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Kalinga c265 BCE

Kalinga (Oriya: କଳିଂଗ) was an early kingdom in central-eastern India, which comprised most of the modern state of Odissa / Utkal, as well as some northern areas of the bordering state of Andhra Pradesh[1]. It was a rich and fertile land that extended from the river Damodar / Ganga to Godavari and from Bay of Bengal to Amarkantak range in the West.[2] The region was scene of the bloody Kalinga War fought by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka the Great of Magadha circa 265 BCE.[3]

Contents

Rise of Kharavela

Kharavela was the warrior king of Kalinga[4]. He was responsible for the propagation of Jainism in the Indian Subcontinent but his importance is neglected in many accounts of Indian history. According to the Hathigumpha inscription near Bhubaneswar, Orissa, he attacked Rajagriha in Magadha, thus inducing the Indo-Greek king Demetrius to retreat to Mathura[5].

The Kharavelan Jain empire had a formidable maritime empire with trading routes linking it to Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Borneo, Bali, Sumatra and Java. Colonists from Kalinga settled in Sri Lanka, Burma, as well as the Maldives and Malay Archipelago. Even today Indians are referred to as Keling[6] in Malaysia because of this.

Historical accounts of Kalinga

Kalinga is mentioned in the Adiparva, Bhismaparva, Sabhaparva, Banaprava of Mahabharata. The Mahabharata accounts the conquest of Karna, who is considered to be the greatest warrior of the time. Kalinga King Srutayu stated to have fought the Mahabharat war for the Kauravas. Kalinga is also mentioned as Calingae in Megasthenes' book on India - Indica & Megasthenes states that Magadha & Kalinga were Jain Dominant Kingdoms:

"The Prinas and the Cainas (a tributary of the Ganges) are both navigable rivers. The tribes which dwell by the Ganges are the Calingae, nearest the sea, and higher up the Mandei, also the Malli, among whom is Mount Mallus, the boundary of all that region being the Ganges." (Megasthenes fragm. XX.B. in Pliny. Hist. Nat. V1. 21.9-22. 1.[7])
"The royal city of the Calingae is called Parthalis. Over their king 60,000 foot-soldiers, 1,000 horsemen, 700 elephants keep watch and ward in "procinct of war." (Megasthenes fragm. LVI. in Plin. Hist. Nat. VI. 21. 8-23. 11.[7])

The Kalinga script[8], derived from Brahmi, was used for writing. Among the offshoots, Kalinga script had the maximum resemblance with the parent script, Brāhmī and later modified to Oriya script in the beginning of the second millennium. This makes the Oriya Script as the most distinctive and least distorted script among the Indic scripts.[9]

Notes

  1. ^ An Advanced History of India. By R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, and Kaukinkar Datta. 1946. London: Macmillan
  2. ^ An Advanced History of India. By R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, and Kaukinkar Datta. 1946. London: Macmillan
  3. ^ Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, 1961 (revision 1998); Oxford University Press
  4. ^ Agrawal, Sadananda (2000): Śrī Khāravela, Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack, Orissa
  5. ^ Shashi Kant (2000): The Hathigumpha Inscription of Kharavela and the Bhabru Edict of Ashoka, D K Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
  6. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keling
  7. ^ a b Megasthenes Indica
  8. ^ http://www.ontopia.net/omnigator/models/topic_complete.jsp?tm=i18n.ltm&id=kalinga
  9. ^ http://www.ontopia.net/i18n/ftree.jsp?id=1576

See also

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

 6th century BCE
 5th century BCE
 4th century BCE

 3rd century BCE
 2nd century BCE

 1st century BCE
 1st century CE


 2nd century
 3rd century
 4th century
 5th century
 6th century
 7th century
 8th century
 9th century
10th century
11th century









(Persian rule)
(Greek conquests)





(Islamic conquests)

(Islamic Empire)








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