Odisha GK

Ancient History Of Odisha

▸ The name Odia originated from Odra or Udra tribes that inhabited the central coastal belt (Khurda district and Nayagarh district) of modern Odisha. Udra is the Pre-Historic name of Odisha while Odisha is the modern name of the ancient Kalinga Empire.
▸ Odisha or Odra Desa, Udra, Kalinga as called during ancient period has a rich history where many strong dynasties emerged. Human history in Odisha dates back to Lower Paleolithic era as many archaeological sources have been excavated from different regions of Odisha. The Political history opens with the rule of Nandas. The Nandas ruled Magadha and were among the first to integrate Kalinga into their empire in 350 BC.
▸ The Mauryan dynasty under Emperor Asoka fought the famous Kalinga War in 260 BC. This war transformed Ashoka. Next came the Chedi dynasty in around 100 BC, which was followed by Muranda dynasty. The Gupta dynasty established its control in 350 AD and divided Kalinga into four principalities. During Gupta period, Sub-regional kingdoms emerged. The Matharas, Nalas, Parvatadvarkas, Mehas, Vindyatavis and Sarbhapuriyas.
▸ Some kingdoms that emerged after the Gupta period were Virgrahas, Mudgalas and Mandala states. Sailodbhava Dynasty emerged in 553 AD and continued for around 130 years. Next was Bhauma-Kara dynasty established in first half of 8th century AD. It had many women rulers. The Somavamsi dynasty was established in middle of 10th century AD and continued its rule for 300 years. It is the last dynasty formed in ancient Odisha, after which came the era of medieval empires.

Historical Names of Odisha

Odisha has been named by the following names during historical period: Kalinga According to Puranas and Mahabharata, it was named after the prince Kalinga son of king Bali and Queen Sudesna.
Utkala According to Mahabharata, Utkala was a part of Kalinga. Karna have conquered the kingdom of Utkala. Utkala included Northern part of Kalinga.
Mahakantara This name was found during Gupta period. It is usually identified with modern day Kalahandi and Jeypore region.
Udra It was the kingdom which included coastal region of Odisha.
Odra This name was given after Odra tribe. The hilly kingdom between Kalinga and South Kosala was the Odra land.
Oddiyana This name was mentioned in Buddhist texts. According to some scholars, it is referred to Odisha.
KamalaMandala It means Lotus regions. It was named for the region of Narla in Kalahandi.
South Kosala It was named for the modern day Chhattisgarh andWestern parts of Odisha. According to Ramayana, one of Rama’s son, Kush ruled South Kosala.
Kongoda This name was found on a copper plate in Ganjam district.
Trikalinga This name was found on copper plates in Sonepur. It literally means three Kalingas and referred to the three states of Kalinga, South Kosala and Kongoda.
Tosali It was named for a city including subdivision of Kalinga during Asoka period The capital of Tosala has been placed in modern day Dhauli.
Odivissa This name was referred in Buddhist texts for Odisha.
Jajnagar This name was used for Odisha in some texts like Tarikh-i-Nasiri, Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi, etc.

Sources of History of Odisha

Sources play an important role in knowing the history of any region. The history of Odisha can be traced by various available sources like literary sources foreign accounts, inscriptions, coins and archaeological sources which gives information about the ancient history of Odisha.

Literary Sources

The literary sources that tell about ancient history of Odisha are as follows:

Epics

▸ The Mahabharata makes the earliest reference to Kalinga and Odra. It mentions about these lands and about its sacred river Baitarani and Goddess Viraja.
▸ The Ramayana refers to Kalinganagara, situated to the West of river Gomati and also refers to the Gandhamardan and Utkala which are associated with Mekala and Dasarna regions.
▸ The Kapila Samhita and Prachi Mahatmya are also considered as the source of Odishan history.

Puranas

▸ Puranas like Vayu Purana, Matsya Purana, Bhagavata, Harivamsa Purana, Vishnu Purana, etc give information about Kalinga and Utkala and their legendary kings.

