Chapter 12: SOUTH INDIAN
After the Sangam age ended, the Kalabraha's
captured the south and ruled for 250 years till the Pallavas
dynasty started. The Pallavas ruled till they were ended by the
Imperial Cholas in 10 century AD.
Their origin is widely disputed due to insufficient
evidence. However they are believed to be natives of the area.
Initially they were feudatories of the Satvahana but
later declared independence.
The three lines of Pallavas rulers existed.
Initially they issued their charters in Prakrit and later on in
The third line ended the Kalabraha rule in south
and firmly established Pallavas dynasty till it was ended by
Features of the Pallavas Era:
The dynasty saw continuous Pallavas Chalukya
conflict. The Chalukya would win over territory but lose it in
next wars. The Pallavas also engaged in naval expeditions and sent
embassies to china. Trade too flourished in the Pallavas era.
The hereditary monarchy was a feature. The king was
assisted by council.
The kingdom was divided into kottams and kottams were administered
A well trained army was maintained.
At village level sabhas and samiti's maintained village
Land tax was main source of revenue.
- The rigid caste
system was seen. Brahmins and royals enjoyed high status.
- Bhakti movement
was flourishing. Nayanmars and Alvar's preached hymns.
Vaishnavism and Shaivism improved due to these.
- Pallavas also
constructed temples and gave grants to them.
- Buddhism and
Jainism declined in this period. But the Pallavas were
tolerant to them.
Education and literature:
- Sanskrit and
Tamil literature flourished.
- Kanchi the
Pallavas capital was an ancient centre of learning.
- Nayanmars and
Alvar have composed hymns in Tamil.
- Music, drama
and dance also developed in this era.
Art and Architecture:
temple building architecture emerged during this period.
The rock cut temples of Pallavas were exemplary.
architecture developed in four stages:
Rock cut temples
Rock cut monolithic Ratha's [monolithic shrine] and
Mandapas [open pavilion, simple columned halls].
Structural temples E.g. Kailashnatha temple is the
greatest specimen of Pallavas architecture.
Structural temples in Rajsimhan style
art gallery too were started during this period.
Western Chalukya dynasty:
The Western Chalukya was an important power in the
Deccan ruling an extensive Empire. Pulekasin I was the founder
and his capital was at Badami. The eastern Chalukya were at
Vengi and Chalukya of Kalyanis were offshoots of Western
Pulekasin II was the most important ruler. He
defeated Harsha and checked his ambition to rule the Deccan. He
also led a successful expedition against the Pallavas. He was
later defeated and the Vatapi capital was plundered by the
Pallavas. The last king of Chalukya was defeated by Dandidurga,
Founder of Rashtrakutas.
Administration and Social Life:
- The centralized
administration under the king was a unique feature of
Chalukya. Village autonomy was absent.
- Brahmanism was
the main religion and the Chalukya kings performed rituals and
declined but Jainism progressed in this dynasty.
Art and architecture:
- Vesara style of
structural temples was developed in the Chalukya dynasty.
- The Aihole
inscription was composed. Aihole is the cradle of indian
- Chalukya cave
temple architecture and paintings were seen at Ajanta, Ellora
- Temple building
developed in two stages:
Stage 1: Temples had low flat roof with pillared
halls. The walls and pillars are adorned with images of gods and
Stage 2: Dravidian influence is seen. Partly the
northern style is continued.
Dandidurga was the founder of the Rashtrakutas
dynasty. Initially were feudatories of Chalukya. He defeated
Gurjaras and annexed Malwa, he also annexed the Chalukya
kingdom. Thus Rashtrakuta became the paramount power in Deccan.
The Rashrakuta kings went to the south to Rameshwaram. They
built temples in conquered lands.
Fig 2: Rashtrakuta empire
Empire was divided into several rashtras. The
rashtras into vishayas and further into bhuktis.
The village assemblies played important role. Thus
administration wasn’t centralized as chalukyas.
Society and Economy:
The Brahminism sects like Shaivism and Vaishnavism
The progress of Jainism continued but Buddhism
declined. But harmony was existing between different religions.
Trade between arabs and Deccan flourished.
Sanskrit literature flourished due to the patronage
from the kings.
Kannada literature too started emerging
Jain literature too came forward and many poets and
Art and Architecture:
Art and architecture of Rashtrakutas was found at
Ellora and Elephanta.
The Kailas temple at Ellora is an architectural
marvel. It has a main shrine, entrance gateway, mandap and a
subordinate shrine for nandi. The shikhar of the temple is three
tiered. The beautiful sculptures and pillared halls make it
Q.Consider the following pairs :
Place of Pilgrimage: Location
1. Srisailam : Nallamala Hills
2. Omkareshwar : Satmala Hills
3. Pushkar : Mahadeo Hills
Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched? (UPSC CSAT 2015)
2 and 3 only
1 and 3 only
1, 2 and 3
Ans . A
The town (as well as the mandal) of Srisailam is reputed for the shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna on the flat top of Nallamala Hills.
Omkareshwar is situated on the Mandhata hills in Madhya Pradesh, known in ancient times as Shivpuri. The temple dates back to the Krita Yuga. River Narmada flows here around the Mandhata hill in the form of an Om (Omkaram).
The Mahadeo Hills are a range of hills in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. But, Pushkar lies in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
Q.Who of the following founded a new city on the south bank of a tributary to river Krishna and undertook to rule his new kingdom as the agent of a deity to whom all the land south of the river Krishna was supposed to belong? (UPSC CSAT 2015)
Ans . C
He was the founder of Vijayanagar Empire.
His initial military exploits established his control over the valley of Tungabhadra River (a tributary of Krishna), and gradually he expanded his control to certain regions of Konkan and Malabar Coast.
By that time Hoysalas had lost its last ruler Veera Ballala III who died fighting the Sultan of Madurai, and the vacuum so created facilitated Harihara I to emerge as a sovereign power. The entire Hoysala territories came under his rule directly