Somesvara I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Western Chalukya (973-1200)
Tailapa II (957 - 997)
Satyasraya (997 - 1008)
Vikramaditya V (1008 - 1015)
Jayasimha II (1015 - 1042)
Somesvara I (1042 - 1068)
Somesvara II (1068 -1076)
Vikramaditya VI (1076 - 1126)
Somesvara III (1126 – 1138)
Jagadhekamalla II (1138 – 1151)
Tailapa III (1151 - 1164)
Jagadhekamalla III (1163 – 1183)
Somesvara IV (1184 – 1200)
Veera Ballala II
(Hoysala Empire)
(1173 - 1220)
Bhillama V
(Seuna Empire)
(1173 - 1192)
(Kakatiya dynasty)
(1158 - 1195)
Kalleshwara Temple, Hire Hadagali built in 1057 CE by the Prime Minister to Somesvara I

Somesvara I (also known as "Ahavamalla" or "Trilokamalla") (r.1042–1068) succeeded his father Jayasimha II as the Western Chalukya king. He was one of the notable kings of the later Chalukya Dynasty. In spite of many reverses during his wars with the Cholas of Tanjore, he managed several victories, both military and diplomatic, to safeguard the integrity of the Chalukya kingdom. During his rule, the Chalukyan empire extended from Gujarat, Central India in the north to the Malenadu (hill) regions of Mysore in the south (Hoysala Vinayaditya's daughter or sister, Hoysala Devi was one of his queens), From Konkan in the west, to Ananthapur and Kurnool in the east.[1] According to the historian Ganguli, the Cholas "could not wrest from him any part of his kingdom". He shifted his capital from Manyakheta to the Kalyani (present day Basavakalyana in modern Bidar district).[2] He patronized the Kannada language scholar Shridharacharya who wrote Jatakatilaka, the earliest available work on astrology in the language, and the now extinct Chandraprabhacharite on Belles-lettres (kavya kavite).[3]

Wars with the Cholas[edit]

According to the historian Kamath, Soon after his coronation, Somesvara I invaded Vengi but faced defeat against the Chola monarch Rajadhiraja Chola (crowned in c.1044) at Amaravathi. The Cholas followed this by successfully invading Chalukya territory. According to the historian Sastri, Rajadhiraja defeated Somesvara I in the battle of Dannada ("Dhanyakataka") on the banks of the Krishna river compelling the Western Chalukya armies to retreat. The fort at Kollipakki (Kukpak) was razed to the ground. This was followed by victories at Kampili and Pundur. According to Chopra et al., the details of the sack of Kampili is recorded by the Manimangalam inscription. A victory pillar with the Chola emblem was installed at Yetagiri (modern Yadgir in the Yadgir district]]. Finally, the Cholas plundered Kalyani, the Chalukya capital in c.1045. Rajadhiraja performed the virabhisheka ("victory celebration") in the destroyed enemy capital and assumed the title Vijayarajendra ("Victorious Rajendra"). However, according to Sastri, Somesvara I had successfully driven the Cholas out of Vengi by c.1050 and re-stablishewd his influence not only in Vengi but also in Kalinga (modern day Orissa). This was followed by a Chalukya counter attack and a raid on Kanchipuram.[2][4][5]

For a while the Cholas did not press their cause either in Vengi or Kalinga. However, in c.1054, the Cholas responded by invading Koppal (Koppam) where the King Rajadhiraja Chola was killed. Somesvara I's had to mourn the death of his brother Jayasimha. However, According to Sastri, the Cholas were able to convert defeat into victory when their crown prince Rajendra II, who was accompanying Rajadhiraja, mounted a surpise attack and pushed the Chalukya armies back, coronated himself on the battle field, mounted a victory pillar at Kollapura (modern Kohlapur) and returned to his capital [Gangaikondacholapuram]] with much booty, including Sattiyavvai and Sangappai, two Chalukya queens. Hostilities continued and in c.1059, Rajendra Chola II invaded the Chalukya kingdom but was defeated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. Somesvara I constructed a temple at Annigeri in the modern Dharwad district in celebration of his success.[2][4][5]