Jaina and Buddhist Sources

▸ In ancient times, the people of Odisha were largely the followers of Jainism and Buddhism. So, the Jaina and Buddhist literatures narrate about the people and their culture in ancient Odisha.
▸ The Jaina literature like Avasyaka Niryukti and Harivamsa and Buddhist literature like Digha Nikaya, Majjhima Nikaya, Kurudharma Jataka, Vessantara Jataka, Mahaparinirvana Sutta, Dathavemsa, Mahavastu, Kumbhakara Jataka, Kalinga Bodhi Jataka, etc contain description of Kalinga and Utkala.

Other Literary Sources

▸ Other literary sources like Arthashastra of Kautilya, Manusmriti, Narada, Brihaspati, Katyayana, Yajnavalkya, Kamandaka, etc highlight the political organisations and systems of Odisha.
▸ Baudhayana Dharmasastra, Ashtadhyayi, Brihat Samhita, Harshacharita and Ratnavali are some other important ancient literary texts of Odisha.

Foreign Accounts

▸ The Greek historians like Pliny, Diodorus, Curtius, Plutarch have mentioned about the people of Kalinga.
Megasthenes refers to Gangetic Kalinga Region in his work Indica.
▸ Pliny divided Kalinga into three divisions, Gangetic, Middle and Kalinga.
▸ A Greek geographer, Ptolemy refers to several parts of Kalinga such as Palur, Naingain, Katikardam, Kannagar, etc.
▸ The most valuable of the foreign accounts is that of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited Odisha in 638-39 AD. He gave information about the religious conditions of ancient Odisha in his book Si-yu-ki. He mentioned Odra asWu-Cha.

Archaeological Sources

▸ The archaeological sources or material remains provide a wide range of information about the ancient history of Odisha.
▸ Valentine Bali’s exploration in 1875 at Angul, Talcher, Dhenkanal and Bursapalli exposed the pre-historic sites of Odisha.
Paramanada Acharya of Mayurbhanj had discovered the famous paleolithic site at Kulina.
▸ The discovery of Asokan rock art and his edicts at Dhauli and Jaugada gave information about Kalingan history of 3rd century BC that Jaugada was a fortified city which served the purpose of Asoka’s administration.
▸ Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves near Bhubaneswar were residential blocks for Jain monks during 2nd century BCE.
▸ The excavation at Manikpatna gave information about the social, economic life and maritime activities of the people of Odisha.
▸ Devala Mitra’s major excavation conducted at Ratnagiri gave information about Buddhist monasteries and stupas.
▸ Two other Buddhist sites at Udayagiri and Lalitgiri near Ratnagiri gave information about the remains of Buddhist stupas, monasteries and images of Buddha, etc. Sri Madhavapura Mahavihara which flourished between 7th-8th century AD was located at Udayagiri. Due to their Buddhist remains, these three sites (Ratnagiri, Udayagiri, Lalitgiri) are known as the Diamond Triangle of Odisha archaeology.
▸ These three sites also yield information about Brahmanic religion from pottery, terracotta plaques, animal figurines, iron implements and other remains from the sites.
▸ The copper plates found at Talcher, Hindol and Dhenkanal tell about early history of Odisha.

Inscriptions

▸ Inscription are a major source of information of Odishan history. The pictographic projects are the earliest examples of inscriptions in Odisha.
Pictographs are found in several rock shelters in the hills of Sundergarh, Sambalpur and Kalahandi districts. Some examples of such writings are the Vikramkhol and Gudahandi rock art sites found in Jharsuguda and Kalahandi.
▸ Inscriptions are also engraved on copper plates, stone pieces and temple walls. Two sets of Asokan edicts (separate Kalinga edicts found at Dhauli and Jaugada) are the earliest epigraphs of the pre-Christian era, which throw light on the administrative arrangement of King Asoka in Kalinga.
▸ Some other inscriptions are Hatigumpha inscription, Bhadra inscription, Asanapat Stone inscription, Ningond Grant inscription, Narla Grant inscription and Rithapur Grant inscription, etc which provide early history of this land.

