं और उन्हें ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि वीर सैनिक अपने सिरों पर बंधे हुए भांति-भांति के सुंदर और चमकदार चिन्हों को धारण किये हुए हैं। राजपूताने में हरितालिका के दिन राजाओं और सैनिकों की सवारियां इसी तरह से सज-धजकर निकला करती हैं।

इन सब दृश्यों को देखकर मुगलों की स्त्रियां भी भयभीत हो गयी हैं, और अपने-अपने महलों से इधर-उधर भाग रहीं हैं। हवा के तेज झोंको के चलने पर वे चौंक पडती हैं। कवि कगते हैं कि दिल्ली के बादशाह की तो अक्ल ही मारी गयी है। वह महाराज शिवाजी की सेनाओं के नगाड़ों की आवाज़ सुनकर अकर्मण्य ही हो जाता है।

काव्य सुषमा

  1. शुद्ध अपन्हुति अलंकार
  2. संदेह अलंकार
  3. अनुप्रास अलंकार
  4. अतिशयोक्ति अलंकार
  5. ‘अक्ल मारी जाना’ मुहावरे का प्रयोग हुआ है।

English Translation


Baddala na hōnhiṁ dala dacchina ghamaṇḍa māhiṁ,
ghaṭā hū na hōhi dala sivājī hankārī kē.
Dāminī damaṅka nāhi khulē khagga virana kē,
vīra sira chāpa lakhu tījā asavārī kē.
Dēkhi dēkhi mugalōṁ kī haramaiṁ bhavana tyāgaiṁ,
ujhaki ujhaki uṭhaiṁ bahata bayārī kē.
Dillī mati bhūlī kahaiṁ bāta ghana ghōra ghōra,
bājata nagārē jē sitārē gaṛha dhārī kē.


Word Meanings

बद्दल = cloud. हँकारी = proud, egoistic. दामिनी = lightening. दमंक = shine। खग्ग = khanda is a double-edge straight sword. सिर छाप = emblem, crest, decoration on the turban/head-dress. तीजा असवारी = Teej, a generic festival name. हरमैं = harems; members of a harem. उझकि उठना = bewildered; confounded. बयारी = wind. मति भूली = to lose one’s senses सितारे गढ़ धारी = lord of the fort, i.e. Shivaji

Essence

Kavi Bhushan describes, that the effect of Shivaji’s valour is such that his enemies are in a constant state of doubt and fear. When there’s thunder, they sense that it is Shivaji’s brave army that is approaching them. When the sky darkens with rain clouds, they assume it to the dust raised into sky, by the march of Shivaji’s armies, that blankets the sun. When lightning strikes they assume it to be the reflection of the swords brandished by the soldiers and the emblems on their head-dress.

Seeing these sights, the women in the harems run helter-skelter from palace to palace. Even the gusts of wind confound them. The regent of Delhi loses his senses when hears the sounds of Shivaji’s kettle-drums.

संदर्भ / References

  1. पं॰ हरिशंकर शर्मा कविरत्न। शिवा-बावनी, टीका-टिप्पनी, अलंकार तथा प्रस्तावना सहित। आगरा: रामप्रसाद एण्ड ब्रदर्स
  2. आनन्द मिश्र ‘अभय’।। शिवा-बावनी, छत्रसाल दशक सहित। लकनऊ: लोकहित प्रकाशन। २०१२
  3. आचार्य विश्वनाथप्रसाद मिश्र। भूषण ग्रंथावली। नयी दिल्ली: वाणी प्रकाशन। २०१२।

Nagada / Kettle-drums. Image Courtesy Samir Pathak. Taken at Saswad, MH, India
Nagada / Kettle-drums. Image Courtesy Samir Pathak. Taken at Saswad, MH, India

Kopeshwar Temple – Khidrapur

What it cannot make up for in size and scale, the Khidrapur temple makes up in grandeur and ornateness. This temple is dedicated to the wrathful form of Lord Shiva, known as Kopeshwar. Of the Shiva temples, this one is unique, in that the Nandi is absent. We don’t know why.

Khidrapur - Kopeshwar Temple
Khidrapur – Kopeshwar Temple

Legend

Long time ago, there lived a chief of Gods called Daksha. He was married to Prasuti, the daughter of Manu, who bore him sixteen daughters. Satī was the youngest of them all, and had her heart set on Shiva.

