Pulakeshin II

Exact Match
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Huns | Harsha Vardhana | South India | Pulakeshin II | Parsis & Arabs | Rashtrakutas | Social Life

Pulakeshin tested the strength of his army by attacking the Kadambas and the Gangas to the south. His success, in this campaign led him to make an equally successful attack on Andhra territory, and finally he faced the army of Harsha Vardhan on the banks of the Narmada, which he defeated, and pressed on to receive the submission of Lata, Malwa, and Gujarat. On returning to Badami he conducted another successful campaign, this time against Mahendra-Varman the Pallava, resulting in the annexation of the northern Pallava provinces.

The defeat of the Pallavas was not to remain un avenged. Mahendra-Varman's successor Narasimha-Varman I was determined to win back the lost provinces, and this he succeeded in doing with the assistance of the king of Ceylon in 642. Narasimha-Varman swept right into the capital Badami, killing Pulakeshin II.

Soon the Pallavas got involved in naval warfare in support of their ally the king of Ceylon, who was trying to regain his recently lost throne. A twelve year interval in the Chalukya dynasty led to a respite from war. The Pallavas were busy with Ceylon. The Chalukyas were trying to unite a divided kingdom and curb their feudatories. In 655 one of the sons of Pulakeshin succeeded in bringing about a semblance of unity, and the power of the Chalukyas was gradually restored with the regaining of the territory lost to the Pallavas. The Chalukya provinces north of the Narmada river were ruled by a prince of the main family whose descendants were later referred to as the Lata Chalukyas, named after the region over which they ruled. The Chalukya king was now free to give his attention to the Pallavas, who had been preparing for a renewal of the war. After a long-drawn-out campaign the Pallavas once more swept into Badami. The losses were heavy on both sides. This was the case in all the campaigns, where the two armies of the Pallavas and the Chalukyas were equally matched and victory was achieved by a narrow margin. The inability of each to hold the other's territory after annexing it would point to a similarity in military strength.

The forty-year reign of Narasimha-Varman II was peaceful by comparison with that of other Pallava kings. But this halcyon period ended in 731 with the Chalukyas and the Gangas uniting in an attack on the Pailavas.

The reigning king was killed in battle and, there being no direct heir, the council of ministers in consultation with the college of priests appointed a member of the collateral branch of the family, who reigned as Nandi-Varman II. The Chalukyas had avenged their earlier defeat in the usual manner by occupying Kanchi. The next move was now with the Pallavas, but at this point there was a change in the situation, with the southern neighbours of the Pallavas joining in the conflict. These were the Pandyas of Madurai, and they were not in sympathy with the Pallava cause, although their enmity was less than that of the Chalukyas. The Pandyas had established their position in the area to the south of Tamil-nad by the sixth century, and they were to remain in control of this region for many centuries. The effectiveness of their control of this region varied according to the effectiveness of their relations with the power in Tamil-nad.

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