Coins

The study of coins is known as numismatics. Coins help in understanding the trade, commerce, time period, religion,metallurgy, etc. The coins excavated from archaeological sites in Odisha are as follows:

The Punch-Marked Coins

▸ The earliest coins found in Odisha are punch-marked coins. These coins were in circulation between 4th century BC and 4th century AD.
▸ These coins have the punch marks of Sun, animals, birds, trees, human, geometrical designs, etc.
▸ These coins were abundantly found in Coastal Eastern parts of Odisha and were made of silver and copper and were irregular in shape and size.

The Puri-Kushana Coins

▸ The Kushana coins and their imitations are known as Puri-Kushana coins, which have been found at different parts of Odisha from Mayurbhanj to Ganjam.
▸ These coins were in circulation from 0-3 century AD.

The Gupta Coins

▸ The Gupta archer type gold coins have been found at Bhanapur, Khiching and Angul.
▸ These coins give an idea about trade and commerce in Odisha during Gupta period. i.e. 5-7 century AD.

The Nala Coins

▸ The Nala coins of the Western region of Odisha throw light on the Nala rule in South Kosala of 5th-6th century AD.
▸ The peculiarity of these Nala coins is that, the reverse is found blank and the obverse contains a humped bull with crescent with the name of the king in box headed script.

Temples

▸ The temples of Odisha also provide information about ancient history of Odisha.
The typical Odishan style, the Sikhara or Rekha (curvilinear) also known as Kalingan style of architecture developed in 6th-7th century AD in Bhubaneswar.
▸ The Laxmanesvara, Bharatesvara and Satrughnesvara group of temples marked the early phase of temple architecture in Odisha.
▸ The Lingaraj, Ananta Vasudeva, Jagannath, Chausath Yogini temple, etc contain sculptures which gives information about secular and religious history of Odisha.

Archival Sources of History

▸ There are many sources that tell about the historical records through written documents. Newspapers, periodicals are such archival materials.
▸ Utkala Dipika, Utkala Darpan, Asha, Mukuru, Sahakara newspapers are archival sources.
▸ Census report in 1801, 1901, 1911, 1921 and 1931 tell about the history of Odisha.
▸ Literary sources kept in Odisha Museum and Department of Odisha are also archival sources.

Pre Historic Sites in Odisha

▸ The land area of Odisha belongs to Gondwana supercontinent due to which the oldest rocks date to Pre-Cambrian times.
▸ Stone tools dating to Lower Paleolithic era have been found in Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundergarh and Sambalpur.
▸ Rock carvings and paintings dating to Upper Paleolithic era have been discovered from Gudahandi hills in Kalahandi district.
▸ Hoes, Chisels, grinding stones, pounders are discovered from Baripada in Mayurbhanj belonging to Neolithic era.
▸ Cave paintings are discovered from Yogimath near Khariar belonging to Neolithic era.
▸ Other prehistoric sites are Garjan Dongar in Sundergarh, Ushakoti in Sambalpur and Vimkramkhel in Jharsuguda district.

Ancient Kingdoms and Empires in Odisha

In ancient times,Odisha was known by the name of Kalinga. Kalinga was an early kingdom in central East India that comprised almost whole Odisha and also some parts of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The region was scene of the bloody KalingaWar fought by Asoka of the Mauryan Empire.
According to Buddhist literatureMahagovinda Sutta and Jatakas, Kalinga was an independent country and its capital city was named Dantapur. It has also been described in Uttaradhyana Sutra and Sutra Krutanga of Jain Literature that the palaces of Kalinga emperors and rich businessmen were made of ivory, thus the city was so called as Dantapur.