Daksha and Shiva did not see eye-to-eye. There was, to say the least, a general animosity; more on Daksha’s side. When Satī was of marriageable age, Daksha held a Swayamvar, where he invited all, except Shiva. Satī had made up her mind about who she would choose, but not seeing Shiva in the assembly, flung the garland in the air and asked of Shiva to accept it. Shiva appeared there, middle of the assembly – garland around his neck. Daksha had no choice, but to grudgingly accept; Satī and Shiva were married.

Much later, Daksha held an ashwamedh (horse sacrifice) – again, all Gods were invited to partake of the offerings of the sacrifice; except Shiva. When Satī heard of this she was furious and after an argument with Shiva proceeded to the sacrifice, uninvited. Some insults ensued, and Satī released an inward consuming fire and died at Daksha’s feet. (some versions say Satī self-immolated in the sacrificial fire)

Khidrapur - Kopeshwar Temple
Khidrapur – Kopeshwar Temple

Shiva soon got to know of this and was consumed with rage. In that state he tore a lock of his hair and flung it to earth, which gave rise to the frightful form of Virbhadrā, who wrecked havoc at the sacrifice. Daksha was beheaded, among other ‘divine’ casualties. Brahmā and Vishṇu had to intervene to stop the carnage. Shiva bestowed a goat’s head to Daksha and made good, all injuries caused. Thus, all was well; all those present bowed to the Trinity, and departed.

Khidrapur - Kopeshwar Temple
Khidrapur – Kopeshwar Temple

History

Construction of this temple was started by the Śilāhāra King, Gandarāditya I, (the youngest of five sons of Mārasimha) around 1126 CE (Some sources put the date at 1028 CE). For more information of dynasties of Maharashtra, see The Dynasties of Maharashtra

The Śilāhāras were originally feudatories of the Rāśtrakuta empire, and ruled in North Konkan, from around 800 CE. By 900 CE, there were three branches of the dynasty; apart from the original North Konkan branch, they now also ruled South Konkan and South Maharashtra (Kolhapur). Gandarāditya I (r. 1108 – 1138), of the Kolhapur branch, started the construction of the Khidrapur temple. Gandarāditya was a prolific temple-builder and is credited for building four temples in the region and providing grants for a few more, including Jain and Buddhist temples. Gandarāditya was succeeded by Vijayāditya and Bhōja II, after which this dynasty came to an end at the hands of the Seuna Yādavs.

Khidrapur - Kopeshwar Temple
Khidrapur – Kopeshwar Temple

 

Construction of the temple continued for over seventy years during the reign of his successors, Vijayāditya and Bhōja II. The structure was still incomplete when the Yādav king Singhana annexed the Śilāhāra kingdom, and remains such, to this day. Singhana also possibly contributed to the construction of the temple, according to some inscriptions in the temple.

Temple Architecture

Plan - Khidrapur Temple
Plan – Khidrapur Temple (Click to Enlarge)

The temple consists of the garbha-grha (sanctum), the antarāla (antechamber), the gūḍha-maṇḍapa (enclosed hall) and the raṅga-maṇḍapa, constructed in a row. Usually, there is a dvāra-maṇḍapa in front of such a gūḍha-maṇḍapa but here its place is taken  by a detached large octagonal maṇḍapa (called sabhā-maṇḍapa or ranga-maṇḍapa), as in the case of the Sun Temple at Modhera. Inside, are twelve pillars in a circle which open to the sky, because the ceiling was never constructed. It is believed by the local people that a pious man who stands on the slab below that opening, goes to heaven. Hence, it is also called the swarga-maṇḍapa.

The garbha-grha, the antarāla and the gūḍha-maṇḍapa are star-shaped on the outside Their walls are decorated with various images from top to bottom The lowest part of the jaṅghā (pillars) are adorned with beautiful figures of elephants (Gajapeetha), with various Gods such as Indrā, Brahmā and Vishṇu riding them. There are 92 such elephants, 46 on each side. (Adapted from CII Vol. 4)

Khidrapur - Kopeshwar Temple
Khidrapur – Kopeshwar Temple

 

The construction methodology followed is the dry mortar bedding technique. (ASI, Mumbai Circle)

Here’s another extract (with minor edits for consistency and readability) from the The Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency (Vol. XXIV – Kolhapur) about Khidrapur:

