DR Ambedkar IAS Academy

Kalachuris of Tripuri

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The Kalachuris of Tripuri (IAST: Kalacuri), also known the Kalachuris of Chedi, ruled parts of central India during 7th to 13th centuries. Their core territory included the historical Chedi region (also known as Dahala-mandala), and their capital was located at Tripuri (present-day Tewar near Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh).

The origin of the dynasty is uncertain, although one theory connects them to the Kalachuris of Mahishmati. By the 10th century, the Kalachuris of Tripuri had consolidated their power by raiding neighbouring territories and by fighting wars with the Gurjara-Pratiharas, the Chandelas and the Paramaras. They also had matrimonial relations with the Rashtrakutas and the Chalukyas of Kalyani.

In the 1030s, the Kalachuri king Gangeyadeva assumed imperial titles after achieving military successes at his eastern and northern frontiers. The kingdom reached its zenith during the reign of his son Lakshmikarna, who assumed the title Chakravartin after military campaigns against several neighbouring kingdoms. He also controlled a part of the Paramara and Chandela kingdoms for a brief period.

The dynasty gradually declined after Lakshmikarna, whose successors lost control of their northern territories to the Gahadavalas. Trailokyamalla, the last known ruler of the dynasty, ruled at least until 1212 CE, but it is not certain how and when his reign ended. In the later half of the 13th century, the former Kalachuri territories came under the control of the Paramaras and the Chandelas, and ultimately under the Delhi Sultanate.

The Kalachuri inscriptions, such as the Gyaraspur inscription of prince Valleka (a son of Kokalla I), trace the dynasty’s ancestry to Kartavirya Arjuna, a legendary Heheya king who ruled from Mahishmati. According to the 12th century poem Prithviraja Vijaya, the dynasty descended from Kartavirya through one Sahasika (“courageous”), who was a maternal ancestor of the poem’s hero Prithviraja III. The poem traces Kartavirya’s mythical ancestry to the deity Chandra (the moon) and his son Budha (the mercury).

Historian V. V. Mirashi connected the Kalachuris of Tripuri to the early Kalachuris of Mahishmati, who ruled in the west-central India. Mirashi theorized that the early Kalachuris moved their capital from Mahishmati to Kalanjara at the end of the 7th century, and finally moved to Tripuri. However, there is no concrete evidence that conclusively proves that the two dynasties were related.

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