Kalachuri Dynasty

Kalachuri Dynasty is shared by multiple ancient dynasties, two of which ruled in central India. The Kalachuri Dynasty was the Indian dynasty ruled in India during the medieval period. The name Kalachuri was used by the two kingdoms that had the succession of this dynasty. The name “Kalachuri” has a fascinating derivation. One of the Kalachuri Kings – Soma grew his beard and mustache to save himself from the wrath of Parashurama, and thereafter the family came to be known as ‘Kalachuris’. The word Kalachuri is composed of two words ‘Kalli; and ‘Churi’. The meaning of the word ‘Kalli’ is a long mustache and the meaning of the word ‘Churi’ is a sharp knife. They are also referred to as ‘Katachuris’ which means ‘Shape of Sharp Knife’.

The first kingdom of the Kalachuri Dynasty is known as ‘Chedi’or Haihaya (Heyheya) (northern branch); the Chedi had ruled over Central India (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Malwa, and Maharashtra). The other kingdom is called Haihaya. They ruled over Southern India (Karnataka) from the 10th to 12th Centuries.  The Kalachuris were considered as a replacement of Somavamsis in the Khariar region of Kosala at the end of the 11th Century and continued their rule in the early 13th century AD.

The earliest known family of the Kalachuri Dynasty had ruled from northern Maharashtra, Gujarat, Malwa and the parts of Western Deccan. The Kalachuri Dynasty had its capital at Mahishmati in the Narmada River Valley. The earliest known king of this dynasty was Krishnaraja, he issued coins in with imitation of the earliest known of the ruler issued by Traikutaka and Gupta King with Brahmi legend. Coins issued by Krishnaraja depict bulls that are similar to the coin issued by Skandagupta of Gupta Empire. Silver coins issued by Krishnaraja were circulated for 150 years after his reign.

From the inscriptional evidence of the history of the Kalachuri Dynasty, only three kings are identified Shankaragana, Krishnaraja, and Buddharaja. During the 7th Century, the Kalachuri lost their power to the Chalukyas of Vatapi. One theory also connects the later Kalachuri dynasties of Tripuri and Kalyani to the Kalachuris of Mahishmati. Later, after the rise of the Badami Chalukyas the power of Kalachuris ended in the early 7th Century. One of the Kalachuri inscriptions states that the dynasty had controlled Ujjayini, Vidisha, Anandapura. The literary evidence states that the capital of this dynasty was located in Mahishmati in the Malwa region.

One of the most important rulers of the Kalachuri Dynasty was King Gangeyadeva. During his reign, he tried to make the Chedis as the paramount power of Northern India. After Gangeyadeva, his son Karandeva succeeded, he successfully ran the kingdom. The Kalachuri Dynasty started declining from 1181 CE. The Kalachuries of Ratnapura was one of the descendants of the 18 sons of King of Kalachuri of Tripura. This was the new branch of Kalachuri was established by Kalingaraja around 1000 CE.

King Kalingaraja conquered the Dakshina Kosala region and made his capital as Tummana. One of the grandsons of king Kalingaraja named Ratnaraja had established Kalachuri of Ratnapura. One of the inscriptions of the great-grandson of Prithvideva I show that Kaladhuri of Ratanpura continued to rule as feudatories of the Tripura of Kalachuri. According to one of the inscriptions of Ratanpura of Jajjaladeva I, The Tripura of Kalachuri king Kokalla had 18 sons, his eldest son succeeded him on the throne of Tripura and the youngest son became the ruler of Mandalas.

The Kalachuri Dynasty has various branches; some of the most prominent branches of Kalachuri are

  • Kalachuri of Mahishmati
  • Kalachuri of Tripura
  • Kalachuri of Kalyani
  • Kalachuri of Ratanpur

Kalachuri of Mahishmati

Mahishmati was one of the most famous kingdoms of the Kalachuri Dynasty with Mahimshmati as its capital. According to the reference of the kingdom, Mahishmati can be found in the Indian epic like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Digha Nikaya (Buddhist). An ancient poet like Kalidasa had also mentioned Mahishmati as a city in on the Narmada River. During the ancient period, it was one of the very important cities in the southern part of the Avanti Kingdom and later in the Anupa Kingdom. Although the exact location of this city is still not confirmed it is said that it was located somewhere near along the banks of the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh, India.


