Mahameghavahana dynasty

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Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty

250s BC–400s AD
Maximum extent of the Kharavela's Empire.[1]
Capital Singhapura
Languages Oriya language
Religion Jainism
Government Monarchy
Historical era Classical India
 -  Established 250s BC
 -  Disestablished 400s AD

The Mahameghavahana dynasty (Odia: ମହାମେଘବାହନ; Mahā-Mēgha-Bāhana, c. 250s BC to 400s AD) was an ancient ruling dynasty of Kalinga after the decline of the Maurya Empire. The third ruler of the dynasty, Khārabēḷa, conquered much of India in a series of campaigns at the beginning of the common era.[2] Kaḷingan military might was reinstated by Khārabēḷa: under Khārabēḷa's generalship, the Kaḷinga state had a formidable maritime reach with trade routes linking it to the then-Simhala (Sri Lanka), Burma (Myanmar), Siam (Thailand), Vietnam, Kamboja (Cambodia), Borneo, Bali, Samudra (Sumatra) and Yawadvipa (Java). Khārabēḷa led many successful campaigns against states of Magadha, Anga, Satavahanas and the South Indian regions of Pandyan Empire (modern Andhra Pradesh) and expanded Kaḷinga as far as the Ganges and the Kaveri.

The Kharavelan state 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 Maritime Southeast Asia. Even today Indians are referred to as Keling in Malaysia because of this.[3]

Although religiously tolerant, Khārabēḷa patronised Jainism.[4][5] and was responsible for the propagation of Jainism in the Indian Subcontinent but his importance is neglected in many accounts of Indian history. The main source of information about Khārabeḷa is his famous seventeen line rock-cut Hātigumphā inscription in a cave in the Udayagiri hills near Bhubaneswar, Odisha. According to the inscription, he attacked Rajagriha in Magadha, thus inducing the Indo-Greek king Demetrius to retreat to Mathura.[6]


  1. ^ "Kharavela". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 24 Jun. 2012
  2. ^ Agrawal, Sadananda (2000): Śrī Khāravela, Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, Orissa
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Maharaja Kharavela". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  5. ^ "Maharaja Kharavela's Family". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  6. ^ Shashi Kant (2000): The Hathigumpha Inscription of Kharavela and the Bhabru Edict of Ashoka, D K Printworld Pvt. Ltd.

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