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Kadambas of Banavasi

Main article: Kadambas

Panchakuta Basadi, 9th century, Jain, Kambadahalli, Mandya District, Karnataka.

Kadambas were one of the greatest kingdoms which ruled south India. Kadambas ruled
during 345–525 CE. Their kingdom spanned the present day Karnataka state. Banavasi was
their capital. They expanded their territories to cover Goa, Hanagal. The dynasty was founded
by Mayura Sharma c. 345 CE. They built fine temples in Banavasi, Belgavi, Halsi and Goa.
Kadambas were the first rulers to use Kannada as an administrative language as proven by
the Halmidi inscription (450 CE) and Banavasi copper coin. With the rise of the Chalukya
dynasty of Badami, the Kadambas ruled as their feudatory from 525 CE for another five
hundred years.

Gangas of Talkad

Main article: Western Gangas

The Western Ganga Dynasty ruled southern Karnataka region during 350–550 CE. They
continued to rule until the 10th century as feudatories of Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas. They
rose from the region after the fall of the Satavahana empire and created a kingdom for
themselves in Gangavadi (south Karnataka) while the Kadambas, their contemporaries, did
the same in north Karnataka. The area they controlled was called Gangavadi which included
the present-day districts of Mysore, Chamrajanagar, Tumkur, Kolar, Mandya and Bangalore.
They continued to rule until the 10th century as feudatories of Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas.
Gangas initially had their capital at Kolar, before moving it to Talakad near Mysore. They
made a significant contribution to Kannada literature with such noted writers as King
Durvinita, King Shivamara II and Chavundaraya. The famous Jain monuments at
Shravanabelagola were built by them.

Chalukya Dynasty

Main article: Chalukya Empire


Badami Chalukya Architecture, Virupaksha Temple, Badami, Karnataka.

One of the first kings of the Chalukyan dynasty was Pulakeshin I. He ruled from Badami in
Karnataka. His son Pulakeshin II became the king of the Chalukyan empire in 610 CE and
ruled until 642 CE. Pulakeshin II is most remembered for the battle he fought and won
against Emperor Harshavardhana in 637 CE. He also defeated the Pallava king
Mahendravarman I. The Chalukya empire existed from 543–757 CE and an area stretching
from Kaveri to Narmada rivers. The Chalukyas created the Chalukyan style of architecture.
Great monuments were built in Pattadakal, Aihole and Badami. These temples exhibit the
evolution of the Vesara style of architecture.

The Chalukyas of Vengi, also known as the Eastern Chalukyas, who were related to the
Badami Chalukyas ruled along the east coast of South India around the present-day
Vijayawada. The Eastern Chalukya dynasty was created by Kubja Vishnuvardhana, a brother
of Pulakeshin II. The Eastern Chalukyas continued to rule for over five hundred years and
were in close alliance with the Cholas.

Rashtrakuta Empire

Main article: Rashtrakuta Empire

Rashtrakuta architecture, Kailasanatha Temple, in Ellora Caves, Maharashtra.

The Rashtrakuta Empire ruled from Manyaketha in Gulbarga from 735 CE until 982 CE and
reached its peak under Amoghavarsha I (814–878 CE), considered Ashoka of South India.
The Rashtrakutas came to power at the decline of the Badami Chalukyas and were involved
in a three-way power struggle for control of the Gangetic plains with the Prathihara of
Gujarat and Palas of Bengal. The Rashtrakutas were responsible for building some of the
beautiful rock-cut temples of Ellora including the Kailasa temple. Kannada language
literature flourished during this period of Adikavi Pampa, Sri Ponna and Shivakotiacharya.
King Amoghavarsha I wrote the earliest extant Kannada classic Kavirajamarga.