Eastern Ganga dynasty
|Eastern Ganga Empire|
|-||1178–1198||Ananga Bhima Deva II|
|-||1238–1264||Narasimha Deva I|
|-||1414–1434||Bhanu Deva IV|
|Historical era||Classical India|
|Outline of South Asian history
History of Indian subcontinent
The Eastern Ganga dynasty reigned from Kalinga and their rule consisted of the whole of the modern-day Indian state of Odisha as well as parts of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh from the 11th century to the early 15th century. Their capital was known by the name Kalinganagar, which is the modern Srimukhalingam in Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh bordering Odisha. Today, they are most remembered as the builders of the Konark Sun Temple an UNESCO World Heritage site at Konark, Odisha.
The dynasty was founded by King Anantavarman Codaganga, descendents of the Western Ganga Dynasty that rule southern parts of modern Karnataka state from the 4th century to the end of the 10th century and the Chola dynasty. The Eastern Ganga rulers, who have hailed from southern India and who are matrimonially related to the Chola empire and Eastern Chalukyas, naturally carried south Indian culture to Odisha which is very well reflected in their currency. The currency was called Ganga fanams and was greatly influenced by the Chola empire and Eastern Chalukyas of southern India. Anantavarman was a religious person as well as a patron of art and literature. He is credited for having built the famous Jagannath Temple of Puri in Odisha. King Anantavarman Chodagangadeva was succeeded by a long line of illustrious rulers such as Narasimha Deva I (1238–1264).
The rulers of Eastern Ganga dynasty defended their kingdom from the constant attacks of the Muslim rulers. This kingdom prospered through trade and commerce and the wealth was mostly used in the construction of temples. The rule of the dynasty came to end under the reign of King Bhanudeva IV (1414–34), in the early 15th century.
Rise and fall
After the fall of Mahameghavahana dynasty, Kalinga was divided into different kingdoms under feudatory chiefs. Each of these chiefs bore the title Kalingadhipathi(Lord of Kalinga). The beginnings of what became the Eastern Ganga dynasty came about when Indravarma I defeated the Vishnukundin king, Indrabhattaraka and established his rule over the region with Kalinganagara as his capital and Dantapura as a secondary capital. The Ganga kings assumed various titles viz. Trikalingadhipathi or Sakala Kalingadhipathi (Lord of Tri-Kalinga or all three Kalingas). Mukhalingam near Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh bordering Orissa has been identified as Kalinganagara, the capital of the early Eastern Gangas.
After the decline of the early Eastern Gangas reign, the Chalukyas of Vengi took control of the region. Vajrahastha I, a descendant of the early Eastern Ganga dynasty took advantage of the internal strife and revived the power of the Ganga dynasty. It was during their rule that Shaivism took precedence over Buddhism and Jainism. The magnificent Madhukeshwara temple at Mukhalingam was built during this period. In the middle of the 11th century, the Chola general Karunakara brought Kalinga under the rule of the Chola dynasty for a short period.
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The Eastern Gangas arose to intermarry with and challenge the Cholas and Chalukyas in the period when the Western Gangas had been forced to abandon this role. Early ancestors of the Eastern Gangas ruled in Orissa from the 8th century. Vajrahasta III's son Devendra Varma Rajaraja Deva I waged war on the Cholas and the Eastern Chalukyas and strengthened the dynasty by marrying Chola princess, Rajasundari, daughter of emperor Virarajendra Chola and cousin of Kulothunga Chola I. Their son, Anantavarman Chodaganga, ruled from the mouth of the Ganges (Ganga) River in the north to the mouth of the Godavari River in the south; he founded the Eastern Ganga Dynasty and began building the great Jagannath Temple at Puri at the end of the 11th century. He assumed the title of Trikalingadhipathi (ruler of the three Kalingas which comprise Kalinga, Utkal and Koshal) in 1076, the first to rule all three divisions of Kalinga. The name Chodaganga alludes to this dynasty's Ganga and Chola heritage.
Rajaraja III ascended the throne in 1198 and did nothing to resist the Muslims of Bengal, who invaded Orissa in 1206. Rajaraja’s son Anangabhima III, however, repulsed the Muslims and built the temple of Megheshvara at Bhuvaneshvara. Narasimhadeva I, the son of Anangabhima, invaded southern Bengal in 1243, defeated its Muslim ruler, captured the capital (Gauda), and built the Sun Temple at Konark to commemorate his victory. With the death of Narasimha in 1264, the Eastern Gangas began to decline; the sultan of Delhi invaded Orissa in 1324, and Vijayanagar defeated the Orissan powers in 1356. Narasimha IV, the last known king of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, ruled until 1425. The “mad king,” Bhanudeva IV, who succeeded him, left no inscriptions; his minister Kapilendra usurped the throne and founded the Suryavamsha dynasty in 1434–35. The Eastern Gangas were great patrons of religion and the arts, and the temples of the Ganga period rank among the masterpieces of Hindu architecture.
- Indravarman (?-893)
- Devendravarman IV (893-?)
- Vajrahasta Anantavarman (1038-?)
- Rajaraja I (?-1078)
- Anantavarman Chodaganga (1078–1147)
- Ananga Bhima Deva II (1178–1198)
- Rajaraja II (1198 - 1211)
- Ananga Bhima Deva III (1211–1238)
- Narasimha Deva I (1238–1264)
- Bhanu Deva I (1264–1279)
- Narasimha Deva II (1279–1306)
- Bhanu Deva II (1306–1328)
- Narasimha Deva III (1328–1352)
- Bhanu Deva III (1352–1378)
- Narasimha Deva IV (1378–1424)
- Bhanu Deva IV (1424–1434)
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