Khidrapur, lies on the Krishnā river about twelve miles south-east of Shirol. The chief interest of the village is the temple of Kopeshwar which lies in the centre of the village and is 10½’ x 65’ x 52½’ high, to the top of the dome. The walls are made of black stone richly carved and the dome is covered with stucco. To the main building are attached two richly carved sculptured mandaps or vestibules. In the vestibule are two concentric squares; the outer with twenty and the inner with twelve pillars, richly carved. In front of the temple is round roofless structure called the Swarga Mandapa or Heavenly Hall, on the plan of what would be a twenty-rayed star, only that the spaces for four of the rays are occupied by four entrances. On the outside on a low screen wall stand thirty-six short pillars, while inside is a circle of twelve columns. Further from the temple is the nagārkhāna or drum-chamber. The outer walls of the temple are broken at oblique angles as in the Nilang Hemādpanti temple.

By the south door of the temple is a Devgiri Yādav inscription of Sinhadev in Devnāgari dated Shak 1135 (A.D. 1213) granting the village of Khandaleshwar in Miraj for the worship of Kopeshwar.

*

Khidrapur is about 65kms south-east of Kolhapur and well laid out on Google Maps.

Gallery

References

  1. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum. Vol. 6 Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
  2. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency Vol. 24 – Kolhapur
  3. ASI Mumbai Circle. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://www.asimumbaicircle.com/m_kolhapur.html
  4. Gupta, S. P., & Asthana, S. P. (2009). Elements of Indian Art: Including Temple Architecture, Iconography & Iconometry. New Delhi: Indraprastha Museum of Art and Archaeology.
  5. Nivedita, S., & Coomaraswamy, A. K. (n.d.). Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists.
  6. Shilahara Dynasty. (2017, March 26). Retrieved March 30, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shilahara
  7. Virabhadra. (2017, March 28). Retrieved March 30, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virabhadra

Gyaraspur Galleries | Chaukhamba & Hindola Torana

The Kachchhapaghata dynasty ruled the north-western parts of Madhya Pradesh during the 10th and 12th CE. They are assumed to be the progeny of the Nāgas and were the vassals of the Gurjara-Pratiharas and later, of the Chandelas of Central India.

Hindola Toran & Chaukhamba, Gyaraspur

Click to see details

This dynasty contributed much to art and architecture and many temples were built under their patronage. Their early work follows the Gurjara-Pratihara style, and later developed unique and new trends in temple construction.

The Vishnu Temple (some sources refer to it as a Trimurti temple) at Gyaraspur is one example of the Kachchhapaghata style of architecture. Not much remains of this temple except the four pillars (Chaukhamba) of the central sanctum and a gateway (Hindola Torana).

Monument Details

Click to see details

There are ornate carvings on the two sandstone pillars of the Hindola Torana depicting the ten incarnations of Vishnu; these beams carry two horizontal beams, with two ornamental arches between the two beams. This gateway is the southern entrance to the east-facing temple, which is believed to have been 150 ft east to west and about 85 ft north to south. The four pillars, Chaukhamba, are the central pillars of the hall, which are equally adorned by ornate carvings on all sides.

Gallery | Dashavataar, Hindola Toran

Click to see details

References

  1. Gyaraspur – A Heritage of Excellence. (n.d.). Retrieved March 02, 2017, from http://puratattva.in/2010/04/27/gyaraspur-a-heritage-of-excellence-54
    Jain, K. C. (1972). Malwa through the ages, from the earliest times to 1305 A.D. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 432-433
  2. Journal of History & Social Sciences. (n.d.). Retrieved March 02, 2017, from http://jhss.org/archivearticleview.php?artid=145
  3. Kachchhapaghata dynasty. (2017, February 23). Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kachchhapaghata_dynasty
  4. Vishnu Temple (Chaukhambha and Hindola-Torana). (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2017, from http://www.tspasibhopal.nic.in/project/expl_Khadwaha_Ashok_nagar_mp_2009_10/temple/project11_12_vishnu_temple_vidisha.html

Gallery | Hessing’s Tomb, Agra

Text of the information plaque at Hessing’s Tomb, Agra and the Tomb inscription (below gallery)


Hessing’s Tomb (1803 AD)

This is the tomb of Col. John William Hessing who was Dutch and came to Ceylon as a freelance adventurer. He participated in the battle of Kandy in 1765. Then, he served the Nizam of Hyderabad and in 1784, entered the service of the Maratha chief Mahadji Sindhia. He fought several battles under the command of the French general De Boigne. Mahadji trusted him the most, and Hessing accompanied him to Poona in 1792. On Mahadji’s death there in 1794 he returned to Agra which was held by Marathas. He was made commandant of the fort and its Maratha garrison in 1799. He died here on 21 July 1803. The fort was captured by the British the same year. His tomb was built by his children.

