Bijjala II (1130–1167 CE) Kannada: ಇಮ್ಮಡಿ ಬಿಜ್ಜಳ was the most famous of the southern Kalachuri kings and ruled initially as a feudatory of Chalukya Vikramaditya VI. He ruled as the Mahamandalesvara or chief and ruled over Karhada 4,000 and Tardavadi 1,000, designations given to territories within the Chalukya kingdom.
After the death of Vikramaditya VI, seeing the weakening empire, Bijjala II declared independence. The Chikkalagi inscription refers to Bijjala as Mahabhujabalachakravarti, which in Kannada literally means king with powerful arms. By the time of Chalukya Taila III, Bijjala's attempts towards independence seems to have spread to other feudatories as well. Kakatiya Prola II broke free of Chalukya rule in the middle of the 12th century. By 1162 CE. Bijjala II had managed to drive Taila III out of Kalyani, the Chalukya capital. He assumed Chalukyan titles like Sriprithvivallabha and Parameshvara. He shifted his capital from Mangalavada to Kalyani also known as Basavakalyan.
Bijjala's independence seems to have been short lived. He ruled only from 1162 to 1167 CE as a sovereign ruler. During these years he successfully clashed with the Hoysala Narasimha I, Pandya chief of Uchchangi, Seunas and the Chola's, and the chieftens of Andhra and Kalinga. But Bijjala-II's contemporary Kulottunga Chola III (1173–1218) and Hoysala Veera Ballala gave each other help in order to recover their territories mainly in Telugu country conquered by the Kalachuris. It appears that Bijjala-II was powerful till he was alive and the Kalachuris lost their territories to both the Cholas and the Hoysalas only after his death.
Though some literature written at that time indicates that he was a Jaina, epigraphal records show he was a Hindu Shaiva. He however was an orthodox Shaivite and hence did not fully agree with Basavannas revolutionary ideas.
His rule was marked with turbulence, both domestic and social. According the historian Dr. P.B. Desai, Bijjala II became very unpopular with the Virashaiva followers and was assassinated by them. Dr. Desai however does confirm that Basavanna himself was not responsible for this incident.
- Dr. Suryanath U. Kamat (2001). Concise History of Karnataka, MCC, Bangalore (Reprinted 2002)