*   King of the South
    The Chalukyas
    A number of small kingdoms came to power in the South but the most powerful were the Chalukyas. They ruled  over an area  between the River Krishna and the Vindhyan mountains between the 6th and 12th century CE. Their  territories spread  across            Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Their  reign is known as the Golden Age of Karnataka.

    Inscriptions are the main source of information about the Chalukya history.
    The Chalukya Empire was established by Pulakeshin I in 543 CE. He made Vatapi his capital and performed the Ashwamedha sacrifice. Pulakeshin I was  succeeded by his son Kirtivarman who further expanded  the kingdom.

    Pulakeshin II was the most outstanding of the Chalukya rulers. He was the son of Kirtivarman. Pulakeshin means great lion'. He ruled from 608-642 CE. He waged many successful wars and expanded his empire. He annexed Varanasi and parts of the               Pallava territories. His most notable success was against king Harshavardhana whom he defeated on the banks of the Narmada. According to Hieun Tsang, the Chinese traveller, who visited the Chalukya kingdom, Pulakeshin II was an excellent                           administrator.   He ruled over almost 99,000 villages. He had a very strong and well organised army. It consisted of an infantry, a cavalry, an elephant corps and a powerful navy. This was perhaps the reason for his successful conquests. He also performed          the Ashwamedha sacrifice. However, Pulakeshin was defeated and killed by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman in 642 CE.
    Pulakeshin II was succeeded by his son Vikramaditya I. He defeated the Pallavas and re-established the Chalukya rule.  He assumed the title rajmalla and ruled for nearly 37 years.

*   The Pallavas
    The Pallavas were based at Tondaimandalam. Their capital city was Pallavpuram. Later, they moved south and  established their kingdom that extended from Northern Orissa to Tanjore and Trichi in the far south. Their  capital  was now Kanchipuram.             Inscriptions refer to the  founder of the Pallava Dyanasty as Shivaskandavrman  who ruled around the 4th century CE. But the king who rose to power was Simhavishnu. He conquered the land upto the Kaveri River.
    His successor was Mahendravarman (590-630) CE. He was  a patron of arts and learning. He began the construction of the temple at Mahabalipuram. The conflict with the Chalukyas began during his reign and continued for many decades.
    Narasimhavarman succeeded the throne in 630 CE. He defeated the famous Chalukya emperor Pulakesin II. He gave him If the title Mamalla. 
    Finally, the Pallava Dynasty was defeated by the Cholas. The administration was very efficient. The kings were vested with supreme power and were considered a representatives of god. He was assisted by a council of ministers called amatyas. An officer      called Kumaranpandaram managed the royal palace. The king was the highest judicial authority. The Pallavas maintained a huge army with infantry, cavalry, elephants and chariots.
    Hieun Tsang visited the capital of the Pallavas. According to him, agriculture was flourishing and the people were happy.

*   Key Words
    Maharajadhiraja           :    The king of kings.
    Sculptor                       :    An engraver on stone.
    Pilgrim                         :    One who makes a journey to religious places.
    Barbaric                       :    Savage or cruel
    Nomadic                      :    Wanderer
    Chandals                     :    Untouchables
    Mythology                    :    Religious traditions
    Ancestral enemies       :    Old enemies from one generation to the other.
    Suzerainty                   :    Overlordship    
    Mahayana                   :    The reformed Buddhist faith in which Buddha began to be worshipped  as a God.
    Hinayana                     :    The old Buddhist faith where Buddha was regarded as a great soul.
    Biographer                  :    Writer of a biography or life-story of a man.
    Si-yu-ki                       :    Chinese expression which means 'Records of the Western World.
    Chunam                     :    Lime
    Endowments              :    Presents or gifts.
    Bhakti                         :    Personal devotion to God.
    Vassals                      :    Subordinates
    Rock-cut temples      :    Temple chiselled out of rocks.
    Shikhara                   :    Tall and storeyed tower over the deity-room.