It stands on a square platform which 11.25 feet high and 58 feet side, containing a crypt with the real grave and a corridor around it. An octogonal chabutra is attached to each corner in the form of a mini-tower. Twin stairways are also attached to it on the western side of the platform measuring 22 x 8.75 feet. The tomb reposes effectively in the middle of the main platform. It is square in plan with 34.75 feet side and 28.5 feet in height. Each facade has an iwan in the middle, flanked on either side by ornamental peshtaq (alcoves). It is essentially a Mughal design. Slender turrets are attached to the central iwan frame. They are crowned by pinnacles. Square turrets, 2 feet side, are attached to the corners of the tomb. These have vertical flutes and are surmounted by beautiful square chhatris. The tomb is roofed by a double-dome, crowned by mahapadma (Sheath of lotus petals) and Kalash finial. With pinnacles and chhatris of the turrets, it makes up a perfect superstructure. The interior is a square chamber 17.75 feet side with ribs-and-panels soffit. The cenotaph bears an inscription in English. As a whole it is a perfectly balanced and beautiful building and is rightly called “A Taj in miniature.” This is in fact, the most beautiful tomb of a European at Agra, and probably in India. Though a Dutch tomb, it belongs in letter and spirit, to Agra and the art of the Jamuna-Chambal region. It marks continuance of Mughal “ideas”, “feelings”, and “skills” in 19th Century A.D



Tomb Inscription

1803 — HESSING, J. W. Colonel

John William Hessing, late a Colonel in the service of Maharaja Daulat Rao Sindhia, who, after sustaining a lingering and very painful illness for many years with true Christian fortitude and resignation, departed this life, 21st July 1803, aged 63 years, 11th months, and 5 days. As tribute of their affection and regard this monument is erected to his beloved memory by his disconsolate widow, Anne Hessing, and afflicted sons and daughters, George William Hessing, Thomas William Hessing and Magdalene Sutherland. He was a native of Utrecht in Holland and came out to Ceylon in the Military service of the Dutch E. I. Company in the year 1752, and was present at the taking of Candia by their troops. Five years afterwards he returned to Holland and came out again to India in the year 1733, and served under the Nizam of the Deccan. In the year 1784, he entered into the service of Madho Rao Sindhia and was engaged in the several battles that led to the aggrandizement of that Chief and wherein he signalized himself so by his bravery as to gain the esteem and approbation of his employer, more particularly at the battle of Bhondagaon near Agra in the year 1787, which took place between this Chief and Nawab Ismael Beg, when he then became a Captain, and was severely wounded. On the death of Madho Rao Sindhia in 1793, he continued under his successor, Daulat Rao Sindhia, and in 1798 he attained to the rank of Colonel and immediately after to the command of the Fort and City of Agra, which he held to his death.

[There is little to be added to the history given in the epitaph. He was born in 1740. There is no record of his adventures between 1763 and 1784. He served in De Boigne’s brigades of regular troops. The “several battles” are Lalsot, Chaksana and Patan. After Patan, he quarrelled with De Boigne and left him but Madhoji Scindia employed him to raise a bodyguard for him. which grew to 4 battalions. In 1800 he was compelled to resign his command by ill- health and retired as commandant of Agra to that city. He is described as a “good, benevolent man and a brave soldier.” His tomb is a miniature of the Taj in red Agra sandstone.]

 

References

  1. Blunt, Edward. List of inscriptions on Christian tombs and tablets of historical interest in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. Allahabad: Printed by W.C. Abel, Offg. Supdt., Govt. Press, United Provinces, 1911. Print. p. 46-47 Download.

Gallery | Laxmi Narayan Temple, Orchha

This temple, a blend of temple and fort architecture, was built in 1622 CE by Vir Singh Deo of Bundelkhand, and was refurbished by Prithvi Singh during 1793 CE.

