Old Kannada inscription dated c.991 AD of Western Chalukya King Ahvamalla Tailapa II
|Founder of Western Chalukya Empire|
|Reign||c. 973 – c. 997 (24 years)|
Tailapa II, (Taila or Ahavamalla, r. 973–997 CE) had the titles Trailokyamalla, Nurmadi Taliapa and Satyashraya Kulatilaka. He founded the Western Chalukya (or Later or Kalyani Chalukya) empire. It is known from two records dated 957 and 965 that Tailapa II, whose direct blood relationship with the earlier Badami Chalukya dynasty is not clear, initially ruled as a Rashtrakuta vassal from the Tardavadi-1000 province in the modern Bijapur district in Karnataka state. Taking advantage of the confusion caused by the Paramara invasion and sacking of the Rashtrakuta capital Manyakheta (or Malkhed), Tailapa II overthrew the incumbent King Karka II.
It took him several years to consolidate his control over the entire region between the Narmada river and Tungabhadra river, which according to historian Sastri was the core area of his empire. His rebellion may have received support from the Kalachuri dynasty of Tripuri, from which family his mother originated as they had been humiliated earlier by the Rashtrakuta King Krishna III. The Rashtrakuta princess Jakavve was his queen. Tailapa II patronized the famous Kannada epic poet Ranna. It was during his rule that the notable Kalleshvara temple at Bagali, originally consecrated during the late Rashtrakuta rule, was completed.
Consolidation of the empire
During the early years of the empire, Tailapa II had to face competition from a Western Ganga general Panchaladeva who called himself "Chalukya Panchanana" (lit, "Lion to the Chalukyas"). Tailapa II killed him in battle and took the title Panchalamardana Panchanana (lit, "Lion who killed Panchala"). His confrontation with the Paramara dynasty King Munja is described in the text Prabhanda Chintamani which states Munja defeated Tailapa II sixteen times before Tailapa II imprisoned Munja in their seventeenth confrontation in 996, and later had him killed for having a liaison with the his sister Mrinalavati. In his effort against Munja, Tailapa received able support from the Seuna King Bhillama II.
Opinions vary among historians about the Chalukya capital up to the time of King Jayasimha II, though according to the historian Cousens, some records from Balagamve (modern Balligavi in the Shivamogga district) indicate it was a minor capitol while the historians Kamath and Sastri opine Tailapa II retained Manyakheta as his capital. Tailapa II consolidated his control over the Shilahara rulers of Konkan, successfully dealt with Gujarat Chalukya King Mularaja, vanquished the new Chola monarch Uththama Chola and even defeated his successor Rajaraja Chola I in 992 and secured a large booty of elephants as tribute. In these war efforts, Tailapa II was ably supported by his son prince Satyasraya who succeeded him in 997.
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