Eastern Chalukyas take a special place in the history of Andhra. The dynasty which is also referred to as Vengi, had administered a 500 year long rule, before succumbing in the clutches of Hoysalas and the Yadavas. The capital of this dynasty stretched all the way from Pedavegi till Dendaluru in Eluru and later extended to the expanse of the West Godavari district.
The specialty of the Eastern Chalukya dynasty was its unending dedication towards establishing the rich Telugu culture, in the form of poetry, literature and art. It is but accurate when the history affirms that the Eastern Chalukya rule is the golden period for Andhra.
Vengi Administration – An out and out Monarchy
The Eastern Chalukyas shared a long lasting friendly allies with the Pallavas. The monarch style of administration in the rule was inspired from the likes of Cholas, Rashtrakutas and Kalyani Chalukyas too. They were closely related to the Badami Chalukyas.
Organized Government as per Hindu Philosophy
The Vengis or Eastern Chalukyas believed in Hindu style government that includes:
Saptanga – Seven components of state
Tirthas – Eighteen offices that comprise of a Mantri, Purohita, Senapati, Yuvaraja, Dauvarika, Pradhana and Adyaksha.
While not much of information is known about the running of Chalukya administration, subdivisions such as Vishaya and Kottam were known. The kings held control of land assignment in several villages spread out under their rule. It is said that Naiyogi Kavallabhas took care of the royal edicts related to recording gifts in the form of lands and villages.
Some of the Chalukya Rulers Embraced Jainism
This was the era when the great Buddhism was on a steady decline, leaving behind a plethora of deserted monuments across the region. Some of the Chalukya rulers embraced Jainism, along with the majority in the region. Kings like Kubja Vishnuvardhana and Vishnuvardhana II gave prime pedestal to Jainism. In totality, Hinduism prevailed as the constantly prominent religion.
The Dawn of Parama Maheswaras
During the rule, some of the kings began to declare themselves as Parama Maheswaras or emperors. The rulers started converting the Buddhist religious centers into the Siva Pilgrim centers. Most of the rulers also took active interest in the construction of temples.
We can say that Telugu literature owes half its glory to the Eastern Chalukyas. The kings gave prime importance to the establishment and rise of Telugu as one of main literatures and languages of South India. Poetry was largely encouraged, making great appearance during the time of Vijayaditya II’s rule in the form of Addanki and Kandukur inscriptions. Nannaya’s Mahabharata gained superior prominence under the rule.
Inspired Saiva Architecture
The Eastern Chalukyas ruled and spread devotion and cult surrounding Shiva and Saivism. We can also partly attribute that to their close camaraderie with the Pallavas and the Cholas. King Vijayaditya II alone stood up to construct 108 major temples in the region. The Eastern Chalukyas had their unique architecture in place, not too swayed with any other style. Some examples include the great Draksharamam and the Samalkota Temples at Bhimavaram that were constructed by king Bhima I and Kalidindi shrines by Rajaraja Narendra. The finesse of the Eastern Chalukya architecture also directly shows in the great Pancharama shrines and Biccavolu temples.
Castes were Assigned Relevant Duties
The society in the Eastern Chalukya regime was the one of a balance. The caste system was followed, setting down clear ground rules to the people about their set of responsibilities. Brahmins were given high positions and respected for their knowledge and learning. Because of their proficiency with skills and Vedas, Brahmins held prime posts at the ministry, council and civil service. Kshatriyas ruled while Komatis or Vyshyas established and flourished trade.
The land of constant feuds
The Eastern Chaluka regime saw land being constantly exposed to wars and invasions. The biggest flaw was the unpredictable behaviour of the nobility towards their king. If the king was strong, they would join hands with the royalty and if there was a weakness, they joined the enemies and plotted against royalty. The kingdom’s nobility extended into Elamanchili, Mudigonda and Pithapuram, where families of Kalachuris, Chagis, Parichedas, Kota Vamsas and Velanadus made direct marriage alliances with the kings and their families.
Overall, the Eastern Chalukyas were the long standing ruling glory of the region who have seen the upside and the downfall along with time.