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They were split into three branches; one branch ruled North Konkan, the second South Konkan (between 765 to 1029), while the third ruled what is now known as modern districts of Satara, Kolhapur and Belgaon between 940 to 1215 after which they were overwhelmed by the Chalukya.
The dynasty originally began as vassals of the Rashtrakuta dynasty which ruled the Deccan plateau between the 8th and 10th centuries. Govinda II, a Rashtrakuta king, conferred the kingdom of North Konkan (modern districts of Thane, Mumbai and Raigad) on Kapardin (Sanskrit: Wearing the kaparda, a peculiar braid or knot of hair - also a term for Hindu god Shiva) I, founder of the Northern Silhara family, around 800. Since then North Konkan came to be known as Kapardi-dvipa or Kavadidvipa. The capital of this branch was Puri, now known as Rajapur in the Raigad District.
The dynasty bore the title of Tagara-puradhishvara, which indicates that they originally hailed from Tagara (modern Ter in the Osmanabad District).
Shilaharas of Southern Maharashtra at Kolhapur was the latest of the three and was founded about the time of downfall of the Rashtrakuta Empire.
A number of ancient monuments in Mumbai pay tribute to this dynasty's prowess:
- The Walkeshwar Temple and the Banganga Tank were built during the reign of Chittaraja, a king of this dynasty.
- The Ambarnath temple, also near Mumbai, was also built by Chittaraja in 1060
- "Nasik History - Ancient Period". State Government of Maharashtra. Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2006-10-14.
- Banganga, Walkeshwar history