The Nandas

▸ Kalinga was under the rule of Magadha during Nanda rulers. Mahapadmananda of Nanda Dynasty ascended the throne of Magadha in 362 BC and integrated Kalinga to his extensive empire in around 350 BC.
▸ The pre-Mauryan black polished potteries and punch-marked coins having four symbols found in plenty from Asurgarh in Kalahandi and Sonepur districts indicate the flourishing economic condition during the time of the Nanda rule.
Hatigumpha inscription discovered at Udayagiri in Bhubaneswar, mentions about the irrigation projects undertaken by the Nanda kings.

The Mauryas

▸ Chandragupta Maurya defeated the last Nanda ruler, Dhanananda and founded the Maurya Empire in Magadha in 322 BCE.
▸ The history of Kalinga after the Maurya rule is uncertain and it is not known exactly when this Mahajanapada regained its independence.

Kalinga War and the Mauryan Empire

▸ The Kalinga War was fought between Mauryan Empire and the state of Kalinga in 261 BC. It is considered as the prominent event of Odishan history.
▸ The Battle of Kalinga was described by Emperor Asoka himself in his thirteenth Rock Edict.
▸ Kalinga was a small but economically prosperous kingdom due to its oversea trade.
Emperor Asoka, ruler of Magadha of Maurya dynasty attacked Kalinga to gain power over overseas trade in 261 BC.
▸ The war resulted in massive killing, injuries and mass epidemics. This type of destruction, transformed Asoka and he adopted Buddhism with the help of Upagupta (disciple of Buddha). Thus the Battle of Kalinga is also famous in the history of India.

Administration of Kalinga

▸ After the war, Kalinga was annexed to Magadha empire and Tosali was made the capital of Kalinga. Two separate Kalinga edicts of Asoka found at Dhauli and Jaugarh describes Mauryan administration in Kalinga.
▸ As per the Rock Edict I found from Dhauli, Asoka appointed a body of ministers to aid and advise the Kumara Viceroy of Kalinga and to check and balance his administrative powers.
▸ Asoka appointed a well-organised bureaucracy for administration.
Antamahamatras were the ministers of the border provinces and Dharma Mahamatras looked after the spiritual and moral upliftment of people. Rajukas were incharge of welfare of the Janapadas.
Dynasties in Odisha After Mauryan Empire
After Mauryan Empire,many dynasties had ruled in Odisha. These dynasties are discussed below:

The Mahameghavahana/ Chedi Dynasty

▸ Mahameghavahana was the founder of theMahameghavahana dynasty, who belonged to Chedi clan. Thus, this dynasty is also known as Chedi dynasty.
▸ It was an ancient ruling dynasty of Kalinga after the decline of the Mauryan empire. The most important ruler of this dynasty was Kharavela.

Kharavela

▸ He was the third ruler of the Chedi dynasty and reigned in the second half of the 1st century BC.
▸ Most of the information about Kharavela comes from the Hathigumpha inscription in Udayagiri near Bhubaneswar. According to these inscriptions, Kharavela was one of the gallant kings of the region. He invaded the Satavahana kingdom and captured its territories.
▸ Kharavela was proficient in music and dance. He was also a great builder. He had repaired Kalinganagari, the capital city which was destroyed by a cyclone. He was a devout Jaina and also showed tolerance to other religious faiths.

Muranda Dynasty

▸ The Murandas were probably a foreign tribe. They entered India alongwith Kushanas. Thirteen kings of this dynasty ruled in India for about 200 years.
▸ There is a stone inscription called as Bhadraka of Maharaja Ganabhadra.
According to some historians, it indicates that Murandas ruled Odisha for several years.