The temple has a rectangular layout, with entrances at one of the four projecting bastions. It appears triangular in shape, from these points. The walls of the inside corridors of the temple are profusely adorned with beautiful murals and frescos. These include an attack on Jhansi, of Krishna, Ganesha, depiction of a Parthian shot, and several other local stories.

Click, to see large images.

The Dynasties of Maharashtra

An overview of the various dynasties that ruled the region that is now Maharashtra, from 230 BCE – 1300 CE. A very short description of all these dynasties follows.

We are very grateful to Brigadier Gerard, who had first posted this as a sketch on Twitter, and gave us permission adapt it and post it here.

Dynasties of Maharashtra
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The Dynasties of Maharashtra

Most of the content below is sourced from Wikipedia. Apart from this, some references have been made to various books listed at the end.

A note on dates: You will notice some discrepancies in the dates in the infographic above and sources (including Wikipedia). This is primarily due to how historians interpret dates. Some take it starting from when a dynasty was established, some take it at later time. Most of the dynasties listed below were vassals or feudatories of the dynasties that preceded them. In such situations, they were semi-independent to an extent.

Sātavāhan

The Satavahana dynasty ruled the Deccan region between 230 BCE – 225 CE. They were probably vassals of the Mauryas, and established their supremacy in the Deccan after the decline of the Maurya Empire. The dynasty was established by Simuka, however, Gautamiputra Satakarni (86–110 CE) is the most well-known king of this dynasty. The Satavahanas ruled from Pratishthana (modern-day Paithan) and Amravati (Dist. Guntur, Andhra Pradesh) [Link]

Vākāṭaka

The Satavahanas were succeeded by the Vakatakas, who ruled during 250 – 525 CE, with their capital at Nandivardhana (modern-day Nandardhan, near Ramtek) and Vatsagulma (modern-day Washim). This dynasty was founded by Vindhyashakti (c. 250 – c. 270 CE). Vakatakas are known for their patronage of art & architecture. The famous Ajanta caves, were built by under the patronage of Vakataka emperor, Harishena. [Link]

Kālāchuri

The Kalachuri dynasty, ruled in Ujjayini, Vidisha, and Anandapura; and their capital was Mahishmati, which lies along the banks of the Narmada River. Not much is known about the founder of this dynasty; the earliest mentioned king was called Krishnaraja. Like the Vakatakas, the Kalachuris were also patrons of art & architecture. The Elephanta caves and the early Ellora caves were built under their patronage. [Link]

Chalukyas of Vatapi (Badami)

One of the most significant dynasties of the Deccan, the early Chalukyas, or the Chalukyas of Vatapi ruled a large area of the Deccan between 550 – 760 CE, covering the entire region between the Narmada and the Kaveri rivers. Their rule is considered to be an era of prosperity. It also saw the birth of a new architectural style called Chalukyan architecture. The Chalukyas were natives of Karnataka; this dynasty was founded by Pulakeshin I. [Link]

Rāṣṭrakūṭa

The Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled most of the Indian subcontinent, between 753 – 973 CE, with their capital at Manyakheta (Modern-day Malkhed). The Rashtrakutas were feudatories of the Chalukyas of Vatapi and at peak, the Rashtrakutas ruled from the Ganges River to Cape Comorin. This period saw the development of many literary works as well as development of architecture, which include the Kailashnath temple at Ellora and the Jain Narayana Temple at Pattadakal. [Link]

Śilāhāra

The Silahara were vassals of the Rashtrakutas and were split in three branches: North Konkan, South Konkan, and Kolhapur. Across these three branches, the Silaharas ruled between 765 – 1215 CE. The Northern branch was founded by Kapardin, and their capital was Puri (modern-day Rajapur, in the Raigad district). The Silaharas of Kolhapur originally ruled from Karad, and later shifted their capital to Kolhapur. The Panhala fort, near Kolhapur was originally built by the Silahara ruler, Bhoja II between 1178 and 1209 CE. [Link]

Chalukyas of Kalyani

The Chalukyas of Kalyani, or the Western Chalukyas, ruled the Indian subcontinent during 973 CE – 1180 CE, with their capital, earlier at Manyakheta, and later at Kalyani (modern-day Basavakalyan). Major ruling families of the Deccan, the Hoysalas, the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri, the Kakatiya dynasty and the Southern Kalachuris of Kalyani, were subordinates of the Western Chalukyas. The Western Chalukyan architectural style is well known as the transitional style between the earlier Chalukyas and the Hoysalas. [Link]