Politics of succession erupted over the Vengi throne in c.1061 in the eastern Deccan after the death of the Eastern Chalukya King Rajaraja Narendra. Somesvara I installed Saktivarman II, son of Vijayaditya II on the throne. This went against the wishes of the Cholas who wanted their own blood line from the Vengi family on the throne. The Cholas desired to crown Rajendra, son of the deceased king Rajaraja Narendra. There was a brief respite for Somesvara I over Vengi affairs but the new Chola monarch Rajendra II appears to have defeated Somesvara I in multiple encounters, including in a major battle at Kudalasangama (modern Koodli in the Shimoga district in c.1062. The historians Chopra et al., claim this Kudalasangama is the town at the confluence of Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers. On this occasion, Somesvara I had sent two armies, one under his general Chamundaraya and another into Gangavadi (Southern Mysore territory) under his sons Vikramaditya VI and Jayasimha. However, Rajendra II defeated both armies and thus Somesvara I's effort to erase the defeat at Koppal failed. In c.1063, Rajendra II and his son Rajamahendra died leading to the coronation of Virarajendra as the new Chola king.[2][4][5]

Final battle of Kudalasangama[edit]

During a brief lull in hostilities, Somesvara I was busy reinforcing himself militarily and diplomatically. In the east he counted on the Nagavamsi ruler Dharavarsha and the Eastern Ganga dynasty King Vajrahasta II of Kalinga as his allies. In Bezwada, he counted on the support of the Paramara dynasty prince Janannatha's support. In the west he stationed a large army under Vijayaditya. After a few brief encounters with the Cholas including a successful Chalukya raid of the Chola capital by prince Vikarmaditya VI, Somesvara I invited Virarajendra to a finale at Kudalasangama. But because of an incurable illness that afflicted him, Somesvara I's army did not show up at the venue. After a brief wait Virarajendra invaded and was victorious in all fronts: Vengi, Bezwada, Kalinga, Chakakuta (in the Nagavamsi domains). Unable to recover from his illness, on March 29th 1968, Somesvara I committed ritual death (paramayoga) by drowning himself in the Tungabhadra river at Kuruvatti (modern Bellary district).[6][7][5]

Wars in the north[edit]

During this time of constant conflict with the Cholas, Somesvara I dealt successfully with the Shilaharas of the North Konkan, the Seuna (Yadava) dynasty King Bhillama III, the Paramara dynasty King Bhoja of Dhara, the Chaulukyas of Gujarat and the Pratiharas of central India. Somesvara I plundered Dhar, Ujjain and Mandapa in central India and subjugated King Bhoja. The Chindaka Nagas of Bastar (the Nagavamsi dynasty of Chakrakuta) in central India were defeated by the Chalukya feudatory Kakatiya dynasty King Prolla. Somesvara I got the better of King Lakshmikarna of the the Kalachuri dynasty of Tripuri.[5] Thus Somesvara I's control extended as far north as Vidharba and parts of modern Madhya Pradesh.[8][9]


  1. ^ Kamath (1980), p.104, p.124
  2. ^ a b c d Kamath (1980), p.103
  3. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p.19
  4. ^ a b c Sastri (1955), pp.168-169
  5. ^ a b c d e Chopra, Ravindran and Subrahmanyam (2003), p.138
  6. ^ Kamath (1980), p.104
  7. ^ Sastri (1955), p.170
  8. ^ Kamath (1980), p.104
  9. ^ Sastri (1955), pp.167-168


  • Chopra, P.N.; Ravindran, T.K.; Subrahmanian, N (2003) [2003]. History of South India (Ancient, Medieval and Modern) Part 1. New Delhi: Chand Publications. ISBN 81-219-0153-7. 
  • Kamath, Suryanath U. (2001) [1980]. A concise history of Karnataka : from pre-historic times to the present. Bangalore: Jupiter books. LCCN 80905179. OCLC 7796041. 
  • Narasimhacharya, R (1988) [1988]. History of Kannada Literature. New Delhi: Penguin Books. ISBN 81-206-0303-6. 
  • Sastri, Nilakanta K.A. (2002) [1955]. A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. New Delhi: Indian Branch, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-560686-8. 
  • Sen, Sailendra Nath (1999) [1999]. Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age Publishers. ISBN 81-224-1198-3. 

Preceded by
Jayasimha II
Western Chalukyas
Succeeded by
Somesvara II