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CHALUKYA-EMPRIE OF A TIGER-KING-PULIKESHIN
A WILD-BOAR-STATE OF KANNADA-NADU
CHALUKYA IMPLIES A NATURAL WATER-KINGDOM OF LAKES, RIVERS AND
WATER-RESERVOIRS EMANATING FROM ROCKY-HILLS AND MOUNTAINS
Glorious account of king Pulkeshin-II, Vikramaditya, Kirtivarman and their Chalukya Empire
which brought grandeur to Kannada Nadu in not only preservation of nature-mother-earth but
also carving out wild life in each of their places of worship, in their routine cult of deities of wild
animals amidst sanctuaries of their art, craft, relics and antics at Badami, Pattadakal & Aihole.

Story of Chalukya empire, seems to be apparently an ecosystem of rocky mountains and a biome of aquatic water
regime. Chalukya refers to the flow of water from the palm of Brihma, the god of creation, springing redundant
stream of water, an aquatic torrent of rain gods, unleashing the gushing flow on the terrain of Kannada Nadu
along Malaprabha, Tungabhadra, Cauvery, Narmada and Godavari rivers. An empire modeled on the principles of
tribute of acclamation of pristine forests, its wilderness by King Pulkeshin, Kirtivaman and Vikramaditya during
their tenure from 543 to 756 AD in their arts, craft and culture. A foundation of empire stamped on the
immaculate primeval natural ambience, sealed with an impeccable string of ecosystem network of wildlife with a
leading figure of biotic indicator of Varaha, the wild boar, which was a national symbol of Chalukya kingdom.
Varaha being a third incarnation of God, which was solicited to be defined as the protector of mother-earthnature bhudevi, in Varah Purana of Hindu mythological context.A K Singh

Oh king the Huli keshi ! When you decree a war, you

forests, for grazing their cattle, for gathering food and


firewood from forests lying around and held in
common. All the lands in villages
which no body owns is the property
of the king. A green state of
Chalukya is an exhorted treasure in
the womb of earth, a forested
province between Narmada and
Cauvery river, a landscape teeming
with hordes of animals in wild and
farmers fields. A land of wild

behold the stage of a roaring tiger, when you fight in


the battlefield, mere touch of your dreaded sight,
electrifies hundreds of mighty elephants. Your
reinforced mettle, hot and full, dare to bring
down lawless-resolute and rage to the ground
mightiest chieftains. Your thundering howl, with
sharpened bows and clinking swords trounce
even the powerful rulers and overlords. In
Chalukya state of profuse forests and teeming
woodlands, heaven and earth balance in power,
nourished by seven divine mother goddesses
King Pulikeshin II 628 AD
the Sapta Matrika. Your country which was
sick almost to the doomsday with
eclipse, has risen with trains of
fire and dews of lifeblood in
supply of bulls, strong Arabic
horses and routine merchandise
from Persia and Iraq. If there is
any good thing to be done, it is the
justice of disputes Pulkeshi II
dispensed with, it is guild of
merchants, weavers, craftsman
and
artisans
unremittingly

boars,
adopted
as
third
incarnation of God. Do it right
with
genuine
intent
of
discipline, it was the Chalukyan
rule which fused new style of
living
in
harmony
with
disciples of Budhda, Jaina and
Shiva.
Descended
from
Kadambas
of
Banavasi,
connected with Ayodhya as a
migrant to Badami, Aihole and
Pattadakal
striking
with
intellect, power and supremacy

hardworking in their work like


dealt a heavy blow to the
Pulikeshi II and Mahamalla Pallava
yellow wasps in beehive. It is the fighting a ferocious battle on elephants. mockery of superstition, falsity
league of ascetics, priests and
and misconception. A Kingdom
monks professing in ease and grace happily living in extravagant in overseas trade and commerce of foreign
each corner of your kingdom. Badami, Pattadakal & merchants, travelling extensively along land and sea
Aihole at the center.
routes, dealing in sapphires, moonstones, pearls,
Doing it right, with the majesty of force, with dignity rubies, diamonds, lapis lazuli, onyx, topaz, carbuncle,
and self esteem is the birth right of people in an empire emeralds. It harrows us in fear and wonder as to how
where privilege and concessions were given to them the broken peace comes again in business of
owning their share of land amidst thick and thin of cardamoms, cloves, sandal, camphor, musk spices and
shrubs and bushes, amid spick and span of lush green perfumes ? Guilds of merchants hawking on their