Gupta Dynasty

▸ The Gupta dynasty existed from mid-3rd century to 590 AD. This dynasty was founded by Sri Gupta. Around 350 AD Samudragupta led his South Indian campaigns. Kalinga was then divided into four principalities, viz. Kottura (modern Kathoor), Erandapalla (modern Erandapalli), Devarashtra (Yellamachili) and Pishtapura (Pithapuram).
▸ The Allahabad Pillar Inscription mention that, Samudrgupta defeated Mahendragiri of Pishtapura, Swamidatta of Kottura, Damana of Erandapalla and Kutera of Devarashtra. Soon after the military campaign of Samudragupta, the Matharas rose to power in the coastal belt of Odisha with their epicenter in and aroundMahendragiri and the Nalas rose to power in Bastar-Koraput and Kalahandi region.

Sub-Regional Kingdoms during Gupta Period

The Gupta period saw the emergence of small kingdoms around the coastal areas and other regions of Kalinga. They are described below:

The Matharas

▸ The Mathara dynasty ruled in the Kalinga region during 4th and 5th centuries.
▸ Their territory included parts of the area between the present-day Ganjam district of Odisha and Sri Kakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
Vardhamanpura was the capital of Matharas.
▸ The Mathara king were devotees of Narayana (Vishnu). Visakhavarman was the founder of Mathara dynasty.
▸ Their rule provided a sound administrative set up to Kalinga region. They divided kingdom into territorial units such as Panchali, Bhoga and Vishava.
▸ The Matharas patronised Sanskrit Literature. Mathara era witnessed the decline of Buddhism and Jainism in this region.
▸ During this period, the people of Kalinga were carrying on maritime trade with South-East Asian countries. Dantapur (Modern Palur), the great city port, was situated in the territory of Matharas.
▸ Important rulers of this dynasty were Visakhavarman (350-360AD), Umavarman (360-395AD), Shaktivarman (400-420AD), Ananta Shaktivarman (420-450AD) and Prabhanjanavarman (450-480AD).
▸ Umavarman declared himself as Lord of Kalinga and established a strong empire.
Shaktivarman was another great ruler who extended his territories from Mahanadi to Krishna river. He shifted his capital from Simhapura to Pishtapura.

The Nala

▸ The Nala dynasty established a kingdom in Trikalinga region comprising parts of the modern districts of Koraput and Kalahandi. The capital of the kingdom of the Nalas was at Pushkari.
▸ Vrishadhvaja was the founder of this dynasty in 400 AD. Other important rulers were Varaharaja (420-440 AD), Bhavadatta Varman Arthapatiraja and Skandavarman (last ruler). There was a revival of Vaishnavism in this period.

The Parvatadvarkas

▸ In ancient history of Odisha, the dynasty of Parvatadvarkas is a less known dynasty.
▸ In the later part of 5th century AD, this dynasty appeared in Belkhandi Narla region of Kalahandi.
▸ Parvatadvarka was the capital of this dynasty. Important rulers are Nandaraja and Tustikara.

The Meghas

▸ In the middle of the 6th century AD, the Meghas came in Kosala region. As defeated by the Satavahanas in the second century AD, the Mahameghavahanas have established their empire in Kosala.
▸ They became popular as Meghas and ruled over South Kosala comprising the modern Raipur and Bilaspur district of Madhya Pradesh and undivided districts of Sambalpur, Sundergarh and Balangir districts of Odisha.
▸ The Puranas gave information about nine Megha kings of South Kosala who ruled successively upto the invasion of Samudragupta. The last ruler of this dynasty was Mahendra Megha.

4.1 The Vindyatavis (Nagas)

▸ The Nagas ruled over Vindyatavi in the 4th century AD which comprised of the present Keonjhar and Dhenkanal districts.
▸ The Asanpat Inscription describes that a Naga king named Satrubhanja defeated the Devaputras who were the Kushanas and Murundas.
▸ Another king of this dynasty was Maharaja Sri Disabhanja as revealed from an inscription in a cave near Sitabhinji.

