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Konark Sun Temple at Konark, Orissa, built by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236-1264) also a World Heritage site.
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The Eastern Ganga dynasty reigned from Kalinga and their rule consisted of the parts of the modern day Indian states of Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh from the 11th century to the early 15th century[1]. Their capital was known by the name Kalinganagar, which is the modern Srimukhalingam in Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh bordering Orissa. Today they are most remembered as the builders of the Konark Sun Temple a World Heritage site at Konark, Orissa. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I (1238-1264). This dynasty was founded by King Anantavarma Chodaganga Deva (1078–1147). He was a religious person and a patron of art and literature. He is credited for having built the famous Jagannath Temple of Puri in Orissa.[2][3]

King Anantavarman Chodagangadeva was succeeded by a long line of illustrious rulers such as Narasimhadeva I (1238-1264). The rulers of Eastern Ganga dynasty defended their kingdom from the constant attacks of the Muslim rulers. This kingdom prospered through trade and commerce and the wealth was mostly used in the construction of temples. The rule of the dynasty came to end under the reign of King Bhanudeva IV (1414-34), in the early 15th century.[4]

Contents

Beginning

The first ruler of the Western Gangas, Konganivarman, carved out a kingdom by conquest, but his successors, Madhava I and Harivarman, expanded their influence by marital and military alliances with the Pallavas, Chalukyas, and Kadambas. By the end of the 8th century a dynastic dispute weakened the Gangas, but Butuga II (c. 937–960) obtained extensive territories between the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers, ruling from Talakad (the capital) to Vatapi. Repeated Chola invasions cut contact between Gangavadi and the imperial capital, and Talakad fell into the hands of the Chola ruler Vishnuvardhana in about 1004. Most of the Western Gangas were Jainas, but some patronized Brahmanical Hinduism. They encouraged scholarly work in Kannada, built some remarkable temples, and encouraged deforestation, irrigation, farming, and cross-peninsular trade.[5]

Rise and Fall

The Eastern Gangas arose to intermarry with and challenge the Cholas and Chalukyas in the period when the Western Gangas had been forced to abandon this role. Early dynasties of the Eastern Gangas ruled in Orissa from the 8th century, but Vajrahasta III, who assumed the title of Trikalingadhipat (ruler of the three Kalingas) in 1028, was probably the first to rule all three divisions of Kalinga. His son Rajaraja I waged war on the Cholas and the Eastern Chalukyas and strengthened the dynasty by marrying a Chola princess, Rajasundari. Their son, Anantavarman Chodagangadeva, ruled from the mouth of the Ganges (Ganga) River in the north to the mouth of the Godavari River in the south; he began building the great Jagannath Temple at Puri at the end of the 11th century.[6] Rajaraja III ascended the throne in 1198 and did nothing to resist the Muslims of Bengal, who invaded Orissa in 1206. Rajaraja’s son Anangabhima III, however, repulsed the Muslims and built the temple of Megheshvara at Bhuvaneshvara. Narasimha I, the son of Anangabhima, invaded southern Bengal in 1243, defeated its Muslim ruler, captured the capital (Gauda), and built the Sun Temple at Konark to commemorate his victory. With the death of Narasimha in 1264, the Eastern Gangas began to decline; the sultan of Delhi invaded Orissa in 1324, and Vijayanagar defeated the Orissan powers in 1356. Narasimha IV, the last known king of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, ruled until 1425. The “mad king,” Bhanudeva IV, who succeeded him, left no inscriptions; his minister Kapilendra usurped the throne and founded the Suryavamsha dynasty in 1434–35. The Eastern Gangas were great patrons of religion and the arts, and the temples of the Ganga period rank among the masterpieces of Hindu architecture.[7]

Anantavarma Chodaganga

Chodaganga Deva (1077-1150), the greatest of the Ganga kings, built a new temple on the ruins of the old one. It is said that King Chodaganga was originally a Shaivite who became a Vaishnava under the influence of Ramanuja when he visited Jagannath Puri.

From various inscriptions it is known that King Anantavarma Codaganga Deva established the present temple some time near the end of the eleventh century. A copper plate inscription made by King Rajaraja III found on the Tirumala temple near the north entrance states that the temple was built by Gangesvara, i.e., Anantavarma Chodaganga Deva.

Later, King Ananga Bhima Deva II (1170-1198) did much to continue the work of Chodaganga Deva, building the walls around the temple and many of the other shrines on the temple grounds. He is thus often considered one of the builders of the temple. He also did much to establish the regulations around the service to the Deity.

Rulers

  1. Anantavarma Chodaganga (1078-1147)
  2. Ananga Bhima Deva II (1170-1198)
  3. Anangabhima Deva III (1211-38)
  4. Narasimha I (1238-64)
  5. Bhanudeva I (1264-79)
  6. Narasimha II (1279-1306)
  7. Bhanudeva II (1306-28)
  8. Narasimha III (1328-52)
  9. Bhanudeva III (1352-78)
  10. Narasimha IV (1378-1414)
  11. Bhanudeva IV (1414-34)

See also

References

External links

Middle kingdoms of India
Timeline: Northern Empires Southern Dynasties Northwestern Kingdoms

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