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Kalachuri Dynasty India

Origin of Kalachuris

  • As per historians the Kalachuris, also known as the Haihayas were of Indian origin. Before the onset of Badami Chalukya power, they had established an empire covering areas of Konkan, Malwa, Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra. But they remained in anonymity for a long period of time, after their defeat by Chalukya Magalesa. The dynasty was established by Soma who had beard and moustache, and therefore the family was known as "Kalachuris", Kalli means a long moustache and churi means a sharp knife. According to historians, a number of Kalachuri kings were related to Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas by matrimonial alliances and they ruled from locations like Rajpur, Ratnapur, Gorakhpur and Tripuri. They relocated to the south and made Mangalavedhe their capital. Their symbol was the golden bull. They must have started as feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani.


  • As per legends, they were referred to as Haihaya (Heheya), Kalanjarapuravaradhisvara (Lord of Kalanjara) and Katachuris (shape of a sharp knife).
  • As per the Mahabharata, they were descended of a son of Manu. They made intrusions into the Doab and occupied fortified city of Kasi (Benares), but were defeated and the kingdom of Kasi was re-established.

Early Kalachuris

  • According to historical information, Kalachuris ruled southern Rajasthan, southern Gujarat, northern Maharashtra, and Malwa in the 6th and 7th centuries. These Early Kalachuris built a number of caves at the site of Ellora, including the Rameshwara cave as well as the cave temples on Elephanta Island in Mumbai harbor. Both Ellora and Elephanta are World Heritage Sites.
  • Three famous kings of this dynasty are: Krishnaraja, his son Sankaragana and his grandson Buddharaja. Krishnaraja is famous for his coins and he was cited in the copper plate grants of his son and grandson. Later Kalachuri dynasties were descendants of this early Kalachuri dynasty.

Northern Dynasty

First dynasty

  • A number of Kalachuris ruling families in Rajpur, Ratnapur, Gorakhpur and Tripuri regions of central India have been identified by some historians. These Kalachuris set up their kingdom in Madhya Pradesh. The founder of the dynasty was Kokalla I. The Kalachuri kings faced the rulers of Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Malwa and Kannauj. Gangeya Deva was among the most important rulers of Kalachuri dynasty. His son Karan Deva succeeded him.

Second dynasty

  • Laksm Karna of Kalachuri dynasty of Tripuri came to power after the decline of the Gurjara-Pratiharas. He brought the entire region of Gorakhpur under his control. But Yash Karna, his son and successor could not stop the process of disintegration. Sodha Deva proclaimed his independence in a part of Gorakhpur. As per epigraphic evidence, the kingdom of Govind Chandra of the Gahadvala dynasty extended to Bihar. A large number of masonry wells, ruins and mounds of bricks found at Dhuriapar in Bansgaon Tehsil and Magdiha (Gagha) establish their antiquity.
  • In 1194, the defeat of grandson of Govind Chandra, Jaya Chandra by Shihab-uddin Ghauri ended their dominance over the district. Consequently, a large number of small principalities cotrolled by Bhars, Kaushik Rajputs Donwar and Sarnet emerged in different parts of the district.

Southern Dynasty, Immigrants in Karnataka


  • The dynasty which toppled the Kalyani Chalukyas in the 12th century had a comparatively short but stormy rule. As per a record pertaining to 1174, Soma was the founder of the family, who was a disciple of Ashwathama. According to legends, he grew a moustache and a beard to hide his visage, in an effort to escape the cruelty of the fiery Parashurama.

The Southern Clan

  • In the south the early Kalachuris were Jains and they encouraged Jainism in their kingdoms. Uchita was the first prominent chief of the Kalachuri family of Karnataka. There were many kings who followed him but Jogama was a powerful vassal of Vikramaditya VI.