Kalinga (Oriya: କଳିଙ୍ଗ, Devnagari: कलिङ्ग,Telugu: కళింగ) was an early republic in central-eastern India, which comprised most of the modern state of Odisha, northern parts of Andhra Pradesh and a portion of Madhya pradesh. It was a rich and fertile land that extended from the river Damodar/Ganges to Godavari and from Bay of Bengal to Amarkantak range in the West. The region was scene of the bloody Kalinga War fought by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka the Great of Magadha c. 265 BCE.
Rise of Kharavela
Kharavela was the warrior emperor of Kalinga. He was responsible for the propagation of Jainism in the Indian Subcontinent but his importance is neglected in many accounts of Indian history. According to the Hathigumpha inscription near Bhubaneswar, Odisha, he attacked Rajagriha in Magadha, thus inducing the Indo-Greek king Demetrius to retreat to Mathura. But this inscription doesn't mean that he merged Magadha in Kalinga. But this shows his strong ties with the Shunga ruler Pushyamitra and Agnimitra who have just started their rule after uprooting the Mauryans.
The Kharavelan Jain empire had a formidable maritime empire with trading routes linking it to Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Borneo, Bali, Sumatra and Java. Colonists from Kalinga settled in Sri Lanka, Burma, as well as the Maldives and Malay Archipelago.
Historical accounts of Kalinga
Kalinga is mentioned in the Adiparva, Bhismaparva, Sabhaparva, Banaprava of Mahabharata. Kalinga King Srutayu is stated to have fought the Mahabharat war for the Kauravas. Kalinga is also mentioned as Calingae in Megasthenes' book on India – Indica & Megasthenes states that Magadha & Kalinga were Jain Dominant Kingdoms:
- "The Prinas and the Cainas (a tributary of the Ganges) are both navigable rivers. The tribes which dwell by the Ganges are the Calingae, nearest the sea, and higher up the Mandei, also the Malli, among whom is Mount Mallus, the boundary of all that region being the Ganges." (Megasthenes fragm. XX.B. in Pliny. Hist. Nat. V1. 21.9–22. 1.)
- "The royal city of the Calingae is called Parthalis. Over their king 60,000 foot-soldiers, 1,000 horsemen, 700 elephants keep watch and ward in "procinct of war." (Megasthenes fragm. LVI. in Plin. Hist. Nat. VI. 21. 8–23. 11.)
The Fall of Kalinga
The kingdom fell when Ashoka, leader of the Mauryan Empire led a war against the kingdom, leading to its bloody defeat in the Kalinga War. It is said that the war was so bloody that the river turned red. This ultimately led to Ashoka becoming a Buddhist king. Some advocates of the Greater India theory claim this led to an exodus of people to Southeast Asia where they set up Indianized kingdoms, but there is no evidence for such a migration of people.
The term "Keling"
Long past the end of the Kalinga Kingdom in 1842 CE, derivatives from its name continued to be used as the general name of India in what are now Malaysia and Indonesia. "Keling" was and still is in use in these countries as a word for "Indian", though since the 1960s Indians came to consider it offensive. It may be due to "Sadhabas" (or Sadhavas) were ancient mariners from the Kalinga empire, which roughly corresponds to modern Orissa, India. They used ships called Boitas to travel to distant lands such as Bali, Java, Sumatra, and Borneo, in Indonesia, and to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Persia, China, Greece and Africa to carry out trade and for cultural expansion. Kartik Purnima, immediately before the full moon in October–November, was considered an especially auspicious occasion by the "Sadhabas" to begin their long voyages. Coconuts, earthenware, sandalwood, cloth, lime, rice, spices, salt, cloves, pumpkins, silk sarees, betel leaves, betel nuts, elephants, and precious and semi-precious stones were the main items of trade. Sometimes, even women were allowed to navigate as "Sadhabas". Oriya navigators were instrumental in spreading Buddhism and Hinduism in East and South East Asia. In addition, they disseminated knowledge of Indian architecture, epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Indic writing and Sanskrit loan words in many Indo-Chinese languages such as Khmer and Indonesian. Maritime trade declined only in the 16th century, with the decline of the Gajapati dynasty. Today, the descendants of these ancient mariners generally bear the last name "Sahu".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kalinga (India).|
- An Advanced History of India. By R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, and Kaukinkar Datta. 1946. London: Macmillan
- Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, 1961 (revision 1998); Oxford University Press
- Agrawal, Sadananda (2000): Śrī Khāravela, Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, Odisha
- Shashi Kant (2000): The Hathigumpha Inscription of Kharavela and the Bhabru Edict of Ashoka, D K Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
- Megasthenes Indica
- "[Omnigator] Kalinga". Ontopia.net. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
- Hall, D.G.E. (1981). A History of South-East Asia, Fourth Edition. Hong Kong: Macmillan Education Ltd. p. 17. ISBN 0-333-24163-0.
|Northwestern India||Indo-Gangetic Plain||Central India||Southern India|
|Western Gangetic Plain||Northern India
(Central Gangetic Plain)
|Culture||Late Vedic Period||Northern Black Polished Ware||Pre-history|
|6th century BCE||Gandhara||Kuru-Panchala||Magadha||Adivasi (tribes)|
|Culture||Persian-Greek influences||"Second Urbanisation"||Pre-history|
|5th century BCE||(Persian rule)||Shishunaga dynasty||Adivasi (tribes)|
|4th century BCE||(Greek conquests)||
|Culture||Spread of Buddhism||Pre-history||Sangam period
(300 BCE – 200 CE)
|3rd century BCE||Maurya Empire||Early Cholas|
|Culture||Preclassical Hinduism[a] - "Hindu Synthesis"[b] (ca. 200 BCE-300 CE)[c][d]
Epics - Puranas - Ramayana - Mahabharata - Bhagavad Gita - Brahma Sutras - Smarta Tradition
|2nd century BCE||Indo-Greek Kingdom||Sunga Empire||Adivasi (tribes)||Early Cholas|
|1st century BCE||Yona||Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty|
|1st century CE||Kuninda Kingdom|
|2nd century||Pahlava||Varman dynasty|
|3rd century||Kushan Empire||Western Satraps||Kamarupa kingdom||Kalabhras dynasty|
|Culture||"Golden Age of Hinduism"(ca. 320-650 CE)[e]
Co-existence of Hinduism and Buddhism
|4th century||Gupta Empire||Kadamba Dynasty|
|5th century||Maitraka||Adivasi (tribes)||Vishnukundina|
|Culture||Late-Classical Hinduism (ca. 650-1100 CE)[f]
Advaita Vedanta - Tantra
Decline of Buddhism in India
|7th century||Indo-Sassanids||Vakataka dynasty, Harsha||Mlechchha dynasty||Adivasi (tribes)||Pallava|
|8th century||Kidarite Kingdom||Kalachuri|
|9th century||Indo-Hephthalites (Huna)||Gurjara-Pratihara||Chalukya|
|10th century||Pala dynasty||Rashtrakuta|
|Culture||Islamic rule and "Sects of Hinduism" (ca. 1100-1850 CE)[g] - Medieval and Late Puranic Period (500–1500 CE)[h]|
|11th century||(Islamic conquests)