Kalachuri Dynasty


This silver denomination is known as Drachma or Rupaka which was issued by the king name Krishnaraja during this reign. The obverse of this coin depicts the bust of the king facing towards right and the reverse this coin depicts ‘Nandi’ the bull in the center and the king of the king around.

Kalachuri of Tripuri

The Kalachuri of Tripuri is also known as the Kalachuri of Chedi, this dynasty ruled this kingdom between the 7th and 13th Centuries. The origin of this Kalachuri of the Tripuri dynasty is uncertain, but some people connect them with the Kalachuri of Mahishmati. Tripuri is mentioned as ancient literature. The reference of the Tripuri is mentioned in the Indian epic like Mahabharata. The Mahabharata had mentioned that the king of Tripuri was defeated by Sahadeva. The Kalachuri of Tripuri ruled in the northern Maharashtra, Gujarat, Malwa, and parts of the western Deccan. They probably had their capital at Mahishmati in the Narmada River valley.


Kalachuri Dynasty


The gold coin issued by king Gamgeya Deva the Kalachuri king of Dahala bears seated goddess ‘Gajalakshmi’ on the obverse side of the coin. These coins were strongly influenced by the coins of late Gupta and Gauda coins.      This gold Base Gold 4 1/2 Masha was issued by king Gangeyadeva during his reign in Kalachuri of Tripuri. The weight of this coin is around 3.81g. The obverse of this coin depicts eaten goddess Lakshmi and the reverse of this coin is depicted Devnagari Srimad Gangeyyadva.

Kalachuris of Ratnapura

The Kalachuris of Ratanpura were the Central Indian dynasty from 11th to 12th Century CE. Today Ratanpura is commonly known as Bilaspur district. During their rule, they have ruled the parts from Ratnapura to present-day Chhattisgarh.
According to one of the Ratanpuri inscriptions of king Jajjaladeva I, the king of Kalachuri of Tripuri, king Kokalla had 18 sons. Among this 18 son the eldest son succeeded king Kokalla on the thorn of Tripuri and the younger one became the rulers of mandalas (feudatory governors). The Kalachuris of Ratnapura are the descendant of one of these younger sons.


Kalachuri Dynasty


This two and a half Masha coin in base gold was issued by King Ratnadeva I during his reign. The obverse of this coin depicts Tiger mounted on an elephant (Gaja-sardula), facing right. The reverse of this coin depicts Nagari legend.

Kalachuri of Kalyani

The Kalachuri of Kalyani was the Indian dynasty from the 12th Century CE. They ruled over the part of Karnataka and Maharashtra. This dynasty rose to power in the Deccan region between 1156 and 1181 CE. King Bijjala, has served as a feudatory of the Kalyani Chalukyas at Banavasi. He was the viceroy of the dynasty he is said to have established the authority over Karnataka after wresting power from the Chalukya king Taila III.

The ruler of Kalachuri of Kalyani traced their origin to King Krishna, who had to conquer  Kalinjar and Dahala in present-day Madhya Pradesh. The Kalachuri of Kalyani over the power of Kalyani of Chalukyas during the 12th Century. The Kalachuri of Kalyani migrated towards the south of Magaliveda or Mangalavedhe (Mangalavada) as their capital. They titled themselves as Kalanjara-puravaradhisvara (“Lord of Kalanjara”); which also indicates their central Indian origin. The emblem of Kalacuri of Kalyani was the Suvarna Vrishabha also known as a golden bull.


Kalachuri Dynasty


his gold punch-marked Gadyana was issued by King Bijjala Tribhuvanamalla during his reign. The obverse of this coin depicts nine punches these punches are 5x lion; 2x Kannada letter Sri; 1x sun & moon; 1x Kannada legend Katachure. The reverse of this coin depicts one punch of a symbol.

The Mintage World Team comprises of experts, researchers and writers from the field of Philately, Notaphily and Numismatics who try to shed light on some of the most interesting aspects of coins, banknotes and stamps from not just India but across the globe as well.

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