Pulakeshin I

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Pulakeshin I
Satyashraya, Vallabha and Dharmamaharaja
Founder of Chalukya dynasty
Reign c. 543 – c. 566
Successor Kirtivarman I
Issue Kirtivarman I
Dynasty Chalukya
Father Ranaranga

Pulakeshin I (IAST: Pulakeśin), also spelt Pulakesi I and Pulikeshi I, founded the Chalukya dynasty in the western Deccan region of India. He started as a chieftain of Pattadakal. According to Karl J. Schmidt, his grandfather was Jayasimha who began his rule between 500-520 CE in Pattadakal region.[1] According to George Michell, the earliest evidence in the form of a Badami inscription suggests that it was Pulakeshin I's career and efforts that founded the Early Chalukya dynasty.[2]

In 543 CE, Pulakeshin built a fort in Vatapi, now known as Badami, and started his kingdom. Slowly, Pulakeshin gained control of the territory bound by the Western Ghats on the west, the Krishna river in the north and Tungabhadra river in the south. He ruled till 566 CE, when his son Kirtivarman I succeeded him. His descendants vastly expanded the empire over the next two centuries, gaining first the Konkan coast, then lands south of Narmada with occasional excursions till Gujarat and Malwa.[3]

Pulakeshin I legacy created the Chalukya kingdom, which became Western and Eastern Chalukya kingdoms. Along with building the empire, Pulakeshin I's descendants built major Hindu temples in the Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal region. The Pattadakal monuments are now a UNESCO world heritage site.[4][5] Pulakeshin is also referred to as Satyashraya, Vallabha and Dharmamaharaja in inscriptions.

Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kirtivarman I


  1. ^ Karl J. Schmidt (2015). An Atlas and Survey of South Asian History. Routledge. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-317-47681-8. 
  2. ^ George Michell (2002). Pattadakal. Oxford University Press. pp. 2–3. ISBN 978-0-19-565651-0. 
  3. ^ Chalukya Dynasty, Encyclopedia Britannica
  4. ^ Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, UNESCO; See also Advisory Body Evaluation (ICOMOS), UNESCO
  5. ^ World Heritage Sites - Pattadakal - More Detail, Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India (2012)


  • Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1935). The CōĻas, University of Madras, Madras (Reprinted 1984).
  • Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1955). A History of South India, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002).
  • Dr. Suryanath U. Kamat (2001). Concise History of Karnataka, MCC, Bangalore (Reprinted 2002).
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