The Sarbhapuriyas

▸ The founder of this dynasty was Sarabharaja (500-525 AD). The Sarbhapuriyas established their kingdom over South Kosala in around 5th century AD. The capital of Sarbhapuriyas was Sarbhapura.
▸ Sarabharaja was succeeded by his son Maharaja Narendra (525-555 AD). He was an independent ruler and was famous for his territorial arrangement.
▸ Other important rulers were Jayaraja, Surdevaraja-I, Vyaghraraja, Durgaraja and Surdevaraja-II (last ruler).

Sub-Regional Kingdoms after the Gupta Period

The Vigrahas

▸ Vigrahas came to power in the later half of the 6th century AD. South Tosali was the centre of political activities of the Vigrahas. At that time, Tosali was comprised of the undivided Balasore, Cuttack and Puri district.
▸ Prithvivigraha was a powerful ruler of this dynasty who fought with Mudgala king Sambhuyasa. The successor of Prithvivigraha, Lokavigraha had defeated Sambhuyasa.

The Mudgalas

▸ The Mudgalas ruled over North Tosali. King Sambhuyasa was a great Mudgala king who is known from his three copper plate grants, viz the Erbang, Soro and Patiakela Charters.
▸ He was defeated by the Vigrahas king, Lokavigraha. However, he attacked the Vigrahas and occupied South Tosali. Due to protracted struggle with the Vigrahas, the Mudgalas became weak and they were removed from North Tosali by Durjaya King Prithvimaharaja.

The Mandala States

▸ In between 7th and 9th Century AD, a number of semi-independent states emerged between Tosali and South Kosala. The rulers of these kingdoms assumed the titles like ‘Ranaka’ and ‘Samadhigata-Panchamahasabda’. The rulers of these Mandalas served their sovereign kings during the period of war and external invasion.
▸ Among the ruling dynasties famous were the Vigrahas of Kongoda Mandala, the Gangas of Svetaka Mandala, the Bhanjas of Khinjali Mandala and Khijjinga Mandala, the Sulkis of Kodalaka Mandala, the Tungas of Yamagartta Mandala and the Mayuras of Banai Mandala.

Sailodbhava Dynasty

Ranabhita founded this dynasty in 553 AD. According to scholars, Sailodhlavas were either a branch of the Ganja family or Saila dynasty of Madhya Pradesh.
They are also believed to be related to the Sailaja Tribes inhabiting the rocky region of Kalinga.
▸ They ruled in the region ranging from coastal Odisha to Mahanadi, Mahendragiri in Paralakhemundi and Ganjam. This region was called the Kongoda Mandala.
▸ Important rulers of this dynasty are Ranabhita (553-575AD), Madhavaraja (575-600 AD), Ayasobhita (600-615AD), Madhavraja (615-655AD), Madhyamaraja I (665-615 AD), Dharmaraja II (695-725AD) and Madhyamaraja II. Madhyamraja III was the last ruler of this dynasty, after which it was taken over by Bhauma-Kara kings.
▸ The Parashurameshvara Shiva temple at Bhubaneswar is built by the Sailobhava rulers in 650 AD as they followed Shaivism.

Bhauma-Kara Dynasty

▸ In the first half of the 8th century AD, a dynasty called Bhauma-Kara established its rule over the coastal belt of Odisha. The capital of this dynasty, Guhadevapataka, was situated near modern Jajpur.
▸ Early rulers of this dynasty called themselves as Bhauma while later rulers called themselves as Kara. So, this dynasty is known as Bhauma-Kara.
Kshemankaradeva was the founder of this dynasty in other important rulers were Sivakaradeva I (736-783AD), Subhakaradeva I (780-800AD), Sivakaradeva II (800-820AD), Shantikaradeva I (820-835AD), etc.
▸ The last ruler was Subhakaradeva V (905-910AD). Interesting fact about this dynasty is that many queens also ruled this dynasty and their reign was very successful.