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shoulders paying sunka and filling the royal treasury
with gold and jewels sealing deal with brokers of
Arabia and Parsia. When stars soar high above the sky
eastward to the west, hundreds of merchants and
vendors travelling on mules and bullocks as carriers
make their fortunes, in that part of heaven, partying
and rejoicing in mercantile de affairs, selling and
buying Indian commodities in periodical fairs and
carnivals.
Pulikeshi also known as Huli keshi, a Tiger King, a
great warrior on earth and waters, in order to end the
evils on earth, his Chalukya empire sprang out from
Chuluk Jala, a water oblation palm of
Brihma, the God of foundation of
nature, as claimed by Bilhana his court
poet. As the good effects spring from
words of love, so the Chalukyan glory
leapt from Varaha, the wild boar third
incarnation of God for revival of mother
nature. The mighty king of Chalukya
empire of Karnataka Pulkeshin II minted
first time, gold coins of South India as
Varaha which were popular till late,
like pagoda or rupaiah. When demon
Hiranyaksha who destroys the goddess
of earth the Bhudevi, wild boar Varaha
appears to rescue her, slewing the
demons of enemy of wildlife, natural
resources and wealth of nature. Varaha

The king Huli Kesha, raging in vengeance with fury


and annoyance, like a ferocious haired tiger, obstinate
and unyielding, always was honored in pride and was
admired in armed battles. Hulikesha raided the war
field to vanquish Pallava King Vishnuvarman with
mightiest and robust elephants. Pachyderms frenzied,
inebriated and drunk in liquor. Riding on elephants
who erupted in anger and ferocity, Pulkeshin fortified
on horses, with sounding bows and tinkling swords,
fought days together with all might, thunder and
lightening lost his capital Vatapi (Badami ) to Pallava
king Narsimhavarman for twelve years in 630 AD.
Rays of the morning sun
splashes light, on long silken
curtains dangling from facades
of palace. King Pulikeshi II,
distinguished in necklaces of
pearls and thick rings of gold
hanging around, swinging from
his breast, crown etched in
gems and diamonds, his head
held high, commands hill tribes
of all forests and woodlands in
his empire. He recruits his army
in time of war. With break of
danger, quarreling chieftains
scuffle around in villages, then
a brave and fearless hill tribe
leader settles the peace. Palace,

lifting the earth on his tusk, is Papanatha Temple at Pattadakal


courts and citadels lavishing in
considered to restore earth, the bhudevi,
festive ceremonies with heaping
ecological wealth to her rightful place. Once
humor and sparkling hilarity were the
Ravikirthi court poet cried, Fields of Kannada
assurances to the commons to play, sing
mother roars with sounds of clouds, thunder and
and dance.
lightening. Fragrance of lush green forests spread
Pulikeshi tampered with natural
far and wide. Dust of ignorance, fear and disease
resources like rock cutting for place of
rises up again and again. Whole Kannada Varaha, the Wild Boar worship and meditation, carving out
Nadu was shrouded in darkness, sick in
varanda and big halls embellishing
national emblem of
fortunes. Wisdom of nature has soaked in dusk
ganas, gandharvas and kinnara,
Chalukya dynasty
and gloom. Ereya the prince, young Pulikeshi
glowing in marvels of amusing
II, shaping his course in a country new and fresh in postures, personifying natural spirits of wild boars,
Kolar, armed with force of horses and elephants will beautiful birds, strong horses, pretty fairy tales
over power his regent Mangalesha his uncle, one day humming with melody of music, as a singer in the
or the other. Eraya will ascend the throne of Chalukya. court of Gods. Pride and pomposity dazzling in
He will triumph the universe from all heavens of metropolis centers, the palaces often adorned with
earth.
thousands of live war elephants wearing colorful
With shields decked, sword in hand and armour he clothes, with knife sharpened tusks. Markets were
had on, ambitious and resolute Pulkeshin II embarked traded in Arabic horses, indigenous boars, fowls, hares,
on series of conquests on Konkan, Kosala, Kalinga, partridges and birds in abundance. The glory of
Elephanta island and Andhra almost whole of central Chalukya of Badami is chiseled in reddish golden
south India. Pulikeshi filled with confidence, marched sandstone temples, shrines and sanctuaries in the
so nightly toiling the subject of the land in 630 CE, heartland of Aihole, Pattadakal and Mahakuta
employing powerful implements of war but he had to embedded on the banks of Malaprabha river basin
beat a retreat against Harshvardhana of Kanauj unable depicting the power of Harihara fusion of Vishnu and
Shiva, denoting the unity of existence soliciting the
to prevail upon him, was titled lord of south India.
idea that true self, the soul is real. Soul can be

