Mahameghavahans of Kalinga

  • After the decline of Mauryas, Kalinga rose to power around 1st century BC in the area of modern Odisha. We best know about the Third ruler of this dynasty, named ” Kharvela”. Kharvela is known to have revived the past glory of Kalinga.

Kharvela (209-170 BC)

  • King Kharvela belged to the epic time Chedi dynasty.
  • His capital was Kalinganagara.
  • We know about Kharvela from Hathigumpha inscription, found in a cave in Udayagiri near Bhubaneswar.
  • The army and military of Kalinga was reinstated by Kharvela.
  • Kharvela led successful campaigns against the kingdoms of Magadha, Anga, and Satavahana.
  • The Kalinga Kingdom was expanded till Ganga to Kaveri from north to south by Kharvela.
  • Kharvela was a Jain follower, but despite being a Jain follower he never hesitated in warfare.
  • He patronized the Jaina ascetics by making provision for their maintenance, constructing the house/dwellings.

Hathigumpha inscription

Hathigumpha inscription is ascribed to Kharvela, and belongs to 2nd century BC. It is a 17 lines inscription in Brahmi found at Udayagiri hills, Bhubneshwar, Orissa, 6 miles away from the place where Dhauli edit of Asoka was located. The inscription says that it is dated 165th year of Maurya kings and 13th year Kharvela reign, and gives a biographical sketch of the king. It says.

1.    In the first year the king rebuilt the capital of Kalinga.

2.    In the second year, he destroyed the capital of Musikas, a tribe of Hindus of Indus river area.

3.    In 4th year he subdued the Rastrakas and Bhijakas, the tribes near modern berar area.

4.    In the 5th year he extended a canal built by the Mauryas.

5.    In the 8th year, he advanced till Barabar hills and defeated the king of Rajgriha.

6.    In the 9th year he built the ”Mahavijayaprasad” place of great on both the banks of the river Pranchi.

7.    In the 12th year he subdued the Brihaspatimitra of Magadha.

8.    He built magnificent temple at Bhubneshwar.