Kadamba

The Kadamba dynasty ruled northern Karnataka and the Konkan from Banavasi. The dynasty was founded by Mayurasharma in 345 CE. Kadambas were the first rulers to use Kannada as another official administrative language. The Kadambas of Goa, first ruled from Chandor, and laters shifted their capital to Gopakapattana (Goa). The Kadambas of Goa ruled between 960 – 1310 CE and succumbed to the Seuna Yadavs. [Link]

Seuna Yadav

The Seuna Yadavs were feudatories of the Western Chalukyas, and established their independence as the Chalukyan power declined. The Yadavas of Devgiris, as they are also known, ruled from 1189 – 1310 CE, from Devgiri (modern-day Daulatabad). The name Seuna comes from Seunachandra, who originally ruled a region called Seunadesha (modern-day Khandesh), this dynasty was established by Bhillama V (1173–1192 CE). Singhana II (1200–1247 CE), however is considered the greatest ruler of this dynasty who expanded the Seuna kingdom. In 1317 CE, this kingdom was annexed by the Khilji Sultanate. [Link]

References

  1. A., N. S. (1976). A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. Madras: Oxford University Press.
  2. Bhāndārkar, R. G. (1957). Early History of the Dekkan. Calcutta: Gupta.
  3. Nagpur District Gazetteer. (n.d.). Retrieved January 07, 2017, from https://web.archive.org/web/20060603010304/http://www.maharashtra.gov.in/english/gazetteer/FINAL_GAZETTEE/his1.html
  4. Sharma, L. P. (1987). History of Ancient India: (pre-historic age to 1200 A.D.). New Delhi: Konark .
  5. Singh, U. (2008). A history of ancient and early medieval India: from the Stone Age to the 12th century. New Delhi: Pearson Education.

Featured Image: By Dey.sandip (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Bidar Fort

 

A view of Bidar Fort from the top of Rangeen Mahal, looking out. Built in 1428 by Ahmed Shah Al Wali Bahamani
A view of Bidar Fort from the top of Rangeen Mahal, looking out. Built in 1428 by Ahmed Shah Al Wali Bahamani

Sultan Alla-Ud Din Bahman of the Bahmanid Dynasty shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1427 and built his fort along with a number of monuments in it. The fort was captured by Bijapur Sultanate in 1619–20, but fell to the Mughals in 1657; as a part of a Peace treaty.

The fort has five gates, 37 bastions and is surrounded by multiple moats. It houses multiple monuments, of which Rangin Mahal is the most decorated of them all. [Link]

Gallery | Sultan Bateri, Boloor, Mangaluru

Mangalore was an important town even during the early historic times referred to by Greek Geographers Pliny (23 AD) and Ptolemy (c. 150 AD). It was the capital of the Alupa rulers for a long time. In 1526 AD Mangalore was taken over by the Portuguese who were subsequently expelled by the Nayakas of Bidnur in the early 18th century. Haider Ali captured this place in 1763. In 1768, it went into the hands of the British.

Sultan Bateri, a watch tower, is said to have been built by Tipu Sultan to contain the warships into the Gurpur River. Though it is a simple watch tower, it looks like a miniature fortress with its many musket holes for mounting canons all round.

~ ASI Plaque at Sultan Bateri (Battery)

Click the images to view large images.

“I asked of Time for whom those temples rose,
That prostrate by his hand in silence lie:
His lips disdained the myst’ry to disclose,
And, borne on swifter wing, he hurried by!
The broken columns whose? I asked of Fame;
(Her kindling breath gives life to works sublime 😉
With downcast looks of mingled grief and shame,
She heaved the uncertain sigh, and followed Time.
Wrapt in amazement, o’er the mouldering pile
I saw Oblivion pass with giant stride;
And while his visage wore Pride’s scornful smile,
‘Haply thou know’st, then tell me, whose,’ I cried, ‘
Whose these vast domes that ev’n in ruins shine?’
’I reck not whose.” he said, ‘ they now are mine.’”

~ Alfonso Petrucci (c. 1490 – July 16, 1517)

Image: Ali Barid Shah Tomb, Bidar, Karnataka