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controlled by celibacy. Liberation of the real spirit is excavated on the same plan of construction of
the essence of life. Freedom of recycling of soul is Virupaksha Temple of Pattadakal.
through Vedantic philosophy of Sankhya, Yoga and
Society of Chalukya empire had devoted sophists
Nyaya attainment of which is by devotion, by bhakti to who had been incurring lives to sincere studies and
natural life of Jaina or dedication to green God Shiva, discourses. Most of them were woodland dwellers,
and allegiance to natural way of living of Vishnu.
spending their most of the time in caves, cavities and
Chalukya period was the time of Karnataka in hollows of rock cut shrines which were quite popular
making. Evolving on Vedic lines of natural living since the emergence of Jainism and Buddhism. Monks,
where temples were the centers of power and priests and clerics were dedicated to Vedic mode of
administration. Shrines and reliquaries were pivotal in religious life of rituals, sacrificial customs and
divine living of spiritual life. Giving a message of life puritanical practices worshipping deities, divinities and
of intellectual superiority of Braham. Aham Brihma local gods. They lived in forests, spending most of the
Asmi or I am the Briham. Human body requires an time in wilderness, interacting with wild animals,
exercise of purity, virtue and
experimenting
with
wild
abstinence. In practice the life
fruits, herbs and shrubs,
was connected to the Gods, an
wearing garments made of
imperium
super
imperium.
bark, leaves and grasses.
Living a routine life of each
Quarter of the population was
individual as an entrepreneur,
living in jungle corresponding
being industrious in his vocation.
to the vanaprastha order of
Less matter with more art. This
Hindu philosophy of Manu
led to institution of caste
evolving during vedic period
upholding the social fabric based
around 600 BC established in
on
trade,
commerce
and
early Maurya age. Herdsman,
industry.
Temples
were
shepherds and hunters lived in
accepting the gifts, contributions
forests were assigned the task
and donations of all classes of
of clearing the agriculturally
people in society. Solicitude of
cultivable lands of all sorts of wild
Mallikarjuna and Kashivishvanatha
nobles and chieftain was devoted
beasts, birds, carnivores which
Temples at Pattadakal.
to the temple centric learning,
depredated the seeds, saplings and
dutiful to the conduct of ethical
young
crops
grown
by
and religious accomplishment of
husbandmen. Hunting the wild
scholarship in different arts and
animals and trapping the pests
crafts.
Temples
kept
on
was
routine
those
days.
regulating the charge de affairs
Antelopes, deers and bovines
of
administration
for
were hunted by ladies, hero men
distribution
of
lands
to
and carried to the homestead.
combatants and warriors. Each
Early Chalukya princes used to
caste was inclined to live in
be crowned at Pattadakal, a great
their sphere of existence
laboratory of temple construction
supervising
their
own
in nagara and dravida vimana
characteristic
habits
and
style in delicate details carved in
customs.
gods, demi gods, gandharva
Durga Temple of Chalukya at Aihole 700
Aihole sanctuary of seventy AD, built in Elephant back Gajaprastha narrating stories from Ramayana,
temples is termed as one of style. Symbol of Pechidermal Durga Shakti. Mahabharata and Bhagvadgita. A
the Cradle of Indian Architecture. Together with unique style of shaping the existing huge rocks of
Jaina and Hindu, a unique experiment of construction sandstones into monolithic temples and sculpting
of Buddhist Chaitya was made to connect vestibule to enormously big boulders, naturally embedded in earth
the sanctum, a mature and advanced style of Badami molding them into love couples, in the form of ornate
Chalukya architecture was declared as UNESCO designs of lotus, roses, leaves, birds and wild animals.
World Heritage Site. Credit goes to Chalukyan Varah the wild boar protecting the mother earth from
architects Revadi Ovajja, Narasobba and Anivarita destruction, asking humanity to have love for nature,
Gunda who acted upon the commands of Loka affection for ecological setting and respect for
Mahadevi queen of Vikrmaditya II in commemoration ecosystem functioning. Narsimha the half lion and half
of the victory of Chalukyan over Pallavas of Kanchi. human clad in jewels and ornaments in vigorous
Kailashnatha Temple of Ellora at Aurangabad was also elegance and forceful facial expressions, delivering a
message to amalgamate with nature, be one with

