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Pulakesi I (543–566 CE) established the Chalukya dynasty in then western Deccanmarker and his descendants ruled over an empire that comprised the entire state of Karnatakamarker and most of Andhra Pradeshmarker. Pulakesi overthrew the Kadambas to establish the Chalukya kingdom. He had the titles Satyashraya, Vallabha and Dharmamaharaja.


The Chalukya records mention two early chiefs of the family, Jayasimha Vallabha (500–520) and his son, Ranaranga (520–540). They must have been petty chiefs under the Kadambas, but we know little about their activities and achievements.

Establishment of Chalukya kingdom

Pulakesi I was Ranaranga's son. He earned the distinction of being the first independent King and the real founder of the Chalukya dynasty. He successfully defied the waning power of the Kadambas and proclaimed the Chalukyan independence. He chose Badamimarker (Vatapi) as his capital and constructed a strong hill fortress there. The new fortress stood on the indefensible location surrounded by rivers and steep mountains.

Pulakesi performed sacrifices like Asvamedha, Hiranyagarbha, Agnistoma, Vajapeya, Bahusuvarna and Paundarika. These details are provided by his Badami Cliff inscription dated Saka 565 (543 CE).

Extent of kingdom

At the time of Pulakesi I the Chalukyan kingdom did not extend much beyond the immediate vicinities of Badami.


Pulakesi assumed titles like Vallabha, Dharma Maharaja, Satyasraya, Ranavikrama and so on. Inscriptions compare him with such mythical heroes as Yayati and Dilipa. His wife was Durlabhadevi of Bappura family.

Pulakesi was succeeded by his son Kirtivarman I (566–597).


  • Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1935). The CōĻas, University of Madras, Madras (Reprinted 1984).
  • Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1955). A History of South India, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002).
  • Dr. Suryanath U. Kamat (2001). Concise History of Karnataka, MCC, Bangalore (Reprinted 2002).
  • South Indian Inscriptions -
  • History of Karnataka, Mr. Arthikaje

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