Eastern Ganga dynasty

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Eastern Ganga Empire
Capital Kalinganagar
Religion Hinduism
Government Monarchy
 -  1078–1147 Anantavarman Chodagangadeva
 -  1178–1198 Ananga Bhima Deva II
 -  1238–1264 Narasimha Deva I
 -  1414–1434 Bhanu Deva IV
Historical era Classical India
 -  Established 1078
 -  Disestablished 1434

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.[1] 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[2] that rule southern parts of modern Karnataka state from the 4th century to the end of the 10th century and the Chola dynasty. 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.[3][4] 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.[5]

Anantavarman Chodaganga[edit]

Puri Shri Jagannath Temple from a lane nearby

Chodaganga Deva (1077–1150), the greatest of the Eastern Ganga kings, was born to Rajasundari Chola, daughter of emperor Virarajendra Chola of the Chola dynasty . The king rebuilt the temple of Jagannath on the ruins of the old one. It is said that King Chodaganga was originally a Shaivite from Srimukhalingam who became a Vaishnava under the influence of Ramanuja when he visited Jagannath Puri. Despite Kulothunga Chola I being his maternal uncle, it did not stop the Chola sovereign from burning Anantavarman's empire. Historians propose that it was probably because the king failed to pay his rent for two consecutive years. He was ousted by Kulothunga's general Karunakara Thondaiman and this victory is detailed in the Tamil classic Kalingattupparani. Monarchs of the subcontinent assumed the title Chodaganga Deva throughout the ancient and medieval periods to allude to their Chola and Ganga heritage.

From various inscriptions it is known that King Anantavarman Codaganga Deva established the present temple some time near the end of the eleventh century. A copper plate inscription made by King Rajaraja III found on the Tirumala temple near the north entrance states that Jagannath temple was built by Gangesvara, i.e., Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva.

Later, King Ananga Bhima Deva II (1170–1198) did much to continue the work of Chodaganga Deva, building the walls around the temple and many of the other shrines on the temple grounds. He is thus often considered one of the builders of the temple. He also did much to establish the regulations around the service to the Deity.

A scion of this dynasty made rich donations to the Koneswaram temple, Trincomalee on Puthandu, 1223 CE in the name of King Chodaganga Deva. Shortly afterwards, the Konark temple was constructed in Orissa.

Rise and fall[edit]

Konark Sun Temple at Konark, Orissa, built by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236–1264), it is now a World Heritage Site.
A Stone carved throne at Simhachalam temple

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 Chodagangadeva, 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.[3]

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.[6]


A Fanam (Coin) of Eastern Ganga Dynasty[7]
  1. Indravarman (?-893)
  2. Devendravarman IV (893-?)
  3. Vajrahasta Anantavarman (1038-?)
  4. Rajaraja I (?-1078)
  5. Anantavarman Codaganga (1078–1147)
  6. Ananga Bhima Deva II (1178–1198)
  7. Rajaraja II (1198 - 1211)
  8. Ananga Bhima Deva III (1211–1238)
  9. Narasimha Deva I (1238–1264)
  10. Bhanu Deva I (1264–1279)
  11. Narasimha Deva II (1279–1306)
  12. Bhanu Deva II (1306–1328)
  13. Narasimha Deva III (1328–1352)
  14. Bhanu Deva III (1352–1378)
  15. Narasimha Deva IV (1378–1424)
  16. Bhanu Deva IV (1424–1434)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ganga Dynasty www.britannica.com.
  2. ^ Satya Prakash; Rajendra Singh (1986). Coinage in Ancient India: a numismatic, archaeochemical and metallurgical study of ancient Indian coins. Govindram Hasanand. p. 348. ISBN 978-81-7077-010-7. 
  3. ^ a b Eastern Ganga Dynasty in India. India9.com (2005-06-07). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  4. ^ Controversies in History: Origin of Gangas. Controversialhistory.blogspot.com (2007-10-09). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  5. ^ http://orissagov.nic.in/e-magazine/Journal/Journal2/pdf/ohrj-03.pdf
  6. ^ Ganga dynasty (Indian dynasties) - Encyclopedia Britannica. Britannica.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  7. ^ Michael Mitchiner (1979). Oriental Coins & Their Values : Non-Islamic States and Western Colonies A.D. 600-1979. Hawkins Publications. ISBN 978-0-9041731-8-5. 

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