Female Rulers of Bhauma-Kara Dynasty

Tribhuvana Mahadevi I (845-850AD) was the first women ruler of this dynasty.
She was the widow of Shaktikaradeva I.
▸ Next female rulers were Tribhuvana Mahadevi II (890-896AD) and Tribhuvana Mahadevi III (896-905AD).
▸ After Subhakaradeva ‘V’, the last male ruler of the Bhauma-Kara dynasty, four female rulers occupied the Bhauma throne one after another. First among them was Gauri Mahadevi, the queen of Subhakaradeva V. She was able to preserve the law and order inside the kingdom. She built the Gauri temple at Bhubaneswar.
▸ Gauri Mahadevi was succeeded by her daughter Dandi Mahadevi. She ensured the prosperity of kingdom during her reign. She secured the borders of the dynasty from the formidable and hostile kings.
▸ Dandi Mahadevi was succeeded by her step mother Vakula Mahadevi who belonged to the Bhanja family.
Dharma Mahadevi, the wife of Shantikaradeva III succeeded Vakula Mahadevi.
She was the last known ruler of the Bhauma-Kara dynasty. She was also a Bhanja princess.

Administration, Economy, Society and Religion

▸ The Bhauma-Kara gave a stable administration to the people of this land.
▸ They follow the law of primogeniture (the right of succession belonging to first born child). However, there was exception to it as is found particularly, with the Bhauma queens.
▸ The most important industry of the Bhauma-Kara period was the manufacturing of cloth.
▸ During Bhauma period Odisha had commercial relation with Ceylon, China and South-East Asia.
▸ Although, the Bhauma rulers were Buddhists, they also accepted Saivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism. They tried to enforce the Varnashrama i.e. division of society in four Varnas (Brahmna, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra).

Somavamsi Dynasty

▸ The Somavamsis, also known as Panduvamsis, ruled over Odisha from the middle of the 9th century AD to the early part of the 12th century AD.
▸ Udayana was the founder of this dynasty. The reign of the Somavamsis for two hundred years forms a glorious epoch in history of Odisha. For the first time, Kalinga, Utkala, Kongoda and Kosala were unified and brought under one political authority.
▸ The uniform pattern of administration removed anarchy and confusion throughout the state and paved the way for a cultural synthesis leading to the emergence of a unique Odia culture.
▸ Important rulers of Somavamsi dynasty were Mahabhavagupta Janmejaya I (882-922AD), Mahasivagupta Yayati I (922-955AD), Bhimaratha Mahasivagupta I (955-980AD), Janmejaya II (1065-1085AD), Puranjaya I (1085-1100AD) and Karnadeva (1100-1110AD). Karnadeva was the last ruler of this dynasty.
▸ Chandihara Yayati II (1023-1040AD) started the construction of Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneswar and it was completed by Udyotakesari Mahabhavagupta (1040-1065AD).

Administration of Somavamsi Dynasty

▸ The Somvamsis provided a strong and able administration. They ruled over a large territory of Odisha comprising at present the districts of Balasore, Cuttack, Puri, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Band, Kondamal and Ganjam.
▸ They shifted their capitals from Vinitapura, Marusima, Suvarnapura to Yayatinagara (Jajpur). The kingdom was divided into several Mandalas which was further divided into Bhuktis. Bhuktis were sub-divided into Bhoga, Khanda and Grama.
▸ The Somavamsis believed in Brahmanism. They performed vedic rituals and patronised Brahmans.

Timeline
Period Events
350 BCE Kalinga conquered by Mahapadmananda
261 BCE Kalinga War and conquered by Asoka
100 BCE Meghavahana established Mahameghavahana dynasty
350 CE Kalinga conquered by Samudragupta
639 CE Hiuen-Tsang visits Odra/Udra
650 CE Parashurameshvara temple built by Sailodbhava rulers
845 CE First female rulers Tribhuvana Mahadevi
882 CE Janmejaya I establishes Somavamsis Dynasty
1100 CE Lingaraj temple built by Somavamsi rulers

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