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natural spirit, to imbibe what topples the ecosystem so Lokmahadevi while founding Mallikarjuna temple
as to stabilize the environment in her natural ambience. exclaimed, - Oh the king, Kannada Nadu is affluent
Sitting Nandi bull heading towards shiva linga telling with natural ambience wreathed in enormous affluence
the world that livestock aspires to prostrate before gods of elephants, leopards and tigers. I am notching here
of fertility, for the sustenance of local upbringing of the antic disposition of these animals, on the plinth of
mother ecosystems.
this holy place, stretched with charge to protect this
Lokamahadevi, consort of Chalukya king land. Here they are stamped in base, shall assist in
Vikramaditya in commemoration of his victory on providence of life of music, verve of melody and
Pallavas of Kanchi, cried, Oh the king, behold the essence of song if your subject guard them in the
productivity and luxuriance of this land of
surrounding
forests,
Kannada. I sanctify this phallus of Shiva
bring them to the use of
smiling to my heart here placing
kingdom. As they are
Virupaksha in Pattadakal. It shall yield
encumbered with burden
bliss of natural wealth. Nataraja the lord of
of shielding the horrors
dance, music and cheerfulness shall bring
of destruction, laden
glory to the natural treasure of Kannada
with mans rapacious
Nadu. This country is blessed in natural
greed to fritter away the
fortunes in her mountains, fortunate in her
beauty of nature. Let be
vast beautiful lush green meadows and
the pachyderms, wild
pastures, privileged in her fertile pieces of
tigers and savage lions
hillocks and plateaus. Where sages and
live with you for
Sanctuary of Lions, Elephants, Tigers, Wild
pontiffs conduct penance punishing their
eternity. So be the fate
Boars at Kailashnath Temple Ellora
body, laboring their mind and exerting their
of
Kailashnatah
soul. Where astute saints shower their blessings. Wise temple at Ellora same as that of this sanctuary here in
demigods
Aihole and Pattadakal. Sandstone and basalt are the
sanction
rocks as hard as unyielding, as tough and as
thousands
of
unbending as the arrogance of man. Animals of this
merits
and
kingdom raised a sigh so piteous and profound. All
righteousness
the beasts raged in fury and thunder get afflicted by
on the deprived,
sparking fire of your ruckus on mother earth. These
destitute
and
innocent get distraught with blink of your wicked eye,
helpless people
upsetting the poise of mother nature. As saint
of this nation.
Ramanuja quoting Brihad Aranyaka recommended
Where
lions, Ornate buluster of a Lion overpowering three vitues of Self restraint, Charity and Compassion
elephant at Balligave Shimoga
bulls, peacocks,
for all life forms reciting,
and antelopes aid the society with copious natural Learn three cardinal virtues-temperance, generosity
virtues, assist in tender merits with fruits of labour. and benevolence for creatures.
Where footprints of enormous wild animals are marked
Brihad Aranyaka.
on saddle of all hills. Mother earth, the nature delivers
therefore heavens to all creatures. Ravana shaking the A K Singh is the member of Indian Forest Service 1997
mount Kailasa cans survive any longer. Those who serving in the Ministry of Forest, Ecology and Environment
of the Government of Karnataka.Views
curse the nature, those who stain mighty hills and
portrayed here hereinafter are personal which
devastate her wealthy assets shall be smashed, shall be
are expressed in the wake of references cited.
trodden and shall be annihilated like Ravana was
Contact: 9481180956. aksinghifs@gmail.com
slayed by God shiva, crushing him under the Kailasa
References:
mountain. Thus, therefore, I commission this
1.
C V Vaidya, History of Medieval Hindu India.
2.
Romila Thapar, The History of Early India.
Ravananugraha here right in the center of Kannada
3.
K V Ramesh 1984, Chalukyas of Vatapi
Nadu at Pattadakal for the posterity to be alarmed at
4.
Nilkantha Shastri 1955. History of South India from Prehistoric
the dangers of destruction of the earth, at the perils of
Times to the Fall of Vijay Nagar.
5.
George Micheal. Pattadakal, Monumental Legacy.
polluting this nation. Achar, Vyavahara and
6.
A P Karmakar 1947. Cultural History of Karnataka from
Prayashchita shall be judged from now on for proper
prehistoric times to present.
7.
Henry Cousens 1996. The Chalukyan Architecture of Canaries
conduct, modesty of etiquettes and observance of
District.
penance in distribution of property, right of succession
8.
Concise History of Karnataka Dr Suryanath, & Kamath.
for inheritance of estates sanctioned by great sage
9.
Indian Temple Architecture: Form and Transformation of
Karnata Dravida Tradition by Ajay Sinh, Adam Hardy.
Yagyavalkya evolved in the text of Mitakshara coined
10. Michell George M 1990. Pattadakal- A Monumental Legacy.
by Vigyaneshwara of this Chalukya age.
Oxford University Press. 2002