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Early Medieval History : Rashtrakutas

Early Medieval History : Rashtrakutas


  • The Rashtrakutas originally belonged to Lattalura, modern Latur of Maharashtra. They were of Kannada origin and Kannada was their mother tongue.


  • He was the founder of the Rashtrakutas. He fixed his capital at Manyakhet or Malkhed near modern Sholapur.
  • He began his career as a feudatory of Chalukyas of Kalyani. His victories are mentioned in Samangad plates and Dasavatara cave inscription of Ellora.
  • He expanded east and west of Latur without disturbing Karnataka, the stronghold of Chalukyas of Kalyani. He invaded Malwa, Gujarat and acquired control over northern Maharashtra.
  • He then attacked and overthrew the Chalukyan ruler of Kalyani, Kirtivarman II and proclaimed himself the paramount ruler of Deccan.

Krishna I:

  • Dantidurga died childless and was followed by his uncle Krishna I. He constructed the magnificent rock — cut monolithic temple at Ellora, now known as Kailasanath temple at Ellora.

Dhruva III:

  • He was the next important ruler. He defeated the Pratihara ruler Vatsaraja and also the Pala ruler Dharmapala.

Govind III:

  • He defeated the Pratihara ruler Nagabhatta II and the Pala ruler Dharmapala. He was succeeded by Amoghavarsha I.  Early Medieval History : Rashtrakutas

Amoghavarsha I (814 — 78 AD):

  • He was the greatest Rashtrakuta King. He preferred religion and literature to war. He was called as ‘Sarva’ and also as ‘Nripatunga’.
  • Amoghavarsha wrote the book Kavirajamarga which is the first work on poetics in Canarese (Kannada). He also authored a book called Ranamalika and another called Passanotaramalika based on moral principles.
  • Amoghavarsha was a Jain but he patronized other faiths also. He was a great builder and is said to have built the capital city Manyakhet so that it could be called one of the most excellent cities of India.
  • There were many rebellions in the far flung areas of the Rashtrakuta Empire. Chandrobalabbe, a daughter of Amoghavarsha I was entrusted with the task of administering the Raichur doab for some time.

Indria III:

He was the next important ruler. He re-established the empire. He was the most powerful ruler of his times. In 915 AD, he invaded Kannauj and gained control of Gujarat.  Early Medieval History : Rashtrakutas

Krishna III:

  • He was the next important ruler. In 963 AD, he invaded north India and defeated the Pratihara ruler. He also defeated the Chola ruler Parantaka I in 949 AD and annexed the northern part of Chola empire.
  • He then pressed into Rameswaram and set up a pillar of victory there and built a temple. After his death, all his opponents united against his successor and the Rashtrakuta capital Malkhed was sacked and burnt in 972 AD. This marked the end of the Rashtrakuta Empire.
  • The Rashtrakuta were tolerant in their religious views and patronized not only Shaivism and Vaishnavism but Jainism as well. They permitted Islam to be preached in the dominions. In the field of literature also, their tolerant spirit is visible.
  • They equally patronized Sanskrit, Prakrit and ‘Apabharamsa’, a forerunner of many modern Indian languages including Kannada. Among the famous poets patronized by them were the great Kannada poets Pampa and Ponna.
  • Pampa in the first half of 10th century was the earliest and greatest of Canarese poets having written Adipurana and Vikramarjenavijaya. Ponna who lived in the third quarter of the 10th century wrote the book Santipurana. The Rashtrakutas were liberal towards women and according to Arab writers, the women did not veil their faces.

Nad-gavundas or desa-gramakutas are hereditary revenue officers in the Deccan who discharged the same functions as the deshmukhas and deshpandes of later times in Maharashtra.  Early Medieval History : Rashtrakutas



Medieval History

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