The great Karnataka Expansion

The great Karnataka Expansion

The migrations of people and influences to the North from Karnataka during 10-12th century period is well attested by thesources but has not yet been studied carefully.

Emergence of North Indian Dynasties

The arrival of branches of Chalukyas (Solankis) and the Rashtrakutas (Rathors) in North happened even when they were already prominent in Karnataka. They certainlybecame influential in Gujarat and Southern Rajasthan. Some of theirbranches spread in other parts of north India. The Rashtrakutas od Manyakheta captured aregion near Kannauj.

Around the same time the Sena Dynasty (1097-1225) ruled partsof Bengal, having arrived from "Karnata". They were initially army officers in thekingdom of Pala Dynasty and later asserted themselves after the disintegration of thePala dynasty.

Emergence of Other Kingdoms in India

The Vengi Chalukyas (Eastern Chalukyas) who ruled Andhra from the 7th century to the 11th. century and the Yadava Dynasty of Devagiri who ruled western India during
850-1320 C.E. were of Karnataka origin and encouraged Kannada language and literature in those regions for a significant period before switching to local languages.

Cultural influence

Karnataka had become a major cultural center at this time. Karnatakacustons (fashions, coins, fans etc) were copied as far as Kashmir.King Harsha of Kashmir, who was a great lover of culture (before hebecame crazy), loved to copy Karnataka customs, as mentioned by
Kalhana in his Rajatarangini.

Religious impact

Religious influence also arrive arrived in North from south.
Sankaracharya (about 788 - 820 C.E. according to most scholars), and somescholars of his lineage later on, established Advaita Mathas in North and Western India.

Some Jain influence also arrived in north from the South. InKaranataka, the Chalukyas, Kadambas and the Rashtrakutas were frequentsupporters of Jainism (in general they supported all religions intheir domain). Some Rashtrakutas were actually devout Jain.

A wife of Siddharaj Jayasimha (Chalukya of Analilvad) was from Karnataka. She was involved in a visit by a Jain Acharya from Karnataka, who debated local Acharyas in Anahilavada. Kumarpalof Analilvad was a devout Jain.

Mention needs to be made that in the largest Jain community of
Rajasthan and Gujarat, one of the original gotras is called "Karnata". Sarasvati gachcha, a Jain order originating from coastal Karnataka,was present in Chittor, Rajasthan in about 1300. In a few centuries it spreadover much of north India.

The Virashaiva movement started by Basavanna in the 12th century in northern Karnataka spread not only in south India but also in Maharashtra. The followers of thissect are called as Lingayats and are believers in lord Shiva.

Influence of Ramanujacharya (1017 - 1137 C.E.) and Madhvacharya (1199 - 1278 C.E.) also originated from Karnataka region. Ramanuja was Tamil, but was given shelter by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. The Kannada Haridasa movement which was popularised in the 14th. - 16th. century by Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa spread to north India as the Bhakti movement.


* Dr. Suryanath U. Kamat, Concise History of Karnataka, 2001, MCC, Bangalore (reprint 2002)
* Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1955). A History of South India, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002).
* Dr. Romila Thapar, History of Early India, From Origins to 1300 AD., Penguin, 2003, New Delhi.

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